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Reviews > Water Treatment > Filters > Renovo MUV Eclipse Water Filter > Test Report by Brian Hartman

MUV ECLIPSE WATER FILTER
TEST SERIES BY BRIAN HARTMAN


TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Brian Hartman
EMAIL: bhart1426ATyahooDOT com
AGE: 50
LOCATION: Central Indiana
GENDER: M
HEIGHT: 5' 9" (1.75 m)
WEIGHT: 150 lb (68.00 kg)

I have been backpacking for over 20 years throughout Indiana, Ohio, Kentucky and most recently in Western USA. In addition to backpacking I enjoy family camping with my wife and kids and being outdoors in general. I would describe myself as a mid weight backpacker. I use fairly light weight equipment and gear but still like to bring more than the bare essentials with me while on the trail.


INITIAL REPORT 

November 29, 2018


PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

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Manufacturer: Renovo Water
Year of Manufacture: 2018
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.renovowater.com

Specifications:
MSRP: US $159.00
Listed Weight: 14.5 oz (411 g)
Measured Weight: 15.1 oz (428 g) including carrying bag

The MUV Eclipse is a 4 in 1 water filtration kit that uses modular technology to allow for the collection and/or filtration of water via straw, pump, gravity system, or water bottle.  It is lightweight, compact, and adaptable to multiple situations, which makes it ideal for backpacking.  It blocks chemicals, heavy metals, bacteria, and viruses, among other things.

The kit includes the following items:

(1) MUV1 Activated Carbon Fiber Filter
(1) MUV2 Hollow Fiber Module Filter
(1) MUV3 Nanalum Module Filter
(1) Pre-Filter Pre+28 Assembly
(5) Pre-Filter Felt
(1) Out+28 Assembly
(1) Pump
(3) Hose Adapter
(1) Hose - Blue/Clean Water - 18 in (457.2 mm)
(1) Hose - Grey/Dirty Water - 36 in (914.4 mm)
(1) Strainer, Pre-Filter
(1) Mouthpiece
(1) Water Bottle
(1) Water Bottle Tube
(1) Gravity Bag Kit (10L Gravity Dry Bag, Hose Clamp, Quick Connects, and 36 in (914.4 mm) Hose)
(1) Hose Clamp
(1) Bucket Adapter 

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As noted in the list above, the MUV Eclipse includes three filters.  The filters can be used independently or stacked on top of each other to provide additional filtration capabilities.  If only one filter is needed then the other two can be preserved to extend their life.  The MUV1, or activated carbon fiber filter, removes chemicals, chlorine, heavy metals, diesel fuel, pesticides, bad taste, and clarifies water.  According to the manufacturer, activated carbon fiber is 10x more absorbent than traditional carbon, which translates to faster flow rates.  This filter has a capacity of 150 gallons (567.8 l) before it needs to be replaced, and it has an individual filter weight of 1 oz (28 g).

The MUV2, or hollow fiber module filter, removes 99.999% of bacteria (including
E Coli, Cholera, and Typhoid), Giardia (parasites), and protozoa (Cryptosporidium).  It consists of tiny hollow tubes with porous membranes that allow clean water in but prevent contaminants from getting through the pores.  The MUV2 filters down to 0.1 microns (0.000004 in) and can be back flushed which gives it a filter capacity of 100,000 gallons (378,541 l).  The MUV2 has an individual filter weight of 2 oz (56.7 g).

The MUV3, or Nanalum module filter, can do everything the MUV1 and MUV2 do, plus it filters 99.99% of viruses, including Hepatitis A, Hepatitis E, Pollovirus, and Meningitis.  One interesting fact I learned on Renovo's website is that the technology used in Nanalum was developed by NASA as a way to reuse waste water on the International Space Station.  The MUV3 has a filter capacity of 90 gallons (340.7 l) and individual filter weight of 1.65 oz (46.8 g).  One thing to keep in mind, for what its worth, is that the MUV filters are designed for fresh water only.  They cannot filter salt from sea water.

I mentioned above that the MUV Eclipse provides at least four ways to collect and/or filter water.  Using the straw configuration, one can drink water directly from any water source or from a bottle of water.  The pump provides a second, and easy way to filter large amounts of water for a family or group.  The gravity system includes a 10L (10.6 q) gravity bag that allows water to be filtered via gravity for a hands-off approach.  And fourth, the PRE+2B connector can be added to any compatible water bottle, allowing external water filtration via one or more of the filter modules.  
In case the four methods above aren't enough, an example of a fifth way to purify water is to connect the carbon filter to the inside of the water bottle that's provided in this kit, and that allows for the removal of chemicals and pesticides, or the unpleasant taste in otherwise safe-to-drink water.  

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INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

The MUV Eclipse arrived in a fairly large cardboard box.  It was large and heavy enough that I had second thoughts about what was inside.  After opening it though, I saw that the box was purposely big because it neatly displayed all of the components that were inside.  The pump, filters, adapters, hoses, clamps and gravity bag were all in excellent condition with no marks and no molding errors.  I was immediately impressed with the number of items contained in the box, and I also liked the orange and gray color scheme.  The filters in particular have molded grips on them which are a nice touch, and they have a flat spot on them as well so that they are not entirely cylindrical.  Something I didn't notice immediately until I layed one down on my table and it immediately stopped itself from rolling off the edge.   

The three filters and prefilter, when stacked on top of each other, measure a compact 8 in (203.2 mm) tall and 1.5 in (38.1 mm) in diameter, so they won't take up a lot of room in my pack.  What I really like is that they can be interconnected in multiple ways, which makes them very versatile.  If I'm traveling in an area where viruses are a problem, then I can bring the MUV3, otherwise I can leave it at home and just bring the other two filters.  If I'm backpacking with my family or friends, then I can bring the pump and/or gravity bag, otherwise if I'm alone, I may bring only enough components to configure the straw and water bottle filter.  The possibilities are endless!

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

Included with the MUV Eclipse was a one page set of instructions that provided details on assembly and use of the water filters.  Here are a few noteworthy things that were mentioned in the instructions: 1. Make sure that any clean connectors and hoses used on the output side of the filters do not come in contact with contaminated water.  2. Turn filters and hose adapters by hand until snug.  Do not overtighten or use tools to tighten them.  3. Always make sure that the flow direction, as noted on the filters, points away from the dirty water source.  4. After each use, eject any leftover water from the pump by compressing the handle several times with the hoses not connected.  The pump should be allowed to dry before storage.  5. Backflushing the MUV2 filter will extend its life and improve its performance.  After each use, run clean water backwards through the MUV2 filter to dislodge and remove any contaminants in the filter.  6. The water bottle is dishwasher safe.  


A few interesting (and some scary) facts that I learned on Renovo Water's website were: 1. The average household in America uses 100 gallons of water per person per day.  2. America is the largest plastic water bottle consumer in the world. We are responsible for 15% of all the world's consumption of plastic water bottles.  That means we are disposing of 4 billion plastic water bottles every year!  3. Water bottles cost approximately $7.50 per gallon; and that is almost 2000x what we spend on a gallon of tap water; it's also about twice the average cost of a gallon of gas.  Yet we continue to buy them instead of using water filters... Crazy!  4. According to the Natural Resource Defense Council, roughly 25% of bottled water is actually just bottled tap water.  5. Finally, for most people the tap water in our houses comes from our local water utilities though a maze of pipes, including those in our homes, and even though these pipes are supposed to be lead-free, they can still have up to 8% of lead in them by law.

One thing that isn't mentioned in the instructions, and I couldn't find on the manufacturer's website, is if it matters what order the filters are in.  I'll research this further and include that information in my Field Report.

TRYING IT OUT

After looking over the filters and other components in the MUV Eclipse system, I assembled them into the four different configurations shown in my photos above.  My first configuration was that of a straw, and my second was the pump.  My third configuration was the gravity bag and fourth was the water bottle.  All four systems went together easily and the filters, adapters and hoses all fit snuggly together.  Besides these four configurations, I also added the carbon filter to the included water bottle, which is something I would do if I wanted to remove chemicals and heavy metals.  I also tried connecting the carbon and hollow fiber filter to the outlet hose on my hydration pack, and it worked fine.  I could see myself using that configuration if I wanted hands-free water filtration while on the move.  

SUMMARY

The MUV Eclipse is a brilliantly designed water filration kit that is lightweight, compact, and infinitely adaptable.  I am looking forward to testing it in the field and also anxious to see how well it holds up over time, given that there are lots of pieces which potentially will be connected and disconnected often. 

This concludes my Initial Report for the MUV Eclipse.



FIELD REPORT

February 10, 2018


FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

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During the past two months I used the MUV Eclipse on three backpacking trips and several day hikes.  

Most of my time was spent in Indiana (IN), Ohio (OH), and Wisconsin (WI) in various local, state, and national parks, as noted below in my trip logs:

Trip One: 6 days, 5 nights
Location: Cuyahoga National Park, OH
Weather: 26 to 35 F (-3 to 1.6 C) with moderate winds to 14 mph (22.5 kph)
Elevation: 1170 ft (357 m)
Comments: My first overnight test of the MUV Eclipse filration system was in Cuyahoga National Park, by a river that's famously known to have caught on fire thirteen times.  
Of course the section that burned was North of my location, in Cleveland, OH.  And I would be remiss if I didn't say that the river is in much better shape today thanks to Government agencies and non profit organizations and volunteers that spent much time over a number of years cleaning it up.  Where I was at, the Cuyohoga River runs for approximately 20 mi (32 km) through the Cuyohoga National Park, from South to North.  

Trip Two: 3 days, 2 nights
Location: Manitowoc County, WI
Weather: 22 to 34 F (-5.5 C to 1 C); conditions were clear and sunny the first day and cloudy with snow flurries afterwards.  There was 4 to 5 inches (10 to 12.7 cm) of snow on ground.
Elevation: 732 ft (223 m)
Comments: I spent most of my time on the Devil’s River State Trail, and surrounding areas.  Having researched the area beforehand, I knew there was really only one water source in the area, Devils River, and even it might be frozen over, so I brought water with me just in case.

Trip Three: 3 days, 2 nights
Location: Franklin County, IN
Weather:  12 to 22 F (-11 to -5.5 C)
Comments: Once again there were very few water sources in the area, including a local pond and a small creek called Harvey Branch, that were most likely frozen over, so I brought a gallon (3.8 l) of water with me.

In addition to the trips above, I took the Renovo water bottle and MUV filters with me on several day hikes, where I averaged 4 to 5 mi (6.4 to 8 km) in snowy conditions with temperatures ranging from 0 to 24 F (-17.8 to -4.4 C).  I also carried the MUV filters with me on my last hike of this test period but did not use them for fear they'd freeze up as the temperature that day was -8 F (-22 C) with a windchill of -14 F (-26 C).

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

One of the nicest things about using the MUV Eclipse Water Filtration system during the past three months, was the number of ways I could deploy it.  I found at least five different ways to collect and filter water using the MUV Eclipse, including: as a straw, as an inline water filter, as a gravity water filter, in a water bottle, and with the pump.  In addition, the three filters that came with the kit could be used together, individually, or in groups of two, depending how contaminated the water was.  Having all these options in one system made the MUV Eclipse very flexible, in terms of how it could be used.  

Using the straw configuration, I was able to drink water directly from streams and ponds.  I was also able to scoop water into my cup and drink from it as well although I didn’t do this in the field because I didn’t want to contaminate my cup.  Using the MUV as a straw was the simplest and quickest way to get a drink so it was the option I chose most often when on the move. 
 


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When I was thirsty and came across water, I simply removed my pack, got down close to the water source, and sipped.  Often, I had to get on my hands and knees or lie down to reach the water, which was inconvenient.  So, I quickly added the gray tube to the bottom of the straw, and it greatly extended my reach and made this setup much more convenient to use.  Adding the tube meant that I had to suck harder to overcome gravity and draw water through the filter assembly, but it was manageable.

Using the MUV Eclipse as inline filter was as simple as adding hose adapters to either end of the filter assembly, then attaching it to the shoulder strap on my pack.  This setup worked fine when I used a single filter, but when I attached all three filters, the assembly became long and hard to secure.  Consequently, it jostled around quite a bit.  I also didn’t like putting contaminated water in my hydration bladder, so I only used this setup twice.   

IMAGE 4The gravity filter system was most convenient to use once I arrived at camp.  Its advantage was its ability to filter large quantities of water while I was busy doing other things like setting up my tent, tending to my fire, or cooking dinner.  The gravity bag provided in the kit had a large opening which made it easy to scoop water from rivers and streams.  It also had plenty of capacity and a foolproof, closure system on top for containing water once it was collected.  With the included strap, I could hang from a tree branch, walk away for an hour, and come back to fresh, clean water.

The fourth way to use the MUV Eclipse was as a filter in the MUV water bottle.  Doing so, however, meant I had to put contaminated water in the water bottle, which I didn’t want to do.  Plus, only one of the three filters, the carbon filter, fit inside the water bottle.  Knowing there was animal waste in the ponds, streams, and rivers I encountered during my trips, and knowing that the carbon filter couldn’t remove bacteria, protozoa, or parasites by itself, I was reluctant to use it alone outside of my house.  

The final way I used the MUV Eclipse was as a pump.  I found the pump to be an easy, effective way to collect and filter large amounts of water.  Assembly was easy enough and pumping wasn’t difficult, but while using the pump on a bank on the edge of a stream, I tipped over my water bottle three times, by accident, while trying to pump and keep one hose in the stream and the other in my water bottle.  

The first time I used the pump I thought there might be an air leak because it took a while to get water flowing, but it turns out that’s normal.  After 15 or so pumps, water started flowing and all was good.  

Here are a few observations that I made while using the MUV during the past three months: 

1. I found that water quality from the filters was excellent.  Keep in mind that I always used at least two filters, with one of them being the carbon filter.  The water I drank was always clear and had no aftertaste.

2. I found the MUV pump was reliable and I had no issues with the filters or any of the other components in the system aside from two days when I attempted to filter water that was at or near freezing, in sub-freezing temperatures.  I suspect the water froze in the tubes and at least one of the filters as I attempted to collect water from two different streams, in these conditions.  Renovo has a reputation of making quality products and so I’m certain this wasn’t a product defect but rather, there must be a limit to this system in cold weather.  Interestingly enough, I went to Renovo’s website and also looked in the Eclipse manual, hoping to find information or a warning related to cold weather use of the filters, but I didn’t find anything on the subject. 

3. The MUV filters, pump, and other items were easy to pack, but I knew up front that I needed to be diligent at keeping clean items away from those that contacted contaminated water to avoid cross contaminating everything.  So, I marked the adapters and connectors to make sure I didn’t get them mixed up and used Ziploc bags that were labeled “clean’ and ‘dirty’ to keep everything separated.

As for maintenance and clean up, I simply tried to get as much water out of the pump as possible after using it and I let everything dry out after returning home from backpacking.  I also back flushed he MUV2 filter, once home, after each use.

SUMMARY

What I like best about the MUV Eclipse is the Nanalum filter and the system’s modularity.  Having a pump, gravity bag, water bottle, and three filters at my disposal meant that I had lots of options for how to use it, depending on the situation.  I had no issues connecting things together, but since there were lots of parts, I had to be extra careful not to cross contaminate components as I changed from one setup to the next.

This concludes my Field Report for the MUV Eclipse.  Thanks to Renovo and BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to participate in this test.  Please come back in two months to read my Final review.  



LONG TERM REPORT

April 14, 2019

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS


I took the MUV Eclipse on three backpacking trips and multiple day hikes during the past two months. 

My first outing was a two-day trip to Southeastern Indiana (IN), where daytime temperatures were in the upper 20's F (-3 C).  On this trip I hiked off-trail to a long valley where I intended to set up camp near a stream and get water, only to find out that the stream was frozen solid.  I remembered a small lake a mile or two back, but it was frozen near shore, and I wasn't about to go out on the ice, since I was solo.  I ended up leaving my gear at the campsite and hiking back to my car to retrieve a gallon jug of water that I had brought for the car ride home.  Unfortunately, I didn't get to use the Eclipse on this trip but was reminded how important it is to be prepared when things don't go as planned.  

Location: Southeastern Indiana (IN)
Type of Trip: Off trail
Distance: 9 mi (15 km)
Length of Trip: 1 night / 2 days
Backpack Weight: 39 lb (18 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Overcast
Precipitation: none
Temperature Range: 16 F to 27 F (-9 C to -3 C)

 
My second trip saw temperatures similar to those above but this time I planned ahead and camped near a larger stream where the water was still flowing (see photo to right).  
Because the trails were snow covered and slippery, I decided to go off-trail, taking a steeper but more direct route, and made it there ahead of schedule.  Temperatures were in the mid 20s F (-4 C) but windy conditions made it feel much colder.  Elevations in the area ranged from 530 ft (162 m) to 785 ft (239 m).

Location: Hoosier National Forest, Indiana (IN)
Type of Trip: On and off-trail backpacking
Distance: 12 mi (19 km)
Length of Trip: 2 nights / 3 days
Backpack Weight: 37 lb (17 kg)
Sky and Air Conditions: Cloudy and windy
Precipitation: 0.25 in (0.6 cm) of snow
Temperature: 25 F (-4 C)


My final backpacking trip of this test period was to a state park in Western Indiana (IN).  This time I camped near a lake in much warmer temperatures, which allowed me to carry less items, resulting in a lighter pack.  This was also a two-day trip, with sunny skies and temperatures in the mid 60s F (18 C).  I hiked approximately 8 mi (13 km) and carried a 30 lb (14 kg) pack.




PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

Although I tried to keep the filters as warm as possible, I was still concerned about using them in freezing conditions, so I emailed the manufacturer, letting them know I didn't see anything in the manual or online that indicated there was a low temperature limit to the filters, but I was still concerned.  Renovo responded that they don't recommend using the filters below freezing because the fibers in the filters can freeze and crack.  I thought back to how I used the filters during Field and Long Term Testing and concluded I was lucky I hadn't damaged them.  Lesson learned.  My third trip found warmer weather and more favorable conditions that allowed me to use the pump (below) as well as the gravity bag and filters as a straw.  I found that using the pump required three hands, two to operate the pump and one to hold the bottle, which kept wanting to tip over.  I also found the outside surface of the gray tube was sticky, not smooth like the blue tube, and it quickly collected dirt and debris which I couldn't wipe off.  I hadn't noticed these two things during Field Testing because I had pushed the water bottle into the snow to keep it from tipping over and the snow blanketed the dirt so that issue was unknown.  Beyond that, I had no problems with the pump and was able to filter a sizeable amount of water with it.  My favorite option was using the gravity feed bag because it required little work and provided a large amount of water whenever I wanted it.  It also kept the water bottle clean, which is something I couldn't do when using the water bottle in conjunction with an internal filter to clean contaminated water.  


Finally, I used the filters as a straw and found it was the quickest way to get a drink of water, although the gray hose kept wanting to coil up out of the water source.  For future use, I plan to add a weight to the end of the gray hose to make things easier.  Overall this is a great system that gives me lots of options for filtering even the most contaminated water sources.        

                                   

SUMMARY

The MUV Eclipse performed well during the past five months of testing.  Overall it is a great system, that offers easy setup, tons of flexibility, and great filtering.  There's no doubt in my mind this is a high-quality product and it proved it by standing up to backcountry abuse as well as sub-freezing temperatures that other filters may not have survived.  

This concludes my Long Term Report of the MUV Eclipse.  Thanks to Renovo for providing this item for testing and to BackpackGearTest.org for allowing me to participate in this test.





Read more reviews of Renovo Water gear
Read more gear reviews by Brian Hartman

Reviews > Water Treatment > Filters > Renovo MUV Eclipse Water Filter > Test Report by Brian Hartman



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