Versa Flow inline water filter
I got a chance to try out a water filter which is new to me, the Versa Flow inline water filter, made by Hydroblu. The trip was a 5 day backpack in the Bighorn Crags of Idaho, and the filter performed wonderfully. The Hydroblu company sent me a unit of the filter to try out for them.
In its basic configuration its set up well for ultralight backpacking. Its simplest configuration includes the filter unit (3 7/8 oz) a delivery hose, a hose clamp, and two water bladders (1 5/8 oz ea). Set up as a gravity filter, lake water is placed in one bladder, and it flows through the filter and collects in the other bladder. It took about 8 minutes to filter 2 liters (the bladders are 2 liters each), and I processed probably 15 gallons over the course of the trip, for me and my hiking partners. The flow rate never slowed down, and I never backflushed it. To backflush it one would run filtered water backwards through the filter and discard the filtrate. To set it up for gravity filtering, you need to hang the bladder with the untreated water, and let it flow through the filter and be collected in a container below the filter.
For the gravity setup, you need a cord or strap to hang the upper bladder, and you need to prop up the lower bladder so that it doesn’t tip over.
We thought we would have a dry camp on the last day of the hike, so we all had to carry enough water for dinner and breakfast. With the two bladders, weighing less than 4 oz, I had a capacity of 4 liters!! More than I wanted to carry, but nice to have plenty of water for a dry camp.