SHOPPER PARALYSIS. Do you feel immobilized by the overwhelming number of variables when comparing water filter systems? Don't know how to decide between the Berkey Light and the Big Berkey or other stainless steel systems? Which Berkey system is best? How do you know which size will work for you? How do you choose between all the options? Which Berkey size is best? What's the difference between the plastic chambers and the stainless steel chamber? So many questions!
Ready for the real truth? They're both great! The biggest difference is the appearance and the material of the chambers. It matters what's on the inside! All Berkey systems have the same powerful black filters that remove contaminants in our unique Berkey purification process. Both have pros both have cons! Depends on the situation and your preference. Consider these factors for Berkey Light versus a Big Berkey.
Berkey Light Pros:
The intent of the Berkey Light design was to be an alternative to the stainless steel Berkey systems that were more affordable and lighter weight. Those two things give the Berkey Light its major appeal. It's about $43 less than the Big Berkey. It weighs six pounds when empty. Because of its lower weight it makes for a great water purification system for hiking, backpacking, and camping. When having to pack-in and carry supplies in the less weight the better.
Know anyone who hates surprises? Maybe that person is you? The Berkey Light takes the guesswork out of knowing when to refill the chambers because it's see-through. Without having to buy an additional accessory, sight glass spigot, you can see the water level of both chambers. Monitor the filters flow rate easier and never worry about over-filling again.
An additional benefit of the Berkey Light is this system is the only system that automatically comes with a stand. Again, no need to buy more accessories, (more points for being cost-effective), the Berkey Light comes with a six-inch matching base. Without having to precariously perch the system over a counter so that the spigot is easily accessible and without having to purchase a stainless steel stand this Berkey solves both those problems.
Berkey Light Cons:
The less desirable aspect of the Berkey Light is the material it's made out of--plastic. It doesn't look as sleek as the stainless steel systems and if you are particular about aesthetics and color schemes the blue may not be cohesive with your look. The plastic is high-quality, BPA-free, food-grade copolyester. If you're trying to reduce plastic use for whatever reason or reasons this Berkey option may not be the option for you.
Potential algae. Eek! Some customers have reported algae growth inside their Berkey Light. This is caused by two potential reasons; preventative algae growth chemicals are removed, or sunlight and heat create ideal algae growth conditions. When water passes through the Black Berkey Filters the chemicals that normally prevent algae growth are removed. Because its see-through passes through and warms up the interior of the chambers. A moist and warm climate is the perfect environment for algae. This can be combatted with monthly cleaning (added maintenance) or by adding a silver coin to the bottom chamber. Silver is naturally anti-microbial. Or, simply living peacefully with the algae because it can be a healthy food source.
Big Berkey Pros:
It's a classic. It's hard to go wrong with a Big Berkey. This original system model has been around for over 20 years. It's tried and true serving thousands of people around the whole. The main appeal for the Big Berkey stainless steel system in this particular comparison is the material of the chambers.
High-grade 304 polished stainless steel has low toxicity and is extremely durable. Although not impossible, it can handle a lot of bumps and scrapes without compromising the integrity of its ability to hold liquid. Since most kitchen appliances these days have a stainless steel finish a Berkey cohesively fits with the look of the home.
Big Berkey Cons:
Although it is still portable, it's a little on the heavier side, especially when backpacking because every ounce counts. When empty the Big Berkey weighs seven pounds. That's like hauling around two bricks! When it's full it weighs nearly 26 pounds.
Without the addition of a sight glass spigot, it's difficult to know how much water is in the bottom chamber, therefore, causing uncertainty of when to refill. That leads to inevitable overflow and a spill you have to clean up later.
The other negative characteristic in this particular comparison is the Big Berkey is smaller than the Berkey Light. It holds half a gallon less than the Berkey Light. If quenching the thirst of multiple people and pets the Big Berkey may not be up to snuff for your water consumption needs.
Making the move to add a water filter to your daily operations is a big step, and might we say, in the right direction. Figuring out which brand is the next big hurdle to get over. Once that's identified, the next step is narrowing it down to one product or model. No wonder we get decision fatigue! There is no one solution fixes all, each person needs to find what works best for them. That's why we try to anticipate as many questions as we can to provide you with a plethora of pertinent information when selecting a Berkey.
What do you think? What would you put on your pro and con list for the Big Berkey vs. Berkey Light?