Let's face it. First impressions are hard to counter. As a backpacker, my first impression of the Grayl Geopress ($90) was, “Wow. It’s big. And heavy.” This filter is nearly equivalent to the size of a 32-ounce Nalgene, weighing about a pound. So next to my Sawyer— measuring the size of a fat cigar and weighing 3 ounces—it was practically a giant.
But then I realized backpackers are travelers too. The Geopress is a filter, dirty water collector, and drinking bottle, all in one. Picture adventurers on the Camino de Santiago in Spain refilling at questionable fountains or refilling from sketchy spigots while beach hopping in Baja, Mexico. This is where the Geopress excels.
I’m not much for reading instructions—especially with a new toy—but it only took a minute to figure a couple key aspects of the Geopress filtering process.
The rigid plastic dirty water collector wrangles water easily, even from a shallow stream. No need to find the right spot to collect.
The fill line on the outside of the collector is narrow and hard to spot, but it’s grooved. Over fill and you’ll overflow, a lesson I quickly learned. Also, opening the vent on top means less oomph to push the filter to the bottom with its snug fit. After a couple of dope slaps, I was in business. It's designed so the filter meets the dirty water collector with zero chance for contamination.
Perhaps my favorite feature was the ease and speed of filtering. It took all of eight seconds to deliver 24 ounces of clean water. From its appearance, this would seem to be a single-person filter, but really, as fast as it filters, it would work for a group as well.
I also like the finger hook on the lid. I have a devil of a time retrieving water bottles from my pack holster. Problem solved! And there is no concern about leakage, another traveler woe.
How well will the Grayl product sell in stores?
Great Outdoor Provision Co. has a large clientele of world travelers. For them, this product will be attractive. A display featuring the Geopress, a neck wallet, sun-block clothing and a Panama hat would drive home the notion that if you’re going to have a water bottle, make it one that will filter out most of the bad stuff you’re likely to encounter during your travels. I envision placing them near the YETI tumblers. The Geopress doesn’t insulate for heat and cold, but it has similar appeal of a water bottle for around town that filters chemicals used in water treatment systems.
The Geopress will not be of interest to thru-hikers or backpackers obsessed with weight: they pick it up, they’ll put it right back down. Therefore, It should not be placed with the Sawyers and other filters aimed for backpacking customers. It might also do well displayed with bug treatments (permethrin), sun block, and other products that appeal to folks especially worried about health and safety.
This review is part of our new Retailer Review program, written by retailers, for retailers to help guide their buying decisions and provide brands honest feedback from those selling their products.