Water filtration seemed to take a serious leap forward this year at the Outdoor Retailer Summer Market convention in Salt Lake City. Long are the days of vigorously pumping from a stream and still having to boil your water. Today’s filters take care of bacteria, viruses and protozoa in some unique ways from hollow fiber membranes, electrolysis and ultra-violet light. Here’s a look at the most innovative and effective water filtration devices that caught our eyes at the show.
The LifeStraw utilizes a hollow fiber membrane, a technology found in kidney dialysis machines and other medical equipment. The LifeStraw filters out bacteria and protozoa. Just stick the straw into a water bottle or straight into a stream. New this year is a LifeStraw Go attached to a water bottle so all you have to do is tilt and drink. No boiling required. MSRP $35
Potable Aqua Pure
If you ever dropped iodine tablets into your drinking water you might recognize the name Potable Aqua. Hopefully you don’t recall the taste of that water. This year, the company launched a product that propels its age-old purifier into the 21st century. The Pure Electrolytic Water Purifier uses salt and a little electricity to create a reaction that results in a powerful mixed oxidant solution, including chlorine, that inactivates viruses and bacteria. Just place a couple of water drops into the device no bigger than a pack of ciggaretes. Wait however long depending on the amount of water you want to purifier. When it’s done, dump the contents into your water bottle and wait about 30 minutes. You might taste a little chlorine, but it's much better than that nasty iodine. MSRP $120
Miles Maiden had a background in solar technology when he invented the Steripen. Working with solar ultra-violet rays, Maiden realized something spectacular. A certain spectrum of UV light known as UVC had the power to scramble the DNA of viruses, bacteria and protozoa. And the Steripen was born. Hold the device in suspect water 40 second for a half liter and 90 second for a full liter, with a built-in timer to keep track. The Steripen comes in several sizes and strengths, including two that contain rechargeable lithium batteries. MSRP $50
Another filter that uses hollow fiber membrane is the new Renovo Oasis System. Building off its previous line of filters, the Oasis System features attachments that fit onto various water bottles, from a Nalgene to a recyclable plastic bottle. An interchangeable design allows users to adapt the filter depending on your need. The filter is currently available for pre-order on kickstarter.