MSR Thru-Link Inline Water Filter ($45)

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Inline filter

2.5 oz.

1,000 liters

For those who hike with a water reservoir, the convenience is unmatched.

Does not come with compatible vessels.

There was plenty of media coverage surrounding the launch of MSR’s new Thru-Link and with good reason. Instead of manually transferring the water into bottles or a separately-filled reservoir new Thru-Link connects straight to the water hose inside your bladder, and filters it while you drink. In addition to being an inline filter, it can also function as a gravity set-up. Just hang your bladder over the wall, then open the valve on the hose that you drink from, and let gravity take over the task. With only 2.5-ounce weight, a reasonable price of $45 and the impressive flow rate of 1.5 milliliters per minute the ThruLink is a light and easy method of drinking water at the go. It also comes with carbon filters for better tasting water, even when it draws from dirtier sources.

The most significant drawback of the Thru-Link is that it requires you to require additional equipment in order to utilize it. This isn’t the case with BeFree or GravityWorks and BeFree above and below, it’s not equipped with a suitable vessel. While most modern bladders are compatible with the connection system of the MSR (any bladder that has Quick-Connect fittings is compatible) Others require modification by cutting off the reservoir tube and using the fittings that come with it. It’s the Sawyer Squeeze (which also includes adapters for inline use) does the exact job , but for less money and with longer life, but take note that the connections aren’t as secure. If your typical on-trail setup utilizes an hydration reservoir, and you’re not afraid of converting the water reservoir to the form of a “dirty” bag, it’s really difficult to match the ease that the ThruLink offers.