The Water-To-Go water bottle is an interesting new approach to personal water filtration. On the outside it appears to be a standard drinks bottle with a fixed straw, but on the inside it is actually a water filtration system that can eliminate both chemical and biological contaminants by physical filtration alone. As those accustomed to sanitising their own drinking water will know – this is a whole new approach as previously physical filtration and chemical sanitisation were both required to ensure potable water.
The secret lies in the makeup of the filter, which Water-To-Go claims has pores so small that viruses and bacteria cannot physically pass through the filter. The only molecule small enough to pass through is water. For further details on the filter and its capabilities see the filter information page.
It is common practice to carry water filtration tablets when you are walking in a outdoor environment, as you just never know what type of sickness could arrive if you drink straight from a water source. This means you have to carry a water container and a filtration method, and I’ll admit I have been caught out before by forgetting to pack the water filtration.
The Water-To-Go filter gives you a means of filtering water as you drink, no waiting periods, no taste difference, just simply fill the bottle with water and drink.
We’ve been using this bottle now for four months at time of writing and have filled and drank from a variety or sources. These sources include large bodies of water i.e a lake or reservoir, small rivers, puddles and even pressing water out of boggy areas of grass and moss. I can happily say that no one has became sick after drinking the filtered water that this system produces.
Water-To-Go, the company behind this great system claims that the bottle can filter 99.9% of all contaminants, and even though we have no way of proving if this is scientifically true, we can vouch for the fact that we have filled this bottle with dirty water, that would probably make us sick if not treated, and ended up with clean looking and tasting water that hasn’t made us sick in any way, not even an upset stomach.
The filters do not last forever, but they can filter an impressive 200 litres prior to replacement, which will see you through many a days hiking outdoors. They can then be replaced by purchasing another from the suppliers website. The full filter cannot be recycled, but the plastic “ends” can, meaning you throw very little away to landfill when replacing your filter.
The picture below shows a water carrier filled with stagnant puddle water. This was during a camp where the nearest potable water was around 60 minutes away in extremely low visibility conditions. Rather than be forced to make the trip, we were able to filter nearby stagnant water and stay within sight of our tent. One of the best things about this little bottle is that it gives you options.
The picture below was taken while filling the bottle from a stream in the Mourne Mountains, Northern Ireland. It was only a couple of months previously that we drank water from this stream without treating it, and as a result got very sick for 3-4 days afterwards. After drinking water from the same stream (which sheep can graze above, higher up the mountain), none of us took sick. We acknowledge that getting sick could perhaps have been bad luck, but the chances are that this stream contains germs and bacteria that are caused by sheep dung further up stream.
We do however feel that a few features stop the bottle being as good as it could be some of which are as follows.
The bottle only holds 750ml, meaning that you can only carry 750ml of water at a time, which may be fine for some, but for longer walks where water may not be collected after a certain point, it proves a problem. We’ve carried dirty water in a separate container and then filled the Water To Go bottle prior to drinking, but a range of bottle sizes (each with the same lid / cap circumference) would negate the need for any separate containers for unfiltered water. In a base camp scenario this is less of a problem, as a large water carrier can serve multiple people, but for hiking trips it is a definite chance to diversify the range and suit additional needs.
The flow of water that you get when drinking is on the lesser side of a good flow. It can sometimes seem like a struggle to get a good mouthful out of the bottle, perhaps this can’t be changed because the water has to pass through the filter, but it is worth noting.
Ideally we would like to see the Water To Go bottle become available in larger bottles, e.g. 1L, or even made possible to attach the filter to an already existing water bladder or water bottle. Additionally, a flip-back cap which shields the drinking spout would be useful for when your bottle falls over and lands in a puddle of mud at camp.
The bottle does leak if not kept upright. However this has been of little consequence as everyone in our group keeps their bottles upright in the outer mesh pocket of their rucksacks, for ease of reach.
Overall the product is a very useful piece of hillwalking kit, it removes the need to worry about drinking dirty water, or carrying clean water with you. A brilliant little piece of kit that you don’t realise how useful it is until you have one.
Water-To-Go provided us with one water bottle free of charge to test and review. This has in no way affected the content or conclusions of the review. Since receiving our first bottle we have purchased three others.
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