Bringing a water treatment solution is a great way to lighten your backpack and avoid getting sick. Among the various options, – read our advice for choosing your water treatment system – filters have the advantage of not depending on any energy source, of leaving no taste in the water and of being relatively durable. I had the chance to test the Platypus quickdraw during my tour of the Valromey balconies and my crossing from Sixt-Fer-à-Cheval to Samoëns. Here is the verdict.
Contents: Platypus Quickdraw Water Filter Test
The Platypus Quickdraw is a compact micro-filter designed to fit a large number of containers; water bottles, flexible or rigid water bottles. It is sold alone or with a one-litre water bladder, the whole constituting the “Platypus Quickdraw microfilter system” pack. It is this pack that I receive, for testing, in a minimalist packaging in 100% recyclable cardboard. I discover the body of the plastic filter (of an unspecified nature), the hollow fibers of the filter are made of ABS, a resistant plastic. The flexible water bottle is inspired by the Platypus pouches. It’s made from the same three-layer plastic film that includes a rugged thermoplastic polyurethane outer layer and a polyethylene inner layer. The whole is perfectly made, the deburring is without trace. Filter and water bag fit together without difficulty or play, we find the usual quality of Platypus products. Like all micro filters, the Platypus Quickdraw removes helminths, bacteria and protozoa, not viruses. It is therefore perfectly suited for use in Europe and North America. The theoretical life of the filter is 1000 litres.
The Platypus Quickdraw water filter in the field
We are at the end of May on the balconies of Valromey, in the south of the Jura massif. Since my test of the MSR trailshot filter I got into the habit of no longer carrying water but of making sure to identify, on the map and beforehand, the supply points – rivers, fountains and even small lakes – that I will find on my way. I slipped my Platypus Quickdraw into my backpack and the least we can say is that it knows how to be forgotten. The set barely takes up the volume of a rolled up t-shirt and weighs only 100 grams! The first refueling is done at a village fountain. “Undrinkable water”, the usual sign encourages a little caution. I fill the pocket, screw on the filter and suck up the water. The flow is excellent and I just have to squeeze the bag with my hands to increase it significantly. The data sheet announced 3 liters per minute. Not sure that I can achieve this speed but one thing is certain, it is much higher and requires less effort than with my MSR Trailshot. It’s a hell of a good surprise!
A few days later, the route offers no other resource than a few puddles where charming little toads frolic. The water is a pretty green … not very appetizing. But my conscience as a tester pushes me to experiment with the limits of the Platypus Quickdraw. Without disturbing the inhabitants of the puddle, I take a little culture broth. On suction, the flow is quite quickly reduced compared to the filtration of clear water. By squeezing the pocket with your hands, it remains very satisfying. The water comes out translucent, colorless, odorless and without an unpleasant taste. Faced with the success of the operation, I repeat the experience until I quench my thirst perfectly. I feel the flow gradually reduce and must exert more and more pressure, it is time to clean the filter. This phase is generally quite restrictive on micro-filters and Platypus has worked particularly hard to simplify it on the Quickdraw. No more dismantling or inverting items but simply agitate the filter with clear water and renew until completely translucent. Simple and effective, even if I must admit that the filter will never quite regain its initial flow.
My Review of the Platypus Quickdraw Water Filter
- Manufacturing quality – 100%
- Ergonomics – 100%
- Cleaning – 100%
- Filtration – 80%
- Windbreaker – 100%
Very light, very compact, with an affordable price, the Platypus Quickdraw should convince many hikers to stop carrying water unnecessarily throughout the day. Easy to use and requiring almost no effort, it is now part of all my hikes.