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Katadyn BeFree (Update 7/18)

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Katadyn BeFree (Update 7/18)

Postby John Harper » Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:15 pm

Took my new BeFree filter/bag to Baja for a short backpack/flyfishing trip. Also took my current Sawyer Mini as a comparison. I normally use the Sawyer to filter from a source SmartWater bottle into target water bottles. I have never used the squeeze bag on the Sawyer, however.

I was concerned because the BeFree had a seemingly flimsy 0.6 liter squeeze bag. The filter seems simple enough but only fits Hydrapak (42mm) bottles, so SmartWater bottle as source was out. Easy to fill, and super easy to squeeze water. I could fill my Smartwater bottle and my partners 32oz Nalgene in under a minute. Totally awesome!!! No comparison, it makes the Sawyer feel like it's plugged up.

I didn't even bother with the Sawyer after that initial trial. Easy to clean, just swish in clean water when you get home. The squeeze bag even works to carry water stashed on my pack, so seems quite rugged. I ordered a Hydrapak Seeker 2l soft bottle for camp use. It only weighs smidge more than the Sawyer with Smartbottle attached, so not much weigh gain involved at all.

You can also fold up the filter and 0.6 liter bag and just stash it away in a pocket, and pull it out when needed. Easy peasy. Great product so far.

John
Last edited by John Harper on Wed Jul 18, 2018 8:06 am, edited 1 time in total.



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Re: Katadyn BeFree vs. Sawyer Mini

Postby freestone » Wed Apr 18, 2018 5:45 pm

Never have used the Sawyer but have had the BeFree for about a year now. On a recent trip into the San Rafael Wilderness area, It seemed clogged after setting around dry for a period of months, but after I rewetted the filter and swished acouple of times, it started to flow perfectly again. I filter into a 1 liter bottle because of the flimsiness of the Hydrapak, then stow it back inside the pack.
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Re: Katadyn BeFree vs. Sawyer Mini

Postby zacjust32 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 7:49 pm

Do you have the sawyer mini or regular? I have the mini and it's pretty slow filtering compared to the original size. I'm looking to upgrade to the larger one but may have to take a look at this.
Hiker, adventurer, fabricator, tinkerer, theologian, and occasional student. http://www.zacjust.blogspot.com
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Re: Katadyn BeFree vs. Sawyer Mini

Postby John Harper » Thu Apr 19, 2018 11:25 am

I have the Sawyer Mini. It seems to filter okay compared to what I had before, a Bota filter. The BeFree is so much easier to filter than the Sawyer, it really surprised me.

Just ordered a Hydrapak Stash 750 to give myself a little more capacity, and the Stash collapses better than the BeFree flask from what I can see.

John
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Re: Katadyn BeFree vs. Sawyer Mini

Postby christosks » Wed Apr 25, 2018 10:53 am

The BeFree does tend to clog faster so just be aware of your water sources - the cleaner the better. I use one of the 2L Seeker bottles as my dirty water bottle - https://www.rei.com/product/115832/hydr ... -676-fl-oz much stronger bottle than the Stash series per second hand reports (I have only used the Seeker bottles though)
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Re: Katadyn BeFree vs. Sawyer Mini

Postby John Harper » Fri Apr 27, 2018 8:12 am

I got a Seeker 2L and a Stash, so I can really field test the variety of uses.

John
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Re: Katadyn BeFree vs. Sawyer Mini

Postby edhyatt » Sun Apr 29, 2018 10:23 am

I find I can spare the time to sit on a rock and use the Sawyer mini....although it does eat into my day :p
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Re: Katadyn BeFree vs. Sawyer Mini

Postby bobby49 » Sun Apr 29, 2018 1:46 pm

It seems like you guys are trying to pump the water through the filter. Why not use it as a gravity filter? I just set mine up and let it flow. If the flow rate is good, it will filter about 1L per minute. If the flow rate is impeded by something, it will filter about 1L per two minutes.
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Re: Katadyn BeFree vs. Sawyer Mini

Postby robow8 » Sun Apr 29, 2018 8:14 pm

One thing that I noticed with the Be Free is that the flow is slow with the first use after storing it. I was out last weekend, and then this weekend on short overnighters here in the San Gabriels. Last weekend, the flow was really slow for the first few liters. So what I did this weekend was I went ahead and ran 2 liters through the filter at home before I packed it in my pack. Then, when I got to camp and got water, it flowed like a champ.
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Re: Katadyn BeFree vs. Sawyer Mini

Postby mrphil » Tue May 01, 2018 5:39 pm

I'm surprised nobody's posted this yet:

https://www.outdoorgearlab.com/topics/c ... ter-filter

I've never used the BeFree, but I use the Sawyer Mini constantly. I primarily use it with an MSR Autoflow for camp applications, but do keep the included straw stashed in my pack for quick sips here and there, and I'll occasionally pull it off the MSR and use it with a bag, making it more versatile.I like the fact that it can be used in-line as a gravity filter, it's very reliable, easy to backflush in the field, small and light enough to carry a second, and it's just a little over half the cost of the BeFree and most other cartridges.
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