Customer Reviews: Aquamira Frontier Pro Water Filter with Replacement Bacteria Filter
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on October 8, 2008
Despite a lack of reviews when I purchased this unit, I decided to risk the $20 due to its novel design. After a couple of trips, I have to say I'm impressed. I'll be taking the filter with me on future trips.

If you're into ultralight backpacking or simple day hikes, this filter could save you a lot of weight. It screws onto any standard soda/pop/water bottle (think Coke, Sprite, Aquafina, etc.) and you bite/suck through the nozzle (like a CamelBak) to drink; the water is filtered between the bottle and your mouth.

I coupled the filter with a 1.5L Smart Water bottle (available at most grocery stores) due to the Smart Water's unique size/shape combination, which makes it easier to carry and squeeze. The system acted as an excellent backup unit during my trips. I just filled the bottle directly from the water source, screwed on the filter, and drank. Much easier than pumping.

The unit is also supposed to work with the included straw (for drinking directly out of water sources) or with hydration packs (in place of a regular bite valve). I have not tried either configuration, so I can't attest to their effectiveness.

+ Works like it's supposed to
+ Small and very light
+ Low-cost
+ Fits onto any standard soda/pop/water bottle
+ Stretchy silicone/rubber neck keeps cap in place while closed and safely attached while drinking
+ Entire thing floats if accidentally dropped into water
+ Comes with several replacement pre-filters

- Non-replaceable filter cartridge (you can buy a whole new one for $20, but that creates unnecessary garbage)
- Flow rate isn't terribly fast. It feels like a slower CamelBak, and you might have to start squeezing the bottle as it empties.
- Only practical for one person (unless you don't mind sharing)

Things to watch out for:
* To increase filter life, make sure you use the included pre-filter
* Leaks when used with soft-bodied Platypus bladder-bottles (NOT the same thing as hydration packs; these soft "bottles" are basically small plastic bags with integrated water bottle spouts). The filter screws on, but not tightly enough to create a vacuum seal. This makes drinking very difficult and gets everything wet. I had no such problem with regular, hard-bodied bottles.
* Long-term reliability/flow rate is uncertain due to a lack of reviews.
* This unit does not filter viruses -- no pump/mechanical-action filter does except for the First Need series. You'll need chlorine tablets if this is a concern to you, though it should not be in most North American waters.
* This will not work with Nalgenes (even narrow-mouthed ones), Kleen Kanteens, or SIGGs.

All in all, I love this little thing and will be taking it with my as a backup filter for future trips. It's great if you're camping near a water source and don't want to have to keep pumping for drinking water. Just remember what it's designed for: solo drinking out of a dirty water bottle, not group filtration into clean bottles.
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on January 19, 2009
This filter is of limited utility because of the large pore size which allows most bacteria and all viruses to get through. It will only strain out particulates, cryptosporidium and giardia. Therefore, you will need to chemically treat the water for at least 15 minutes before you use th filter. The advantage to this filter is that you can chemically treat the water and be able to drink it through the filter without waiting the full 1-4 hours required for the chemicals to kill giardia and cryptosporidium. There is also a way you can convert this filter into a very lightweight gravity filter system using collapsible playpus type water containers and plastic tubing. Do a search on youtube for "jasonklass filter"
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on October 6, 2009
Certain products are designed to do certain things. Such as - you would not drive a race car to the local corner store, or back and forth to work. A race car was designed to be on the race track, not the neighborhood streets.

The Aquamira Frontier Pro Water Filter is designed for a certain purpose, and users need to be aware of those purposes and limitations.

The filter will not remove viruses. They have to be killed with chemical treatment.

The filter will not remove certain types of bacteria.

However, it is light wieght, easy to use, has no moving parts to break and is easy to clean.

Instead of drinking the water straight from the stream, you could fill up a water bottle, add some purification tablets, then use this filter to help remove the chemical taste.

I wish the filters removed more bacteria and that replacment filters were avaible. Having to buy a new unit when the filters get dirty is a turn off.

The plastic housing seems kind of weak. Its not made out of a high impact plastic, its more like a cheap plastic that toys are made out of.

If you are on a budget, this might get the job done. But if you can afford a full fledged filter, then go ahead and buy something better.
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on September 9, 2011
I wasn't exactly sure what to expect with this, since there were no reviews, but I took a stab at it an I am very impressed.

Firstly, the one I got was orange, rather than the gray shown, but I prefer the Orange, so that's an improvement if anything.

When I was looking over the possibilities for water purification I saw pumps, tablets and other things that just looked complicated, and possibly ineffective if used incorrectly. This however is as simple as they come.

The cap on the end lifts up to reveal a bite and suck type valve, similar to that of my camelback, very comfortable and easy to suck through. The opposite end has two adapters that screw onto it. The first attaches to a bottle, like that of a standard soda/water bottle, which has a flexible plastic tube that goes down into the water. The other is a tube that allows you to drink directly from a water source, no bottle needed. With it you would put that adapter end into the water and simply suck through the other end. It's an extremely simple design.

Overall, I am very impressed with this purchase, and see myself purchasing another one or two in the future.
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on November 10, 2011
This is a great little filter for what it does. Learn what each type of water treatment does and does not do. I wouldn't drink water from any natural source (even a stream or lake) through this without also chemically treating it too. If I would then I probably would have drank it with out any treatment, like from a known pure source, ie. trusted spring.

Most of the pump filters in common use filter out bacteria, some remove viruses, and most all remove giardia and cryptosporidium .

The advertising and some of the comments here may be a little deceptive or misinformed.

This filter does nothing to filter out bacteria or viruses. It only takes out Giardia and Cryptosporidium which are both larger organisms. This filter in itself is not an acceptable method for treating drinking water from any open stream or lake in the US in my book. It probably does a good job of removing the things it say it does, but removing bacteria is the basic water treatment you are looking for.

This is basically what the ad says. "Antimicrobial. Removes giardia and cryptosporidium. Ultralight and compact. Portable and easy to use. No wait time." That's a little deceptive advertising, but true. It just doesn't say it that it doesn't take out bacteria virus. It does say this if you get into the company website, and I think on the directions with the filter.

Killing bacteria is important as many of the traditional water born illnesses are caused by bacteria. Examples are Botulism, Campylobacteriosis, Cholera, E. coli Infection, M. marinum infection, Dysentery (from Shigella and Salmonella), Legionellosis, Leptospirosis, Salmonellosis (also caused by bacteria of genus Salmonella), Typhoid fever (Salmonella typhi), and Vibrio Illness (not just from eating raw oysters but also from drinking water). Then ther are the vir

So it is important when using this filter you still need to treat the water (chemically with iodine, chlorine, chlorine dioxide, a SteriPEN, etc) to kill bacteria and viruses. There are all ineffective against Cryptosporidium except for chlorine dioxide which has a low to moderate effectiveness in killing Cryptosporidium (takes 4 hours) so the combination of filter and treatment is needed with this filter.

Both the SteriPEN and chlorine dioxide tablets are nice because they have no taste, or even improve the taste in the case of the chlorine dioxide.

All that said, I give it 5 stars. This is still a great filter if used properly as follows: A good light weight (maybe ultra lite), method for treating water is to use this filter in series with two bags. A dirty and clean bag and gravity filter water. All this together weighs much less then any pump. However, you also need to treat the water with chlorine dioxide. Chlorine dioxide takes four (4) hours to kill Cryptosporidium, but only 1/2 hours to kill bacteria and virus. So, with the combination, in 1/2 hour or so, you can be drinking good tasting, clean, safe water.

Do a search on youtube for "jasonklass filter" and he describes a very lightweight process using this filter and additional chemical treatment. Together it is about the lightest filter system you can have and fairly fast as well. You still need to set it up for a gravity feed with two bags to use it this way. However, two platypus bags and this filter are much lighter then a pump and bottle.

Personally I am still carrying a pump and bottle and put up with the extra weight in lieu of convenience and speed in a backpacking situation. I am currently using a Katadyn Guide pro (not even one of the lightest pumps, but very fast). I am considering this filter though for a lighter, but less convenient alternative.

You might want to check out the CDC site "A Guide to Drinking Water Treatment and Sanitation for Backcountry & Travel Use" It is very informative.

Edit: On further review, their site says it removes down to 3.0 micron. The CDC says you need 1.0 micron max size filter to remove cryptosporidium and giardia, so I question the effectiveness of this filter for anything other then odor and taste. If that is the case you are depending on the required chemical treatment for everything which means 4 hours with chlorine dioxide. Most pump filters are 1.0 micron or less. My Katadyne Guide/hiker is 0.3 micron and a good ceramic pump filter is 0.2 micron.

The CDC says:

# Filtration has a high effectiveness in removing Cryptosporidium when using an absolute less than or equal to 1 micron filter (NSF Standard 53 or 58 rated "cyst reduction / removal" filter);
# Disinfection with iodine or chlorine is not effective in killing Cryptosporidium;
# Disinfection with chlorine dioxide has a low to moderate effectiveness in killing Cryptosporidium;
# Combination filtration and disinfection has a very high effectiveness in removing and killing Cryptosporidium when used with chlorine dioxide and an absolute less than or equal to 1 micron filter (NSF Standard 53 or 58 rated "cyst reduction / removal" filter).

Mcnett say it removes these big pathogens. Maybe they have the size misprinted or they are being optimistic. Now I don't think it even takes out the big stuff.

Lowered rating to 3. Not interested any more.
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on September 22, 2009
This is a great product for the price.
I use it as a gravity filter, filtering from a 2.5L platypus bottle into my hydration bladder (the jason klass method). Works excellent this way!

You should use a chemical treatment as well, as others have noted, but I would suggest using the chemical treatment no matter what type of filter you are using.
so its not like an extra process or something...

The only thing that would make this better would be if it had replaceable filter cartridges. It does not, but will still filter well over the 50 gallons it claims as long as you keep your pre-filter clean and replace it as often as needed.
For this price its worth it, it will probably take 2 seasons for me to go through 50 gallons of water.
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on September 7, 2011
I wanted to try this disposable gravity filter after hearing others talk about it on a hiking forum. I use AquaMira water treatment drops as my preferred method anyway so I thought this filter would be a nice compliment. Sure it's compact, lightweight, and screws on top of any standard water bottle but if your expecting fast water flow think again. It just doesnt have sufficient flow to be practical. The only way I could get adequate amounts of water out this filter was by squeezing the bottle it was attached to thereby forcing the water out and unscrewing the filter from the bottle to release the vacuum pressure that invariably builds up. Not good and super frustrating. Yes, I followed all the "pre-filter" instructions. This one got tossed the first chance I could.

If you want to try a gravity filter on your next hike, explore other brands and models first. You'll be happier you did.
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on April 24, 2011
I used this for my Camelbak. I found it unusually hard to suck through. I'm just going to stick to the tablets from now on.
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on May 8, 2014
I'm not putting really dirty water through it but water that is allowed to settle first and then a purifying tablet as directed. No ill effects yet. The larger soft drink bottles seem to work well, and being disposable are a bonus. Well made and works well for me.
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on November 26, 2012
Bought this and a combination of Playtpus bags to replace a pump for backpacking.
The weight reduction in my kit is wonderful. The speed of filtration isn't an issue as Im never trying to set a record. I can either let gravity do the work when combined with a playtpus bottle/bag or just attach it to my reservoir in my pack and keep on traveling. You can't be this filter in terms of weight and flexibility. And with a little common sense you can make your own gravity feed system and save money.

Great for backpacking, hiking and camping. I bought a 2nd one just to keep in my vehicle.
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