If you're preparing to travel internationally, a travel water filter or life water straw should be at the top of your list of must-have packing items. You just want to avoid getting sick from contaminated water sources. concerned about your environmental impact Carefully selected water filters can help solve both of these problems. But what should you look for in a portable water filter and what is the best option on the market? Over the past five years, I have traveled throughout South America and other parts of the world and have personally tested various portable water purification systems. A great investment for your next international trip.
How do water filters work?
A travel water filter works like any other water purification system. The only difference is that they are portable and often come with a smaller filter element. The main function of the filter element is to separate the molecules according to their size. Filters are porous. It has very small holes like a sieve. The size of the pores affects the effectiveness of the filter to separate different molecules. Molecules with diameters larger than the diameter of the filter holes cannot pass through the holes. So it stays in that section of the device. Only molecules with a diameter smaller than the diameter of the hole can pass through. The water molecules are so small that they can easily pass through these holes. The most critical compounds and certain biological agents will not pass through the filter.
Unfortunately, filters cannot prevent certain viruses from passing through the membranes. Viruses can be as small as 20 nanometers to around 400 nanometers. Most devices on the market can only filter particles larger than 500 nanometers. High-end ones can filter particles as small as 100 nanometers. There are still viruses smaller than 100 nanometers that can get into filtered water. To combat this problem, there are travel water filters that work like water filters. These devices inactivate viruses and other small microbes that filters cannot remove. Water purifiers can make drinking water safer.
What is the difference between a water purifier and a water filter?
Both "water purifier" and "filter" are often used, but did you know that there is actually a decisive difference? In the home, a water purifier like the Brita filter removes impurities like small particles and unpleasant odors like chlorine, which is often used to kill microbes in the water and make the water safe to drink. first place. This type of system removes waterborne protozoa and single-celled bacterial organisms such as E. coli and salmonella. However, water purifiers cannot remove the most dangerous impurity from water: viruses.
According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, viruses such as rotavirus and norovirus are among the smallest microorganisms that cause waterborne illness and can pass through filters with a pore size of 0 .1 to 0.4. So if the membrane of your water purifier is larger than this, the virus will not get trapped in the filter and will pass through along with the water itself. Purified water, on the other hand, eliminates these three classes of microbes, thus completely protecting the drinker from getting sick.
Three features of filter bottles
The type of bottle you need depends on how and where you use it. Do you need to remove viruses? Or should we just remove bacteria, particles and protozoa from the water? The answer to this question will determine the quality of filtered water bottle you need.
Low quality "water softeners" - designed only to improve taste
Some filtered water bottles are designed to soften water by removing harmless minerals. This affects the taste of the water, but cannot remove the unpleasant ones. They are honestly not suitable for travel, especially if water quality is a concern. Bacteria and viruses can slip through. through water softeners.
A medium quality "water filter": designed to remove particles and some bacteria
High-quality filters, like Simpure straws, remove minerals, particles, protozoa, and even bacteria. If you want a filtered water bottle that's good for nature walks, this is it. Filters that remove bacteria, parasites, and protozoa are best, as long as you stay away from hordes of humans and animals. This makes it an ideal water purifier for long hikes or camping trips, especially if you drink water from rivers or lakes.
A quality "water filter", designed to remove particles, bacteria and viruses
Finally, the most effective type of filter is a water purifier. If you are going to drink from rivers, lakes, taps, or anywhere else that is close to human population, you need the highest quality water purifier. The human body is an incredible breeding ground for viruses, and we spread them everywhere. Surprisingly, hotel water tanks are one of the most infectious places. Viruses are much smaller than bacteria and protozoa, so they can pass through all but the finest filters. Bottles like Grail Geopress eliminate viruses in the water as well as bacteria, parasites, protozoa and particles.
Water Purifier Buying Guide
A portable water filtration system can be a real lifesaver whenever you go to places where the quality of drinking water is unknown or questionable. Unfortunately, choosing the right water filter to take on your adventures can be tricky. Here's a quick guide on how to choose the best travel water filter.
Consider filtration technology
Most water filtration systems have activated carbon filters as one of the filtration media. Ideal for removing unpleasant tastes and odors from water. It makes the water more drinkable. Carbon can also adsorb impurities such as heavy metals. Some products incorporate other filtration technologies. An example is electroadsorption. Electrosorption works like little magnets that attract particles in the water and keep them safe.
Check the pore size of the filter
The effectiveness of the filter depends on the diameter of the individual "holes". If the holes are large, you can't expect the screen to remove small particles. Good quality filters usually have a pore size of at least 1 micron. However, a pore size of 5 microns is sufficient in most cases.
Do you have a built-in water purification system?
The pore size of standard filters does not prevent the passage of many viruses. These microbes are as small as 0.02 microns. So, if you have a built-in water purification system, checking out travel water filters is imperative. Some products use chemical tablets to inactivate the virus or use devices that emit ultraviolet light to kill viral species. Some machines incorporate silver compounds into their designs. Silver helps neutralize viruses and other microbes that can get through the filter.
Check the water level
Always consider the capacity of your travel water purifier. That's especially true if you opt for the bottle filter type—it's rare to find a water filter bottle that can hold 24 ounces of water. Available in 15 oz or 16 oz capacity. Straw filters are expensive because there is no limit to the amount of water you can drink.
Consider Filter Maintenance
Like any other product, water purifiers have a shelf life. Some filters may only last a few uses or a few gallons of water before needing replacement. There is also a washable water purifier. Products like this are great for those who want to save money. Unfortunately, filter life is based on water conditions and how often the product is used.