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Platypus QuickDraw Microfilter System Review

A fine option for lightweight personal filtration that won’t weigh you down on the trails but with a short filter life
Platypus QuickDraw Microfilter System
Photo: Platypus
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Price:  $40 List | $39.95 at REI
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
Manufacturer:   Platypus
By Trish Matheny ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 1, 2021
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71
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 25
  • Water Quality - 20% 8
  • Durability & Maintenance - 20% 4
  • Treatment Time - 15% 7
  • Weight & Packability - 15% 9
  • Ease of Set-Up - 15% 8
  • Ease of Filtration - 15% 7

Our Verdict

The Platypus QuickDraw Microfilter System is a great option for the consumer considering ultralight water filtration to avoid chemical water treatment options (i.e., tablets and solutions). It is easily maintained and integrity checked in the field if you suspect the cartridge has been compromised after being dropped or freezing overnight. The cartridge does not have the longest lifespan (only 1,000 liters), which is its biggest disadvantage. Still, we are impressed by the features offered at a competitive price.

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Overall Score Sort Icon
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Star Rating
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Pros Ultralight, integrity check if frozen or dropped, easy to use, easy to assembleLightweight, adaptable, easy to use, lifetime guaranteeLightweight, inexpensive, kills all pathogens (including crypto), reliableEasy to use, lightweight, packableEasy 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 lifeNot great for group use, better if you replace the bagsTakes a long time to kill crypto, slight taste to the water, chemical treatmentNot safe to use long-term, lower value than other chemical treatments, poor tasteMore 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 lifeSimple filtration that is lightweight and reliable for individual useThese drops are a reliable and lightweight option to carry all over the worldThis can be used as an emergency treatment system, but not much elseThis is the lightest chemical treatment option out there
Rating Categories Platypus QuickDraw... Sawyer Squeeze Aquamira Treatment... Potable Aqua Purifi... MSR Aquatabs
Water Quality (20%)
8.0
8.0
5.0
2.0
1
Durability & Maintenance (20%)
4.0
5.0
10.0
10.0
9.0
Treatment Time (15%)
7.0
9.0
2.0
2.0
2.0
Weight & Packability (15%)
9.0
8.0
9.0
10.0
10.0
Ease Of Set Up (15%)
8.0
7.0
8.0
9.0
9.0
Ease Of Filtration (15%)
7.0
8.0
9.0
10.0
10.0
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.

Performance Comparison


The Platypus Quickdraw is ultralight and easily assembled for...
The Platypus Quickdraw is ultralight and easily assembled for backcountry use.
Photo: Trish Matheny

Water Quality


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.

Crystal clear drinking water from the Platypus Quickdraw.
Crystal clear drinking water from the Platypus Quickdraw.
Photo: Trish Matheny

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.

The Platypus Quickdraw offers an integrity check to assure the tiny...
The Platypus Quickdraw offers an integrity check to assure the tiny hollow fibers have not been compromised.
Photo: Trish Matheny

Treatment Time


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.

One of the many timed liters during our trip to Indian Creek. We...
One of the many timed liters during our trip to Indian Creek. We never achieved the advertised rate of flow for the Platypus QuickDraw, but averaged around 44 seconds per liter.
Photo: Trish Matheny

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.

The Quickdraw easily packs into a running vest.
The Quickdraw easily packs into a running vest.
Photo: Trish Matheny

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.

The Platypus Quickdraw requires minimal time for set up.
The Platypus Quickdraw requires minimal time for set up.
Photo: Trish Matheny

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 comes equipped with a handle on the reservoir in order...
The Quickdraw comes equipped with a handle on the reservoir in order to keep your hands dry while collecting water from the source.
Photo: Trish Matheny

Value


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.

Conclusion


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.

The Platypus QuickDraw is one of the only filters to offer an...
The Platypus QuickDraw is one of the only filters to offer an integrity check (being performed in this image) if you suspect your filter has been compromised.
Photo: Toby Swimmer

Trish Matheny

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