Has anyone used the MSR Trailshot filter yet? I've got one ("Oooohhh, shiny....") and have used it once, on a day hike. The jury is still out; I need more experience before I form an opinion.
It's fairly light: 5 ounces; that's 2 whole ounces heavier than a Sawyer, but you don't need a "dirty water" container to make it work, so the weight difference is truly negligible.
It's a neat concept: dip the intake hose into the water, and squeeze a bulb to fill it with water then force it through the filter and out the spout. The hose will fill the bulb most of the way, but for maximum flow rate, you can use a trick: remove the hose, dip the intake nipple into the water and squeeze once to completely fill the bulb, reattach the hose, then squeeze as normal.
The flow rate is a bit slow, I think (compared to a gravity filter), but it's a simple thing to use. One hand is all that's needed to operate the filter, leaving the other free to hold the water container. (It could be better if the container could attach to the outlet, but then you might need the second hand to stabilize the unit, so possibly no net gain.)
It's good enough that I want to try it some more. Thought I'd see if anyone else had any input yet.
I have one that I have used on a couple of trips now. So far, I really like it. The convenience factor is very high on this device - pull it out and fill up a water bottle anywhere. The hand pump action isn't tiring, and you can fill a couple of bottles in no time.
Better yet, I have been using it in gravity mode with the dirty bag from my Platypus Gravity works system, and I filter directly into my 3L hydration bladder. The weight and volume of the Platypus dirty bag is negligible, so I think I have found a winner for a system - it does both on-the-fly trail filtering and gravity filtering in camp.
A word of caution - be SURE to clean the filter after every use. It seems less robust to sediment buildup than my Platypus filter. I backwash and/or use the MSR "shake" method to clean the filter EVERY time I use it, which is low effort and definitely worth it.
I've used it on a couple of weekend trips, and it seems to work pretty well. Like you, I shake-clean it after every use. I think I'd also carry a spare filter element for longer trips, in case the primary clogged up.
I hadn't thought of the gravity filter - I may play with that a bit. Thanks for the idea.
I also found a better way to fill the bulb. If you hold the filter at about a 45 degree angle, the bulb fills completely after 2 or 3 squeezes, with no need to remove the hose.
All in all, pretty neat. Still not sure it will replace my Autoflow (the MSR version of the Platypus - kind of like they used to differentiate Buick and Pontiac by the logo.) Technically, it weighs 8 ounces more, but most of that is the dirty water bag; since the bag replaces the 4 liter Dromlite I carry with the Trailshot, the real difference is more like 2 ounces.