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Reviews > Water Treatment > Filters > Renovo MUV Eclipse Water Filter > Test Report by Marina Batzke

RENOVO MUV ECLIPSE WATER FILTER
TEST SERIES BY MARINA BATZKE
LONG-TERM REPORT
April 14, 2019

CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE FIELD REPORT
CLICK HERE TO SKIP TO THE LONG-TERM REPORT

TESTER INFORMATION

NAME: Marina Batzke
EMAIL: mbbp2013 (at) yahoo (dot) com
AGE: 59
LOCATION: Los Angeles County, California, USA
GENDER: F
HEIGHT: 5' 5" (1.65 m)
WEIGHT: 132 lb (60.00 kg)

I converted from day hiking and car camping to backpacking in 2013. My backpacking trips are one or two weekend excursions per month in Southern California. The locations range from Joshua Tree National Park desert areas in the cooler months to mountainous elevations in the summer months. I always hike with a group and like the gear talk in camp. While I am looking for ways to lighten my pack, I am not an ultra-lighter: I like sleeping in a tent with a sleeping bag on a comfortable pad. In January 2017, I added snowshoeing to my winter activities.


INITIAL REPORT

PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS

Manufacturer: Renovo Water
Year of Manufacture: 2018
Manufacturer's Website: http://renovowater.com
MSRP: US$159.00
Listed Weight: 14.5 oz (411 g)
Measured Weight of the RUSH pump with filters MUV1, MUV2, MUV3, the PRE+28, the OUT+28, two hose adapters, the blue clean water tube and the grey contaminated water tube: 14.1 oz (400 g)

INITIAL IMPRESSIONS

IMAGE 1
Outer Packaging
IMAGE 2
Parts sorted in Blister Packaging

The MUV Eclipse Water Filter kit arrived well secured inside a carton that describes the filter's suitability for travel, camping, survival and hiking. Inside the carton were the individual components, protected by a clear blister plastic packaging. My first impression when I looked at the many different, even rather small, some quite similar looking components was: this is a filter system that requires thoroughly reading the instructions and step-by-step assembling. My next thought was that it might be difficult to keep track of the various components and I should best keep the clear blister packaging to store the many components in their molded places.

The MUV Eclipse works with a water bottle, with a hydration reservoir, as a straw, as a pump and as a gravity filter. With its three filters, it is suited to clean contaminants from municipal water all the way to filter viruses and bacteria from water in the outdoors. That is very impressive.
IMAGE 3
The various components

I cut open the clear blister packaging with scissors and placed all the pieces on my kitchen table. Supported by a list of Eclipse components that I located on the manufacturer's website, I identified these individual pieces:
(1) MUV1 Activated Carbon Fiber Filter (marked with 1 dot) in orange/grey
(1) MUV2 Hollow Fiber Module Filter (marked with 2 dots) in orange/grey
(1) MUV3 Nanalum Module Filter (marked with 3 dots) in orange/grey
(1) Pre-Filter "Pre+28" Assembly, grey (has PRE+28 legibly molded into its plastic body)
(5) Pre-Filter Felts: white dots inside a small plastic bag
(1) "Out+28" Assembly, grey (has OUT+28 legibly molded into its plastic body)
(1) "Rush" Hand Pump: orange/grey body with a grey plastic pump handle
(2) Hose Adapters: two in grey (the website lists three - I find only two)
(1) Blue Hose - for Clean Water - 18 in (45.7 cm) long
(1) Grey Hose - for Dirty Water - 36 in (91 cm) long
(1) Mouthpiece, blue/grey plastic
(1) Water Bottle, transparent hard plastic with grey screw-on top
(1) Hose Clamp, white
(1) Gravity Bag Kit (2.64 Gal = 10 L Gravity Dry Bag, Hose Clamp, Quick Connects, and its 36 in = 91 cm long Hose)

After looking at each piece one-by-one, I could not figure out / not locate the below listed parts. I visited the manufacturer's online shop http://renovowater.com/replacement-filters-and-accessories/ where Renovo offers accessories and I found item photos with names there: that helped me to solve the mystery. Yes, I was able to additionally name and locate:
(1) Pre-Filter Strainer, small and white with a stainless steel mesh inside that blocks debris from entering the MUV Water Filter
(1) Water Bottle Tube (I can only guess it is the plastic tube inside the Water Bottle, firmly attached to the screw-on top ... but if it is firmly attached, why is it listed as individual component?)
(1) Bucket Adapter (yes, a plastic piece that was inside the Gravity Bag Kit)

Except for one missing Hose Adapter (the website lists three while I got two), it seems I received all components. All pieces look in flawless condition. I do like the orange/grey color theme.

Pretty confused by all the many pieces, I started reading the enclosed instructions.

READING THE INSTRUCTIONS

The instructions are printed in well-readable font and in sufficiently large font size on the two sides of one piece of paper. I wish there were a list of all the water filter components with either a drawing or photo of each part and its name underneath. That would really help me figure out the various pieces.

MUV1 Module uses activated carbon which can remove chemicals and heavy metals, plus works against discoloration of water and negative taste. MUV1 filters up to 150 gal (568 L) of water.

MUV2 Module uses hollow fiber (tiny hollow tubes that look like straws) and can remove bacteria (E. Coli, Cholera, Typhoid, etc) and protozoa (Cryptosporidium, Giardia, etc). MUV2 filters up to 100,000 gal (378,547 L) of water.

MUV3 Module is the nanalum filter which works through absorption. Nanalum can remove viruses (Hepatitis A, Hepatitis E, Poliovirus, Meningitis, etc), bacteria (E. Coli, Cholera, Typhoid, etc), protozoa (Cryptosporidium, Giardia, etc), heavy metals, chemicals and negative taste. It filters up to 90 gal (341 L) of water.

WARRANTY
Renovo Water offers a limited warranty against all manufacturing defects. If I notice a product defect, I shall fill in the Warranty Claim Form on their website, submit it online and I will hear back about either a part replacement or how to arrange a repair, if applicable.

Renovo Water mentions that every single filter is tested before it gets shipped out. Wow!

If the MUV filters become clogged after many uses, the filters may have reached their life expectancy and their replacement would not be covered under the manufacturer's warranty. Important to know the MUV2 Hollow Fiber filter is suited for cleaning and backflushing. After each use and when it appears clogged (slow), I shall backflush the MUV2 filter. Backflush option 1 is to run a steady stream of tap water through the MUV2 filter in the opposite direction of the flow arrow. Backflush option 2 is to have the OUT+28 housing attached to the MUV2 filter and attach it to a water bottle with 28 mm (1.1 in) threading, then flush the clean bottle water through the filter to clean it.

TRYING IT OUT

Following the printed instructions, I first assembled the MUV Eclipse with the RUSH Pump. Assembly of the Renovo MUV Eclipse Water Filter set did not at all come natural to me. I had to read each sentence, search for the right piece, assemble it as directed. Next sentence, search for appropriate piece, assemble.
IMAGE 4
The Pump Filter Assembly

Next I tried to assemble the MUV Filter inline with a Hydration Reservoir. I struggled to follow the instructions. I even downloaded the manufacturer's instructions as PDF from their website, thinking that maybe those are more up to date. Once I realized that I would have to cut the tube of my hydration pack and have to fill the contaminated water into my hydration pack, I realized this option will not be for me. On to the next ...

I followed the instructions to use the Renovo Eclipse with the Tote Gravity Bag. After some head-scratching I think I figured it out.

Another opportunity is to use the Renovo Eclipse with its Bucket Adapter. This requires drilling a hole in a 5-gallon bucket.

The most straight forward to follow assembly instructions are to use the Renovo Filter as a Straw. I got those quickly. Now my only question is if it matters that I attached the Pre+28 to the MUV2 filter and had the MUV1 above it, below the mouthpiece. Is the order of filters of importance?

The Renovo Filter can also get attached to a soda bottle with 1.1 in (28 mm) screw top where the contaminated water is filled into the soda bottle and I drink through the mouthpiece.

Finally I can use the Renovo Filter inside the manufacturer supplied hard plastic bottle: I assemble the MUV3 filter with the Out+28 and a hose adapter, then attach this assembly to the short hose that is firmly attached to the bottom of the screw-on cap. I screw on the cap which submerges the filter assembly in the contaminated water inside that hard plastic water bottle. Very important to always remember that this water bottle is for contaminated water only.

Why do I have five small pieces of filter felt if nowhere in the instructions it is mentioned that I shall insert them anywhere? Is it important which filter (if I use two or more in a row) is closest to the Pre+28? I am now assembling a list of my many questions and will reach out to the manufacturer for answers.

SUMMARY

The Renovo MUV Eclipse Water Filter set is an all-encompassing filtering system that offers three different filters and removes viruses, bacteria, chemicals and more.

LIKES:
lightweight
pleasant orange/grey color theme
ergonomically shaped pump and filter bodies make for a good hand-hold
three different filters allow filtering many different water contaminations - pretty amazing

DISLIKES:
installation instructions do not seem correct in all use descriptions
confusing, frustrating directions
instructions could use more detail identifying component parts


FIELD REPORT

FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Joshua Tree National Park, Southern California, USA
Elevation: 4000 ft (1200 m)
2 days/ 1 night car camping with navigation: 5 mi/ 8 km
Temperature: 58 - 38 F/ 14 - 3 C

Mission Creek Preserve, Southern California, USA
Elevation: 2450 ft (750 m)
2 days/ 1 night car camping with navigation: 3 mi/ 5 km
Rain, at times heavy, cold, some wind Sat; sunny and cold Sun
Temperature: 54 - 39 F (12 - 3 C)

Anza Borrego State Park, Southern California, USA
Elevation Day 1: 1000 ft (300 m) + Day 2: 4000 ft (1200 m)
2 days/ 1 night car camping with dayhikes: 6 mi/ 10 km + 10 mi/ 16 km
Sunny on Sat but aggressive cold wind on Sun
Temperature: 72 - 49 F (22 - 9 C)

Mammoth, California, USA
Elevation: 9000 ft (2750 m)
2 days snowshoeing: 3 mi/ 5 km + 6 mi/ 10 km
Sunny and a pleasant cold
Temperature: 49 - 33 F (9 - 1 C)

Mt. Pinos, California, USA
Elevation: 8300 ft (2530)
1 day of navigation on snowshoes: 3 mi/ 5 km
Mostly sunny
Temperature: 25 F (- 4 C)

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

Before using the Renovo water filters in the field, I contacted the manufacturer Renovo and inquired about several inconsistencies in the use instructions, plus I asked several questions which they speedily and sufficiently answered.

There are no requirements in which order the filters have to be used. Renovo recommends using MUV2 first if I am using more than one filter. MUV2 can be backflushed and blocks contaminants while MUV1 and MUV3 cannot be backflushed. Using MUV2 first will extend the life of the other filters. Any of the filters can be used by themselves or together.

I had wondered what to do with those 5 tiny white pre-filter felts. They go inside the PRE+28. They are meant to block large contaminants from entering the filters. If I am filtering water with sediment, these pre-filter felts will help protect the filter. I shall remove the pre-filter and rinse it in water to clean it. The cleaner the water the better, Renovo told me but it doesn't matter if the water is contaminated as it still needs to go through the filter. The tiny white felts can be used until rinsing them under water no longer cleans them. Then I simply throw the felt away and use another one. That is why Renovo sends replacements in the package.
IMAGE 1
PRE28 with 5 extra felt pieces

When I read through the instructions, one of my big concerns was that I would have to fill unfiltered, possibly contaminated, dirty water into my backpack's hydration bladder if I want to use the Renovo water filter with the hydration bladder. Renovo explained that I can clean the reservoir with a small amount of bleach diluted in water, yet they recommend keeping the hydration reservoir as a dedicated "dirty water" bag if I am going to use this configuration. Since I do not want to turn my pack's hydration bladder into a contaminated water reservoir, I will not use the Renovo filter this way.
IMAGE 2
MUV2 inside the Renovo bottle

In the printed instructions, Renovo mentions only the MUV3 inside their transparent hard-plastic water bottle. Renovo's email explained that I can use any of the filters in the water bottle but the internal tube is cut for the height of MUV3. The 22 oz (650 ml) water bottle and the MUV3 filter make up Renovo's Nomad package. This Nomad package is designed for international travel where the traveler may need bacteria and virus protection which MUV3 provides. Yet I can use the water bottle with MUV1 or MUV2 also, since all of the Renovo pieces are designed to be interchangeable. I tried attaching the longest filter, MUV2 to the internal tube and it kind of fits - the internal tube is a bit wiggled but works fine.

My final question was if the two hose adapters can be used with either the gray (contaminated water) or the blue (clean water) hose, would there be a risk of cross contamination. Renovo recommends keeping the dirty accessories separate from the clean accessories. One tip is to mark the dirty hose adapter with a Sharpie.

After all the great feedback from Renovo Customer Service, I was ready to use the Renovo filter set-up. None of my outings the last two months had flowing creek water. The various locations were either bone-dry desert or snowy mountains. So I only got to use the Renovo MUV2 inside the hard-plastic water bottle. The bottle fits great into the side pocket of my backpack. Sucking the water was easy, without any resistance.

SUMMARY

Renovo Customer Service provided very helpful feedback. The Renovo hard-plastic water bottle is easy to use with any of the three MUV filters.

LIKES:
responsive customer service
efficient water bottle

DISLIKES:
Online Instructions still not updated


LONG-TERM REPORT

LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS

Henninger Flats, Angeles National Forest, California, USA
Elevation: 2600 ft (790 m)
2 day/ 1 night backpack
Sunny day but cold night
Temperature: 60 - 40 F (16 - 4 C)

Mt. Pinos, California, USA
Elevation: 8300 ft (2530)
1 day snowshoeing: 4 mi/ 6 km
Simply beautiful snow day
Temperature: 32 F (0 C)

Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA
Elevation: 4000 - 5600 ft (1200 - 1700 m)
2 day/ 1 night backpack
Pleasant daytime hiking temperature but freezing cold night
Temperature: 60 - 32 F (16 - 0 C)

Joshua Tree National Park, California, USA
Elevation: 1550 - 3300 ft (470 - 1000 m)
2 day/ 1 night backpack
Nice weekend with beautiful wildflowers
Temperature: 65 - 40 F (18 - 4 C)

Mission Creek Preserve, Southern California, USA
3 day/ 2 night car camp
Elevation: 2450 - 3600 ft (750 - 1100 m)
Sunny and pleasant with just a light wind on Sunday
Temperature: 69 - 45 F (21 - 7 C)

PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD

The first 3 months of 2019, Southern California experienced the wettest and coldest winter in 123 years. A lot of weekends were too stormy and wet to safely go backpacking. The access roads to trailheads washed out due to excessive rain water. At higher levels, we had snow and many mountain roads frequently got closed. These serious weather conditions limited my opportunities to use all the components of the Renovo filter kit.

The last couple of months, I mostly used the Renovo MUV2 inside the Renovo hard-plastic water bottle. The MUV2 filter can get backflushed, so that is convenient. The Renovo hard-plastic bottle holds the contaminated water and I suck through the mouthpiece. I like that when not in use, the mouthpiece is folded away and therefore protected against getting dirty.

For February 15/16, I had a snow backpacking trip planned up on San Jacinto. Unfortunately, heavy rains washed out the road to the tram that was supposed to whisk us up to the wilderness of Mt. San Jacinto State Park. And the tram itself was closed due to heavy winds and our permit for the mountain top was revoked by the rangers due to hazardous snow conditions.

In preparation for this winter outing, I had inquired with Renovo Customer Service which filter I should take along. They responded speedily that they are recommending the MUV1. With snow, I would be worried about bacteria mostly. The MUV1 filters out bacteria, protozoa and parasites.

Renovo does not recommend using the filter in below freezing conditions. If the fibers in the filter freeze, it could possibly crack and ruin the fibers. Renovo recommends filtering the water somewhere where the water won't freeze and keep the filter stored dry. I shall also shake the water out and dry the filter before storage. On my cold backpacking outings, I shook out water from the filter, placed it in a plastic bag and wrapped it in extra clothing overnight.
IMAGE 1
The Gravity Bag in camp
IMAGE 2
Gravity Bag close-up look at Quick Connect

At a recent car camp I was able to use the Gravity Bag Kit. The 2.64 gal = 10 L gravity dry bag has a wide opening making it easy to fill the bag with water. I hung the bag from a tree limb by looping the strap over the branch and sticking a twig through. The 36 in = 91 cm long hose had a good length. I used the MUV2 filter. When I first opened the hose clamp to let water go through the dry filter, it took 10 seconds until filtered water started flowing into my cooking pot. I timed 1 minute for 34 fl oz (1 liter). When I had filtered enough for my cooking needs, I stopped the water flow by closing the hose clamp. That required a lot of finger pressure, since I had to squeeze the white clamp plastic tight into the grey hose plastic. After my cooking, I wanted to filter more water and surprisingly, now my gravity bag set-up did not want to restart its flow after I had released the clamp. I pressed on the bag, wiggled all components - nothing. Finally I disconnected the PRE+28 from the MUV2 filter and water was coming out of the grey PRE+28. I reconnected the PRE+28 to the MUV2 filter and now water flowed out the blue clean water hose without problem. No idea what was different now but it worked.

SUMMARY

The Renovo MUV Eclipse Water Filter kit with its MUV1, MUV2 and MUV3 filters offers water filtering capabilities against viruses and bacteria, chemicals and metals. Living in Southern California with its risk of earthquakes, I feel prepared to filter even my tap water in time of crisis.

Likes:
modular system, allowing me to use one filter alone or two or three combined
nice hard-plastic water bottle: I flip up the mouthpiece cover and drink from the clean mouthpiece
Renovo now has corrected Backcountry Pump Instructions on their website for easy download
blue components for clean water; grey components for contaminated water

Dislikes:
the many filters and many components (incl. small pieces) are a little too much for my liking:
I need to re-visit the Instructions to remind myself: which filter against what? which piece where?
one of the two grey hose adapters should be blue to make it obvious I connect this one to the blue clean water hose

Thank you to Renovo Water and BackpackGearTest.org for letting me test this modular water filter system.

This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1. Copyright 2019. All rights reserved.

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