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Reviews

Rated 2 out of 5 by from I wanted to like it These seems like another brilliant design from MSR, and it somewhat is. The problem that I encountered was priming. The first use, it filled fully, and pumped quickly, but subsequent uses would only yield the unit filling half full , which made pumping really slow. I've cleaned the pre filter, and performed the shake clean of the main filter, to no avail. When I returned home from my trip, I tested it again, strangely the first use filled the diaphragm fully, and pumped fast, the second use would only fill half way again ? Not sure what the issue is. I again performed the cleaning procedures, and it didn't help. Unfortunately I'll be returning this to REI, which is a bummer, because I think it's a brilliant design.
Date published: 2017-09-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from This Thing is So Awesome I picked this up to complement a friend's Sawyer system for some backpacking we were doing. I figured two different methods of filtration would be ideal for different conditions. If you have the luxury, that's great, but honestly I didn't need anything more than the TrailShot. It's super small so you can leave it in an accessible pocket and pump from anything - even puddles. I didn't get sick from any of the water we drank so I have to assume the filtration did the job. It pumps quick, clean water, and you can even drink right from it if you want. Seriously can't envision a better design for a product like this. The only thing maybe would be a small/snug case for it to protect it in the bag? I dunno man. It's great.
Date published: 2017-07-31
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Lightweight and convenient The first time I used this filter was during a week of hot day hikes in Glacier National Park in late July, 2017 (high 80s in the shade, over 100 degrees in the sun). The filter was obviously effective since neither me nor my wife had any ill effects from the treated water. However, the filter also tainted the water with a strong plastic taste, which made the treated water extremely unpalatable. After the trip I spent some time in the kitchen pumping over 100 ounces of water through the filter. That tedious exercise reduced the unsavory taint maybe 50%. I then squeezed some lemon concentrate into a glass of water, filled the tube and filter, and left it on the counter overnight. That helped some. MSR needs to test and, if necessary clean/rinse this product before packaging.
Date published: 2017-08-01
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Way better than Sawyer I owned Sawyer and used it from the stream and lake. What I don't like is many attachments and they don't hold together like MSR Trailshot. It's a pocket-sized unit to throw in your pack and in pocket. The fastest way to deploy and grab some water in a hurry. It works flawless and quick! This unit is my go-to water filter to grab along with me for backpacking, hiking, mountain cycling, and camping. For the price of this unit functions just like other water filter of the same taste. I don't see why we should pay more fancy water filter. My favorite part of this is to use it in a small shallow water that I can find. It is very easy to clean and storage away. This is the best water filter on the market right now in my own opinion. You will not regret it.
Date published: 2017-05-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from New go-to Filter! I've been using my MSR TrailShot for about a month now. I own many different filters (from sawyer, MSR, aquamira, etc). This has become my go-to filter for day hikes and short multi-day hikes. I was skeptical about the filters ability to pump water when I first saw it but it honestly works great! I absolutely recommend this filter, especially over the sawyer mini or squeeze filters. I've used the sawyer mini for several years and having the ability to pump the water and easier cleaning with the MSR TrailShot is worth the extra weight and price.
Date published: 2017-04-06
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Excellent especially when water source is low This filter works great when you just have a small puddle of water to get water from and it's quick, plus that you don't have to wait you can drink immediately. I will admit your hand gets a little tired of squeezing but that doesn't compare to the ease of getting water from practically any puddle and filling up a bottle quickly I'm getting back on the trail. There were times when other people couldn't get the water scooped or had to wait for water to drip into their bottle while I just use the tiny pool of water and got water immediately.
Date published: 2017-03-27
Rated 1 out of 5 by from Bad taste every time no matter the water source This is a great concept, unfortunately poorly executed due to only one fatal flaw: the water tastes bad even when filtered from the tap. I pumped 10 liters through the filter and that didn't help. Very strong rubbery taste. When I returned it to REI, the customer service person said he had the same problem and had found no way to fix it. Hopefully MSR will address this by using a different material for the bulb that doesn't leave a bad taste.
Date published: 2017-07-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from great filter much better then my sawyer for my use I had to laugh a little when I read the anonymous review above that said “Neat filter,MSR is a trusted brand, nothing the sawyer lacks, and then goes on to say another reviewer did not “do his homework”. I love my sawyer mini and have used it for over two years now, but the trailshot has replaced my mini and here is why. First… bulk… anonymous says the trailshot is twice as bulky… no it is not, the mini filter by itself is half the size of the trail shot but when you add the bags (needed to push the water through the sawyer) you have the same bulk. And when you add the syringe needed to backwash the sawyer (on longer trips this is a must) and then the straw to use if you want to “sip” from the stream as anonymous said then you are heavier and have more bulk then the trailshot. Add to that a bag to carry it all and well you get the idea. Ease of use comes in second on my chart, the trailshot is simple to use, drop the hose in the water and pump, fill your water bottle or directly into your mouth. When it gets dirty or slows down, shake it for 20 seconds pull the hose off the bottom and pump out the dirty water, reattach hose and you are back in business. The sawyer needs you to fill the syringe with clean water and back flush the filter, this is easy but it takes a lot more time. But the best part is the pump, I hike in the primitive wilderness of New Mexico and about 70% of the time the water sources are small fast moving streams of water about a half an inch deep and a half a foot or less wide moving over and threw large cuts in rock faces. Filling a bag to then attach to the top of a sawyer mini is just not going to happen so you sit there and scoop water with your cup and fill the bag one or two ounces at a time. It is so nice to just be able to drop the hose in the little stream connect the other end to my camel back and pump the trailshot until the whole 100 oz bladder is full. No scooping and filling bags one oz at a time, no trying to balance my camel back bladder while squeezing the bag of the sawyer and trying not to get dirty water in my bladder with the clean. But most of all no popping/ripping bags. can the trailshot gravity feed? No, but as I sit there hose in tiny stream, trailshot connected to the line on my bladder, and pump the bladder full I find that I really do not miss it. The trailshot is basically a sawyer mini with a built in pump. For some of use that makes life a lot easier.
Date published: 2017-04-28
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Questions & Answers

How long is the hose? Can it be substituted with something longer?

Asked by: JanetK
A longer hose may be harder to pump however I opted for a 20" substitute and I dont notice the difference. The hose for this and the miniworks EX is 3/16" ID (inner diameter), 5/16" (outer diameter) food-grade silicone tubing. It can be found on Amazon, Ebay or online. A brand called Venair makes Veno Technoex tubing and it is a drop in replacement, if not better quality. Other brands are SILCON, Tygon, US Plastics Corp. If you see platinum cured tubing as advertised it is better than peroxide cured versions for preventing any kind of build up in the tube, it is supposed to have a far smoother inner surface. Tube price averages $1.30/foot. Can be ordered via McMaster-Carr or in my case I found it locally at Canal Rubber in NYC. You would be best served actually calling some brick and mortar commercial plumbing supply stores and asking first rather than swimming around online as this product is used commonly in food service and a brick and mortar counter is likely to cut you 10' no problem. Do NOT use vinyl or other types of tubing other than FDA graded Food Grade silicone tubing.
Answered by: TNprime
Date published: 2018-01-29

is the hose the same size as the miniworks? this one looks a little short...

Asked by: 0d0g
​The length of the hose is shorter for efficiency, since you are using a ball pump design. The hose is shorter at 16 inches, where the Miniworks hose is over 40 inches long.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-12-28

Does this remove viruses like the Guardian?

Asked by: bbad
No, viruses are too small and pass through the filter. However, viruses are generally not a concern in the back country, you only need to worry about them in areas where human waste contamination is present. If this is the case, pre-filter with the trailshot, then treat for viruses with chemical (aquamira) or UV (steripen) to knock out the viruses as well. And don't forget to disinfect the trailshot when you get home, mix 6 drops of bleach in 1 cup water, then pump through the filter, let sit wet for 30 m before drying thoroughly.
Answered by: GearNerd
Date published: 2017-12-28

is the trailshot filter compatible with the osprey hydration refilling kit so I don't have to take the bladder out of my pack?

Asked by: pete
This water filter is compatible with Osprey reservoirs without the need for a refilling fit. Simply remove the bit valve from the reservoir and attach it directly to the nozzle on the TrailShot.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2018-01-29

can the filter be replaced?

Asked by: Vale
Yes, the cartridge can be replaced: https://www.rei.com/product/114982
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-12-28

What is the maximum gallons of water can this filter effectively., before failing?

Asked by: SeriousQ
​This filter has a cartridge life of 2,000 liters.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2017-09-12

Can this be set up as a gravity filter?

Asked by: Chris
No, this cannot be set up as a gravity filter.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2018-01-22

How long does the filter last, with proper backlashing and care, before it needs to be replaced?

Asked by: laaw
The product treats up to 2,000 liters and has a flow rate of 1 liter every 60 seconds. That’s a long life for something so small and efficient.
Answered by: David
Date published: 2017-12-28
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