Everybody needs drinking water. It’s not a big deal in a city, but in very remote regions you should have some gear for water treatment, because you cannot be sure all the time, if the water is really drinkable. Beside that, we also saved lots of money in busy areas, where we just filtered non portable tab water, instead of buying expensive bottled water.
If you are looking for a reliable and easy to use water filter, a MSR Miniworks EX is a really good choice.
MSR has been selling them for many years now and it has continuously improved. With an weight of 0,46 kg (1lb) it’s not the lightest filter on the marked, but it is perfect for a long time use.
You can connect it directly to a widemouth bottle, like the Nalgene Widemouth Bottle, or a suitable water bag, like the Ortlieb Waterbag, what makes the use very easy.
The hose is directly placed into the contaminated water and it has a little swimmer to adjust the intake height. A little prefilter is installed to prevent rough dirt entering the hose
Water is then directed to the ceramic filter cartridge via the pump mechanism. Protozones, bacteria and particles are reliably removed from the water.
An additional carbon core improves the taste of the water in case it is very heavily contaminated with unpleasant tastes and odors caused by organic compounds, such as iodine, chlorine, and pesticides.
The filter can be disassembled without tools, so it can be cleaned easily and quickly if necessary.
How often you need to clean the cartridge depends on the pollution of the water. We filtered water in Bartang Valley (Tajikistan), that was completely brown and muddy. The filter worked really well, but of course we had to clean the inner cartrigde several times to filter a few liters of water.
Clear water without lots of sediment can be filtered a long time without cleaning the cartridge all the time.
After two years of filtering we still use the first cartridge, but overall we mostly had access to clear water. In South East Asia we filtered tab water daily, but in most other countries we had access to potable water that we didnt need to filter.