gravity based water purifier

Does a water filter straw work well?

MSPure has improved its gravity based water purifier and other filtration systems based on years of customer feedback. We asked brands how best to care for these new products.

gravity based water purifier

MSPure took 17 years, but it found a way to improve filter performance and usability. The brand says the redesign gives the Peak filtration system more functionality and faster flow through the microfilter.


The original straws were designed to achieve the goal of a personal water filter. Once the brand’s product line expanded to include other filtering systems, it found it necessary to reverse engineer the entire line to make it more compatible. MSPure is also working on improving the durability of its airbags and increasing the filter flow rate to 3 liters per minute, according to the brand.


We spoke with the brand to find ways to avoid user pitfalls and get maximum use and longevity out of the Peak water filtration system.


Buy the MSPure Peak series


The bearded man on the mountain uses the MSPure gravity based water purifier to collect water for filtration, holding the filter in his other hand.


We spoke with MSPure’s chief brand officer, Tara Lundy, who has worked with the company and used its filters for nearly a decade. She explains what went into the redesigned peak series and how to keep the filtration systems working at their -ahem -peak performance.


The Peak series has been redesigned

Lundy told us that the main goal of the redesign was to increase versatility and durability. Both will address the widespread frustration with MSPure and rival water filters in the sector.


The brand’s engineering team sought to breathe new life into its 17-year-old straw design. “We tried to find a way that we could add threads and adapters without the need for separate parts to make the straw more powerful,” Lundy said.


Engineers also see it as a way to introduce new membrane structures that increase flow rates and prevent air retention. Since then, the design team has added stronger materials to its bladder bags and a new leak-proof cap.


People with MSPure go hiking in the mountains

The modular

For more functionality, the MSPure Peak series has a modular design. This allows for more ways to use filters, including interchangeability between products.


“We tried to reduce the amount of equipment needed by creating something that can act as both a dromedary and a water storage device, in addition to providing the filtration component so you don’t have to carry two different things,” Lundy said.


The peak squeeze bottle and gravity based water purifier are made of a new membrane and fitted with a backwash plunger fitting. The new soft-edged reservoir material will increase durability, while the plunger and improved microfilter will provide better sand and silt resistance over the life of the reservoir, resulting in more water flow. (More on individual products later.)


An example of a new use that modular design allows is demonstrated in the squeeze bottle. Now you can take the strainer out of the bottle and thread it out. This will allow you to compress the bottle down to the last bit of water.


At camp, this feature works well for filtering water into a cooking pot or a few cups. It’s also connected to the gravity system.


A man laughing while hiking with a MSPure water filter


New straw

The first is a smaller structure of the original straws that will now fit into standard plastic water bottle mouthpieces – still a common hiker staple, including built-in gravity hose attachments. The new Pick Pipette continues to work as a personal filter that comes in handy in an emergency.


“I think the reason straws have been so popular is that they are a relatively inexpensive emergency backup solution,” Lundy said. “It may not be something you use to hydrate every day, but if it’s only 2 ounces and it’s very intuitive to use, you can choose it.”


In fact, MSPure continues to sell these personal straws in bundles, as people tend to keep them in emergency kits at home, in cabins, boats, in the essential storage room in backpacks, etc.


Tents are set up in the background as people camp using a 3L MSPure gravity filter system.


3 Tips to improve your water filter performance

While MSPure has designed its product to solve common problems, there are areas where users can heed these tips and get more use and better performance out of their filters.


Entrepreneurship: You’re doing it wrong

New filters or dormant filters require more work to bring them back to a more free-flowing state. This is actually a feature, not a bug.


“In general, at startup, a few bites or a few uses, the flow is a little bit slower,” Lundy said. She explained that filter clogs are more likely to be caused by air clogging or drying, rather than grit in the water.


Some air may be trapped in it when it is first used. It is best to wet the filter and take a few sips through a straw, or push the water through the filter with a plunger to turn on the flow rate.


For the new Peak line, MSPure engineers worked on “venting” – a method of allowing air to escape from the filter’s membrane – and a gravity hose to maintain the flow rate.


You can use a reservoir to push water through a filter, or you can rely on gravity to drip it slowly while hiking.


There is also a faster, more direct method: suck the end of the hose, spit out the water that initially entered the lips, and let the contents of the hose fall to the ground. Suction, the stronger force that pulls air out of filters and hoses, is a shortcut to unlocking faster flow rates.


Long-term storage

If you haven’t used a filter for a long period of time, such as during the off-season of camping, you should take steps to prevent it from drying out.


By storing it in water, the filter remains hydrophilic. This means it will be easier to return to peak performance. You can also add a teaspoon of salt to combat the growth of algae or bacteria.


In addition to the filter, you can rinse the bladder and bottle caps with dishwashing liquid or bleach and let them air dry. Take the cap off the bottle and keep it.


When it comes time to reuse, you’ll want to rinse off stale water and salt, which should be easy to spot.


Note: This applies to membrane-only filters, which are used by the Peak collection. (Filters with carbon should be dried and stored.)


To avoid cold

Simply put, a water filter is a series of small holes that block larger particles and allow water to squeeze out.


The MSPure membrane microfilter consists of a small microporous pipette with a diameter of 0.2 micron. It is small enough for water to pass through, but traps contaminants such as bacteria, parasites and even microplastics.


A frozen filter is a broken filter. You get a very high flow rate, but no filtration. The fact that a wet filter freezes means that water expands and stretches the holes in the filter. When it thaws, these large holes allow larger particles to pass through, such as silt and dirt, or if potentially harmful bacteria are present in the water source.


Whether you’re hiking, camping, or cross-country skiing in extreme cold, you should disconnect the filter and put it in your jacket. Yes, this smartphone pocket might be better used as a water filter.


During shoulder season or mountain conditions, campers should keep filters separate and stored in tents in case temperatures drop below freezing overnight. This is another benefit that the MSPure team took into account, being able to separate the Peak series filters from the water storage unit and store them.



Put these under hints that you probably already know but don’t have enough.


During periods of heavy use, such as a multi-day hike with a filter, backwash the filter periodically using a plunger attachment to maintain flow rate.


For the unfamiliar, backflushing involves running tap water from the side providing drinking water to the side connected to the water source. With a plunger, you can draw out clean, filtered water and screw it onto the “out” side of the filter.


When you push down on the plunger, it forces water through the filter, washing away silt and other debris. A few recoil flushes should restore the flow rate, and then you can use it normally again. (Peak Series squeeze bottles and gravity based water purifier come with plunger attachments.)


With a straw, you can draw water to your lips and simply blow a few times to achieve a similar effect.

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