Grayl UltraPress Ti Water Filter Review

The new Grayl UltraPress Ti is simple to use, fits in a bottle cage, and holds water for drinking while on the go. We’ve been testing one for a few months for this review. Find that as well as more on the BottleLock Hip Pack and the Arundel Loonie Bin Cage here…

My friend Justin at TAWS Bike Garage introduced me to the Grayl UltraPress a few years ago. I remember him being excited about its portability and how well it worked for on-bike water storage and quick, on-the-go filtering. Since then, we’ve almost exclusively relied on his Grayl filter for water purification duties on long rides and bikepacking trips. What makes the Grayl filter unique compared to other filters I’ve used is that it combines a standard water bottle into its design, allowing for both water storage and filtering in a fairly compact package.

  • Grayl Filter
  • Grayl Filter
  • Grayl Filter
Standard Grayl UltraPress
Grayl Ultrapress Ti Filter Review

The original version is made from food-grade polypropylene, plastic, and silicone, but the latest UltraPress Ti takes things up a level with a titanium construction that can be used on a camp stove or fire in a pinch. Otherwise, the plastic and titanium UltraPress filters function the same. To use it, pull the exterior refill cup off the bottom of the bottle/filter and use it to scoop water from a lake or stream. Then, turn the spout cap on the top of the bottle halfway to vent the filter before using the weight of your body, hands on the top of the bottle, to force the water through the filter and into the storage bottle.

The UltraPress uses electroabsorption and ultra-powdered activated carbon to remove waterborne pathogens and particulates (sediment and microplastics) from the water. According to Grayl, this includes 99.99% of viruses, 99.9999% of bacteria, 99.9% of protozoan cysts including Rotavirus, Hepatitis A, Norovirus, Giardiasis, Cryptosporidium, E. Coli, Cholera, Salmonella, Dysentery, and more. The ultra-powdered activated carbon also adsorbs many chemicals (including PFAS & VOCs), pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, flavors, and odors. The replaceable cartridge has a lifespan of 300 presses (150L/40 gal), once the filter time reaches ~25 seconds, or after three years of use.

Justin estimates he has around 100 presses of his Ultrapress, which has slightly slowed down to between 10 and 15 seconds to filter 500ml. It’s not hard to press the water through the cartridge, but it does require a bit of steady body weight and a hard surface. On some bikerafting trips this summer, our friend Kristjan managed to compress the filter against his chest, but I doubt most people would be able to. We’re also spoiled with clean lakes and streams with limited sediment, so I expect the Grayl would slow down more quickly when filtering murkier water.

Grayl Ultrapress Ti Filter Review
  • Grayl Ultrapress Ti Filter Review
  • Grayl Ultrapress Ti Filter Review
  • Grayl Ultrapress Ti Filter Review

I appreciate the design and quality of the plastic and titanium versions alike. The construction seems solid, partly due to the lack of moving parts, and I like its simplicity. I’ve had more than a few pump-style filters fail on me completely while bikepacking, usually due to failed seals or fragile parts, and the Grayl seems far sturdier. It’s also great to see Grayl offering a full suite of replacement parts for their filters, including caps, the inner and outer body, and cartridges.

  • Grayl Ultrapress Ti Filter Review
  • Grayl Ultrapress Ti Filter Review
  • Grayl Ultrapress Ti Filter Review
  • Grayl Ultrapress Ti Filter Review
  • Grayl Ultrapress Ti Filter Review

I’ve only briefly tested out the UltraPress Ti as a pot on a stove, and due to its height and narrow base, it really only works well for boiling water to rehydrate simple meals. Having the ability to heat it up directly on a fire or in hot coals is a nice touch, and while the $110 price jump from the standard version is a little hard to swallow, it might be worth it for some folks, depending on their specific needs. Grayl offers a 10-year warranty on workmanship and materials, as well as replacement parts, as mentioned above, so it feels like more of a long-term investment compared to other filters.

Grayl Ultrapress Ti Filter Review
  • Capacity: 500ml
  • Material: Titanium, BPA-FREE polypropylene, silicone, plastic
  • Weight: 400 grams
  • Place of Manufacture: China
  • Price: $199 USD
  • Manufacturer’s Details: Grayl.com

BottleLock Hip Pack

The BottleLock Hip Pack is made by Eearthwell in Portland, Oregon. It’s specifically designed to carry a Grayl filter, thanks to its lower straps and grippy rubber lining fabric, but it can also hold other 32oz bottles, such as those from Earthwell, Hydrapak, and Nalgene. It’s made from a water-resistant Cordura fabric with a recycled EcoPak liner and a urethane-coated zipper for added weather resistance. There’s a small external zippered pocket with a key clip, an internal zippered pocket, and a collapsable pocket on one of the hip pads for 12 to 16oz cups and water bottles. The bag is finished with lots of webbing attachment points, loops, and handles for lashing gear to, and the entire thing is padded to protect its contents.

Grayl Ultrapress Ti Filter Review
  • Grayl Ultrapress Ti Filter Review
  • Grayl Ultrapress Ti Filter Review
  • Grayl Ultrapress Ti Filter Review
  • Grayl Ultrapress Ti Filter Review
  • Grayl Ultrapress Ti Filter Review

The construction of the hip pack seems top notch, and I like the look of it too. The various pockets, fabrics, and integrated filter sling are nice touches, and so far I’ve found it to be adequately padded for its size. My first thought was that it would make a great option for hauling a smaller mirrorless camera and extra lens, maybe with the addition of an internal divider of some kind. All that said, Emily lost her bottle from the collapsible side pocket on a ride with it, so I’m a little hesitant to fully trust it again. The ladder lock buckles holding the Grayl filter in place loosen up too easily for my taste, especially for hauling a $200 filter, so it would have been nice to see a cam buckle for some added security while riding.

  • Capacity: 4.5L
  • Material: Cordura / EcoPak
  • Weight: 397 grams
  • Place of Manufacture: Oregon, USA
  • Price: $149 USD
  • Manufacturer’s Details: Grayl.com

Arundel Loonie Bin Cage

The Arundel Loonie Bin Cage isn’t made specifically for the Grayl filter, but Grayl offers it as an add-on for easier transport on the bike. It’s an adjustable cage that fits any cylindrical bottle that is 65-95mm in diameter, not just cycling bottles. For reference, this includes both the 500ml Grayl UltraPress and 710ml GeoPress, as well as giant bottles of Gatorade, wine bottles, extra fuel, and 32oz Nalgene bottles.

Grayl Water Filter Review
  • Arundel Looney Bin Cage
  • Arundel Looney Bin Cage
  • Arundel Looney Bin Cage

Aside from being entirely from plastic, I’ve been quite impressed with the Loonie Bin Cage. The adjustable design holds cylindrical objects securely and there’s a small rubber bumper to eliminate any rattling while riding. For rides with lots of natural water sources on route, it’s possible that the Loonie Bin and Grayl filter could handle both water purification and carrying duties. It’s a slick little step that’s easy to use.

  • Capacity: fits bottles 65-95mm
  • Material: Nylon
  • Weight: 57 grams
  • Place of Manufacture: China
  • Price: $26.95 USD
  • Manufacturer’s Details: Grayl.com

Wrap Up

Having used my fair share of water filters, I’m a big fan of devices with minimal moving parts. For the last few years my go-to filter has been a Sawyer Squeeze filter. It’s tiny, has no moving parts, and has proven to be reliable and easy to clean between trips. Due to its size, the Grayl UltraPress wouldn’t normally be my first choice, but I’ve been pleasantly surprised after a few weeks of use. The press-to-filter design is quick to operate, the construction and overall quality appears to be top notch, and the fact that it can both hold filtered water and strap into your favourite cargo cage makes it a nice option for bikepacking. The latest titanium version is certainly pretty slick, but the $110 price jump from the plastic version is considerable and likely only worth it for those planning to boil water regularly for simple camp meals. Personally, I don’t think the Grayl Ti will replace more functional lightweight camp stove setups, so I’d probably be just as happy using the plastic version.

  • Grayl Filter Review
  • Grayl Filter Review

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