This thing is so small, it’s…well…imagine you saw only full size doberman pincher dogs your whole life….and then one day you see a doberman pincher that’s a toy breed….the shock of the toy doberman being really small….that’s what it’s like when you see this thing for the first time.
Short verdict: good in an emergency, not good for rugged use. Handle delicately, maintain it constantly, and it should be good in a pinch. If you treat it right and you go through a lot less water than other hikers, and it should do you just fine.
I don’t drink or eat much when hiking as a general rule, so spending 5-10 minutes to get a half liter out of this isn’t a big deal. If I have a bucket of water at a camp site, I can use this to just filter enough clean drinkable water to make coffee or tea, or re-hydrate some food, or maybe refill a water bottle.
It’s slow, real slow.
And it clogs super easy.
Other folks mentioned how it stopped working after 1 or 2 uses. That means the ceramic needs a cleaning or there isn’t enough water in the tubes yet. In the latter case, the valve works on gravity. So if there isn’t waterin the main mechanism, you have to hold it upright while pumping until water getsinto the main pump. And it needs to be cleaned often…maybe every two or three uses. What’s more, the more particulates, the faster it clogs. So, I recommend putting a rubber band around a coffee filter before throwing the suction end in a lake. Better yet, get the water first in a bucket, and pull from there (keeps the coffee filter from getting scratched up too fast. Also need to find another solution for the silicone lubricant. That lubricant is critical to the function of this pump, if the seal isn’t right, the pump doesn’t work well. But there’s so little of it. I know this sounds disgusting, but if you have no other lubricant available….prepare to get nauseous: a little oily residue from your skin helps keep the rubber o-ring on the pump oily enough….I know…gross, right? But still, if there’s nothing else available, that’s one way to keep it working. Interestingly, if u haveclear water, it becomes a tad cloudy when pumping. Don’tknow why, and may clear up in time.
Frankly, the easier option for a quick drink is to cap a nalgene bottle with a coffee filter to remove turpidity, and just use a steripen. But this option is good if other water cleaning options just won’t work. e.g. my steripen’s battery dies easily so this is a good backup for me.
Funny thing is, this isn’t much bigger than a steripen. It’s that small, so having it on a hike is a no brainer.
NOTE: if you go through a lot of water, or…frankly…what most hikers would consider a normal amount of water on any given day, then this just won’t cut it. I like it, but I doubt many would for daily use. For daily use, try one of the other better known brands like Sawyer, Katadyn, Lifesaver, or GE First Need. Those pump or use gravity and work much much faster.