Reviewed By: Darwin
Water Filter & Bucket Set Up Kit (Tubing, Hose Clamp & Bucket Connector)
The HydroBlu Versa Flow to be a great option when choosing a water filtering system for any type of adventure from car camping to backpacking. The initial cost of the filter is low at only $19.95 for the full package. The filter body itself is small measuring 1.6″ by 5.25″. This small size allows for easy storage in a backpack, car, bag, or possibly even a deep pocket. The Versa Flow is a true light weight option with the body weighing in at 1.4oz dry (before first filtering).
I used the Versa Flow for this review in a bottle filter and in-line (hydration reservoir) set up which are common for backpacking. The Versa Flow does have the capability to be used with a bucket (or other water container) setup and is primarily advertised as being used this way.
The Versa Flow uses medical grade ultrafiltration membranes to remove particles as small as 0.1 micron. It uses a hollow fiber design that allows a faster flow rate (around 20oz per minute) compared to competitor filters. HydroBlu also advertises this filter as being 99.99% effective against bacteria, protozoa, and cysts such as e-coli, staph, salmonella, giardia, cryptosporidium and other harmful contaminants. It however does not remove chemicals or viruses. The filter cartridge has a 10,000 gallon filtering life which unfortunately is a significantly shorter life span when compared to other filters similar in size, weight, and function.
I found the bottle filter set-up to be the easiest and most efficient method for use. The filter features a 28mm female connector that easily threads onto most water bottles such a “Smart Water” bottle or plastic soda bottle. When connected to a bottle of dirty water and or dirty bag, I was able to simply squeeze the bottle and easily recieved clean water or utilized the clean end of the filter like straw for the same outcome.
During each use I considered the silicon cap/cover on filter body to be useless. The cover would constantly curl and move around during use. Although I understand the thought behind this piece (to keep clean water end free of outside debris) I found this feature an unnecessary annoyance and I removed it after only a few uses.
If using the Versa Flow primarily as a bottle filter or in-line set up, you will be at a disadvantage. Similar filters on the market include at least one small dirty water bag and the Versa Flow does not. I personally prefer to have a dirty bag to store more dirty water when in the field. While testing in the field, I simply utilized a dirty bag from a competitors filter which worked sufficiently. It however should be mentioned that the Versa Flow is marketed as a filter used for a bucket setup and HydroBlu does provide the necessary attachments to use the filter in this manner.
Cleaning and maintenance on the Versa Flow I found pretty standard for a filter of this design. Back-flushing is the recommended cleaning process for this filter and directions are given on this with filtering kit. Similar filters on the market include a back flushing syringe with kit, HydroBlu does not. This would not neccassarily sway me from purchasing this filter as backflashing can be easly done without a syringe.
As with most filters, the Versa Flow will work best when filtering water with minimal sediment and when sediment has been allowed to settle. The more debris in dirty water the slower the flow rate. An abundance of sediment in the dirty water will most likely clog the filter regardless of set up. Try your best to keep large floaties out!
Overall I feel the HydraBlue Versa Flow is very useful and a light weight option to filtering water. The filter is small and easy to maintain and store. It’s design allows for multiple filtering set ups for a minimal initial cost compared to other filters on the market.
Check it out on Amazon! – http://amzn.to/2ruLcjc
Check out the Video Review Here!