Water Purification Pump

Discussion in 'Camping, Hiking, Cooking' started by Steve Call, Apr 17, 2011.

  1. Hey, I need to buy a new water purification pump for backpacking/fishing this summer. First trip of the season is in three weeks. Any recommendations? The last couple did the job but I found them awkward and tiring when pumping more than a quart either because they were slow and/or the handle didn't permit a good grip.
  2. MSR Mini-waterworks. Packs small and light, pumps well. Pretty easy to field strip, clean and rebuild. Make sure you get a spare ball for inside the valve.
  3. If you want fast, efficient and effective, there is only one: MSR HyperFlow. I recently tested this for Backpacker. Put more than 750 liters through it. Average pump rate of up to 3 LITERS PER MINUTE!!!

    See my review here:


    Product info here:

    You can also find other filters reviewed in that same gear package


  4. Thanks for weighing in Dan. I'm in the market this year for a filter to replace my old MSR (which would be lucky to pump 3 liters a day, it's so damned slow.) Your positive review stands in stark contrast to the reader feedback below it. How do you reconcile such divergent opinions?

    As a follow-up, I just checked out the same filter at REI.com and found many more of the same negative comments about clogging and freezing, resulting in it earning a rating of just 3 of 5 possible stars.


  5. I can only report my own field test findings, and those of my colleagues. Backpacker gave the HyperFlow an Editor's Choice award in 2008 when it first came out -- a few test units were used by a dozen editors and contributors for hundreds of days of use. Like any filter, if you use it solely in turbid water it will clog. And like any product, there might be a few problem units in the production run. But of the three units I've used in the last 4 years, I've not seen a better, faster pump filter. In fact, I've never clogged one before sending it back (sometimes after a fully season's use -- usually 30-50 nights on the trails now). I won't get into the specific reader comments, except to say if the one commenter was truly told by an REI employee that it was only good for "filtering snowmelt" than REI has some serious problems in finding qualified staff.

    That said, I also really like the Katadyn Hiker. This was my go-to filter for years -- it was first introduced by PUR back in the mid-1990s. (Katadyn bought PUR years ago). Still a very reliable, functional unit. In fact, I used the PUR Hiker solely for a couple years during my core guidebook writing days -- years when I was doing 150-160 nights in a tent per year and hiking 1,500 to 2,000 miles per year.

    One additional consideration: MSR is a local company (I think this filter might still be made locally down south of Spokane Street -- I'm not sure) and if you have a problem with the unit, they will replace it quickly, I'm sure.
  6. I've not seen or used the Hyper-Flow. I'm in the market because of problems with the MSR mini. I'm on the second one - the first was replaced at no cost, but the problem continues. All of my use has been with clear water from mountain streams. The volume of the Hyper-Flow is desirable, but to be honest I'm worried about performance. I'll take a look at the Katadyn. Thanks.
  7. Sounds reasonable, I guess. Again, my experience (and the experiences of more than a dozen editors who have significant time in the field with a wide variety of products) is that the HyperFlow is a durable, dependable product. But so is the Katadyn Hiker (though its significantly heavier). If you want really straightforward simplicity, go with the SteriPen purifier -- uses UV light to kill all the nasties, and a simple pre-filter can be made with a coffee filters to strain out solids/sand/etc. The SteriPen is actually a great little tool, especially if you travel abroad since it is a true purifier (i.e. kills viruses) while filters only get bacteria, cysts (most of them) and organisms bigger than the filter pores.
  8. I've used the Katadyn Hiker for years - first one was made by PUR. It's been very reliable, but seeing that the HyperFlow is a third lighter, and my affinity for ultralight, I'll keep it in mind.

  9. Wow sounds like I need to pump the water through a small 30 micron oil filter, & then run the water through a old time stone gas filter, (new of course), then for keeping out the shits & giggles, flush the remaining liquid through some coffee filters, sterilize the water through a still, then hit it with a battery operated led UV light, add about a tbsp of bleach per gallon, Then let it sit open to the air till the bleach oxidizes/evaporates, about 24 hours if I'm close to being on the button.

    Now that would make it safe & potable drinking water, right?
  10. Dan,

    Thanks for your responses to my earlier posts about adverse customer comments on the HyperFlow filter. It's always tempting to draw conclusions based on a sampling of feedback, but the larger question is how many satisfied users there are who have simply not weighed in. In other words, what's the proportion of dissatisfied users compared with the total universe of owners?

    Rather than overanalyze, I decided to follow your recommendation and bought a HyperFlow yesterday. It won't get a lot of use as I don't spend nearly as much time in the backcountry as I'd like. But given the pathetic performance of my old MSR filter (about 5-8 minutes to filter a liter of relatively clean water) anything's bound to be an improvement!

  11. Kent,

    Glad I was able to help, though I always get nervous when someone specifically purchases based on my recommendation (i don't know why I do, since I've been reviewing and recommending gear for 20 years now). Still, this was a "personal" recommendation of mine on a forum of my 'neighbors' rather than a paid recommendation to strangers. So if you have any trouble with the Hyperflow, let me know ASAP and I'll call in some chips with my contacts at MSR and make sure you are taken care of. Of course, I don't expect you'll have any trouble -- again, my experience is that the Hyperflow is a great product (I've made it my primary 'go-to' filter for backpacking, and I pretty much have my choice of using any filter, including some still in pre-production testing). But in the event you do have any regrets, let me know immediately and I'll see you're made happy.

  12. "First Need" makes the best one. its a little bigger but it filters and purifies unlike most that just do one or the other. i can fill up my 100 oz camelback in like a min once the water starts flowing well. i think the one i use is th XL modle.
  13. Dan,

    That's a mighty kind offer and I very much appreciate it. I bought a HyperFlow Saturday and very nearly returned it unused after more critical reviews over the weekend by some of my HiLaker friends. But after your endorsement, I'll stick with it and let you know periodically how it's working out. Since it came from REI, I can always return it there if there's a problem without having to call in your 'chips'.

    Thank you very much,

  14. I've owned several pump filters for backpacking. A few years back I purchased a ULA Amigo Pro. They are currently out of production but slated to return to production in the near future. I will never go back to a pump filter ever after using a gravity filter. Pumping water while on a hiking trip is just one of those things I loathe. With a gravity filter, I simply fill up a bag, hang it from a tree with my 4 liter bladder connected to the end of the hose line and walk away. Within about 15 minutes I get 3 liters of filtered water while I was doing something else.

    There is at least one other gravity filter on the market or you can make one very easily using the PUR hiker pro replacement filter. Do a goggle search or do a search on this web site....

    You'll never go back. :thumb:
  15. FYI: The same Backpacker team that field tested the MSR HyperFlow for me also used the Platypus (Cascade Designs) GravityWorks gravity-fed filter. We also field tested a couple other gravity filters, but only the Platypus performed consistently well.

  16. Ken,

    Respectfully, I stopped reading and giving any credence to what Backpacker magazine thinks years ago. Seems like they always favor the products that advertise with them. No big surprise. That's just business.

    I think that the best backpacking products today are made by cottage industry makers. Brands like Gossamer Gear, Mountain Laurel Designs, Six Moons Design, ULA, Outdoor Equipment Supplier, Henry Shires Tarptents, Warbonnet Outdoors, Trail Designs, Oware, just to name a few.

    Last time I picked up a backpacker magazine "review" issue the only mention of any of these brands I recall seeing was Henry Shires Tarptent, while ignoring most of the cutting edge stuff on the market. Meanwhile, The Northface and all the usual big name brands get all the love.

  17. I recently went to REI thinking I would buy a SteriPen. The sales guy helped me consider my options and I choose the MSR SweetWater. It is simple, light, has reasonable thru put and it won't break if you drop it, as a SteriPen would likily do. After reading this thread, I am surprised no one has made reference to the SweetWater. It has many very good reviews on the REI site and has a higher rating. What makes the HyperFlow more desirable than the Sweetwater?
  18. The MSR Sweetwater is a great little pump. It's the last pump I bought and still own it to this day. The folks at Cascade Designs have great customer service. I used my pump for about 10 years going through several replacement filters when finally a piece on the pump broke rendering it unusable. I contacted them asking for a replacement part and they just sent me a whole new pump for no charge even though I told them it was about 10 years old. Great folks and great service. But I still love my gravity filter.:thumb:
  19. I have a Katadyn Hiker Pro. I highly recommend it.
  20. Aqua Mira drops are an excellent option if the filters seem too heavy.

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