Retail price: $89.95
Company specs: Microfiltration method: cleanable ceramic disc lengthens life of primary microfilter. 0.3 Micron high surface area pleated glassfiber microfilter removes waterborne bacteria and cysts. Replaceable carbon core reduces chemicals, pesticides and bad taste in water. Output: up to 2 qt/minute. Cartridge capacity: up to 500 gallons depending on water quality. Weight: 15 oz. Height: 6.5 “. Includes: prefilter, deluxe carry bag and cleaning pad.
Findings: I have heard of folks out there having trouble with the filter clogging. I haven’t had any trouble though. Could be the streams I’m filtering from are relatively clear. I’ll have to test it out on glacial silt next summer. We have plenty of water with silt up here in Alaska. While it would be easy to get annoyed with all the parts on the filter, I rather like the fact that I can totally take it apart and dry it out and clean it after use. I take my water filtering very seriously as I am not a big fan of diarrhea.
So I like to be able to really take everything apart. The Vario boasts two different flow rates for varying conditions. The fast rate is twice as fast at 2 qt/min. I like that the Vario can fit right onto to my Nalgenes, although I’m usually pumping a lot more water than just 1 qt. at a time. The handle is easy to hold even with gloves on in chilly conditions. For backpacking trips with a small group size, I really like this pump.