Gear test: Grayl Ultralight Purifier

Very few people drink enough water during a day’s fishing, mostly because it’s a pain to carry multiple water bottles in a vest or pack. But a new water purification product from Grayl makes it incredibly easy to have all the cold clean water you need.

The light-weight (10.9 oz.) Grayl Ultralight Purifier is composed of an external 10-inch plastic canister and a tightly fitting plastic insert with snap on filter at the bottom of the insert. To operate, you fill the cannister with stream water and push the insert down into the cannister. The pushing action drives 16 ounces of water through the filter into the insert where it can be consumed or saved with a screw-on top for later.

The whole process takes 20 seconds. I can tell you from a year’s worth of experience that this baby really works well and is sturdy as all get out. I have used it on stained Wisconsin streams (we do have a few cows, as you might have heard) and western rivers. The result is clean, cold water with not a hint of off taste or intestinal aftershock.

The folks at Grayl claim that the filter removes 99.999 percent of bacteria and protozoa and even viruses. It filters particulates, chemicals and heavy metals. The filter is good for up to 300 pumps and replacement filters are about $25. At $60, this well-made product is not super-cheap, but simply calculate how much 300 water bottles would cost and you’ll see that the investment is well worth it.

— Jon Christiansen

By Chris Hunt.