Safewater Anywhere In-Line Filter


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Peak to Peak Trail and Wilderness Links
Peak to Peak Trail and Wilderness Links


Price: $29.95

Weight (Manufacturer): 2.5oz

Weight (Tested): 3.0oz


Normally I pick my gear carefully and try to find someone to recommend it before I buy. So most of my reviews of gear end up fairly positive but with a few minor bad things to say about a piece of equipment. This filter review will not follow that norm. It sucks, save your money.

When I first got it, I took it on a 3 day hike in Louisiana to use in the murky swamp like water around here. If it wasn't for that water, I would have stuck to iodine, my old favorite. But the thought pf drinking mostly stagnant and colored water made me start looking for a light weight filter solution. So, after a little research, and some shopping, I found the Safewater Anywhere in-line filter and got it on sale in a local store.

My first trip was great. It filtered water with a little resistance compared to what I'm used to with a Camelbak, and worked well as a gravity system if I hung the bladder and used the bite valve as a pinch able valve while in camp. The flavor of water was just like bottled water. I thought I was in love.

My second trip with the filter was to the Appalachian Trail, where things started off fine. The bladder/filter system worked great and at times I was the envy of other hikers. But slowly the water output of the filter started to degrade. By the end of the third day the suction required would pinch in my face for a small trickle, and when using it as a gravity system, I had to take the bite valve off and watch as water dripped very slowly into my water bottle or cook pot. By the end of the 5th day, it would take about 20 minutes to filter 24 ounces of water! By day 6, I was drinking unfiltered water, I neglected to bring back up iodine.

When I reached Neels Gap on day 10, I threw it in the trash and got some iodine to finish the hike. Before throwing it away, I tried using a faucet to backwash the filter, blowing through it, scrubbing the filter, all sorts of things, but nothing increased the flow. I did this on that day, and back on day three while doing laundry at Rainbow Springs Campground. I'm sure that even though I didn't keep an exact score, the filter didn't provide the 60 gallons of water it advertised before pooping out.

I'm not sure what could have caused the failure. Was there some sort of alga build up in the filter? Couldn't have been after my use in Louisiana because I dried the filter out after my hike, and it worked fine at the beginning of my AT trip. Could it be excessive minerals from the springs in the mountain? My best guess is yes, there was always some sand like deposits in the pre-filter screen. But if that was the cause, then I couldn't recommend this filter for you average backpacker because mountain streams always have suspended minerals in them (erosion) and spring water will have minerals in it.

Conclusion: I'm going back to Polar Pure.

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