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.
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 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 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.
- 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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