Epic Water Filters The Answer Review, after 2 Years of Use

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We’ve tested Epic’s The Answer 2.0, which has been redesigned for 2023, on our travels in multiple countries across the world. Here, we’ve shared our honest review of what we thought about the filter, how reliable and useful we found it, and whether we’ll continue to use it in the foreseeable future. 

🧾 Overview

The Answer 2.0 is a versatile water filter that’s designed to screw onto a range of popular wide-mouth bottles, replacing the bottle lid. The idea is that you can turn your favorite water bottle into a filtered water bottle without having to buy an entire new bottle separately. 

If you have a wide-mouth bottle, there’s a good chance that the Answer 2.0 will fit it. The filter is compatible with: 

  • 25oz, 32oz, & 50oz Camelbak Chute
  • 32oz & 40oz Hydro Cell
  • 32oz & 40oz Hydro Flask
  • 32oz & 40oz Iron Flask
  • 24oz, 32oz & 48oz Nalgene
  • 32oz & 40oz Simple Modern
  • 32oz & 40oz Takeya
  • 24oz, 32oz & 40oz Thermoflask
  • 25oz & 34oz YETI Yonder

The filter uses Epic’s CoreXchange Technology to remove a whole host of contaminants, including lead, PFAS, and chlorine. It’s also been tested to reduce microorganisms like bacteria, cysts, and viruses. That makes it suitable for filtering untreated outdoor water sources as well as chlorinated city water supplies. 

When we got The Answer 2.0 to test, there was just one filter option for us to go with: the Everywhere Filter. The initial purchase, including the first filter and all the kit (straws, lids, etc.) cost $55, or $49.50 if we subscribed to receive filter replacements. Speaking of, the rated filter life is up to 75 gallons, which meant we’d need around 3-4 filter replacements per year. Given that a two-pack of filter replacements costs around $40, we anticipated spending around $80 per year on keeping our filter in good working order. 

epic water filters the answer hydroflask converter filter

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In our testing, The Answer reliably filtered our water both at home (we’re based in Colorado) and abroad. It did a good job of improving the taste of chlorinated city water, and we felt reassured that we were also protected against microorganisms. We have previous experience using the old city water filter design, and we found that the new grey “Everywhere” filter that replaced this filter is a bit more difficult to drink through, but not frustratingly so – we still use the filter all the time (it never leaves our water bottle). 

👍 What We Like

  • Compatible with popular wide-mouth water bottles
  • Tested to remove a whole host of common contaminants
  • Can be used to filter city water and untreated water
  • Lightweight
  • Quick and easy to use

👎 What We Don’t Like

  • Filter life is quite short
  • No official performance certification

💡 First Impressions

We received The Answer in a box containing all the necessary filter components, including: 

  • The filter housing and filter
  • Seven fitted straws in different sizes
  • Two types of lids: a safeguard lid (which has a large plastic cover that sits over the entire lid) and an easy-sip lid (which has a bigger carry loop and a flip-up mouth nozzle without the plastic cover)

These components were laid out clearly in the box and it was self-explanatory what they were and how we should use them. Our only irk was that there were so many straws included; we wish we could have advance-selected our straw size based on the bottle we planned to use the filter with, so we could keep our plastic consumption down. 

We followed Epic’s setup instructions in the user manual, which involved activating the filter by pre-soaking it in water (we’ve discussed this in more detail later in our Setup & Maintenance section). Design-wise, there weren’t many fiddly parts – the filter attaches to the straw (whichever one fits your bottle), which attaches to the bottle lid. It gets screwed onto a bottle with the filter at the very bottom, so when we sipped on the mouthpiece, water would get filtered before traveling up the straw. 

To sum up our first impressions, we were pleased with the quality look and feel of The Answer. We used it with our 40 oz Hydroflask and had no issues with sizing or fit. 

the answer components

🧪 Our Performance Testing

When it comes to performance, there were a few specifics we wanted to test with The Answer: 

Our Water Quality 

First, we were keen to know how The Answer improved our water quality in a variety of different situations. As well as using this filter on our own city water supply in Colorado, we’ve also taken it abroad and used it to drink water safely from the tap in a number of countries in Latin America (Mexico, Guatemala, Costa Rica) and Europe. Tap water might be considered “safe” in many of these countries, but you never know what contaminants are really present, and we felt much more reassured filtering our water while we were traveling. 

In terms of water taste and quality, we did a before-and-after taste test with our unfiltered tap water and filtered water in Colorado. The Everywhere Filter seemed to do a good job of removing chlorine, and we no longer noticed a chemical taste or odor. We didn’t do a before test on any water supplies abroad because we couldn’t be sure of the water quality, but we noted that our filtered water tasted clean and didn’t have any nasty odors regardless of what tap water source we were filtering. 

Ease of Use

We also wanted to know how The Answer performed as an everyday water bottle, and how easy we found it to use. We use this filter all the time, since it’s in our water bottle. That meant we could get a clear impression of how convenient and user-friendly it was with regular use. 

We found that the new Everyday Filter is slightly more difficult to use than the previous filter that was used specifically for city water. We noticed more resistance when sipping on the mouthpiece, and that was something we had to get used to. We couldn’t simply ditch the straw and drink straight from the bottle since the filter is built into the straw itself. 

Generally, however, we found the filter easier to use than some of the other portable filters we’ve tested, like hanging gravity filters and pump filters, which need some level of setup before every use. The Answer sits inside our water bottle all the time, which means it’s ready to use whenever we have our bottle on hand. 

the answer hydroflask bottle cap

Performance Longevity

Epic says that the Everywhere Filter should last up to 75 gallons, or around 3-4 months, depending on your water quality and average daily water use. We found that the filters lasted around 3 months for us, which, if we’re being honest, isn’t the best lifespan we’ve seen. 

As the filter becomes clogged with contaminants, more force is required to send water through the media. We notice that towards the 3-month mark, it becomes more difficult to draw water through the straw. That, for us, is one of the downsides of straw filtration, but it’s a compromise you may be willing to make for the convenience of being able to use the filter with any bottle of your choice. 

On a positive note, our water quality remained at a high standard right up until the end of the filter lifespan, and we didn’t notice any sudden poor tastes or any other signs of poor quality in our filtered water, as is sometimes the case with a cheaper filter design. 

Using The Filter with Natural Water Supplies

Since The Answer can be used to make natural, untreated water supplies safe to drink, we wanted to test it ourselves on non-potable water and see how (if at all) its performance was affected. 

We used the now-discontinued Outdoor filter to filter non-potable water in Mexico and Guatemala. We’ve also recently used the new Everywhere filter to filter river water in Colorado.

In all cases, we made sure that the water we were using was clear, with no visible sediment that might have clogged the filter quickly. This was particularly important because, unlike other portable emergency filters, the Everywhere filter can’t be backwashed to remove accumulated sediment

We noted that the filter did improve the taste of our water due to the powdered activated carbon (PAC) component. However, when we were filtering untreated surface water, the filter lifespan was always shorter. For example, the filters we used in Mexico and Guatemala only lasted a month, maybe even a few days less. 

So while it can absolutely be used for this purpose as advertised, don’t expect the filter to last as long as it would when filtering treated water. 

Epic the Answer everywhere filter

📑 Filter Testing & Certifications

The Everywhere Filter contains two main filter layers: the outer nano fiber layer, which targets submicron particulates like pathogens, pharmaceuticals, and microplastics with an electropositive charge; and the CoreXchange inner carbon fiber block layer, which uses adsorption to filter chemicals, VOCs, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, and more.

The filter has been tested to remove more than 270 contaminants by multiple US and international laboratories (according to Epic). According to the test datasheet, the filter meets a number of NSF standards, including 42, 53, and 401.

Note: If you’ve already read some older reviews about The Answer, you probably read that there were originally two separate filters: The Everyday filter (which was tested to remove common tap water contaminants) and the Outdoor filter (which could also remove microorganisms). Now, there’s just one filter: The Everywhere filter. This filter essentially plays the role of both previous filters and has been tested to remove contaminants and microorganisms.

While third-party testing is a good sign of quality performance, we do wish that The Answer had been officially certified by the likes of the NSF/ANSI or the WQA for its contaminant removal abilities. This would give us the extra reassurance of knowing the filter had been given the green light by a trusted organization. 

🔧 Setup & Maintenance Considerations

We found The Answer easy to set up, following the instructions in the user manual. 

We had to activate the filter before use, and Epic recommends soaking the filter in a bowl of filtered water (cold) for five minutes as the best method. We found this a bit annoying, since most folks won’t have access to filtered water, hence why they’re buying The Answer. The alternative option is to hold the filter under running cold water from your tap for 60 seconds, which is what we did. 

Once we’d soaked the filter, we just attached it to the straw, attached the straw to our preferred bottle lid (there’s a choice of two in the box), and screwed it onto our bottle. Soaking the filter is only a one-time deal if you use the bottle regularly, so setup wasn’t too painful on the whole. 

We were able to get up to 75 gallons of clean water from the Everywhere Filter. Replacing the filters was easy and we didn’t have to throw out and replace the entire unit. The cartridge sits inside a housing, so we could just open the housing, pull out the old filter cartridge, slot the new one in its place, and close the housing again. You can recycle your used filter with hard-to-recycle plastics or #7 plastics, or get involved in Epic’s recycling program.

Aside from filter replacements, we needed to clean the straw and mouthpiece in the same way that we’d clean the parts of a standard drinking bottle. The mouthpiece is fully removable, making washing easier. As with any water filter, we had to remove the filter cartridge and put it somewhere safe while we washed the bottle. You shouldn’t wash the filter itself with soap or put it in the dishwasher by mistake – it’ll get ruined by the hot water. 

Water filter pitcher cartridge recycling program
Source: Epic Water Filters Recycling

🤔 Is Epic’s The Answer Right for You?

In our opinion, The Answer is ideal for anyone who wants a convenient way to filter tap water and unfiltered natural water supplies on the go. We think it’s a great fit for folks who are looking for a personal water filtration solution that they can use with their own favorite wide-mouth water bottle, rather than having to compromise with another bottle.

With that said, we think there are some situations that may not be suitable for The Answer. Filters need replacing 3-4 times a year, and while we don’t think the annual maintenance spend of around $80 is too expensive, we know that some folks would prefer a lower-maintenance portable filter, of which there are many. Also, straw filtration isn’t for everyone. If you don’t want the difficulty of sipping on a filter straw, and using a water filter with your own water bottle isn’t essential for you, you might prefer a push or press bottle filter, which filters a full batch of water just after you add it to the bottle. 

For us, this Epic filter is super convenient, and we really love being able to use it in our water bottle, at home and on our travels. But that doesn’t mean it’s right for you. Our advice is to consider exactly what you’re looking for in a water filter, then determine whether The Answer is, in fact, the answer to your needs. 

Our readers get 20% off at epicwaterfilters.com 👉 Click here to get your coupon.

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  • Brian Campbell
    President & CEO, CWS, CWR

    Brian Campbell, a WQA Certified Water Specialist (CWS) and Certified Water Treatment Representative (CWR) with 5+ years of experience, helps homeowners navigate the world of water treatment. After honing his skills at Hach Company, he founded his business to empower homeowners with the knowledge and tools to achieve safe, healthy water. Brian's tested countless devices, from simple pitchers to complex systems, helping his readers find the perfect fit for their unique needs.

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