Gift Guides

Gift Lab: Can This Filter Bottle Provide Hydrated Hiking without a Heavy Pack?

September 28, 2016

Laura Gift Lab Water Bottle

Research:

Anytime I go hiking, I make sure to bring plenty of water. This usually means hauling around a 2-liter water bottle that’s too big for my hip-pack. (I know, it’s really a fanny pack, but “hip-pack” sounds so much cooler than a bad fashion choice circa 1989.) A big water bottle means hiking with an even bigger backpack to hold it in. So, how can I use my lighter pack and still carry enough water? Perhaps I should give the Adventure Filter Water Bottle a try.

I haven’t gone on hikes any longer than 10 miles, so I’ve never purchased any kind of trail-side water filtration system. My guy and I planned to do a 4+ mile trip where we were camping at Mongaup Pond Campground, so I figured this would be a good time to test out something in that category. I wanted to fill up my bottle from one of the spouts with drinkable water before we headed out.

Hypothesis:

The Adventure Filter Water Bottle will be easy to use on the trail, and it’ll filter water so it’s clean and tasty.

Experiment:

I had planned to field test the bottle from start to finish. The box provides some pretty clear instructions to go by, which made it seem simpler than other backpacking water filters. Everything looked pretty straightforward.

Water Bottle 1-3 Collage

I started to wonder, though, if it could really filter out any little critters swimming in river or lake water, or if it could even handle something like the water out of a camp faucet.* The directions assured me that it can filter faucet water or water that isn’t stagnant. I got a little squeamish thinking about  non-faucet water… I mean, lake and stream water is filled with bacteria; they’re still somewhere in that bottle, right?

*Note: Rest assured, this bottle is truly heavy duty! It was originally used to provide humanitarian aid workers with clean water, and has been tested in even the most critter-filled environments to filter fluoride, industrial and agricultural pollutants, and up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses from tap, city, river, or lake water. I’m still working up the courage to all-out adventure with it!

So, my plan was to use it with the camp’s drinkable faucets for my first go-round. I’ve had this water unfiltered — it’s safe to drink — but pretty cloudy with a hard-water taste. It would be beneficial to have filtered water on the trail. It took me a bit to sort all the pieces and figure out how to get the new filter for the bottle started. The instructions note that a new filter has to first get a good two-minute rinse with the attachment in the far right picture below:

Water Bottle 4-6 Collage

It screws onto the bottle’s water filter and has a kind of suction cup to fit around the faucet. Water then has to run through it at a steady pace for two minutes. This proved pretty tricky since the camp faucet was pretty strong. It popped off a few times and I inevitably got sprayed. But once I got the faucet pressure under control it wasn’t so bad.

Water Bottle 7-8 Collage

I got the filter re-attached to the bottle’s straw and inserted back into the bottle. This whole bottle is really well designed. I feared I’d have complications more along the lines of Ikea furniture, but overall it was pretty simple. The top unscrews so the straw and filter can pop in and out. The base also unscrews so it can easily be filled up. As you can see below, the water is really cloudy, even though it’s safe to drink.

Water Bottle 9-10

I sealed up the bottle and flipped open the straw. I gave it a sip. The water tasted different. The bottle really filtered out that hard water flavor. By this point. I’m digging this high-tech water bottle!

Water Bottle 11 Resize

But…will it fit in my hip-pack? Will it fall out? Will it just get on my nerves? I tried it with the lid on first. It was top-heavy, and the lid was kind of tough to snap off and on. So, I was thinking with the flip-close straw I likely didn’t even need the lid. Turns out I was right. I was able to take the pack off and on without losing the bottle. Off to the trail!

Water Bottle 12-13 Collage

Conclusion:

I’ll be using this bottle again and again (lid optional). It fits what I need for shorter trails and I’ll feel better having it for long or short hikes. In all honesty, whenever I go hiking I tend to over-pack. I don’t just bring a couple of Band-Aids, but a well-stocked first aid kit. (And I manage to fit it in my hip-pack!) A few years back I read the story that 127 Hours is based on, and it certainly left an impression. I always want to have a first aid kit and plenty of water. Even if you know what you’re doing and where you’re going, there’s still a level of risk. So why not have easy access to water and the contents of a little first aid kit? This water bottle does fill a bigger need than getting cleaner water from an outdoor faucet—it’s like a hiking safety net.

Water Bottle 14 Resize

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