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Test/Review: Water-To-Go Filtration System

[ 2 ] April 16, 2013 |

When you consider the statistics, the importance of using and consuming clean water when on location really shouldn’t be taken lightly.

For example – among other dangerous substances, Lead and Chlorine traces can be found in almost all drinking water in Europe and the US. And last year, there were 163,000 UK complaints about water/food illness whilst travelling abroad.*

Very often on shorter excursions, it’s possible to carry enough water to see you through your time in the outdoors. But for longer trips, or when carrying the extra weight of bottled H2O is not convenient, you’re going to have to gather it on-site.

Now, there are many ways to do this, of course – for example, using solar stills or the transpiration of leafy bushes – but invariably the most convenient method of collection is often to gather water from rivers or streams.

Water purification tablets have long been popular, but increasingly, water filtration systems are being adopted by us outdoors folk. One such product currently on the market is a lightweight offering from Water-to-Go.

Weighing just 152g, the first thing you notice is that this product looks for all the world like a regular sports drinking bottle. So straight away, it’s clear that at 22.5cm tall and 6.5cm base circumference, only a nominal amount of valuable space is going to be taken up in your rucksack. Most people would typically use one of their bag’s exterior (mesh) pockets for this – which the bottle fits into perfectly (these pockets tend to be of a standard size, give or take a few centimetres).

Let’s take a look at the finer points.

On the outside of the bottle, you get a rubberised grip which fits nicely in the hand and serves the purpose even when completely wet. Although not ergonomically designed, per se, there is a certain reassurance in the curvy shaping, too. Nicely balanced, it’s never slipped from my hand – even in near freezing conditions when dexterity was not my friend. I would call that a result.

When it comes to the mouthpiece, I’ve found the flip-up/down design really convenient. Why? Well, aside from the inherent benefit that you don’t run the risk of getting it covered quite so much in muck (as can happen when dropping a regular sports bottle, for example), the movement is very positive. It requires just the right amount of force to move into position (up or flat) and once located in either position, it stays firmly in place.

Now to the business end of things… Let’s take a peek inside.

You might expect the patented filter system to be somewhat more complicated in appearance than it actually is. Especially as it borrows from nano-technology originally developed for the American space programme! However, you’d be nicely surprised – and anyway, you might ask what does it really matter, so long as it does a great job?

Speaking of which… The bottle is designed to filter 99.9% of all contaminants found in water (parasites, waterborne pathogens, metals and chemicals etc). The only thing it doesn’t tackle is sea water.

I’m not going to go into great depth about technical specifics here (for that, take a peek at the Water-to-Go website), so let’s get stick to real-world considerations.

As a would-be owner of one of these bottles, a fair question on your mind might be ‘how long does the filter last?’. The simple answer: long enough to treat approximately 200 litres of water, or 3 months. So if you’re heading off on an expedition, you’d definitely get your money’s worth.

The bottles themselves are infinitely re-useable and certainly look/feel like they would stand the test of time. With a nod to eco considerations, you’ll be pleased to know that the filter’s membrane is biodegradable and its ends are recyclable.

Clearly, you want to make sure that the mouth piece is nice and clean before use – in which case the cleaning process is nice and simple – Water-to-Go even have a YouTube video prepared to help you along.

I’ve only used this bottle for a relatively short while, but in that time there have been no performance issues.

Naturally, the best use of any product comes from regular maintenance – and there’s no exception in this case. The difference here is that not only is the upkeep simple but the replacement components are relatively cheap, too. This should be enough to please the majority, and delight all who rank recycling and sustainability issues high on their list.

* Statistics supplied by Water-to-Go

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Category: Camping, Product tests and reviews

Comments (2)

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  1. Mark Playle says:

    Very interesting product. Definitely worth a closer look on my part. Thanks for the great review, its a product I’d not really have thought about.

  2. Giles says:

    Thanks Mark… Yes, definitely well worth a look – especially if you’re going to be doing a lot of travelling around in the course of your photography this year ;)

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