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Updated October 12, 2022
One of the biggest problems that we run into on our outdoor adventures, be it a hiking, camping, or kayaking trip, is access to clean drinking water. Sure, if it’s a shorter urban trail there will probably be several places you can fill up. But when you’re going on longer hikes and full-day adventures, access to clean water can become an issue.
This is why we we’re so excited to test out Grayl’s GeoPress purifier bottle, as it would give us access to clean drinking water anywhere we went. Grayl has two water purifier bottles – the UltraPress and GeoPress – which act as both a water filter and purifier. The GeoPress is the new and improved version, so that is what we’ll be focusing on in this review, but they function essentially the same. The main reason you may prefer the UltraPress is if you want a more lightweight and slender design; otherwise we’d recommend the GeoPress.
Below, we’re sharing our Grayl GeoPress review based on our personal experience. We’re giving our honest thoughts so you can determine if this water purifier is the right fit for you.
Editor’s note: We received a free GeoPress purifier bottle from Grayl, but we were not under any obligation to write this review. All opinions are our own.
Weight: 15.9 oz (GeoPress), 10.9 oz (UltraPress)
Water capacity: 24 oz (GeoPress), 16 oz (UltraPress)
Filter cartridge lifespan: 250 liters or 350 uses (GeoPress), 150 liters or 300 uses (UltraPress)
Filtration rate per container: 8 seconds or 5 liters/minute (GeoPress), 15 seconds or 2 liters per minute (UltraPress)
The water quality is where the Grayl GeoPress really shines. A typical water filter just gets rid of bacteria and protozoa, but since the GeoPress is a purifier as well, it essentially clears out anything in the water that could make you sick. It provides a much better level of defense than a typical water filter by removing waterborne pathogens like viruses, bacteria, and protozoan cysts. It also filters out chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals, and microplastics, and gets rid of weird odors and tastes. We love this for when we’re drinking city tap water that is technically safe, but has a weird taste or smell.
The Grayl GeoPress uses an electroabsorption and ultra-powdered activated carbon technology to purify the water. The electroabsorption pulls in germs like a magnet, while the carbon absorbs the chemicals, pesticides, and heavy metals. You can rest assured that when you use the GeoPress, you’ll get high-quality, safe-to-drink water.
Ease of Use
The Grayl GeoPress is extremely easy to use and requires virtually no set up. There are three parts to the purifier – an outer refill bottle, an inner press bottle, and a cartridge filter attached to the bottom of the inner bottle. To use, you simply pull apart the inner and outer bottles, twisting if they become stuck. You then fill the outer bottle in a lake or stream and place it on a flat surface. Make sure to unscrew the vent cap ½ turn to allow for ventilation while purifying, and then push the inner press into the outer refill.
The only downside is it can be difficult to push down, as it requires some force. Putting your palms on either side of the cap and using your bodyweight to press will make it a lot easier. The GeoPress is much easier to push down than the UltraPress, so that is something to keep in mind when picking between the two. Another thing to consider is that it’s harder to press down when filtering muddy water. This is because the sediment can get stuck in the filter and make it more difficult to push water through. Additionally, it requires more force to press the longer you use it, so you may have to replace the cartridge when it gets too difficult.
The Grayl GeoPress weighs more than other comparable water filtration systems, so it’s not ideal for things like thru-hiking where you want a very light load. It is also fairly bulky and has a wider shape, so it doesn’t fit in the side pockets of backpacks. Because of it’s weight and bulk, the GeoPress is better for day adventures like a summer hike, weekend camping trips, or international travel. The UltraPress is more slender and weighs less, so it might be a better choice fowr you if you’re looking for a lighter and less bulky option.
For our Grayl GeoPress review ratings, we gave this a 6/10 because it has a smaller water capacity, but it didn’t affect us much. The GeoPress holds 24 ounces of water, which is a relatively small capacity, especially if water sources are few and far between. But since it has a quick filtration rate, you can purify multiply bottles at one stop and pour the clean water into other empty containers. That way, you’ll have proper hydration for the rest of your adventure.
The lifespan of the GeoPress filter cartridge is 250 liters, or 350 uses. This is a fairly short lifespan, especially if you’re a big traveler or outdoor adventurer and need to use it frequently. However, you can get replacement cartridges, so you won’t have to replace the entire bottle at the end of each cartridge’s lifespan.
Drying the cartridges between uses and storing in an airtight container will help make them last longer. They’ll also last longer if you mainly filter clear water, because there won’t be sediment to clog up the filter cartridge. By drying, storing properly, and filtering clear water, you can extend the lifespan of the cartridges.
These purifier bottles are pretty durable, thanks to the polypropylene material they are made out of. When dropped, it doesn’t break or bust open. Grayl claims that the GeoPress can withstand a 10 foot drop when filled with water, so you won’t have to worry about them breaking easily. The lid and cap are secure and don’t leak, so you can throw them in the main compartment of your backpack without having to worry about your other items getting wet.
However, we’d still recommend having a back up solution in case it does break while you’re out in the wilderness. Otherwise, you could be stuck without any drinking water.
The GeoPress is fairly expensive compared to other water filtration systems, but given that it both filters and purifies, we think that it’s worth it. The GeoPress water purifier bottle is $99.95, while the replacement purifier cartridges are $29.95. You’ll also be saving money on plastic water bottles if you’re traveling and the tap water isn’t safe to drink. So while it is a bit of an investment, it’s worth it for the quality and functionality it provides.
To conclude our Grayl GeoPress review, we couldn’t recommend this product enough. It provides the best water quality, is easy to use, and is made of strong and durable materials. While it does have a shorter lifespan, you can purchase replacement cartridges to continue using it. It also is a bit heavier and bulkier than other filtration systems, but since we were mainly using it for day or weekend long adventures, this feature didn’t matter much to us. However, if you do want a more slender and lighter option, the UltraPress is a better choice.
Urban Outdoors is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
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