Earlier in the year, Grayl, a Seattle-based company that makes water purification bottles, created waves in the outdoor industry with a highly successful Kickstarter campaign for its latest product – the Ultralight. The pitch with this new bottle was that it could remove virtually all harmful bacteria, viruses, and protozoa from any water source in under 15 seconds, without the need for batteries, chemicals, or ultraviolet light. The fact that the bottle was also light enough to carry with you pretty much anywhere helped set it apart from Grayl’s earlier offering as well, making the Ultralight more enticing to travelers and outdoor enthusiasts.
When the Kickstarter campaign launched, the designers of the Ultralight had hoped to raise $25,000 to get their new product off the ground. Instead they raked in more than $220,000, garnering all kinds of media attention, and making the water bottle a runaway success before it even shipped.
That was months ago at this point, and the Ultralight actually went into production as planned, and started to hit store shelves earlier this summer. So how does it perform? Does it live up to the hype? Can it actually do the things that Grayl says it can do? In a word: yes!
Weighing in at 10.9 ounces (309 grams), the Grayl Ultralight looks like any number of other water bottles you might find on the shelves at your favorite department store or outdoor gear shop. It comes in two colors (orange and black), and has a lid that includes a useful handle on top that is perfect for hanging from your backpack with a carabiner. But don’t let its simple looks fool you. Inside, the Ultralight is packing a sophisticated carbon filter system that is capable of some very impressive things.
Like Grayl’s original water bottle – the Legend – the Ultralight actually consists of two parts –a simple plastic outer tube that holds the water that is collected from any source, and a filter system that actually does all of the hard work by removing all of the unwanted things from the water. Both parts are crucial to the purification process, as the work in conjunction with one another to provide clean drinking water pretty much anywhere or anytime.
To use the Grayl you simply fill the outer tube with water to a clearly marked line found on the exterior of the container. Next, you place the tube on the ground and slowly insert the purification module, pushing it downwards until the water begins seeping through the carbon filter. It will then appear in a second chamber located above the filter, completely clean and free from pathogens, particulates, and just about everything else that can make you sick. The filter is so good in fact that it can even make the water much clearer and better tasting too.
Grayl says that the Ultralight’s filter will remove 99.9999% of all viruses, including Hepatitis A, Sars, and the Rotavirus. It has the same level of effectiveness on bacteria such as E. coli and Salmonella, as well as protozoa like Giardia. In other words, it will remove pretty much everything harmful, leaving just good, pure drinking water, which can be consumed from the bottle itself, or transferred into a hydration pack.
Having now used the Ultralight on several occasions, I can attest to how fast and easy it truly is. Filling the container and pressing down on the filter really does take just 15 seconds to complete, and when you’re done you’re left with 16 ounces of safe drinking water. Grayl says that the filter that comes with the Ultralight is good for about 300 uses, which is enough to make 40 gallons of water. Replacement filters can be had for just $24.50.
As someone who travels to remote, and often foreign, destinations on a regular basis, the Grayl is a godsend. It literally takes almost no time at all to filter the water, and it completely eliminates the fear I have of potetnially getting sick while on the road. I also love that it weighs just 10.9 ounces, which is heavier than most other travel bottles, but not when you add in some other method for purifying your drinking water. In terms of overall weight and efficiency, it is really tough to beat the Ultralight. And since most of us already carry a water bottle with us when travel, why not take one that can help us to stay healthy too?
Priced at $59.50, the Grayl Ultralight is a very affordable option for those who have to deal with the challenges of purifying water on a regular basis. You won’t find another product that comes close to this in terms of weight, simplicity, and price. Find out more at TheGrayl.com.
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