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What are the most durable water filter media?

Water that you encounter in the wilderness might look clean, but to be safe, you should assume that it is not. Your options for water disinfection while hiking or camping include several different types of water filters and different filter mediums (the cartridges that trap the microorganisms). The type of medium used for water disinfection affects the price and effectiveness of the filter, so it is worth knowing something about a few common media, including:

  • Iodine resin: Iodine resin does not actually remove viruses, but it deactivates them.
  • Fiberglass: Fiberglass works as well as ceramic to strain out microorganisms, but it does not last as long.
  • Labyrinth: Also called “structured matrix,” this type of filter features a honeycomb shape to trap microorganisms.
  • Ceramic: Ceramic filter cartridges are the longest-lasting, although the cartridges must be handled with care.
  • Ceramic with carbon core: This filter medium can help improve the taste of water and filter out organic chemicals, including pesticides.


Visit your local Sun & Ski Sports shop for expert advice on choosing the right water disinfection system for your hiking and camping needs.

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