Gravity water filters

I am planning on a BWCA trip this summer, and am considering picking up a gravity filter (too lazy to pump my MSR anymore!).

Any opinions on Katydin vs Platypus vs MSR vs Sawyer? The Katys are only $60 at Gander Mtn, the MSRs are on sale at REI, and the Platys…are still $100. Sawyers are an unknown to me.

Pyker, I know you have extensive experience with the Katys. The Platys appear to be speedy. Anyone else?


Depressing to hear. In '73 we drank
directly out of the lakes.

Drank out of the lakes in '89…
I’d just get some Aqua Mira and use that if you think you need to…

Hello Jim
I’ll answer in part. The filter we use has a 10 liter bag attached which works great for our group of three or four. Once the bag is hung as full as practical it takes 15 or 20 minutes to run through.

We used it in 2009 for just two people and did not take a storage container other than nalgene bottles and though more attention was required was fine.

One trick Pyker came up with was to use regular drip coffee filters wrapped around the filter element with rubber bands. This took out all the stain from even the most tannic waters and provided tasty drinking with no additives.

We simply do not chance any illness while on our trips. Take a spare filter element.

I too have drunk from waterways
in the past. From numerous shield lakes and the Dumoine River in Quebec, to Pine Creek PA, to a small stream on the flanks of Mt. Marcy in the Adirondaks. The last location is what did me in. Now I am loathe to risk another bout of water-borne illness. If you have not experienced the effects I would highly recommend becoming infected to cure yourself of any future temptation to drink from questionable sources.

Sorry. That was cruel. Wes, I am in your camp on this one. Ain’t worth the gamble. I like the idea of the coffee filter - should extend the element’s life as well.

While I carry chemical treatment as a backup, I still like the idea of water on-demand. Last time to the BWCA I hit upon the idea of throwing a collapsable bucket out from shore, hauling it in and then pumping from it using my MSR Miniworks. But as I said, gravity is my friend now.


Love my Katy
It has added hours to our fishing and scotch drinking time. One reason I like the Katy is that the filter sits in the water in the bag. Wrap a disposable coffee filter around the element with a rubber band and you’ll increase the life of the filter by 3 fold.

Thanks guys.
Looks like I don’t need to pay any more for a filter than the cost of a Katy. Seems that attaching one of my MSR Dromedary bags would be a good option as well. I like the idea of being able to ignore the filtering operation, as sometimes I like to sit and think. And sometimes I just like to sit.


Did animals not poop back in '73?

filters vs microfilter bottles
Which do you guys prefer and why?

two for me
I prefer a katadyn hiker. If I pre-filter the water through a t-shirt, the filter lasts longer.

If i need more, I bought a Platypus in-line filter and hooked it between two old camelback bladders. I wrap the entire thing in a bag and let the thing work. It takes about 2 minutes to purify pre-filtered water.

THE BIGGEST PROBLEM with filters, from reading the reviews, is that people try to filter mud! Then they complain the filter clogs.

I carry a collapsable bucket, collect the cleanest water I can find, pour that through a t-shirt into another collapsable bucket and toss my filters pre-filter in that ‘filtered’ water.

Two weeks on the Missinaibi
with a Katydin for 6 people in 2009. It was running pretty slow by the end. Of course, we didn’t have a bucket & didn’t paddle out in some of the places we camped. Changing a couple of coffee filters sounds like it might be a good idea.