Rating: 3 / 5
When it comes to water filtration I am very hooked on my filter. However, I am slowly beginning to see value in other types of treatment as I try to get into the "lightweight" side of backpacking.
I purchased the Aquamira Frontier at a local Sportman's Warehouse for about 7 dollars. It advertises a lifespan of 20 gallons, but only filters to 3 microns.
When I purchased this product I did so with the intention of using it in conjunction with my Potable Aqua PA Plus treatment tablets.
The device has a small blue filter cylinder and a flexible clear plastic tube that attaches to the filter. I suppose the idea being that you simply hold the device in your water container while you drink.
The first issue I ran into is that we carry Platypus bottles. Nalgenes are a no-no in my house. The system will not fit into the Platypus bottles. So, I improvised by going down to the river and filling up my 1.1 liter boiler with water and bringing it back to camp.
Upon first use Aqumira warns you that you will get a mouthful or two of black water from the excess charcoal dust in the filter. After sucking this up and spitting out, I settled into the business of drinking some filtered water.
I found the process to be frustrating. Largely for two reasons: A.) The amount of pressure need to suck the water thru the filter and B.) The amount of air that accompanies the water as you drink it. This cause a rather large and sometimes unsatisfying belch after drinking.
In all, the filter did it's job though, the water tasted fresh and clean. But due to the amount of air being sucked up, not fitting into Platypus bottles, and being rather difficult to drink thru, I can only give this a 3 rating. I had hoped that this with water treatment tabs would be the answer to seriously reducing my pack weight but I think for now I am going to stick to my water filter or find another fun way to reduce floaties with treatment tabs :)