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Old 09-16-2012, 15:32   #1
Jake514
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Which water Filter?

Another thread got me to thinking again - I still need a reliable water filter. I am not a hiker but had decided on the Katadyn Pocket Filter, but many knowledgeable people on here with much more experience than me seem to like the Berkley.

Does anyone have a specific Berkley model they prefer? Any preferences overall? The Berkleys that filter through 5 gallon buckets would be too bulky to haul but maybe there are recommended alternatives posters have personally used.

My situation:
*Looking for the "Glock" of the water filter world - RELIABLE.
*Looking for drinking water to support 2 adults minimum.
*Must be portable for extreme reliability
*Able to filter many gallons before filters exhaust themselves.
*Cost is not my first concern - the cry once theory.

THANKS IN ADVANCE.

Last edited by Jake514; 09-16-2012 at 15:33..
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Old 09-16-2012, 15:57   #2
rgregoryb
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Sawyer water filtration system at REI.....million gallon filter life, ease or operation (gravity)

http://www.rei.com/product/778044/sa...system-4-liter
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Old 09-16-2012, 16:20   #3
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I use a Berkey at home but would like one of these.
www.lifesaverusa.com
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Old 09-16-2012, 16:46   #4
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I agree, Berkey's are really good. But it is the filter stick(candle) that makes it so. You can get the sticks separately and install them into what ever container you like. Will work exactly the same as with the Berkey containers.
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Old 09-16-2012, 17:02   #5
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I use a Berkey at home but would like one of these.
www.lifesaverusa.com
That's cool. Pricey, but cool.
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Old 09-16-2012, 21:02   #6
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ok, you chose a filter over a purifier

When you eventually select your "filter", check the following.

Some filters start to deteriorate when first used and then continue to deteriorate even if you stop using them. Others will not further deteriorate if you stop using them.
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Old 09-16-2012, 21:19   #7
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After reading this thread I decided to price out a few different filters. Holy crap prices have jumped! Berkeys suddenly don't look so expensive.

Check out the Katadyn Combi also.
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Old 09-16-2012, 21:52   #8
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I have a couple Katadyn Hiker Pros. Great for portability and performance. Good value for the money. Carry a Steripen or other purifier also to kill potential viruses.

Just caved and ordered the Crown Berkey for the house. Probably a bit of overkill for my needs but there was only $100.00 difference between the Travel and the Crown so...why not. Also never know who's gonna show up that I haven't planned for but don't want to kick to the curb. CLEAN water is about the best barter item I can think of or a great way to generate goodwill. The other nice thing about the Berkey is that it's a purifier so no need for any other treatment.

If you're looking for compact and portability, something like the Katadyn is it.

If you're looking for the best water filtration system on the market, I believe the Berkey is close to the top of the list.

Different needs/requirements....different products.
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Old 09-16-2012, 23:57   #9
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I use the MSR Gravity flow

http://cascadedesigns.com/msr/water-...filter/product

Works exceptionally well, because I can be doing other things while it works. I've also used it in the winter, by bringing it into the tent, and packing it with snow, and letting the snow melt. Slow, but effective.


If I had to do it again, now, I think I'd look hard at the Platypus version of the same
http://www.rei.com/product/813799/pl...s-water-filter
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Old 09-17-2012, 08:52   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rgregoryb View Post
Sawyer water filtration system at REI.....million gallon filter life, ease or operation (gravity)

http://www.rei.com/product/778044/sa...system-4-liter
+1 on the Sawyer.

Buddy of mine recommended it after personal use in the Coast Guard down in Haiti after the earthquake. I own two, the portable water bottle version and the in-line from 5 gallon bucket version. Both are rated at one million gallons and both come with a back-flush tool.
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Old 09-18-2012, 11:09   #11
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in a survival situation I would get a katadyn hiker pro, I went into a cave and dropped the inlet into a hole and pumped water out of it...not possible with a gravity feed , however If I were to process lots and lots of water I would probably choose a gravity
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Old 09-18-2012, 13:42   #12
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The Sawyer has no carbon element? To me that makes it a no-go. That is one reason they can claim "one million gallons". Simpler filter.

Last edited by cowboy1964; 09-18-2012 at 13:42..
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Old 09-18-2012, 19:46   #13
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I use the Katadyn Pocket and have for years. Have traveled extensively and when you are in an out-of-the-way place like Easter Island, having one of these filters can keep you from spending way too much time squatting in the bushes with the local "tourista" syndrome. This model Katadyn is well-known as it is in use by Red Cross elements around the globe. They sell a neat little overhaul kit that I've carried but never had to employ (yet).

It is like a Glock - rugged, dependable. Only drawback is having to sleep with it in very cold temperatures, like the side of a mountain in the Andes or Sierras.

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Old 09-19-2012, 10:43   #14
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I have the MSR MiniWorks EX pump filter, and I have filtered well over 150 liters of lake and stream water over the last two years, some of it very dirty, and the filter element is still within spec after dozens of cleanings both at home, and while hiking/camping. The element seems to have a bunch more life in it before I switch it out for the backup I bought for $40.

It is very easy to take apart without tools to clean and maintain it in the field. No matter how dirty it gets, I have always been able to get it working as good as new without much effort while in the woods.

It does have a small amount of activated carbon in the ceramic element, and the water it produces has always tasted great. As good as any bottled water in my opinion, but your local water may be different.

I also have the SteriPen classic powered by 4 AA Eneloop rechargeable batteries, and it works great, but it removes nothing from the water. It just kills everything with ultraviolet light. It purifies 1 liter of water in 90 seconds with no chemicals involved. Some chemicals take hours to do the same, and chemicals taste nasty. Good to have 'em tho as backup.
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Old 09-19-2012, 11:56   #15
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We have redundancy:

Big Berkey
Katadyn portable
Filter they sell at CTD

Plus quite a bit of Na-Hypochlorite.

Good luck.
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Old 09-19-2012, 12:20   #16
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Katadyn Pocket here ... some complain about the price but it is a quality device that works.

I opted for the carbon cartridge mounted in the output line, I believe it adds much better quality taste to the filtered water. YMMV
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Old 09-19-2012, 16:42   #17
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I have a Katadyn Hiker Pro. I've actually used it backpacking in the Rockies, but not for several years. It resides in my GHB/BOB.

I also have a Berkey Light with black filter elements that has been in regular use (kitchen counter) for 5-6 years now. The filters are getting pretty slow, but several months ago it still passed the food coloring test.

I'm not sure but I think I'll just order some replacement elements soon.

I have been very happy with the filter.
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Old 09-19-2012, 19:31   #18
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I have a berkey light right here in in my kitchen and it works GREAT. Even bought my parents one for Christmas last year and they are all about it now, as well!

I'd get a berkey light.....or a ProPur if you want to spend more but not have to prime the filters! Houston has some slimy (literally) **** in the water...not to mention the fluoride or radiation!

Cheers!
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Old 09-19-2012, 19:33   #19
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I also have a Berkey Light with black filter elements that has been in regular use (kitchen counter) for 5-6 years now. The filters are getting pretty slow, but several months ago it still passed the food coloring test.
Did you scrub the black elements with a toothbrush or scotchbrite pad? (Should be done when the flow rate gets too slow) That will clean the gunk off and allow for desired filtration.
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Old 09-19-2012, 19:45   #20
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Did you scrub the black elements with a toothbrush or scotchbrite pad? (Should be done when the flow rate gets too slow) That will clean the gunk off and allow for desired filtration.
I did that once and didn't get the flow increase I was hoping for. Could try again though.
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Old 09-21-2012, 16:27   #21
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The Katadyn Pocket Filter is a good backpackers filter. But has almost no place in long term survival. A Katadyn Pocket filter will take 10 minutes of hand pumping to produce a gallon of water. Don't take my word for it--take the Pepsi Challenge. I have one. I use it out in the field. I know what I'm talking about here.

If you are trying to produce enough potable water for a family of four you will need maybe 5 gallons a day.

So my question is....who is going to sit down every day and work the water pump for an hour?

With a Berkey you fill it up and let gravity do the work. You can make 20 to 30 gallons of clean water a day with a Berkey depending on the size of the filter and number of cartridges. But all you have to do is fill it and let it drain into the lower chamber.

Or you can have someone sit and pump a dinky little hand pump for an hour or more every day.
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Old 09-21-2012, 18:21   #22
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BigBird is on the right track

I have a Berkey because I won it in a contest.

The only disagreement that I have with BigBird is over the amount of water a person needs in a day.

Someday, I wish for the following.

A guy in the freezing cold in Minnesota, a guy baking in Arizona, a person sweating in humid Florida and an air conditioned member in New York City undertake a test.

Each has only a one gallon container of water. The person must consume only from that container over a 24 hour period. The person is not allowed to use clean water from any source to wash dishes, prepare food, bathe or clean clothes.

I don't ask that any of the participants walk a mile with a 35 pound pack, workout at the gym, mow the lawn.

Then I want each person to report back that 1 gallon of water is sufficient for a person for one day.

Good luck on surviving very long on one gallon a day.

Next, go look at your water bill for the last month. Divide the number of gallons used by the number of people in the household x 30 days in a month. Then, you get a better idea of your routine clean water usage.

Finally, learn the difference between a water filter and a water purifier.
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Old 09-22-2012, 08:12   #23
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Originally Posted by bdcochran View Post
I have a Berkey because I won it in a contest.

The only disagreement that I have with BigBird is over the amount of water a person needs in a day.

Someday, I wish for the following.

A guy in the freezing cold in Minnesota, a guy baking in Arizona, a person sweating in humid Florida and an air conditioned member in New York City undertake a test.

Each has only a one gallon container of water. The person must consume only from that container over a 24 hour period. The person is not allowed to use clean water from any source to wash dishes, prepare food, bathe or clean clothes.

I don't ask that any of the participants walk a mile with a 35 pound pack, workout at the gym, mow the lawn.

Then I want each person to report back that 1 gallon of water is sufficient for a person for one day.

Good luck on surviving very long on one gallon a day.

Next, go look at your water bill for the last month. Divide the number of gallons used by the number of people in the household x 30 days in a month. Then, you get a better idea of your routine clean water usage.

Finally, learn the difference between a water filter and a water purifier.
Oh, I don't disagree with you in the least. I just used that example to make the point that a little hand pump is not a viable primary source of potable water in an extended survival situation. You can make it on a gallon clean water a day but its a miserable existence and adds stress and labor to an already stressful labor intensive situation.

When it comes to water gravity is your friend. Chemicals, likewise are your friend. You can make a lot of very potable water with a couple of blue barrels, some rain water and a little bleach. Redundancy is the key.

The Katadyn Pro will keep you going on the trail fine. Its a fine piece of hiking/camping kit. But its a cruel joke to think you will keep your family supplied with water for an extended period with the thing.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:32   #24
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I'd jump on the Berkey bandwagon except for your "portable" requirement. If you mean foot-carry portable, the gravity-fed berkeys I've used wouldn't make sense. Berkey does make portable backpacker styles, but I've never used them. My main portable filter in my ghb is an old, now-discontinued PUR Voyageur. It's a purifier actually; basically it's the still-available Hiker model with an additional iodine treatment to the filter element. They say you don't need a purifier (yet) for north-american waters, but I'm not a fan of reducing preps based on what "they" say; so I want a purifier myself.

I suspect - but can't guarantee - that if you treat the suspect water with iodine or bleach and THEN ran it thru a Hiker-style filter, you may well be able to duplicate the purifier function by virtue of that one additional manual step.
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Old 09-22-2012, 09:39   #25
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following up on BigBird's good thoughts

1. learn whether your filter or purifier continues to degrade if you just use it once and put it aside. It would be a cruel joke on you to think that your apparatus would clean 15,000 gallons of water and you fail to read the small print. Like you use it for a couple of gallons on a weekend camping trip and put it aside.
2. As BigBird says, have redundancy.
3. Remember the advertisement that you get what you pay for - cheap is cheap.
4. Make it simple enough for a kid to use. I had the girlfriend use a folder last night to open a big present. She had to learn how to open, use and close the folder without hurting herself. Don't assume that everyone has your experience. Make copies of any manual and put them in zip lock bags.
5. Contemplate the mistakes that you can make. Like wow, I was a dealer and received hydration packs at a discount! After a couple of years, it was discovered that hydration packs needed to be properly cleaned, so supplemental parts became available from the manufacturers. Finally, someone figured out that dummies (that would include potentially me) would fill the hydration pack with contaminated water and drink it so inline filters were developed.
6. Buy additional parts that will need replacement when you buy the filter or purifier. Models change. Parts become unavailable. Shipping costs escalate. Example. I belong to REI. I look what is current. I usually buy elsewhere. Does REI carry spare parts for the super duper water filter? How about when the model is discontinued? So, if I get a membership discount coupon during a year, I look for spare parts for what I own so that I avoid high shipping costs.
7. The people without a way of containerizing water, carrying the same with minimal weight of the container and making the water clean are going to be way down the food chain when shtf.
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