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May 2017 Issue
Home / Gear reviews / Water filters and purifiers

MSR Trailshot MicroFilter

The MSR Trailshot MicroFilter makes your drinking water safe



Our Rating:


MSR’s Trailshot MicroFilter is a simple, lightweight water filter. It is small enough to fit into a jacket pocket and at 153g, it’s almost feather light. In fact, if weight is an issue, it’s a good alternative to MSR’s Guardian Purifier. And at this price, unlike the Guardian, it won’t burn a hole in your wallet.

I used the Trailshot MicroFilter while camping at Kohaihai, where the Heaphy Track begins. The filter was efficient and it took me a little more than two minutes to fill a 1.5-litre bottle – a little longer than the time advertised. The filter gave me peace of mind in a rel-atively clean river like the Kohaihai, but I wasn’t brave enough to try it downstream of a dairy farm.

The filter is made in the USA. It has a flexible clear plastic outer and feels like a sturdy product.

It meets NSF protocol P231 (an internationally recognised water treatment standard) and the filter will treat up to 2000 litres (replacement filters cost $84.99). It is designed to remove bacteria, protozoa and particulate so it is great for the New Zealand backcountry, but because it isn’t a purifier, it won’t remove the viruses typically found in developing countries.

If I were heading into the hills in an area where the water quality was of concern I wouldn’t hesitate to carry the Trailshot. The filter gives peace of mind in areas where the water quality is marginal. Were I to be travelling overseas in places where stream and water quality is questionable, I’d take a purifier to catch the viruses.

MSR’s Guardian Purifier is the gold standard, but the Trailshot is a good piece of kit where weight and cost is an issue.