Platypus GravityWorks High-Capacity Water Filter System
This is a filter system for groups and produces large amounts of water. Solo hikers would perhaps be better served if they check out the Sawyer Squeeze Water Filtration System.
The first obvious comparison to pump and squeeze water filters is that the Platypus works on gravity. Not having to pump or squeeze to get water is a nice game changer. It does give some bulk when in a backpack and weighs 11.5 ounces, this model has 2 reservoirs, 1 filter, and the hose. As with all good products, this system has a nice run of pros and of course a few minor cons which are worth noting.
This is for large hiking or camping groups, the Platypus is clearly designed to perform for filtrating lots of water, with very little effort. If you're planning a group trip into the wild, this may well be a useful part of your gear. And also, there is a bonus with the Platypus which no pump or squeeze system can match. This water filtering system can also double up as a basic outdoor shower.
No pumping or squeezing
Easy to use
Filters out Bacteria and Protozoa,
1.75 liters per minute
Gravity does the work
Versatile for a drink or shower
Cannot filter out viruses
Needs large water source
2 Reservoirs (to carry)
A little heavier compered to water bottle filters
- 1 dirt water reservoir
- 1 clean water reservoir
- 1 attachment tube
- Filter: carbon-Element Hollow Fiber / 1500 liters
Weight: 11.5 ounces
Width: 3.25 in / 8 cm
Length: 9.5 in / 24 cm
Ease of Use.
The PlatyPus can feel like a pleasure to use for those that have spent years pumping water. Pumping is hard work, especially if the water is for a group.
Dipping a 4-liter bag into a stream and then hanging it from a branch, attached by a filter and tube to another reservoir is easy enough. Gravity takes over and produces 1.75 liters per minute, this means you can relax.
This is as good as it gets for ease of use. The only better ease of use is through any scoop and drink water bottle such as the Katadyn Hiker Pro.
Setting up is easy depending on your perception. The 1st reservoir ( the dirty bag) needs to be submerged in water, so you will get wet hands. If it's a cold day, have a towel close by.
This filter system works where the water has some depth, a lake, river, or stream. In very shallow water you will struggle and risk clogging the filter with sediments.
When the bag is full, seal it with the zip-lock closure and attach the filter tube to the bottom of the bag. Connect to the clean bag and hang the dirty bag above it on a branch, gravity will do the work and filter 4 liters of clean water.
User feedback often mentions this model can double up as a shower, hang it on a higher branch.
There will be times when the filter gets clogged, even streams and lakes can at times hold lots of sediments. When this happens, the filtering will take a lot more time.
However, if this happens it is quick and easy to fix. Hold the clean water reservoir above the dirty bag and let gravity back-flush the filter.
If your out in freezing conditions, watch the filter does not freeze. If your camping out, bring the filter into the tent overnight.
Versatility and capacity.
There is some versatility for having 2 reservoir bags, You can filter 4 liters of water into the clean bag, refill the dirty bag, and have that water ready for filtering later.
There is no need to have to bring along an extra reservoir for water storage during overnight stops.
The carbon element filter is efficient and versatile enough to filter out 99.9999% of bacteria and also 99.9% of protozoa. This system is not able to filter out viruses.
This is durable
The two reservoir bags are made from thick supple plastic. When you hold it you can feel it is strong and tear-resistant. As with any plastic water bag, no matter how durable, a hard blow on a sharp rock or stick can puncture it. Keep this in mind when you hang it on a branch.
For groups taking long trips, it's a good idea to bring along a reserve reservoir bag.
The zippers are easy to use and free of the issues often met with some zip-lock systems.
The entire system is made with durable materials and should be good for many group trips.
This system has a little more bulk than water bottle systems and the weight is higher at 11.5 ounces. When taking into account that the system is designed for group use, the extra weight and bulk profile are not overly relevant. This packs away in a backpack easily.
You won't be able to access and easily use very shallow water or water in difficult accessible places. This system needs a stream, river, or lake in much the same way as the very efficient MSR Guardian Military-Grade Water Purifier Pump, which even filters out viruses.
For those that want absolute pure water with all pathogens removed or killed. An effective comparable option to the PlatyPus and other squeeze or pump filter systems is Aquamira Water Treatment Drops.
The only comparable gravity system which performs better for ease of use and slightly quicker treatment time is the Katadyn Gravity Camp 6L.
A gravity filter system cannot outperform scoop and immediately drink water bottles for filtration speed. It does perform better for the volume of water and versatile use. When compared against squeeze or pump systems which are mostly used by individuals, gravity systems are an easier option for groups.
There is a 4 or 6-liter option from the makers.
The performance is very good, maintenance is minimal and the system is durable and good for long-term use. For groups of people, this type of gravity filtration system is clearly the best option for getting a good amount of clean water quickly.
The price is higher than most other filtration systems but when it comes to providing enough water for groups of people, the cost is balanced.