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I’m tired of paying for bottled water in hotel rooms, and I’ve seen the price of it as high as $8 for a 16oz bottle. Airports aren’t much better either with their markup, although not as bad as some hotels. Drinking the hotel tap water is not much of an alternative, very few hotels have what I call clean tap water. For instance, if you have ever stayed in Orlando Florida, turned on the tap and smelt a strong odor of sulfur, you will know what I mean. And, a lot of older hotels have metal pipes where the water comes out brown because of rust. If you travel throughout the world, you need to worry about other toxins, viruses, and bacteria too in some of the water.
The solution is to take a water bottle with a built-in water filter. I have tried many of these over the years, and most only have activated carbon filters. Activated carbon filters are useful for improving taste and removing chlorine, volatile organic compounds, and sediment. But they don’t remove minerals, toxins, viruses and bacteria. So, you can still get sick using carbon only water filters. To get something light weight and portable to remove most contaminants, impurities, viruses and bacteria you need to visit your local camping store. But, what they offer are multiple piece gadgets that are okay for the backpackers hiking through woods and mountains. However, they are like small science kits and too cumbersome to use traveling through airports, walking in major cities, and staying in hotels.
Finding the holy GRAYL
Three years ago and just by accident, I stumbled upon a start-up company by the name of GRAYL. Nancie Weston, GRAYL’s founder, was tired of poor quality and taste of water as she traveled throughout the world. She decided to do something. So Nancie developed and designed an elegant solution and founded her company GRAYL in 2012.
The solution she developed works in a similar way to that of a coffee press. Her design consisted of two metal cups, an outer cup, and an inner cup. The inner cup has a replaceable filter and water tight seal around the outside just above the filter. The seal is the same size os the outer cup inside diameter. You fill the outer cup with unfiltered water to the watermark, place the inner cup inside the outer cup and press. By pressing gently down on the inner cup forces water through the purifier filter into it. Once pressed all the way down, you have purified filtered water inside the inner cup for drinking.
The original design, the LEGEND, consisting of an all metal construction is a bit heavy, weighing in at just under twenty-one ounces’ empty. But it’s indestructible! At the time it first went to market, three levels of water filter were available, Tap Water Filter, Trial Filter, and the Purifier Filter. Now they are down to a much more sensible two types of filter, the Tap Water, and the Purifier filters.
GRAYL Ultralight Water Purifier [+ FILTER] BOTTLE
This year, 2016, GRAYL came out with a much lighter plastic version called Ultralight Water Purifier. The Ultralight comes in at around twenty dollars less than the LEGEND, and about half the weight empty making it much better to take traveling. An excellent design change is the screw top which makes it more leak resistant than the LEGEND should you want to place it in your backpack when it’s full of water.
The purifier filter on the Ultralight costs $24.50 and lasts for about 300 users. It removes 99.9999% of viruses, 99.9999% of disease-causing bacteria, and 99.999% of protozoan cysts (e.g. Giardia). There isn’t any addition of chemicals to the water and no need for battery powered UV lights. The purifier filter takes care of it all. The only drawback to the GRAYL water purifier filter products is they are a bit hard to press down. For me, it’s not a problem, but I’ve heard some complaints.
Taking the average cost of a bottle of water at $1.50, you will see a return on investment after 40 users. And using it is environmental friendly. I enjoy using my LEGEND, packing it in my suitcase and taking it with on the road. But the GRAYL Ultralight Water Purifier [+ FILTER] BOTTLE is a nice upgrade.
Water Tight making it much nicer for packing
Multi-stage, one press filter system.
No batteries and UV lights.
The filter removes 99.9999% of viruses, 99.9999% of disease-causing bacteria, and 99.999% of protozoan cysts (e.g. Giardia).
Improves Health, Flavor, Oder, and Clarity of water.
Can be hard to press.