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Walking Equipment and Accessories

MSR Trailshot Microfilter | Review

The Trailshot microfilter from MSR can be a genuine life saver

On long trips into the wilderness where clean water sources are hard to come by, you have two options: either you carry all your water with you and live with the extra weight, or you take a means of filtering or purification with you.

We tend to prefer to stick with the latter option, especially now that smaller, more compact microfilters are readily available in just about every outdoor store these days.

Microfilters are an outdoor tool designed specifically to clean dirty liquid in order to provide you with safe drinking water on the move. But not all microfilters are born equal.

“Where the Trailshot sets itself apart is in its size, weight and ease of use.”

The MSR Trailshot is small, simple, and does absolutely everything you require from such a tool, and what’s crucial is that it results in water that meets U.S. EPA drinking water standards for removal of bacteria, protozoa and particulates.

Where the Trailshot sets itself apart is in its size, weight and ease of use. It’s an incredibly convenient tool. At one end is a plastic pocket with an entry valve, which you fill up with water, and at the other end of that pocket is the spout from which the filtered water comes out. For the Trailshot, this filtration takes place at a commendable speed of one-litre per minute.

The backflushing system on the Trailshot is also incredibly impressive. Backflushing is the process of cleaning the filter itself, and is required with all microfilters as the filter is, sooner or later, bound to become clogged with the substances it’s been filtering from your water. Often this can be quite a tricky or intricate system, but with the Trailshot you simply remove the inlet tube, shake the filter and then shoot the water back out that same inlet connection. Job done.

The MSR Trailshot Microfilter is really easy to use. Photo: Chris Johnson.
Cleaning the filter by 'backflushing' is really simple on the Trailshot. Photo: Chris Johnson.
The robust nozzle sits in the water source, and feeds fluid into the Trailshot. Photo: Chris Johnson.
At a slight 142 grams, you won't even know you've got the Trailshot packed, until you want to use it, of course. Photo: Chris Johnson.

Backflushing is something users can often get frustrated with and avoid doing wherever possible, but the Trailshot system really is so easy that’s it’s not much effort to do after every use, something which in turn means your filter will be working to full potential each time.

At just 142g you won’t notice the extra weight of this little filter, and the small design has been custom-made to stash neatly away in grab pockets for easy access while on the move.

The entire point of a microfilter is to be simple, effective, and as practical as can be, and with the Trailshot, MSR have achieved exactly that.

MSR Trailshot Microfilter

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Selected for The Outdoor 100 Winter 2017

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