Review for the PurifiCup Water Filter

Backpacking Traveler on street

Purificup Water FilterBy Greg Rodgers

Unfortunately, the water isn’t safe to drink in many of my favorite parts of the world. Properly treating sewage is often a low priority in developing countries, so a stew of harmful bacteria and viruses gets dumped into the rivers and streams. Even the stuff that comes from the tap could make you really hate your life if you’re crazy enough to drink it.

I prefer not to start a devastating war between microorganisms inside my gut, so I’m always on the lookout for interesting ways to make water safe again.

The PurifiCup is a neat, self-contained cylinder; the filtering unit itself stores inside of its own cup. Both ends unscrew, then you can either use one half of the unit to drink from, or attach the filter to a regular water bottle or sports bottle.

A spinning dial system on the filter clicks into place and allows you to track how much water you have put through the PurifiCup.

Filters may not last you through a long backpacking trip, but carrying an additional filter is no big deal,

About the PurifiCup Filter

There is no need to boil water once you run it through the PurifiCup. The filter eliminates more than 600 kinds of bacteria.

Ion exchange resin turns hard water into soft water and removes heavy metals such as lead and mercury.

  • Activated carbon removes chlorine, pesticides, and organic odors.
  • Nanoscale silver-coated membrane kills 99.99% of pathogens.
  • Absolute 1 micron filter provides additional filtration for bacteria.

The manufacturer’s website says that the operating range for filters is between 32 – 100 degrees Fahrenheit. I hope it goes beyond that as I frequently find myself sweating it out in Southeast Asia with temperatures even hotter!

A new filter costs around US $14 online.

PurifiCup Filter

PurifiCup Specifications

(based on the Natural Water series)

  • Total Capacity: 100 to 150 cups / 41.6 liters / 11 gallons
  • Total Weight: 305 grams / 10.76 ounce
  • Flow Rate: 0.2 liter per minute
  • Cup Volume: 10 fluid ounces

Things I Like

  •  I love the fact that the filter fits perfectly onto CamelBak bottles as well as threads onto ‘regular’ throwaway water bottles you get from the store (see an example).
  • Yes, you have to change the filter after so much use, but there are no lithium or expensive/proprietary batteries to worry about.
  • Unlike other water purification systems with pumps, there are no moving parts or mechanical gadgets that could break or stop working because of dirt.
  • Unlike the SteriPen, the PurifiCup does more than just remove viruses and bacteria: it softens water and removes heavy metals, organics, and anything chunky floating around.
  • Despite being a little too heavy, the PurifiCup feels rugged and durable.
  • The built-in filter counter is cool. No fault of the manufacturer, but it’s up to you to remember when you increment the counter whether you meant cups, liters, external bottles, etc.
  • Great packaging and included instructions with lots of good information make the PurifiCup a very attractive gift for that adventurer on your list.
Purificup on CamelBak
Fitted nicely to my CamelBak bottle.

Potential Drawbacks

  • The biggest problem that I see is the potential to cross contaminate if you use the cup part of the system rather than your own bottle. The ‘dirty’ end of the filter piece fits back inside of the smaller cup when you pack up for storage. This gives unfiltered water a chance to drip down inside of the cup that you may use to drink from later. A little mindfulness or not drinking from the including cup — use it to scoop water instead — potentially corrects this problem.
  • At 10.7 ounces, the PurifiCup is heavier than many pump-style filters that do not include heavy, hard-plastic receptacles. I won’t include this device in my lightweight travel survival kit I carry on the road, however, it definitely has its place in my home/camping kit.
  • You generally need a flat surface to set up the PurifiCup, so trying to filter water in a canoe or on bouncing transportation could require serious kung fu.
  • Filtration is a little slow, but maybe that’s a good sign that the filtration materials are tight and doing their job.

Summary of the PurifiCup

Water tastes just fine and even a little sweet after filtration. The PurifiCup is a neat addition to my zombie survival kit, however, it probably won’t being going to the jungle with me on long trips.

You can see more or order a PurifiCup for yourself on the official PurifiCup website.

Disclosure: The author received a demo unit of the PurifiCup Natural Water Series for free from PurifiCup as coordinated by Deep Creek Public Relations.