I've had the awesome opportunity to be part of two new MSR filters that I believe will rock the outdoor world. I'm not posting this to promote them, but to share with fellow gear heads a couple of incredible contraptions.
The new filter, called the MSR HyperFlow, has some amazing attributes. For one it is only 7.8 oz., will pump at an incredible 3-3.5 liters per minute (I was able to pump a liter in 20 seconds!), and is field maintainable. It uses a Hollow Fiber material (used for several years in the medical field) and will filter down to 0.2 microns.
There will also be a new gravity-filter called the AutoFlow. This filter uses the same Hollow Fibers, is also field maintainable, and will filter 1.5 liters per minute through gravity only. The inline filter will be sold separately giving anyone the opportunity to create a super light gravity filter. It can also be used as an inline filter for hydration. I witnessed it in use on the Colorado River and watched as it filtered 4 liters of water in about 3 minutes. I also drank several gulps with no after effects (the water was completely clear). When you see it, you may never pump again. The system (Dromlite bag, hose, filter, and bottle adapter) weighs in at 10.5 oz.
There are a couple of items that need to be known. The Hollow Fibers can fracture if frozen and could possibly break if dropped (care needs to be taken similar to a ceramic filter element). The filter will have a capacity around 1000 liters (260 gallons) before it needs to be replaced. It will retail for about $100 for the HyperFlow and $80 for the AutoFlow.
Both filters will be available around May 2008. Pretty cool!
Jason, The weight vs pump rate looks excellent. And the price is good too <img src="/forums/images/graemlins/smile.gif" alt="" />. Since the filters claim 0.2micron filtering, would you be able to do the food coloring test? Put 2-4 drops of dark food coloring in 1qt of water. Filter; then see if the filtered water comes out clear (on both filters).
If this test works, then this is also a good method to see if one has accidentally cracked his filter.
Will the Hyperflow include the highly functional design features of the Miniworks: the cap that closes off the outlet, to limit the possibility of contamination, and the solid connection to a water bottle? If so, will the connection still fit only the Nalgene widemouth bottle, or will it be able to connect to other types of bottles.
Also, in the interest of full disclosure, does your frequent use of "we" indicate that you work for MSR? (It doesn't matter if you do; your post did exactly what you said you wanted to do: just make us aware that something new is coming as soon as they get the bugs worked out.
The pump will come with a special "cap" that will fit on either a Nalgene bottle or our Drombags (wide-mouth). The filter will lock on to this cap allowing the user to use it as a handle for pumping. This cap does require that you use something with the Nalgene size wide-mouth threads in order to use it similar to the Miniworks. The filter has the ability filter directly into a resevoir (Camelbak, Platypus, etc.) by taking off the bite valve and inserting the hose directly on the outlet which will press fit on similar to the inlet hose. The user can also cut off a section of the inlet hose to be used as an outlet hose by press fitting it on the same way as the hydration hose (hope that made sense). In this way other bottles can be used.
One of the things I try to avoid is promoting Cascade Designs on this website because I am a rep for them. I love coming on here and hearing about others experiences with their gear as well as learn about what is new in the lightweight market. I am passionate about the outdoors and gear and love to talk about it. I guess you can say I love my job:).
Believe, then you will Understand...
I never thought about it being listed in his profile - good catch! (One reason I asked was I thought I remembered him mentioning it before, too.) I don't have a problem with him being associated with MSR - his post in no way appeared to be a promo for their product. It came across exactly as he said: here's some heads-up news about a product that could really be of interest to everyone; stay tuned.
Thanks, Jason - sounds like, as usual, MSR has thought things through before bringing something to market. As I've often told my Scouts and others wanting gear advice, you really can't go wrong with MSR. It may not be the lightest, and they won't always be the first to do something - but when they do it, they do it right.
Although I'm currently trying to lower my pack weight by 4 pounds, I'm not yet certain I'll end up abandoning my trusted mainline gear: Hubba, Miniworks, Pocket Rocket, Titan kettle, and Thermarest. While 20 pounds, total, for a weeklong trip is a great target, the 24 I was carrying certainly wasn't burdensome, and I haven't yet found anything quite as convenient, comfortable, or reliable as the MSR gear.
It is awfully nice to have a job you really love, isn't it?
We are going to continue with the Miniworks because it is still the most thorough of any filter in creating the best quality of water from a microfilter pump. The new HyperFlow doesn't contain a carbon component which means that it won't take out contaminates (pestisides, etc.) and any bad tastes in the water. The Miniworks is the best on the market in this regard and the ceramic/carbon combo is incredibly able in removing the bad stuff in even the worst water. Even though the HyperFlow is completely capable according to all of the tests that have been peformed, the Miniworks beats it in sheer quality of water performance. They are both rated at filter down to 0.2 microns, but the fact the Miniworks is a depth filter, meaning it requires the water to travel through about an inch of ceramic and carbon makes it more thorough (this does not mean that it will take out viruses, but is able to tackle more stuff in the water like contaminates). This only should be a concern if you are filtering out of standing water that is obviously rank with microbes (not including virus' which no mechanical filter will remove; they need a chemical component) similar to a sewer pond, often found in third world countries. If you do run into this water with a HyperFlow, the user may need to filter it twice.
We will also be selling the SweetWater as well for the same reason, but at a lower price than the Miniworks. However, the Sweetwater, though also producing a better quality of water than the HyperFlow based on the carbon component, doesn't have the longevity of the MiniWorks. As I stated above, all of the MSR filters have been tested both in the field and the lab for years before they enter the market. We have been working and testing the Hollow Fiber technology for about 5 years.
My recommendation is buy the HyperFlow if speed and weight is the issue, but if quality of water and/or emergency water concerns are the main factor, then the Miniworks is the best choice followed closely by the Sweetwater (based on longevity, not performance). There should be no concern about getting sick when filtering in the backcountry in North America with any of the MSR filters. If you do travel where the water may be more contaminated (Mexico, Taiwan, Africa, etc.) we recommend taking a chemical option like the MIOX.
At the end of this year, the WaterWorks EX will be discontinued.
Edited by jasonlivy (03/26/0804:18 PM)
Believe, then you will Understand...
I am now using a sawyer hollow core fiber filter and it works great. I have one big complaint, the lack of a pre-filter to catch the big globs. Back flushing is also not as easy as it sounds. All that said this is a much better filter technology. I hope MSR will make a decent pre-filet for this unit, even better a pre-filter that will work with any filter !
Thanks for the description of new products. Regarding the AutoFlow used as a gravity filter...Do you have any experience with the Katadyn Base Camp filter? ( Katadyn website, REI description).
It sounds like the AutoFlow may filter a little faster, but to be honest, I don't know how much that matters with this type of filter.
I'm a fan of the bump! To answer your question, I haven't used the Base Camp Filter. I have seen it work and understand that it filters 0.5 liters per minute. I also know that it can't be cleaned in the field and is heavier (17 oz. compared to 10.5 oz for the Autoflow).
The great thing with the AutoFlow is that it is well thought out. I have always been either a pump or a chemical user because I felt the complication and wait time of a gravity fed filter just wasn't that intriguing to me. However, after using the AutoFlow system I am convinced this is my new method of treating water. That fact that it can filter at 1.75 liters per minute and that it is light and packable makes it almost too good to be true.
To answer frediver's inquiry about the prefilter: one of the great things about MSR, in my opinion, is that they really engineer a solid product right out of the gate. MSR has had this technology for as long if not longer than Sawyer, but chose to take their time in creating a world-class product based around the Hollow Fiber Technology. We have found that companies that rush product to market miss the boat an many key elements. In this case the prefilter. MSR uses a prefilter similar to their pumps (70ish microns) to make sure sediment doesn't effect the life of the filter. MSR has also created a bag that allows much of the big chunks to settle in a "pocket" so, after the bag is emptied, the dirt is collected on the bottom of the bag. Sediment is not a problem with the AutoFlow.
The other really huge benefit to the new Hollow Fiber is that it can be cleaned by backflushing. I haven't played with the Swayer product at all so I don't know how easy or difficult it is to backflush, but the MSR is super easy. All that the user needs to do is reverse the flow by holding up the bottle of water higher than the reseviors for a few minutes while the clean water goes back through the filter. My experience has been one of amazement as I can see the dirt be cleaned out of the filter almost instantaneously. This allows for more longevity and better performance. Both the MSR AutoFlow, HyperFlow, and the Platypus ClearStream are truly innovative and revolutionary water treatment products for the backcountry which will elevate the standards of field performance.
Edited by jasonlivy (03/26/0804:21 PM)
Believe, then you will Understand...
That sounds like a decent prefilter. The filter featured in the REI link is not quite as user friendly as it might appear and be aware the pads required to keep this filter working are not cheap either. Perhaps a better idea would be to have a hollow filter body with a S.S. screen for each end. In the open space between you could install various types of pre-filter media. The options could be Aquarium Fluff for the sediment or even Charcoal to reduce a nasty chemical taste. The main idea is to make the pre-filter user friendly as well as the main filter.
Loc: Atlanta, GA, USA
I read somewhere that this new MSR filter will just be for "3 season" use and if it gets frozen somehow, it becomes seriously damaged. This sounds like a drawback, but I wonder how the other filters like Katadyn perform in freezing conditions too?
I'm in the market for a water filter and it's tough deciding between all the competing brands and technologies.
Loc: Lynchburg, VA
I am very interested in the Hyperflow, and was wondering when somebody was going to post about it. The one quesiton I have that was mentioned by another poster is that I have read this thing is not good below freezing, and the the filter element can break if frozen. So is it basically a "warm weather" filter, or can it be used in the cold (i.e. can it be left sitting aroung in temperatures below freezing without the filter element being damaged)?