MSR Trailshot - Anyone Tried One Yet?

r3biker

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Mar 17, 2017
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I got one but have not used it on the trail yet. I just tested it on tap water. It worked great. I have two other MSR SweetWater pumps and plan to retire them. This pump seems to work slower than the sweetwater but I can suck the water directly from the cap if I'm desperate which I can't do with the sweetwater. I don't recommend drinking directly from the mouth to avoid germs from backwash. But it works great, and no carbon gunk to worry about either.


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r3biker

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Mar 17, 2017
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I just tried out the MSR Trailshot. The best thing about it is that it is entirely self contained, meaning no bottles to fill with contaminated water. Everything will fit into a cargo pant pocket. Another benefit is that it is easy to clean in the field.

My only complaint is with how long it took to fill a water bottle. Bending over to keep the inlet in the stream was back aching work at times; however, the portability ensured my son and I stayed well hydrated.

I have not yet tried the Sawyer mini squeeze but I am very prone to loosing things that come apart. I'm also likely to loose track of which water bottle is for clean water and which is for the dirty water. One small lapse in memory could ruin a trip. I'd need some kind of obvious restriction like reverse threading the dirty water bottle so it's impossible to ever switch the dirty bottle with the clean one.

I might have a similar problem with the life straw. I'd need to ensure I can't drink from the wrong end of the straw nor cross contaminating the straw due to inconsistency in storage.


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Perry

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<snip>

My only complaint is with how long it took to fill a water bottle. Bending over to keep the inlet in the stream was back aching work at times; however, the portability ensured my son and I stayed well hydrated.

</snip>

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I was wondering about the tubing length. Is it put together in a way that one could put longer tubing on?
 

WasatchWill

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I think I'd still favor my original Sawyer Squeeze. There's no tubing to fuss with, it still weighs less, also small enough to carry in a pocket, and it's fast. I do see the appeal of this one for those who are traveling through areas abundant in water sources and don't want to carry any kind of water bottle with them. Looks like a lot less effort for drinking on the go than a Sawyer Mini or even Lifestraw would be.
 

Perry

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I think I'd still favor my original Sawyer Squeeze. There's no tubing to fuss with, it still weighs less, also small enough to carry in a pocket, and it's fast. I do see the appeal of this one for those who are traveling through areas abundant in water sources and don't want to carry any kind of water bottle with them. Looks like a lot less effort for drinking on the go than a Sawyer Mini or even Lifestraw would be.

Do you still use the Sawyer bags or do you use something else?
 

WasatchWill

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Do you still use the Sawyer bags or do you use something else?

I still take a squeeze bag, and I roll up a little zip lock sandwich bag to make it easier to filling up the squeeze bag. That way I always know, bag=dirty, bottle=clean. I do have a Sawyer Mini too but now only take that as an emergency backup on various day hikes. For backpacking, there's no comparison with how much faster and easier it is to get water through the slightly bigger original Sawyer Squeeze vs the Mini. I can understand why people have broken bags trying to get water through the Mini as it just generally takes more force to get any flow through it (though it can still be rigged into a successful gravity system) and clogs a little easier. With the original, a gentle but firm squeeze will be comparable to some of the best pumps out there or you can even just hold it up and let gravity do all the work and it will still flow pretty well.

Admittedly, my Sawyer setup does have more parts and would probably be overkill for anything less than a liter. The MSR one above appears to stay fully assembled and lets you just whip it out on a whim and it's immediately ready to use.
 

slc_dan

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This all sounds like a crazy hassle.

I've been using a Platypus gravity set up since 2009, and it's so easy to use I don't even think about it anymore. I'm just not sure why everyone doesn't use it.
 

r3biker

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Mar 17, 2017
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I was wondering about the tubing length. Is it put together in a way that one could put longer tubing on?

I think you could put longer tubing in it but it would take longer to prime.


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jjmcwill

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Aug 14, 2012
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This all sounds like a crazy hassle.

I've been using a Platypus gravity set up since 2009, and it's so easy to use I don't even think about it anymore. I'm just not sure why everyone doesn't use it.

A significant consideration may be time to filter, and what to do if you're above treeline and looking for a way to hang the gratify setup so that it works.

If water is plentiful on the trail, a 5-10 minute periodic rest stop can be timed to coincide with a water crossing where everyone's water bottle is easily topped off. That also means that each person can carry less water between water stops.
 

slc_dan

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A significant consideration may be time to filter, and what to do if you're above treeline and looking for a way to hang the gratify setup so that it works.

If water is plentiful on the trail, a 5-10 minute periodic rest stop can be timed to coincide with a water crossing where everyone's water bottle is easily topped off. That also means that each person can carry less water between water stops.

4 liters is faster via Platypus than 4 liters with a steripen(albeit with small margins).

When above treeline, I often just balance the dirty bag on a rock. Works great.

I will admit, when with a group of 4 or more, a steripen while walking is a welcome addition for chugging some water while it is plentiful. I'd still rather gravity filter if I only had one.
 

Dustin Gent

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Jun 22, 2015
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I got an MSR trailshot. I was using a first need XLE purifier, but was heavier and i don't need a purifier. The hose can be changed out for a longer one. Back flushing is easy, and i think it is recommended to back flush every 8 liters or so - but takes 10 seconds. You can also do an integrity test on it, which is super easy.

The sawyer mini is nice, BUT it is a disposable filter. The trailshot has replaceable filters. Next year they are going to have a gravity Trailshot edition for like $109.
 
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