Wednesday, September 3, 2008

My New Water Filter Design

I've always hated pumping water. For a while, I toyed around with the idea of using a gravity filter but they all seemed to heavy for what they were. Then, after I discovered the Aquamira Frontier Pro, I had an idea to make an ultralight filter system that could be used both as a gravity filter and on the trail as a filter-as-you-go hydration system. The result was a sub-five ounce system that I'm really happy with. This will be my go to UL filter for long trips.



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30 comments:

Niklas said...

Really interesting. I should check if I can get the Frontier Pro in Germany...

toddheyn said...

If you are using a filter, why add the tablets and vice versa if you are using the tablets, why use a filter?

Jason Klass said...

Hi Todd,
The filter only takes out things 2 microns or larger so I use the tablets to kill the small stuff. If I only used the chemical, I would have to wait 4 hours to kill the big stuff! So the two compliment each other. Plus, I would never just use the chemical because I don't like particulate matter in my water.

SL said...

I like your idea, though, the only problem I have with it is that you're kinda limited by the number of tablets you bring. But then again (like you said), you can always bring more tablets, and there's no lighter commercial option.

Great video!

Anonymous said...

Jason,

If you put the frontier pro at the other end of the tube, it will filter faster.

Jason Klass said...

It will filter a little faster BUT, then you've got dirty water contaminating your drinking tube and you can't use it in on the trail as a hydration system. That's why I set it up this way. Besides, it's plenty fast the way it is. You set it up and forget about it anyway. :)

Matt Daniels said...

Jason I just completed my own Gravity Pro and I love it. I did make one change to mine that I feel may help you, I placed two aluminum 1/4" grommets in the holes I punched for the hang cord. On digital postal scales it did not change the weight at all. I think this will help keep cord from tearing the holes but we'll have to wait and see. Thanks for all the great tips. Matt D.

Jason Klass said...

Hey Matt,
Thanks for the tip! I haven't had a problem with the holes tearing yet but I like this idea to prevent it from happening.

David Poston said...

Jason,

Nice idea...but I patented it first! :) Scroll down for pics and test info.

http://www.backpackinglight.com/cgi-bin/backpackinglight/forums/thread_display.html?forum_thread_id=10012

I found that the filter was extremely slow when directly attached to the dirty bag. A 30" length of hose between the dirty bag and filter help to increase pressure and speed up the filtration.

I do like your hang cord idea. My setup is with the new 3L Platy hosers, which have a nice sturdy hang loop built in. I was above treeline this summer on the Herman Gulch trail (Colorado CDT) and I had to stand and hold it. Wish i had your hang cord then.

I think the system is a nice idea but it proved to be a bit fiddly in the field, so I took my trusty MSR Sweetwater on my next trip in Weminuche. Maybe I'll go back and rework my Frontier Pro setup having seen your video, but it was kind of annoying waiting around. I figured I'll carry less water and filter more frequently if water is plentiful.

Jason Klass said...

Hi David,
I'm surprised you had trouble when the Pro was connected directly to the dirty bag. Did you see my flow rate? I thought it was pretty fast. Although, I did purchase another Pro that was really slow. I wonder if they vary by batch.

David said...

Jason,

I've been revisiting my Frontier Pro system lately to see if I can improve it. As I mentioned before, my major concern is flow rate. You mentioned that one of yours was slower...How long does it take you to filter 2L with the "good" one as set up in your video?

Another question: Are you using the filter in gravity mode whilst on the trail, or only in camp? I think the filter is perfect for camp use, but on the trail it seems the bite valve idea is better due to the wait time for the chemicals and the setting-up hassle.

Have you had any trouble removing the filter link from the Platy tubing so you can attach the bite valve? In my experience, the filter link is tightly seated in the tubing and its removal is a permanent bit of surgery--not sure how you can get it back on. Thus you would need to carry a separate tube for on-the-trail bite valve hydration.

Also, it seems like the Platy bag in the video wouldn't be as good as the Hoser ones for use in an on-trail hydration system.

Thoughts?

Jason Klass said...

Hi David,
I can't remember how long it took and unfortunately, I can't set it up right now to give you an accurate number. Didn't I say in the video? I'll try to get you a test soon.

I mostly used it in camp in gravity mode but the beauty of this system (since your tube is always clean unlike other gravity filter systems) is that you can also use it in hydration system mode while your hiking. I suppose you could make a quick water stop along the trail and use it in gravity mode if you wanted a break.

Another thing to point out is that you can speed up the filter time but squeezing the dirty bag a little (not too much or it will compromise the filter's efficacy).

Stevie said...

OK, I've used this system on a few trips and am very happy with it.

I use aquamira as my chemical treatment as that is what I have and it tastes better if the filter should fail or I don't have time to filter.

This system adds reliability to your water treatment system. You now have two options for treating water, if one should fail, you still have the other to cover you until you get off the trail and the combination is much lighter than other pumps alone.

One way I improve speed if I'm in a hurry is to lay the dirty water bag on a rock and put some weight on top of it.

Otherwise I hang it, give the dirty water bag a squeeze to get it started and the gravity does the rest.

Jason Klass said...

Stevie,
That's agreat point about it being 2 systems in one. I should have pointed that out in m video. Thanks!

Paul said...

I was looking into filtration systems and love the idea of gravity taking care of the work but was still worried about viruses. Someone mentioned on BPL about the Sawyer inline filter "SP194" that has a 0.02 micron size filter which would catch viruses also. Do you think it'd be a nice addition to this system rather than the Frontier Pro? It looks like it also has a high flow rate.

Jason Klass said...

Hi Paul,
Yes, I think that would be a good filter. Then, you wouldn't have to wait for the tablets.

Alex said...

Water is the most important substance needed by the body. It is the sole substance which has affected the human being and civilization. We can find array of water filters developed with various new technologies. For example ultra violet water filters, reverse osmosis, sand China water filter and many more to mention.

Patrick said...

Do you have specs. on the filter size in microns?

Patrick said...

..is that 2 microns or 0.2 microns?

Jason Klass said...

Patrick,
2 microns. Not very small. That's why you need the chemicals.

Anonymous said...

I use this setup: http://www.rei.com/product/767110?preferredSku=7671100019&cm_mmc=cse_froogle-_-datafeed-_-product-_-7671100019&mr:trackingCode=B88B4FFE-FB85-DE11-B7F3-0019B9C043EB&mr:referralID=NA

The drink tube does not have a tight fit in the frontier pro. Does anyone know of a hydration tube that fits securely in the Frontier Pro?

Kathy Handyside said...

Jason - this is very cool. I have a Katadyn Hiker pump filter (I bought it about 6 years ago, before they came out with the Hiker Pro), but I've since gotten onto the ultralight train and wanted something lighter and less fussy (i.e. fewer parts to break, jam, etc). How long is the length of cord that you attached to yours? Did you put small grommets in the holes where you attached the cord? I use Aqua Mira (the liquid two-part system), so I think pairing that with this will take care of everything. Thanks!

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condo_consult_downtown said...

very nice,

dipink said...

I'm looking for an alternative for my MSR Sweetwater pump filter. Has this system stood the test of time, or have you found it to be fiddly in the field, and gone on to something else?

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