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Re: [AT-L] Sweetwater Guardian vs. Pur Hiker

This question was one we had to answer also. So
we started doing our normal amount of research.
We mailed surveys to 6 hiking specific stores
along the AT, which we got from Dan "WingFoot"
Bruces' book the Thru-Hikers handbook ( I have
to put a note here, WOW! it's great to have you
on the list Wingfoot and welcome your input).
Believe it or not we got all 6 back. Of the 
filters/purifiers that hikers had brought to
them for service or replacement over the last 
two years each reported the Sweetwater Guardian
as having the most problems. Two said they
no longer carry the Sweetwater due to the
number of problems reported. But as normal
we felt this was too small of a sampling to
be considered accurate. I mean Sweetwater
does sell alot of those things. So in our
normal fashion we decided to buy what we considered
the top four filters/purifiers and put them in
head to head competition for an extended period of
time and may the best one win. At this point I can
say thank goodness for REI and their return policy.
Two of the filters failed badly from the beginning,
and I was able to return them. To make a long story
short the one filter that consistently worked with a
minimal amount of problems was the PUR Hiker. Thus that
is the one we are taking on our thru-hike in 1997. Your
mileage, as they say, may vary. We tested the filters in the
Smokys', on Isle Royal, Glacier National park , and in the
BWCA, which we feel represented a wide variety of conditions. 
We will let you know next year if it was a good decision.

Sandy and Alison
"The Smiths"
Ga to Me '97