£43.00 for 600ml bottle www.katadyn.com
This is now a multi award-winning water purifier, most recently in receipt of prizes at ISPO trade show and the OIA (Outdoor Industries Association), so what’s so special about a collapsible bottle with a filter in the head?
Two things stand out. Less important is the size and weight – often filters can feel top heavy or be a little bulky, but the lid on the BeFree is barely any bigger or heavier than a regular plastic water bottle. More significant is the flow. Other filters require a lot of pressure to work, whereas this will work without any effort. Just tip slightly and gently squeeze the bottle, and the flow is fast and free. There is zero taste, other than the water itself.
The 0.1 micron filter is reckoned to remove 99.9% of all bacteria and protozoa, but virus’ are generally smaller, so while this bottle should suffice for Europe and the US, if you are travelling further afield you’ll need to opt for chemical or UV treatment.
The bottle compresses when not in use, and I find the 600ml size perfect for Scotland, where there is plentiful water – not too much, not too little. For other places or more lowland walking, you might want a larger capacity. To clean, you just rinse the head in clean water. The filter lasts for 1000 litres before it needs replacement.
► Verdict: Simple and convenient water purification.
► Best for: Walking, biking and running in areas where water quality may be suspect.
Review by David Lintern @davidjlintern