Affordable Water Filter for the Apocalypse or Backpacking – Etekcity Survival Purifier

A review of the Etekcity Water Filter for backpacking, camping, or urban survival. 

The Etekcity Personal Water Purifier is a complete system containing all the components needed to start filtering clean drinking water.  A small backflushing syringe is included as well for periodic maintenance of the water filter.  In this video I’ll go over the specifications, operation, and maintenance routine for the filter.

It has a three stage filtration system (pre-filter, activated carbon filter, and hollow fiber UF membrane) making it worth a look for anyone in the market for an inexpensive urban survival filter to keep on hand or tucked in their bug out bag.  For traditional backpackers and campers, such as myself, it’s small size and light weight make it an interesting option for part of an ultralight backpacking load-out.

As seen in the video, it can be used by attaching to the included dirty water bag and squeezed into the water storage option of your choice, or you drink directly out of the water source.  This ccan be achieved by either dipping the end of the filter directly into the water, or by using the included length of 1/4″ tubing to get a bit for reach.  Speaking of the tubing though, it should be pointed out that the filter only has a 1/4″ nipple on the dirty water side.  There isn’t a hookup on the clean side, so if you’re looking to use this filter in a gravity filter configuration, that’s something to keep in mind.

I also found that the threads match up great with Smart Water bottles, so they can be used as a dirty water reservoir as well.  If you’re using other brands, make sure to check the threads for match before heading out, as the other brand of water bottle I tested it with did not properly screw onto the filter body.

One thing that remains to be seen is how often the filter needs to be backflushed after continued use out in the field.  This is the main reason I switched from the Sawyer Mini back to the original Sawyer Squeeze.  Only time will tell if the Etekcity filter  will suffer the same fate, but the flow rates during initial testing have been quite nice, and sucking water through it while using it like a straw was very easy.

Features and Specs, as per the manufacturer:

  • SAFETY TESTED: This water purifier has been tasted by the TÜV SÜD Institute and the sleeve of the water filter complies with FDA Food Contact test in accordance with 21 CFR 180.22 to ensure maximum quality and safety.
  • HOLLOW FIBER UF MEMBRANE and antibacterial carbon filter cleans to 0.01 Microns, eliminating 99.9999% of colibacillus, legionella, heavy metal ions, chlorine, volatile organic compounds (VOC), organic and insect contaminant.
  • FILTER MORE: This filter will provide up to 1500 liters or almost 400 gallons of safe drinking water.
  • HYDRATION RESERVOIR COMPATIBLE: attach the Etekcity Personal Water Purifier to most hydration reservoirs for increased water carrying capacity and convenience.
  • INCLUDED ACCESSORIES: A foldable water pouch, extension tube, pre-filter, and backwash device are all included at no extra cost. Carry water with you, reach further to get water without strain or danger, get extra filtration, and keep the filter clean and clog-free.

Renovo Trio – Filter Stages & Replacement Parts Identification

I misidentified some parts in my Renovo Trio Final Thoughts video, so here’s a proper rundown of the three stages of water filtration.

  • Stage 1: Pre-Filter (paper disc)
  • Stage 2: Renovo Trio UF hollow fiber membrane
  • Stage 3: Renovo Trio Activated carbon tip (replace after 12 months or 1,000 liters)

Renovo Trio Water Filter – Final Thoughts & Detailed Review

My final thoughts and a detailed look at the pros and cons of the Renovo Trio water filtration system for backpacking and survival situations.

As discussed in the video, the Renovo Trio water filter is a solid and capable system for water filtration while in the field.  Whether or not it’s the best filter for you depends on your personal needs and environment, which we discuss in the video.

It should be noted that this video wasn’t intended to be a “versus” between the Renovo Trio and the Sawyer Squeeze / Sawyer Mini water filter systems, but it would leave a pretty big void if those systems where ignored.  As you’ll see, the Sawyer filters are the most similar, and yet different in many ways, systems to the Renovo Trio.  Ultimately, I would say that if your in the market for either, you’d be cheating yourself not to investigate the merits of both and choose which is right for you.  Hopefully, this video helps make that decision at least a little bit easier for someone out there who’s on the fence.

But hey, even if you could care less about these particular water filters, this video makes for a perfect excuse to nerd out about microns, viruses and bacteria along the way, so at the very least, we’ve got that going for us.

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.