Whether you’re deep in the Bolivian Amazon or heading up to Everest Base Camp, Grayl claim their GeoPress will keep your body hydrated and your pants diarrhoea free! We decided to put these claims to the test in this dedicated Grayl GeoPress purifier review!
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The Grayl GeoPress: Quick Look
The Grayl GeoPress can purify water from any source, removing bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, plastics and protozoa. The carbon filter even removes bad tastes and odours!
Grayl purifiers started life as a scribble on a napkin. Four years of hard work later, the Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier was released to critical acclaim. The bottle raised close to $250,000USD on Kickstarter and continued to sell well until it was discontinued.
Instead of resting on the success of the Ultralight, Grayl kept innovating. They listened to user comments and used feedback to create their new bottles, the GeoPress. It has a larger capacity, purifies water faster, reduces the risk of cross-contamination and is rugged enough to survive long-term travel.
- Clean water from almost any source
- Easy to use
- Saves money on bottled water in the long run
- Big initial investment
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Grayl GeoPress: In-Depth Review
Over the last few years, I’ve put my GeoPress through its paces while hiking, travelling and backpacking. I’ve drunk from stagnant ponds, rainwater collection barrels, brooks, streams and hostel taps across multiple continents.
Not only did the GeoPress make the water clear and palatable but it also stopped me from getting ill which is a mini-miracle when you see the water sources I’ve been using!
How to Use the Grayl GeoPress
Grayl’s GeoPress water purifier filters water differently from many other filtered water bottles. Instead of sucking or gravity-feeding the water through a filter, you fill the main part of the bottle with water, then insert the inner section and press down. This forces the dirty water up through the filter. Clean water is stored inside the inner bottle.
Three Top Tips for Using the Grayl Bottle!
2. Make sure you place the GeoPress on a low, stable surface before pressing the filter into the water. It takes quite a lot of force to get it going, so you want to have your body weight over the bottle.
3. Do not add water over the fill line. It ends up spraying all over you if you do!
Grayl GeoPress – The Good Bits
The Grayl GeoPress is a water purifier rather than a standard filter – but what does that actually mean?
Water purifiers remove much more from your water than standard filters. Even viruses can’t squeeze through a purifier like they can other filters. Purifiers allow you to drink water from almost any source! Most filtered water bottles, or backpacking filters, remove bacteria and protozoa, as well as particles but can’t remove viruses. This makes purifiers a better choice if you’re drinking from water sources close to human populations.
Viruses are responsible for a large percentage of health problems related to bad water, so having a purifier when you travel is a no-brainer – especially if you want to avoid single-use plastic bottles as you travel!
Grayl specifically designed the GeoPress to not just survive your many adventures but also to keep working perfectly for as long as you need it. The thick, BPA-free plastic is tough, really tough. You could fill it with water, throw it onto concrete from 10 feet and put your feet up, wondering how the hell it survived the fall.
Just by picking it up, you can feel how rugged the GeoPress is. Whilst I haven’t been brave enough to throw mine out of an upstairs window just yet, I’ve dropped it multiple times and it’s survived with just the odd scratch.
Easy to Grip
The GeoPress has rubberised grips on the main body and a soft rubber area on the top. The side grips allow you to hold the bottle more securely and the top rubberised patch offers a little cushioning for when you’re cleaning water.
The filter in your GeoPress will last around 250 litres, which for one person could be well over 100 days worth of water. If you’re using water from more questionable sources like stagnant ponds, the filter lifespan will be shorter. Likewise, if you’re just using water from a tap or a fast-flowing stream, the filter will last a little longer.
When the ‘press time’ (the length of time it takes to purify a bottle’s worth of water), reaches 30 seconds, it’s time to replace the filter. This process is quick, taking less than a minute.
If you’re travelling for an extended period, we recommend stocking up on filters before you leave. They can be difficult to get hold of abroad.
The Grayl GeoPress has a 710 ml capacity which is significantly larger than the Grayl Ultralight (now discontinued) or the UltraPress. Although 710 ml is still less than your average person’s daily intake of water, it’s still more than a basic water bottle and will keep you going through most daily activities.
If you are walking, cycling or exercising a lot, you’ll need more water but in these situations, I simply decant filtered water out of my GeoPress and into a collapsible bottle and refill the GeoPress. It’s only necessary if you won’t come across another water source again for a while.
Prevents Cross Contamination
There are many filter bottles available today that do a great job of purifying your water. However, many of them don’t fully protect you from getting ill because they allow dirty water to get into the spout or in worst-case scenarios, contaminated water can leak into the clean water!
The Grayl GeoPress has a screw cap over the spout to protect it from dirty water, so there is no way contaminated water can enter your freshly purified supply.
As a member of 1% For The Planet, Grayl are putting their money where their mouth is when it comes to protecting the planet and building a better world for future generations.
1% For The Planet members donate 1% of their sales to a combined pot that then goes on to fund non-profit organisations that protect, conserve and help to rebuild our most precious resource: the natural world.
Grayl also support:
- The Conversation Alliance
- Charity: Water
- Adventure Travel Conservation Fund
- Washington Wild
- Soul River
- Outdoor Afro
Grayl GeoPress – The Bad Bits
Whilst Grayl have produced one of the best filtered-water bottles available, in the course of testing the bottle out, I found a few small issues. None of these would be enough to put me off buying one, but here at South East Asia Backpacker, we know how important it is to read genuine reviews from real backpackers, so here are the negatives.
Whilst not heavy in the grand scheme of your gear, the Grayl GeoPress is just a smidge over 450 grams. It may not seem like a lot but compared to your average plastic water bottle, which is around 20 grams, the GeoPress is heavy.
Still, I would rather carry an extra half kilo than waste money buying single-use plastic bottles every day. For those of you planning long hikes, or who are extra picky about your pack weight, there are lighter options out there but they come with their own limitations.
More of an issue for your average backpacker than the weight of the GeoPress is its size. It is a good deal larger than a normal 710 ml water container. At 26 cm tall and 14 cm wide, it will take up a significant portion of your backpack.
Even more of a bummer is that the Grayl GeoPress doesn’t fit into normal water bottle pockets on most backpacks. I tend to attach mine to my bag using carabiners or tuck it into the top of my bag – which can be a pain if you just want a quick glug of water.
If you’re hiking, the GeoPress may fit into the water bottle pockets of your hiking pack as these tend to have more space.
If you are travelling for more than a couple of months or planning on using your Grayl regularly, you will save money by getting yourself a GeoPress. Even so, when saving up for a trip it’s painful to drop almost $100USD on anything, let alone a water bottle.
The costs don’t end with the initial purchase either. Every time you need to replace the filter, it will set you back approx $30USD.
As I’ve said, even with these outlays you will still save money in the end. If each filter can do 250 litres of water, then the cost per litre is very low when compared to buying bottled water. Plus, you won’t be throwing mountains of plastic into landfill sites, which is sure to make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside!
Grayl GeoPress FAQs
How long does a Grayl filter last?
Grayl’s GeoPress filters will purify up to 250 litres of water before they need to be replaced. This will be less if you are filtering particularly dirty or stagnant water.
How do I know when the Grayl filter needs replacing?
When using your GeoPress, you will notice over time that the filter gets harder and harder to press down. When new, you can filter 710 ml in around 8 seconds but over the filter’s lifetime, this will get longer and longer. When the overall filtration time reaches 25-30 seconds, it’s time to replace the filter.
How do I change the filter on the Grayl GeoPress?
At the bottom of the inner section of your GeoPress, you will see the filter cartridge. To replace the filter, unscrew and remove the cartridge. It can be quite stiff the first time but gets easier the more you use it! Once removed, screw in the new filter until you feel it click.
Can I purify salt water using the Grayl GeoPress?
No. Saltwater can only be made into safe drinking water using a desalination device. The GeoPress does not filter or purify saltwater.
How do I clean the Grayl GeoPress?
Aside from the filters, the whole GeoPress is dishwasher safe. If you don’t have access to a dishwasher or have a weird aversion to anything except crockery going in yours, you can wash these parts with warm soapy water.
If you want to rinse the filter out, make sure you do so with clean water and do not use soap which will block the pores within the filter.
If you’re somewhere like a hostel, with no access to a dishwasher or safe tap water, you can still wash the GeoPress with warm, soapy water. This should kill off any germs and bacteria. Allow the bottle to air dry rather than using a dish towel – you can never guarantee the cleanliness of a dish towel in a hostel!
How do I store my Grayl GeoPress?
If you’ve finished using your GeoPress for a while and want to pop it away, make sure you have cleaned it and rinsed out the filter. Then leave it out to dry. The filter can take a couple of days to completely dry out if you’re in a cooler climate. If you put it away wet, you’ll get bad odours and there is a risk that mould or bacteria could breed in there.
Where can I buy a Grayl GeoPress?
Is there a Grayl GeoPress alternative?
You could also opt for the LARQ Movement Water Bottle. It works by cleaning your water with UV light which kills waterborne pathogens. This bottle needs to be kept charged and is only effective on clear water. It won’t clean silty or cloudy water. If you only want a bottle for making tap water potable, a LARQ bottle is a good choice – although it is less effective than a Grayl GeoPress.
Grayl GeoPress – A Round-Up
The Grayl GeoPress is an excellent choice for travellers wanting clean drinking water, no matter where they are. Sure, it’s a bulky bottle and the initial outlay is a lot but compared to not having clean water, or needing to buy bottled water every day, these negatives pale into insignificance.
However, if you’re hiking and having the lightest possible kit is more important than having a full-blown purifier, there are plenty of other filtered water bottles which fit the bill.
Overall, the GeoPress is a solid choice for travellers, it will help prevent the dreaded traveller’s diarrhoea, save you money in the long run and reduce your plastic footprint!
Do you have anything about the Grayl GeoPress to add to this review? If so, let us know in the comments below!