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Thoughts on ceramic water filters?

Hi all from Chile, I'm writting an essay about water filtering and I own both MSR ceramic pump and gravity autoflow filters.

In your opinion, due to the advantages of autoflow filters (weight, quantity and filtering speed), do you consider that the ceramic filter will be obsolete?

Which circumstances do you consider the most advantageous ceramic filter? Personally I only find the fact that the gravity filter will damage if it freezes.

Really apprecite your comments.


Carlos Abellanosa

2 Replies

@cAbellanosa Thanks for reaching out, Carlos!

I own the MSR Miniworks Water Filter as well as the MSR Trail Base Gravity system. I had the ceramic miniworks filter for a very long time (probably 10 years) before I finally purchased a gravity system. I really appreciated how field maintainable the Miniworks Water Filter is, I've always been able to work out any issue I had with it and get it working. 

However, it is almost impossible to beat the weight, versatility, and volume of water that can run through the Trail Base Gravity system. I participate in a lot of different outdoor activities and I have yet to find one that the Trail Base System doesn't work for. Like you, the only drawback I see is having to keep it from freezing (I live in Alaska, so that's a potentially year-round issue). Otherwise, it has been great for me from bike-packing with a group to solo day hikes.

If I were going on a prolonged kayak/canoe trip or in some situation where weight wasn't as important of a factor I may consider taking the Miniworks over the Trail Base. Although with the ease of the gravity system and how small and light it is I might just take both! If I were leaving it at a cabin or a yurt for prolonged periods of time I would go with the Miniworks as it is very easy to clean up and get running again.

I don't think the ceramic systems will be rendered obsolete, I hung on to mine for a very long time before fully committing to the Trail Base. But I definitely see the versatility, weight, and speed of the gravity systems continuing to help them grow in popularity.

It sounds like you and I see those two systems in a pretty similar light. I hope this helps!

At REI, we believe time outside is fundamental to a life well lived.

@cAbellanosa Ceramic will never go obsolete as they're usefulness becomes more apparent when you have stagnate water, in order to pull the water from the source you have use a pump method. some places even in the saturated pacific northwest has only sources of water to be pulled from small holes. A gravity filter won't pull water as it has no pumping action.