Is this THE best HIKING & BACKPACKING water filter?

Is this THE best HIKING & BACKPACKING water filter?

Gear used in this video
BeFree water filter
Jetboil Minimo
Orange Mug
Osprey Talon 33l backpack

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Gnoc Vecto bladder as mentioned in the video

In this video we head to the Peak District for a day of Hiking. I took my new Befree water filter to test out for the first time. Here is my first impressions review.

My other channel THE OUTDOOR GEAR SHOW

This video filmed with:

GoPro hero 8

Gear I use:

Rab sleeping bag

Rab Unishelter bivi

Osprey exos pack OSPREY_EXOS_48_PACK

Exped sleeping pad

Hilleberg Soulo Tent

Sleeping Pads

Mini folding table

Trangia Stove

SOTO Windmaster Stove

Mini Pot Grips



Salomon Boots


UGQ Bandit Quilt

DISCLAIMER: This video and description contains affiliate links, which means that if you click on one of the product links, I’ll receive a small commission.

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  • Would these filters remove chemical pollution…. and more to the point these days, sewage?

  • Thanks for an informative review! If you put the lid on the Jetboil, not only will it boil faster but it also has a pouring spout to make your life easier 😊 I love mine too 🙂

  • The problem with water filters in general is, as Nick Goldsmith from Hidden Valley Bushcraft said: The only way you know that they stopped working is when you get the runs.

  • would like to chuck this in here for feedback purposes..,. bought one o these things bout the same time this vid was aired,, used it shortly afterwards,, performed well… recently (because of you know what) was out n about n went to use it again… top end,,inside the pouring spout where all the filter fibres meet was "fused" solid, like someone had superglued them all . needless to say nothing can pass through…. anybody got any similar experiences ?

  • If I fall you ganna laugh, I really laughed.

  • z l

    Watching your video makes me want to go hiking so much! Accidentally came across your video then immediately subscribed it!

  • JL

    Hi Paul, thanks for the review! In my personal search for the perfect waterfilter I have been comparing the specs of the Katadyn Befree (1 stage filter) and the LifeStraw Flex (2 stage filter). I believe the LifeStraw Flex is the superior model out of the two. However I found that the youtube comparisons on the 2 filters seem to be a bit flawed (flaws listed below), would you be interested in making a direct comparison video?

    Flaws of the youtube reviews/comparisons I found:
    -They don't highlight enough that the LifeStraw flex has second stage carbon filtration, which filters out heavy metals and chemicals. This is a big deal if you are in more urbanized areas.
    -They compare the flow rate between the Katadyn and the Lifestraw without removing the carbon filter from the Lifestraw. Only when you remove the Lifestraw's carbon filter this becomes a direct and fair comparison. It would be an interesting test, as the Katadyn has many smaller openings and the LifeStraw has a few larger ones.
    -They don't highlight the fact that you can screw the LifeStraw flex straight on a disposable waterbottle, which gives it more options than the Katadyn cap that only can fit one specific bag. If the Katadyn bag fails you'll have to order a new one. If the Lifestraw bag fails you can just go to any shop, trail stop or reserve water bottle you have with you and get on with your journey. I think this gives more peace of mind on multi day hikes.
    -They don't mention the fact that you can put the LifeStraw Flex inline with most hydration blatters and gravity bag systems, because the lifestraw has the option to fit tubing.
    -They don't mention the fact that you can use the lifestraw as an actual straw, directly drinking from the watersource. This is possible because the Lifestraw filter is quite a bit longer than the Katadyn one). Again more versitality and peace of mind for when your water bag is broken.
    -They don't mention that cleaning the Lifestraw filter in a similar fashion to the katadyn one, without using the backflush mechanism, should also be possible for the Lifestraw in a pinch (although not as efficient as the Katadyn)

    I think a thorough comparisson between both filters should provide for an entertaining video with loads of interesting tests and demonstrations you can do:
    – 1 stage filter vs 2 stage filter
    – flow-rate with or without carbon filter on the Lifestraw flex
    – Lifestraw flex's versitality with hydration blatters, gravity feed waterbags, disposable waterbottles (I only found people talking about this not actually demonstrating)
    – Lifestraw flex's straw functionality, drinking directly from the source
    – Filling other bottles or cooking pots by gravity or by squeezing the bottle
    – Cleaning out in a pinch like you did in this video vs backflushing

    The only con I have seen on the Lifestraw flex is that, to get the last drops out of the bottle, you have squeeze the bag at the filter part with one hand. This in turn will push the water to the bottom of the bag, where you can then squeeze the last bits of water through the filter with your other hand. However I think the versitality of the LifeStraw flex far outweighs this drawback!

  • Did you try this whith water from a canal, not a mountain creek where water is anyway relatively fresh?

  • More flow rate means more water but probably less cleaner.

  • Add their optional carbon filter and it dramatically improves water taste.

  • Dixie says to sleep with your hollow fibre tube to stop your filter from bursting in cold temperatures.

  • Have you tried Grayl filters? Very effective, fast.

  • $40 dollars every 2-3 years for clean, fast water on the trail is a no-brainer……

  • I don't know about the quality of the water there that you are trying to filter, but it does make a difference. If your water has a lot or even a moderate amount of suspended solids, it will clog a lost faster than a Sawyer. It is actually counterintuitive…one would think that the open basket design of the Katadyn unit would be far more clog resistant than the sealed cartridge design of Sawyer units…NOT! The good old Sawyer will resist clogging on the way to it's four million liter capacity limit much better than the Be Free and it's twelve tablespoon filter limit.

  • Hi Paul. I’m seriously looking at purchasing one of these in a 1 litre version. Is it worth the buy? I like the idea.

  • The beauty of having the wide neck bottle is the versatility of not having to get out of your sleeping bag when you need a pee

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