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MSR Water Filter Introduction

Video by Backcountry Edge
An introduction to the three methods of water treatment used in MSR's line of water filters.

MSR Water Filters: Water Treatment Options

Water treatment in the backcountry can be done with a variety of tools. The many different water treatment options can be grouped into two major categories: pump mechanisms, which involve pumping water through a mechanical filter, and chemical or U.V. light options, which actively kill and deactivate microscopic pathogens.


In the video above, we focus on the mechanical treatment options from MSR. MSR uses three different filter technologies in their line of mechanical water treatment devices. The first and most basic is called Borosilicate, which is basically layers of fiberglass paper that are stacked in a depth labyrinth configuration. Essentially, this design ensures that the surface layer does not do all the work, but the actual depth and thickness of the filter media removes the pathogens as they pass through it.


The longest-lasting filter technology of the three is the ceramic filter cartridge, which will filter about 2000 liters (for the average user, a ceramic filter could last a lifetime).


Lastly, hollow fiber technology is a great filter option for the fast and light user. Hollow fiber filters consist of hundreds of hollow fibers folded over and potted at one end. When water passes through a hollow fiber filter, it is forced through the wall of the porous tubes and the clean water flows out the inside of the tubes on the potted end of the clean spout.