ULA H2O Amigo LTR - Christine
- Hi Jim,
Here's my report. It can also be read at http://tinyurl.com/5ybme
Thanks for looking at it. I want to let you know that I'll be going
oop on Thursday and might be slower uploading after then. Thanks!
H2O Amigo Gravity Filter Long Term Report
Name: Christine Korhonen
Height: 5'4" (1.6 m)
Weight: 150 lb (68 kg)
Location: Western Montana
Date: February 1, 2005
I'm in Montana where I'm enjoying the summers and becoming re-
acquainted with winter. Now that I'm back above the snow line, I'm
attempting winter camping and snowshoeing. I'm a lightweight
backpacker mentally, if not always in practice. I've gotten my
summer multi-day pack weight down to 19 lb (9 kg) with a tent, but
winter backpacking is still new to me, and my winter pack weight
hovers around 25 lb (11 kg).
Manufacturer: ULA Equipment (Ultralight Adventure Equipment)
Item: H2O Amigo
MSRP: US $40
Year of Manufacturer: 2004
Listed volume: 1.25 gal (4.7 L)
Listed total weight: 9.25 oz (262 g)
Measured total weight: 8.6 oz (244 g)
H2O Amigo Description:
The H2O Amigo is a gravity-fed water filtration system. The system
uses a carbon filter cartridge with a 2 micron pore that is
advertised to remove 99.8% of waterborne contaminants.
I tested the H2O Amigo in Montana, Wyoming and New Zealand in
temperatures from 35 F to 70 F (2 C to 21 C) and at elevations up to
7500' (2300 m). I filled the Amigo from streams, rivers, and lakes.
Experience with the H2O Amigo:
I really enjoy the H20 Amigo. After the bag is filled and hung, no
effort is required to filter the water. I really appreciate having
extra water storage at camp, and the nozzle is great as a faucet for
washing hands and dishes.
Filling the H2O Amigo:
The quickest and easiest way to fill the H2O Amigo is by submerging
it into a water source. As the weather got colder, this became less
enjoyable. Not only did my hands get wet, but when filling from
lakes I had to wade a few feet out into the water to get to an area
deep enough to submerge the bag. My hands and feet got quite chilly.
After I was clued into the fact that the H2O Amigo hose can connect
directly to a Platypus, I had no problems filling my hydration
bladder. I collapsed the bladder to get the air out, hooked the
filter to the nozzle on the bladder, and turned the filter on. I
didn't have to worry about the filter hose dragging in the dirt and
didn't have to watch the system to make sure water didn't overflow.
Water filtered into the Platypus until it was full and then stopped.
I just had to remember to turn the filter off before disconnecting
the hydration bladder.
Hanging the bag:
I never had any problems finding a place to hang the H2O Amigo. I
tend to camp in wooded areas with plenty of trees and could always
find a branch the appropriate distance off the ground. I didn't have
to use additional rope or a carabiner to secure the bag, but carried
them along on trips just in case. When I did camp in areas with no
trees, like Joshua Tree National Park, there wasn't a backcountry
water source to filter from anyway, so I carried enough water for the
whole trip and didn't worry about filtering.
The lake I filtered water from in New Zealand was full of silt and
gave the pre-filter a workout. It also reduced the flow rate of the
cartridge considerably from 0.70 L per min (24 oz per min) to 0.40 L
per min (14 oz per min). After backflushing the cartridge for one
minute using the flush bulb and my sink, the cartridge flow rate
increased to 0.52 L per min (18 oz per min). I don't mind the slower
rate of filtration. In camp I always have something else to do so
waiting a few minutes for the water to filter is not a hardship. The
cartridge filters well at this slower rate, and I can't tell how much
life is left in the cartridge. There isn't any indicator besides the
flow rate to tell when a cartridge is used up.
As the weather got colder, I was very careful not to let the filter
cartridge freeze. I made sure to empty the cartridge at night and
store it in my tent. I didn't have any problems with water from the
filter getting my gear wet, but sometimes I got a little overzelous
in blowing water out of the cartridge. I would blow on the nozzle
where the unflitered water goes in. My hiking partner commented that
when I got giardia and he didn't we'd all know where it came from.
The H2O Amigo has born my abuse very well. The bag looks like new.
The handles show some scuff marks, but are still sturdy. The stuff
sack's seams are intact. The hoses are fine. The one mark of wear
is on the cartridge. The arrow sticker indicating which side the
contaminated water goes in and which side the clean water comes out
is showing some wear. The other stickers on the cartridge that give
the name of the product and manufacturer's website have held up
fine. The directional sticker is paper while the other stickers have
a plastic coating. Paper stickers don't like water, and this one is
peeling off. When it's gone I will have to rely on the small
words "in" and "out" stamped into the plastic to tell me which way to
place the hoses.
The H2O Amigo is great. No pumping required. The Amigo filters
while I'm doing other things, provides excellent water storage in
camp, and is very useful as a tap. I wash my hands and my dishes
more thouroughly when there's such a readily available water source.
Thanks to ULA equipment for providing such a useful piece of gear.
Nice to have a spigit around.
Challenge to fill the bag without getting wet.
Directional sticker is peeling off.