The Care Plus Water Filter is one of the best filters available for cleaning water, ensuring it's fit to drink without chemicals or boiling. It is really easy to use; you can either squeeze water through using the included soft bottle, suck it through by attaching the straw, or use it as an inline filter with a hydration bladder. The product video clearly shows it's applications and ease of use.
The filter uses unique hollow fibre technology with the smallest pore size of any filter. And although it has a small pour size it amazingly has a fast flow rate allowing you to gain refreshment quickly. The filter removes harmful bacteria and protozoa ensuring water from streams and lakes is fit to drink. One of the great things about the Care Plus filter is that it's really easy to clean by back flushing it using the syringe. This contributes to the 375,000 litres of water that it is capable of filtering, significantly more than any other filter.
Please read How to Choose a Water Filter for more information.
ISPO Award Winner - Outdoor Trekking Equipment 2014/2015
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The purchase of the care plus water filter is the most substantial weight saving my equipment has had in a long time. To think the amounts you'd usually spend to shave a 100 grams off your sleeping bag or tent and along comes the sawyer manufactured care plus at just under 30 Pounds. The lightest water filter I know of and it still manages to beat the competition ,at least on paper, with a finer filtration. The filter really is just that, a filter, without pump element. The included squeeze bag, which reminds me of a baby food pouch, is used to force water through the filter, which can also be integrated in your hydration system or fitted to standard plastic water bottles. To me, the ingenuity of this system is how basic, and therefore adaptable it is. My old trusty filter is a Katadyn hiker which, whilst performing perfectly well hits the scales at over 300g, and I often considered it overkill to take it on a day trip. The care plus just sits in my pack, it's small and lightweight enough, even as a back up system.
Here ,in Scotland, we are never far from water. I tend not to carry more than a pint and rather adopt a waterhole system much like you would in a desert. The filter performs well with reasonably clear water. Lake,stream, even pond water gets processed at a decent flow rate. Stagnant muddy puddles will require frequent backwash and the procedure gets quite tedious due to the small filter surface area. The only true weak point of the care plus system is the squeeze bottle. With its small opening and rather stiff belly it can be difficult to fill. It also has to be squeezed with care as too much pressure will almost certainly burst the seams. So I have replaced it with a hydration bladder with a wide opening and a quick connect system which works a treat and doesn't add much weight.
Great filter for UK use that might need a bit of personalisation ,well worth the effort though!
I hike a lot in Sweden and also deploy on missions to third world countries. I have tried lots of different products for water treatment/filtering: MSR MiniWorks, Aquapure Traveller, Steripen, Micropure tablets and a few more that I can't remember the names of. They all have their advantages and disadvantages, but this product (a Care Plus branded Sawyer Mini) really blows me away. It's so versatile and compact (but slightly less compact than I imagined, see below). And the capacity is amazing. 375 000 litres.
Just remember that it doesn't filter chemicals (for example pesticides/heavy metals).
It's very versatile. If you can fill your bottle in a creek/lake, just attach the filter and drink. Or fill the included soft bottle and filter (squeeze) to your Nalgene or whatever you are using. Sometimes you can't fill a bottle, because the water source is hard to access (between rocks etc). Then you can lie down and sip with the straw. If you have a hydration pack (preferably one that is easy to clean when you come back from your trip), just fill it and attach the filter inline. You can also attach the filter to standard PET bottles, which is a bonus if you go to countries where bottled water is not of the best quality. But as I said, chemicals will still be present, so you need to use other solutions to get rid of those.
I was disappointed to find out that the cleaning plunger/syringe is actually larger than the filter itself, so the kit takes up more space than the product pictures may suggest. I wasn't aware of this and it bothers me slightly every time I pack the filter. But then I think of the other products I have used, and how light and useful this kit is. I suppose that regular backflushing is one of the reasons for the huge capacity, so it's definitely worth it. You do have to waste some clean water to backflush the filter after use, and on occasions you need to flush a couple of times to clean the filter properly. Hence it could be a good idea to bring an extra soft bottle for this purpose. But actually the manufacturer says you rarely have to clean the filter in the field, so you could leave the syringe at home. If you maintain the filter properly, supposedly you never have to replace it. Amazing.
If you need a portable water filter for use in the backcountry, this is the one to get.
This filter is so simple. Small, lightweight and can be used several ways. Great for personal use on backpacking and hiking trip. Inexpensive. For the price definitely recommended!
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