When you’re driving from Alaska to Patagonia, you need a fast and easy way to filter clean drinking water. Leo Jenkins reviews the Platypus GravityWorks 4L.
It may seem counterintuitive, but when you live in a van down by the river, finding clean drinking water can be problematic. Sure, thousands of gallons rush by your four-wheel adventure machine every hour whilst parked in such close proximity to said river, but that doesn’t mean you should be drinking any of it. You ever see what a case of Giardia does to your weekend plans?
Add the fact that said river is flowing through a country whose national motto might as well be “Don’t drink the water,” and you are going to need a legitimate water filtration system. Space is at an absolute premium when your bedroom, living room and kitchen collectively add up to 60 square feet. This makes carrying dozens of gallons of water impractical. Using iodine tables is effective for water treatment, however, they are time-consuming, are not as practical for large amounts of water, and frankly, leave a bit of a foul-tasting result.
The Platypus GravityWorks 4-liter filtration system provides an ideal solution.
If I failed to make mention of it, I’m a man. Inherently, that means that I don’t like reading instructions. I’m sure that the Platypus came with them, but I didn’t bother looking. Immediately upon tearing open the package like a nine-year-old on Christmas morning, I began connecting the three parts. I was pleasantly surprised when the system was fully assembled and ready to go in under thirty seconds. I was thirsty and didn’t feel like waiting.
The system couldn’t be easier to use. Fill up the 4-liter bag labeled “dirty” with water, hold above the bag labeled “clean” and within seconds you have fresh, delicious drinking water. Platypus states that it takes two-and-a-half minutes to filter four liters, but in my first run through it took about half that time. From the moment I first opened the package until the time I was drinking fresh water was under two minutes total.
A quick backflush had the system cleaned in a matter of seconds. With a total weight of just over 300 grams and packable to about half the size of a New England Patriot’s football, it makes sense for people with a smaller pack or living quarters than a Dodge 2500 van.
At an MSRP of under $120 or a bit less expensive on Amazon, the Platypus GravityWorks system will no doubt pay for itself over the course of my 40,000-mile road trip from Alaska to Argentina.
For any of my fellow Van Life compadres or backpacker buddies, the Platypus GravityWorks is a solid solution for your hydration needs.
Follow the rest of Leo’s road trip of a lifetime on Instagram @leo_jenkins