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ULA H2O Amigo

in Hydration - Water Treatment

Average Rating
4.45 / 5 (11 reviews)


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R K
( oiboyroi - M )

Locale:
South West US
ULA H2O Amigo on 09/23/2005 18:05:41 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 2 / 5

It’s hard to beat the convenience and performance of a good gravity filter.

The H2O Amigo is both well constructed and reasonably lightweight.

The problem I had with the H2O Amigo is the drawstring closure on the water bag. It’s rather difficult (in comparison) to fully fill. Once any amount of water is in the bag it will close off, even if it only has a half of a liter in it, preventing much more water from entering. It’s more apparent when pulling water from a flowing water source.

The design also allows for potential cross-contamination if you are not careful.

Mine came with a faulty filter element as well.

Overall it has good build quality (except for the filter), is dual use as a shower and the only commercially available product of its kind to appeal to lightweight hikers, but lacks ease of use and simplicity in comparison to other homemade options.

Edited by oiboyroi on 02/15/2007 19:46:32 MST.

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Whit Kincaid
( razor )
A fine gravity filter. on 09/23/2005 18:56:49 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Let me start by saying that I'm a real fan of gravity filters. They quickly produce volumes of clean tasting water with a minimum of effort. Actually, when I'm in dinner mode and have my stove out or a zip lock full of food is cooking in a food insulator, I can also be filtering while I journal, look at maps, or rest. It feels very efficient to be doing three tasks at the same time! Taste is the second major reason I'm sold on them.
I carry a little Aqua Mira as backup but it still tastes like old Florida swimming pool water to me.
I've found the H2O Amigo to be a well made and efficient piece of kit. I've hiked about 750 miles with a home made Jardine style hikers friend gravity filter and the Amigo is a definite improvement in my book. The filter element itself is located near the end of the out feed hose which makes more sense as the weight of the filter provides more stability when in use.
The tubing used is a definite improvement of the food grade vinyl tubing I've used in the past. Much more flexible and easier to work with.
The Amigo's single greatest advantage however is the ability to clean the filter element, thus significantly extending its' life. The Amigo comes with a rubber device that allows the user to back flush the filter cartridge by connecting it to a sink faucet or hose spigot. Additionally, the filter also easily comes apart and can be air dried. In my experience, this is a major advantage over the old sealed cartridges.
Bottom line, it clogs less.

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Mike Storesund
( mikes )
ULA H2O Amigo on 09/24/2005 00:59:22 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I too am a firm believer in gravity filters. It is a blessing that you can still get filtered water with little effort while you complete some other chore around camp. I have used self made gravity filters with Platypus bags, but the H2O Amigo is lighter and well manufactured. It is also less expensive than some of the more common hand pump filters, a product that offers ‘the best bang for the buck’ IMHO. Definitely a 5 out of 5.

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John Pickron
( pre )
I like doing nothing when I can...this helps me in my quest.. on 09/24/2005 14:06:06 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I'm an old backpacker and when I travel I have a tendency to wanna just relax around camp. The gravity filter let's me do just that--Fill it up, carry it back, hang it on a branch 6 foot high (added a micro-carabiner, w/ an inch or 2 of cord w/loop so I can hangover live branches), trickle fill my camp drinking container or my backpack bladder.

The backpack fill is nice b/c you can suck all the air out of the bladder, then refill by removing the mouth piece and plugging directly into the outlet of the filter. Lay bag on the ground and 5-15mins later it's filled. No more risk of puncturing and mishandling the bladder.

You can shower under it, the trickle is nice for washing dishes while conserving water w/o overflow.

For our 2 person system-I've added a 4L water carry bag at 2.7ozs for dry humps or settling murky water...

John Williams
( lamphead - M )

Locale:
Southeastern US
Hmmm... on 02/12/2007 18:32:59 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

Funny story about this filter (and filtering in general):
We were a few months into our AT Thru hike up in Maryland/PA and decided to have our gravity filter shipped up to us. We had been using potable aqua up to this point (but drinking some untreated water as well when it looked safe). We started using the filter and reveled in its speed and convenience. About 2 weeks later I woke up in the middle of the night and thought "Why have I not had to backwash that filter yet?". After looking closely, we figured out that the filter element inside the plastic housing had cracked off and the water was running through the system untreated. We never got sick, even drinking water out of some of the lowest elevations on the AT.
Makes you wonder if all this filtration stuff is as important as it is cracked up to be.

John

Carol Brown
( brownwetdog )

Locale:
Idaho
If you use gravity filters, this is the one on 02/18/2007 09:43:20 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

My ULA H20 Amigo gravity filter is about two years old. What I like about it is that it does its job simply and well. I was concerned that I would not always be able to find a tree or rock outcropping to hang it from, but that has not been a problem. There is always someplace to hang it from and let it filter water while I attend to camp chores. The plastic housing in my filter had cracked as well. ULA replaced it immediately and its been fine since. Another nice feature is the rubber connector which allows you to back flush the filter cartridge by connecting it to a faucet. While I vary in using the gravity filter to using aqua mira, if I am going to use a gravity filter, this is the one. (Now there is an updated version, Amigo Pro '07).

Miles Barger
( milesbarger - M )

Locale:
West Virginia
ULA H20 Amigo - Great in camp on 02/18/2007 12:06:24 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I've owned the H20 Amigo for about one year, with most of my use concentrated in Yellowstone and the Tetons during the summer of 2006.

When I'm by myself, I tend to stick to AquaMira because it's lighter, smaller, and, with a good game plan, more simple to use. However, when I'm with one or more people in a group and the focus is on being in camp, the Amigo wins hands down. Run down to the nearest source, scoop up a bunch of water, bring it back, and you've got water for everyone to drink, cook with, shower with, etc.

The filter works very quickly, taking only a few minutes to fill up a 1L bottle as long as it is held/suspended from a height that lets the hose extend completely, and I've never had a problem with the filter clogging or not working. You usually do have to get your hands wet to get the bag far enough under water to be completely full, but if it's cold enough for that to really matter, you're going to be melting snow anyway, not using a gravity filter that will freeze up and become useless almost immediately.

The other way in which the Amigo has its advantages is for "cameling up" at a water source. You can pretty quickly filter out a liter and drink it down while you're filling your other bottles. When you're done, refill that 1L you just drank and you're on your way, hydrated for a long time to come.

My real rating is a 4.5. For me, a 5 would be a version of this filter that comes in closer to 5oz, perhaps with lighter hardwear and a cuben water bag. Filters and chemical treatments each have their advantages, so I don't offer this as being better or worse than AquaMira. But if you've decided that a filter is the right choice for your hiking style and situation, this is the best solution that I've found.

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David Noll
( dpnoll )

Locale:
Maroon Bells
ULA H2O Amigo on 08/18/2007 15:25:14 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Just got back from Isle Royale where you have to filter water because of
tapeworms in the inland lakes. The ease
of filtering was great. Just hang it in a tree and wait. The fact that it can double as a shower is an added bonus. Also, when I want water I want it NOW. I'm not much into waiting 30-40
minutes.

Nacio Brown
( njbnjb )
What could be easier on 08/21/2007 21:22:05 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

The Amigo is a pleasure to use--very good capacity and as fast as you could want. As for filling it, the best method I found for still water is to open it up completely flat with the handles out to the sides, lay it on the surface of the water and gently push it down here and there until it's 3" or 4" under the water surface and still open flat, and then lift it with its handles. This results in it being pretty much full to capacity. To avoid cross-contamination I keep the hose out of the water as much as possible and keep it generally above the reservoir bag. After hanging the bag up I wipe down the outside of the bag and the hose with a bandanna. There is generally very little water to wipe off. Great unit.

Lori Pontious
( lori999 )

Locale:
Central Valley
impresses hiking buddies on 07/19/2009 15:26:03 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I find that putting the bag under a small cascade of a stream or letting it submerge in a lake works well. The length of the hose makes it easy to keep the clean end in my thumb while bailing water. I take one trip per day to the lake/stream while others pump before every meal. The filter works quickly enough that by the time others have assembled and pumped and disassembled, I've filled my bladder.

Robert Roesner
( AzBoB_Lite )

Locale:
SouthWest
Perfect with just a little add-on on 04/14/2010 21:40:12 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I have been using this filter now for 2 years, and with the addition of a quick disconnect for our Platy Big Zip SL and an adaptor to fit my friends Camelbak we now have the perfect setup. After filling we just prime and then hook it up, the filter runs 'til the bladders are full. This makes the whole setup, a set and forget affair.

Highly recommend.

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