Water purifiers aren’t only for those who travel far into the backcountry or developing nations. As we’ve witnessed this past winter, any region can have water disasters, from water mains breaking to frozen or broken lines to mechanical failures. Sure, you can stock up on bottled water in plastic containers, but those may not always be available, and all that single-use plastic isn’t optimal in helping the planet.
If you’ve tried water purifiers before on your travels and gave up because it seemed to take too much attention and patience to get it to work, come on back to the purifier fold and check out the MSR Guardian Gravity Purifier.
At Practical Travel Gear, we’ve talked about the original MSR Guardian Purifier before, but this version is even easier to use, with no pumping required.
Fill the 10-liter reservoir with water from your source, which is enough to cover your daily water needs, from hygiene to cleaning to cooking. Hang the reservoir bag at least 6 feet above your clean water receptacle. That water then passes through the purifier, where activated carbon reduces chemicals, tastes, and odors. A hollow-fiber membrane in the purifier also removes harmful microorganisms and dirt. Clean water flows into your bottle, and a purge hose cleans the system for you, flushing out debris to maintain the flow of clean water.
Why might you want a purifier over a microfilter? Purifiers remove viruses, the tiniest waterborne pathogens. The Guardian Gravity Purifier passes both NSF P231 and P248 standards, the most rigorous for proving that a device safely removes microbes from source water. That includes viruses like hepatitis A, protozoa like Giardia, and bacteria like E. coli.
I found the Guardian Gravity Purifier to be easy to assemble, extremely fast (providing up to 1 liter of purified water in 2 minutes), and I love that using it helps me avoid using up to 3,000 single-use water bottles over the life of the purifier.
The Guardian Gravity Purifier lists for $249.95 on the Cascade Designs’ MSR site.