We’re always on the lookout for ways to cut down on weight and superfluous gear, but we’d never thought of this…The PurTek does something brilliant, but almost so easy we wonder why we hadn’t seen it before: it combines a water filter and hiking pole into one piece of kit.
Water filters and hiking poles are both necessary pieces of kit on long trips, and they are both conveniently, similarly-shaped. So why not combine them? Each PurTek H20 Pole weighs 17 ounces (slightly on the heavier side for a pair of hiking poles) but houses a hollow fiber filter inside. Essentially, it works like any other pump-style filter; put the bottom of the pole in the water, attach the hose up top and start pumping. Clean, filtered and ready-to-drink water will come out the other end of the hose, ready to drink.
Like most water purification systems, it has a filter size of .01 microns, which means it will filter water out about 99.99% of bacteria, as well as protozoa, cysts and even microplastics. PurTek also says it will last up to 500l per filter.
The poles themselves don’t seem too special, but they’re made of carbon fiber, have a carbide tip with stainless steel hardware and rubber caps. They’re durable, high-quality pieces of gear in their own right, and being able to filter water is just icing on the cake.
There are a few design flaws we’re noticing here – mainly, that these poles do not actually cut down on the amount of pieces you have to carry; there’s still a separate hose that needs to stored somewhere (perhaps in the pole itself). Second, the water intake is at the end of the pole, which is constantly coming in contact with the ground. Seems counter intuitive, even if you are going to be filtering it.
Still, they’re reasonably priced for carbon fiber hiking poles alone, and come with a quality water filter built in. You can grab them on Kickstarter for as little as $119 for a single pole, and as little as $235 for a pair.