Survival Gear Review: DayOne Waterbag

Those in survival circles tend to hang out around the smaller end of the water purification spectrum.  Tools like the Day 1 Water Bag ReviewLifestraw and Sawyer filter are must-haves in your kit whether to get home or bug out. But what is on the other end of the drinkable water rainbow?  Turns out there is a 10-liter water purification system in the form of an easy-to fill-bag with backpack straps, hanging loop, inline filter and simple instructions.

By Doc Montana, a contributing author of Survival Cache and SHTFBlog

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So why have you not heard of this unique and functional water solution?  Most likely it’s because you have never Day One Waterbag Reviewbeen in a bad enough situation to need one.  The DayOne Waterbag has been deployed all over the globe following natural disasters and those humanitarian affairs caused by selfishness and greed. And especially when the bad things team up to inflict maximum distress on people in need of safe drinking water.

The DayOne Waterbag does it’s magic by attacking dirty water in three sequenced steps.  First, the premixed chlorine packet disinfects the water in the DayOne as well as generates a residual precipitate of undrinkable things to settle out into the engineered reservoir on the south end of the bag.  By using a combination of coagulation, flocculation, and sedimentation the chlorine binds to larger molecules, bacteria, viruses, and other undesirables pulling them down and out of the drinkable portion of the waterbag.

The steps of coagulation, flocculation, and sedimentation are like a solar system forming from the dust of a Day1 Waterbag Reviewsupernova explosion.  The particles must combine until reaching a minimum density before being pulled to their deaths by a giant black hole.  In our case, before the earth’s gravity can capture the microscopic debris and imprison them in conical jail at the base of the bladder, the bad stuff must combine with more tiny undesirables until the mass of the flocs is large enough to overcome the viscosity and polarity of water molecules and sink like the Titanic (except the Titanic took 160 minutes to sink while the DayOne Waterbag needs 30 minutes).

Also Read: Sawyer Mini Filter Review

The result of this dance of the molecules a stinky slimy mess falling to the bottom of the DayOne Waterbag in what can be quite a visible sludge.  And for those pesky critters that resisted the chemical obstacles in the waterbag including Giardia and Cryptosporidium and other nastys, a final and deadly filter lays directly between the bag and your mouth.

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Some Settling May Occur

In order for the chemistry to work it’s magic, about five minutes of agitation is needed before the bag is to be left DayOne Waterbag Reviewalone. After the chemical packet is dumped into the full waterbag and the top is sealed, the bag needs to be shaken like a cramping hamstring. To included handles are attached to the bag just for this purpose. But be careful not to puncture the bag in something behind it if hanging on a tree. The necessary five minutes of effort goes by quickly (at least the first few times), and when compared to how long and how much sweat it would take you to squish two and a half gallons of dirty water through your hand-pump water filter, the initial 300 seconds of effort are not worth complaining about.

After five minutes of physical intimacy with the bag, it needs to be left alone but upright for 25 minutes. And then you have safe drinking water. I wondered why 25 instead of 30 minutes which is half an hour and also easier to remember. I guess the 5+25 equaling half an hour is also pretty simple.

Related: DIY Activated Charcoal Water Filter

The flow rate is about 1.5 liters per minute, or plenty fast to choke yourself, or to fill a dozen quart-sized water Day1 Waterbag Reviewbottles about one every 45 seconds. Well, not quite. I found the flow rate is based upon the water level in the bag as well as the height difference between the bag and the flow tube. One and a half liters per minute is on the generous side, and drops from there. A good solution is simply to hang the bag high and let the tube drop straight down into your container. If you really need the DayOne I doubt you will be counting seconds like I did in this review. And don’t squeeze the bladder to speed the process like I often do with my CamelBak bladders. You might disturb the dangerous sediments.

The DayOne Waterbag was not designed with the casual backpacker in mind. Instead it was created to provide safe drinking water to those who need it most and the children who are most vulnerable to waterborne diseases and toxins. Which is exactly why you should have one. Things are all rosy right now, but we have proven to ourselves time and time again that as first-world as we are, in less than a week we can become third-world like the best of them.

Bone-dry the DayOne Waterbag weighs one pound. Soaking wet a little more. Day1 Waterbag ReviewFull of water it drags you down to the sum of 23 pounds. So it’s hardly a concern when off duty especially since it rolls up or folds flat, or pretty much squishes into whatever shape makes you happy. When full, the DayOne Waterbag is like a giant CamelBak bladder with shoulder straps. I carried it around full and found it much less uncomfortable than I expected.  The shoulder straps are just that, one-inch wide straps.  However, the bladder is 100% free of hard spots, poky areas, and pressure points.  I guess it’s like a tiny waterbed strapped to your back.  But unlike other bladders, and even dry bags that have similar closures, I did not find the DayOne Waterbag to be waterproof.  Some seepage did occur out the top lighty soaking my back. For the best seal, don’t fill the bag to the max line.  Also, don’t bet your life or valuable electronics on the hose clamp preventing every drop of water from sneaking out the discharge tube.

Also Read: Expedient Family Water Filter

The DayOne works best in warmer climates, but did pass water quality standards down to 40 degrees F, or 4 Day1 Waterbag Reviewdegrees C.  I’m told the disinfectant properties of the packets increase with temperature which makes sense.  The little packet of magic powder that is added to the water contains the single active ingredient of 0.546% Calcium Hypochlorite (also known as bleach powder).  Given the warnings that “Dry product causes substantial but temporary eye injury” it would be wise to avoid getting your face anywhere near the powder and stay upwind of the pour.  There is also a detailed method for cleaning the bag and and backflushing the filter.  Here are the gory details on using and servicing the DayOne Waterbag system: (click here)

The DayOne Waterbag was designed for humanitarian battlefields where polluted water is the enemy.  Trying to suck your way to survival through a filter straw, or zap a path through the pathogens with your UV pen might sound like high-tech low-drag solutions to the number one concern when bugged in or out, but those are only short-term personal solutions.  Are you really going to play mommy bird and spit a mouthful into a crying child’s beak?  Or regurgitate a pot full of water to rehydrate your freeze dried fritters?  No matter how you slice it, you will need a more substantial water filter solution when hours turn to days turn to weeks making the price of 30 minutes for 10 liters of clean water the best deal on the the planet.

6 thoughts on “Survival Gear Review: DayOne Waterbag”

  1. Interesting idea. Are the premixed chlorine packets readily available to stockpile? And how hard is it to clean all the residual nastiness out of the system? Is the main bag relatively sturdy, or if you fall backwards against a tree branch while wearing the system, are you likely to poke a hole? I like this concept, going to have to peruse all the links in the article. Thanks for the review!

    • HI Drew,

      The DayOne company notes a three-year shelf life on the premixed packages, and 10 years on the WaterBag when stored under ideal conditions. However I have Camelbak bladders older than that that I still use.. I'm sure you could get a longer life beyond the suggested expiration date, but when I think about it, were in about the shelf life as much canned meat and dehydrated food.

      As far as patching a puncture, the company suggests medical tape or duct tape. In discussion with the company, basically anything that works, works. The bladder is about the same or maybe a little thicker than a CamelBak bladder. Just much bigger. I do think that you could puncture it in a forest much easier than in a desert (sans cacti of course), but unlikely without either abuse or carelessness.

  2. Hi Drew,

    Thanks for the read. The DayOne is a great concept, In answer to your first question, you can stockpile as many packets as you want, but they won't last forever. About 3 years is all. And the bag is good for 10 years when stored well. Here is a link to the DayOne FAQ page where the shelf life is mentioned.

    "The DayOne Waterbag can be stored at room temperature for 10 years from date of manufacture. P&G™ Purifier of Water can be stored for 3 years from date of manufacture."

    The stuff at the bottom is called floc and is easy to remove if you can rinse the bag. Since the whole top opens, you can swing it back and forth in even shallow water to loosen up everything and then pour it out. There are also directions to backflush the filter extending its life.

    DayOne suggests patching a popped bag with medical tape, duct tape, or anything else that works. The bag is a like a big CamelBak bladder. Maybe a little thicker.

    Hope this helps.

  3. First you need water, wonder what these people are smiling about lake Chad is almost gone.
    Our water system works because it is cycling if for some reason all water stop it would become heavily contaminated, example Elkhorn Va. Colorado for days or weeks people had to use bottled water this is a wake up call for America on a perfect day and no external threat and your out of water and luck.
    our water treatment systems are the nations kidneys how long can you live without your kidneys ?
    Electricity the nervous system and the pumps the heart so figure any catastrophic failure in a multi state area as a bad sewers industrial waste and drain water would backwash petroleum / fuels food processing plants and chemicals would overcome most water treatment systems .
    Having numerous ways to filter disinfect and remove petroleum based products taste will be vital to survival.

    This would be good for the first few days to catch water before it becomes turbid or pools for a period of time.
    Water is not the heaviest or the lightest fluid it requires velocity and duration to clear contaminates.
    pools would be a nightmare you would have to have a container with a good diameter drain and a way to siphon off the top or rack as certain fluids would destroy your filtration system in short order.

    Any serious discussion on survival water treatment and effects of a lights out scenario people need to know their area water treatment concerns and have a MSDS information here is a link
    Some people think distillation is an answer many chemicals like alcohol benzene etc evaporate at lower temperatures so the first over would be benzene ethanol phenols etc etc
    A hydrometer and know how to use and check it and a water test kit barring that a whole lot of natural charcoal know how to male it what woods to use and how to implement it in your system.
    if you can see things in, or smell water or define a color other than clear try again.
    This does not always apply in present civilization but in a disaster or serious incident things change.

    the use of salts like Epsom, table salt and bicarbonate soda make contaminates fall out / to the bottom of a container takes time so having a storage of water to last as many days for you your animals and family.

    Good review Doc Montana, all the information would have led me to have one if my circumstances were different.
    This unit is a good travel companion in any short term kit apartment dwellers renters where you do not control or cannot keep storage they you have to count on toilet tanks bathtubs etc. so there you will need siphon and or bulb pump and miracle cloth or chamois tubing and containers for collected in treatment and drinking and storage.
    one container is not a workable solution.

  4. The best thing about this is…you can buy it.
    There are many innovative third world products from companies that won't sell to us survivalists because their focus is limited to supplying third world countries. If those companies would only sell to North America they would make a lot more money that would help them supply those other countries.
    Still for us here in NA, there are a number of gravity filters similar to the above as well as chemicals with a longer than 3 year life span that you can get online or at your larger hiking stores..

  5. Just a thought, the filter only lasts for 600L according to the company. they also claim they are not replaceable. From looking at it, I don't see why you couldn't replace the filter with another one like a gravity filter or maybe even a sawyer mini, which does 100k liters.


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