The RapidPure Intrepid Water Purifier Bottle is a water bottle/purifier combo solution that removes viruses, bacteria, protozoa, chemicals, heavy metals, pesticides, and microplastics from backcountry and front country water sources. It’s ideal for those situations where water is plentiful, like fishing or fresh-water boating, but needs to be filtered before it is consumed. If you’d prefer a purification solution that’s not tied to a bottle, the manufacturer (Adventure Medical Products) also sells the purifier in several other forms the can be used with wide mouth water bottles including Nalgene Bottles (RapidPure Universal), configured as an inline purifier in a hydration system (RapidPure Scout), or sipped from a water source with a straw (RapidPure Pioneer). All of these solutions use the same freeze-proof purifier element, which we describe further below.
Specs at a Glance
- Filter technology: Ultraceram electroabsorption, infused with silver and carbon
- Virus Reduction 99.9999%
- Cyst Reduction 99.9975%
- Bacteria Reduction 99.9999%
- the first 25 gallons as a purifier effective against viruses, bacteria, protozoa, cysts, and giardia
- an additional 220 gallons as a filter for bacteria, protozoa, cyst, and giardia removal (but not viruses)
- Purification speed: 1.2L/minute
- Third-party tested: Yes. Certified to exceed US EPA water purification standards.
- Freeze resistant: Yes. 3rd party certified as water purifier after initial freeze/thaw cycle and as water filter after multiple freeze/thaw cycles.
- Bottle capacity: 25 fluid oz
- Dry weight: 9.2 oz
The purification element used in the RapidPure Intrepid Bottle pulls contaminants out of water based on their electrochemical charge instead of removing them using a mesh-like screen, which is how filters based on hollow tube filters, such as the Sawyer Squeeze or the Katadyn Befree, operate. This lets the RapidPure purification element remove viruses that hollow tube filters can’t remove by occlusion alone. It also makes the RapidPure purification element freeze proof, although its removal efficacy diminishes after multiple freeze/thaw cycles, so it only removes bacteria, protozoa, cyst, and giardia (equivalent to a filter) after it’s been re-thawed a second time. If you backpack or hike in cold weather, that’s still a pretty big benefit since freezing destroys water filters based on hollow tube technology.
The RapidPure purification element is infused with silver to kill all of the viruses and biological contaminants it removes so they can’t reproduce. It is also infused with carbon to help improve the taste of the water and remove unpleasant odors.
While electroabsorption as a water purification technology is fairly new, there are other popular water purification products that already use it including the very popular Grayl Geopress, Epic Water Bottles, and Mizu Adventure Purifier Bottles.
The Intrepid Bottle is a convenient way to use RapidPure’s electroabsorption technology and is fairly idiot-proof so you don’t accidentally contaminate the drinking spout when you store or refill the bottle with dirty water. The bottle has five key components: a flip-top screw-on cap, the mouthpiece, the bottle, the filter element, and a straw linking the filter to the mouthpiece straw in the cap.
Filling the bottle with “dirty water” is easy. You simply unscrew the cap and dip it into a stream to fill the bottle. When it’s full you can screw on the top, flip up the cap, rotate the mouthpiece forward, and suck water through the filter and up the strap. It doesn’t take much force to get a good flow, provided you soak the filter before its first use.
The thing I like best about this bottle is how the mouthpiece is protected from cross-contamination. For example, if you get your hands wet with untreated, unfiltered, or unpurified water, anything you touch can become contaminated with the viruses, bacteria, or protozoa you’re trying to avoid.
The Intrepid bottle does an excellent job in preventing this from occurring. There’s a plastic flip-top cap that protects the mouthpiece from splashes and cross-contamination when you screw the cap back onto the bottle. The “top” part of the mouthpiece also folds down so you can’t accidentally brush it with the top of your hand. When you’re ready to use it, there is a plastic tab sticking up that you can touch with a dirty hand to pull into position for use. While the entire system is somewhat elaborate, it really is remarkably effective in preventing cross-contamination before, during, and after each use.
Unfortunately, there’s no way to really keep track of how much water you’ve purified so you know when it’s switched from being an effective purifier capable of removing viruses to just a water filter. While the maximum capacity of each filter cartridges is specified at 200 gallons, the manufacturer recommends changing the filter every 100 liters or, once every 25 days of use, based on 1 gallon or 4 liters per day if you need to remove viruses. Otherwise, you should replace the filter cartridge when it becomes too difficult to suck water through it. This will depend to a great degree on the quality and murkiness of the water that you need to filter. Backflushing is not necessary or even possible.
The RapidPure Intrepid Water Purifier Bottle is well-suited for purifying and filtering water when it is abundant and you don’t want to be encumbered by carrying several liters of water. It’s easy to carry and use when your hands are wet and contaminated by river water while fishing or boating and has enough capacity that you can use it on hikes when you only need to carry a modest amount of water between water sources. While the filter element in the Intrepid can be frozen and rethawed without destroying the filter, I think there are better and longer-lasting solutions for cold water purification such as UV light that can be used instead (See Cold Weather Water Treatment and Purification).
If virus removal is important to you, I wouldn’t recommend counting on the RapidPure Intrepid as a purification solution for anything beyond short trips or day use where you can keep track of how much water you’ve processed with it. For longer trips or higher volume use, there are much more reliable, though heavier and more expensive solutions available. For example, MSR’s Guardian water purifier is one option I would recommend while a filter such as the Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter in combination with an Ultraviolet Katadyn Purifier to kill viruses would be another (see Ultraviolet Water Purification 101.)
Disclosure: The manufacturer provided the author with a sample Intrepid bottle for this review.Editor's note: Help support this site by making your next gear purchase through one of the links above. Click a link, buy what you need, and the seller will contribute a portion of the purchase price to support SectionHiker's unsponsored gear reviews, articles, and hiking guides.
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