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REVISED OR: General Ecology "First Need XL" Water Purifier

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  • redcanvasrach
    General Ecology First Need XL Water Purifier Name: Rachel P. Age: 23 Gender: Female Height: 5 feet 8 inches (roughly 172cm) Weight: 155lbs (72 kilos) E-mail:
    Message 1 of 1 , Oct 9, 2010
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      General Ecology "First Need XL" Water Purifier

      Name: Rachel P.
      Age: 23
      Gender: Female
      Height: 5 feet 8 inches (roughly 172cm)
      Weight: 155lbs (72 kilos)
      E-mail: redcanvasrach@...
      City, Province, Country: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
      Date: September 30/2010
      Backpacking Background: I grew up camping, hiking and canoeing in Elliot
      Lake, Ontario - a Northern community that has established itself as a
      thriving outdoor recreation town. My parents often took us out
      vacationing in the interior, and I am mostly familiar with the mixed
      terrain of the area's backcountry (rocky, hilly, mixed deciduous and
      coniferous forests typical of the Canadian Sheild). As a teenager and
      later, an adult, I have begun to collect my own gear, looking for
      lightweight options that strike a balance between affordability and

      a. Manufacturer: General Ecology (www.generalecology.com)
      b. Listed Weight: 16oz
      c. Purchased At: Tent City, Toronto Ontario
      d. MSRP/Purchased Price: $125 CDN
      e. Output: 2 quarts of water per minute (roughly 2 litres)
      f. Filter Capacity/Life: Roughly 150 Gallons, depending on water quality
      g.Product Description: A double-action, hand-pump water purifier
      intended for outdoor recreation and travel. Can also be used with its
      carrying bag (included) as a gravity-style filter.
      h. Micron Retention: 0.1 nominal (0.4 absolute)

      Field Information
      a. Location(s) of Test(s): Algonquin (2 night, 3 day) and Sleeping Giant Parks (2 night, 3 day), Ontario,
      b. Description of Terrain: Canadian Shield - Rocky, hilly, forested
      c. Weather Conditions: Raining and windy for both trips, night-time lows
      of 5C
      d. Product Performance: Performed well on both trips, did not need to
      backwash or field-service.

      Having just started to buy and collect my own gear, I spent hours
      agonizing on whether or not to invest in a water filtration system, or
      keep it minimalist and just boil my water daily. After my first trip out
      last year, during which I opted for boiling, I was left low on stove
      fuel, unable to get a fire started in the sodden backcountry, and
      nervous about the prospect of getting sick without clean water. I
      decided immediately to invest in a water system. I chose the First Need
      XL - and I'm glad I did!
      The XL sets itself apart as a water purification system, rather than
      just a filter. This means it effectively removes bacteria, protozoa, AND
      viruses, without needing to treat with chemicals. It pumped water
      quickly, filling three 1L Nalgene bottles (which screw directly onto the
      unit) in just over a minute and a half. The adjustable float on the
      intake tube worked well to keep the tip out of sediment, and the
      prefilter kept big debris out of the unit. The unit felt solidly made,
      and I had no issues with it on the two trips it's been on. It made my
      subsequent outings much more enjoyable, not having to worry about
      boiling water every day was one less chore around camp, and my fuel
      usage reflected just how much time, energy and resources it takes to
      boil enough water for a day's work.
      The unit is heavier than its filtration counterparts, but I found the
      First Need XL to be well worth its weight - I even stopped carrying
      extra Nalgenes on my last trip, knowing that refilling one would be much
      easier. My only other concern was that the tube seems to be quite long
      and cumbersome, but this can easily be remedied by removing one end,
      trimming it, and re-attaching. Oh yeah, and the water tasted amazing!

      Things I like: No chemicals, fast, removes pretty much everything,
      durable, carrying bag.

      Things I didn't like: heavy, bulky, long tube.
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