Six years ago, the U.S. military turned to MSR to create a water purifier that could be used anywhere in the world. After extensive R&D, the company created the Guardian in order to meet the rigorous U.S. military testing standard–NSF Protocol P248–which includes both ease of operation requirements in addition to ultimate performance levels. Lucky for us, the water purifier will now be made available to civilians for our outdoor adventures.
The MSR Guardian can take pretty much any water source and turn it into clean, microbiologically safe, drinkable water. To do this, the water purifier uses a medical-grade hollow fiber technology that blocks even the tiniest of waterborne microbial pathogens such as viruses. Take a look at most water filters available to the outdoor market today and you will see they do not claim to protect against viruses, even if the filters are also made of hollow fiber. Most claim to only remove harmful bacteria and protozoa.
By comparison, the Guardian pump physically removes viruses, protozoa, bacteria, and even particulates such as silt, dirt, and sediment at a rapid 2.5 liters per minute, with no chemicals, UV light, or pre-filtering required. The MSR Guardian will filter up to 10,000 liters of water or more–the equivalent of 10 years worth of filtering 16 liters of water a day for 60 days.
Added bonus–the purifier self-cleans so you never have to back flush like you do in the Platypus GravityWorks or to scrub cartridges in the field to maintain flow. On every stroke, the water purifier uses 10% of its water to flush the contaminants in the filter back into the source. It also filters right into your water bottle so no extra messy hoses required.
MSR claims the Guardian water purifier can withstand freezing temperatures as the hollow fibers are not damaged by low temps. The company also completed drop testing in the lab and the water purifier withstood crashes of up to 6 feet on concrete–hopefully something you don’t plan to do that often.
Expect the MSR Guardian to hit shelves January 2016.