Comparing two affordable and different styles of water filtration in an increasingly saturated market.
When Lifestraw's hit the market, limitations had become shattered for avid outdoor enthusiasts looking to journey as far as their wills could take them. Suddenly, there had been no need to pack and carry weighty containers of water, no need to spend hours a day boiling the parasites and bacteria out of the sustenance needed to keep moving through the wilderness.
It had been an paradigm shift in the world of outdoor enthusiasm and, on the heels of Lifestraw, came an immeasurable tide of other products: purification tablets, pump-and-go collection apparatuses, water-to-mouth straw systems; backpacks, pouches, canteens, tanks, reservoirs, bladders; hoses, bottles, replaceable filters, powders. Like anything commercial, options potentiated aplenty and the market became flooded with invariable forms of purifying pr filtering water through countless means.
In the face of overwhelming options, a wonderful thing happened: consumers became empowered by the flexibility of a market that soon tailored itself to any kind of excursion necessary. Stationary in a swamp? Travelling through third world countries? Simply wanting to eliminate some chlorine content? Any situation now had an applicable filter.
"Water is the driving force of all nature" - Leonardo da Vinci
I had recently decided to try two affordable methods of water filtration (and purification) for my style of outdoor experience - mainly, mobile and maneuverable, nomadic and temporal. Trail runs, mountain biking excursions, lake swims, etc. While I didn't need the heavy-duty pump-and-collect system that would weigh me down, I also needed more than a simple straw-filter as some of my excursions had me going for hours at a time without coming across any water whatsoever. A bottle-sized amount, I figured, would do me good, and so I had been more than happy to partner with two companies that provided me a sample product that I could test out.
I'm happy to say that both worked in their primary goal - I hadn't experienced any issues after drinking from innumerable sources of questionable, albeit moving, water. Moreover, both were compact and easy to pack - a crucial element in my style of venturing through the wilderness.
To my surprise, one of these products certainly outdid the other, as it hadn't been necessarily intended for use in the wilderness to begin with. Nevertheless, both options are affordable, compact, convenient and solid options in a market that's brimming with variety.
The Pure2Go Traveler's Kit by WaterOne
Price: $49.99 USD Capacity of bladder: 0.8L Filter Description: Virobac Halogenated Resin Ultra-filtration Technology (see review for filter details) Flow Rate / Drag: Slow Weight of straw only: 4.8oz / Approx 9 oz total weight with pack and bladder
This filter had been the expected favorite going into this comparison and, truth be told, it could certainly be considered the better option depending on the application.
Of main importance, of course, is the effectiveness of filtration and, without going into too many details that can be found elsewhere (click here to read the full review), this is a seriously heavy-duty filter that I would choose over the MUV Nomad and, possibly, over any other filter on the market if I had found myself in some gnarly or stagnant looking water.
As luck would have it, I had used this filter in some seriously questionable water with a nice red-tinge to it and, drinking through about three litres, I had come out of the woods with no stomach trouble whatsoever. The science behind this filter is unfathomably impressive, safeguarding the consumer numerous times over from ingesting anything troublesome.
Where the Pure2Go loses points, however, is with respect to its convenience and flow rate - which could be deemed a worthy sacrifice given its effectiveness - depending on what the priority is. For me, there are too many pieces to account for - caps, bladders, the carrying case. Still better than dealing with hoses and pumps, the tiny orifice through which water is collected into the bladder means it'll take some time to fill up - not much, but enough to let the countless mosquitoes identify and attack the invader of their breeding grounds.
Like many filters, the flow rate is rather slow - like trying to suck molasses through a large straw - something rather frustrating when out of breath or on the go. Though, of course, it's worth putting up with, given the alternative option of having an ineffective filter.
It's easy to lose the cap for the bladder; rather difficult to put the bladder back into the zip-pouch and, ultimately, it takes a while to simply stop, fill up and get going, having to screw in the straw to the bladder each time a drink is needed and undo the apparatus when it's time to get going again.
Despite having three pieces (the case, bladder, and filter), the Pure2Go Traveler's Kit is a very compact option that provides unparalleled purification (as opposed to merely filtration) and a great option despite it's inconvenient application that proves tedious when repeated a handful of times throughout a trail run or bike.
Price: $34.00 USD Capacity of bottle: 0.7L Filter Description: Nanalum Electrostatic Filter Technology (see review for filter details) Flow Rate / Drag: Fast Weight of bottle: 8.5oz
This had been the clear underdog for me simply because I didn't think that a travel container like this would be effective in the wilderness - truth be told, it's not even branded for use as a survival filter but, rather, a travel container more so suited for travelling through areas with questionable tap water.
However, the MUV3 Nanalum Filter that's inside of this bottle is, in fact, designed for use in the wilderness and it's for this reason that I had been blown away, simply because the MUV Nomad makes an inconvenient task so much more convenient.
Picture having to hang off the side of a not-so-easily accessible stream shore, one hand holding onto a tree and the other filling up a water reservoir. The rocks you're standing on are mossy, wet and slippery while the air above you is filled with a cloud of unrelenting insects. Time is of the essence.
And so it was an absolute pleasure to simply be able to dip the Nomad for a moments time, screw the top on and go. Add to that the impressive flow rate, which made a massive difference when finding yourself out of breath, and it was like drinking out of any regular water bottle.
It's sleek design made it easy to pack, easy to access in my pack and didn't add much weight. This one-piece option proved especially convenient by allowing me to simply keep my momentum going - stopping for only a matter of seconds to fill up at a stream without having to unpack, unzip, unscrew a cap, screw in a filter, drink, and then unscrew, cap, and pack once more.
With a heavy-duty filter intended for use in the wilderness and a super convenient design, the MUV Nomad blew me away and became my preferred choice of filter for most of my excursions going forward.
All in all, I now find myself reaching for Renovo's MUV Nomad before an expedition, though also sometimes packing the WaterOne Pure2Go as an emergency backup in situations where I'm not sure that I'll be coming across running water.
Water One's Pure2Go is the safer bet in terms of filtration because it purifies as well, something that's seldom seen in water-filtration products. But, for convenience alone, and for my type of mobile, trail-running and lake-swimming excursions, the MUV Nomad wins out.