MSR TrailShot Microfilter review

Last updated: 24-Oct-18

By Fiona Outdoors

If you need water on the run and do not want to carry a large hydration bladder or you want to rely on the water you find in rivers and lakes, the MSR TrailShot Microfilter delivers clean water every time.

I have been testing the gadget in all kinds for water, from dirty water in the washing up bowl at home, to a muck-filled stream at the bottom of my garden, to a suspicious still pool of water in the hills near Glasgow.

Features

  • Simple-to-use
  • Pocket-sized
  • Lightweight design (5oz/142g)
  • Drink directly form the source or refill bottles/hydration bladders
  • Effective against Protozoa and bacteria
  • Treats: 2,000 litres of water
  • Flow Rate: 1L/60 seconds
  • Price: £40. 

RUNULTRA_MSR-TrailShot-micro-water-filter-review

Photo credit: Msrgear.com.

Pros: What’s good about the MSR TrailShot Microfilter

I have tried a few water filters that fit into a traditional bottle but this gadget is standalone and that makes it very useful.

It’s a neat size and easily folds up and fits into a large jacket pocket or a small place in a rucksack.

You can choose if you want to use it on its own; you simply dip one end into the water and use a squeeze action to fill a small soft plastic container in the tube with a mouthful of water, which you drink directly.

It takes a few squeezes to fill the small water chamber.

I advise you try the squeeze action at home first to get the hang of it, but it really does work very well.

Alternatively, you can use the squeeze action to squirt water into a bottle or hydration bladder. There is also a handy way to fit the water delivery tube into the bladder for ease of filling.

The water tastes clean (after the first few goes. See below.) and when I have squirted really dirty water into a clear glass it looks to be pure.

MSR say the water filter will give you clean water free of bacteria, protozoa and particulates and while I can’t test this to be sure it does seem to be clean after filtering. I have been drinking the water and I have not been ill because of it.

The MSR TrailShot has a great endorsement from Jeff Browning, a Patagonia Trail Ambassador and Altra Endurance Team athlete. He says: “It’s the first filter I will actually carry regularly on long training runs in the mountains. Everything else has always been clunky or too heavy when trying to stay light and fast.

“I carry the TrailShot it in my side pocket of my shorts and use it when I find water sources. It’s the best and most handy water filter system I have come across and a very useful addition to a trail runner’s rucksack.

The initial price of around £40 does not seem too much for such a smart gadget but see below for a word about the filter replacement.

RUNULTRA_MSR-TrailShot-Microfilter-review

Cons: What’s not so good about the MSR TrailShot Microfilter

You need to find time to sit down with the instructions to work out how to use it. At first I was quite confused but then, once I understood, I found it easy to use.

When using the filter system for drinking you do get a bit of water overflow. Squeeze too much water into the small chamber and the water spills over the top. This is okay if you are outside, as most people will be, and the water simply spills or squirts on the ground.

I found the filtered water tasted a bit strange to begin with. It has a sort of iodine tinge to it but after a few goes with the system the taste fades.

It can be a bit of a fiddle using the system with a bottle or bladder when trying to fill them up but it does work once you get the hang of it.

The filter does not last forever so you will need to change it at some point and the replacement is £28, which is quite pricey. It states that it lasts for 2000 litres of water but I am wondering how you will know when that is.

Conclusion

MSR TrailShot Microfilter is a great idea and easy to carry with you and use. I like it as a standalone system for times when you know there will be water on a run and so there is no need to carry a bottle or hydration bladder.

It is an excellent way to have a back up for long runs where you are likely to drink all the water you already have with you and need to fill up from a stream or lake. The basic price is reasonable but do remember you’ll need to replace the filter after 2000 litres and that is quite costly.

Score  
Design 10/10
Features 10/10
Performance 10/10
Value 8/10
Total 9.5/10


Other water filters you may want to consider:

WATER-TO-GO Filtered Water Bottle
ÖKO Filtration Water Bottle
Katadyn BeFree Water Filtration System bottle

About the writer: Fiona is a keen runner, preferring off-road and hilly to flat and road. She lives in Scotland where the weather is fickle so needs to be prepared for all conditions. See more of what she writes at Fiona Outdoors.

All images Fiona Outdoors except when stated.

Have you used the MSR TrailShot water filter? Don’t agree with this review? What’s your opinion? Add your own comment to this review and share your experience and passion for running with others.

Not a member yet? Sign up here to be part of the RunUltra community and share tips and stories with thousands of fellow runners around the world.

We are a professional review site and our reviewers receive free products for testing from the companies whose products we review. We test each product thoroughly and give high marks to only the very best. We are independently owned and the opinions expressed here are by the reviewer’s name shown.

Disclosure:
We use affiliate links in some of our reviews and articles. This means that if you purchase an item through one of these links we will earn a commission. You will not pay more when buying a product through our links but the income will help us to keep bringing you our free training guides, reviews and other content to enjoy. Thank you in advance for your support.

OUR RATING:
5/5
YOUR RATING:
0.0/5

"I like it as a standalone system for times when you know there will be water on a run"

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin
Share on pinterest
Share on reddit
Share on whatsapp
Share on email

Like what you read?

Click here to sign up for more

Related reviews

REVIEW MSR TrailShot Microfilter review

{{ reviewsTotal }} Review
{{ reviewsTotal }} Reviews
{{ options.labels.newReviewButton }}
{{ userData.canReview.message }}

Global - Virtual

Elevation

A virtual race which can be run at any time shown on the dates shown, on any type of terrain in any country.

Suitable for

For runners from beginners to experienced as you choose your own course and challenge based on the guidelines and options set by the virtual race organiser.

Endurance - Multi-activity

Elevation

An ultra distance race including at least two of the following activities such as running, swimming, cycling, kayaking, skiing and climbing. It may also include different climatic conditions (eg ice, snow, humidity, cold water, mud or heat).

Suitable for

Experienced multi-skilled athletes who have trained for the different activities included in this event. Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements and any specialist equipment required such as a wetsuit, skis or a mountain bike.

Brutal

Elevation

Increase of up to 2000 metres with very challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity, heat or at high altitude)

Suitable for

Very experienced long distance ultra runners (min 3 years’ experience) or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races is often subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Purchase of specialist kit is often recommended for these races.

Expert

Elevation

Increase of up to 2000 metres with some challenging climatic conditions (e.g. ice, snow, humidity or heat)

Suitable for

Experienced runners who have completed at least 4 ultras in last 12 months, or are doing regular long distance running (>50 miles) with elevation and conditions shown (where possible). Admission to these races may be subject to receipt of a recent medical examination certificate. Check with the race organiser regarding entry requirements.

Advanced

Elevation

Increase of up to 1500 metres

Suitable for

Runners who have completed several ultra distances or similar events, or are doing long distance running regularly, with elevation shown.

Intermediate

Elevation

Increase of up to 1000 metres

Suitable for

Runners who have completed at least one ultra in last 6 months or are doing long distance running (>26 miles) regularly, with elevation shown.

Beginner

Elevation

Very little change < 500 metres

Suitable for

First ultra event. Runners completing a marathon or doing regular long distance running (>26 miles) in the last 6 months.