In this post we review the BeFree water filter from Katadyn (r). The BeFree hydration system has two components, a wide mouthed water bottle and a filter assembly including a sports style drinking nozzle.
BeFree Water Bottle
The bottle itself is made from a soft but strong and flexible feeling plastic and comes in a few different sizes. With the exception of where the filter/nozzle screws in, the entire bottle is made from this soft plastic and whilst the bottom is flat, it is unlikely to stay securely upright. The advantage however is that when empty, it compresses away and takes up very little space. It has a wide opening which will make filling from a shallow water source easier. The bottle has no loop or obvious way to attach it to a backpack using a carabiner. The only option appears to use a side or main pocket. The opening is compatible with Hydrapak bottles and so the filter can be used with these other compressible bottles.
BeFree Water Filter
The Filter is a single assembly which has a sports style drinking nozzle and cap, a well sealing screw in top and the filter itself. Unlike the sealed filters from Platypus or Sawyer, the BeFree filter mesh is visible though a protective blue plastic cage. The cage openings are small enough to protect the filter elements but large enough to simplify filter cleaning. Whilst most filters require some kind of forced reverse flow to clean out any debris or sediment, the BeFree water filter can be cleaned simply by shaking it when submerged in water. Drinking through the filter requires a bit more sucking effort than other filters and it was difficult/slow to squeeze water out into a pot for cooking.
- Simple, small and light
- Easily cleaned filter
- Hydrapak compatible
- No easy way to attach it to a backpack
- Difficult to use for cooking
A great little bottle for day hikes