Rating: 4 / 5
I've had a Miox for over 2 years now and I've generally been happy with it.
The battery life is excellent. As long as my batteries are relatively new, I have no worries about going on a weeklong trip with 2-3 people with it. I leave the test strips at home and just bring the actual gadget plus a small bag of salt. You certainly don't need nearly the whole baggie of salt that comes with the Miox.
I haven't had any troubles with inserting the batteries like BPL did.
The taste is acceptable in my opinion and my wife's. I find you can smell it pretty clearly, but there isn't much actual taste. If you do find taste to be a problem you can leave the lid off your water container for 30 min once the treatment period is over to let the chlorine evaporate off.
I don't wait longer than 30 minutes to drink mine. I'm not sure why BPL felt the need to wait 4 hours, since most other treatment methods don't even kill crypto in the first place. Just forget about the crypto and wait 30 minutes. Also, 4 hours is the time at which you have a 99.99% (or something like this) chance of killing all crypto. After 30 minutes you've probably got a 98% chance that any crypto is dead. Considering how rare crypto is, those are pretty darn good odds even after 30 min.
What's not to like? It can be a bit finicky to get enough salt in the water. If you don't shake it enough, you get the low salt light. If you remember to pre-wet the salt and also don't overfill the salt chamber then it's easier to use.
Also, the whole unit is a bit heavy compared to the drops and pills on the market. I'm at work so I don't have the weight spec on mine, but it's a lot heavier than carrying a few droppers of chemicals (ie. repackaged Aquamira).
If I do stop using the Miox one day, it will be because of the weight. The smell/taste and potential for unit failure are not significant concerns for me. I find that most other people do not complain about the taste. When I've been camping with large groups, people often ask me to treat their water too and everyone loves it. The Miox is really cool to see working.
Two weeks ago my wife and I were camping with another couple that were using a microfilter pump. Initially they said they preferred pumping their water for the fresh spring water taste, but by the second day in bug infested conditions they were much happier to use the Miox and not have to spend 5 minutes down at the stream pumping water. When time is tight, weather conditions are adverse or the bugs are really bad then the Miox shines. I carry mine in my hip belt pocket and I can fill up my Platypus 1L, treat it and be on my way in well under a minute.
The reason I'm writing this review is because last night I mentioned to my wife I might sell the MIOX and use drops instead to save weight. She was really surprised and asked me to keep the MIOX because it is her favorite piece of gear. I had no idea...it is pretty darn cool...and fast....and safe.
I think I'll keep the Miox until someone comes out with drops that work as well the Miox without the 5 minute waiting period that Aquamira has. Waiting sucks when it's pouring rain.
Now that I think about it, how many water stops do you do in a full day of hiking? 4 or 5? If the Miox saves you 4 minutes per stop (1 min vs. 5 min) then that's 16-20 minutes per day. Shaving a few ounces off your pack isn't going to make that back so the MIOX hiker should be faster than the Aquamira hiker.
I weighed my MIOX to see how it all adds up. Here's the results:
99.8g - MIOX wand loaded with batteries and salt (all you need for 1-2 nights)
62.5g - MIOX wand without batteries and salt
16.5g - One CR123 Lithium Battery. The MIOX uses 2.
31.7g - MSR Salt Bag filled with Salt. This is a LOT.
10g - The amount of salt I'd bring for a 2 person 7 day trip
13g - My test strip container about 1/3 full of strips. A full container is likely around 20g.
15g - Supplied Bag
For trips that are 1 or 2 nights, I would just bring the wand loaded with fresh batteries and salt (99.8g). For trips up to a week, I would bring about 10g of extra salt. For trips longer than a week I would bring 2 spare batteries (33g) and more salt. So a MIOX setup would weigh between 100g - 150g depending on weather you are going for a few nights or a few weeks. If you wanted to bring the bag and test strips you'd be adding another 50g or so.