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Backpacker Magazine – March 2011

Gear Review: MSR HyperFlow Filter

A lightweight filter that filters at a rate of three liters per minute.

by: Dan A. Nelson

MSR Hyperflow (Courtesy Photo)
MSR Hyperflow (Courtesy Photo)

See 7 More Ways to Treat Water
From gravity filters to chemical treatments
[fastest filter]
This tiny water-treatment plant weighs less than half a pound, yet filters water at a category-leading rate of up to three liters per minute. That’s why the HyperFlow earned an Editors’ Choice Award in 2008, and why it’s still our testers’ favorite for turbid water sources. After hiking the Northern Loop Trail in Mt. Rainier National Park, a tester reported that the .2-micron, hollow-fiber filter (a cluster of tiny porous tubes) is still chugging away after treating nearly 775 liters of water (with backflushing as needed).

Filter cartridges are field-cleanable and good for about 1,000 liters (according to MSR). Caveat: Keep it warm. On icy mornings testers reported difficulty pumping. Eliminates: protozoa (including cryptosporidium) and bacteria. $100; 7.4 oz.; msrgear.com


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READERS COMMENTS

Gail
Mar 15, 2011

Bought this filter for a group of 3 hiking the John Muir Trail. It clogged, back flushing didn't solve the problem and it was totally useless by day five. Another member of the group carried a Katadyn Guide, it performed perfectly and pumped fast for the remainder of the trip. I returned the MSR to REI for a full refund and was told it is great if you only filtering snow melt in high elevation lakes.

Dayve
Mar 15, 2011

THis filter clogged after several liters and was impossible to restore to original conditions. Read the REI website for more testimonials on this filter. My recommendation is to leave it on the shelf.

mark
Mar 15, 2011

Our filter needed backflushing every 3 liters , filtering clear high sierra water on the John Muir Trail.It was a major pain.

Pilot
Mar 15, 2011

I have this filter and have owned it for a couple of years. It is light and easy to use, but even with proper back-washing expect to replace the cartridge at least once during a hiking season if you live in the northeast. I section hiked the AT 25 days last year and 14 days the year before. I have replaced the element twice in the last two years. This is not a good filter for groups but OK for one or two people. Keep a chemical back-up just in case it fails.

Christian
Mar 15, 2011

As far as I am concerned there is only one water filter: the Katadyn Pocket. Yes, it's more expensive and heavier than most but it's built like a tank. If you need reliability on your expedition-style outing this is the one to get. Simple to use and clean, in my mind the last filter you'll ever buy. I had two filters break in very light and gentle use. On both, plastic parts snapped off or broke. I won't have to go through having to boil water for a team of six again.

Daniel
Mar 15, 2011

If it was an icy morning, I hope there wasn't ice allowed to form in the filter; hollow fiber filters like this and Sawyer's will break if ice crystals form in them, and the worst part is there is no way to tell if you're filter is kaput or not until you get the poops.

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