I’m going to open this article up with a blanket statement, but I’m going to stand behind it: I would be positively amazed if you, dear reader, did not have a Nalgene water bottle taking up residence within 100 feet of you right now. Nalgene has risen like a BPA-free phoenix from its original humble beginnings as shatterproof laboratory containers to its current status as a brand name that defines an entire genus of rugged, brightly-colored dihydrogen monoxide containment apparatus. Simply put, everybody and their moms possess, utilize, and adore American made Nalgene water bottles. Hell, I have two of them within eyeshot of me right now.
And really: why shouldn’t people embrace these bottles? Nalgene water bottles are practically shatterproof, are resilient to ambient weather and temperature extremes (though not so much actual fire), have a million accessories, and can be customized like a Mr. Potato Head to truly express how you, as a free-thinking individual, relate to your portable water and imminent hydration while sitting in your cubicle or hiking the Appalachian Trail. Soccer moms and serious outdoorsmen alike embrace the Nalgene – and they should. The Nalgene bottle is an almost perfectly evolved, eminently useful way to keep water with you wherever you go. Or, if you’re Doc Montana, you can keep ammunition in them (See bullet bottles article).
Enter Epic Water Filters
Quickly making a name for themselves in the water purification market, Epic Water Filters crashed the water pitcher market with the 1st water pitcher made to remove bacteria, virus, and cysts with their “Nano” water filter pitcher. But they did not stop there and has since expanded their product offering lineup to include under-sink systems and portable filtering water bottles made from BPA-free materials such as polycarbonates, stainless steel, and more recently glass. Based out of the Boulder, Colorado region, Epic Water Filters proudly offers Made-in-USA innovative water filters for the everyday person, or for the diehard outdoorsman and survivalists.
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Noting the vast quantity of Nalgene products in the market, Epic Water Filters has introduced a brilliantly relatable product boldly dubbed “The Answer” that allows a proud Nalgene operator to utilize their water bottle in a manner that transcends just sipping tap water from a bottle. Epic Water Filters has applied their considerable experience and passion for clean water towards producing a purification method for the Nalgene masses. Were we playing Jeopardy, the question would be, “What is a simple, inexpensive water filtration system that replaces the lid on a wide mouth Nalgene bottle?” The answer would be, well, “The Answer”.
What Exactly is The Answer?
The Answer is, in a nutshell, a water filtration system that is a replacement for the standard screw-on cap that comes with a Nalgene bottle. When it arrives on your doorstep, you’ll find that the gray Epic Water Filters box contains just a few parts once you open it. Inside, you’ll find a new bottle lid that employs a clear plastic cover that flips open smartly upon the push of a button, a short, clear plastic straw slips into the bottom of the lid, and then there’s the actual filter cartridge. The Answer comes with a black-colored Urban filter, though it also can utilize the orange Outdoor filter that Epic offers – or you can just buy the Outdoor Answer system as an alternate complete filter to switch over quickly as your needs change.
An explanation between the two filter offerings – Urban and Outdoors – is in order. The standard black Urban filter is geared toward the user who might buy a lot of bottled water or drink tap water from faucets or public water fountains as they run around their daily lives around town. The Urban filter filters out 99.99% of contaminants you’d find in tap water anywhere including chlorine, heavy metals, trace pharmaceuticals, VOCs, industrial and agricultural pesticides and pollutants, all found in public water supplies in North America and Europe.
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The orange-colored Outdoors filter employs a different filtration substrate to remove the same nastiness that the Urban filter gets out – there’s a lot of crossover between the Urban and Outdoor – but the Outdoor filter is capable of removing biological pathogens such as E-Coli, Giardia, & Cryptosporidium – both of which are really truly nasty bugs that you can pick up from naturally-sourced water – lakes, rivers, ponds, and the like. The benefit to the Outdoors filter is that you can indeed get water from practically any water source you can find; however, this comes at a slight convenience caveat – you’ll need to really crank on that straw and generate some suction to pull the water through a filter this serious. The Urban filter doesn’t require anywhere near as much suction power to pull water through it; my 5-year old can use an Urban filter-equipped bottle with ease. If you don’t plan on trekking the wilderness and obtaining your water from lakes and rivers, than the Urban filter is likely your best Epic option for everyday use. Both filters will pull problem yuckies out of the water for at least 75 gallons’ worth of hydration, which calculates out to around 3-4 months of usual daily use.
A Useful Answer
I’ve been using The Answer Urban system almost everyday for a few weeks now, and its utility and purpose has impressed me. While the Urban filter probably would be surpassed by the Epic Outdoors filter for true survival use, the Urban is hands-down superior on a day-to-day basis if your imminent needs don’t include combating microscopic bugs and drafting water from swamps . It’s much easier to pull water through the Urban setup’s straw – really almost as if a filter isn’t there at all. The Outdoor filter will leave you just a smidge frustrated at the amount of water you receive for your work, especially if you’re terribly thirsty – but your bowels will thank you later if you use the Outdoor filter when sourcing water, well, outdoors. I have noticed that the Outdoor filter does start to flow better after using it for a week.
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I’ve found true practicality with the Urban filter in my daily routine. As an over-the-road sales guy, I would usually pull into a 7/11 or similar convenience store and buy a bottle of water when thirsty – just how many people (probably you, too, Dear Reader) would perform on the go. Now, my answer to being thirsty on the go and saving money is indeed The Answer – I simply carry my bottle into the store and fill up the Nalgene bottle from the bathroom faucet instead of buying a bottle of Poland Spring water. I save a couple bucks and keep an emptied bottle out of a landfill. As a side note: China has stopped buying/importing empty plastic bottles to recycle, so many plastic bottles that indeed end up in a landfill or the ocean, sadly.
When I use the Epic Answer in the gas-station-bathroom method described above, the resultant filtered water tastes great even if the faucet water is terrible, metallic tasting and smelling of chlorine. The wife and kids can use the water bottle on road trips or around the house, and benefit from clean water without carcinogens or other life-shortening chemicals and maladies. All of Epic’s filters are made in the USA, and are 100% recyclable to boot.
Wrapping It Up
For $29.95 from the Epic Water Filters website, you can purchase a new Nalgene-enhancing The Answer filtration system. For that not-quite-30 bucks, you get everything you need to convert your Nalgene bottle into a portable filter that can save you money hand over fist. For example, using round(ish) numbers: a one-quart bottle of water at a gas station is, what? $2.50 or so around here depending on the location. That’s $10.00 for a gallon of water if you go bottled. The Epic Urban filter cleans 75 gallons of water, which means that we’re looking at $720 savings once you pull out the cost of the filter system.
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A replacement filter is $27.95 for the Urban, $29.95 for the Outdoor. Long story short? If you have a 32-ounce Nalgene bottle already (and you probably do), it can save you serious bucks if you buy bottled water frequently, and provide clean water for yourself and your family by removing over 200 tap water contaminants. The Answer is another winner from Epic Water Filters so be sure to check out The Answer if you have a Nalgene bottle (and at this point, who doesn’t?).
Here is my video review.