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HomeHomeDiscussionsDiscussionsGeneralGeneralBetter Water Filter?Better Water Filter?
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4/14/2014 1:50 PM
 

 Can you find the Xinix Clearwater anymore?  I acquired one bottle of it commercially a few years ago and then contacted the manufacturer every six months or so after that trying to get it but they were focusing all mfg efforts on a military contract and weren't making it commercially available.  I really liked it for it's immediate-treatment qualities.  

 
New Post
4/14/2014 3:50 PM
 

samh, I've found only a few Euro sources in the last few years, but I wasn't willing to pay the shipping. 

 
New Post
12/20/2014 12:18 PM
 
Hi gents,

I know this is an old thread, but as its linked off the equipage pages, I thought it best to post it here.

In the equipage pages, you guys state: "Once our current filters are ready for replacement, we'll switch to the First Need XLE Elite Purifier because the reliability and serviceability are about the same but you get purification as well."

Have you bought and used the FN SLE purifier yet? Do they mount to the Nalgene Oasis directly or is there an adapter?

Also when you say: "Do NOT use one of the UV based systems like the Steripen. The Steripen has been proven in laboratory testing to not actually render water inert."

How do you mean "inert?" Do you mean "not harmful" or "all living things dead?" The steripens by design are not meant to kill the bacteria in water. They work by disrupting their ability to reproduce (which is the only means that the bacteria is harmful). Successful use of a steripen would leave most of the bacteria alive, but harmless. Have you found research that says this does not work?

Thanks
 
New Post
12/20/2014 5:24 PM
 

I've used the First Need XLE Elite pretty extensively, including two trips into Peruvian jungle of Mazamari...about 2-3 hours due west of the Amazon River Basin.  The water we were procuring from...the Rio Mazamari....was known to harbor 3 different waterbourne viruses.  The First Need XLE Elite was outstanding.  I did need to change the cartridge in mine on the second jungle trip, but that's only because during the first trip our entire group of about 16 personnel were all relying on my purifier for clean water, as that during the first trip I was only person to possess the XLE Elite.  Others were in fact using Steripens or the Camelbak UV model.  Several people that were using UV based (and battery operated) purifiers got sick....in a big way.  All of us that used my XLE Elite drank clean water the entire week and stayed healthy.  The same results were repeated during our second jungle trip just a couple months ago.  The UV based models are intended to render things like e-coli inert, in effect...dead...and thus no threat to the human body.  Unfortunately, there have been tests performed by independent scientists that discovered that the UV Based systems like the Steripen were leaving trace e-coli and other harmful protozoa behind after treatment.  That's a no-go in my book.  During the same tests, the First Need XLE Elite received top marks for its ability to purify water in the most austere locations, with good longevity and durability.

I am very much a fan of the First Need system, based on personal experience.  It's got my vote, hands down.


Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
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12/20/2014 7:33 PM
 
Thanks alpendrms. I appreciate your experience and have a very favorable impression of the XLE from it. I hope to pick one up as soon as I can. But can you tell me where you found the studies you mention? I would like to read more about their findings of the UV systems.

Also, do you know if the XLE Elite connects to the Oasis?
 
New Post
12/21/2014 5:57 AM
 
Oh yeah....forgot to add that. The big test and the results were in the Fall 2009 issue of Overland Journal. I have to thank Evan and Scot for making me aware of it. 

At one time, I had a $100 Steripen as part of my standard kit. After reading the article, I threw that thing right into the trashcan...I decided I could not trust it. If you can't trust a piece of kit...no sense carrying it. Same rule applies for guns, comms, etc. The findings in the Overland Journal article were further solidified first-hand when we had some folks that used UV-based systems in Mazamari come down with a case of the dreaded "Butt Rumblies"...as I described in the previous post.  Overland Journal used independent science for testing, as well....and didn't simply go off of what companies claimed for their product.  I would say that things like Steripens and other UV-based systems are probably only good for taking care of tap water when traveling abroad.  That said....why would I carry two?  If I can carry an XLE Elite, I am covered where ever I go.

Yes...it will fit directly onto a Nalgene Oasis, and any narrow or wide mouth Nalgene. On vessels like Kleen Kanteens or Hydroflasks, the First Need will "fit over" the mouth, but does not screw onto those. That still works okay...you just need to hold it in place while pumping. Sometimes just holding the pump in place over the mouth of a canteen is better than screwing it on, because the pressure of the seal when screwed on is too great and creates a vacuum. That can be allieviated by either just holding it overtop or not screwing it on all the way....just a small thing I have noticed from time to time with it.  I think First Need offers adapters for other vessels.

One more personal experience with First Need: We had an early version of the First Need system on my ODA during the 1st Gulf War and Operation Provide Comfort. We were on a long patrol and completely out of water...about at the point where we were going to drink our IV bags. We found a goat trough in the mountains that had a source from an underground stream. The locals (Kurds) had diverted the water from underground to the surface for the trough, and then it went back underground shortly thereafter. Unfortunately, the above ground part was full of goat feces, leeches, dirt, etc. I pulled the First Need system out of my ruck and we all filled our canteens from it. None of us got sick.

I also like the First Need XLE because it has value even at home in case of a storm or water main break that renders the tap water unsafe to drink. Because it has a high capacity, you can then purify the water from your tap and ensure you and your family has good water to drink in an emergency. Of course, there is always boiling, using Katadyn Micropur tabs, or bleach...but that's not as quick and not always practical. This is one of the points we bring up to students during the Personnel Recovery courses we teach to DOJ personnel posted OCONUS.

One other device we like in our PR Unit is this one: http://www.proforceequipment.com/prod...

It is good for up to 25 gallons of water and has an auto shut-off feature once the device no longer can effectively purify water. Very small and light....so this is what rides in my Personal Survival Kit. The XLE Elite goes in the pack for longer trips. So my water purification means go in this order for me on extended trips:

1) First Need XLE Elite
2) NDūR Survival Straw
3) Katadyn Micropur tabs
4) Fire (boiling)

Hope this helps!

Ken

Hill People Gear Coureurs des Bois (Brand Ambassador). Victoria faveat paratam. De Oppresso Liber.
 
New Post
12/21/2014 8:31 AM
 
Hi Ken,

Great info! Thank you.

I'll look for that article. Not sure yet if I want to spend the $15 to buy the whole issue of that mag from the publisher, but I'm considering it.
 
New Post
1/2/2015 2:18 PM
 
360joules wrote:

How do you mean "inert?" Do you mean "not harmful" or "all living things dead?" The steripens by design are not meant to kill the bacteria in water. They work by disrupting their ability to reproduce (which is the only means that the bacteria is harmful). Successful use of a steripen would leave most of the bacteria alive, but harmless. Have you found research that says this does not work?

 

The Overland Journal article is an amusing read. Steripen gave OJ the same line about alive but unable to reproduce. So the lab then cultured the Steripen treated water. A couple of days later the bacteria had indeed reproduced at a significant rate. So they thought to give Steripen the benefit of the doubt and had another one sent out. Same exact result. All of that work trying to get the Steripen to work as advertised and meanwhile all of the other devices they tested worked exactly as advertised. Overland Journal is a very nice magazine, worth the $15 from time to time, but you can also save your money and put it towards the First Need which is a reliable solution that has been proven over years and years.


We are fortunate in this matter that your conduct will be your marker and, thus, your reputation. The conduct of others on this forum has been, and will continue to be, their marker, and thus, their reputation. In the west, a person invests in one's reputation carefully. - 112Papa
 
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3/21/2015 11:33 AM
 
I was reading that viruses aren't that much of a concern in North America (US and Canada). I don't know if that is factual or not but if so, I don't think you can beat the Sawyer mini filter. 0.1 absolute microns is much smaller than any other filter I've seen. Its cheap at approx $25.00 and much more versatile than a Lifestraw (0.2 microns absolute). Sawyer also makes a 4L gravity fed Purifier as well with 0.02 absolute microns to remove viruses as well but that is probably a little too cumbersome for weekend trips.
 
New Post
3/21/2015 7:33 PM
 
msilk00 wrote:
I was reading that viruses aren't that much of a concern in North America (US and Canada).

 

True, for the high country where most of us hike/hunt etc.  Maybe not so in a SHTF situation if no municipal water is available and you are using a local pond/stream surrounded by human habitation.  Not all viruses or bacteria are potential pathogens.   For bacteria, it is something like only 10% are potentially so.  A gravity filter with some sort of chemical adjunct (chlorine dioxide, iodine, calcium hypochlorite) is my choice.  You don't need the latter with really pure water from a high source. Numerous times I've filled a Platy from a seep coming out of the rocks up high in the Southern Highlands with no untoward effects.  If the stream is big enough for critters to live into it, its big enough to catch a turd, so I'll filter.  Humans upstream?  Better add a chemical.

 

One thing about Chlorine Dioxide, for cryptosporidium and Giardia (both form spores) you must wait four hours for 100% certainty.  This is why I will always carry a filter like a Sawyer.

 
New Post
4/2/2020 7:21 AM
 
Thread necromancy here, my apologies. But, re-assessing my current gear in light of personal lessons and more importantly, the very experienced group here.

I currently typically carry the Sawyer micro & mini filters as backups in case I'm out on a day hike and run low on water, with purification tablets in reserve. But, I'm currently in the mid-Atlantic region where running/standing water is common. Looking at a return out west in the next few years, I absolutely get the observation that a pump is probably a better resource in the high desert.

There's a lot of recommendations on here for the First Need XL Elite - but my Google-fu shows it as not being easily available these days in my area. Has this product been discontinued/diminished in popularity?

I do have an old Katadyn Pocket filter (90's vintage, was issued to us), and an old MSR Waterworks both in the gear storage. I could just order new cartridges for them and roll I suppose.

Any thoughts - what's the current state of the filter flow out there in everyone's opinion?
 
New Post
4/2/2020 7:51 AM
 
I just ordered and received a new filter for my First Need XL Elite. Have you tried going direct with them instead of a third party (i.e., Amazon)?
 
New Post
4/2/2020 3:09 PM
 

I'm considering that option, but wanted to get the current gouge first. But, thanks for letting me know they're still looking out for the customer. 

 
New Post
4/3/2020 8:26 AM
 
My guess is that the XL Elite is less popular as it is heavier and bulkier than most other purifiers and especially the sawyer types. That being said it is still my preference, and what I recommend if you are going to only have one filter.

Co-Owner Hill People Gear "If anything goes wrong it will be a fight to the end, if your training is good enough, survival is there; if not nature claims its foreit." - Dougal Haston
 
New Post
4/3/2020 2:05 PM
 
Thank you sir. I've pulled the other two out, with the Katadyn going into the 4Runner as my emergency setup, and I plan to give the MSR a fresh try *if* I have the chance to get out this spring (all local parks and such are closed). But the XL Elite is going on the buy-list for the near future.
 
New Post
4/3/2020 2:26 PM
 
You won't regret it.
 
New Post
4/6/2020 2:23 PM
 

I agree with this.

 
New Post
4/21/2020 3:47 PM
 
smbroomell wrote:
Thread necromancy here, my apologies. But, re-assessing my current gear in light of personal lessons and more importantly, the very experienced group here.

I currently typically carry the Sawyer micro & mini filters as backups in case I'm out on a day hike and run low on water, with purification tablets in reserve. But, I'm currently in the mid-Atlantic region where running/standing water is common. Looking at a return out west in the next few years, I absolutely get the observation that a pump is probably a better resource in the high desert.

There's a lot of recommendations on here for the First Need XL Elite - but my Google-fu shows it as not being easily available these days in my area. Has this product been discontinued/diminished in popularity?

I do have an old Katadyn Pocket filter (90's vintage, was issued to us), and an old MSR Waterworks both in the gear storage. I could just order new cartridges for them and roll I suppose.

Any thoughts - what's the current state of the filter flow out there in everyone's opinion?


what was your experience with the Katadyn Pocket Filter? I bought one on sale a couple years ago but haven't used it yet.  I have used a Katadyn Vario a little.  The Pocket Filter seemed to have been the standard years ago but doesn't seem to be talked about much today. 

 
New Post
4/22/2020 5:01 PM
 
I never had any problems with mine - it is pretty much idiot proof, and worked well in Europe, Asia, the Middle East and North Africa on various 1990s excursions. However, I'm not a fan of the "faucet" output when comparing to modern systems. Plus, the effort required per liter is surpassed by current tech. Finally, Katadyn is *really* proud of their replacement cartridges, based on the price point...

I'm certainly not getting rid of mine, but it's now a tertiary that stays in the back of the 4Runner for a "just in case" bad day.
 
New Post
4/22/2020 8:40 PM
 

My ODA and I parachuted into Bavaria for exercise Flintlock the week after Chernobyl blew.  They gave us film badges (like x-ray techs have) to record our exposure to the rad.  We never heard back as to what our dose was.  I filtered every drop of water we drank with a First Need that I had recently purchased.  Maybe kept some Strontium 90 out of our now aged bones.

 
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