Only last week I was explaining to a hiking buddy how I’m getting increasingly frustrated with my hydration bladder bag and hose system. Over time, the taste has deteriorated significantly, and it seems that I spend as much time pulling it apart to clean it and flush it through as I do actually using it. As such, I was delighted when our good friends at Military 1st , who stock a bunch of quality water filters and bottles, got in touch to ask whether I’d consider trying a Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier. The timing couldn’t have been better. Would this offer a solution to my ongoing battle with bladder systems?
Weighing just 309g, the Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier certainly fulfils one aspect of its description. This is definitely a ‘take anywhere’ bottle. Light enough not to worry about being stored in a pack when it’s empty, ready to fill and use at camp later in the day or, if you’re like me, light enough to hold, sip and refill constantly on big adventures.
The Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier is also incredibly easy to use. Start by simply opening it and filling it from an open water source. Most of us pass streams, rivers and lakes as part of our everyday walks and hikes but, especially if you’re planning on wild camping, plan your route so that you know that these water features will be present. Not only will this keep you hydrated, it’ll also keep your overall pack weight down too. Previously, I’ve carried two litres of water in my bladder bag, which weighs a fair amount. Now, I only have to carry 474ml (its capacity) of water at a time. Crucially, however, I can constantly replenish this. I can’t do the same with a bladder bag.
Once you’ve filled the Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier, you then press the inner container (which includes the filter) into the outer container. This forces all of the water through the brilliant inbuilt filter and into the inner container from which you drink. The filter itself removes sediments, chemicals and heavy metals often found in water. In doing this it is also proven to remove an incredible 99.9999% of viruses and bacteria. That is more than enough for me to feel very safe about plucking water from Mother Nature.
The only thing left to do now is drink. Given that I now know that the water that I have sourced, collected and driven through the filter is as safe as the water I get from my tap, the only thing left to judge is the taste. Thankfully, it’s a winning taste. It’s miles better than the taste of my bladder bag. Even when the bladder bag was new, the soft, pliable rubber left a bit of an unpleasant aftertaste. There is none of that with the Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier.
It’ll also require far less looking after too. Unlike the hose attachment on a bladder bag, there are no multiple joints and connecting points, no hard-to-reach long hoses for bacteria to gather. It’s a far simpler and far easier system to clean. Furthermore, with the replaceable filter having an average lifespan of 300 uses, it’ll be a good while before I need to think about that. Once I’ve changed the filter in months to come, the bottle is as good as new again.
I love the Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier. Gone is the bad taste and weight associated with my bladder bag. In its place, a simple, easy to use system that offers you unlimited water when you plan your routes to coincide with open water sources. I’d strongly advise every hiker and wild camper to get one.
Available from: Military 1st