Do you want complete water self-sufficiency on your next bikepacking trip? Then the Quell NOMAD filter bottle could be just what you need! Can the bottle’s NASA technology conjure up clean drinking water from the dirtiest ponds and save you from having to carry all of your water? Read on to find out!
Imagine the following scenario. You’re planning a two-week solo bikepacking trip through the sparsely populated north of Sweden. Supermarkets and other shopping opportunities are rare and sometimes several days will go by without being able to restock your supplies and fresh water. Assuming an average daily water consumption of 3 l for drinking and cooking, for five days you’ll have to carry a whopping 15 l to be on the safe side. How would you carry all this and where would all those bottles go on your already crammed gravel bike? This is where Quell come in with the NOMAD filter bottle. A water bottle with an integrated and replaceable filter, a capacity of 700 ml and a weight of 135 g. The ultimate solution for remote and sparsely populated regions that have a wealth of above ground water sources.
The filter system of the Quell NOMAD bottle
As is so often the case with technology, the filter system used by Quell was developed by a high-tech institution with other purposes in mind. In this case, none other than NASA who only released the so-called Disruptor filter medium for commercial use a few years ago. Water scarcity isn’t just an earth-bound problem that will become an increasingly global issue in the near future. Freely accessible water supplies tend to be scarce in the vacuum of space, unless Mr Spock happens to invite you to a cup of coffee. But what is the Disruptor filter all about? It’s formed from aluminium oxide nanofibers, which are 50,000 times thinner than a regular sheet of paper. Due to their special structure, they generate a positive charge when the water flows through them. Since most contaminants have a negative charge, they are attracted to and inactivated by the fibres, thereby cleaning the water. The filter is supplemented by a layer of activated carbon that removes odours and unpleasant tastes, and a layer of antimicrobial and disinfectant silver that prevents the growth of bacteria. The manufacturer promises that this process allows the water to retain minerals while removing 99.6–99.9 % of all impurities including bacteria, viruses, parasites, drug residues and heavy metals. Within reason, this shouldy make it possible to drink any water from lakes, rivers, wells and other sources. We wouldn’t recommend filling the bottle with the water that flows through an industrial area. The Disruptor filter can’t transform salt water into potable water either.
Testing the Quell NOMAD filter bottle
Fill it with dirty water and instantly get delicious water from the bottle. Sounds almost too easy and good to be true. It isn’t! The BPA-free Quell NOMAD bottle, which fits securely in all the bottle cages we tested, convinced us with its super practical filtration system. There’s no waiting required and you don’t have to carry any additional accessories, which you want to reduce to a minimum when bikepacking. Without applying any pressure, water will only drip slowly from the open mouthpiece if at all. You have to squeeze the bottle to fill the lid that doubles as a cup. Drinking directly from the bottle takes a little more work than a standard bidon but the increased suction required is within perfectly acceptable limits. Due to the design, some water will always be leftover in the bottle without passing through the filter, though this is ok with a capacity of 700 ml. The Quell bottle convinced us and produces pure drinking water even from the dirtiest sources. However the bottle or filter produces a slight plastic aftertaste, even if you drink the water immediately after filling the bottle, though we never found it to be dominant or make the water unpalatable.
The filter simply gets screwed into the mouthpiece of the bottle and is claimed to be able to filter 300 bottles or approximately 200 l of water. Replacements are available in different colours for € 8.90. It’s recommended to replace the filter every two months with heavy use or as soon as the flow rate decreases. If you only use it occasionally, you shouldn’t do so for more than one season. If you want to save as much weight on your bikepacking trip as possible, you can leave the lid (28 g) and the silicone cover (8 g) at home. In addition to bikepacking, the bottle also works well for plenty of other uses, for example, if you’re travelling in regions with questionable tap water quality and you don’t want to boil the water every time before using it.
Quell NOMAD filter bottle conclusion
We have a new must-have bikepacking accessory: the Quell NOMAD filter bottle! It impressed us both with its easy handling and the excellent quality of the filtered water. It reliably filters out impurities and only leaves a subtle plastic aftertaste in the water. We would happily accept the additional weight of about 60–70 g compared to a standard water bottle and save ourselves having to carry around unnecessary supplies!
- easy handling and minimal flow resistance
- high water quality
- minimal weight penalty compared to a standard water bottle
- long filter life of up to 200 l
- subtle plastic aftertaste
For more information about the Quell NOMAD filter bottle visit quell.eu
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