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Cheap Chinese "Soldier" Water Filter Pumps
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Marcus Dyson

Locale: Yorkshire, UK
Cheap Chinese "Soldier" Water Filter Pumps on 07/27/2012 07:19:39 MDT Print View

Guys I'm ultra-light fast-hiking the JMT next month. I had been hoping to purify my water using a combination of Micropur and the Japanese Super Delios filter. But I cannot get a Delios, nor any response from emails to them.

So I'm thinking of using one of these guys:

It's the ultra cheap (sub $30) Ceramic Soldier Filter Pump from China.

It's not the price, so much as the sub 100g weight that appeals to me.

Has anyone tried one? Are they reliable?

I know that used with Micropur, they'll be fine - but I'm wondering if I should rely on one if I need water faster than the Micropur's 2-hr limit for Guardia.


Edited by DoctorDee on 07/27/2012 08:01:20 MDT.

Dave Grey
(dapperdave) - F
Delios on 07/27/2012 07:43:35 MDT Print View

Delios UK have had supply problems for a while, related to the Tsunami in Japan where they are(were?) produced. If you're looking for an alternative try the sawyer squeeze, it's a bit bigger and heavier but having used both I much prefer the Squeeze, the time and effort you will save when squeezing water will more than compensate for the extra weight carried.

To give you an idea of the relative force required for each system, the Delios was like squeezing a tennis ball to produce 300ml/minute, the Sawyer requires half the pressure to produce 3 times the rate of flow.

Concerns have been raised about the durability of the Sawyer bags ; I've only used mine to supply water for 2 people on a 5-day trip so far and have had no problems. The bottle of my Delios sprang a pinhole leak after about the same level of usage.

Hope this helps,


EDIT: after having a quick gander at the chinese filter, it looks very low quality, the only seal to hold pressure while pumping is a single silicone O-ring and the simplistic design means that you need to exert most force on the upstroke which is more difficult as you can't brace against the ground. The ceramic element is low area in comparison to the MSR miniworks (which I used prior to the Delios) and I found that a chore to use so this will either give you arms like the Hulk or break very quickly.
Add to that the fact that it has no certification, or track record that I am aware of, I would strongly discourage you from ordering it.

PS I live just up the road from you (Durham), good luck on your trip, It's certainly beautiful country

Edited by dapperdave on 07/27/2012 08:02:00 MDT.

Marcus Dyson

Locale: Yorkshire, UK
My thoughts too, David on 07/27/2012 08:11:39 MDT Print View

Your opinions of the Soldier echo my own concerns David. Particularly my concerns about breaking it.
I'll give it a miss.

The Sawyer looks good and I am now also considering the Frontier Pro, mainly because I have one in the cupboard at home unused that I had entirely forgotten about until I just saw one while searching for alternatives.

But I favour the Squeeze, because it will give me the option to carry an additional litre or two of water, should I ever feel the need to do so. Plus if offers greater separation of contaminated and clean sides.

Having difficulty purchasing from their website though, they only offer US or Canada as billing address countries.

[EDIT] Bought from REI with free delivery. Aye, David, I see you're in Durham. I wandered through your county a couple months back when I wandered from Kirk Yetholm to Edale as training for the coming jaunt.

Edited by DoctorDee on 07/27/2012 08:24:48 MDT.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Cheap Chinese "Soldier" Water Filter Pumps on 07/27/2012 14:01:06 MDT Print View

Let's compare this chinese filter against some others.

Chinese filter
Guarantee: ?
Speed: 0.3 liters per minute
Filter life: 530 gallons
Pore size: 0.1 microns
Initial cost: $35
Cost per gallon: $0.06604
Cost per million gallons: $66,037

It claims to weigh 90 grams, which is so very light that I seriously doubt it weighs anything close to that. It would have to have seriously thin plastic, and that's a very bad thing in a pump filter.

Sawyer Water Treatment Sport Bottle

Guarantee: yes
Speed: 1.7 liters per minute
Filter life: 1 million gallons
Pore size: 0.1 microns
Initial cost: $50
Cost per gallon: $0.00005
Cost per million gallons: $50

It's 570% faster. It filters 1887 time more water. It actually has a guarantee and is backed by a reputable company and sold in a store that has an exceptional return policy. The deal is even sweetened by including the bottle, and by the flexibility to use the filter with a hydration bag or camp gravity setup.

Now let's compare against the most expensive filter at REI.
Katakyn Pocket Water Filter
Guarantee: yes
Speed: 0.86 liters per minute
Filter life: 13,000 gallons (need to verify this better)
Pore size: 0.2 microns
Initial cost: $370
Cost per gallon: $0.02846
Cost per million gallons: $28,461

This filter has a 20 year warranty.

So if you're looking at all at long term savings, you won't find it with the chinese filter. I bet the plastic is so thin and cheap that it won't even work on the first day of your hike. Weight savings don't matter if it doesn't work.

If you're going to fast hike, then repackaged Aqua Mira is probably the way to go.

Jay Hergot
(airgo) - F
Solder Water Filter on 10/19/2012 12:29:27 MDT Print View

Don't knock what you don't know. Mine weighs 3.3 oz with hoses, 3.8 ozs (108 grams) with the bag which I have replaced with a lighter one. Is it cheaply made? No it's thick plastic. Has it malfunctioned, not with the several trips I've used it on, and from what I can see it shouldn't. It takes about 40% more strokes than my Katadyn Mini but the stokes are easy so it makes it no issue. Will my arm fall off making a gallon of water,? No as it is not hard to pump and I feel it is worth it to get the light weight and small size. My Katadyn Mini, (their smallest) looks and feels like a giant, heavy car camping filter when I compare them side by side! Do I trust it will filter good? Yes as ceramic filters are not hard to make with a consistant pore size. Problem with it being Chinese made? No, and it would not surprise me if most all of the filter elements made today are made there, maybe even the whole filters.
Time will prove if I am right, but for me I am satisfied with the filter, at $56 with the extra filter element that's about 1000 gallons of clean water, enough for me for the rest of my hiking life. ( I'm 63 and use about 2-3 gallons a day for all my needs) I don't care how much it cost for a million gallons, it's not a whole house water filter. As they say, to each their own. Jay

Pete Anderson
(hosaphone) - F

Locale: Boston-ish, MA
China on 10/19/2012 12:41:27 MDT Print View

I do everything I can to avoid ingesting things that come from China. This isn't quite the same, but it still makes me uneasy.

eric chan
(bearbreeder) - F
Re: China on 10/19/2012 12:58:39 MDT Print View

better stop eating out anywhere ... chances are the cutlery/dishes/glasses is from that evil awful china ... or the food was prepped with equipment that was from there somehow ...

i just licked my chinese made iphone ... i think im going to die and go to BPL hell ;)

Pete Anderson
(hosaphone) - F

Locale: Boston-ish, MA
Re: Re: China on 10/19/2012 13:36:25 MDT Print View

I don't really have a problem with stuff made in China (labor issues aside...), and things like cutlery etc can be washed off.

But when it comes to food, etc, it's just a total nightmare. From what I can tell their version of the FDA is super corrupt and there is basically no oversight.