Backpacking - Hiking

Lifesaver Wayfarer Water Purifier – iReviewGear.com

Do you love to backpack and understand the need for safe water? If so you need to look at Lifesaver and the amazing products they have, namely the Wayfarer. This is a stand out water purifier that should be in the home of every person if not for backpacking, for emergency water procurement.

Just The Facts:

VIRUS REDUCTION* > 99.999%        (Log 5)
BACTERIA REDUCTION* > 99.9999%    (Log 6)
CYST REDUCTION* > 99.99%          (Log 4)
FILTER MEDIA Ultra Filtration (UF)
CHEMICAL REDUCTION Activated carbon filter reduces chemicals and heavy metals as well as improving taste and odour
DRY WEIGHT 323 grams/11.4 oz
VOLUME OF WATER FILTERED** 5,000 litres/1,320 US gallons
INITIAL FLOW RATE** 1.4 litres/min @ 1.0 bar (g)
STORAGE CAPACITY N/A
REPLACEABLE CARTRIDGE YES
WARRANTY 2 YEARS

*Testing by BCS laboratories to be confirmed.

**Volume of water filtered by the product and flow rates dependent on the composition and turbidity of the feed water.

  • Replaceable Activated Carbon Disc – effective up to 100 litres. Reduces chemicals and heavy metals such as chlorine, lead, nickel and cadmium. Improves taste and odour
  • Includes 4.2ft / 1.3m Scavenger In Hose for drawing water directly from source and 1.6ft / 0.5m Out Hose for filling of container
  • Rotating pump handle for ease of use with either hand
  • FailSafe technology – Once the filter membranes are blocked, water cannot pass through, keeping users safe
  • Product materials and water effluent both BPA and BPS free

THE LIFESAVER WAYFARER™ INCLUDES

  • LifeSaver Wayfarer™ (UF Cartridge and Activated Carbon Disc installed)
  • In Hose & Out Hose
  • Travel Pouch

My Story:

If you backpack you know about water filtration. You also know that there are a ton of options out there. So, how do you as an outdoor enthusiast chose the right one for you? That is a great question that I wish I had an easy answer for, sadly it is a bit more complicated than that. The right filter is very much a situational decision based on many factors such as weight, water quality, volume of use and a few others. Point is, it’s hard to find a true one filter fits all. So, as you read this keep that in mind.

I have long had an aversion to pump style water filters. Not because I have any doubt in their performance, but because I am lazy, and the gravity or inline filters are just less labor intensive. So, when I stopped by the Lifesaver booth at OR and was introduced to the Wayfarer I thought it was high time I gave another pump filter a chance.

The first thing that caught my eye was the lifespan of the filter. The Wayfarer boasts a 5000 L life span which is a little over 1300 gallons. That is an awful lot of water to drink. This paired with a carbon disc to improve flavor was a nice addition. These were the features that hooked me and pulled me in. However, there is another feature that truly sealed the deal for me, and that is purification.

I expect a 99.9% filtration percentage as that does seem to be the standard for all the reputable filters, but there is a difference between a filter and a purifier. The Wayfarer also includes virus protection which is not common in all filters and actually sets it apart by both features and name. With the filtration of viruses, the Wayfarer is a water purifier. This means that you have 5000L of purified water that is safe from cysts, bacteria and viruses. This makes the Wayfarer stand out above the others in a considerably positive way! 

Another feature that I thought was manageable, but not exactly ideal is the products weight. With a dry weight of 11.4 ounces, it is not exactly what you would call an ultralight option. That said, it is a manageable weight for most applications. The UL crowd will be unhappy with it but it’s not really targeted to them.

The last things to talk about are the 2-year warranty, the replaceable filter, so if for some reason you a get through the 5000L and need a new filter that is not going to be a problem. You will also enjoy a flow rate of around 1.4 L per minute depending on water quality. Lastly, the $104 price tag keeps this as an affordable option which is always a great feature of any product.

So, how did I use it and do I like it? Well, I took the Wayfarer on a trip to the Goat Rocks Wilderness area of the PCT. Our first fill-up was at the Hidden Springs and I found a nice little place to sit down and turn unsafe water into clean liquid gold. I filtered for the whole group at this spot and did about 4 gallons total.

While pumping I did notice a small amount of seepage around the pump. It was not a huge issue but one worth noting. It seemed to be more of a problem when I was pumping aggressively.

The rest of the trip was amazing and offered some of the most beautiful sights I have seen in Washington State. I was fortunate enough to be able to pump water out of some incredibly clear springs and streams that in some cases were coming right off holdover glaciers. The Wayfarer had no issues with that clean water and the taste was incredible!

My overall thoughts about this filter are that it is a fantastic option for any survival kit, camping trip and for some backpacking trips. If weight is a major concern this might not be the right choice but that is an individual choice for sure. What I can say is that the pump works as advertised and was an effective companion on my journey. I will most certainly be using this product for years to come.

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What can be done better?

Overall this is a solid product. I would love to see then find a way to cut the weight just a bit. Other than that it works as advertised. I do have some concerns about the water leakage from the pump area but will need much more time to see if its a real issue. I am also unsure about the overall durability due to it’s plastic construction so I can’t give it full marks for that just yet.

  • Functionality
  • Value
  • Durability
  • Ergonomics

Lifesaver Wayfarer Water Purifier

Do you love to backpack and understand the need for safe water? If so you need to look at Lifesaver and the amazing products they have, namely the Wayfarer. This is a stand out water purifier that should be in the home of every person if not for backpacking, for emergency water procurement.

Pros

Actually purifies water including virus removal

Affordable

Comes as a complete kit

Works as advertised

Cons

Weight- Just a little bit heavy for the UL crowd.