Hydroblu Versa Flow Water Filter Review
Being able to create clean drinking water is in the top 5 things you need to be able to do with your emergency kits.
You have multiple ways to accomplish this, many of which we go over in our Learning & Tutorials Article: Water Treatment & Containment.
Our favorite approach, and the quickest and easiest, is to use a small inline filter system.
That's where the Hydroblu Light-Weight Versa Flow Water Filter Package comes in.
For $24 you get a complete system that you can take on the trail, use in base camp or at home, or anywhere else dirty water is a concern.
Let's dive into it:
What It Does
What does a filter system like the Versa Flow protect you from and why would you need one?
It's sad to say, but you need to assume these days that any water source you find in the wild that hasn't been treated by a municipality or bottling facility has bacteria or parasites in it that can make you sick.
That's not to say there aren't clean sources of water, of course there are, but you better darn well know for sure ahead of time.
Bacteria (E. Coli, Salmonella, Cholera) and Protozoa (Girardia, Cryptosporidium) are prevalent and post threats to your health. They can cause severe diarrhea, which can last for days. Not only is that very dehydrating, but it can be deadly for anyone with a compromised immune system.
You need to clean your water. And there really isn't any excuse not to these days - it's very simple to find cheap and easy to use products like the Versa Flow.
What it Doesn't
Filters like the Versa Flow are great for bacteriological threats, but cannot protect you against viral and chemical contamination.
There are other filters and purifiers out there that can, but they are expensive options and usually that level of protection is more than you would need.
What Makes A Versa Flow Better?
There are other ways to treat your water. Let's discuss the benefits and downsides to each as they compare to the Versa Flow:
- Iodine: been used forever, easy to use. Fill up, drop one into your bottle or whatever, shake, and you're good to go in about 20 minutes. Iodine has a taste some people can't stnad. It doesn't filter out little bits of this and that which might be in the water if you don't pre-filter.
- Boiling Water: this is a tried and tested way to kill the funky stuff in water. But it's slow, you need to make a fire, and you wind up with...boiling water. You'll have to let it cool before you can store it or drink it.
- Berkey Filter: Berkey Water Filters are awesome. But they are bulky and take time to do their magic. Can't really be brought on the trail unless you have a donkey to carry it old school style.
The Versa Flow also has couple of unique features and upgrades that you normally don't see on these types of filters:
- Month Indicator: The Versa Flow has a 10 year shelf life, but once you start using it you have 2-5 years before it stops being effective. So along the outside ring of the output side the numbers 1 - 12 have been printed. You can rotate the cap ring around to indicate which month you're on.
- Transparent Inspection Window: you can see the inside of the filter via the window on the side. So if it starting to fill up with gunk you can see it. And if you are back flushing with clean water, you can get a better idea what's happening in there.
- More Stuff: The Hydroblu Versa Filter Package comes with lots of accessories that other brands do not. In the box you get:
- The filter
- (2) 64 liter Collapsible Canteens
- (1) Bucket Adapter
- (1) Hose Clamp for the
- (1) 2' Silicone Hose
This saves you money over some of the other filters out there. Save money!
The Hydroblu Versa Flow Adaptability
The Versa filter is super adaptable. We like adaptable, that makes our lives easier.
One can be screwed onto a plastic water bottle, used inline with a hydration pack, used with a gravity system or bucket filter, or used as a straw to drink directly from a water source.
With A Bottle And/Or Bag
This means you don't need to decide right off the bat how you want to use it. Throw it in your pack, find an empty water bottle and go.
Or better yet, use one of the two 64 ounce (.5 gallons / 1.8 litre) supplied water bags that comes with the Versa Flow as your "dirty" water bag, and keep your bottles as "clean" bottles.
With this approach, when you are at a suspect water source, fill up your dirty bag. If it is a permissive environment, fill up the clean bottle via the Versa Flow, and top off the dirty bag again so you have some to filter later.
If the area is non-permissive (dangerous) fill up and take off. Attach the Versa Flow directly to the dirty bag and drink from there.
If you use it this way, grab a sharpie and write DIRTY on the bag and on the caps. This way you wont contaminate your clean water!
You'll thank me later...💩🤦
With A Bladder
If you want a more quasi-permanent setup for a Bug Out Bag or the like, then you can run the filter in line between the bladder and the drinking hose bib.
Then you can just fill up your bladder from the source, and roll. Filtration happens on the fly as you drink.
Even if you fill your bladder with clean water so what, have it all run thru the filter. Much easier.
In case you don't know, back flushing is nothing more than running clean water through the filter in reverse. It kicks out any gunk or bits which might be clogging the membrane.
It's this type of feature which allows filters like the Versa Flow to say that they are effective for filtering up to 100,000 gallons.
With A Bucket
Got a large group of thirsty people to deal with? No problem.
Included in the box are items to hook up the system to a 5 gallon bucket or the like.
Drill a 1/2" hole in the side of a plastic bucket. Unscrew the strainer cap of the Bucket Adapter and stick the threaded end into the hole.
There are two rubber washers. Put one on the threaded part outside of the bucket and put the other over the threaded end of the Bucket Adapter inside of the bucket, then screw the strainer cap back on.
Slide the Hose Clamp onto the hose. The hose needs to pass through the middle of the clamp vertically.
Now attach one end of the hose to the end of the Bucket Adapter, and one end to the input side of the Versa Flow filter.
Fill up the bucket and lift it up somewhere, on a table or off a tree.
Attach your clean bottle of choice to the output end of the filter and loosen the clamp. Clean water, ho!
The Hydroblu Versa Filter works great. It's small, cheap, and easy to use. It can keep you from getting sick.
It works just as well, if not better than many of the other filters we've tested.
We consider this a must have item for any emergency kit. Grab a couple and keep one in the car, and one in each adults Bug Out Bag.
Where To Get One
Typical Price: $24
The Versa Flow water filter is one of the lightest and most convenient personal water filters anywhere. Weighing in at only 2 ounces and each canteen at 1 ounce you don’t have to worry about adding extra weight your hydration pack or system.
It will fit virtually anywhere. This water filter is perfect for backpacking, hiking, camping, travel, and emergency preparedness.
(Check out their other items too, lots of other awesome water filtering products.)