Drinksafe Waterstraw (2013)

The popular General Ecology First Need XL is now available in this new Elite version, which boasts an extra port to allow easier cleaning of the internal filter. The unit is also more durable than before. The general system of use remains unchanged though, with a filter inside the unit removing contaminants and debris from the water to make it safe to drink, as well as being free from small particles of grit or foliage. Operation involves screwing the filter directly onto a Sigg- or Nalgene-style water bottle to collect the treated water, and placing the inlet pipe into the water you wish to treat. You then just pump away and you can filter about 1.9 litres in a minute, making this extremely quick and easy to fill a standard water bottle with safe drinking water. Most filters require additional chemical treatments to remove viruses from water, but the General Ecology First Need XL Elite has been independently certified to be capable of removing viruses without these treatments being needed. The unit is heavier and bulkier than other options, but it’s ideal for providing robust protection against viruses.

Filter type 0.001mm nominal/0.0004mm absolute filter, carbon
Effectiveness bacteria, parasites, viruses, debris
Flow rate 1.9 litres per minute
Service life 600 litres
Size 15x13x7cm
Weight 425g
Website www.purewateronline.co.uk



The General Ecology First Need XL Elite is the best water treatment option for combating viruses that we looked at.

Review by Graham Thompson
First published in Trail magazine June 2013