Survival Gear Review: MSR HyperFlow Microfilter

When I first saw this water filter by MSR it really caught my eye.  At just 7.4 oz and a filtration rate of 3 liters per How to purify waterminute, this filter was perfect for ultra-lite backpacking or an emergency bug out situation.  Made in the USA and coming from a reputable company like Mountain Safety Research, this one is built to last.

By Murphy, a contributing author to Survival Cache and SHTFBlog

Karambit Knife

Overview:

The MSR Hyperflow comes with a long flexible hose that has a pre-filter for debris on the end of it which can be place into a stream, mud puddle, pond or river to extract water while you stay safe and dry.  This hose can be wrapped around the body MSR Hyperflow water filterof the filter when your Hyperflow is not in use and packed away.  This pre-filter is important because it will add to the overall life of your filter which is a very nice feature.  One of the fist things I noticed about the MSR Hyperflow water filter was the flow rate.  This filter can do almost 3 liters per minute, which is perfect for get in, get your water and get out.  The Hyperflow has almost 3x the flow rate of other similar sized filters on the market.  The flow rate is possible because of MSR’s patented Hollow Fiber technology, which was designed and manufactured right here in the USA.

The second thing I noticed about this filter was the weight.  At 7.4 oz, this filter takes up very little room in my bug out bag and weights next to nothing.  I try to be a minimalist as far as weight is concerned whenever I go backpacking or planning for an emergency.  I have owned several other MSR and Katadyn filters in the past but they have always been bulky and slightly heavier than the MSR Hyperflow.  This filter was exactly what I was looking for.

From the first second I used this filter, I was really impressed with itsMSR Hyperflow Review usability.  I was on a solo overnight camping trip in the Rocky Mountains and went up a small canyon in search of a suitable camping site.  Due to the large amount of snow and rain this year in the Western Rockies, we have had a large amount of run off water.  The stream running through this canyon was running very strong and dark colored.  I climbed down the bank and pulled out the MSR HyperFlow filter and dropped the pre-filter tube into the stream.  I then screwed the “Quick Release” lid that comes with the filter onto my Nalgene bottle, it attached nicely.  This lid fits most standard large mouth water bottles (Nalgene, SIGG).  I then began to pump the handle on Hyperflow and my water bottle was full of purified water almost instantly.

The Outcome: Pure, ice cold water right from a mountain stream.  Just like a Coors’ commercial.

Pros:

Compact size – fits into any bag or even a large pocket
Made in the USA
Easy to use
Extremely high flow rate
Quick release nipple
Comes with quick release lid – fits most wide mouth water bottles.

Cons:

Long flexible hose with pre-filter can be slightly cumbersome.

Summary:

I am very impressed with this filter.  Since I got it, I have used it several times and it is still going strong (and I haven’t gotten sick).  For the size and weight, this filter packs a big punch.

Awards:
Backpacker Magazine Editors’ Choice Award: The MSR HyperFlow microfilter is one of only 17 products awarded in 2008 with the prestigious Backpacker Magazine Editors’ Choice Award for outstanding innovation in design, materials and performance.

Bronze OutDoor INDUSTRY AWARD 2008 from the OutDoor European Trade Fair to recognize its high performance in the outdoors and the innovative design choice of hollow fiber material for the filtration media. The MSR HyperFlow microfilter is one of only 27 award winners from a pool of 280 product submissions.

Available for $98.95 from Forge Survival Supply (click here)
Available for $90.00 from Amazon (click here)

Photos by:
JesseLeBlanc
Expedition Amazonas
Cascade Designs

18 thoughts on “Survival Gear Review: MSR HyperFlow Microfilter”

    • I have an old, very abused MSR filter. Maybe a decade old. How fast the filter in it wears out is going to depend on how much you use it , how dirty with water is, and how often you clean it. I'm on my 3 or 4th filter for it. I'm using mine in pretty clear water most of the time. The rest of the filter has had it's gaskets replaced once and is still in good working order.
      http://www.rei.com/product/407235/msr-water-filte

      Reply
  1. I have one and love it. Fills a 10L bladder quickly before you tire out.

    Watch out for freezing temps and shocks to the filter, the media won't stand up to it.

    Also practice with it regularly, its a bit more complex to use than a standard filter. Worth it for the weight savings and speed though.

    Reply
  2. Nice post about MSR…..but considering the importance of hydration nothing beats the rock solid performance and life of Katadyn Pocket..
    Pros: 13,000 gallons filter life
    solid construction
    dependable…its the 1911 of water filters
    Cons: expensive $250 plus
    filter about $140
    ceramic filter can be fragile in extreme cold.

    Reply
    • I too love my Katadyn. I have the Hiker Pro model that comes with a variety of customizable attachments that allows me to fill up a camel back through the drinking straw, use a nalgene attachment, etc.

      After spending 10 days backpacking with friends my Katadyn outperformed their MSR pumps easily and my Katadyn became the workhorse of our expedition group filling up four or five nalgenes before their MSR pumps could fill one. I believe they were using the MSR Miniworks however. Still the Katadyn Hiker Pro is cheaper and immensely more efficient than the MSR Miniworks.

      Reply
  3. Good review, I have several products made by MSR, they have never let me down. I am especially fond of my MSR tents! I don't have one of these particular filters, but I am in the market for a new compact one, and this one just made the list… THANKS! _Does anyone have experience with a product called the SteriPEN? I am thinking about getting one to try out, it uses UV light to destray biological contaminants. If nothing else I think it might make a good back-up to the filter system I keep in my JEEP. Here is a link- http://www.nitro-pak.com/steripen-sidewinder They had another product by the same company which looked even more compact/lightweight, and because it uses UV light to render the water biologically safe, you can use it as a back-up flash light (I LOVE multi-taskers!!!!). Here is another link- http://www.nitro-pak.com/steripen-adventurer-opti… What do you guys think? Does anyone have any experience with these "UV filters"??? The larger of the two might be a bit bulky for tossin' in a pack, but I think that the "pen" one would be a good optio to make *extra sure* the filtered water is safe to drink… if it works!

    Reply
  4. I too would like to know about the steripen. I have been reading about them, but have not seen anyone commenting on how well they worked.

    Reply
    • They "work" but are usually passed up for a pump filter. I don't trust Steripens as do many of my backpacking friends and acquaintances. Of my friends that have them they seem unreliable and confusing for how long they take to work, how to know when they are done, etc.

      Additionally they require batteries to run which means you are not only relying on the Steripen to work but also relying on sufficiently charged batteries and supply of batteries. A pump filter can filter hundreds if not thousands of litres per filter and filters can be stock piled for a long term. Plus filters just seem more reliable and I'd be far more comfortable drinking questionable water after it has gone through a pump filter as apposed to having a steripen sit in it for a minute or so.

      Reply
  5. You guys really need to review the Katdadyn desalinator or other pocket desalinators(if they exist). Where I live it's water water everywhere and not a drop to drink. I really wish you guys talked about some desalination methods

    Reply
  6. Just checked a website on the desalination unit you keep mentioning. Looks really cool. It is also on sale for a THOUSAND DOLLARS! For a group based in Colorado it probably is not a critical piece of gear.

    Your the one surrounded by salt water. Why don’t you give it a test drive and then tell us if it is worth it. If it is important to read a review on it first I don’t know. Me, I am good with the Coast Graud rating that it is a desalation unit. Don’t have a grand to blow on maybe need, then go low tech and look up “solar still” and stop whining!

    Reply
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    Reply
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