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Reviews > Water Treatment > Filters > Camelbak Groove Portable Filtration > Test Report by Dawn LarsenCamelBak Groove Portable Filtration System
Initial Report - September 21, 2010
Field Report - November 23, 2010
Long Term Report - 22 January 2011
Name: Dawn Larsen
Height: 5' 4" (163 cm)
Weight: 165 lb (75 kg)
Email address: vicioushillbilly AT yahoo DOT com
Florence, South Carolina USA
I used to backpack in college a zillion years ago and just in the last few years have backpacked some private trails in Tennessee, Missouri and most recently South Carolina. I have been an avid car-camper for twelve years and I have kayak/canoe camped for five years, both in South Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri and Arkansas. I use a lot of the same equipment for both. I hike hilly/rocky trails especially in Missouri (my home state) and Arkansas. I live in South Carolina and am busy checking out the terrain here with my seventeen year-old son.
Year of Manufacture: 2010
Manufacturer's Website: www.camelbak.com
MSRP: $25.00 (plastic) and $35 (stainless steel) US, replacement filters are $10 for 2 filters and $25 for six
Listed Weight: N/A
Measured Weight: 6.65 oz (188.5 g)
Measured dimensions: 9.25 in (248 mm )height to top of extended bite valve by 3 in (7.6 cm) diameter
Colors Available: Unknown
Color Reviewed: White and Gray
Bottle choices: BPA-free Tritan plastic or stainless steel
Bottle reviewed: Tritan plastic
21 September 2010
The CamelBak Groove came to me in a plain cardboard box with no tags, information, instructions, without anything. It came already assembled, in that the filter was in place and the top was screwed on. The lid comes with a soft silicon bite valve that retracts back into the lid or locks out to provide ease of use. The bottle has white lines etched into the side of it that provides texture for a better grip. The lid has CamelBak's loop making it easy to attach to a pack or belt. The bottle is made of "BPA-free Tritan plastic."
The replaceable filter is integrated into the straw, which distributes the weight more evenly and keeps it from tipping over. According to the press release, it reduces chlorine to "far exceeding the NSF 42 standard." The replaceable filter is made of "sustainable, plant-based coconut carbon, which has more active sites for absorption." It is good for two months or "200 refills."
Though there were no instructions that came with the Groove, I found I could very easily twist (rather than unscrew) the filter housing off of the straw. The picture below shows the threads in the center of the lid where the filter housing attaches. Then the black filter slides out. It was a litte more difficult to get it all back together. The filter has a sandpaper feel on the outside, which prevented it from "sliding" in. Also, it was a little more difficult to get the threads and the top of the filter housing just right, but I got it back to together after fiddling with it for about 30 seconds. The straw also just pulls off from the filter housing and the bite valve works fine without the straw.
I immediately took it to the drinking fountain outside my office. It has the WORST chlorine-tasting water ever. Well, the filter absolutely took the taste out of the water! Yippeee!
I had never used the CamelBak bite valve before and I like it. Water does not spill out of it even if it is not retracted back into the lid. To drink from it you extend the valve out (more than 90 degree angle) until it locks into place, bite on it and then suck through it like a straw. I had to get used to not tipping the bottle up to drink from it because all my other bottles do not have a straw. When I tipped it up, chlorine-tasting water entered the valve and I tasted it.
I was wearing lipstick when I used it the first time and the lipstick transferred to the silicon. However, it wiped off very easily.
In the press release, CamelBak markets this very heavily as a green product citing plastic water bottle production statistics and landfill statistics in the US. I like that they are concerned with counteracting the amount of plastic bottles in landfills.
I think I really like this product. I am a little concerned about the loop on the lid breaking as I plan to carry and use this waterbottle every day. I will test for its durability as well as ease of use.
What I like
It doesn't spill.
The filter seems easy to replace, as well as it is a replaceable filter.
The filter works very well as it takes out a chlorine taste.
What I don't like
It was a little difficult to get the filter housing back on.
No literature with the product.
November 23, 2010
I have used this bottle daily during this test period. I carry it in my car, on my bike, on day hikes, to the gym. I have also camped with it twice, as well as used it when I attended a "Wild Women's Weekend" put on by the South Carolina Dept of Fisheries and Wildlife.
Function - This bottle is "groov-eee," get it?! OK, well, anyway....it really does what it purports to do. It absolutely takes the taste of chlorine out of tap water. I use it every day.
Bite Valve - The bite valve keeps the water from spilling out. I have dropped it, turned it upside down, left it full on the floor of my car and no spilling! I don't feel like I have to suck too hard to get the water. I also think it provides enough water at any one time. Some filters slow the flow of water down so much that I feel like I'm not getting enough water at any one time. This one, however, provides enough water when I want it.
Cleaning - The bottle cleans well. I have some trouble getting lipstick/gloss off of the bite valve. I have to scrub it.
Bottle - The etching on the sides of the bottle do help me to keep my grip on it. The straw also comes off easily for cleaning.
Cap - I like the loop on the cap. I can carry it easily. It works well in my kayak using a caribeaner to clip it onto my boat. The cap threads onto the bottle very easily.
My major complaint so far - This is a very low volume bottle. Unfortunately, I have completely drained the water after about 45 minutes of strenuous activity. I would really like it better if the bottle were larger.
I really like this product and I use it every day. It does what it says it will do. I really like that the bite valve works so well. I like how easily I can drink from it.
What I like
It takes the taste of chlorine out of the water.
The bite valve works very well.
What I don't like
I wish the bottle was bigger.
Lipstick sticks to the silicone of the bite valve.
Long Term Report
22 January 2011
I have continued to use this bottle daily. I used it in my car, at my desk, at the gym, on airplanes, and on several hikes. I would say that I have used the bottle about 150 times or refills total.
I left it in my car overnight when it got down to 17 degrees F (-8 C). Though the water froze, when it thawed, it still performed beautifully.
On one of my day hikes, I used it with a bigger bottle and liked that much better. On my hour hike, the water lasted the whole hike. The screw-on top fit the larger bottle very well. There was no difference in how hard I had to suck.
The bite value continues to perform very well. It doesn't leak or clog.
The flavor of the water after 150 plus uses is still clear and good. There is no chlorine taste.
The bottle is still in good condition even though I have dropped it several times.
The bottle cleans well except for the lipstick on the bite valve. I have to scrub with a plastic brush or my fingernail to get that off, but it comes off.
I really like that I can take it to an airport and use it for the generally nasty tasting water that comes from water fountains or taps. As long as there is no water in it, I had no problems getting it through security the two times I've flown this test period. Not having to pay $3-4 US for bottled water at an airport is fabulous!!
I LOVE that I'm not adding plastic waste to a landfill.
This product works exactly like it says it does. I really like it and will continue to use it every day until the filter wears out and then I will buy a new filter and continue to use it.
What I like
It takes the chlorine taste out of water.
The bite valve works well.
What I don't like
Lipstick sticks to the bite valve.
This concludes my long term report. Many thanks to CamelBak and BackpackGearTest.org for providing the Groove for testing.
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