MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter
MiniWorks EX Microfilter

Is there a reliable water filter that produces clean-tasting water?

This July, I’ll be doing a five-day, 50-mile hike on Oregon’s Pacific Crest Trail. I need to purchase a good water filter for the trip—one that’s very reliable in removing giardia and crypto, and durable enough to be used everyday by multiple people. Also, if I need water-purifying pills, it would be nice to have a filter that removes the iodine or chlorine taste. Is there such a beast? Henry ity, Oregon

MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter

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Sure, several models will work for you. My first choice would likely be the MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter ($80; It’s been around in several models for more than a decade now and remains one of the better-designed water filters on the market. It screws onto a Nalgene bottle, for instance, which makes filling easier. Its water-pump-style handle is easier to manipulate than a push-pull type. Should you need to work on the filter, it’s easily disassembled. And as for filtering, the MiniWorks takes care of giardia, cryptosporidia, bacteria, and other protozoa. Plus its carbon core removes bad tastes in water, such as those from purifying agents. All in all, it’s an excellent filter for two or three people. If your group is bigger, then take a look at the MiniWorks’ bigger sibling, the WaterWorks EX Microfilter ($130).

MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter

MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter MiniWorks EX Microfilter

Depending on your budget and how much use you intend to get out of the filter, Katadyn’s Pocket Filter ($220; is also worth a look. Its filtering capability is on par with the MSR models, but it’s made with an aluminum body for durability, and its ceramic filtering element is billed to clean 13,000 gallons. So it’s a filter for the long haul.

Have a great hike! That’s beautiful country.

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