A Review of the Hydro Blu Go Flow 10L Water Gravity Bag with Versa Filter

Water filters are plentiful. Hydro Blu is one of the newer players in the market. The company was founded and based in Utah. The owners are outdoor enthusiasts that wanted to make filters that were affordable and practical.

If you want to buy a Hydro Blu you can do so directly through their website here. They do not sell at major big box stores or other retail outlets because by selling direct they can offer a better price to their customers. Previous BDS coverage included a variety of other filtration systems from Hydro Blu, which you can read here.

Recently, I had the opportunity to test out the latest Hydro Blue 10 L bag style gravity filter.

Special Discount: Hydro Blu has generously offered BDS readers a store 15% off discount using coupon code “BDS” at checkout!

The Basics

You get a 10 liter bag that has a spout that connects to a hose that attaches to feed into the Hydro Blu Versa filter which resembles a Sawyer Mini in many ways. If you have used one of these before then you will be quite comfortable with the Hydro Blu.

For the price, this is definitely in the lower budget range for this style of filter. Gravity filter systems are nice for families, groups, and those that cannot physically pump water in sufficient quantities to meet basic needs.

What It Filters Out & Life Span Of Filter

The Versa Filter is rated to remove 99.999% of protozoa and bacteria. The 0.1 micron filter has a lifespan of 20,000 liters making it a much better deal in terms of filtration capacity than the Lifestraw that is rated to 1,000 liters.

There is no indication that the Versa Filter eliminates viruses.

Can be cleaned by back flushing

Cleaning the filter occasionally can increase the lifespan substantially. Just like with any filter, if you can choose water that is low in sediment or at least let the sediment settle out before filtering, your filter will last longer.

Pre filtering tip for reservoir bags.

Cheese cloth or even a somewhat clean white t shirt or cloth can be used to strain murky water through. This may require some team work but you could hold cheesecloth or other cloth over the opening of the bag and slowly pour in to reduce sediment in the reservoir bag of the Hydro Blu. If you are careful you might be able to do this yourself. 

Lightweight at 8.8 ounces total!

This filter is extremely lightweight for the performance you are getting. It doesn’t weigh as much as many of the filters you might carry for a single person or couple when out backpacking. The bag and filter combined weight just 8.8 ounces. My Katadyn Pocket I reviewed is heavy in comparison at 19 ounces.

Easy to find replacements

One thing that I do not like when it comes to a water filter is when replacements are hard to find or expensive enough that I might as well by a completely new filter. Hydro Blue offers replacements at a cost that fits into most any budget.

I like it when companies are trying to keep costs low enough for more people to be able to afford their products without compromise. When it comes to water filters companies don’t get far by compromising where it counts.

Hydro Blu also offers other water filtration products such as their version of the Life Straw or Survivor Type Filter. They have some stiff competition that they seem to be meeting by trying to keep their MSRP at a 25% lower cost than their competitors.

Reservoir bag and hose can be bought separately and used with some other filters.

The Hydro Blu Bag is compatible with other water filters such as the Sawyer Mini or Lifestraw but it is worth it just to get the kit that includes the Versa Filter since it is only $10 more than buying the bag system alone. An inexpensive extra in line filter is always good to have. 

The Test

To test this filter, I went to a creek that has a steady but low water volume. Since this is a bag style filter that needs to be filled I took a scoop with me. When you have a bag style filter, this is something that you have to come to terms with.

In low water volume situations, you might need to either dig out a spot that allows you to use the bag to scoop up an adequate amount of water or you may just want a lightweight secondary container to scoop.

In a very low flow water situation, a bag and gravity feed system is not ideal. On the other hand, the in line filter that is used can be attached to a water bottle if you can manage to get it filled with a trickle and you can then drink like you would with a Lifestraw or Sawyer Mini.

The bag is sturdy and the strap makes it comfortable to lift the bag. 10 Liters of water weighs a bit and you are going to want to hang the bag up.

I used all the hoses that hooked this up differently than some would. As long as you have your water in and water out parts aligned correctly then you can attach the squeeze shut off wherever you want. A lot of people do not put a hose on the end of the filter but I did. This shows how you can make it longer if needed or if you don’t like to just have it running out of the end of the filter.

I scooped water into the bag and made sure to stir up some sediment. A lot of water filters can take on the nasties but sediment is a real test that shows what a filter is made of and you can see what flow rate would be like under more challenging circumstances.

This filter had never been used until I set it up so it is worth saying that the more use a filter has seen and the amount of cleanings you have done will affect flow rate over time.

Scooping water into the bag. The creek was a little bit muddy that day but I stirred it up some because I wanted to see how this filter performed with some sediment.

Sealing The Bag

For those that have not used these types of bags, I will show a few pics on sealing. It is just like a dry bag for canoeing. Roll bag down until you reach about water level.

Twist up slightly and clip.

Hanging the bag

The Hydro Blu comes with a sturdy strap that you can adjust some. Any tree, post etc will do. The strap is adjustable so you have some room to play when hanging it up.

Flow Rate

I made the mistake of hooking up all the hose that it came with. I would trim these down a lot for regular use but just went ahead and tested it as is. The flow was exceptional.

I have tested quite a few water filters out over the years and flow rates are one measurement that I am always skeptical about. For example, the backpacking filters that you have to pump try to give flow rates and I have to wonder: “Who is testing this?”

Are they 30 or did you take the time to see how an older person or someone that doesn’t do a lot of physical activity does when using the pump? 2 liters a minute can sound great but I don’t like to be fed a line. I want to know the flow rate for the average person!

I was astonished by the flow rate.

I am pleased to say the Hydro Blu flow rate is actually as good or even better than the rate listed on the main water filter component. Keep in mind that this was also using water with some debris in it. The water was crystal clear and drinkable which is all you can hope for. I had a full cup of water in under 10 seconds.

Uses

This is a solid filter for group or family use. It is nice to have a portable filter that is so lightweight. In fact this filter is lighter than a lot of the pump style filters I have had like the MSR Sweetwater or the Katadyn Pocket.

For families, the Hydro Blu Go Flow Water Gravity Bag with Versa Flow Water Filter would be a good back up. The reservoir bag is sturdy and tough but with any bag style filter I am cautious about this being your main filter. Regardless of how careful you are in a survival situation, punctures and tears in equipment are bound to happen.

For what this filter is, it is great but I have said it plenty of times in other water filter reviews “Always have a back up”. You could have an extra reservoir bag for this for example or you can even use a bucket that has a whole in it. In fact, Hydro Blus come with a bucket adapter.

I have also came to the conclusion that it is good to do a dry run with any water filter set up. See which type is best for you. It is not like it was years ago when a good water filter always cost the better part of a days wages or more. It is good to have several types of filters on hand.

While a group filter may be great to have, every person in a group should have their own individual filter on hand. If everyone has their own and then there is a group solution, then the chances of anyone not having access to clean water are negligible.

Conclusion 

The Hydro Blu Go Flow Water Gravity Bag with Versa Flow Water Filter is an affordable solution for a gravity feed system in an emergency.

Would I trust it for the long term? I am not sure because the company has not been around for very long. I do not doubt that their filter is going to take care of bacteria and protozoa but how long will it really last? I would say the same thing about other inexpensive filters like Lifestraw and the Sawyer Mini.

So far, others seem to be satisfied with the performance of the Hydro Blu. I also think that we are at the point with water filter technology where cost is going to be low because of the methods of manufacturing that are available as well as less expensive material costs due to mass production.

Think about it in terms that there is no incentive to cut corners too much because if you do then there are a lot of other filters out there to take up your market share. As a reviewer I have to get past the point of thinking like an old timer in that you get what you pay for.

With water filters this is just not as true. 10 years ago I would have been afraid to drink from a cheaper water filter. Times have changed and I am glad because now good water filters are more accessible to those even on a very tight budget.

Hydro Blu definitely deserves some credit for trying to make a filter that is affordable and long lasting for overseas trips and those that have poor access to fresh and clean potable water. They and other companies that are offering more affordable options have helped out a lot of people that have suffered in the past from lack of potable and clean drinking water.

Special Discount: Hydro Blu has generously offered BDS readers a store 15% off discount using coupon code “BDS” at checkout!

 


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On the market for a one-of-a-kind water gravity bag? Check out our review of the Hydro Blu Go Flow Water Gravity Bag with the Versa Filter to find out all about its usage, flow rate and features.

  1. Have you seen the new MUV system from Renovo water?
    https://renovowater.com/about-muv.html

    This is an interesting modular water filter system that has a component that filters viruses. However, you only use the modules that you need (so you don’t wear out the virus filter if you are not in an area where you need to worry about viral contaminants for example).The filter can be used in-line in a hydration system, as a straw or screwed onto a standard bottle thread. There are versions that come with a pump that you can add-on and/or a gravity bag.

    This looks to be extremely versatile and was added to my wishlist today…

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