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Platypus Meta Bottle + Microfilter 1.0L Review

The Meta Bottle + Microfilter consists of a soft bottle, filter, and screw-on-top
The Meta Bottle + Microfilter consists of a flexible bottle, filter, and screw-on-top. The filter can be removed if you just want to use the unit like a flip top bottle.

Platypus Meta Bottle + Microfilter

Reliability
Weight
Treatment Capacity
Speed
Ease of Use

Good

The Platypus Meta Bottle + Microfilter is a bottle-based water filter that lets you safely filter backcountry water sources, removing bacteria and protozoa, including Giardia and Cryptosporidium.

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The Platypus Meta Bottle + Microfilter ($49.95) is a bottle-based water filter that lets you safely filter backcountry water sources, removing bacteria and protozoa, including Giardia and Cryptosporidium. The unit includes a one liter flexible bottle, a hollow fiber water filter, and a screw-on top. But don’t make the mistake of writing off this product as yet another water bottle filter. The fast flow filter included in the unit makes it possible to use for high volume, squeeze-style filtering without a reservoir.

This combination of components lets you use the bottle and filter in a number of clever ways:

  • As a regular one liter bottle, without the filter cartridge screwed in
  • As a bottle-based water filter; fill and sip
  • As a squeeze style water filter with a high flow rate of 2 liters/minute

The thing that make this filter solution so exceptional is its high flow rate of 2L/min. That’s even faster than the Katadyn BeFree water filter, although they both use the same kind of hollow fiber filter media. The difference between these two solutions is that the Meta Bottle is a bottle and not a reservoir like the 0.6 liter Hydrapak soft bottle included in the BeFree product. Still, filtering a quart will take two passes if you scoop untreated water in the bottle with the bottom half which only holds 24 oz/750 ml.

Simply scoop up the water you want to filter
Simply scoop up the water you want to filter.

The Meta Bottle is not rigid like a Nalgene Bottle, but flexible so you can grab it with both hands and squeeze it. If you don’t need to do bulk filtering, you can literally scoop up some water, screw on the filter and top, grip it in your hand, and bring it to your loops to start drinking. There’s no need to carry a separate container to drink from, no waiting, no pumping and no sucking required. Since it’s a bottle with a very wide mouth, it’s easy to fill even in still water, unlike a narrow neck reservoir which takes a little skill to fill.

When you’re done drinking, the screw-on bottle cap keeps the wet filter from dripping onto your other gear because it’s fully enclosed. The lid is attached to the bottle with a plastic lanyard so you can’t lose it and it covers the drinking hole to keep it from becoming contaminated by unfiltered water between uses.

The Flow Rate of the Meta Bottle + Microfilter is so high, you can use it as a squeeze system to fill other water bottles
The Flow Rate of the Meta Bottle + Microfilter is so high (2L/minute), you can also use it as a squeeze system to fill other water bottles

The high flow rate (2L/min) also makes it possible to use this solution as a squeeze style filter, making it an interesting option for backpackers or anyone who wants to be able to filter a lot of water and store it in a separate container for later use. Squeezing the flexible Meta bottle is also much easier than squeezing a reservoir because you can grip the bottle with both hands at once.

To clean and improve the filter’s flow rate, fill the bottle, turn it horizontal, and shake it end-to-end for 5 seconds, before discarding the water in the bottle. This dislodges any particles stuck in the filter. Filter replacement cartridges are also available; simply unscrew the old one and replace it.

The Platypus MetaBottle + Microfilter also makes a great water filter solution for mountain-biking
The Platypus MetaBottle + Microfilter also makes a great water filter solution for mountain-biking.

The thing I like about the Platypus Meta Bottle + Microfilter solution is that it’s a fully contained solution for storing water, filtering it, and storing the wet components afterwards. It’s great for day hiking and backpacking when you’re near frequent water sources because you can minimize the amount you need to carry. The bottle-based form factor also works very well for mountain biking if you have an adjustable-sized bottle cage that fits different size containers and can eliminate the need to carry a hydration pack or a lot of water treatment paraphernalia.

Key specifications:

  • Weight: (bottle and filter): 8.5 oz /240 g
  • Size: (3.7 in / 9.5 cm) x (9.4 in / 24 cm)
  • Filter media: Hollow Fiber
  • Filter sore size: 0.2 microns
  • Bacteria removal rate: 99.9999%
  • Protozoa removal rate: 99.9%
  • Flow Rate: 2.0L per minute
  • Cartridge life: 1000L , replacement available
  • Cold: Do not freeze

Disclosure: Platypus provided the author with a product sample for this review. 

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27 comments

  1. This is a pretty odd review given that this device has some pretty terrible reviews on REI (2.7/5) , Amazon (2.8/5), and the Platypus site (3.3/5) – most having to do with leaks, odors, and and an imparted off taste. Did you experience any of these issues? Its also odd that something with a MSRP of $49.99 is now available for $7 (new, slate color) on Amazon. Something just doesn’t seem right.

    • I don’t read other people’s reviews before writing my own. No, didn’t experience those issues myself. I suspect that the 7 dollar model is a filter cartridge replacement. I like this unit a lot. Better form factor for me than the Befree.

      You have to take online reviews at retailer sites with a grain of salt. If there are few reviews, you’re bound to see a low overall rating if there is one bad review, since they’re averaged. And a lot of people who write those reviews are less experienced users who may not exactly be trained observers. For example, a comment about a chlorine smell on this filter is just bizarre, since the filter doesn’t contain or use chlorine and is probably the result of the fact that they’re using water from their sink at home and smelling it for the first time. Then there are also negative reviews placed by competitors.

      • I need another filter system like I need a hole in the head, BUT, I confirmed with Amazon that the slate grey model is $7.07 for the filter PLUS the one liter bottle. Just to be sure, I had them send me an email confirming this. If I get just the filter can make a stink and return for free.

      • The $7 model was the whole assembly. It looks like may have been an error as it shows at $49.99 now. But to your point, I tend to take *all* reviews with critical thinking – retailer sites and blogs alike. I do look at self-described expert reviews more skeptically. Even though the self-identified “professionals” now place disclosure statements on their sites, the truth is that too many negative reviews will stop the freebie-for-evaluation product train in its tracks.

        I do think that you are being too dismissive about retail customer reviews – especially about the “less experienced users/trained observers” bit. It’s not like the bad reviews are taking exception to highly technical issues such as pore size or chemical composition of the plastics. Being unhappy because the water smells and the bottle leaks hardly requires special knowledge or skills. And looking at other reviews of a product prior to doing a review really makes for a better review. Going into a product evaluation having read other’s evaluations is not the same as going in biased – at least for a good reviewer.

      • The reason they post disclosures is that it’s now illegal not to. I advocated for such reviewer disclosures for a long time and I’m glad to see such transparency being adopted, although I do wish it applied to print magazines. However if you’re implying that I give favorable reviews for free product samples, I do take some offense. I write plenty of critical and negative reviews too. You only have your integrity in life. I also don’t see any benefit in screwing over my readers and go out of my way to avoid bias to the extent that’s possible in this day and age.

      • John, I’m flabbergasted that you’re giving Philip grief for providing his honest and unbiased opinion about a product and not simply repeating the customer reviews you can find on retailer web sites.

        I’ve been a section hiker reader for close to 5 years and Philip is the only blogging gear reviewer I trust. While I don’t always agree with his opinions, I’ve never felt that he’s pulled a punch on products that have quality or design problems. Yes, he is more experienced than most people when it comes to writing product reviews, but that is why I come here to read them. I’ve bought many of the products that Philip has recommended and they’ve all proven to be excellent.

      • To be clear, I’m not questioning Phil’s honesty or skills at all. I am questioning the quality of the review, however. It stuck me odd that this was such a good review for an item when evidently a lot of others had issues with it. This was not mentioned even in passing in the review.

        My real issue with with the response to my initial comment/question. He defensively dismissed buyer’s reviews saying that consumers may not be as knowledgeable as himself. This despite the fact that the complaints in this instance were related to simple issues – odors and leaks – that require no expertise other than a sense of smell and touch. His own expertise seems to come from field experience with various products, yet the consumer reviewers that he dismisses may have the same or more experience. Let’s be honest here – its easy to put together a web site, so having one does not make one an expert. What I would have expected in a professional review is a mention that consumers have reported problems, reaching out to Platypus/Cascade Designs for a comment (maybe it was a bad initial run, etc.), and his personal experience/opinion with the product. We got only the last of the three. To be fair to Phil, most reviews from magazines to blogs to podcasts tend to accentuate the positive, for whatever reason you may ascribe. This is exactly why I tend to use sites like this to discover new products, but when it comes down to deciding to buy, look at consumer reviews, albeit through the idiot filter.

      • Let me tell you about my philosophy on backpacking gear reviews and why they’re presented in a blog format. I view everything I write on sectionhiker.com as a dialog with my readers. Many have used the same gear that I review and I like it when they comment and leave their perspectives which can be very different from mine. They often discuss different usage conditions than mine based on different objectives, geography, or climate which I view as helping to flesh out the review to make it useful for others. The copious reader generated content is a key reason why people become regular readers. I personally find it very helpful and motivating.

        The people who read sectionhiker are generally very hiking focused, so when they comment on products, I have a pretty good feel for what they’re talking about and why. I don’t have that level of confidence when it comes to consumer reviews listed on REI or Amazon. They could be anybody. I feel that the use cases they use a product in and their expectation are important to understanding their reviews, but none of that information is available because retailer product reviews aren’t as interest oriented or community specific like a hiking blog.

        For example if I person used to driving an automatic transmission were to get into one with a stick shift, they’d probably be upset by the extra effort required to drive the car. I’d be a lot more interested in their viewpoint if I knew they’d driven other manual transmission cars before and had a basis for comparison. I get that without a lot of leg work because my readers bring that information to me in the comments they leave and share with other members of our community.

        You may not agree with my style of community-based reviews, but that’s how I roll and have for the past 8 years. It’s a blog for a reason.

      • Phil reviewed the product. You seem to want a review of the reviews.

    • That discount could also be Prime customer specific. They often discount very heavily for limited periods of time to get people to sign up for the Prime program.

    • Took me a while to dig this up, but Phil wrote a post about reviewer bias and free products that it would be good for you to read.

      http://sectionhiker.com/sectionhikers-gear-raffles-and-reader-polls/

      Phil – maybe you should put a link to this post in your disclosure statements.

    • I own this product. I read those reviews before I bought and having used it I’ve also concluded that the people who left negative comments are not “reliable”. Are you criticizing Philip because he drew the same conclusion? Get a life.

      • Saw Rex’s comment below. I have the grey one, which has a gasket below the threads. True, you do have to screw the top to the bottom firmly, and yes, the top can be difficult to unscrew when wet, but like Philip, I’ve found the flow rate to be fine for drinking and filtering to another container. Faster than my Sawyer mini. Heck yea! So nice not to have to deal with a wet filter flopping around my pack afterwards too!

  2. The pore size is different between this system (0.2 microns) and the Befree and Sawyer Squeeze (0.1 microns). Not sure whether that matters as I think it’s common to have 0.2 micron pores on filters

  3. This unit does not seem to be compatible with a gravity-fed filtering system, or am I missing something? Even the BeFree, on the larger Hydropack containers, can be filled and strung up on a tree branch to fill a set of bottles or a hydration pouch.

  4. The $7.07 price was there for the whole unit as an add on to $25.00 of qualifying purchases. I put 3 in my cart last night and decided to shop for the other $25 this morning. Big mistake. When I went back to my cart, it was at $149 and change so I just deleted the whole thing.

  5. So I purchased the slate gray model from Amazon and it came today. I’m not sure if the blue model for $50 is an improved version, but the unit I received was a piece of crap! The flow rate is nowhere near that of the Katadyn BeFree and, in my tests, is even less than the Sawyer Squeeze. The filter only uses around 3/4 of the water in the bottle, so you need to fill it twice to filter a quart. What’s worse is that the seal between the lower and upper bottle leaks badly unless you really tork it down, than it is very difficult to open. I found that, after cranking down the top, the filter was acceptable for filling another vessel, but it was hard to drink directly from the bottle. For $7.00, it’s not worth returning to Amazon. This one’s going in my junk box.

    • Rex, I had mine (the blue one) out fishing today and it worked fine in terms of flow rate and ease of drinking. (I was drinking water from the river) Perhaps the blue bottles are a different run from the grey ones. Does the grey one have a rubber gasket located below the threads of the bottom bottle?

      • After playing around with it some more, I’ve softned my stance. The big problem I had was dirty water leaking from the seam. What I was doing wrong was squeezing too hard. Once I got the hang of it, I was able to get a decent flow with no leaks. Not having to tork down the lid so hard made it easy to disassemble. I also discovered the best way to drink from the bottle is to make sure the air hole is at the top otherwise, the water dribbles over your chin. Live and learn! I now recommend the product and plan to use extensively on day hikes. For backpacking, the BeFree with the 3 ilter Hydropak Flask or the Sawyer Squeeze with 2 liter Evernew is, IMHO, a better choice.

  6. Sounds like people either like this product a lot or hate it.

    Positive review at Trailspace:
    http://www.trailspace.com/gear/platypus/meta-bottle-+-microfilter/

    One thing you need to realize with consumer reviews is that they’re syndicated these days, which means that the same consumer reviews appear on multiple web sites. In other words there are a lot fewer unique reviews than you might realize.

  7. Would love to have had this on the Ozark Highlands Trail this week. I could have given it a good test, and it would have been just the ticket for the section of the trail I was on. There were many water sources and it would have been great to just scoop-and-go, particularly if it is faster than a Sawyer Squeeze. The SS I have continues to frustrate me with slow flow.

  8. I purchased this from amazon for $7.07. it leaks and does leave aftertaste. filled it up 2 times. the first time didn’t leak. 2nd time (and last time) it leaked where it screws together. really poor product. now, I cant even squeeze any water out of it.

    • Sounds like the manufacturer needs to include better instructions. Every one of you experienced problems with this product until you figured out how to use it properly. Then you love it!

  9. My daughter and I used this and a BeFree over the weekend, on an overnight trip on the AT in Georgia. Both worked well, a lot better than the Sawyer Squeeze I have. The BeFree had a better flow rate, but then there’s that collapsing-as-you-drink bottle/pouch, which to me is a pain, and water from the BeFree had an odd, chemical taste. I probably should have done a better job of rinsing the bottle before use. Water from the Playpus Meta did not have an odd taste, but the bottle did frequently leak at the upper/lower bottle seam, even when screwed down tightly. What’s my assessment? Both are fine, but there are things I’d like to see improved. If the BeFree could be used with a more rigid container, I’d prefer it hands down.

    • That’s my problem with the BeFree Too. The soft bottles are worthless if you need to carry extra water anywhere. Give me a more rigid reservoir and I’d be sold.

      As for the meta bottle. There is a practice requirement to get those leaks to stop, which can be frustrating.

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