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Kit Review: First Need XL Water Filter
Our Rating: 7/10
Model
First Need XL Water Filter by General Ecology.

Purchased October 2009

Description
First Need XL water filter
Water purifier with double-action field serviceable pump, sealed canister with cover, tote bag, gravity feed and the tried and trusted winning "Structured Matrix" chemical-free purification technology. Since our purchase there have been model upgrades.
Review
We were attracted to this filter as at the time we couldn't find a water filter that filters out bacteria, cysts and viruses like Giardia.

The filter is generally easy to use, though the pumping action can be a little tiring as the filter design is not overly ergonomic. The long intake tube with float attached makes it easy to access hard to reach water sources.

Our biggest disappointment was that the First Need XL water filter cartridge broke after just a few uses. We only noticed this by chance, as the water we were filtering was discoloured. (It’s important to do an integrity test quite regularly to check if the filter still works; luckily this is quite a simple process). We contacted General Ecology, they indicated that it must have had a knock, but it hadn't. After being referred to their helpful UK support team, they generously agreed to send us a new cartridge, free of charge. This cartridge has been serving us well since then.
Pros
  • Eliminates viruses, cysts and bacteria
  • Easy to perform an integrity test to check if the cartridge is still intact
  • Good customer support (once we dealt with UK personal)
  • Long reach and float makes it easy to access water points
  • Good value
Cons
  • Akward grip
  • Pumping action a little stiff
  • Canister broke early on (replacement working fine) 
Reviewed On
10th February 2011
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