The MSR Sweetwater is a very basic, easy to use, yet extremely effective water treatment device. The Borosilicate technology is basically a fiberglass paper filter that is layered inside of this filter cartridge one layer over the other to form a Depth Labyrinth filter. Over the depth of the filter media it is going to remove all of the microbiological pathogens that could potentially get you sick in the backcountry. The SweetWater is one of our easiest to use filters. It comes with two different colored hoses, one that is an input hose and one that is an output hose. The input is labeled in and the output is labeled out and again they are different colors so that it is less likely that you will confuse the two which is the number one source of contamination in a water filter environment. It is a lever action pump handle which is about 40% easier to pump using a very simple machine, the lever, to enable you to pump it faster and with less effort. It pumps on the up stroke and on the down stroke so you get a very good throughput out of a very basic water filter. The filter itself is only two parts. There is the lever action handle / pump assembly and the filter cartridge. This entire piece is the filter cartridge. It is a cleanable filter and the neat thing about the SweetWater is that it does have a pressure relief valve. Right here in the front there is a little hole, and that hole is the pressure relief valve. When the filter starts to clog it will get harder to pump and as a result there will be increased internal pressure. Those increased pressures are going to cause water to spout right out of the hole and that is telling you, the user, that it is time to clean the filter. So open it up. It comes with a little baby bottle brush that you can shove down inside like so and scrub it out. Rinse it in the stream, lake, or whatever water source you have, reassemble and reinsert your intake hose. It comes with a stainless steel pre filter that needs to be dropped back into the water source. You can use a bottle adaptor or whatever other connection point you might like and once again begin to pump. So for a lightweight, easy to use, cost effective water treatment device, the MSR SweetWater is your choice.
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