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No one wants to get sick while they travel and one way to avoid it is to invest in a safe water filtering system. Luckily, today these sophisticated systems come in the shape of a handy water bottle! This guide will review our Drink Safe Systems Travel Tap bottle and discuss other options on the market too.
Although it is unlikely that you will need a filtering water system in most developed countries, you will need one for Less Economically Developed Countries. To check if the country you are visiting next has questionable water here.
Why do I need Travel Tap (or other systems?)
- Better for the environment
- Cheaper in the long run
- Questionable water in certain countries (specifically LEDCs) could make you sick
I’m not an eco-warrior but try to be environmentally conscious. When we travelled previously around Southeast Asia, I was disgusted with the amount of litter we found in Halong Bay in Vietnam. This waste mainly consisted of plastic bottles! Not only does this carelessness by tourists make an area look dirty but it can take up to 1000 years for plastic to biodegrade, terrible for the environment and animals.
Financial Impact of Using Water Bottles
The recommended daily amount of water a person should drink every day is two litres. While backpacking around hot climates it is likely you’ll need to consume more than this recommendation as your sweat your ass off touring busy cities and hiking in scenic mountains. The cost of purchasing fresh, bottled water soon mounts up, so it was not only for environmental reasons that we (Craig and Gemma) decided to invest in a portable water filter bottle but also for financial purposes.
Let’s say that a one-litre bottle of water costs 50p (you’ll find that this is generally cheap for bottled water in LEDCs, it’s a misconception that everything in developing countries is cheap). You will spend at least £2 per day on your recommended daily amount of water intake. Travel for one month and you might spend approximately £60 of your budget on something that we take for granted as being free.
Another benefit of using a water purifying bottle is that you can stick it to the man at the airport. Airports are notorious for inflated prices, just carry your empty Travel Tap or Water to Go bottle through customs and fill up using the tap when you have cleared security – winning!
Choosing a Purification System
One way to treat water and ensure that it is safe to drink is by using a sterilisation pen such as the popular SteriPEN. This pen purifies the water by killing bacteria and protozoan cysts with a UV light. However, if you choose this method, bear in mind it takes a few minutes before the water is drinkable and can only be used with clear water. The SteriPEN is one of the more expensive options on the market.
There are many types of filtration bottles on the market which remove impurities, in fact, you might even use one in your own homes to keep water cold in the fridge. However, these by themselves do not purify. You have to marry up the sterilisation pen with the filtering bottle to ensure that the viruses have been banished and that the water from filtering bottles is fully safe to drink.
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Drink Safe Systems Travel Tap
DrinkSafe Systems Travel Tap combines the purifying action of the sterilisation pen and the filtration process of the filtering bottle in one action.
You simply unscrew the lid, fill the water bottle up under a tap or in a stream (great camping water filter!) then screw the lid back on. You can safely drink the water immediately just by flipping the spout and sucking the water through the straw. Do not squeeze too hard on the body of the bottle or tip the bottle. The water needs to travel through the straw for the filtering and purifying process to work.
Another benefit is the quantity of water you can filter with one bottle. The Travel Tap delivers 1200 litres of safe drinking water before the filter has to be replaced. This equates to roughly 300 days for two people.
The Travel Tap is also handy for those who like to hike as it filters out 99% of bacteria and if needs must, it is safe to use in murky (not muddy) water. We used it during the many hikes around South America, I even filled it up using nature’s water at the Colca Canyon!
At just under £30, the Travel Tap seemed good value for money plus I’d previously seen something similar on Dragons Den (British TV show where the public bid for support in starting a new business) a few years ago and being a bit of a survivalist at heart, I’d always wanted one.
Water To Go [quote TSA15 at checkout for 15% off] delivers a similar system also popular with travel fans.
Water Purification Bottle Travel
Being a sad, ‘survival nerd’, I know some basic survival skills for purifying bad water so initially, I was sceptical of such a simple and relatively inexpensive device. Could this really prevent Dheli Belly? It seemed too good to be true! I’m pleased to report that after four months in Peru, Bolivia, Colombia, and Cuba, neither of us have had any signs of a dodgy tummy! Good water bottles are essential for travel.
My only two gripes with this portable water purifier by Drink Safe Systems Travel Tap are minor. It’s too big to fit under small sink taps, this has been an occasional issue. Also, when you need immediate H20 to get a thirst-quenching/hangover remedying gulp, it can be annoying squeezing out a mouthful at a time. Minor, like I said.
Overall, I think everyone should own a filter and purifying bottle to take on holiday.
Thanks to the capitalist world we live in, the price of the likes of Drink Safe Systems Travel Tap will continue to drop as more people buy them. If the price gets low enough it’ll become feasible to distribute them to developing countries, so what are you waiting for? What do you think of our water purification bottle review? For further reading check out this traveller’s guide to safe drinking water. Don’t forget your 15% off the Water To Go bottle [quote TSA15 at checkout] – a gift from us.