If you're an outdoorsy type then you probably already know how handy a water disinfectant system can be in the right circumstances – because who wants to lug large quantities of water around if they don't need to? Tortoise Gear has designed a prototype drink reservoir named Sol Water that's claimed to remove the vast majority of bacteria and viruses using the power of the sun.
Sol Water comes in three different models. The Survivalist is a 1 liter (0.24 US gallon) bag that can carry boiling hot water, the Day Tripper has the same capacity as the Survivalist but also sports a pop-up drink spout, and the Backpacker is a 2 liter (0.52 gallon) reservoir designed for hydration backpacks. Each sports a reflective back and measurement lines to show how much water remains.
So, how does it work? Essentially it's a lot like the Solar Bag we covered back in 2012, and makes use of the SODIS method (solar water disinfection) to harness the sun's UV rays to kill bacteria and viruses. The firm reports that Sol Water can disinfect water in as little as three hours during peak sunshine. It is also reusable, and can be frozen or even serve as a waterproof pouch for gadgets. You can read more in-depth information in the firm's FAQ section.
The sun in the middle of the Sol logo on the reservoir has been designed to act as a water murkiness guide. If the user can't make out the arms of the symbol then the water is probably too cloudy to use.
While slightly murky water might still be okay after the microorganism killing spree has finished, though there's no visual guide to tell you that the disinfecting process is complete, the Sol Water reservoir doesn't contain a filter, so any debris will remain. It also doesn't purify, so chemicals like pesticides aren't removed either.
But given its size, weight, and simplicity, it's perhaps well suited as a backup system to throw in a backpack and forget about until needed.
Tortoise Gear has turned to the crowd to get Sol Water to market. The firm is seeking Kickstarter pledges of US$3 for a Survivalist model, while a pack containing all three models is available for a pledge of $27. Assuming all goes well, shipping is estimated for March 2016.
Check out the video below for the Kickstarter pitch.