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Reviews > Hydration Systems > Bottles > Vapur Element Bottle with Microfilter > Test Report by Kurt Papke
Vapur Element Bottle with
|Height:||6' 4" (193 cm)|
|Weight:||220 lbs (100 kg)|
|Email address:||kwpapke at gmail dot com|
|City, State, Country:||Tucson, Arizona USA|
The following photos show an overview of the Element bottle: at
left - in the packaging, upper right - rolled up for storage,
bottom right - filled with water and self-standing.
|Year of manufacture:||2015
|Country of origin:
||Grey/Teal, also available in Red, Fire
(red/black), and Water (blue)
||Black (only color available)
1.4 oz (40 g)
Measured 1.5 oz (42 g)
|1.1 oz (30 g) listed on the packaging
1.5 oz (42 g) listed on the website
1.8 oz (50 g) measured
|Dec 5-12, 2015
||Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona USA
||R2R2R + Clear
||70 miles (113 km)
|25 to 60 F, partly cloudy
(-4 to 16 C)
|January 16-18, 2016
Canyon Wilderness, Arizona USA
||20 miles (32 km)
|32 to 65 F, partly cloudy
(0 to 18 C)
|February 8-9, 2016
||Santa Catalina Mountains near Tucson, Arizona
||12 miles (19 km)
|40 to 80 F, sunny
(4 to 27 C)
|March 5-8, 2016
||Grand Canyon National Park, Arizona USA
|40 to 70 F, mostly sunny
(4 to 21 C)
|March 11-13, 2016
||Superstition Mountain Wilderness near Phoenix
|38 to 70 F, sunny & windy
(3 to 21 C)
Though the hike was over an 8-day period, we started
at 4pm on the first day and finished up by noon on the last day,
so really 7 days of hiking. This was a fairly strenuous
hike, averaging about 10 miles (16 km) per day hiked which is a
lot for the Canyon with all the altitude change. The
Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim segment was all on corridor trails where ample
supplies of clean water were available, but the Clear Creek
segment is a Primitive area which means we had to purify our
One of the pleasant surprises with the Vapur Element bottle on
this trip was that I found I can drink from the bottle without
detaching it from my pack's shoulder strap. This is shown in
the photo at left. This is a big deal for me, as it makes
using the Vapur bottle as convenient as a hydration bladder - I
don't have to reach for a bottle, just pop the cap, bring it up to
my mouth, and with a little squeeze I have water shooting into my
mouth!! This technique would work with any pack that has a
sturdy shoulder strap attachment point.
We stayed one night at Clear Creek. As the name implies, there is a beautifully clear stream that runs right by the campground that comes down from the North Rim. With its clarity, I had no concerns with using the Microfilter for purifying my water. If I was drawing water from the Colorado River, it would have been a different story as that water source is notorious for clogging up filters almost immediately.
I purified several quarts (liters) of water at the site.
The Microfilter was easier to suck water through than I thought it
might be. With a little squeeze on the bottle, I was able to
drink purified water as fast as I wished.
As shown in the photo at right, I found that using gravity helped
draw water through the Microfilter. I also realized that the
intake holes for the filter are near the top - this is visible in
the photos of the Microfilter near the top of the Initial
Report. This allows the user to drink out of the bottle with
very little "dead space", i.e. very little water that cannot be
consumed and must remain in the bottle. This is good design.
During this trip I had no issues with the reliability of the
gear. No bottle leaks, no breakage, no filter
clogging. I did notice that the carabiner clip popped out a
few times, but it was trivial to just push it back into the
Overall, I would say that this trip was a big success for the
Vapur system: everything worked as expected.
This 3-day backpacking trip was ideal for trying out the filtering performance of the Vapur system, as the entire hike was in and along a creek, so I could scoop up and replenish my drinking water at-will. I carried in 2 qt/L, and consumed about 3 qt/L per day, so I filtered about 9 qt/L on this trip.
can be seen in the photo at far left, the creek was deep enough to
fill the bottle with no problems, but I had to fill it
horizontally and could not submerge it. The current did a
great job of filling the bottle if I inflated it fully with air
first by blowing into it. I was able to fill it up every
time so that when the filter/cap was screwed on, the bottle was
completely filled with water.
I carried 3 bottles on this trip: the Vapur, a second bottle for
my backpack strap which can be seen in the first Grand Canyon
picture above, and a Nalgene as show in the photo at left which I
used to mix up my morning breakfast shake.
Of course I could drink water directly from the Vapur bottle, but
with the other two I had to use the Vapur system as a
filter. I'd fill the Vapur bottle, and squeeze hard to
filter water into one of the other bottles as shown in the photo
at left. When the other two bottles were full, I'd fill up
the Vapur bottle and I was ready to go. This system worked
better than I anticipated. I was able to filter one bottle
of water in about one minute.
Aravaipa Creek is fairly clear as is visible in the photo at left
above, so at the end of the trip the filter had no performance
issues from clogging.
All together, I was very happy with the performance of the Vapur
system on this trip. No issues, just clean water!
This was a simple single night backpack to get an old friend out
on the trail who had not backpacked in many decades. This
was a great route to test the Vapur system, as there are multiple
spots to get fresh water along the way, and the water runs clear
from snowmelt this time of year.
I purified about 4 full bottles of water on the 2-day hike.
As usual, no issues whatsoever. One of the nice things I
noticed on this hike is that my other bottle that I hung from the
shoulder strap was "squeaking" as I walked, emanating from the
metal wire I used to attach it to a carabiner. Conversely,
the Vapur bottle swung silently from my backpack. I like
I applied for a Hermit Loop permit, but apparently the Grand Canyon starts getting busy again in early March and my permit was denied. I had to settle for what they could give me when I showed up at the backcountry office: Hermit to Monument Creek to Granite Rapids to Hermit Rapids, out via Hermit Trail. The good news is I would have fresh creek water every night filtered through the Vapur. The photo at upper left shows me at Hermit Creek, and the middle photo where I am drinking through the filter at the same location.
Everything went smoothly, the bottle and filter continued to work
well, though I have noticed some leakage from the cap when the
bottle is jostled. The photo at upper right shows the water
droplets on the back of my pack that occurred while I was driving
to the trailhead (the Vapur bottle was laying on top of my
pack). Nothing major, but I do like my water packing systems
This was a new trailhead for me into the Reavis area of the
Superstitions, with our goal being Reavis Falls. The only
source of water was Reavis Creek, so I filled the Vapur bottle
with fresh water before we left and filtered one bottle from the
creek with no issues.
I had a bigger leak from the cap on the way to the trailhead -
the cap oozes water when under pressure (in this case from my
backpack sitting on it).
My bottom line on this bottle is: Super! Not so much with
the filter, despite the fact that it worked well for me. I
think the filter is great for day hiking, or as a backup water
purification device, but it has maybe 1/4 of the capacity I need
to purify water at the infrequent refill opportunities I run into
in Arizona. If I did more of my hiking where water was
available every 5 miles (8 km) or so, it might work really well
even for longer backpack trips.
Thanks to BackpackGearTest.org and Vapur for the opportunity to
contribute to this test.
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