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Filter advice
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Sven Klingemann
(svenklingemann) - F
Filter advice on 04/23/2008 10:30:18 MDT Print View

Hi guys,
I need a new filter! I am hesitating between a Gravity filter (ULA Amigo Pro) and the Katadyn mini filter.
(A)Katadyn more expensive (initial and cartridges) but 10 times more filter longevity!?
(B)No pumping required and better flow rate with Amigo Pro
(C)Same weight.
Any advice? Thanks!

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Filter advice on 04/23/2008 10:40:46 MDT Print View

If you prefer gravity-feed to pumping, I would recommend the Seychelle filter over the ULA Amigo Pro. With the Seychelle spliced into your hydration tube, you can very quickly obtain water (just "scoop and go") during the day -- and use the same as a leisurely gravity-fed filter when at camp at the end of the day. You can easily make your own system -- or bring an extra Platypus bladder. The ULA Amigo Pro can only be used as a gravity filter which makes it a somewhat awkward choice for day use.

Warning - Shameless sale talk below:

If you are interested in the Seychelle, I have one to sell:

1. filter plus filter element that was used outdoor just one time. It worked beautifully but I opted for the heavier First Need purifier because I want my filter to deal with all baddies -- including viruses.

2. one additional brand-new filter element still shrink wrapped.

Anyway, food for thought. Feel free to PM me if interested.

Edited by ben2world on 04/23/2008 10:43:27 MDT.

Roleigh Martin
(marti124) - MLife

Locale: Moderator-JohnMuirTrail Yahoo Group
Re: Re: Filter advice on 04/23/2008 12:28:37 MDT Print View

Ben, there are many models, is this the First Need model you desire?

It's not so bad on paper, only 7 oz.

The others weigh 15 oz or 22 oz.

I also note this device still needs chemicals to take care of viruses and bacteria -- this is only good for pathogens and larger items.

I also read this about the Safewater inline filter:

*SafeWater Anywhere has gone out of business, and their products (except for some G2 pre-filters I have on hand) are no longer available. Their going out of business seemed to be carefully planned by whoever it was that bought this formerly family-owned business, because within months of its purchase this successful business was gone. It's unfortunate, because SafeWater was really the very best in personal, portable filtration systems.

If you own a SafeWater Anywhere filter, ... [see link if you already own one -- about maintenance of such.]

As for those looking for a product to replace SafeWater, there is unfortunately nothing at this time to match it's price, ease of use and reliability. The pump-type filters do a great job, but are more expensive and complicated than SafeWater. As for in-line filters, there is only one company that I'm aware of that makes in-line filters, Seychelle. While they are effective at filtration, they have a tendency to break easily so I cannot recommend them. We can only hope that someone will pick up the SafeWater Anywhere technology and resume production of these great products.

[end URL quote]

Edited by marti124 on 04/23/2008 12:52:07 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Filters on 04/23/2008 13:30:21 MDT Print View

Sven and Roleigh:

Strictly personal preference, but I am a worry-wart (yes, I admit) when it comes to drinking water. I want my 'gadget' to do all of the following:

1. improve water clarity (filter out sediments, etc.)
2. improve water taste
3. filter out protozoa (cysts, giardia, etc.)
4. filter out bacteria
5. treat / neutralize viruses

I searched high and low for all different types and models of filters and purifiers.

1. OP's ULA garvity filter, the Seychelle in-line filter mentioned above, and most all pump filters (MSR, Katadyn, etc.) can do 1-4. This is supposed to be more than good enough for our North American backcountry waters, but I still want #5.

2. Safewater Anywhere's Sawyer purifier can do everything above except for #2. It lacks a carbon element, so yucky-tasting water will still taste yucky, even if it's safe to drink. Again, not good enough for me.

So in the end, I bought the slightly bigger and heavier First Need purifier. It's 15 oz., but it satisfies my 5 requirements above.

Sven's preferences may differ, but hopefully this info. will help him in making his choice. Oh, and the Seychelle in-line filter weighs just 3.5 oz!

Edited by ben2world on 04/23/2008 13:34:22 MDT.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Have you Considered the Sawyer In Line Filter? on 04/23/2008 14:01:42 MDT Print View


I have been using this filter for about a year and love it.

Earlier this year, I put a detailed review of the filter with instructions on how to build a gravity filter.

Off the top of my head, the filter is something like 3.0 or slightly less.

It uses the same technology of hollow tubes that is now in the MSR & Playtpus gravity filters that they just came out with.

The Sawyer filter is backwashable in the field.

It has not clogged up on me yet.

I believe that there is now a life time guarantee on the product by Sawyer.

Hope that this helps.


Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Have you Considered the Sawyer In Line Filter? on 04/23/2008 14:04:36 MDT Print View


Reading Roleigh's post up above. Safewater -- the maker of Sawyer filters and purifiers -- is now bankrupt. You may want to stock up on the filter elements.

Edited by ben2world on 04/23/2008 14:12:45 MDT.

Randall Miller
(speyguy) - F

Locale: Cascadia
Filter advice on 04/23/2008 14:10:12 MDT Print View

My very first filter purchase was the First Need about 25 years ago. I thought they were a pain to pump and could not be field cleaned. Don't know about the latest model. Years later I bought the MSR Sweetwater. Lasted for many years until I needed to buy a replacement filter for it. After I bought the replacement filter the the pump broke. This was after about 10 years of seasonal use. I emailed MSR to see if I could get some new parts to fix the pump and they just sent me a brand new pump free of charge. Great customer service. Just a couple of weeks ago I bought the ULA Amigo. I really like it. I've just really grown tired of pumping. I've only tested the ULA in the bath tub but it works relatively fast, so I don't really think it will be any problem to use it during the day. Just a quick stop at a water source and hang it on a tree and take a break. I had seriously thought about a DIY gravity filter based on a great thread on this site using the Hiker Pro filter. But that replacement filter alone is now $40. So I figured by the time I bought all the parts I needed it would be about the same price as the ULA Amigo ($52 w/shipping). Made it an easy choice.

Sven Klingemann
(svenklingemann) - F
Filter - have ordered one on 04/23/2008 14:59:34 MDT Print View

OK - thanks for all your advice! I have decided to give another filter a try: the Nano Technology 530 filter. I will let you know how/whether it works. It is not a gravity filter, but very light at 3oz.
Cheers, Sven

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Thanks Ben on 04/23/2008 15:01:45 MDT Print View


Thanks for the bit of info on Sawyer!

Yea, I better go out and buy an extra one in case I manage to break the outer shell/case.

I appreciate the these forums!

I wonder if the company that is behind MSR & Playtpus are the ones that bought Sawyer....their gravity filters seem to use the same technology.


Edited by Valshar on 04/23/2008 15:03:30 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Fliters on 04/23/2008 15:31:40 MDT Print View


You're welcome, although Roleigh is the one who shared the info.


Interesting... I love the compact size and light weight. Not that you asked, but I wonder how annoying and tiring it may be in actual use. The instructions say 1/3 of a liter per minute -- that means 3 minutes to fill one liter (ignoring spec optimism which is usually achievable only when you pump super hard and super fast).

No experience, but the MSR Hyperflow supposedly can fill a liter in 22 seconds.

Maybe this is just reflecting my own aversion to long and tedious pumping...

Edited by ben2world on 04/23/2008 15:34:15 MDT.

Aaron Wallace
(basilbop) - F
Safewater and Sawyer In-Line Filters... on 04/23/2008 15:51:53 MDT Print View

Although Safewater Anywhere may have made filters for Sawyer in the past, the current Sawyer in-line filter ( is very different from the filters Safewater Anywhere made, and appears to still be available, at least on-line.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Sawyer In Line Filter on 04/23/2008 16:03:45 MDT Print View


I just sent an email to Sawyer to see if they are still in business or have been bought by another company.

As far as I can tell, they are still in business.

When I get a response back, I will post back here on what I find out.


Chris Chastain
(Thangfish) - F

Locale: S. Central NC, USA
Re: Filter advice on 04/23/2008 17:30:22 MDT Print View

I own the mini and have been trying to talk myself into the Amigo gravity filter for sometime.

I have a love/hate relationship with the Katadyn Mini.
It's small, light, eminently field cleanable, seems *very* solid, has very good filtration and is a royal pain in my @** to use. It's *slow* and difficult to pump, even when clean.

The MSR Hyperflow makes me jealous! I would probably buy that, if I buy another pump.

The Nano Technologies pump looks nice, but I urge you to be careful. They state Nano-KDF technology. The only info I can find about this is Chinese. That raises red flags.

I researched this technology in the past, concerning my "Survival Straw". This little filter makes all kinds of claims of filtration effectiveness, including "meets (some nebulous) FDA standards", "Certified", "Destroys Harmful Bacteria and Viruses" and "All Test Certifications Available Upon Request"... guess what? There was nobody to request these certifications from, as the company went out of business ( Atlanta GA). I can find out nothing about this thing, so have been afraid to ever use it.

I like the Amigo Pro gravity filter, but it seems too heavy for what it is.

I am very curious about the (hopefully) soon to be released MSR/Platypus in-line filter cartridge. I have suspected that it uses the same technology as the Sawyer, but have no verification of this (except in this thread). I have been on a waiting list for a Platypus Clean Stream replacement cartridge for over a month now

I bought a few parts with a lighter gravity filter project in mind, to test the Platy inline filter, but it has taken so long, that I made this: cheap gravity filter

Hope the Platy/MSR inline filter is lighter.

Edited by Thangfish on 04/24/2008 15:27:55 MDT.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Filter advice on 04/23/2008 17:43:15 MDT Print View


The formula for embedding a link:

[a href=""]description[/a]

In real life, use < and > in place of the open/close brackets above, full web address, and your desired description.

Edited by ben2world on 04/23/2008 17:46:48 MDT.

Chris Chastain
(Thangfish) - F

Locale: S. Central NC, USA
Re: Re: Filter advice on 04/23/2008 18:09:33 MDT Print View

Thank you Ben!

Chris Chastain
(Thangfish) - F

Locale: S. Central NC, USA
Re: Sawyer In Line Filter on 04/23/2008 18:18:05 MDT Print View

From my research, it appears that the filter technology in question is owned by Innova Pure Water, Inc. who had made a deal with Sawyer to distribute this filtration line under the Sawyer brand name. Innova appears to also have an agreement with Camelbak. I can post links, including SEC fillings... but man, what a pain it is to do that on this forum.

Anyway, the point is that Sawyer does not, nor has it ever made these filters. They only have (had??) a licensing agreement with Innova to market them under the Sawyer name.

Edited by Thangfish on 04/23/2008 18:40:36 MDT.

Sven Klingemann
(svenklingemann) - F
Re: Fliters on 04/23/2008 19:58:19 MDT Print View

Yeah, I know. I noticed that as well. I guess I am willing to give it a try for the sake of saving weight. And maybe my wonderful GF will do the pumping for me! LOL!

Chris Chastain
(Thangfish) - F

Locale: S. Central NC, USA
Re: Re: Fliters on 04/23/2008 20:04:26 MDT Print View

And maybe my wonderful GF will do the pumping for me! LOL!


Richard Mueller
(richca) - F - M

Locale: Western USA
Re: Filters ( Seychelle inline) on 05/31/2008 12:39:12 MDT Print View

Hi Ben and thanks for replying to some of my questions. I am beginning to wonder if the Seychelle inline filter also removes virusus.According to the Seychelle website, this filter contains iodinated resin which resin is effective against virusus and bacteria according to a page I saw on the Katadyn website The Seychelle product page for the inline filter also states that the filter was tested for virus as well as for the other pathogens.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
Re: Filters ( Seychelle inline) on 05/31/2008 14:33:41 MDT Print View

Not a water expert... none of the South African lab tests involved viruses, although the lone UK test did mention four kinds of viruses.

You might want to call Seychelle and chit chat with them about the filter's efficacy against viruses. My concerns are that they are not EPA registered (for whatever reasons) and are perhaps prohibited from prominently featuring virus effectiveness on their packaging. They market their product as a filter, and not a purifier -- again I can only assume that they would if they could (i.e. like Sawyer does).

And if you find out more, can you please post?