Hands-on Gear Review
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Pros: Lightest and most compact pump filter, 1000 liter filter life.
Cons: Complicated backflush maintenance that needs to be performed often.
Best Uses: Backpacking and backcountry use.
If you want a water filter reminiscent of a SuperSoaker Water Gun, the MSR Hyperflow Microfilter is the one. It is light, small, has a quick flow rate, and can be used to douse your hiking partner. As the lightest and most compact filter other than the Platypus Gravityworks Water Filter, it is the most desirable filtering system to carry on long hikes. It does not purify for viruses like Aquamira Water Treatment Drops or the First Need XL, but it does strain out particulate. Its primary downfall is a complicated back flush system that is directed to be performed every eight liters.
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OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review
Lightweight and compact, the Hyperflow is one of the smallest pump filters on the market.
The hollow fiber filter in the MSR Hyperflow Microfilter is effective against bacteria and protozoa, but not viruses. It does filter out particulate and requires a rather involved back-flushing process.
The Hyperflow is the lightest and most compact filter system, weighing 9.5 oz. including the storage bag, so it is the most desirable to carry if your preferred method is a pump.
Time Before Drinking
Only requiring one minute 30 seconds to pump a liter, this pump is fast with a decent flow rate.
Ease of Use
The pump itself is simple to use, and feels like pumping a Super-Soaker Water Gun. The pre-filter seems to flip upside down easily rather than staying facedown in the water, but this is minor. Where this filter stops being incredibly simple is the back-flushing, which involves unscrewing it in two places and removing and reversing small valves. Normally this maintenance would not be that big of a pain, except that it is recommended to be done every eight liters, which is very frequent and becomes a drag on a long or multi-day hike.
Durability/Uses Before Maintenance
There are a lot of user reviews online that complain about this filter getting clogged easily and not working. MSR issued a recall of filter cartridges in 2009 to improve the flow of the cartridges, which may have solved the problem. In our experience with the Hyperflow, we have not had troublesome clogging and have found the system to flow quite well. If you have used the Hyperflow please leave a user review comment, because we are very interested in how it is performing for others.
On one hand, we love that the Hyperflow can filter 1000 liters before needing a replacement cartridge. But on the other hand, the backflush process in this baby is rather complicated, involves small parts that are easy to lose, and is frustrating. It is suggested that this be be done every eight liters, which is quite often and would be tedious on a long distance hike.
The taste of the water remains unchanged.
Since this filter is so light, it is the best pump to carry on long hikes or backpacking trips where weight is a concern. Often people forego carrying a filter because they are too heavy, and the Hyperflow makes a case for bringing one anyway to keep yourself from getting sick.
At $100, this filter is slightly more expensive than the standard pumps like the MSR Sweetwater Microfilter and the Katadyn Hiker Pro and less than the nifty UV purifiers like SteriPEN Journey LCD or a gravity-fed filter like the Platypus Gravityworks Water Filter. In our opinion, spending an extra $20 for a gravity filter is worth it.
Other Versions and Accessories
One way to make this filter better and more useful is to purchase the MSR HyperFlow Gravity Kit, $70. This bag allows you to rig the Hyperflow filter up as a gravity filter like our Editors' Choice winner and the also high scoring MSR AutoFlow Gravity Filter.
The MSR DromLite bags come in 2, 4, and 6 liter capacities and range in price from $27-33. Completely collapsible and ultralight, you can use the MSR Dromedary Bag for no hassle filling.
MSR Hyperflow Microfilter Cartridge Replacement, $40.
The MSR Hyperflow Microfilter Maintenance Kit, $20, includes a small check valve, large check valve, replacement piston o-ring, replacement, quick connect bottle adapter o-ring, o-ring installation tool, o-ring removal tool (jet and cable tool), silicon lube, and instructions.
— McKenzie Long
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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews
Most recent review: August 27, 2014
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