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First Need XLE ELITE Water Purifier

Item #: 81249

Our Price: $96.99

Regular Price: $109.99

SAVINGS: $13.00 (12%)

The First Need XLE ELITE water purifier is the only purifier certified to EPA Standards (cysts, bacteria and viruses) without using chemicals. This water purifier removes pesticides and provides deliciously refreshing water instantly on one pass through. Ecological, actually removes microbes using reliable molecular capture, it has ultrafine microstraining (to 0.1 microns) and other purification mechanisms. This filter features a self-cleaning pre-filter which extends the time between main cartridge cleanings. The cartridge is designed to mount directly to trail and bike bottles and dromedary bags. The sealed canister protects users from accumulated cysts. Includes a 36" long hose to dip into water source. Includes tote bag and gravity feed kit.
Key Features:
  • The only purifier certified to EPA Standards (cysts, bacteria and viruses) without using chemicals
  • Removes pesticides
  • Self cleaning pre-filter extends the time between main cartridge cleanings
  • Sealed canister protects users from accumulated cysts
  • Includes tote bag, gravity feed kit, and 36" long hose
  • Made in the USA
  • Cleanout Port extends cannister life.
  • Average Flow Rate: 2qt per minute
  • Average Cannister Capacity: 180 gallons
  • Temperature Range: 33°F (.5 c) to 100°F (38 c)
  • Micron Retention: 0.4
  • Weight: 16 oz
  • Pump Length: 6.25"
  • Tube Length: 36"

REVIEW SNAPSHOT®

by PowerReviews
General EcologyFirst Need XLE ELITE Water Purifier
 
4.8

(based on 115 reviews)

99%

of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Pros

  • Good filtration (104)
  • Easy to pump (102)
  • Easy to clean (81)
  • Maintenance (75)
  • Lightweight (54)

Cons

  • Heavy / bulky (29)

Best Uses

  • Backpacking (97)
  • Hiking (84)
  • Day trip (61)
  • Car camping (52)
    • Reviewer Profile:
    • Avid adventurer (55), Casual/ recreational (49), Military/law enforcement (6), Outdoor professional (4)
    • Was this a gift?:
    • No (105), Yes (6)

Reviewed by 115 customers

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5.0

The only water purifier you'll ever need

By gene

from anaheim, ca

About Me Casual/ Recreational

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to pump
  • Good filtration
  • Low maintenance

Cons

  • Bulky

Best Uses

  • Backpacking
  • Car Camping
  • Day trip
  • Hiking

Comments about General Ecology First Need XLE ELITE Water Purifier:

I used it straight out of the box with no ill effects. Pumps and fills quickly. It's a bit bulky, but manageable and is definitely worth its weight in gold. Takes up space almost equal to a standard mess kit. Best bang for your buck.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

Comment on this review

(3 of 3 customers found this review helpful)

 
2.0

Works Quickly, Fragile, Marginal Service

By msrw

from Santa Fe, New Mexico

About Me Avid Adventurer

Pros

  • Easy to pump

Cons

  • Bulky
  • Fragile
  • Poor customer service

Best Uses

  • Car Camping
  • Day trip

Comments about General Ecology First Need XLE ELITE Water Purifier:

My wife and I purchased a First Need XLE water filter/purifier for a climbing expedition in the Everest region of Nepal this past November. We used it for about three weeks until it failed (see below).

Pros:

Water throughput is extremely good--It works faster than an MSR Waterworks filter.

The filter allegedly is effective against viruses, although General Ecology is somewhat vague as to how that occurs. (The XLE filters down to .4 microns, while a number of other filters which do NOT claim effectiveness against viruses filter down to .1 or .2 microns).

Cons:

Fragile:
I dropped the unit one morning from a height of about two feet onto the stone floor of a tea house at La Boche, and the filter canister shattered, rendering the unit unusable. I was surprised that the filter canister would break from what seemed like a fairly trivial impact. We've been using MSR filters for quite a few years, have dropped them a number of times and they have never failed due to being dropped. General Ecology claims "robust durability" for the XLE in its marketing literature. Our experience is that this is not correct.

Bulky and not particularly well-designed:
Comparing the design of the XLE to other similar water filters/purifiers, the XLE is unnecessarily bulky--the pump and the filter could be much better integrated to take up less space. Also, the opaque filter canister makes it impossible to see the condition of the filter matrix. Given the importance of being able to rely on a water filter/purifier when traveling in the far corners of the world, the XLE design is certainly not optimum.

Customer service issues:
When we arrived back in the States I sent a note to General Ecology, letting them know about our experience with the XLE and suggesting that they may want to strengthen the filter canister. General Ecology wrote back and said that they were sure that the canister was sufficiently durable.

I hadn't asked for the canister to be replaced under warranty, but since General Ecology said that the failure of our unit wasn't the norm, I assumed that our unit was defective and then did ask for warranty replacement. General Ecology refused to replace the unit under warranty since (of course) I wasn't able to return the broken item to them. When I observed that I hadn't asked for warranty replacement until General Ecology claimed that the XLE should not have failed, I was offered a 50 percent discount for a replacement canister.

If the canister was defective it should be replaced under warranty; if it wasn't defective, I should be responsible for the cost of replacing it. Insisting on the return of an inexpensive and bulky to carry item that failed during a trek 7,000 miles away is being completely tone deaf to good customer service, and in my experience, falls way below the service standards of any of the more reputable outdoor equipment companies.

Overall, the performance specs for the XLE are compelling, but we aren't confident that the unit is reliable enough for field use, at least not for mountaineering and/or other rugged endeavors

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

Comment on this review

 
4.0

First Need XLE Elite Water Purifier

By cfred

from Wayland, MI.

About Me Avid Adventurer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to pump
  • Good filtration
  • Low maintenance

Cons

  • Bulky

Best Uses

  • Backpacking
  • Hiking

Comments about General Ecology First Need XLE ELITE Water Purifier:

Although it is kind of heavy/bulky for backpacking, I took it on a boy scout trip and filtered water for many people. It worked very well! It would be useful during natural disasters such as hurricanes,in which clean drinking water would be hard to find and tap water is contaminated.

  • Was this a gift?:
  • No

Comment on this review

 
5.0

GREAT WATER FILTER

By Alaskabyauto

from USA

About Me Avid Adventurer

Verified Buyer

Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Easy to pump
  • Good filtration
  • Low maintenance

Cons

    Best Uses

      Comments about General Ecology First Need XLE ELITE Water Purifier:

      I bought this filter because it filters down to one micron, has fast filter flow. Easy to use and clean
      on my river trip.

      • Was this a gift?:
      • No

      Comment on this review

       
      5.0

      Great Filter!!

      By Bryan

      from Houston, Texas

      About Me Avid Adventurer

      Verified Buyer

      Pros

      • Easy to clean
      • Easy to pump
      • Good filtration
      • Lightweight
      • Low maintenance

      Cons

        Best Uses

        • Backpacking
        • Car Camping
        • Day trip
        • Hiking

        Comments about General Ecology First Need XLE ELITE Water Purifier:

        Great tasting water and Pumps fast

        • Was this a gift?:
        • No

        Comment on this review

        (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

         
        5.0

        Confidently Clean Water!

        By rock climber

        from Tucson, AZ

        About Me Avid Adventurer

        Verified Buyer

        Pros

        • Easy to clean
        • Easy to pump
        • Good filtration
        • Lightweight
        • Low maintenance

        Cons

          Best Uses

          • Backpacking
          • Car Camping
          • Day trip
          • Hiking

          Comments about General Ecology First Need XLE ELITE Water Purifier:

          We've already used this purifier and it works great! I will never be without it again. All water is drinkable water now!

          • Was this a gift?:
          • Yes

          Comment on this review

          (1 of 1 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Number 1 Purifier for wilderness trips.

          By One Staff

          from Saint Marys, Ohio

          About Me Casual/ Recreational

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy to clean
          • Easy to pump
          • Excellent Water Taste
          • Good filtration
          • Low maintenance

          Cons

          • A Bit Heavy

          Best Uses

          • Backpacking
          • Car Camping
          • Day trip
          • Hiking
          • Wilderness Travel

          Comments about General Ecology First Need XLE ELITE Water Purifier:

          I have an older First Need purifier and love it. The new filters work on the older model First Need pump. Compared to other "filters" that people used in the same environment I used my First Need "purifier", there's no comparison in the taste you get from the First Need purifier. Taking water from stagnent waters filled with leaves and dingy water has no bad affect on the taste of the water filtered by the First Need. The water tastes like it came from a bottle at the store! Others with different filters could hardly drink their filtered water.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Comment on this review

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          4.0

          Does almost everything it says

          By River floater

          from Mississippi

          About Me Casual/ Recreational

          Pros

          • Easy to clean
          • Easy to pump
          • Good filtration

          Cons

          • Overrated Capacity

          Best Uses

          • Backpacking
          • Camping
          • Day trip
          • Hiking

          Comments about General Ecology First Need XLE ELITE Water Purifier:

          I recently used this filter on a trip down the lower Mississippi River with my dad. I must say the filter worked excellent, no foul taste or discoloration to the water at all! It also stored very easily with the included bag which was great due to our limited available space in the canoe. The only problem I have with the filter is that the actual filter itself did not last anywhere near the 180 gallons advertised. I know it says "up to" however, in practical application on the river, given at some points the water did have a bit of silt suspended, the filter was stopped up in less than 30 gallons! We managed maybe another 5 gallons using the gravity feed. Luckily I bought a spare filter for the trip or we would have been without water for 3 days of our trip. On the second filter I learned to use the clean out port after every 2 liters and I managed better than 10 gallons and it showed no signs of slowing down, so clean it out very frequently and it should give a bit better performance. All in all it is a very satisfactory product and will continue to use the one I have and probably purchase another when the one I have dies.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Comment on this review

          (2 of 2 customers found this review helpful)

           
          5.0

          Excellent product

          By Yukon Cornelius

          from Groveton VA

          About Me Military/Law Enforcement

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy to pump
          • Good filtration
          • Lightweight
          • Low maintenance

          Cons

          • Avoid Heavy Sediment

          Best Uses

          • Backpacking
          • Car Camping
          • Day trip
          • Hiking

          Comments about General Ecology First Need XLE ELITE Water Purifier:

          Avoid water with heavy sediment if possible as it clogs the (non cleanable) pre filter. Follow manuf guidance and this will shine. I have used these for years and they are great. It can remove agricultural chemicals which find their way into east coast water sources frequently. Pumping force is minimal and it produces a good volume of filtered water quickly for small groups.

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Comment on this review

           
          4.0

          Great product

          By max

          from San Francisco, CA

          About Me Avid Adventurer

          Verified Buyer

          Pros

          • Easy to pump
          • Good filtration

          Cons

          • Bulky

          Best Uses

          • Backpacking
          • Car Camping
          • Day trip
          • Hiking

          Comments about General Ecology First Need XLE ELITE Water Purifier:

          I am amazed at how fast it pumps... very efficient!

          My biggest design complaint: I wish there was a hose attached to the output so that I could pump water straight into a water container; the current design required attaching a nalgene bottle which is a hassle

          • Was this a gift?:
          • No

          Comment on this review

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          Do you have questions about this product?

          get answers from real customers and in-house experts with AnswerBox.

          52 Questions | 62 Answers
          Displaying questions 1-10Previous | Next »
          • Q:

            does this product include everything that it would if ordered from REI? ie. The carrying case and gravity water filtration bag?
            Asked on 4/11/2014 by Hikerguyy from fresno, ca

            1 answer

            • Staff Reviewer

              A:

              The First Need XLE Elite Water Purifier comes a tote bag, gravity feed kit, and 36" long hose.

              Answered on 4/11/2014 by Matt from Campmor
          • Q:

            Would this filter been able to purify the chemicals out of the water of the recent chemical spill that happened in West Virginia enough to make it safe to drink?
            Asked on 1/13/2014 by Old Bob from Sequim, WA

            1 answer

            • Staff Reviewer

              A:

              I would consult with General Ecology on this. You can contact them at 800-441-8166.

              Answered on 1/14/2014 by Steve from Campmor
          • Q:

            Does it filter mercury? I am going to Peru in an area where there is a lot of gold mining, so there will be mercury in the rivers.
            Asked on 12/29/2013 by Merlijn from Arnhem, Netherlands

            1 answer

            • Staff Reviewer

              A:

              The First Need XLE Water Purifier will not filter mercury out of the water source. Campmor does not carry anything that will remove all traces of mercury where it would make the water safe enough to drink.

              Answered on 12/30/2013 by Matt from Campmor
          • Q:

            Hello -

            What is the specific size? Amazon shows this as 11 inches x 6 inches x 4 inches; 1.4 pounds and 180 gallon per canister. You guys have it 6 in. x 5 in x 3 in and 150 gallon per canister. Please advise and thank you.
            Asked on 12/28/2013 by Justin from Michigan

            1 answer

          • Q:

            Will this whole setup fit inside of a 6x10 bag?
            Asked on 12/25/2013 by Justin from Michigan

            1 answer

            • Staff Reviewer

              A:

              The whole setup will fit in a 6 in diam x 10 tall stuff sack.

              Answered on 12/30/2013 by Steve from Campmor
          • Q:

            Would this provide sufficient protection in an international situation (namely Costa Rica) against typhus, parasitic protozoa, etc.?
            Asked on 11/9/2013 by Bio Student

            1 answer

            • Staff Reviewer

              A:

              This filter will provide protection against typhus and parasitic protozoa in Costa Rica.

              Answered on 11/12/2013 by Matt from Campmor
          • Q:

            I'm concerned about the virus issue. Sawyer filters of 0.1 microns do not remove viruses. Sawyer also makes a much more expensive .02 micron filter that does remove viruses. Katadyn charcoal filters do nothing for viruses. Since the First Need does not filter to àny smaller than the standard Sawyer, what specifically, is the component in the First Need filter that removes viruses?
            Asked on 11/6/2013 by Egad51 from Wichita, KS

            2 answers

            • A:

              Virus particles are very small...below even 0.1 micron. Three different groups of pathogens are removed by First Need purifiers: Pathogenic Bacteria, Cysts (Giardia, Crypto, etc.) and viruses. Accordingly ,First Need purifiers include multiple non-chemical "separation mechanisms" to purify within each pathogen group. As independently reported in the "Journal of Wilderness Medicine" First Need purifiers were the first such systems known to remove Noro Viruses referred to as the smallest known pathogens...and 10 other virus species. Pathogenic bacteria, cysts and viruses must all three be removed or inactivated to assure potable water.

              Answered on 12/17/2013 by Richard from Exton, PA.
            • Staff Reviewer

              A:

              The GENERAL ECOLOGY First Need XLE ELITE Water Purifier meets the EPA requirements found in the "Guide Standard Protocol for the Testing of Microbiological Purifiers"
              http://www.biovir.com/Images/pdf061.pdf

              Answered on 11/12/2013 by Steve from Campmor
          • Q:

            Will this filter salt water?
            Asked on 9/16/2013 by Caleb from Florida

            1 answer

            • Staff Reviewer

              A:

              This will not filter salt water. You would need a desalination kit.

              Answered on 9/17/2013 by Matt from Campmor
          • Q:

            Can pool water be filtered in emergency situations?
            Asked on 8/5/2013 by none

            1 answer

            • Staff Reviewer

              A:

              Pool water is very chlorinated. This concentration of chlorine will over whelm the activated charcoal that is the active ingredient in the filter. For a short time this will work. For longer time the Chlorine will clog the filter and render it useless. You can aerate the pool water to get the chlorine out of the water first and this would extend the life of the filter element.

              Answered on 8/8/2013 by Steve from Campmor
          • Q:

            What is the difference between the XLE and XL models (other than 1 ounce of weight)? Will both be a 1 step solution to cleaning water in the wilderness (particularly concerned about viruses, bacteria and tapeworm eggs)?
            Asked on 7/4/2013 by NorthNJDavid from Rockaway, NJ

            1 answer

            • Staff Reviewer

              A:

              Both are the same in that they will remove all the pathogens noted. the XLE has a back wash port and the older XL does not have this feature.

              Answered on 7/10/2013 by Steve from Campmor
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          Weight 16 oz.
          Size 6 in. x 5 in x 3 in.
          Removes cysts, bacteria, viruses, parasites, microbes
          Pore Size .1
          Pump Strokes/L -
          Cart Capacity 150 gal.
          Liters per Minute 1.9 L/min.

          PLEASE NOTE If you live in the state of Iowa, we are unable to sell you any water purification system due to Iowa Department of Public Health Restrictions. We apologize for any inconvenience.

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