Grayl revolutionised portable water purifiers. Since the release of their first bottle, the Ultralight, in 2016, they’ve been a dominant force in the filtered water bottle market. Their bottles have been thoroughly tested by thousands of users across almost every environment on earth.
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Over the past few years, I’ve used Grayl’s second bottle, the GeoPress for travel and hiking. It’s been an excellent companion. Using the GeoPress, I’ve been able to drink tap water anywhere in the world. It’s given me clean water while hiking in the wilderness and even allowed me to drink from stagnant pools without getting ill. Grayl’s GeoPress is one of my must-have travel items!
Disclaimer: Grayl sent us the bottles in this comparison free of charge. We wrote this comparison after years spent testing and evaluating the GeoPress and months testing the UltraPress. This comparison was not sent to Grayl prior to being published. None of our reviews are ever edited to keep a brand happy!
UltraPress vs GeoPress At A Glance
Both the GeoPress and UltraPress work using Grayl’s OnePress technology. Simply pull the bottle apart, fill the outer bottle with dirty water and press the inner bottle into place. This forces dirty water up through the filter and into the clean inner bottle. It’s now safe to drink!
When the UltraPress arrived in the mail, the differences were evident. The UltraPress is significantly smaller than the GeoPress. It fits better into backpacks and cup holders, making it easier to use on the move. It also features a different top and comes in a wide range of new colours.
|Height (base to cap)||27.5cm||25cm|
|Capacity||24oz (709ml)||16.9oz (499.7ml)|
|Filter Lifespan||350 presses (250 litres)||300 presses (150 litres)|
UltraPress vs GeoPress – An In-Depth Look
UltraPress vs GeoPress — Size & Capacity
Grayl’s UltraPress is significantly smaller than the GeoPress. The 2.5cm difference in height might not sound like a lot but it’s instantly noticeable.
The more important size difference between the two bottles is the diameter. The UltraPress’ diameter is 1.5cm less than the GeoPress. Again, it doesn’t sound like a lot but that 1.5cm is the difference between a clunky bottle, that’s almost too large to use at times, and one that fits easily into a backpack or cup holder.
One of the biggest complaints about the GeoPress was the sheer size of the bottle. It feels massive and can be a chore to store while travelling — it won’t fit in the external bottle pockets of most backpacks. The UltraPress has solved that issue. By reducing the height and width of the bottle, Grayl have made their product much more streamlined.
The smaller size of the UltraPress makes it easier to pack and store. It feels more secure to hold and is around 100g lighter than the GeoPress. However, the capacity has been reduced by more than 200ml so you’re purifying less water with each press. You’ll want to carry at least one other bottle that you can fill from the UltraPress. 500ml of clean water won’t last you long!
UltraPress vs GeoPress — Purification
Both bottles purify water to remove bacteria, protozoa, viruses, particulates, chemicals and heavy metals. They work in the same way to ensure your drinking water is as safe as it can be.
They’ll clean water from almost any source — although the filters will last longer if you avoid stagnant or silty water as much as possible. You should always try to filter fast running, clear water to extend the life of your filters!
The GeoPress can purify 700ml of water in around 8 seconds when the bottle is new. The UltraPress takes close to 10 seconds to purify 500ml of water. Over time, both bottles will slow as the filters begin to clog up. When it takes around 25 seconds to purify one bottle’s worth of water, it’s time to replace the filter.
It’s also worth noting that the slimmer filter on the UltraPress has a slightly different attachment mechanism to the GeoPress filter. It’s not just a matter of screwing it into place – or unscrewing it to remove it. There’s also a small plastic tab that you need to pry open before it will unscrew. And you’ll need to ensure that the tab is clipped into place correctly when screwing the filter on. It’s fiddly but that’s a small price to pay for safe, clean water!
UltraPress vs GeoPress — Weight
The Grayl GeoPress is quite a beast. For a water bottle, it’s massive. With a dry weight of 460g, it takes up a good chunk of your baggage weight allowance as well as space! When full, it weighs over a kilogram!
At 357g when empty, the UltraPress is 22% lighter than its predecessor. Combined with how much easier it is to pack, this is a huge improvement!
UltraPress vs GeoPress — Carry Handle
The GeoPress features a fixed protruding carry handle. This is useful for carrying the bottle or attaching it to the outside of your backpack. However, the rigid nature of the handle means it can get in the way when trying to fit the bottle into small spaces.
The UltraPress features a multi-use handle that rotates 90 degrees from flat to upright. When upright, the handle can be used to help pull the inner and outer bottles apart — the UltraPress is much easier to separate than the GeoPress.
When it comes to purifying your water, the handle can be put into its flat position. This creates a wider platform for your hands to press down on, reducing discomfort and making the purification process easier.
The larger, movable handle on the UltraPress, combined with the overall smaller size of the bottle, makes it much easier to carry than the GeoPress!
UltraPress vs GeoPress — Cap
Both the GeoPress and UltraPress have chunky, durable caps. It’s threaded and can be opened and closed with ease. You’ll need to unscrew the cap half a turn when purifying water so air has somewhere to escape.
The two caps are almost the same size but aren’t quite interchangeable annoyingly.
The big difference between the two is that the cap on the GeoPress is tethered to the bottle — you can’t lose it! However, the UltraPress cap isn’t tethered in any way. It can be lost easily so be careful with the cap while drinking!
Sadly the thread pattern on both bottles prevents a standard bottle cap from fitting. This is less of an issue with the GeoPress as it’s all but impossible to lose the cap. However, with the UltraPress it could pose a problem.
UltraPress vs GeoPress — Rubber Grips
Rubber grips feature on the side and bottom of both models — I must confess, I taped over the rubber base of my GeoPress to make it easier to slide in and out of my hiking pack.
There are also rubber pads on top of both bottles which make the press more comfortable — considering there’s less surface area on the UltraPress, Grayl have done an excellent job of not reducing the size of the press pads.
UltraPress vs GeoPress — Feel
The GeoPress always felt bulky. Unless you’ve got hands like Dwayne Johnson, it feels super chunky, like you’re a child stealing from your parent’s flask. It’s not physically hard or uncomfortable to hold, it just doesn’t feel right.
It was also a chore to slide into bottle pockets in backpacks. The rubber grip on the bottom catches and the width is just too much for most bottle pockets.
The UltraPress feels far sleeker and more comfortable to hold. More like a normal bottle. It’s also easier to slide into bottle pockets on backpacks but will be easier still with a bit of tape over the rubber base.
UltraPress and GeoPress Pros and Cons
Longer filter lifespan.
It’s almost impossible to lose the cap.
Lighter and easier to pack.
|Cons||Heavier and bulkier.|
|Smaller capacity. |
The filter has a shorter lifespan.
Cap not tethered to the bottle.
UltraPress vs GeoPress — Which Is Best?
If you’re hiking and spending a lot of time away from civilisation, there’s an argument for choosing the GeoPress over the UltraPress. The larger capacity means you can purify water faster and store more in the bottle. However, for general travel, the compact UltraPress is a much more fitting choice — plus it’s the cheaper of the two!
UltraPress vs GeoPress — Final Thoughts
Both these bottles are excellent. They both remove bacteria, protozoa, viruses, particulates, chemicals and heavy metals from your water. They make water from almost any source safe to drink. If you want to avoid the dreaded traveller’s diarrhoea, save money and reduce your plastic footprint, a Grayl bottle is the way to go!
Over the past few years, the GeoPress has been an amazing travel companion but its sheer size has been a pain at times. It’s hard to slide into bottle pockets, never fits in a standard cup holder, and feels massive in your hands.
The smaller size of Grayl’s UltraPress makes it more appealing to travellers with limited space. It comfortably fits into bottle pockets, can slide into most cup holders and is comfortable to hold. Sure, it holds 200ml less water and the lifespan of the filter is 100-litres less but the ease of use improvements more than make up for this.
When I first received the UltraPress in the post, I didn’t think I’d be writing these words but hiking trips aside, it might be time to retire my GeoPress.