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Aquastar BGT reviews disappeared?
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(wentworth) - F
Aquastar BGT reviews disappeared? on 09/15/2009 21:35:59 MDT Print View

Hi All,
I remembered reading at least three reviews of the aquastar by meridian designs on backpack gear test. Now they've all disappeared. Does anyone know why?

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Aquastar BGT reviews disappeared? on 09/15/2009 21:53:54 MDT Print View

BGT tests only stay up for 3 (?) years after they are first published. After that time they are considered "out of date" and taken down.

I find it annoying too, as often I've gone looking for a report which has been deleted. They are dated with the year of publication, so I don't see why they need to be removed. If I'm reading a 2005 report about a product I'm well aware that the current version is likely to be different. It is still useful!

Your best bet is to search for the report using google, and then click on the "cached" version. You will still be able to read the text but the images won't be present (they are not cached).

Roger Caffin
(rcaffin) - BPL Staff - MLife

Locale: Wollemi & Kosciusko NPs, Europe
Re: Re: Aquastar BGT reviews disappeared? on 09/16/2009 04:13:58 MDT Print View

Yes, sadly, many good reports have been deleted as now being 'out of date'. A problem of (the cost of the) storage space on the server. Remember - all the costs are paid for by just one guy - Jerry Goller. No-one pays him.

BUT - you can always try the Wayback machine. It has regular snapshots of the web site. Try:
http://web.archive.org/web/20051210074026/www.backpackgeartest.org/reviews/Water+Treatment/Ultraviolet/

Cheers

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
AquaStar on 09/16/2009 04:24:55 MDT Print View

Hey there - I'm a diehard AquaStar fan and would be happy to help you if you have any questions about it.

Also, Meridian Design has stopped making the AquaStar (although they're still making the mUv). You might have seen the CamelBak product that's coming out soon - It's under license from Meridian Design.

I just ordered 6 AquaStar units for my friends (the price dropped to $40 per unit above 5). They're still listed on the Meridian Design website for $69:

http://www.meridian-design.com/aquastarplus.html

For me, doing all of my hiking in the mountains of PA where I'm near clear streams, the Aquastar is a great product.

A D
(wentworth) - F
stopping? on 09/16/2009 05:02:50 MDT Print View

They're stopping production? I might have to order one quick smart!
So the camelbak has the same components?
I take it you're obviously happy with yours and have had no problems?

Edited by wentworth on 09/16/2009 05:03:30 MDT.

Ashley Brown
(ashleyb) - F
Re: Re: Re: Aquastar BGT reviews disappeared? on 09/16/2009 05:15:04 MDT Print View

A problem of (the cost of the) storage space on the server.

Seriously? Cost may have been a factor 5-10 years ago, but these days storage is dirt cheap even on a web server. That whole site is pretty small. A much bigger factor is the traffic costs, storage is almost irrelevant.

Sounds like BGT needs to be "updated" itself! If costs are a factor then a little Paypal "Donate" button wouldn't go amiss. But like I said, the costs would be mostly due to the amount of data traffic, not storage space or size of the website.

Kevin Babione
(KBabione) - MLife

Locale: Pennsylvania
AquaStar on 09/16/2009 07:23:47 MDT Print View

Yes - they still have a few in their warehouse in AZ. Here's a quote from Meridian Design customer support:

"Yes, Camelbak has now leased the rights to the Aquastar with modifications that our engineers helped them develop. I have no idea when they expect to release it for retail or what the price will be. We/they have been working on the modifications for some time now. We still have some Aquastars left but they will take over production pretty soon. We still own the mUV. darleen, customer support"

I've truly been thrilled with the AquaStar. I'm lucky in that I'm not drinking from mud puddles or drainages below livestock. For the most part I believe that I'd be fine drinking directly from my sources in the PA mountains without any treatment, but the AquaStar makes treatment quick and easy so why risk it? When we need water we are able to generate a liter every two minutes (including filling the bottle through the mesh prefilter, the 80 seconds of treatment, and then pouring it into the destination container). I've used the one AquaStar to supply the water for a group of four without any problems.

I've only had two issues with the AquaStar and they were both entirely user problems. I lost the mesh prefilter with my unit (I've since attached my replacement with a wiretie which works well). The second problem was that my batteries died when I was using the unit in bright sunlight and couldn't see the bulb glow. I assumed it was working and it wasn't until later that I realized that it wasn't. I didn't get sick and I carry spare batteries anyway (1.2 ounces for the two of them) so we were fine for the rest of the trip.

Although I haven't used it yet, I just purchased the mUv and am looking forward to using it on my next hike (knowing, however, that at least one of my hiking buddies will be carrying the AquaStar). It was driving me nuts that the AquaStar was the 4th heaviest item I carried (at 8.3 ounces - less than my GG Murmur, SMD Gatewood Cape, and my UL60 quilt but heavier than everything else). As long as I'm not supplying the water for the entire group I believe the mUv will meet my needs and save me at least five ounces.

One thing I will miss by not carrying the AquaStar is the easy ability to measure water to boil (particularly for oatmeal). Although my wife thought I was nuts, I've solved that dilemma with a suggestion I saw in this forum - to carry a baby bottle liner for measuring. Looks perfect!

I'm a three-season hiker so I don't have any experience using the AquaStar in below-freezing conditions. I can say that I didn't have any problems when air temps were in the low 30's, but that's the extent of my experience.

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: Aquastar BGT reviews disappeared? on 09/16/2009 11:05:55 MDT Print View

I was one of the original bgt testers. If you have any specific questions not already answered on this thread, I'd be happy to give it a shot.

My bottom line: the UV Aquasatar is easy to use and reliable, as long as the water isn't too cold and the batteries are healthy. Very cold water demands fresh, high-quality batteries and may still require warming the water some to get the unit to cycle. Warmish water places fewer demands on the electronics and allows the use of cheap generics. IIRC the works alone weigh only about 4 oz.

I also tested the mUV. While tiny and clever, I had battery failures with three consecutive units and they finally stopped sending me replacements. While it was working, I really liked it. Pity.

Cheers,

Rick

Edited by halfturbo on 09/16/2009 22:01:07 MDT.

A D
(wentworth) - F
hm. on 09/16/2009 21:48:59 MDT Print View

I'm tempted to pick up an aquastar now before they run out, but just read that the new camelbak will be able to do 70-90L on one set of batteries... suggestions anyone? It is an ounce or so heavier...

Rick Dreher
(halfturbo) - MLife

Locale: Northernish California
Re: hm. on 09/16/2009 22:04:13 MDT Print View

I'm skeptical of the claimed jump in efficiency since the two units look so similar and share key parts (esp. the UV tube). It will be great if true, but only real-world data will tell.

Cheers,

Rick