The Seychelle Advanced Pure Water Straw is a full fledged water purifier in straw form, capable of filtering out 99.9999% of viruses and bacteria as wells as 99.99% of Guardia and Cryptosporidium. It has a capacity to filter up to 25 gallons of water, costs $16.95 and weighs almost nothing.
I’ve taken it on several long hikes to test it out and I really like the way it’s designed. Like the Aquamira Frontier Pro, the Seychelle Water Straw has a cap to cover the mouthpiece and prevent “dirty” water from leaking in and making you ill. But the cap on the Seychelle is better because it screws shut and is completely waterproof, unlike the Frontier Pro mouthpiece, which is held on by an elastic band, and can get wet if water leaks inside the cap or you drop it in the drink.
Similarly, the purifier element is more advanced that the activated charcoal filter present in the Frontier Pro, and not only removes viruses, but also other chemical pollutants such as DDT, MTBE, Benzene, Chloroforms (THM’S); and Dissolved Solids (Heavy metals) such as Arsenic, Lead, Mercury, Copper, Zinc, Aluminum and Chromium 6.
The purifier element, which is about the size of a cigarette filter, plugs snugly into the base of the water straw, and is held in place by a perforated plastic cap. Unfortunately, you can’t buy replacement purifiers for the housing and need to dispose of the whole unit when the 25 gallon maximum limit is reached.
There is also a break-in time during which water purifier by the filter tastes a bit salty. This has also been noted by section hikers regarding the Seychelle Water Bottle Purifier.
However, the packaging as a water straw turns out to be this purifier’s chief undoing for non-emergency use, limiting it’s usefulness for anything more than day hiking. The fact is, that a straw is an inconvenient form factor for filtering or purifying water because you can’t collect it in a reservoir for future use and because the straw is not long enough to reach down into a high sided container like a platypus or camelbak water reservoir. While you could drink directly from a stream bank by lying on your belly, that’s not really a practical solution because you want to be able to carry a quantity of water with you when you’re not close to a fresh water source.
Despite these limitations, the water straw provides an viable solution for emergency water purification in non-wilderness settings and demonstrates how water purification technology has progressed beyond the need for bulky housings such as the First Need XL. It’s only a matter of time now before someone incorporates these purifier elements into an ultralight pump-based system with standard reservoir adapters.
Disclosure: The author owns this product and purchased it using their own funds.
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