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I own several filters and several types for different application. Lifestraw is in the pack when I think I shouldn't need any at all but if I had to and there's not enough water depth to fill a bottle it would work. I Have never actually used it. Probably should try at home so I know what to expect.
Just used my Mini Sawyer for first time for 3 days on a trip this week. Have to squeeze bottle to force it past the filter so it's hard on containers. Lots of PCT people using them though. I could see some critters in the clear plastic bottle looking out at me while drinking and this was in a Very pure water source.. I also carried a UV ight type filter as backup on my trip since I had not trialed it.
I have two MSR pump filters and a Sawyer Point Zero gravity filter for 5 gallon or more at a time NIB for end of days..
I have both sizes that The Grayl offers with their GeoPress filters and have used them for a couple of years now and they've been great. They are heavier then some options on the market but they a rugged and filter very quickly.
Katadyn since 2010. I'm on my 2nd unit, currently on its 3rd filter.
I disassemble and dry it out after each trip. Have replaced the hoses once on this one.
Have used it to pull water from spots that I would never consider drinking, and was even hesitant with a filter. But, having suffered heat stroke before with insufficient water, I'll drink the crap water.
Once was a brown algae, stagnant pond with kewl newts that would crawl into your hand, and another trickle out of a rock that was black at the one place where I could immerse my intake screen. Have used it below snow fields that were heavy with the pink algae.
My only complaint about the unit is the intake screen floats, so I have to weight it down with a rock in running streams and lakes.
Considering I used to carry my water in, or boil snow or water, this is so much better.