Glad we had it along
We boat-in only camp at back-country sites in Great Smokey Mountains National Park on Lake Fontana.
We researched this filter on the REI website and decided it would be a good fit for us and how we planned to use it. Glad we had it along on our first trip!
We had filled all our REI bottles with filtered water from home, and bought a 2.5 gal plastic jug of spring water as well.
The plastic jug was leaking by the time we got to the boat launch with our gear.
The filter worked great and provided nearly all the fresh water we needed for a weekend outing with our grandson.
We filtered lake water into 3 qt. sauce pans for making hot drinks, washing dishes and drinking. It saved us and our trip.
I will say that pumping got progressively harder as we pumped more water through it. We checked the filtration with the test kit that came with it. The filter was functioning properly. Pumping remains harder than when first used.
We presume this occurs the more one pumps water through the canister. The lake water isn't particularly funky. The sediment filter worked great keeping all of the stirred up sediment from coming through.
It is bulkier than other solutions we saw at the store and may not be the ideal option for backpacking. We focused more on volume than weight when selecting a filtration system.
For car or boat camping it does the job.
Solid and reliable
I use this filter for every backpacking/hiking trip where I know I will need to refill water.
What impressed me most about this product is how clean the water tastes. I am someone who needs to be encouraged to drink my H2O and the clean taste of the water that comes through this filter helps with that.
It is a well built, reliable filter system. Though it does take a bit of patience the first couple of uses, I came to appreciate the filter's versatility.
I have only 3 complaints, which for some trips could be deal breakers for some buyers:
1. It is very bulky
2. It is quite heavy
3. The replacement filters are really expensive
Overall, this is a great filter that produces great tasting water. Might be overkill for a solo trip but really nice for groups. The bulk and weight are worth the great tasting water. It is only the cost of replacement filters that leave me wanting to add a SteriPen to my kit as an alternative option.
Great Water Filter
I went backpacking up Mt. San Gorgonio this fall and used this to filter all my water. Worked like a charm. My friend who was with me ended up using my pump as she didn't like hers at all. She going to buy one and give it as a gift to a family member and buy one for herself too. Well worth the extra weight. I looked for a long time to buy a good filter and i'm really glad I bought this one.
Epitome of a quality product!
Besides it being a bit on the heavy side, the filter works flawlessly and gives you fresh clean water from pretty much any source you will run into in the backcountry. I have not used the gravity filter option but it is a great feature in the unlikely event the manual pumping fails.
Now with the new design (backwards compatible!) it makes it easier to clean out and backflush. Adding more total capacity as well (150g - 180g). Great product!
A GREAT FILTRATION System
I own two of these and have used them in some mighty ugly water. The water taste great and is as clear as tap water. I like the way the filter can be tested to insure the filters integrity before use. It's easy to pump and fits the bottles I carry. I keep one in my wifes bug out bag and one in mine when we are not on the trail..LOVE IT.
Worth the money
XLE Elite Water Purifier by First Need is worth the cost, it is very easy to use and clean. I love the fact I can use it in unlimited water sources and get water right away. I plan on picking up a couple more to leave in my cars in the event my family is in need of a fresh water source.
best to date!
Only hiker friendly water filter that I know of that is EPA certified to remove viruses.
(Not all viruses) so you can't just pump anywhere. But you can pump nearly any where. Also removes chemicals. The only one on the market I know about that I will keep in my pack.
Epic Water Filter
I've had my XL water filter and just recommended a friend to get the XLE unit. Both units have worked well on our outdoor adventures. I love the double action pumping that gets water flowing on each stroke. Easy instructions to backwash/clean as well as testing the filter.
I've had this filter for several years of backpacking and adventuring. I've used it to clean stagnant, putrid puddles full of mosquito larvae. The water tasted great every time. I have the XL model and intend to replace the filter when mine is spent and keep on pumping!
Very simple, well made (in the USA). It's just a good filter. They've been making pretty much the same filter for decades. If it ain't broke don't fix it. No batteries no fancy lights. Pumping is easy. Fills a bottle quick and water always tastes great.