Down through the years, I (Doug) must have tried a dozen different solutions for finding fresh, safe water on the road internationally. I’ve knelt beside streams, pumping those old Katadyn filters. (They’ve refreshed the design at https://www.katadyn.com/en/de/251-8014932-katadyn-vario-eu.) I’ve added their inline filters to the plumbing of the house where I was living. (Can anyone else identify?) I’ve tried a bundle of other providers like MSR, Lifestraw, and Sawyer. I’ve also tried relying solely on those now-ubiquitous plastic water bottles we all buy at the corner market (though I generally feel bad for creating more disposable water bottles for the environment). So what’s the best choice for 2022, going forward? I’ve just done a ton of research on these and, for me, the choice ended up being Katadyn’s new “Be Free” series. See this cool product at https://www.katadyn.com/us/us/14946-8019639-katadyn-beefree-water-filtration-system_usa. Keep in mind, we bought our own products. (They didn’t send anything for free and we aren’t an affiliate.) So we’re not trying to promote something for personal gain. But, “as one beggar trying to tell another where to find bread,” these are just the coolest thing ever. The bottles are more like a “wineskin” than anything else. They’re super-flexible so they roll up or collapse easily for storage when you don’t need them. (But they’re guaranteed by Katadyn for 2 years in case they get punctured or wear out.) The filter has incredible flow. So it doesn’t take “great sucking action” to get access to the good stuff — the cool, clear water. (Why do I hear an old song running through my head from my childhood? (https://youtu.be/amDo-KqUjpA hahahaha My mom would play this on our old phonograph when I was a baby.) You can also gently squeeze the water container like you’re an astronaut drinking something in the International Space Station – which is also cool. : ) They’re fairly affordable, as these effective water bottle filters go ($40 for a complete solution, including the container??? wow). They come in 3 different sizes – so you can “pack light” if you’re carry-on only. You can “clean” the filter “on the go” just by shaking it. So there’s nothing to scrub under the sink. They’re downright effective, cleaning bacteria, cysts and sediment with a pore size of just 0.1 micron (0.0001mm). Yet, like I say, the flow is incredible. The output is up to 2L/min. and the capacity up to 1000L, depending on the water quality. They’re also 100% PVC and BPA free.
So — the question is — can anything else compare to the quality, efficiency, and price?
If you’re traveling to a place where you aren’t comfortable with the water yet you are embarrassed to walk out into the “main room” carrying a water filter, just fold this bottle up in your purse or backpack and walk into the rest room with your drinking glass. Fill the Katadyn “BeFree” unit with water from the sink, then “squirt” it out into your drinking glass on the counter. Fold up your filter and walk back into the main room with your drinking glass, with no one the wiser. : ) This thing is great.
Please click comment if you’ve seen comparable solutions in this price range. Thanks in advance for your input.