Mountain Buzz banner
1 - 20 of 25 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hey there buzzards,

I'm wondering if anyone has any recommendations for water filtration systems that they might be willing to school me on.

I did a mild search on the buzz and didn't find anything, and my other sources of expertise on such topics are all very backpacking-centric as opposed to rafting. I can't even begin to imagine the toil it would take to use one of those hand pumps built for backpacking to fill several five-gallon jugs. The gravity fed systems I've found are all pretty low capacity as well, 2-4 liters and further seem to not handle silt well from the reviews, so no-go for the Colorado for sure.

The guy who got me into rafting has a great system but it's super bespoke and made by some old river rat who no longer builds systems.

Is there some other sweet outfitter I don't know about who makes a high capacity, silt tolerant, gravity fed filtration system anyone can point me to?

Thanks in advance!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,050 Posts
Are you wanting to fill large jugs or just personal water bottles? If its just water bottles or personal water then I'd say a Katadyn Gravity filter works great. You'll have to make sure you remove the silt first which means leaving a bucket overnight or using a floculant. For stuff like the Grand Canyon, there are plenty of clear water sources coming down the side canyons.

If you are talking about filling jugs, the Vital is great. Battery operated is SO much nicer and quicker then the Katadyn hand pump one but it also takes up more space and is heavier. Still need a clear water source, otherwise its constantly clogging. The one we got from Ceiba last year filled a 5 gallon jug in about 4-5 minutes.

Partner Steel makes a similar one to the Vital one, and it comes in a bunch of configurations with options for built in solar charging. Might be worth checking out.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Hey Thanks! Great info. And to answer your question, yes I'm looking to fill up a lot, say 10-15 gallons at a go.

The system I'm used to on long trips is bringing 20-40 gallons for a group of 6-10 people, drinking that down, and then halfway through the trip purifying enough to refill most of those jugs for the rest of the trip. Which seems like a much nicer/safer setup than say, pumping a Nalgene or two anytime you need to refill your water.

And like you said, Vital looks like a strong option for that. I did not realize Partner Steel also makes one, I'll definitely check that out, I deeply love my Partner Steel Stove.

Thanks again!
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
386 Posts
If you are handy you can source the parts online and build your own filter identical to the Vital for about $400 to $450. With the exception of the pump the parts are stock filter and plumbing parts. It is heavy, with a rocket box housing the filter it weighs about the same as a full 5 gallon water jug.

I use a 27 amp hour AGM battery rather than the 31 amp hour sold with the Vital as it fits well in a Pelican 1300 deep box. The battery will pump plenty of water for a 21 day Grand Canyon trip.

You do need to settle any muddy water as the .35 micron paper pre filter will clog easily and you also need to clean the ceramic candles a couple of times per trip. It is a whole lot more fun than pumping through a Katadyn Expedition.

People will actually help with water chores rather than scattering to the bushes as tends to be the case when the manual pump comes out. Grab a couple of beers and a friend or two to feed the buckets and you can pump 30 gallons in about 30 minutes.

I do carry a Katadyn Expedition on Grand Canyon trips as a backup, and a spare pump for the electric filter.

A commercial Grand Canyon boatman I know who does motor trips says they pump every night. They just drop the intake off the back of the motor rig and pump while ducking the guests.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
6 Posts
The more you discharge an AGM battery the fewer cycles you will get before the battery fails. We typically supply 35 amp hour batteries with the filters we sell because they are generally used by commercial operations. We have built other configurations for private boaters in the past and would be happy to assist with any water filtration equipment you need.
Thanks, Kevin
Vital Water Products (vitalwaterproducts.com)
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
792 Posts
Wow the partner system is 1700 bucks. I never really needed one like that but this is a good time to learn (never done silty river). So can the 5gl bucket gravity system keep up with and do a good job on a long g.c. trip? I see on their site your still supposed to add chlorine? Does it taste like it? I did a commercial trip and the water tasted like shite . I never saw them but I think they just used chemicals lol.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,094 Posts
Wow the partner system is 1700 bucks. I never really needed one like that but this is a good time to learn (never done silty river). So can the 5gl bucket gravity system keep up with and do a good job on a long g.c. trip? I see on their site your still supposed to add chlorine? Does it taste like it? I did a commercial trip and the water tasted like shite . I never saw them but I think they just used chemicals lol.
There's many schools of thought on this. I bought the partner after many years of things like the Katadyn, gravity bags that work well in hunting camp, and finally decided screw it and bought the partner. The upside is it's simple, works as advertised and UV disenfects your water. Pumps about a gallon a minute, perfect for a mid day replenishing at a side stream, careful planning in GC had us never having to settle water, so that was a plus. The downside is it's heavy.. The other downside is the cost, but these days, for me anyway, easy trumps every other consideration as long as the outcomes are the same.

Never saw the need to put chlorine in, but a couple of times in the past when we settled turbid water, I did add 3-5cc of bleach to the 5 gallons of water that was settling before running thru the filter. The partner offering has carbon filter that takes any taste out of the water.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
61 Posts
No thanks on Lifestraw for me.

I purchased a lifestraw, followed all of the setup directions, and had it in my pack while hiking. Went to use it and nothing. Couldn't suck the tiniest bit of air through it and after looking it up online this seems to be a common occurence and they recommend re-moisturizing part of it with coconut water. What a joke and a piece of junk. How do you make a filter which people will rely on for water with parts which freeze/dry/clog on their own?!?! This was the first time using it, and the last. It's completely unreliable and therefore useless.

Instead I use this for everything: Katadyn BeFree Gravity Water Filtration System 3.0L

While I do not use it in silty water, I relied on it for Colorado and Alaska multi-day trips. The flow rate is good and you can hang it up then walk away to do other things.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,094 Posts
$300.00 ??? For a water jug? Does it talk? Make breakfast ?

I guess on the bright side, it's supposed to last for 5000+ gallons? I'm assuming that's with pretty damn clean water to start with. That's 1000 cycles of 5 gallons.. Impressive if that's actual life used with river water.
 

·
Premium Member
Joined
·
3,094 Posts
1 - 20 of 25 Posts
Top