ReviewsWater Filters

Review: MSR Miox

Is That a Sea Monkey in Your Platy?

The first time I used the Miox, I dipped my platy into the crystal clear Boundary
Water’s lake, relieved that I didn’t have to spend the next 10 minutes stroking up
and down with my MSR Mini Works water filter, and then held the platy up to the sky
to look at the water I’d be drinking after the Miox treated it. There were little
black pinhead sized bugs swimming in it. I dumped it out, moved down the shore and
tried again, and still I harvested a crop of black pinhead sized bugs. I tried again,
and the same, so I shrugged my shoulders and decided to let the Miox work its magic.

Oh, Time to Buy a New Sea Monkey Kit

The Miox is simple to work. You fill the top 2/3rd full with salt, and then dip the
unit into the water to fill a reservoir. You then screw the cap on and shake the unit
ten times. I found that if you shake the unit straight up and down and tap on the top
after shaking it, you will get a better result than by following MSR’s instructions.
This shaking makes a saltwater solution, which when combined with electricity makes a
mixed oxidant solution. A mixed oxidant solution is similar to what many municipal
water treatment plants use to treat their city water, and is a proven effect system
for creating potable drinking water. In fact, the Miox was created for the US
military to use in fast moving theaters of war when our troops must be able to move
quickly and need to be able to make drinking water on the run.

After learning all this technical information, you may think that it is going to be
difficult to create the solution needed to treat water, but it is simple. After the
salt water solution is created, you open the top and push a button the number of
times according to how many liters you are treating (there is a chart on the side of
the unit,) the unit starts to fizz and froth, and then when it’s done and ready to
use, a light on the side of the unit turns off. You pour the solution into the water
you are treating and begin to wait.

Waiting, Waiting, Waiting

And you wait. The first duration of the waiting is ten minutes. Then you have to pull
out a strip of paper to check if the solution is working. It changes color and you
compare the result to a chart, if it fails, you must retreat the water, wait ten
minutes, check the water again, and repeat if necessary. I found that I typically had
to treat one liter of water with three doses of solution, and I eventually would just
make a dose to treat two liters, pour it in, and then make one to treat one liter and
pour it in. There is no way to make one dose to treat three liters. Sometimes, when I
didn’t want the hassle, I would make enough to treat four liters, which is just four
button pushes, and then I would over treat. I believe that the Boundary Waters has
some of the most pristine water in the world, so I wonder what kind of doses would be
required in areas of the country that receive massive usage, like the Appalachian

When you finally pass the test, you treat the threads of your container, and then
wait another 20 minutes. Then if you aren’t worried about cryptosporidium, you can
drink your water. Otherwise, it’s another three and a half hour wait. I found that
with only two water bottles, I needed to develop a system to achieve enough water to
avoid mild dehydration. It started at night; I would drink a liter at supper, and
then treat two liters. It would be ready by morning. At breakfast, I’d drink a liter
and then treat a liter. My second liter from the night before, I would drink by noon.
At noon, I would treat a new liter and start on the one I treated at breakfast. Then
by camp, I would have a liter ready for dinner. I think that carrying an extra bottle
would help a lot in this system, but, of course, that means that you have to carry
another 2 pounds of weight.. If you’re not worried about crypto, then you don’t have
to worry about this; the water is ready in 30 minutes.

Summing It Up

When I first poured the Miox solution into my platy full of sea monkeys, I was
fascinated as I watched the process work. Slowly the sea monkeys moved away from the
solution, and when I shook the bottle, they went crazy, and after the solution was
correct, the monkeys ended up on the bottom of the bottle, waiting there to be a
special treat as I drank the water, and I was excited that I didn’t have to pump and
pump and pump and pump for each litter of water that I wanted to drink. After coming
up with a system of rotating treatment for my two water bottles, it seemed like the
Miox would be the best treatment unit on the market, but after a couple of days, my
system became tedious, and when the temperatures shot into the mid 90’s I found that
I couldn’t treat enough water during the day to stay hydrated, and longed for the
quick pumping action of a Katadyn Hiker or MSR Miniworks.

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Although, these complaints are minor compared with my overall experience. The Miox is
a solid unit. It is easy to use. Although slightly expensive, I recommend this unit
to anyone wanting to save weight and not have to sit around and pump. I, myself, will
continue to use the Miox on some trips, but it will not replace my Miniworks for
every trip.

Date Reviewed: 7/28/2004
Product Reviewed: MSR Miox
Cost: Retail $119.99