to top 10 table

10 Best Water Filters Tested and Fully Reviewed

last updated May 29, 2019
Staying hydrated is important no matter where you are—so if you often find yourself in the great outdoors then you will most likely need to invest in one of the best water filters.

Water is essential to staying hydrated and it’s necessary to always have some readily available. Whether you are hiking, running or camping in the great outdoors, it is important you always have access to clean water —after all, you do need it to stay hydrated. Regardless of the weather or environment, you find yourself in, you can’t assume that all bodies of water you encounter are safe to drink, which is why learning about the best water filters is important.

Check out our list of the best water filters below!

In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research

icon
Renovo MUV Survivalist
98.3/100 our score
Effectiveness
99
Portability
99
Ease of Use
97
Renovo MUV Survivalist
Why is it better?

Purifies your water, doesn't just filter it

Gets rid of 99.999% of bacteria and viruses

Lightweight

Can be taken anywhere

Compatible with your water bottle

Easy to use

Perfect for international travel, camping, and emergencies

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Renovo MUV Survivalist
Test Winner: Renovo MUV Survivalist
Amazon Link
Researched Sources
14
Researched Sources
Reviews Considered
1350
Reviews Considered
Hours Researching
12
Hours Researching
Products Evaluated
15
Products Evaluated
Last Updated:
Avatar
By Giselle Killebrew:

Our most recent update brings the Aqua Vessel and the Renovo MUV Specialist water filters to out list this time around. We have also added some more information to our FAQ sections as well as the criteria we considered when narrowing our list of top 10 best water filters. Check them out and find the right one for you!

Sorting Options
Effectiveness Portability Ease of Use By Default
Rank
PictureProduct
Name
Rating
Shops
#1
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.3
Effectiveness
99 %
Portability
99 %
Ease of Use
97 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.10.19)
Amazon Link
$70.86
#2
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.3
Effectiveness
99 %
Portability
96 %
Ease of Use
97 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.10.19)
Amazon Link
$119.95
#3
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96
Effectiveness
98 %
Portability
96 %
Ease of Use
94 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.10.19)
Amazon Link
$29.95
#4
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.3
Effectiveness
99 %
Portability
99 %
Ease of Use
97 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.10.19)
Amazon Link
$18.99
#5
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.3
Effectiveness
92 %
Portability
96 %
Ease of Use
98 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.10.19)
Amazon Link
$44.46
#6
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Effectiveness
94 %
Portability
97 %
Ease of Use
94 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.10.19)
#7
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.7
Effectiveness
97 %
Portability
91 %
Ease of Use
96 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.10.19)
Amazon Link
#8
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.3
Effectiveness
92 %
Portability
96 %
Ease of Use
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.10.19)
Amazon Link
$69.09
#9
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.7
Effectiveness
89 %
Portability
94 %
Ease of Use
95 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.10.19)
Amazon Link
$40.95
#10
The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.3
Effectiveness
94 %
Portability
89 %
Ease of Use
91 %
Price Comparison Last Updated (15.10.19)
Amazon Link
$349.95

10 Best Water Filters

1. Renovo MUV Survivalist

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.3
Renovo MUV Survivalist
Amazon Link
Effectiveness
99
Portability
99
Ease of Use
97
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$70.86
Pros:

Purifies your water, doesn't just filter it

Gets rid of 99.999% of bacteria and viruses

Lightweight

Can be taken anywhere

Compatible with your water bottle

Easy to use

Perfect for international travel, camping, and emergencies

Cons:

Expensive

Need to buy the water bottle separately

The Renovo MUV Survivalist is the power package of compact filtration systems. For those that like to Hike far and long, having safe clean drinking water is not something that is taken for granted and Renovo knows that. Their triple tiered filtration system can be layered to get extreme decontamination of most any water source. The total MUV survival set up is less than 10 oz, leaving plenty of room for other important items on the packing list.

Read more

Filtration

Designed to get out 99.9% of virtually everything, the Renovo Muv Survivalist almost qualifies as a water purifier. They took activated carbon and made it a fiber, creating more of a membrane than a filter. Heavy metals, bacteria, chemicals, and viruses attach themselves to the membrane and all that gets through is fresh clean water. Because it attracts rather than absorbs, the cartridges can be back washed for longer filtration use.

Design

The MUV Survivalist is a kit that combines to create the ultimate, compact water filtration system. The filters can be layered and configured in many different ways depending on what you need. Stack them and use them as a straw or throw them in line with your Camelback. You can even thread them into a water bottle when you need to store some clean water for later. Needless to say, it's versatile and very impressive. The complete package offers adapters and tubes and all sorts of apparatuses that make the filters hassle-free in any sort of survival scenario. It also offers a gravity set up for you hamsters out there.

Value

Under $100 you can get one of the best compact, versatile, and most close to purifying water filtration systems out there. The whole system Muv Survivalist Kit is designed to assist. When making your list for the Pacific Trail, put this in your top 5 items. Its affordable and when taken care of will clean hundreds of gallons of water in the craziest of scenes.

2. PLATYPUS GravityWorks 4.0

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
97.3
PLATYPUS GravityWorks 4.0
Amazon Link
Effectiveness
99
Portability
96
Ease of Use
97
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$119.95
Pros:

Holds 4 liters of clean water

Easy to use

Extremely portable

Cons:

Holes can form in bags

Filter can freeze in colder temperature and not work

This is a great option for families camping or for groups backpacking. It contacts of a 4-liter dirty water reservoir and a 4-liter clean water reservoir, shutoff clamp, a hollow-fiber microfilter, hoses, and storage sack. It is extremely fast for filtering larger quantities of water, doesn’t require any pumping and packed up small to make it very portable. It removes 99.99 percent of bacteria and protozoa and requires little maintenance.

Read more

Filtration

Filtering water extremely fast in just 2.5 minutes, this option eliminates bacteria and protozoa sic as E.Coli, cholera, and salmonella from being in the water. The consumer fills water in one bag and attaches the hose to the clean bag, and its tech does the work. It’s equipped with a hollow-fiber water filter that does the magic, which is effective down to 0.2 microns.

Design

Because of its design, consumers don’t need to bring along a separate container or bucket for clean water. The system consists of a 4-liter dirty water reservoir, 4-liter clean water reservoir, hollow-fiber microfilter, hoses, shutoff clamp, and storage sack. The bags don’t need to hang from a tree in order to work.

Value

The filter cleans 1,500 liters of water before needing to be replaced. This is a more pricey option, but it is extremely packable, easy to use and can store a whole lot of water. It doesn’t remove viruses from the water, so not ideal for traveling out of the country. However, this is a great option for mountain summits in groups.

3. GRAYL Ultralight

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
96
GRAYL Ultralight
Amazon Link
Effectiveness
98
Portability
96
Ease of Use
94
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$29.95
Pros:

Both a filter and purifier, removing viruses, bacteria, protozoa, chemicals, heavy metal and particulates

Cleans water in 15 seconds with one push

Packable and portable

Durable

Transparent design to see the water

The company donates 1% of sale to environmental nonprofits

Cons:

Doesn’t remove fluoride

Needs lots of force to push down

May leak

Ideal for outdoor adventures and emergency situations, this is one of the easiest and best water filters to use. All the consumer has to do it fill the bottle, press down, and then they can drink the purified water right away in just 15 seconds. No more pumping, or squeezing, and this filter quickly removes 99.99 percent of bacteria, viruses, and protozoan cysts, while also eliminating chemicals and heavy metals. As a result, there is clean, fresh tasting water without aftertaste and odor.

Read more

Filtration

It takes a speedy 15 seconds (2 liters per minute) to filter the water with one press. This option uses both (its patented) filtration and purification technology to clean the water. It’s electroabsorbative media acts as a magnet to trap the sub-micron to remove pathogens. Then its activated carbon filters away other chemicals and heavy metals including pharmaceuticals. Lastly, silver treated zeolites help to keep things fresh in between uses. The consumer just fills the bottle part and pushes the top filter part down to drink. One cartridge has the lifespan of 300 uses or 40 gallons.

Design

The GRAYL Ultralight Water Purifier + Bottle has a transparent design so that consumers can see the clean water. There is an attachment loop so that it can clip onto a backpack or side pocket. It consists of the outer refill, the inner press that features the replaceable purifier cartridge and a loop cap. It also available in a few color options.

Value

Just one cartridge takes the place of 300 single-use water bottles. Each cartridge lasts 300 uses (40 gals / 150 L), so it will last long before needing a refill. It is designed, and the purifier media is made in the U.S., and it has a 10-year warranty. For removing both bacteria and viruses, this a great buy.

4. Renovo MUV Survivalist

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
98.3
 Renovo MUV Survivalist
Amazon Link
Effectiveness
99
Portability
99
Ease of Use
97
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$18.99
Pros:

Adjust filtration strength

Practically purifies the water

Super compact

Versatile

Filters hundreds of gallons

Cons:

Expensive

The Renovo MUV Survivalist is the power package of compact filtration systems. For those that like to Hike far and long, having safe clean drinking water is not something that is taken for granted and Renovo knows that. Their triple tiered filtration system can be layered to get extreme decontamination of most any water source. The total MUV survival set up is less than 10 oz, leaving plenty of room for other important items on the packing list.

Read more

Filtration

Designed to get out 99.9% of virtually everything, the Renovo Muv Survivalist almost qualifies as a water purifier. They took activated carbon and made it a fiber, creating more of a membrane than a filter. Heavy metals, bacteria, chemicals, and viruses attach themselves to the membrane and all that gets through is fresh clean water. Because it attracts rather than absorbs, the cartridges can be back washed for longer filtration use.

Design

The MUV Survivalist is a kit that combines to create the ultimate, compact water filtration system. The filters can be layered and configured in many different ways depending on what you need. Stack them and use them as a straw or throw them in line with your Camelback. You can even thread them into a water bottle when you need to store some clean water for later. Needless to say, it's versatile and very impressive. The complete package offers adapters and tubes and all sorts of apparatuses that make the filters hassle-free in any sort of survival scenario. It also offers a gravity set up for you hamsters out there.

Value

Under $100 you can get one of the best compact, versatile, and most close to purifying water filtration systems out there. The whole system Muv Survivalist Kit is designed to assist. When making your list for the Pacific Trail, put this in your top 5 items. Its affordable and when taken care of will clean hundreds of gallons of water in the craziest of scenes.

5. Katadyn BeFree

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95.3
Katadyn BeFree
Amazon Link
Effectiveness
92
Portability
96
Ease of Use
98
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$44.46
Pros:

Clean water instantly

Packable and lightweight for runners

Easy to use, easy to clean

Cons:

Not as durable

Can’t store significant amounts of water

This is an option made for trail runners who are all about ultra-marathon races. It's super lightweight and small enough to be rolled up to fit in a pant pocket or running belt. It only purifies 20 ounces of water at a time but kills 99.99 percent of bacteria and protozoa like Giardia.

Read more

Filtration

Consumers just have to fill the hydra flask with the dirty water and the filtration system called its “EZ-Clean Membrane” does the rest. The consumer can then drink directly from the mouthpiece. It removes bacteria, protozoa and other particulate found in water. However, it does not remove viruses. Just make sure to clean the membrane by shaking or swishing the filter to make sure there is no debris.

Design

This product includes a plastic flask bottom, along with a wide mouth that screws on top that is attached to the filter cartridge. When not in use, the BeFree water bottle can be rolled up to fit compactly in a pocket, vest or bag. This makes it ideal for when running on the trails next to bodies of water. However, it doesn’t store a lot of water, and the water needs to be deep enough to be able to fill the flask.

Value

The filter has a shelf life of 1000 liters, which makes it a great buy for solo runners or hikers. It is easy to use, portable and provides clean water in seconds. It might not be as durable as other options because of its flask bag, but it will hold up without any tears if properly cared for.

6. Sawyer PointOnce Squeeze

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
95
Sawyer PointOnce Squeeze
Amazon Link
Effectiveness
94
Portability
97
Ease of Use
94
best offer for today
more shops
Amazon Link
$27.44
Pros:

Perfect for travel and outdoors

Versatile

High filtration

Light and compact

High filtration yield

Cons:

Bags can rip around neck

Sawyer PointOnce Squeeze is on our Top 10 for some obvious reasons, but it stands out in versatility. This little device attaches to virtually anything and filters up to 99.9% of all bacteria. Moreover, when the PointOne Squeeze is cared for properly, it can filter up to 100,000 gallons of water from a variety of locations. Sawyer made this little water saver compact, also making it perfect for those of you who spend a heap of time trecking the great outdoors.

Read more

Filtration

Sawyer’s PointOne has a 0.1-micron filter that rids water of cholera, salmonella, E-coli and more.
The PointOne’s filter is layered with “U” shaped micro-tubes that do not absorb but trap contaminants preventing them from passing to you. Due to this trapping design, the manual gives clear direction on how to backwash the filter, which needs to be done often to get it to make it to that 100,000th gallon.

Design

Versatility, that is exactly what Sawer was thinking when they made the Squeeze. It fits any size bottle and works as a sports bottle spout. The water filters directly through. The all-over design is 3 oz at most and cleans water from the tap to water from the river, just depends on what you're into. Taking it camping can help in an emergency situation as well. The refillable ouches are real handy when you don't have a way to actually store the water. Like all of Sawyer’s filtration devices, the PointOne Squeeze works to EPA filtering standards.

Value

For less than $100 you can have hundreds of thousands of gallons of bacteria-free water. Whether you are an avid camper or just like to have a cleaner way of drinking your water, the Sawyer PointOne Squeeze filtration system is versatile to cover it all. The back all this water filtrating greatness with a lifetime warranty. Toss it in your travel bag and you'll always be 99.9% safer from water born bacteria.

7. Culligan FM-25 Faucet Mount Filter

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.7
Culligan FM-25 Faucet Mount Filter
Amazon Link
Effectiveness
97
Portability
91
Ease of Use
96
best offer for today
Amazon Link
Pros:

Rids of metals ad chlorine

Easy to use and install

Remoes odor and bad taste

Cons:

Not compatible with pulldown faucetsz

The Culligan FM-25 fits all standard sink sizes excluding pulldown styles. It has an easy install that doesn't require any tools and lasts for over 200 gallons. The FM-25 makes the water you drink taste better and gets rid of sediment. What makes it even tastier is Culligan backs their faucet mount filter with a 2-year warranty.

Read more

Filtration

Rigged with an NSF standard 42 and 53 carbon block filter, the Culligan FM-25 filters out lead, lindane, atrazine, chlorine, turbidity while enhancing the flavor and eliminating any odor in the H2O. So you don't waste any filtration, it is also designed with a diverter tab allowing for a quick switch from your tap to the FM. This particular filtration device is for water that doesn't reach over 100 degrees ferinheight and lasts through 200 gallons or up to 2 months.

Design

Although this is a faucet mount design, the Culligan FM-25 is quite portable due to its easy, no-tool hassle mounting. Now, it isn't one to take camping but if you are an Airbnb wiz or like to travel to different countries, it is a great option for some of those more questionable places. It fits most standard faucets and comes with the adapters to fit different styles. However, pull-down designs aren't gonna get you filtered. Furthermore, as we mentioned above, the FM-25 has a diverter switch that goes from the tap directly over to the filtration system with ease. IT is also an upgraded style for the FM-15 and has a more flashy chrome plated plastic, giving it a more modern look.

Value

The Culligan FM 25 Filtration mount is backed by 2-year limited warranty that covers manufacturers defects. For what you get the cost is budget friendly and customers have been complimenting the true nature of its bad taste and odor filtering. Fresh tasting water tends to go down a whole lot better, even better when it doesn't cost a months rent to keep it clean.

8. LifeStraw Family 1.0

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
94.3
LifeStraw Family 1.0
Amazon Link
Effectiveness
92
Portability
96
Ease of Use
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$69.09
Pros:

Removes waterborne viruses

Easy to use

Lots of water is cleaned, ideal for larger groups or families

Portable

Cons:

Not the best tasting water

Doesn’t remove heavy metals

Eliminating both bacteria and viruses, as well as protozoan cysts from water sources, this water filter is made to clean enough water for a family when camping, backpacking, when traveling out of the country, or for in case of emergencies. It filters and purifies 4755 gallons without iodine, chlorine or other chemicals.

Read more

Filtration

This system meets EPA guidelines and is popular among used my millions. This a gravity filter, and it works by using its 0.02 micron ultrafiltration technology to get rid of the harmful microorganisms. The consumer fills the blue reservoir bucket with the dirty or questionable water, and leave to hang at head level. The water flows through a PVC hose to the hollow fiber membrane cartridge. There is a red rap to the end of the hose that releases contaminated water, and a blue tap for releasing safe water. It has a flow rate of 3.2 gallons per minute.

Design

As mentioned above, this is a gravity filter meaning it contains a reservoir bucket, hose with filter and the tap. It has straps on the reservoir to hang to a tree, is small enough for putting in a backpack, and the nozzle sits nicely on a pitcher to fill with water easily.

Value

Not only is the water filters, but also purified to be rid of viruses like Rotavirus and Hepatitis A. That makes it a great option for those going on long trips in the backcountry, or out of the country.

9. Sawyer Mini

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
92.7
Sawyer Mini
Amazon Link
Effectiveness
89
Portability
94
Ease of Use
95
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$40.95
Pros:

Travel-size, lightweight and compact

Can drink water right from the source

Cons:

Doesn’t eliminate viruses or heavy metals

May leak when attacked to a bottle

Must really suck through straw

Ultra-light, compact and convenient, this option is great for hiking, camping and overall preparedness for any situation. It includes a cleaning plunger that uses micron filtering technology to remove 99.9 percent of bacteria and all protozoa, such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium from water sources. It has a 16-ounce reusable pouch and a personal drinking straw. Consumers can drink right from the pouch, pour the water into a bottle to share, or add to a hydration pack (part sold separately).

Read more

Filtration

The Sawyer Mini consists of a filter that fits inside the palm of the consumer’s hand. It is a 0.1 micron hollow fiber membrane inline filter that uses absolute icon filtering technology to clean the water. It works by allowing water to enter through the pores of its “U” shaped design so that it is close to impossible for bacteria, cysts, and other organisms to pass through. It does not get rid of viruses, chemicals or dissolved solids.

Design

Small and compact, this water filter weighs on 2 ounces. It is designed to be able to drink directly from the water source with its straw, can screw onto a bottle, or use with its reusable squeeze pouch to then pour into a larger water bottle.

Value

Available for an affordable price, this is the best option for those who want to be prepared while still being able to travel light. Great for runners for long distances on the rails for when camping, it can fit into a pocket and still removes 99.99 percent of harmful bacteria. It filters up to 100,000 gallons before being to be replaced.

10. MSR Guardian

The rating is based on the average rating (1-100) from all the criteria in which we rated this product.
91.3
MSR Guardian
Amazon Link
Effectiveness
94
Portability
89
Ease of Use
91
best offer for today
Amazon Link
$349.95
Pros:

Self-cleaning and easy to use

Effective at killing both bacteria and viruses

The best when traveling to third world countries

Cons:

Heavy to bring for solo trips

Expensive

This is a military-grade water purifier that eliminated bacteria and viruses from any water source. This is a pump option that treats up to 10,000 liters of water, pumping at 2.5 liters per minute. Not only is it fast, but it is also efficient, and self-cleans after each use.

Read more

Filtration

This purifier treats water for even the smallest waterborne threats, meeting NSP testing standards. Called the “world’s most advanced backcountry purifier” (by the company), this system has an advanced hollow fiber filter to get rid of bacteria, viruses, protozoa and particulate. It works extremely fast, with a flow rate of 2.5 liters per min. It also has a self-cleaning system that back-flushes the filter with each pump. Keep in mind that the consumer has to actually pump for this purifier to work.

Design

This pump includes its main body that is equipped with its hollow fiber filter, as well as a hose and handles for pumping. While it is easy to use and performs extremely well, it is on the heavy size with a weight of 22 ounces.

Value

Its cartridge has a life of over 10,000 liters of water. It is durable, and ideal for when backpacking outside of the country. However, it does retail for $350, which is a lot to pay for a filter. Then again, there can be a hefty price tag on clean water when traveling to places where its likely to get sick from a waterborne disease.

Criteria Used for Evaluation

Effectiveness

It is extremely important that all the water filters on this list do exactly what they are meant to do—and do it well. That’s because harmful bacterial and waterborne viruses can make you extremely ill.

How well does this product work at making the stream, lake, and river water safe for human consumption? Does it filter or purify the water or both? What percentage of heavy metals is removed? How does the filter process work? Does it remove fluoride, and does it add healthy minerals back into the water?

How well does this option filter or purify the water? Is there a “chemical” taste, or does the water taste “clean”? Does it remove odors? These are the questions we asked when picking the best water filters.

Portability

Those taking the water filter for backpacking trips want an option that can easily be folded or stored without taking up too much room. Runners need an even smaller and lighter option. How lightweight a water filter is in important for those who want it on hand when in the wilderness.

You will also find that some of the selections on our list functions as straws. These are great to have if you find yourself backpacking, camping, or even in other countries. It gives you the option to just go up to the water and drink it straight through the straw. These are typically also compatible with water bottles and gravity bags so if you want to take some with you, then you can still use the straw. The straws typically can also function as water purifiers--which makes them perfect for those of you who will need to find water in a place where it may be contaminated with viruses or bacteria that can make you really ill.

Ease of Use

How easy is the filter to use? It might require pumping the water manually, or might do all the work itself. Consider if the filter is going to be used for just the consumer or for multiple people to determine the kind that best suits the consumer’s needs.

There are two different products that clean water: water filters and water purifiers. These are not one and the same, although some water filters also purify. Each is designed to treat the water in different ways, mainly to get rid of different microorganisms and pathogens.

Filters eliminate bacteria like E. coli, as well as protozoan cysts like giardia and cryptosporidium. Water filters also remove or reduce other impurities in the water like mercury, lead cooper and more.

Water purifiers eliminate both bacteria and viruses such as hepatitis A and norovirus. That backpacking outside of the U.S. would want a water purifier over a filter for this reason. Purifiers don’t eliminate chemical contaminants, so it’s best to find an option that does both.

Expert Interviews & Opinions

Most Important Criteria (According to our experts opinion)
Sort criterias acording to:
Experts Opinion Editors Opinion Users Opinion By Default
Click on a to rate the most important criteria:
#1
Accessories
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#2
Capacity
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#3
Effectiveness
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#4
Ease of Use
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
#5
Use
Rate This Criteria as Most Important
Filter or purifier

The difference is in the type of protection you're looking for. A filter is somewhat limited in that it will filter waterborne bacteria and protozoa, whereas the purifier will filter those classes as well as viruses. It all depends on what you'd like to do and where you're planning to go.

Filter life

Filter life is an important thing to keep track of. You will want to change it on time and make sure you don't use it longer than recommended by the manufacturer--especially those like the survivalist, which are designed to deal with more viruses and bacteria than the filters alone. Make sure to replace it on time if you want to keep it working properly.

Other Factors to Consider

Safety Hazards

Water from a well, river, lake or stream might look clean, but that doesn’t make it safe to drink. These sources of water can contain parasites and bacteria that are unseen to the naked eye.

A general rule of thumb is to never drink from the stagnant water. If animals have access to the water, don’t drink it without first cleaning it because of the potential of fecal matter contaminating the supply.

Keep in mind that people can only live a day or two without water so if it means dehydrating or the risk of getting sick from the water, drink the water. It’s best to drink from flowing water instead of stagnant bodies of water, or from rainwater or snow/ice.

The two most common causes of recreational water illnesses are caused by parasites giardia and cryptosporidium.

Giardia is found in water contaminated with fecal matter from infected animals or humans. It causes an illness after drinking infected water, with symptoms like stomach cramps, vomiting, and diarrhea lasting for up to two weeks.

Cryptosporidium is another parasite that causes a diarrhea disease and could lead to a life-threatening condition. Fever, weight loss, and stomach pain are some of the symptoms, which can also last one to two weeks.

Just remember these aren’t the only two waterborne illness. Other contaminants include E.coli, salmonella, and more.

Use

There are many different types of water filters and purifiers. These include bottle, squeeze, straw-style, gravity, pump, and ultraviolet (UV) filters. Each has their pros and cons.

There are also different technologies that filter water. This include activated carbon, ion exchange, and hollow fiber. Activated carbon and ion exchange methods do not protect against viruses but do make tap water suitable for consumption.

Hollow fiber does eliminate protozoa and bacteria, but not viruses and does not reduce chemicals.

Frequently Asked Questions

q: Q: How long does the filter last?

a:

A: This varies among products. Our list contains some that can only handle 100 gallons of water while others can handle so much more than that. It really just depends on which one you go with and your final decision should be based on what you need. If you only need a filter every so often, then you will probably want to go with the more affordable water bottle versions. However, if you want something that is more hardcore or that will at least last longer then you will need to pay a little more money.

Overall, you will find this varies--but they all typically filter a minimum of about 100 gallons, at least the best ones do.

q: Q: How do I filter water when hiking?

a:

A: All of the water filters on our list can effectively filter out water in a lot of places--and typically your local lake, stream, or pond is included here. However, if you aren't sure of the water quality of the area you live in, or if you're traveling internationally, you will want to pick one other selection that is also capable of purifying your water. These sometimes come with more than one filter so you can use just one or all of them. Overall, it is important that you read the product instructions on your filter to make sure you know what your filter can handle and make sure that you are using it the right place.

To summarize, most of these can filter water while hiking but we will no go as far as to say that they can handle any body of water on all hikes--that would be a stretch.

q: Q: Where can I find water when hiking?

a:

A: It’s smart to bring water with you when hiking, especially on an unfamiliar trail. Water can be found from natural springs, rivers, lakes or ponds. However, never drink from the water without filtering.

Also, keep in mind that if you are traveling internationally or remotely then you need to make sure the filter you bring is capable of actually purifying as well. The filters on our list are great, but all of them meet different needs.

q: Q: What is the best way to carry water when hiking, climbing or backpacking?

a:

A: This varies on the consumers, but lightweight, compact options are ideal for solo or short adventures. However, if you are going on longer climbs or hikes then you will want to be able to carry more. You will find some of the options are list are compatible with gravity packs and hydration packs. While most people want to make sure they pack light, it is also important to have enough water. If you know the trail well then you can plan just how much ahead, however, if you don't then you will want to make sure you bring a little extra just in case.

q: Q: Where do I get replacement filters?

a:

A: The company that makes the water filler or purifier sells the replacement filters. They might also be found elsewhere like (online) retailers that also sell that company’s products. Make sure to know about how long your filters are designed to last so you can make sure to order them on time--especially if you know you will need them sometime soon. It's important to always use an up to date filter so you know it is working effectively--it is important to remember that their effect does diminish and when it is time to change them it is important that you do so if you want to continue using it.

Sources

  1. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Camping Health and Safety Tips, Health Organization Website
  2. Gordon MacKenzie, Mike McCarty, How to Choose a Water Filter or Purifier, Outdoor Gear Website
  3. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, A Guide to Water Filters, Health Organization Website
  4. Wes Siler, How To Find And Purify Drinking Water In The Wilderness, Informational Tech Website
  5. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Parasites - Giardia, Health Organization Website
  6. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Parasites - Cryptosporidium (also known as , Health Organization Website
  7. Filter Bulter, What is the Difference between Water Filters, Water Purifiers and Water Softeners?, Water Filter Manufactuer Website