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First Look: MSR Trailshot Microfilter Gives Fast, Filtered Water Anywhere

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MSR designed a new kind of water filter with its one-handed, squeeze-pump unit called the Trailshot. It is light, easy to use, and fast. Read on for a full review.

Trailshot Microfilter

Mountain biking down a dusty trail, as usual, our “4 hour” ride turned into 8 hours and change. However, after years of running out of water in the exact same scenario, I was finally prepared with the MSR Trailshot Microfilter, a new product to be released at the end of this year.

When we finally came across a little stream, I pulled out the Trailshot, dropped the hose in the murky water, and filled both our bottles with clean, great-tasting water. Score: Me, 1; dehydration, 0.

MSR Trailshot Microfilter Review

The filter is simple to use, fast, and light (5 oz.). It’s comparable in size to a pack of energy chews and arguably far more essential. It is the perfect companion for mountain runners, backpackers and mountain bikers and fits in any pocket.

The one-handed pump action makes it simple to fill bottles or drink straight from it for insta-quench gratification. To use it, you place the plastic hose into water to be filtered. You squeeze the soft pump with one hand, which pulls water through the filter and shoots it out the top of the device and into your waiting vessel.

msr trailshot filter size

The filter uses hollow-fiber technology to remove bacteria, protozoa and particulates common in the backcountry. This includes giardia and cryptosporidum, two common microbial concerns.

If you are a world traveler and looking for something that filters viruses, this is not for you. However, if you are an avid outdoors man/woman who mostly adventures in North America, this tiny unit could be a game-changer.

Unlike popular bottle filters that require a larger puddle or stream in order to get enough water, the Trailshot’s long, skinny tube makes it easy to access almost all sources of water no matter the size.

msr trailshot water filter

So far, after a handful of uses while out mountain biking, pack rafting, and fastpacking the MSR Trailshot Microfilter has proven a godsend. It hasn’t clogged up yet, but if it does all it needs is a few shakes to clean itself.

The unit fits perfectly in the side pouches of all of my backpacks, making it a clutch “always in the bag” piece for day-long adventures and longer.

MSR Trailshot Microfilter Details

The product treats up to 2,000 liters and has a flow rate of 1 liter every 60 seconds. That’s a long life for something so small and efficient.

water filter in use

While I wouldn’t recommend it for large rafting or backpacking groups, the MSR filter has been great for my husband and I on all of our longer outings this past month.

It is fun and satisfying to use, the pump-action process a breeze. I see thru-hikers, ultra runners and avid adventures who like to get out there adding this piece to their quiver.

For the price of $49.95, look for it Jan. 2017 at retailers and at Cascadedesigns.com.

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