Grayl Geopress Review: The Best Water Purifier?


Driven by an obsession to produce the best portable water purifier, the Grayl Geopress began life as a hastily drawn sketch on a napkin. Following an incredibly successful Kickstarter campaign, its founders were soon able to get their product to market.

The Geopress is an exceptional portable water purifier that looks like any other flask style bottle but has a built-in filter that can take even the most contaminated water and turn into something that is safe and clean. It’s suitable for use anywhere in the world, whether you’re drinking from a hotel tap, a contaminated puddle or from your home rainwater harvesting system.

With one steady press, this ingenious device can remove all contaminations, including viruses, bacteria, microplastics, chlorine, heavy metals and other chemicals. The water it produces has met the National Drinking Water Standards as set by the US Environmental Protection Agency, and every batch of filters is thoroughly tested to ensure they meet rigorous quality criteria.

The contaminated water is placed in the bottom, and the top is added and pushed down is a steady motion for 8 seconds. This forces the water through the purifier and stores it ready to drink the top section. One bottle holds 24 ounces of water and can be sealed to be easily carried with you when you’re out and about.

First impressions

In the past, I’ve spent days choosing and setting up whole house water purification systems. Home systems require several large filters and additional purifiers until you can be sure your water is the correct standard. Compared to that, the Geopress blew me away with its simplicity and portability. It provides the same functionality as much larger purification systems on a much smaller scale.

The bottle itself is quite large compared to a regular drinking bottle or travel flask, but the design has a perfect blend of style and functionality. It comes in a range of colors, including brown, orange, white, khaki and black. I bought it to use when camping but also to have something at home as a back up in case I ever quickly need to filter something directly from the rainwater storage.

Who are Grayl?

Founded in 2016, Grayl is a Seattle based company whose aim is to empower travelers by providing them with a reliable source of clean drinking water. In the past, many travelers worldwide had to buy single-use plastic bottles of water. This was an expensive and wasteful solution to the low quality and often contaminated water supplies found in many countries worldwide. Now, with Grayl’s small range of bottle purifier’s you can keep topping up to get a fresh-tasting supply of safe water.

As well as providing an easy way to get clean water, Grayl also supports numerous charities that the environment and worldwide communities. They are a member of ‘1% for the planet’ and have committed to provide 1% from every sale to projects that protect and support the environment.

How do you use Grayl Geopress?

The Geopress comes in two pieces, the inner press, which holds the filter and the external refill section.

  1. First, separate the two pieces by placing a hand on each and pulling them apart firmly. If they’re holding together tightly, give them a firm twist to release. Now keep pulling until they are entirely separate. The two parts need to be able to seal tightly so you may need to keep twisting them to free them completely.
  2. Use the refill section to scoop up the water you want to use or fill it from a tap.
  3. Place the bottom section on a low sturdy surface. You’re going to need to put a lot of pressure on it, so I found it worked best when you put it on the ground. Give the cap on the top section a half turn to allow the air to escape ass you push it down.
  4. Replace the top, so the filter section moves through the water, and the two parts close. Leaning over the bottle and pushing firmly down with your arms and body weight helps you to apply continual firm pressure.
  5. When the two pieces are secure, rmove the cap and try the clean water.

Ease of use

Using the Geopress couldn’t be simpler; there are no tricky procedures or complicated options; you just fill it, filter and the water’s ready to drink. However, forcing the top part down to filter the water took a bit of getting used to, and I was never able to do it as quickly as the 8 seconds that Grayl suggests.

For me, it always took at least 15 seconds and sometimes longer. The trick is to get into a comfortable position where you can apply the downward pressure without slipping or having to readjust your grip. It’s important to remember to twist the cap by half a turn so the arrow points at the green dot, this releases the pressure as you push. I also noticed that after the filter is pushed into place, a small amount of dirty water still remains in the bottom section, this seems a bit inefficient but doesn’t affect its use.

Once the bottle was full, and the water was purified, I found it easy to use, although its size made it less convenient while walking. I’m used to using CamelBak water bladders that sit in your backpack and supply water to you directly through a flexible tube, so in comparison, I found the Geopress more awkward. Although I could’ve bought an extra carabiner to clip it to my backpack, I either ended up carrying it in my hand or keeping it in the main compartment.

Despite not being keen on its size, the other thing that I found was that I wished it could hold more. Although 24oz is a good amount of water, I found that I wanted to be able to purify a larger amount to cover multiple uses. Most of the time I used it while camping and hiking, the water sources I found were too far apart, so I ended up needing more water than I could hold in the Geopress.

However, after a few tries, I found a method that allowed me to get around this; take a second larger water container, and fill it with water direct from the water source. When you finish the clean water from the Grayl you can top up from the second water container and apply the purifier again.

Does the Grayl really work?

The Grayl works exceptionally well. At first, I found it hard to trust that such a small filter would produce such clean water, but it did. When I used it at home, the water I filled it with had already undergone some filtering, so it was hard to notice the difference, but when camping, I used several water sources that contained large amounts of visible impurities. The water that came out, every time, was clean and refreshing.

Not only does the Geopress purify water to meet the high National Drinking Water Standards, but they’ve been available for several years and are used all over the world. Many people swear by them and won’t use anything else.

Taste

Grayl claims that the filter “also improves taste, smell and clarity.” I did find that the water tasted fairly fresh after purification but don’t expect anything mindblowing. It was crystal clear with no unpleasant smells, but the taste was very similar to any other water. The most noticeable difference was that because the water source was so cold it was beautifully chilled which did seem to make it taste good.

When should I replace my Grayl filter?

Because the Geopress filters are easily removable, you’ll likely never have to replace the whole thing. Keep yours working at its best by cleaning it regularly with clean water and drying it thoroughly before storage. If you look after it, it’ll last for 350 uses, three years or until it takes 25 seconds to close the purifier completely.

How do I get rid of a Grayl filter?

Grayl provides all filters with a prepaid mailer that can be used to return old filters after they’re replaced. This way, they won’t end up in landfills and can be recycled into new products.

Value for money

The RRP of the Grayl Geopress is $89.95, which offers excellent value for such a high-quality filtration and purification. Without a doubt, it’s a lot of money for a water bottle, but it could save your life and will prevent you from needing to keep buying bottled water.

If you’re going camping, hiking, traveling or just live off-grid, you’ll quickly find that it’s worth every penny. The Geopress provides you with high-quality, drinkable water and is perfect for many situations, home or out and about.

However, despite being more convenient than larger purification systems and being more thorough than simple filters or purification tablets, the Geopress is at times awkward to use and only provides a small amount of water at any one time. The second of Grayl’s purifying bottles, the Ultralight, makes 16oz of clean water and is a much more convenient size for hiking or day to day water bottle use.

While I thoroughly recommend the Grayl Geopress, it’s likely not sufficient for all your purification needs. It’s ideal if you want a water bottle to take with you in day to day life with a clean supply of freshwater. However, if you’re hiking or trekking, you may want something like the Sawyer that can be attached to a bladder style water carrier. Then you can drink whenever you like without having to hold a heavy bottle.

Or, if you’re camping, the Lifestraw gravity bag can filter a gallon at a time of contaminated water to provide for all your drinking and cooking needs. It folds up for easy storage and is well-priced at less than $55.

Is it the best bottle style water purifier?

To directly compare the Grayl Geopress to other similar purifying water bottles, let’s take a close look at the pros and cons of each:

The Grayl Geopress

Pros

  • Meets the EPA Guide Standard and Protocol for testing microbiological water purifiers
  • Comes in 5 colors
  • Holds 24oz at one time
  • Cleans water in between 8 and 25 seconds
  • Simple purification action with two parts pressed together
  • Removes virus, bacteria, protozoan cysts), pesticides, chemicals, heavy metals, and even microplastics
  • The replaceable filters can last for up to 350 uses.
  • It’s sturdy and can withstand being dropped.
  • It has a large loop so it can be easily clipped to a backpack.
  • It comes with a 10-year warranty.

Cons

  • Sediment can clog the filter and shorten its life.
  • The large, rigid size can make it inconvenient in some situations.
  • The water capacity isn’t enough for other uses such as cooking or long treks without regular top-ups.

The Grayl Ultralight

Pros

  • Meets the EPA Guide Standard and Protocol for testing microbiological water purifiers
  • Its slim design makes it lightweight and easy to carry.
  • Comes in three colors
  • Holds 16oz at one time
  • Cleans water in between 15 and 25 seconds
  • Simple purification action with two parts pressed together
  • Removes virus, bacteria, protozoan cysts), pesticides, chemicals, heavy metals, and even microplastics
  • The replaceable filters can last for up to 300 uses.
  • It comes with a 10-year warranty.

Cons

  • Sediment can clog the filter and shorten its life.
  • The water capacity isn’t enough for other uses such as cooking or long treks without regular top-ups.

The Lifesaver 4000UF Bottle

Pros

  • Tested by Independent Test House to meet adaption of NSF Protocol 231
  • Holds up to 25oz of water at one time
  • Cleans water in just under a minute
  • Uses ultra-filtration for purification
  • Removes, bacteria, cysts and parasites from contaminated water sources
  • The replaceable filters can last for more than 5000 uses.
  • An automatic indicator will tell you when the filter needs replacing.
  • It has a useful carry strap
  • It comes with a 2-year warranty.
  • It comes with a sponge that collects any sediment and can be used to transfer small amounts of water into the bottle.
  • 6000UF version also available

Cons

  • Considerably more expensive than the others at $149.99
  • Doesn’t remove some viruses
  • The plastic shell is sturdy but may not withstand the worst knocks.
  • Its large, rigid size can make it inconvenient in some situations.
  • The water capacity isn’t enough for other uses such as cooking or long treks without regular top-ups.

Lifestraw Go

Pros

  • Durable and BPA-free, independently lab tested to meet protocols established by the US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and NSF
  • Meets NSF 42 standard for chlorine reduction
  • Meets US EPA & NSF P231 standards for the removal of bacteria and parasites International/ANSI
  • Comes in 20 different colors
  • Holds 22oz at one time (1-liter version also available)
  • Cleans water as you drink it
  • Removes bacteria, parasites, microplastics, chlorine, organic chemical matter, dirt, sand, and cloudiness
  • The replaceable filter can last for up to 4000 uses.
  • It’s slightly smaller than the Grayl Ultralight, so it is easy to stash in a bag.
  • It is looped to a carabiner so it can be easily clipped to a backpack.
  • Through the ‘Give Back’ program, one purchase means one child is provided with one year of clean water.
  • It comes with a 3-year limited warranty.

Cons

  • Doesn’t remove some viruses
  • The plastic bottle isn’t as sturdy as the other purifiers and is susceptible to breaks and occasional leaks.
  • The water capacity isn’t enough for other uses such as cooking or long treks without regular top-ups.

Despite being large and awkward in some situations, the Grayl Geopress is considerably better than the other options. Each of the bottles here has many excellent features, so you may find one that suits you better, but overall the Geopress is sturdy and can remove the broadest range of contaminants. It’s also well-priced and offers great value for money.

Overview summary

The Grayl Geopress is a convenient and well-made bottle-style water filter. It’s unlikely to meet your needs should you need large amounts of water, but if you want something to give you access to 24oz of clean water wherever you go, it’s an excellent choice. The simple push down purifier can remove viruses, bacteria, protozoan cysts), pesticides, chemicals, heavy metals, and even microplastics in just over 8 seconds. It’s not cheap but offers excellent value with its durable design and replaceable filter that can last for three years or 350 uses.

Related Reading

For more portable purifier reviews, find out what I thought when I considered the Grayl and Sawyer filters, or when I reviewed the Lifesaver Bottle. I also compared the Grayl Ultralight Vs the Lifestraw Go.

If you’re looking for tools, equipment or reading materials, I have some other lists that you may find useful:

Nathan Allin

I'm Nathan Allin, a writer at Off-Grid Home. I’m gradually taking my home off-grid and sharing what I've leant.

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