Taking a first look at the Renovo TRIO Water Filtration System. Has the Sawyer Squeeze / Mini met it’s match? Time to do some testing…
UPDATE: Following a large amount of comments and feedback on the YouTube video, I reached out to my contact, Bastian, at Renovo to share some of the feedback and questions that everyone was sharing. In response, he created a FAQ page to address the most frequent questions at http://www.renovowater.com/pages/faq
Specs and Water Filter Description as per Manufacturer:
UF Filter Pore Size: .05 Microns
Dimensions: 7.1″ x 1.4″
Weight: 3.5 oz.
Flow rate:= 200 ml/min
Similar to a coffee filter, the purpose of the pre-filter is to remove large particulates in the water. This enables the Trio to be used in turbid water sources. This filter element is rated at 5 microns. The Trio comes with 4 replacements of the pre-filter.
2. Renovo Trio UF hollow fiber membrane
The Ultra Filtration (UF) hollow fiber membrane is unique in a couple ways. First, it has a large surface area that enables a high flow rate. Second, the membrane has a smaller pore size than most other hollow fiber membrane filters. When the hollow fiber membrane has reduced flow, simply back flush the filter with clean water and continue use. It is recommended to back flush this element before putting in storage.
3. Renovo Trio Activated carbon tip
The last filter element is a carbon impregnated fiber. To be effective, water must be in contact with the carbon so the carbon can absorb the contaminates. Many water filters use a granular carbon that can develop pathways or channels through the medium which reduces exposure. Block carbon is by far the best method of exposing water to the medium but has a significantly low flow rate. Using a carbon impregnated fiber, the Trio is able to maximize exposure while minimizing the pathways or channels that can develop in other filters.
A note on the Packaging
The innovation does not stop with the filter technology. The Renovo Trio is packaged in a hermetically sealed bag that extends the life of the filter. Activated carbon, when exposed to air can begin the degrade and lose the effectiveness of the medium. Because of the unique packaging of the Trio, it can be stored for many years and retain the effectiveness of the filter. Each replacement filter elements come in a hermetically sealed bag as well.
This all sounds very interesting and I’m looking forward to seeing how it stacks up in the field. The addition of an activated charcoal filter is something new for me, as my current go-to filter, the Sawyer Mini, does not incorporate such a system. This should help with removing unwanted tastes from less than optimum water sources, as well the removal of chemicals – something that a membrane filter is incapable of.
Speaking of the Stage 3 charcoal filter, it should be pointed out that the 1,000 liter life expectancy listed for the Renovo Trio refers to the life of the activated charcoal filter, not the hollow fiber membrane filter, which removes the protozoa, bacteria and even some viruses. While Renovo doesn’t list an official capacity for the hollow fiber membrane, it’s the same style of filter incorporated in the Sawyer Squeeze and Sawyer Mini, and I can only guess that it’s going to last quite a long time under realistic use. Replacement charcoal filters can be purchased for $10 and popped into the last stage of the filter, to keep things tasting fresh and limit the threat of chemical contaminates. The latter would be presumably useful in urban survival situations. More info on this can be found in the FAQ page linked above. While you’re reading that, I’m going to get outside and start putting this thing through it’s paces…