Platypus QuickDraw Microfilter System Review
Compare prices at 3 resellers Pros: Ultralight, integrity check if frozen or dropped, easy to use, easy to assemble
Cons: Must be cleaned with bleach or 10 Aquatabs when stored, takes a few gallons to find the sweet spot for fastest flow rate, short cartridge life
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Platypus QuickDraw Microfilter System
|Price||$39.95 at REI|
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|$29.97 at Amazon|
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|$14.95 at REI|
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|Pros||Ultralight, integrity check if frozen or dropped, easy to use, easy to assemble||Lightweight, adaptable, easy to use, lifetime guarantee||Lightweight, inexpensive, kills all pathogens (including crypto), reliable||Easy to use, lightweight, packable||Easy to use, super packable, lightweight, cheap in comparison to other filters|
|Cons||Must be cleaned with bleach or 10 Aquatabs when stored, takes a few gallons to find the sweet spot for fastest flow rate, short cartridge life||Not great for group use, better if you replace the bags||Takes a long time to kill crypto, slight taste to the water, chemical treatment||Not safe to use long-term, lower value than other chemical treatments, poor taste||More expensive then other chemical treatment, chlorinated taste, does not kill Crypto|
|Bottom Line||A fine option for lightweight personal filtration that won’t weigh you down on the trails but with a short filter life||Simple filtration that is lightweight and reliable for individual use||These drops are a reliable and lightweight option to carry all over the world||This can be used as an emergency treatment system, but not much else||This is the lightest chemical treatment option out there|
|Rating Categories||Platypus QuickDraw...||Sawyer Squeeze||Aquamira Treatment...||Potable Aqua Purifi...||MSR Aquatabs|
|Water Quality (20%)|
|Durability & Maintenance (20%)|
|Treatment Time (15%)|
|Weight & Packability (15%)|
|Ease Of Set Up (15%)|
|Ease Of Filtration (15%)|
|Specs||Platypus QuickDraw...||Sawyer Squeeze||Aquamira Treatment...||Potable Aqua Purifi...||MSR Aquatabs|
|Type of filter/purifier||Squeeze||Squeeze, in-line, on-the-go||Chemical treatment||Chemical treatment||Chemical treatment|
|Measured weight (entire kit, oz)||3.6 oz.||5.7 oz||3.0 oz||2.3 oz||0.1 oz|
|Number of liters (L)/gallons (gal) per lifetime||1,000 L||378,541 L/100,000 gal||114 L/30 gal per package||25 L/6.6 gal||60 L/16 gal (30 tabs)|
|Filter media or active ingredient||Hollow-fiber||Hollow Fiber||Chlorine Dioxide||Iodine & Tetraglycine Hydroperiodide||Sodium dichloroisocyanurate|
|Effective against bacteria?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Effective against protozoa? (Cryptosporidium, Giardia)||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes (Gardia = yes; Crypto = no)||Yes (Gardia = yes; Crypto = no)|
|Effective against viruses?||No||No||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Effective against chemicals?||No||No||No||No||No|
|Effective against heavy metals?||No||No||No||No||No|
|Removes Particulates (sediment, microplastics)?||Yes||Yes||No||No||No|
|Filter pore size||.2 microns||0.1 micron||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Advertised flow rate||3L/min||1.7L/min||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Dimensions||2 x 5||11 x 6||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Storage capacity (L)||1 L||2 L||0||0||0|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Platypus QuickDraw Microfilter System is an ultralight water filter that removes bacteria, protozoa, and particulates from water with a bit of effort to squeeze the water through the filtration system. Some unique options with this filter include a handle on the reservoir that prevents your hand from getting wet when collecting water from the source, as well as an integrity check to assure the filter is functioning properly. While we never achieved the advertised flow rate of 3 liters per minute, we still consider this a good short-term option for trail running, thru-hiking, or ultralight backpacking.
For this metric, we consider the level of quality each water filtration system could produce as well as how effective the filter is at removing harmful bacteria from the water source.
The QuickDraw filters water by utilizing tiny hollow fibers within the filter that can remove 99.9% protozoa and 99.9999% of bacteria. The reservoir that is used to collect the water from the source is also equipped with a polyethylene inner layer which allows for a taste-free experience. Utilizing this ultralight technology, the QuickDraw quality drinking water.
Durability and Maintenance
An important metric when selecting a backcountry water filtration system is the durability of its construction as well as the maintenance required to allow for the maximum rate of flow.
The Platypus QuickDraw is similar to other hollow fiber filters out there, as it can become compromised if frozen or dropped. However, unlike other filters, it offers an integrity check where you can fill the reservoir halfway, invert the Quickdraw to start the filtration process, once there is a steady stream of water, turn the filter over and squeeze the remaining amount of water before squeezing air through the system, if there is a constant stream of bubbles, this means your filter is compromised and is no longer safe to use. The cartridge is also coated in TPE which is a material that is soft to the touch while remaining grippy and easy to handle.
If you are in the backcountry and notice the flow rate has decreased, you can simply fill the reservoir halfway and shake the filtration system vigorously to clean the filter on the go. If considering longer storage or a deeper clean at home to extend the life of the filter, Platypus suggests filling the reservoir and processing either 10 Aquatabs or 2.5 ml of household bleach through the hollow fibers. Our testers understand that putting a strong chemical such as bleach through your filter can be a consideration when selecting a filter that is best for you; however, we were impressed with the integrity check offered by the Platypus QuickDraw.
In this category, we considered the amount of time each filter required to process one liter of water. While the QuickDraw advertises a flow rate of 3 liters per minute, we were only able to achieve a flow rate of 44 seconds at best. This flow rate is still considered competitive, though not even close to the rate that is advertised by the manufacturer.
Weight and Packability
When considering this metric, we noted the weight and size of each backcountry water filter. In this category, the QuickDraw Microfilter Sytem is truly able to shine. At just 3.6 oz., the QuickDraw can be considered an ultralight hollow fiber water filter that weighs significantly less than its direct competition. The QuickDraw easily packs into a running vest or backpacking pack and is compatible with water bottle options such as the SmartWater bottle or a narrow-mouth Nalgene.
Ease of Set Up
For this metric, we considered the time it takes to assemble each backcountry water filter and whether or not that setup requires instructions or feels intuitive. With only a few moving parts, including the cartridge, the dirty water cap that prevents contamination, as well as the Platypus SoftBottle for collecting dirty water, the QuickDraw design is easily assembled to get you filtering water in seconds.
Ease of Filtration
For this metric, we considered how easily each filter allowed us to process water from various sources, noting the amount of physical effort required to filter the water from the source.
Unlike the gravity-fed filters, the QuickDraw requires a bit of muscle to either squeeze the SoftBottle or roll down the top. We found that initially, the QuickDraw required more strength to force the water through the filtration system. As the life of the filter progressed, we found that it required less force to achieve a similar flow rate. We love that the QuickDraw comes with a handle on the reservoir so we can collect water from the source without getting our hands wet; this feature is clutch in cold conditions. If using in tandem with a hard bottle, you will need to suck the water through the filter.
The QuickDraw Microfilter System is an ultralight option at an affordable price, but the short life of the filter cartridge holds us back from calling it a screaming deal. The cartridge has a shorter life (1,000 liters) when compared to some competition that offers a cartridge life of up to 100,000 gallons. However, for features included, we enjoyed using this unique filter.
The Platypus QuickDraw Microfilter System is an impressive water filter. It weighs just 3.6 oz., filters one liter in 44 seconds with some squeezing required, and can be field-checked for its integrity. If it had a longer filter cartridge life, we would more emphatically recommend it. For now, we think it's a pretty good product, but not the best.
— Trish Matheny
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