Gear Review: The MSR Guardian Purifier

No one wants to get sick on a camping trip, especially from bad water. Harmful water can contain viruses, bacteria, protozoans, and particulates. Having a good filtering system that helps protect you from bad water is a key component to any camping or backpacking trip.

The MSR Guardian first grabbed our attention in 2016 after we backpacked the Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore. We were looking for a better water filter system and came across a video of the MSR Guardian being used in some grimy, muddy, water.

We were impressed with not only the filters ability to clean water but also that the filter did not get clogged. After much research, we decided that the MSR Guardian is exactly what we were looking for.

The Specs

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Weights: 1 pound 1 ounce
Width: 3 inches
Height: 4.5 inches
Filter pore size (microns): 0.02

What We Like

The MSR Guardian is self-cleaning. Every time we use the filter, it cleans itself.

It is very easy to use. Hook it up and pump.

The filter connects perfectly to our MSR Dromedary bladders. It can also hook up to water bottles.

With a 0.02 micron filter, the MSR Guardian filters out viruses, bacteria, protozoans, and particulates. Note that it is always important to check prior to visiting an area what the drinking water conditions are, regardless of your filter system.

What We Don’t Like

We love this system. It’s hard to find a flaw, but if we had to pick one, it would be that sometimes it can be difficult to get the filter to stay under water in rivers and streams.


Using the MSR Guardian Purifier gives us the peace of mind that the water we’re drinking is clean and safe. It’s one of the best additions to our gear that we’ve made.

For moer information, visit MSR Guardian Purifier.

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