Water Filter Works Like French Press


Driven by the need for increased caffeine consumption, I discovered the glories of the French Press, the simple coffee maker that strains grounds with a plunger you press down a cylindrical container.

Driven by the desire for good-tasting purified water, I was intrigued by a new water filter of similar construction, the Grayl Water Filtration Cup ($70).

I tested the Seattle-based company’s product and found it a simple, fast method to clean the water you drink.

After experience with both giardia and crypto while working on projects in the field, I have no desire for seconds. I packed up the Grayl to test in the Adirondacks of northern New York.

With no practice, the system was easy to use. Unscrew the base cup from the inner cup. Dunk the base cup in water. Press the inner cup into a base cup, letting the water slowly drain through the filter and into the clean inner cup. Put the lid on and drink.

The company claims 30 seconds to purify water with its G3+ Purifier (the brand also offers a G3+ Filter for less contaminated water) and it seemed about right. After experimentation, I even trusted the gasket-sealed lid enough to let the full bottle bounce around in my pack.

I was pleased to note the claims of “no funky aftertaste” held true. Drinking water from the Au Sable River, there was no weird taste. The water was cold and slightly mineral flavored, exactly what I would expect from a river of that nature.

The downside? I had to be extra careful to avoid getting fish-slick hands into the “clean space” in the inner cup. This wasn’t hard with a bit of careful finger placement, but the inside of the bottle could be contaminated with careless handling.

The stainless bottle is heavy (19.6 ounces), and with a bag full of camera gear and fishing equipment, the last thing I want to do is add weight. The idea of the plastic version is intriguing, and I look forward to testing it.

The huge, unexpected bonus? It fits easily in the cup holders of my car, allowing post-adventure hydration to be kept close at hand. Somehow I don’t think I’m the only one who forgets to drink on the trail and then shows up back at the car parched. And unlike straw-based designs, the free-flowing lid allowed me to gulp water.

The Grayl has three filter options: The G3+ Filter for tap and trail removes 99.99% of bacteria like E. coli, salmonella, and 99.94% of protozoan cysts such as giardia and cryptosporidium.

The more powerful G3+ Purifier removes all of the above plus 99.999% of disease-causing bacteria, protozoan cysts, and viruses like Hepatitis A. (They both remove many heavy metals and chemicals.)

The Water Filtration Cup, in all its stainless steel glory, can filter 16 ounces of water in 15 seconds with the included G3+ Filter and costs $70. A G3+ Purifier filter can be purchased separately for $40 and makes filtration a little slower, 30 seconds per 16 ounces.

With an unobtrusive design and thermos-like appearance, the Grayl would be a great option for overseas travel. Water in the restaurant look a little iffy? Pour it into the Grayl and press. For camping, the Grayl is a plausible option albeit heavy. Overall, this is a unique and well-made product that should work in many situations.