The Vault Regulars

Tuesday, July 26, 2016

The Soldier mini water purifier.

I hadn't been looking seriously for a new water filter but i had been reading about the excellent First Need XL water purifier, a pricey bit of kit at around £115  although i have seen it at over £300! believe it or not.
For all its wonderful specification and the fact it filters virus's, i deemed it to be far too heavy at 450 grams for general UK backpacking use, but it would be an ideal piece of kit for countries where there is very poor water quality or for expedition use. I was still impressed with it's design and function and the fact that it killed virus's whereas most water filters don't do this.

A few days later those nosey Google people sent me ad's about water filters, ranging from industrial to domestic and camping. It was whilst looking at the camping filters that i clicked on filter images and saw this Soldiers filter/purifier about 2 pages down.
The Soldier filter as it is packed.

First i checked the weight, 90 grams. Then the size, fits in a glasses case. I was becoming more interested. Cost, varied wildly between the low teens and the forties.
I liked the fact that it was a pump operation rather than a squeeze and i decided to get one taking into account that i saw it at £14 plus p and p, £17 in all. If it was rubbish, i hadn't lost much money.

My current Delios filter is very sadly no longer in production and at some point will have to be replaced so i also had this in mind when i ordered it.

For such a small, light, cheap filter the specification is really good. Better in fact than my Delios on filtration and it also filters out metals ions which numerous filters, including my Delios, don't. It doesn't filter out virus's though.
Data below is taken from manufacturers website.

Technical Data:
Size of ceramic membrane's aperture: 0.1 micron
Output: Approx. 0.3 l/min (10 oz. per minute)
Capacity: 2,000 liters (530 gallons)per cartridge.
Weight: Approx. 88g (3 oz.)
Dimensions: 13.8×5.7×2.8cm
Material: ABS plastic, Ceramic, Nano-metal clusters media (NMC)

Highly efficiently removes heavy metal ions in water such as Pb2+, Cd2+, Cr6+, As3+ (that's Lead,, Chromium and Arsenic for non chemistslike me.)  
· Efficiently decreases organic pollutants.
· Having a good ability to remove odors and cloudiness. 

It arrived after 2 days from order, so that was good. It came as reported, in a glasses style case.
It seemed quite heavy for 88 grams. Then taking the filter out of the case it became obvious. The case was twice as heavy as the filter. So the case got jettisoned.

 The filter unit with a Swiss pen knife for size comparison.
 The adjustable water float and large debris filter
 The innards. Pump with "o" ring and ceramic cartridge.

Outlet tube with "o" ring.

A piece of wet and dry sand paper is provided to clean the ceramic cartridge and a small tube of oil to lubricate the plunger "o" ring.

The output spec. of 300ml / min is accurate although it does slow a little when the cartridge has done a few gallons and needs cleaning.
It filters out most of water colourants but not all. I would give an estimate at around 60%.
To get the best outflow the filter body does need to remain in the vertical position.

Cutting to the chase, after only a few days trial. 
I think this filter is more suitable as an emergency filter. It does the job but it is boringly slow and even more so as the filter nears cleaning time.
If you backpack solo then this may suit in areas where you know the water is generally good but just want that extra bit of security. 

If you lack a little patience or there are more than one of you in the party then i would seriously consider the  Miniwell filter. 

It is pretty much the same spec. but has a better in and out flow rate, longer cartridge life and removes more water colouration. It is slightly larger and more robust but in my view a much better all round filter for backpacking trips and general outdoor use.


Dawn said...

Interesting Alan, however, I do not think I shall be rushing to buy one. My Sawyer does ok.

AlanR said...

Sawyers are as good as any but I was particularly interested in trying a pumped filter. Just for the hell of it really.

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