Renovo TRIO Water Filter – Sawyer Squeeze Killer?

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.
Capacity: 1000L
Flow rate:= 200 ml/min

1. Pre-filter:

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…

9 thoughts on “Renovo TRIO Water Filter – Sawyer Squeeze Killer?

  1. Hi, I’m about to replace my clunky MSR Hyperflow with something more convenient and easy to use. Thankfully I bumped into this video of yours. I know it hasn’t been that long since you posted this first-look video of the Renovo Trio, but do you have any updates coming from the field in the short term? The Trio seems almost too good according to their own site and specs.

    Cheers.

    • Planning to take the Renovo on a multi-day trip soon, along with my friend who will be using my Sawyer Squeeze, so I hope to have some good side by side results in the near future. Stay tuned!

      • Hi Sintax… Did you end up taking the Trio on a trip (enough to compare it to the Squeeze/Mini? I have really enjoyed the reviews, and trust you’ll have a good take on the two!

        • Yes, I’ve taken it out. In fact, we took both of them out side by side for 4 days in this video: Hammock Camping the Linville Gorge. The performance is very similar to the Sawyer Squeeze / Mini. In fact, the carbon filter actually gives it an edge taste, when the water source is less than ideal. The trade off is that it’s slightly bulkier and heavier than the mini, so if chemicals or off-tasting water aren’t a concern, I tend to lean towards the Sawyer Mini (which is most of the time for my needs). For stagnant water sources or above average threat of contamination (chemical or virus), I would grab the Trio.

          • Good to hear– thanks for the first-hand experience! My trips are about 70% clear/decent tasting water, and 30% stagnant. I’m currently using a Sawyer mini as well, with either/both of a 16oz squeeze bag, and a gravity setup with light hose/disconnects from a 2L platy reservoir to my hydration bladder. I definitely like having an in-line filter because I can do large volume hands-free at camp, and fill my pack bladder without taking it out. All-in I’m about 4oz and pretty happy, but often will end up taking a platy in-line carbon filter too (for taste), which is heavier than I’d like (and another piece to lose)… As you mention, it’s really cool that the Trio has carbon built-in, but I’m not sure what I’d do about the in-line need for a my gravity setup. Do you use it exclusively as a squeeze?

            Great video on the trip — I just got my first hammock tent, and am pumped.

  2. Totally buying this off amazon in a few days! We are planning our trip right now and I must have this with me! Thank you for the review Sintax!

  3. Will this work with any Platypus bladder? I don’t own a Platypus bladder so, before I buy one, just wondering which one you had that it worked with.
    Great videos, enjoy the channel and the information!

    • Yes, it works great with my 32 oz Platypus, so I think you’ll be fine. Unfortunately, it doesn’t get a very great seal with my Sawyer bags.

  4. I’m having a hard time trying to change the carbon filter. The instructions haven’t helped me. Can you provide assistance as to how to get to the filter? Thanks

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