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We were amazed the first time we used our Platypus GravityWorks 2.0 water filter. It was easy, quick and fast, getting us 2 liters of water before we knew it. Read our review below to find out more about our experience with the Platypus GravityWorks Water Filter.
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Platypus GravityWorks 2.0: The Verdict
The GravityWorks 2.0 is about as good of a portable, gravity-fed backcountry water filter gets. It’s compact, light and filters large amounts of water super-fast. We carry it on all our group backcountry trips, though we use a different filter on day-to-day hiking and solo trips.
Platypus GravityWorks 2.0 Water Filter kit, what's included
Platypus GravityWorks 2.0 Water Filter kit in use
Platypus GravitWorks 2.0 L: Overview
Platypus’ GravityWorks 2.0L is an ultra-light, ultra-portable gravity-fed water filter for backpacking and general off-grid adventuring. With a hollow-fiber filter that blocks particles down to .2 microns, it removes 99.9999% of bacteria and 99.9% of protozoa found in dirty streams, rivers, and alpine lakes.
When to use
We use the GravityWorks for hiking or backpacking deep into the backcountry, miles off the grid to give us filtered water. We really like how easy it is to use, and have greatly cut down on how much water we carry in our pack most days, choosing to stop several times during the day to filter more water.
The complete GravityWorks 2.0 kit is only 10.9 oz(310g). Of this, the reservoir that you will use is roughly 1.3 oz (40g).
Easy to Use. If you are used to bending over and trying to get a hose in the water source, you’ll love how easy the GravityWorks is. Simply dip the dirty bag into the water and come up with your water source. Hang up the dirty bag and enjoy the view for a couple of minutes while the water filters. No squatting, no pumping. This is the easiest filter we have ever used.
Rapid Filter Times. Many gravity-powered filters are tedious, slow to filter and without ample water pressure. Not the GravityWorks. Platypus says it can filter at 1.5L per minute, and we find that roughly accurate (provided the water is already clear). On a recent backpacking trip in Montana, we found the GravityWorks became our go-to filter at group stops, able to quickly pump out 6-8 liters for our group while we had a break and a snack.
Lightweight Packability. It weighs 10 ounces all in – including filter, hose, and 2-liter reservoirs – and is about the size of (or smaller than) your favorite water bottle. Easy to pack, easy to carry and easy to use.
Effective Hollow-Fiber Filter. With a filtration size of .02 microns, this thing will remove 99.9999% of bacteria. And it only needs to be replaced every 1500 liters – or once every 750 uses.
Reservoirs can be difficult to fill. We’ve heard from other backpackers that they struggle to fill the reservoir, especially from shallow water sources. We didn’t find it a problem, but there were a lot of lakes and streams in Glacier to choose from. The biggest hurdle is ensuring you don’t drag up a lot of sediment when filling the bag.
Requires A Lot of Backflushing. Another complaint about this filter, and to be honest about almost all filters, is the amount of backflushing. This seems to be an issue with every filter, but we feel we need less than average backflushing with the GravityWorks 2.0L system.
Expensive. There are cheaper options for water filters out there, including some that have smaller pore sizes (0.1 microns) and last longer.
Weight. While the weight isn’t that bad on the GravityWorks system, there are lighter options as well, and for day hikes or solo trips. We find we end up using the Katadyn BeFree a lot, as it is almost 250g (9oz) lighter.
Easy operation + setup
Using the GravityWorks 2.0L is about as easy as can be. Just fill up the “Dirty” reservoir with dirty water from whatever water source you happen to be at, hang it up from a tree branch, rock or another object, and let gravity do the work.
Everything is clearly marked and setup isn’t as confusing as a first glance might portray. The dirty water reservoir is clearly marked “dirty,” to keep you from accidentally drinking from it or contaminating your clean water. The filter unit itself is marked with a downward arrow and the word FLOW delineating which way is up and which is down. Setup should only take a minute or two as you figure out which nozzle and adapter go where (the directions are actually quite helpful).
Platypus GravityWorks 2.0 Water Filter kit hanging near the lake on a hike
The GravityWorks makes for a pleasant and speedy filtering experience, treating water at about 1.5 liters per minute. That’s faster than most gravity filters, which can make filtering a tedious prospect. Even faster than the Katadyn Gravity. On top of that, one of the best parts is that it continues to flow smoothly when the water level gets low. Less water usually means less pressure, which means slower flow.
But not here, and there’s no need to press any remaining water out. Just fill up the reservoir and you’ll have 2 liters of perfectly clean water in about 90 seconds. This makes it perfect for filtering at camp or quickly when breaking on the trail; you can refill a small group’s bottles and canteens in minutes.
The strap on the “Dirty” reservoir lets you hang it from a rock or branch while it does its thing; the higher you can hang it and the more vertical the hose, the faster it will drain. With the included adapter, you can screw the “clean” end of the hose onto one of Platypus’ flexible reservoirs.
Water quality is good, especially if the water you’re filtering is already quite clear. Muddy or heavy-sediment water will clog the filter up much faster, and the drinking quality may not be as clear.
It’s worth pointing out that the standard hollow fiber filter does not remove any unpleasant taste in the water. If you’re looking to do that, you’ll need to pair it with their (separately sold) carbon filter add-on. Keep in mind that GravityWorks is not technically a purifier and will not remove viruses, which are usually smaller than .02 microns. (This is standard for many water filters, many of which do not remove viruses).
Platypus recommends backflushing ¼ liter of water for every 6 liters filtered. If the water is particularly dirty or filled with sediment, this could be more like every 4 liters. The more frequently and thoroughly you flush, the longer the filters will last, but you could probably get away with only flushing when the flow rate has slowed noticeably. Backfiltering is rather easy, however, and takes all of 4 seconds.
Finally, you should note that the filter will freeze – and can develop cracks or damage if used in very cold weather. If it’s getting below zero at night, put the filter in your sleeping bag!
Compact size, lightweight
While pump filters can be bulky – some weigh over a pound - the GravityWorks 2.0L is only 11 ounces, including reservoirs. Filter plus hoses alone only weigh 6 ounces. The MSR Guardian (a pump filter) comes in at 20 ounces, and the Katadyn Gravity Camp is about 11 ounces, just for comparison.
When all packed up into the nylon carrying pouch, it’s about the size of a water bottle and fits comfortably into your pack. Slide it into an outer pocket or water bottle pouch for easy access and quick refills along the trail.
Overall, it’s very light and portable for its size, and is easy to bring on both backpacking trips and shorter day hikes, as well as anywhere you could need to filter your own water.
Should you buy the platypus GravityWorks 2.0 water filter?
We really like the GravityWorks 2.0 L water filter system. It’s easy to use, filters water quickly and is relatively light. In a group situation, having the GravityWorks 2.0 filter is a no-brainer for high-volume, easy water filtration. On day hikes or solo expeditions, a lighter option is probably preferable.