Link to Brazos River Trip Report
https://sites.google.com/site/earlatnip ... azos-river
This May I made another trip down the Green river and took along my MSR Guardian and the Platypus as a backup. The MSR Guardian was described as a “Military” grade piece of equipment with high reliability for all freshwater sources, including silty water as it uses ~15% of the water filtered to continuously back flush the filter to prevent clogging. It did that quite well on my Brazos trip. However, on the Green River trip I encountered multiple issues with this piece of critical equipment even when using a settling bucket. It clogged and became difficult to pump, slowing and it also began to leak. I had to use my Platypus backup after the first day on the river. Fortunately, I had it along and it worked great with a settling bucket.
After I returned from my trip I contacted the manufacturer regarding my issues was told I would have to ship it to them and pay the shipping and any parts that would be needed even though it was easily within the one-year warranty. The filter costs more than half the new unit so I shared a not so pleasant comment on their equipment. I did read reviews prior to my purchase and all seemed great. Well, I did not dig deep enough on the reviews and later found plenty of similar failure experiences from those who actually used them under similar circumstances, after my purchase.
I have managed to get the filter cartridge flushed and cleaned to its original state but it required a process that could not be done in the field. I purchased a new O-ring set for the pump but it has not fully corrected the leaking. I will continue to use the MSR Guardian on paddling trips but not on hiking trips and on the paddling trips will always carry my Platypus as a backup. I thought it important for me to share my experience, as it is critical to have freshwater on a wilderness trip. Any piece of equipment can fail over time and being prepared for such failure is important. I carry a ditch bag with some basic survival gear and for fire I carry 4 means of lighting and for water carry Iodine tablets when absolutely necessary when boiling is not possible. Below are my pros and cons on the MSR Guardian.
• Very fast filter rate of 1 liter/minute when the filter is clean
• Will filter silty water without settling bucket but would recommend using one
• Filters out viruses too
• Weight and size are greater than other options like the Platypus
• Prone to leaks
• Greater mechanization thereby greater opportunity for failure
• Once the cartridge is clogged it cannot be cleaned in the field
• Price is higher than almost all others