Katadyn BeFree Water Filter

A trail runner sits by a small creek filling his waterbottle, that uses a Katadyn BeFree filter system.
A trail runner sits by a small creek filling his water bottle, that uses a Katadyn BeFree filter system.

The water bottle that comes with the Katadyn BeFree water filter is a Hydrapak 500ml soft flask, while the filter itself (the blue piece) also serves as the mouthpiece, screwing onto the soft flask. You drink through the filter.

Katadyn BeFree water filter

For most people, where we go to run, hike, bike, whatever… there is water to be found. You just can’t always freely drink it.

The options are:

Use/carry a water filter (heavyish)

Water disinfection tablet (slow to use & not the tastiest)

Carry more water (heavy)

Of course how you deal with this depends on where you are. If the source is pure mountain water you can get away with light filtration. In the Alps the water is mostly safe to drink, but with all the many people, cows, sheep and goats about, micro-organisms are an issue to be concerned with.

Yet another option, and the one I’ve often chosen, is to do nothing. I’ve been very careful about where I dip my bottle, so far so good. But now I have a reason to be more self assured without adding much more weight to what I already carry when I’m mountain running or hiking. In fact, it might actually allow you to save weight! This summer, Katadyn sent us a new product to photograph and test, the BeFree filter. I was thrilled when I first saw it as it uses a product we already use everyday, Hydrapak soft flasks. But Katadyn engineered a super light filter that screws on to any 42mm soft bottle mouth. How light? 58 grams for the whole set up which you won’t even see or notice as it is built into the mouthpiece for a soft bottle, which most every trail and ultra runner is already using. So for the weight of a Snickers, you have a water bottle and filter combo. You’ll be free to carry less water as you can drink along the way, actually saving you weight. Finally, like any soft flask, the whole set up fits right in most trail running vest shoulder straps.

This thing is a no brainer… BeFree Filters will be available September 2016. More info at Katadyn’s website.

A trail runner stops at a river in the Swiss Alps to fill a Katadyn BeFree water filter

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