We love trying new products that help improve our lifestyle of simplicity and adventure. We’re minimalists and very selective about the items we purchase and the money we spend. More importantly, we enjoy sharing the products we love with our loyal followers, in hopes that these products can help simplify their lives as well!
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As their website states, Berkey Water Filters “provide the ultimate in waterborne contamination removal. They are used worldwide to set the international standard for water filters used in clean or hostile filtration environments”. The Travel Berkey Water Filter was one of the first products we bought for our new RV because having clean drinking water is extremely important to us.
We had heard great things about the Berkey. In fact, it’s so powerful in removing even viruses and bacteria along with chemicals, that it’s classified as a purifier not just a standard water filter system. Berkey claims to have products that are “revolutionary”.
Berkey has a variety of water filter systems that range from 1.5 gallons to 6 gallons. We purchased the Travel Berkey Water Filter because it’s recommended for 1-3 people, it’s lightweight, compact, and ideal for limited counter space. Sounds like an “RV must-have” to us!
When rating the products we try out, we take the following into account:
- Price (we’re cheap…but Dan prefers to call us “frugal”!)
- Value (if we do spend money, we want it to be worth it!)
- Practicality (we’re minimalists and don’t want useless crap!)
- Durability (we want our things to last!)
Here’s How the Berkey Did:
We’re giving the Travel Berkey a 5-star rating! While the price is a bit high for something that’s not 100% a necessity (although it is now to us!), it’s just about the best you can find in water filter systems. Plus, it’s durable, it solves a major pain point for us (read more below), and is an overall great and practical product for our lifestyle.
Berkey has pretty high claims and anyone who reads that you can use “any outside natural water source and transform it into the best tasting, purest drinking water possible” is bound to be a skeptic. Could we really go outside, collect rain or lake water, and actually drink it? Well, we’ll be honest, we didn’t try that!
But we can say, the water is so pure that you don’t even realize what tasteless water is. It blows your mind a bit. You actually have to adjust to drinking water that clean! This was a huge deal for us. Even with our water filter that came installed on our brand new RV, our water still tasted like plastic for months. Plus, campground water across the U.S. isn’t exactly great tasting!
Our initial solution was to buy plastic water bottles and jugs. Then we realized how wasteful that was and recycling isn’t the easiest thing to do while RVing. Plus, who has space for a 35 pack of water bottles to be lying around or a huge gallon jug of water in a tiny refrigerator? Not RVers!
While we have limited kitchen counter space, the Berkey doesn’t take up too much and we hardly even realize it’s there. When we travel, we ensure that it’s filled with water so the weight keeps it from sliding around and the base has a rubber ring around it to give it extra traction. This however, isn’t the best solution and isn’t recommended if you have a trailer and can’t keep an eye on it.
Lastly, we love that when we are boondocking (dry camping with no hook ups), we can have separate drinking water and save the water in our tanks for showers, dishes, and toilet flushing. It holds enough water for the two of us so it lasts awhile and we don’t have to keep filling it up that often.
What’s Not-So Great
As we mentioned above, on travel days, it’s common that we forget to make sure it’s full enough to give it the weight to keep from sliding off the kitchen counter. We’ve had it fall off and get dented once! But, it’s not super easy to store it, since you have to ensure it’s empty before laying it on it’s side. So that has definitely been a challenge for us.
Another downside is that the spigot is so close to the bottom of the system that we have to pull it towards the edge of the counter to get our glass underneath it. This has annoyed us to the point that we’ve tried moving it around to places where it could stay near the edge of a surface, but haven’t found a good spot for it.
There are, however, accessories that are perfect for the two challenges we shared above. Berkey has a bunch of accessories that we have not yet to purchase but are happy to know about because they solve our issues with the system. For example, they have a carrying case, perfect for storing the system on travel days to keep it safe and contained to avoid water leakage. They also have a stand to elevate it so you can put your glass right under the spigot (purchasing that very soon!). Side note, they even have water bottles and drinkware!
Another not-so great thing is that we’ve had a few Berkey mishaps where it’s overflowed onto our counter. This was because we didn’t think about the fact that if the lower chamber isn’t fully empty, you cannot fill the entire top chamber full. Berkey recommends filling the top chamber to the very brim to keep the filters working properly. So you can’t be consistently filling it up in order to keep your water supply from running out.
You also can’t see through the system to determine how much water you have left since it’s steel. But don’t worry, they have an accessory for that too! Berkey offers a Water View Spigot, which shows how much water is left in the lower chamber. We chose not to purchase this accessory, though. We just wait until it’s empty, refill the top chamber and then wait 5-10 minutes for it to filter before we can get water to drink. Which is sort of a long time, but I guess with how much purifying it’s doing, what do you expect? Also, sometimes when you reach the end of the water supply, it doesn’t come out very easily either. We often have to tilt it towards us to completely empty it.
Finally, the Berkey also comes with a bit of maintenance. It requires regular cleaning to keep it functioning at it’s best. While this can be hard to remember and a task that’s not-so fun, it’s necessary and Berkey provides great, easy to follow cleaning instructions.
Where you can get one!
Visit Berkey Water Filter’s website and browse their selection of filters and accessories.
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