This product, put simply, is a water bottle with a filter for the straw. You might consider this to be similar to one of the survival filter straws that you may have seen where people are leaning over a river drinking water through. What is advantageous to this style is that you don’t have to find a river every time you are thirsty because you have an amount of water with you at all times (assuming that you filled the bottle when it got low).
Here is my review of the HydroBlu Clear Flow Water Bottle and Filter Combo. Let’s get right into it.
Things I like about this product
- It makes water taste better.
- I can boil and filter sediment and dirt from water before putting it in the bottle to make the product last longer or to make my water even safer.
- It has a 0.1 micron filter.
- The bottle is BPA free.
- Removes E-Coli and other contaminants.
- Removes heavy metals.
- It is said to last for up to 1500 liters.
- It is durable.
Things I think could be done better
- The bottle capacity is a little small.
- Occasionally the filter falls off into the bottle.
- You can’t drink water fast.
- It is difficult to get a sample of filtered water for testing since you suck the water instead of pouring it out.
- If you are concerned about things like fluoride, their website says nothing about if it filters it or not.
- A fill mark on the bottle would be nice.
My Take on the HydroBlu Clear Flow Water Bottle and Filter Combo
Let me explain my experience with this filter water bottle in the few months I had for testing.
My understanding of filtration is limited to a short class I had a few years ago. I know a little about how filtration works so I know that a 0.1 micron filter means that nothing larger than something 0.1 microns across will fit through the hole. This means that it is difficult but still possible for something 0.1 microns across but longer than this to fit through the filter. I did not test water quality other than how the water tastes and looks.
When I opened the package, which was very well sealed, I was comfortable enough to just fill it up and see what happened. There was very minimal assembly required (basically sticking the filter onto the straw attachment on the lid). So after this I filled it with some tap water as my first experiment. It did taste a lot better. Over the next few months I tried water from a variety of sources (no swamps or ponds) and found that most of the time the water tasted clean. I say most of the time because some things are nearly impossible to filter out without distilling your water.
Almost all the water I drank for the next four months,I drank out of this bottle. Water flavor remained consistent the whole time. I was also happy with how durable the bottle was. I had no fear of breaking anything with the bottle or the filter inside. The only thing I had issues with was if you drop the bottle, the filter will occasionally fall off into the bottle. This was more of a nuisance than a problem since you cannot drink the water with the bottle upright if the filter has fallen off. Additionally, all you need to do to fix this is to stick your fingers in the bottle, pull it out and stick it back onto the cap (similar to how you first assemble it). No worries about the cleanliness of the water if your hands are dirty when you do this since the water you drink is filtered.
One other thing that I noticed was that you had to suck fairly hard to drink. If you want to drink a lot of water quickly, you will not be able to do it with this bottle. It will not make your ears pop or anything like that. This is not surprising considering that you are sucking water through a pretty beefy filter. Also, the capacity of the bottle was a bit on the small size. I found that the filter was so large that the bottle didn’t have a whole lot of room left for water. Also when the water level gets close to the bottom of the bottle, it is even harder to drink. Usually at this point I would just fill it up again. I found that I could only put about two and a half cups of water in the bottle at a time. I wish the bottle was a lot larger honestly. The size isn’t terrible, just could be better. Also, if you are filling it inside, be aware of how full the bottle is because when you stick the filter in, some of the water will be displaced and will spill out if you filled it too full.
Another concern I have is about things like fluoride. I could not find information on their website about if this was something that was filtered or not. I would like to see this kind of information there. My assumption is that it doesn’t filter this specifically. Their website does state that it filters out specifically Removes: Bacteria, Protozoa, E. Coli, Giardia, Vibrio cholera, Salmonella Typhoid, heavy metals, diesel fuel, bad taste. This is good.
One great thing about this configuration is that you can filter sediment out of your water and boil it in advance to make it even better if you have time. This is not an option for the filter straws that you just drink straight from the river. That and the fact that if you plan just a little bit, you will have clean water all the time. As for capacity, why not carry a couple of these with you?
Overall, I thought this was a quality product with a nice long lasting filter that seemed to work very well. Other than the size, and some other minor tweaks, there is not much I can think of to make this type of a product much better.
Written By Shane White