Everyone, especially outdoor enthusiasts, has their opinion on water filters and purifiers. Sometimes it’s a small design quirk that attracts certain users or pushes others away. Today we have one of those rare cases where I think we can all agree on something: the MSR Guardian is simply the best portable water purifier on the market right now.
Why is the MSR Guardian the best purifier?
The biggest issue with most purifiers is inefficiency. It is difficult to get safe drinking water in significant quantities over a short period of time. This is an engineering problem, and one that MSR has solved.
The MSR Guardian uses a pre-filter that has been brilliantly designed. It’s easy to clean, even in foul water. It pumps at 2.5 liters per minute. Yes, you read that right. That is incredibly efficient. The pump also self-cleans and nothing needs to be replaced until you have hit about 10,000 liters. These stats are insane if you haven’t realized already.
Oh, and viruses? Forget about those. The MSR Guardian effectively filters out viruses and meets the NSF protocol P248 testing standard.
And did we mention that this purifier can be dropped and frozen? MSR put this thing through the ringer, anticipating all manner of extreme environments.
I suggest watching this video of travel photographer Scott Rinckenberger using the MSR Guardian in Peru. If you don’t have the time, go ahead and forward the video to the 4:40 mark. Scott and crew pump water from a muddy puddle that was surrounded by cow patties. The puddle is undoubtedly swimming with bacteria, viruses and probably significant levels of parasites like giardia.
Notice how clear the water is afterwards. Notice that no one got sick from drinking the water. Notice how quickly the water was pumped and how easy it was to clean the pre-filter. This purifier is a beast.
The MSR Guardian is an investment. The price tag is the only downside we can see. It costs $350. But you get what you pay for, and this case, it’s the best portable purifier in the world right now.
We should also add that MSR’s customer service is unmatched. There have been several cases where the Guardian has shipped with a faulty O-ring. MSR promptly replaced the entire unit, no questions asked. They are a company that is truly dedicated to outdoor enthusiasts, and they want to ensure that they have a genuine relationship with this community. If every company had this much integrity, the world would be a better place I’ll tell you!
In conclusion, the MSR Guardian is expensive, but it is unmatched. Bring this on a trip with you, and you don’t have to worry about getting caught in a pinch. It doesn’t matter how filthy the source, if you find H2O and you have the Guardian, you have drinking water, and in large quantities if you need it. If you are planning on traveling in a group, split the cost amongst everyone. It will be economical, and the pump is efficient enough to handle the load.
If you have used the MSR Guardian, please share your thoughts in the comments below. We’d love to hear from people that have recently used it in the field.