Being able to safely drink water from almost any source is a powerful tool to have. With all of the traveling Kait and I do, we have been on a hunt for a reliable water filter that we can refill. Buying bottled water gets expensive and can be difficult to find at times. In some countries we have to careful of bottled water to make sure it’s not refiled local tap water with the top glued back on. This is where filtered refillable water bottles come in. GRAYL is an innovative water bottle that incorporates a filter element at the bottom of a cup. We fill the outer cup with water, and like a french press, we press the inner cup down to force the water through the filter element. Within a few seconds we have water that’s ready to drink. The variety filter pack comes with three different levels of filtering depending on our needs: tap, trail and travel.
We’ve done extensive traveling with our Berkey Sport Water Bottle, but one issue we’ve had with the bottle is that it doesn’t do well with elevation changes when there is water in the bottle. Water will leak due to the change in pressure and end up all over our bag. This is why we were so excited about the GRAYL water bottle and their team sent us one to test and provide a honest review.
What We Received:
What We Like:
Three filtering options. When we travel domestically we use the tap filter because we’re not as worried about micro organisms in the water as we are when we travel overseas. The Tap filter will clean the tap water and make it taste better. When we travel overseas, we swap to the travel filter, which provides the highest level of filtration and allows us to use most water sources as it filters out viruses, protozoa, bacteria, chemicals and heavy metals. The Trail filter has many of the same qualities of the Travel filter however we tend to skip the Trail filter because we prefer to have the highest level of filtration when needed. Each filter will last 300 uses or purify up to 40 gallons of water.
The water tastes great. We’ve filled our GRAYL from a variety of sources (water fountains, bathroom faucets) and every time we are amazed by the taste of the water it produces. Kait has even put restaurant water into the GRAYL because she prefers the taste.
10 year warranty. We had a problem with the flip top lid not sealing properly and when I contacted GRAYL, they promptly sent out a new one which worked correctly. Considering the cost, this was great assurance and showed they stand behind their product.
Made from safe materials. The inner cup is made of stainless steel and the plastics are BPA free. The silicone used is also food grade so there is no concern of chemicals leaching into the water from the cup.
Looks cool and is functional. GRAYL looks like a very modern product and prior to leaving the corporate world, I even took it on a couple of business trips. Unlike other water bottles I’ve seen, I had no problem bring it into a meeting. The flip top is easy to use when I need a drink and doesn’t leak. GRAYL also sent us a new top they are working on that has a loop in place of the flip top. This allows the bottle to be attached to a carabiner when backpacking. The downside is that the lid must be removed every time we want to take a drink.
What We Don’t Like:
Possible water contamination. In order to filter the water, we need to fill the outer cup with water and then push down on the lip of inner cup. The lip is also where we drink from so if we are someplace with bad sanitary conditions, we need to be very careful that our hands are clean and no unfiltered water gets on the lid. We also tested the GRAYL on a few hikes and on one occasion I set the GRAYL down and accidentally knocked it over. Dirt ended up all around the lid which I cleaned off as best I could, but the next time I went to take a drink, I got a mouth full of dirt. A lid to cover the drinking area to help prevent contamination would be a good accessory to have.
Water capacity. The bottle holds 16oz of water which is fine when we are walking through the city and can find many spots to fill up. When we are out for a hike and unsure of access to water we have to bring additional water to fill the GRAYL. Would be great to have a larger version that would get us through a short hike.
Refills can get a little messy. When we remove the inner cup to fill the outer cup, residual water drips from the filter. Also, if we want to refill when it’s half full, we either have to drink all the filtered water or estimate how much to fill the outer cup without overfilling the inner cup. When the inner cup is empty, it’s easy to fill the outer cup to the marked line.
No indicator for filter replacements. GRAYL states that their filters last for 300 uses, but there is no indicator or way of tracking this (unless we make a note every time we fill up).
We really like our GRAYL and have been taking it everywhere with is. Now that we travel full time, the GRAYL gives us peace of mind when drinking water from so many different sources. It’s not only something we use on hikes but we use it in our day to day life at home.
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Disclosure: GRAYL provided the product free of charge in exchange for a honest review. This review represents our own opinions of the product.