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MSR Guardian Water Purifier Review


As an avid outdoorsman and busy guide, especially around the end of school season, I am always answering questions on how to treat water. I have got to use lots of filters over the years, here is a picture of all the filters I have in my gear kit.

This review is about the new MSR Guardian Water Purifier, yes purifier not filter, no added drops or treatment required. I also connected you to a great review on youtube. Read my notes below.

After two canoe trips and two hiking trips. Each averaging 5 days and between 9 and 24 students plus chaperones. On all the trips the main water treatment was one to four gravity flow type filters that the schools already had. I would use the MSR Guardian when ever we needed a fast source of water, and for my own use. On a quick break or lunch. Where I found it most useful was after a portage when students would be out of water and the water source was shallow and usually quite dirty. Places where I would not have collected water in the past because of the problems of filters plugging up and the smell that was usually left in after filtering. (ex. Water hen River on the Boreal Trail hike and the end of the Great Devil portage.) It was always quick and pumped the water easily, clear and little or no smell. I don’t think that the pump ever slowed down or became more difficult to pump thanks to the self-cleaning of the Guardian.

The only thing that was a bit of an annoyance was when I was standing in water because of the way that the hoses (and probably because they are more rigid because there are two) stayed curved; it would cause the intake filter to flip up and intake air. If you were seated on a rock or in a canoe it didn’t seem to be much of a problem. The Guardian also doesn’t seem to be as prone to air locking if it does suck in a little bit of air. Overall I am quite pleased with it and have been recommending it to others. The price is a little shocking but worth it in my opinion. If you need more info about my guiding services contact me at (306) 535-6356 [email protected], if you need more info about filters, The Prairie Summit Shop/North Face stores have a great selection of the best ones.

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