Review: “Just Water” Backpack, Bottle, and Water Bag Filter

   09.26.13

Review: “Just Water” Backpack, Bottle, and Water Bag Filter

A while ago I tested and reviewed the affordable and inexpensive Just Water bucket filtration kit. The simple filter design impressed me so much that I picked up a few more of their water filter products including the Water Filter Backpack, Water Filter Bottle, and Water Filter Bag.

Unlike the Just Water bucket kit, these three products offer more style and features for everyday use while delivering water quality far above municipal water suppliers.

Just Water Filter Bottle

From the outside, the $19.95 Just Water Filter Bottle looks like just another sports bottle. It has the standard 1 liter capacity, and for the most part functions like a standard flip-and-sip sports bottle. It weighs 7.2 ounces, so it does feel heavier (the majority of the weight is attributable to the large ceramic candle filter).

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This 2” filter is huge when compared to other water bottle filters and also retains all the commercial grade abilities of the larger 4” filter used in the Just Water Bucket system.

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Most filter bottles are not rated to filter water from streams, ponds, and/or flood water, but the Just Water Filter Bottle will filter nearly any sensible open water source. Pre-filtering will extend the life of your ceramic filter, so it is good to carry a couple standard coffee filters to pre-filter open water sources.

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Because the filter is larger, the Just Water Filter Bottle is also significantly easier to sip from than other filter bottles. As with all Just Water filters, they have a 6- to 8-month life of the flavor reducing components once activated, but the ceramic water impurity filter will last indefinitely with routine maintenance and proper pre-filtering.

For most users, the Just Water Filter Bottle will last 200 refills or significantly more depending on the water quality. This is a simple solution which provides true survival commercial grade water filtration in a simple and light everyday package.

Just Water Filter Backpack

The $43.95 Just Water Filter Backpack shares the same ceramic dome candle filter as the Filter Bottle, the only difference in spec being a slightly higher flow rate because of the 3-liter bladder capacity and gravity feed design of the backpack.

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It is a hydration pack made from high quality nylon and features top and center loops to aid handling during filling. A full-length map storage pocket slot provides a good place to store extra coffee filters for pre-filtering.

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Filling is easy, thanks to the huge filling cap hidden under the top flap — which also provides you with access to replace the 2” filter. Velcro holds the flap down and in place when on the trail.

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The Just Water Filter Backpack is well designed in that you don’t have to remove the bladder except for the most thorough of cleanings. If you do decide to toss the pack into the washer and pull the bladder for a complete cleaning, that involves a simple process of removing the black bladder/pack lock ring surrounding the filling hole. The inside bladder pouch can be also accessed via a ¾ length zipper along the pack’s left side.

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The rest of the pack is similar to standard hydration packs with a “bite me” style valve and antimicrobial tubing. For those extra trail bars, two velcro flapped pouches are on the back. The pouches work, but one large zippered pouch would have been a better choice in my opinion.

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For survival or just hiking in areas with questionable water, this pack could be worth its weight in gold; if you have ever been sick from bacteria laden water, you know it is not pleasant. Ever started out a great hike only to realize 60 minutes later the park water was not potable? Let me tell you, this is a better option than what I went through.

Just Water Bag Filter

If you need to set up a base camp with a higher volume of water, you need the Just Water Bag Filter, which has a high rate ceramic filter with the same filtering specs as all their other filter products which nets up to 120 gallons a day if the water bag is kept full.

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Hang the Water Bag Filter from any fixed object, fill with any sensible water source, and let gravity do the work. The impurity and flavor filters will work continuously for 6-8 months and even then the impurity filter will continue to work, but at a slower rate.

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This is a great option as a high-volume mobile water filter, and a deal at $45.95. Definitely a filter I have in my base camp kit — and when you are done, roll it up and you are on your way.

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Final Thoughts

You can spend a boatload of money on filters or UV gadgetry, but the simple ceramic filter design of Just Water works every day, every time — without batteries — and will continue to produce safe drinkable water even after the expiration of the flavor-reducing filter effects. Once dirty, the ceramic filters can be easily cleaned and reused. Just Water does all this with every water filter product they sell, all priced below $50. Folks, I think this is the best water purification deal on the market. I suggest you pick up the entire lineup, because if there is one thing I know about us humans, we need a constant supply of fresh water.

Manufacturer Specs

Water Bottle – $19.95, 11” x 3”, 7.2 ounces, 1 liter, 14-16 Gallons/Day (Gravity Flow)

Backpack Water Filter – $43.95, 20” x 11”, 23.2 ounces, 3 liter, 14-16 Gallons/Day (Gravity Flow)

Water Filtering Bag – $45.95, 11” x 5”, 24 ounces, Approx 5-6 liters, 40-120 Gallons/Day (Gravity Flow)

Filter Performance Specs of all Products (per manufacturer)

  • National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) Standard 42
  • National Sanitation Foundation (NSF) Standard 53
  • ISO 9002 Quality Standard
  • USA ael Laboratories
  • USA Analytical Food Laboratories
  • USA Johns Hopkins University
  • British 5750 Quality Standard
  • England’s Water Research council (WRc) Performance Standards
  • Filtration efficiency is 0.2 micron
  • Removal capabilities as follows:
    >99% Arsenic 5 and 99% Arsenic 3 (special order)
    >99% Hydrogen Sulfide (H2S)
    >95% Chlorine and Chloramines
    >99% Taste
    >99% Odor
    >98% Aluminum
    >96% Iron
    >98% Lead
    >90% Pesticides
    >85% Herbicides
    >85% Insecticides
    >90% Rodenticides
    >85% Phenols
    >85% mtbe
    >85% Perchlorate
    >80% Trihalomethanes
    >95% Poly Aromatic Hydrocarbons
    >99.999% of particles larger than 0.5 micron (Staffordshire University Labs) (includes Anthrax)
    >99.7% of particles larger than 0.3 micron (Staffordshire University Labs)
    >98% of particles larger than 0.2 micron (Staffordshire University Labs)
    >100% Giardia Lamblia
    >100% Cyclospora
    >100% removal of live Cryptosporidium (WRc Standard)
    >100% removal of Cryptosporidium (NSF Standard 53 – A.C. fine dust – 4 log challenge)
    >100% removal of E. Coli, Vibrio Cholerae (Johns Hopkins University)
    >99.999% removal of Salmonella Typhil, Shigella Dysenteria, Kiebsiella Terrigena (Hyder Labs)
  • Product is silver impregnated and will not permit bacteria growth-through (mitosis)
    provides a hostile environment for all microbiological organisms and will not support their growth
  • Ceramic elements may be cleaned 100 or more times with a soft brush or damp cloth.
  • Filter will accept water from floods, lake, rain, well, tap, river or stream
  • Semi/Annual filter replacement Cleansable with clean damp cloth
  • Shelf life is extended by shaking filter every 3-4 months to loosen media inside and prevent packing
  • Once in use, flavor improving components of the filter will last 6-8 months or longer depending on water quality.
  • The ceramic water impurity filter will last indefinitely with routine maintenance.

 

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