So what is this sorcery? The Katadyn BeFree water filter is one bad ass water filter! I just recently took this filter out on a test run and I must say I am stupid impressed with it. It is my new go-to filter.
Let’s talk about the weight of it, just 1.2 ounces/34 grams. The Sawyer Mini weighs 1.7 ounces/49 grams.
Now let me say this up front. I have nothing against the Sawyer Mini or the Sawyer Squeeze, both are great filters and deserve a spot in your pack. But the flow rate on the Mini is slow, clogs up quickly, and needs back flushing regularly. The Squeeze has a better flow rate but it’s bigger and heavier.
Now, let’s talk about the BeFree. The flow rate is incredible! You have see it to believe it. I have a water filter in my sink at home and I would say that the flow rate of it and the BeFree are comparable.
Back flushing is a dream come true, you just stick it in the water and swish it around and boom you are done. No syringe or using a SmartWater bottle to back flush anymore. Loving it!
The Befree is a 0.1-micron hollow filter that they claim is 99% effective at removing bacteria and protozoa including Giardia and Cryptosporidium. It won’t filter as much water as the Sawyer Squeeze or Mini though. The BeFree only will filter 1000 liters. I say only, but that’s still pretty damn good. To put that into perspective thats 5 liters a day for 200 days. For $25 I can live with that.
You can purchase the filter in two different ways. Either in a replacement form or with the EZ-Clean Membrane™. Without getting all technical it’s just a small, lightweight and compact water bottle. It’s capable of holding 0.6L of liquid. Great for a quick drink from a spring.
I chose to purchase the Hydrapak Seeker 2L Water Storage Bag to hold my water. The Seeker has 42mm screw cap, which fits the BeFree perfectly.
Which brings me to a potential downside to the BeFree. It is not compatible with any common water bottles – Platypus, Evernew, Gatorade, or Powerade bottles. So if that bothers you this may not be the system for you. Personally, I didn’t find it that much of a problem as I usually use the Evernew 2L bottles and I just switched to the Seeker.
The Seeker bottles pack down small too, much smaller than my Evernew bottles ever did. They are made from Thermoplastic Polyurethane; HDPE (whatever that means). Per the company, it’s made of ultra-durable, abrasion resistant TPU & RF welded seams for superior durability and elasticity. Can be frozen or filled with hot water (max temp 60° C/140° F). Top-rack dishwasher safe. They are 2 liters and weight 78 grams or 2.7 ounces.
The best part about the Seeker is that they dry quick. Three to four hours and they’re dry. My Evernew, literally, could still be wet on the inside for two weeks. Not kidding.
What’s not to like right?
I’ve set my personal system up to gravity fed, not necessary but for me, it just makes things a little easier. Here’s how I did it:
First, I took a small piece of zing it and made loops on either end.
I attached a small cheap carabiner to it. I took the blue adapter that comes with the Sawyer and attached it to the end of the Befree, then I attached some silicone tubing to the nipple on the blue adapter and voila! You are now set up to be gravity fed. Just sling the zing it over a tree limb or whatever is handy and clip it to your Seeker bottles and your off!
Water filters, like stoves, are purely a personal preference. This is what has been working for me.
What system/set up are you guys loving right now? I would love to hear about it!
Whatever you decide guys, stay safe and happy trails!
Here’s how I did it:
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