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MSR - TrailShot Microfilter

MSR TrailShot Microfilter

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$37.46 Original price:$49.95
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    Tech Specs

    Purifying Element:
    hollow fiber technology
    bacteria, protozoa, particulates
    Cartridge Life:
    up to 2000L
    one-handed pump
    Field Cleanable:
    shake to restore flow
    Claimed Weight:
    Recommended Use:
    hiking & camping, backpacking, ultralight backpacking
    Manufacturer Warranty:
    limited 3 years

    TrailShot Microfilter

    From ultralight backpacking trips to epic mountain bike rides, the MSR TrailShot Microfilter provides ultra-compact purification, allowing you to drink directly from streams and lakes on the trail. Tipping the scales at a mere 5.4 ounces, the TrailShot tags along in your pack without the bulk or weight of traditional water filters.

    The one-handed pump action efficiently filters water of common contaminates, including bacteria, protozoa, and suspended particulates. When it's time to clean the filter itself, simply shake it a few times and get back to filtering water from the stream or lake. It treats up to 2,000 liters of water before requiring a replacement and cleans one liter of water in a mere 60 seconds.

    • Ultra-compact water filter for outdoor adventures
    • 5.4-ounce weight satisfies ultralight backpackers
    • One-handed pump action with shake-to-clean design
    • Filters out bacteria, protozoa, and particulates
    • Meets NSF Protocol P231 filtration standard
    • Treats 2000 liters before needing replacement
    • Filters one liter of water in 60 seconds

    Not good

    • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions
    • Fit: Runs large

    I bought this for a bike packing trip on CO. Worked for three uses then nothing. I had another filter for backup so didn’t get dehydrated.
    Don’t rely on this product.

    Essential Gear

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size

    I go on long mountain trail runs often and always bring this with me. It's small size and light weight make it easy to pack.

    This is some awesome gear and a must have out in the wilderness!

    Great Filter

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer
    • Fit: True to size

    I love this piece of essential backpacking equipment. I have used it for 3 years. No failing. Sometimes if I'm tired I wish I have a gravity fed, but this price is too good to pass on.

    Love it

    • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

    I bought this to replace my Sawyer Mini after getting tired of spending approximately 1,000 years waiting for the Sawyer to filter. The Trailshot works great. I generally use it for multi-day trips, but it's small and light enough that I always keep it in my pack for emergencies. Flow rate is good - I can fill my 2 liter bladder in a couple minutes - and I haven't noticed it slowing down at all after a couple years of use. I've never noticed a chemical taste that others have mentioned.


    • Familiarity: I've used it several times

    This little guy is light functional and so far very durable. There's nothing I love more then leaving for a run with half a water bottle and this little guy. It fits in my vest comfortably with a windbreaker and a couple of bars. It pumps water quickly to keep me on the trail for as long as possible.

    Hard water done killed it.

      In the winter of 2017, I bought my MSR Trailshot, took it to the river to try it, and made a video that you'll find at the bottom of this page. I was pleased with the performance, it was certainly much slower than my old Pur (Katadyn) Hiker but the weight savings made up for it. I cleaned and dried it per MSR's instructions and it went into a drawer.

      Fast forward to summer 2018 - I took the MSR Trailshot to the Beehive Lakes in the Selkirks and was bitterly disappointed in the performance. I pumped like a demon and only a pathetic trickle came out. Ugh. I managed half a liter and gave up, I borrowed my friend's Sawyer Mini for the rest of the excursion.

      There's no way the Trailshot froze, it was stored indoors prior to the great disappointment. I've since read that hollow fiber filters can become fouled by hard water. Well, I have delicious but hard tap water at home so I suspect that I killed the Trailshot myself. In the future, I'll purchase water to clean my hollow fiber products.

      Now, this failure was my fault but I have to say, I'm not at all interested in getting a new MSR Trailshot. I didn't enjoy using my friend's Sawyer Mini but my primary objection was filing the Sawyer bag from standing water. With the releasce of CNOC's Vecto bags, that's no longer a worry. Also, Sawyer has released the Micro Squeeze which improves upon the Sawyer Mini's flow rate and has threads on both ends - you can use the included blue coupler to backflush with a clean water bottle/bladder & leave the silly syringe at home.

      The main reason I wanted the MSR Trailshot over the Sawyer was the cumbersome water collection method. Now that it's been resolved by the CNOC Vecto bag, I just can't see a place for the Trailshot.

      Minimal excellence.

        This little bugger is a solid filter for solo use and on the go dependence. I’m really happy with using this filter when by myself, not needing to filter large amounts of water at any given time. I often don’t hike with a water bottle at all, especially not when I have a bladder because of this (that being said I often have an immediate water source when not in winter months). Whether I’m trail running, hiking or overnighting, I can take this out of my hip pockets on a backpacking whenever I need to bend down and hit a few squirts of freshness. It’s nice when fly fishing instead of the weight of a water bottle as I can just drink straight from where I’m wading. Haven’t had any clog issues in 2 years. There are other small options out there like optical filtration and sawyers that have a small package, but I’m happy with this and have nothing to complain about until I need to do lots of water at a time. It can do roughly a liter in a minute if your forearm doesn’t cramp up.

        Minimal excellence.

        Worth tossing in your pack/vest

        • Familiarity: I've used it several times

        This thing is worth tossing in your vest or pack when headed out on a longer run or day of exploration. I'll typically carry this and a bottle or two on longer runs and it gives me great piece of mind that I'll be able to safely refill on the go. Great little addition to any backcountry kit.


          This filter has really been great for pushing big days in the mountains this summer. Because of the weight and size, I can easily fit the trailshot in my hydration vest and not have to worry about it. It took a little getting used to the squeeze pump from a traditional water filter, but its honestly about the same speed and I can also use the trail shot as a straw when I am really thirsty.

          Not for group hiking

          • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

          Holy cow, my hands were tired after squatting in a stream for 20 minutes filling up everyone's water bottles. Every pump squirts out half a sip. If the hose accidentally comes out of the water while pumping, it introduces air to the system and takes several more pumps before you get the full efficiency back.
          Also, the CHEMICAL TASTE is real. Before taking it on the trip, I pumped 15 liters of water through it (which is ridiculous overkill IMHO) to wash out the initial filter taste. IT WAS STILL THERE.
          For less price than this, you can get the Sawyer Squeeze. The only benefit this has over the Sawyer is the all-in-one system. You can drink straight out of it without needing an additional bag or gravity system.
          it's functional for trail running, but flat out sucks for supplying water for everyone in your group.

          Best UL filter

          • Familiarity: I've used it several times

          I really love this filter. I've been relying on tabs for a while, but with this guy being just 5 ounces I can't really justify that anymore. It's especially nifty how you can just pull the bite nozzle off your hydration pack, shove the hose into the trailshot and fill it up without taking it out of your pack.

          On the taste, It wasn't an issue even on the first few pumps, and after ~ 10L through the thing it's hardly there. I kinda suspect the people complaining about it in other reviews are the kinda people who drink Evian.

          To clarify, you're jamming the hose of your bladder into the tip of the trail shot? Never thought to try that.

          Yup yup! Works with all my osprey bladders.

          Great Little Filter

          • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

          I really love the trailshot. whether I'm out on a longer run or on a backpacking trip, it gets the job done. I love that I can keep it in my shorts pocket, waist belt pocket on my pack, or any other number of convenient locations. I didn't find it any more difficult to pump than a standard option like the Hiker Pro or Miniworks, just a little slower. The weight and size more than make up for it.

          Game Changer

            Light, easy to use and clean. If you want simple and effective the trail shot is the name of the game.

            On the GO

            • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

            Got this for a friend who is an ultra runner. If staying fast and light is your goal for a day on the trail then this is an amazing option. If you get a chemical taste initially there are a few different methods to get rid of it. I personally do water and lime juice (or some type of citrus) to help retract the chemical taste.


              I bought this as a backup to my Be Free filter,and the water that has come out has tasted so badly of chemicals that it was completely unusable.Sad,because the size and operation are great.No choice but to return it.BTW,the taste did not improve after 12 liters of water through it.

              Super convenient

              • Familiarity: I've used it several times

              This thing is awesome, super small and lightweight! It was quick to pump and feels very durable and like a quality piece of equipment.
              The only thing I noticed is the first couple times that you use it the water did seem to taste more chemically. once you runs a few liters through and wash it out and shake it clean it does a phenomenal job! Pick one up ASAP

              MSR trailshot

                I got this as a backup to my Katadyn Be Free filter which is great.This filter flows quickly,but the chemical taste of the water was so strong,I couldn’t drink it.Probably going to return it if it doesn’t get much better inside the next two or three liters.

                Any update to the taste?

                Works Great!

                • Familiarity: I've used it several times

                Great small water filter to take along on day trips or long bike packing trips where keeping things compact is key. Is a must have!

                Necessary addition to the quiver

                • Familiarity: I've used it several times

                Email me directly with all your MSR questions - jelam@Backcountry.com

                The Trailshot is a perfect purifier for fastpacking, ultra running, or minimalist backpacking. Fast and super easy to use.

                Necessary addition to the quiver

                Lightweight Great All Around Filter

                • Familiarity: I've used it several times

                Filtering water can be a production sometimes, but not with the MSR TrailShot! It weighs only 5 oz, but is extremely easy to use and has a very efficient design.

                The TrailShot is the perfect filter for a solo hiker or even multiple people, who don't have a lot of time to waste to stop and filter water. Built like a lot of pump filters - the TrailShot has a straw that sticks into the water and a hand pump. The hand pump is much smaller than normal filters and is similar to a blood pressure hand pump. What sets the TrailShot apart from other hand pump filters is that it only weighs 5 oz and it still pumps about a liter of water per minute.

                You have several pumping options with the TrailShot. You can drink straight out a water source with it, pump it directly from the water source into your bottle or bladder, or pump it into the filter and save it for later. Because it is pocket-sized, you can easily access it, kneel down, pump your water, and move right along.
                I have several water filters, but this is by far my favorite design. I find this even easier to use than the Sawyer Squeeze because you don't have to fill one of their bags up with water or clean them when you are done.

                To clean the TrailShot, after you are done filtering your water, pump a few more squeezes of water into the filter and shake it for 30 seconds, then dump it out. If you do this, you will rarely have to clean it and it will last much longer.

                Bottom Line: This is a great filter for a great price. I would recommend this to anyone other than someone who is responsible for filtering for a large group.