How To

Surviving with the Renovo Trio Water Filter

The Renovo Trio is a triple-stage water filter that its manufacturer says is for “emergencies, survival, hiking, camping, hunting, or travel.” That covers a lot of territory, but given the Trio’s relatively compact size (7.1 in./18 cm.) and weight (4.13 oz./117g after use), there is no reason one couldn’t employ it in all of these endeavors. I’d been curious about this filter since I first heard about it, so when I had a chance to test it, I jumped at the opportunity (Thank you, Brian).

Renovo Trio Water Filter

I conducted initial tests in my local creek before engaging in actual backcountry use during a four-day backpacking trek in the Linville Gorge Wilderness of North Carolina. [Note: Because the Trio is in a market in which the Sawyer Mini has gained recognition, I have contrasted these two filters on certain salient points to offer readers a frame of reference.]

What You Get

The Trio comes in a hermetically sealed bag to extend the shelf-life of its carbon filter, which evidently gradually degrades when in contact with air. The contents of this unassuming bag include the three-stage filter itself, a direction packet, and four replacement pre-filters. A light-colored rubber strap holds a cap onto the body of the filter to prevent loss of this cap (see image below), but the filter itself is basically self-contained. The Trio does not come with a dirty water bag or syringe for back flushing as does the Mini.

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What It Does

Obviously water filters filter contaminants from water source to make the water potable. The Trio’s most notable claim is that it bills itself as providing “industry leading filtration”–a .05 micron pore size on its “medical grade UF (ultra-filtration) membrane filter.” Untreated water flows first through a replaceable pre-filter in the bottom of the Trio, then through the UF filter, and lastly through a third (hence “Trio”) carbon fiber absorption filter. Below is an image of the pre-filter, removed from its housing. Its most recent exposure was to the Linville River, and clearly one can see the discoloration caused by the river water (other uses came from clear mountain springs and creeks). As anyone who has played with water filters knows, it is nice to have a pre-filter to screen out large particulates, and this pre-filter (and the 4 replacements that come with the Trio) is rated at 5 microns. What does that mean? Well, I discovered online that a coffee filter, in contrast, averages 50-100 microns, if that gives you a frame of reference.

Read the rest of this article by Brian Green here.

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