Info on Gravity Water Filters - Mountain Buzz
 



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Old 08-17-2011   #1
 
Rocky Mountains, Colorado
Paddling Since: 1978
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Info on Gravity Water Filters

The thought of not having to carry 15 gallons of water on my next trip has me pretty tempted to get one.

Are they worth the expense? And what about when you're floating in muddy water...can you rig a pre-filter (Like a coffee filter) before you use the gravity filter?

Any help would be great.

What's the word on the Katadyn Base Camp filter vs. something a bit more expensive like the MSR Autoflow Gravity Filter which seems to have a bigger flow rate (which I don't think would matter) and a bigger filter (which might be longer lasting and less likely to clog)...

Thanks!

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Old 08-17-2011   #2
 
Jackson, Wyoming
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 338
No experience with the gravity filters. The key with standard pump filters and muddy water is settling before filtering, and I'm not sure how that works with gravity systems. With a pump, you fill a dry bag or whatever, let the big stuff settle out, then pump off the top. with gravity feed, the stuff is obviously going to settle to the bottom where the filter is, which doesn't bode well for filter life.
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Old 08-17-2011   #3
 
Land of Lovin, Colorado
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muddy water and filtration thread: https://www.mountainbuzz.com/forums/f...ere-34838.html
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Old 08-18-2011   #4
 
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Boise, Idaho
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chance G View Post
The thought of not having to carry 15 gallons of water on my next trip has me pretty tempted to get one.

Are they worth the expense? And what about when you're floating in muddy water...can you rig a pre-filter (Like a coffee filter) before you use the gravity filter?

Any help would be great.

What's the word on the Katadyn Base Camp filter vs. something a bit more expensive like the MSR Autoflow Gravity Filter which seems to have a bigger flow rate (which I don't think would matter) and a bigger filter (which might be longer lasting and less likely to clog)...

Thanks!
I have a Katadyn Base Camp that I've used on several long Grand Canyon trips. Settling the water for a few hours in a five gallon bucket and then pouring the clear water into the filter bag seems to work best. It's slow, but needs no attention--you can let it filter while you're sleeping. The replacement filter is relatively expensive, however, and does need to be changed more frequently than advertised.
On my last trip, someone brought a Sawyer SP122 gravity filter that outperformed the Katadyn. It was faster, back-flushable, and also low in price like the Base Camp. I bought one and am looking forward to trying it out on my next trip.
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Old 08-18-2011   #5
 
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Springfield, Oregon
Join Date: Jan 2011
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I recently purchased the 4 liter Sawyer and used it on a 17 day outing in the Brooks Range, AK. It worked great (even filtering light glacial milk) and the back-flushable feature is wonderful. It is now an integral part of the rafting/backpacking/camping gear.
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Old 08-18-2011   #6
 
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Boise, Idaho
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I've used the katadyn a few times and it's been great. I don't recall it being very slow. But, I've only used it on the middle fork salmon and that water is already quite clean - especially in sept/oct when I've used. I was surprised at how awesome it is for the price though. It's nice to not load your boat down with water jugs at 1.6' on the MFS.
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Old 08-21-2011   #7
 
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Albany, Oregon
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This setup works well and is easy to replicate even cheaper: Vital Water Products
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Old 08-22-2011   #8
 
Bellevue, Washington
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Take a look at the Platypus Gravityworks filter.
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Old 08-23-2011   #9
 
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Seattle, Washington
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gravity filters

I love gravity filters. Only way to go IMO. I set it up when I first reach camp and by the time tents are up, I've got group water for the evening on-tap.

The katadyn base camp is a good system. The bag is burly and easily cleaned. The problem with the base camp filter is that it relies on the Hiker cartridge. Work with me here: the problem is that the filter is driven by hydraulic head pressure right? Well, that filter only works when fully submereged. So, you have to completely fill the bag and it only filters till it reaches the top of the filter, leaving a gallon or two of water just sitting in the bag.

The platypus system is nice, it's fast flowing. But the bags are a real hassle to clean or seal. The ziplock style closure is a real bear to operate in the cold. And it's much lower capacity.

Lately, what I've been doing is using the bag from the base camp filter, but not it's cartridge. Instead, I use a sawyer in line filter. (see Sawyer 3-Way Inline Water Filter - Free Shipping at REI.com) This filter is much faster than the hiker filter. It's much longer lived (if you don't let it freeze) as it easily serviced via backflushing, even in the backcountry. It's light, fast, bomber. I use an MSR dromedary lid/hose kit to mate the base camp bag with the sawyer filter. Some cheese cloth over the threads acts as a prefilter.
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