LTR - Platypus CleanStream Gravity Filter - Nancy Griffith
- Hi Tom,
Here is my LTR for the Platypus CleanStream. I often have trouble with the LTR since I feel like I've already said it all in the FR. This one was different. I appear to have had more left to say. Thanks in advance for the edits.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
During the long-term testing period, I used the filter for 8 days of backpacking and 5 days of camping for a total of 13 days and 60 liters. The water sources are listed below for each trip. All of the sources were fairly clear water with no visible signs of dirt or contamination.
<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Pond" IMAGE CAPTION = "Filling in Pond">>Backpacking:
Pacific Crest/Tahoe Rim Trail, Northern Sierra Nevada (California): 3 days; 7,390 to 9,010 ft (2,252 to 2,746 m); 50 to 85 F (10 to 29 C). I filled the reservoir 2 times (8 L) from a slower flowing creek using a pot to scoop the water first. Filled 2 times (8 L) with water flowing from a lake outlet just by holding the reservoir under the flow.
Appalachian Trail, White Mountains (New Hampshire): 3 days; 2,032 to 5,367 ft (619 to 1,636 m); 45 to 70 F (7 to 21 C). I filled the reservoir 3 times (12 L) from a slow flowing spring and one time (4L) in an alpine pond.
Pacific Crest Trail, Central Sierra Nevada (California): 2 days; 9,610 to 10,500 ft (2,929 to 3,200 m); 40 to 70 F (4 to 21 C). I filled the reservoir 1 time (4 L) from a late season flowing creeklet using a pot to scoop the water.
Baxter State Park, Maine: 4 days; 1,079 ft (329 m); 38 to 65 F (3 to 18 C). I filled the reservoir 5 times (20 L) in clear fast-flowing Katahdin Stream.
Shawme-Crowell State Park, Cape Cod, Massachusetts: 1 night; nearly sea level; 40 to 55 F (4 to 13 C). I filled the reservoir once with campground tap water.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Water Ready!" IMAGE CAPTION = "Water Ready!">>
I love having a ready supply of clean water in camp. We simply fill the dirty reservoir upon arrival in camp and soon have 4L of water ready to use for washing dishes, cooking or drinking. After filtering, I detach the dirty side and leave the clean side hanging with the shut-off clamp on its hose. Then I simply open the clamp to get clean running water.
The filtering time has been slowing and air bubbles definitely cause a problem. At times the dirty water level seems to not be changing and I have to hit the tubing several times to knock out any air bubbles. Once it gets going, it has had no problem finishing. The amount of slowing of filtering time is a definite concern to me. The filter life is listed as 1500L but I have only filtered a few hundred liters and have seen a large increase in filtering time.
I again repeated my kitchen time trials for filtering 4L of water at the end of this test period. The results of the time trial were:
1st filtering of 4L tap water: 9 minutes 37 seconds
Backflush (of all 4 L): 3 minutes 32 seconds
Re-filtering of same 4 L: 4 minutes 2 seconds
I haven't used the filter on trips where the temperatures dropped below freezing. On our last backpacking trip, I was concerned that it could drop below freezing, so I put the filter in the tent overnight. I plan to wrap it in some clothing and leave it in the tent overnight on any nights that could possibly drop below freezing.
<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "Willows" IMAGE CAPTION = "Willows">>
The top seal closure continues to be difficult to close. This test period saw some lower temperatures and I found that at temperatures below 50 F (10 C) it was simply impossible for me to close it. I spent about 15 minutes in morning temperatures of 48 F (9C) experimenting with various methods to close the seal. I finally gave up. My husband (who has MUCH stronger hands than I) also had difficulty. This wasn't a big problem since we learned to close the clean reservoir seal at home and never open it on the trail. We only opened it for cleaning at home. The dirty reservoir was often left open and we tried to keep debris from falling it. On our last trip, however, it was a problem to not close the dirty reservoir. The water collection point was several steps up a small creeklet surrounded by willows. As it is now autumn, the leaves were falling readily. While trying to squeeze between the willows with a full dirty reservoir, leaves
would fall into the water. The force of the full water was also pushing open the seal. We ended up squeezing out quite a bit of water and managing to keep the seal closed just long enough to take those few steps.
There haven't been any issues with durability. The reservoirs are perfectly intact despite a lot of contact with granite and tree branches. The handles are securely attached and have not frayed or loosened. The hose connections are working as well as when it was new.
I always found it easy to roll up and store the system in the storage bag. I didn't use the exact same technique every time, but I never had to struggle with fitting everything into the bag. The fit is not at all sloppy though. It is just right.
I wasn't able to filter directly into my Polarpak hydration reservoir because it has tubing which is too stiff to easily remove from the fittings. I was able to do it with my Camelbak. It works fine but since it has a smaller volume, I have to keep an eye on it. I prefer to just let it filter into the clean reservoir and use the water from there.
I originally was interested in whether the clean reservoir could be used as my hydration bladder thus allowing me to drop a piece of gear. Due to it not having a secure seal, it cannot. Then I wondered if I could just leave the clean reservoir at home and filter directly into my hydration bladder, pot, etc. While this could be done, I could not do it with my current hydration bladder (as mentioned above), would have to backflush using my hydration bladder and would not have as ready a supply of water since it would have to filter first. So, I find it more worthwhile to carry the clean reservoir than to save a few ounces and deal with the other inconveniences of not having it.
I love using gravity to filter water and love having a source of clean running water in camp. It was especially handy when used with a group. I'm less enthused about the filtering time lengthening, the lack of ability to monitor the filter and the difficulty closing the top seals. Overall though the pros outweigh the cons for me.
Things I like:
Ease of use, i.e. NO pumping
Large volume (4L)
Ease of cleaning/drying the reservoirs
Ease of fit in storage bag
Things I dislike:
Increase in filtering time
No way to monitor the need for a filter replacement
Can't open filter for rinsing or drying
Difficulty closing the reservoirs
This concludes my Long-Term Report and this test series.
Many thanks to Cascade Designs and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to participate in this test.
This report was created with the BGT Report Generator.
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
Do You Yahoo!?
Tired of spam? Yahoo! Mail has the best spam protection around
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- Hi Nancy,
Fine report, you certainly tested this filter in variety of locales. Here are your edits:
> I again repeated my kitchen time trials for filtering 4L of water at the end of this test period. The results of the time trial were:Edit: Would be good if you could add a sentence that helps make a comparison to the time trials you did back in you IR. This will help tie together the thorough time trial testing that you did. Maybe something along the lines of,
> 1st filtering of 4L tap water: 9 minutes 37 seconds
> Backflush (of all 4 L): 3 minutes 32 seconds
> Re-filtering of same 4 L: 4 minutes 2 seconds
"This is quite a bit longer than filtering time I measured during my Initial Report, (2 minutes 48 seconds to 2 minutes 28 seconds)."
> The top seal closure continues to be difficult to close.EDIT: After "closure", please insert "of the clean reservoir". This will help ensure the reader knows which bladder you are referring to as they begin to read the paragraph.
- Hi Tom,
Thanks for the edits. I've made the changes, uploaded to the folder and deleted the test file. See you again on another test!
[Non-text portions of this message have been removed]