Checkpoint Zero/Inov-8 Team Blog
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Sawyer 3 Way Water Filter - Long Term Test Report
posted Thursday, April 30, 2009 by Team Checkpoint Zero @ 3:08 PM - 0 comments

When I first got my hands on the Sawyer 3 Way Water Filter I was somewhat skeptical if it would be practical enough to use for adventure racing. After having used one extensively for almost a year now, I wouldn't hesitate to recommend one to anyone looking for a lightweight worry free water purification system.

Hooking up the filter is trivial; you can cut your current bladder hose and insert it in line, or use the supplied tubing to connect it. Depending on your pack, you'll have to determine where in line to install it. On any of the Inov-8 Race Pro packs you'll need to attach the filter close to the bladder so it doesn't kink the hose and so it fits inside the pack.

One of the most common questions I hear when I tell people about it is "Doesn't it make it harder to drink?" and my answer is no. You need slightly more suction to take a drink, but most of the time I don't even remember it is there.

Why not just use chlorine tablets or iodine? The filter certainly weighs more than a bunch of tablets, but at 1.8 oz it isn't a lot of weight. The biggest advantage is that you can fill your bladder and drink immediately. There is no need to wait 15 minutes while the chemicals go to work on whatever might be in the water you just scooped out of a river. There is also no fumbling with nearly impossible to open foil packets or tiny tablets that spill all over the ground when you job the jar. In addition, the filter doesn't add any flavor to the water like iodine will.

One of the best things about the filter is that it can be used with your favorite drink mix or electrolyte tablets, like nuun. The instructions warn that anything added to the water must be completely dissolved, or it may clog the filter. I've run more than 5 tubes of nuun through mine without any issues.

You don't have to use the Sawyer filter with a bladder if you don't want to. On several occasions I've hooked up a hose to the filter and submerged the filter in water and used it like a filtration straw. It's a great way to travel light and fast when there are many water sources available.



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