Products like the Grayl filtration cup and ÖKO Odyssey six-in-one bottle make treating water quite simple and intuitive. The Oasis water treatment system looks to add even more ease and versatility by bringing your filter of choice to your drinking vessel of choice – it filters out harmful bacteria and viruses or just bad taste from inside a water bottle, hydration pack and more.
"There are hundreds of water filters designed for all sorts of activities," says Renovo Water president Daniel Beck. "From hiking and backpacking, to hunting and survival, around town, in the home, or during an emergency, the one thing common amongst all these filters is they do primarily one thing, and that's it. You likely have a wide scope of interests and activities, and you don’t do just one thing. So why do most water filters just do one thing?"
Renovo challenges folks to stop adapting their lifestyles to their filters (does anyone really do that?) and start adapting filters to their lifestyles and activities. The Oasis system consists of several filter and purification modules and the supporting hardware needed to use those modules with various drinking vessels.
Using a simple, non-gender attachment system, you can secure an Oasis filter to a water bottle or hydration reservoir drinking tube and filter as you drink. The Oasis has attachments for both 28 mm narrow-mouth (soda) bottles and 58 mm wide-mouth (Nalgene) bottles, and the filter can be placed either inside or outside 58 mm wide-mouth bottles. Alternative hardware integrates the filter into a filtration pump or gravity-based system.
Beyond just giving you more flexibility in the way you filter and store water, the Oasis system adds versatility in what you're actually filtering out.
Renovo offers three types of filters.
The small, basic AC Module is a granular activated carbon filter that acts like a filter you might use at home to improve the taste of your tap water. It filters things like chlorine, mercury and odor out of potable drinking water and lasts for about 150 gallons (568 L).
The next level up is the Hollow Fiber Module, which removes sediment, bacteria and protozoa. It can be used for filtering river, lake and stream water while hiking, backpacking, camping, etc. and is good for up to 100,000 gallons (378,500 L). This module is comparable to standalone filters designed for outdoor use. You can secure it to the AC Module and use them together to take care of bacteria/protozoa and taste.
When venturing out into areas where viruses are a concern, you'll want to opt for the Nanolum Module, which uses NASA-derived technology to take care of tiny viruses, as well as larger microorganisms like bacteria and protozoa. This filter includes activated carbon, so it also provides filtration and taste benefits similar to the AC Module. This module turns the Oasis into an outdoor water purifier. It lasts for 150 gallons.
The final Oasis module is not a filter but an infuser called the Enhancement Module. It's designed to add extra flavor to your water. You can infuse the water with everything from fresh fruit, to tea, to volcanic minerals, to alkaline. Renovo supplies enhancers like the alkaline and volcanic minerals, and from there you can add your own fruit and more.
That sounds like an awful lot of kit to be shouldering around the backcountry, but the idea is that you choose one or two modules based upon your activity and the type of water you'll be drinking, then match it to your bottle or bladder of choice. All those modules and adapters do make us question if the Oasis will really be that much cheaper or easier than just buying a few different types of filters and purifiers for different activities. We like the modular design in theory, but all those bits and pieces seem like they'll take up unnecessary space and prove easy to lose or forget.
In the end, it'll come down to a careful consideration of your intended uses, preferences and costs. I have a tendency to lose small pieces of gear, both out in the wild and at home, so I can imagine such a component-filled modular kit becoming more of a headache and expense than it's worth. I'd rather keep things simple with a basic filter and purification chemicals, especially when I can get something that's both versatile and lightweight like the Sawyer Mini filter, which works with bladders, soda bottles and collapsible bottles and can also act as a filtration straw.
Other users might find the modular design quite useful, though. So far, the Oasis is moving along steadily on Kickstarter and is more than a third of the way to the US$45,000 goal.
Kickstarter pledge levels start at $20 for the "Backcountry Kit," which packages the HF Module with adapters for use with a hydration pack, as a gravity filter, with a 28-mm bottle, and as a straw. The complete "Collector" package of modules, adapters and components is available at a $140 pledge level. Check out the Kickstarter campaign for other available packages and pledge levels.