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An Easy Way to Purify Water: Grayl

ultralight water purifier

The people who have set me up with a GRAYL water purifier twice probably don’t want me to start off this post with an ugly photo of garbage, so I’ll put that further down. When you look at that pile of plastic that will stick around for hundreds of years though, ask yourself a hard question: “Is this my fault?”

Well, it’s not all your fault of course, but if you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the problem. The vast majority of single-use plastic water bottles don’t get recycled. If you’re in a developed country they might at least have a chance of making it to a landfill. In most of the world, even that is a false assumption. These wildlife-killing, planet-spoiling scourges end up in rivers, oceans, and bays instead, where they break down and get into our food chain. Enjoy your grilled fish with extra microplastics!

It’s not all that hard to travel with a water purifier instead and use it. I’ve brought up plenty of travel water filter options in the past, but if this Grayl one is too difficult then you might just be incurably lazy. All you have to do is fill up the outside part with water to the fill line, push down the inner filter part, and…you’re done. Ready to drink.

With the original Ultralight version, you then just tip it up and drink like you would from a cup. Screw the top on and you can take it with you, with no leaks. Scroll down to see info on the new Geopress version though, which is even easier. It works faster than a SteriPen even (8-15 seconds will do it depending on the model) yet it removes 99.999% of viruses, bacteria, and protozoan cysts. Plus it gets rid of things that can hurt you (like lead and arsenic) and things that just don’t taste very good, like chlorine.

If you’ve read any of those articles about how not-so-pure much of that bottled water is, your own filtration system is probably a better bet than what you paid $3 for in that plastic you tossed last time around.

They should have used a Grayl water filter instead - bottled water garbage on beach

The original one I tried out was the $60 Ultralight Purifier, now called UltraPress. It’s slightly larger than my morning Snow Peak insulated coffee mug and as nicely designed. It’s very light, but has taken plenty of abuse on the road, including my week-long hike through the mountains of Kyrgyzstan. It holds 16 ounces of purified water. The Geopress version holds 24 ounces. 

The Grayl Geopress Water Bottle With Filter

This Grayl Geopress one holds 50% more (24 ounces/710 ml) and I like the lid design: it now has a drinking spout. Here’s a demo for you:

I used this for a week recently while exploring the Amazonas region of north Peru. That demo video above was filmed at Gocta Waterfalls, where I drank from multiple rivers and streams during the hike. My gut was fine and I didn’t touch a plastic bottle the entire week. As it should be.

You can do this too if you invest in a filtration system instead of doing the easy and lazy thing and fouling the planet instead. Imagine being able to always filter your water in any country you’re in and then brushing your teeth or drinking with no worries. Imagine being parched on an all-day hike, hearing the sound of a rushing stream, and knowing you can drink from that stream to your thirst’s content. You’re covered.

In the long run, you’ll spend less money this way too.

With this Grayl water bottle filter, you can go through around 350 cycles before the filter cartridge needs to be replaced. That means this travel water filter is good for 65 gallons, or 250 liters. That’s a lot of water! It only weighs a pound and is easy to clip onto your daypack. That’s the best option because the one drawback of this water bottle filter is that it’s a bit too big around to fit in most backpack pockets. It’s made from heavy-duty plastic that will hold up to plenty of drops (unintentionally tried that already) and it comes in your choice of four colors.

travel water filter by Grayl

You can get this Grayl water filter for $89.95 at the official website, with free shipping in the USA. You can also find the UltraPress version at Amazon. UltraPress seems to be the new name for UltraLight. Grayl is part of the 1% for the Planet campaign, so you’re doubly helping the environment.

Do your wallet and your planet a favor and start packing a water purifier. If you’re lazy and easily flummoxed by technology, get this one because it’s dead easy to use.

shannon j stowell

Thursday 18th of April 2019

Great, Tim. I have drunk Grayl purified water from the waters of the Amazon and the Ganges and did not get sick either time!! It's the bomb.

Tim Leffel

Thursday 18th of April 2019

Great to hear! No problems for me either.