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11 Best Portable Water Purifiers for Backpacking

Clean water promotes good health. On the flip side, contaminated water brings along a tone of water-borne diseases and other terrible infections. Hence, the essence of carrying clean water while hiking goes without saying. Luckily, the best portable water purifiers are here for you.

Sadly, water reservoirs, hydration sleeves, and water bottles are not fully reliable when outdoors. What if your reservoir runs out of water? It is possible to drink water from outdoor sources such as lakes, ponds, and rivers. However, you risk falling ill. Furthermore, there is also a big chance that the water will be dirty and foul-smelling.

What Is The Best Portable Water Purifier? 

premium pick
top pick
top pick
Sawyer Products SP103 MINI Water Filtration System, Single, Orange
LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottles with 2-Stage Integrated Filter Straw for Hiking, Backpacking, and...
Katadyn BeFree 1.0L Water Filter, Fast Flow, 0.1 Micron EZ Clean Membrane for Endurance Sports,...

Sawyer Products

MINI Water Filtration System

LifeStraw

Go Water Filter Bottles for Hiking

Katadyn

BeFree 1.0L Water Filter

premium pick
Sawyer Products SP103 MINI Water Filtration System, Single, Orange

Sawyer Products

MINI Water Filtration System

top pick
LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottles with 2-Stage Integrated Filter Straw for Hiking, Backpacking, and...

LifeStraw

Go Water Filter Bottles for Hiking

top pick
Katadyn BeFree 1.0L Water Filter, Fast Flow, 0.1 Micron EZ Clean Membrane for Endurance Sports,...

Katadyn

BeFree 1.0L Water Filter

Epic Reviews of The Reliable Water Filters: 

With the best water purifier for backpacking, you can hike worry-free. Check out the following buying guide with reviews for the top picks for you. The ideal piece of filter for outdoor enthusiasts who need to keep hydrated should be top in quality and reliability. 

best portable water purifiers

1. Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration

“Reliable Technology For Hiking, Trekking, and Camping!”

Premium Pick

Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration

Main Features

  • Easy to use
  • More durable
  • Lightweight and compact

If you are unsure of how to get the water filtered in the jungle, the Sawyer Products Mini Filtration System is here for you. 

99.99% Efficiency

It is a fast and reliable solution for outdoor enthusiasts. It boasts of 99.99% efficiency. This way it can totally get rid of unwanted viruses, bacteria, and parasites in your water.

Revolutionary construction

Nonetheless, it features an expertly constructed structure with firm plastic material for added durability. Still, the model has a squeeze bag for a fast and less strenuous water filtration process.

Quality Adapters

On top of that, the model comes with an adaptor meant to heighten the quality of filtered drinking water. The adaptor happens to be very compact and versatile with regard to usability. Each cartridge on the set is capable of cleaning 10,000 gallons of water. 

Versatile

It can be attached to faucets, water pouches, and bottles to facilitate the transfer of water to the filter.

Ultra-light

At 2 ounces, it is the lightest filtration system that you can bring on any outdoor excursion.

In fact,  the Sawyer Mini Water filtration system is simply the best, hands down. Try it now and thank us later.

PROS

  • Versatile usability
  • Superior filtration capability
  • Comparatively less price

CONS

  • The squeeze bag is highly prone to bursting

2. LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottles

“Best Water Filter Bottles For Hiking, Trekking, and Camping!”

Top Choice

LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottles

Main Features

  • All-round functionality
  • Efficient LifeStraw technology
  • Replacement filters are available

Hiking can never go wrong with this model for a couple of reasons:

Two-stage filtration system

First and foremost, it is designed with a two-stage filtration structure. So, that ensures the quality and taste of the filtered water are five stars. The two-stage filtration system is also more efficient in eliminating contamination. Additionally, with this filter, you will not have to worry about bacteria and protozoa. Since it includes the award-winning LifeStraw hollow fiber membrane.

Unmatched efficiency

For reduced chemical matter, chlorine, bad odor, or taste, the model is fitted with a carbon capsule. Nevertheless, it is pretty easy to use and fill with water too. Likewise, you do not have to wait for the filtration process to end for you to quench your thirst. It happens as you enjoy your water.

Super-fast filter cartridges

The filter cartridges are fast and can be replaced whenever the need arises. Moving on, the filter is meant to last long, owing to the BPA-free Tritan from which it is made.

Unique features

Its mouthpiece incorporates food-grade silicone that is easy to clean. Also, the mouthpiece curbs cracking and chipping. Finally, the model has a carabiner for attachment to a backpack.

In fact, LifeStraw has been on the front line in manufacturing convenient hiking filter straws. Always, this model lives up to this reputation.

PROS

  • Adequate filter capacity   
  • Lightweight
  • Ergonomic design

CONS

  • The filtration rate diminishes after using it several times

3. Katadyn BeFree 1.0 L Filter

“Best Portable Water Filter For Hiking, Camping, and Backpacking!”

Best Value

Katadyn BeFree Filter

Main Features

  • Effective against microorganism
  • Excellent flow rate
  • Easy to clean

The Katadyn BeFree filter is your ultimate hiking companion.

Compact design

It is very popular for its compact size and is super lightweight. Furthermore, its collapsible nature allows fitting in any backpack thus heightening portability.

Fast

Nonetheless, it is very fast and efficient in cleaning water from ponds as well as pools in the jungle. This is due to a set of strategically placed EZ-Clean membranes and replaceable microfilters. It is known to get rid of sediment, cysts, and bacteria with an efficiency rating of up to 99.9999%. With this model, you can filter over 1000 liters of contaminated water effortlessly. 

Spacious storage capacity

Moving on, the model boasts of a one-liter capacity that is relatively spacious for longer excursions.

Exceptional added attributes

Still, it has a 42 mm mouth that is wide enough to make filling effortless. Another incredible feature that you will love about the Katadyn BeFree is the lack of an aftertaste.

In fact,  The Katadyn BeFree 1.0L presents another viable modern option for outdoor water purifiers. It is ideal for a small group or a multi-day hiking trip

PROS

  • Suitable for cloudy water
  • Leak-free
  • Replaceable filter cartridges
  • PVC free

CONS

  • The squeeze bag opening  is poorly constructed

4. MSR TrailShot Micro-Filtration System

“Best Portable Water Purifier For Hiking, Trekking, and Camping!”

Reliable Pick

MSR TrailShot Filtration System

Main Features

  • 99.99% effective against microorganisms and dirt
  • Superior hollow fiber technology
  • Impressive flow rate

The MSR Trail Shot micro-filtration system gives you the freedom to enjoy water from any source without fear of contracting water-borne diseases.

Portable

It is a very portable model owing to its compact size, unique design, and lightweight. MSR micro-filtration designs are lightweight and are becoming extremely popular among enthusiasts who love hiking and traveling to remote locations. 

Versatile

The model features a one-handed pump with a sturdy silicone pump and a long hose. It makes it easy for you to quench thirst directly from a source or fill a bottle. These products are becoming a favorite gear on the packing list as far as adventure trips are concerned.

Top-notch filtration rate

Additionally, the pump is so efficient and can filter a liter of water within 60 seconds. A few shakes will have your water ready for drinking.

Professional construction

On the same note, a debris cover on the mouthpiece ensures that the water you drink is clean. You will definitely love the hollow fiber technology which facilitates filtration. Besides meeting the U.S EPA standards, the fiber helps to trap deadly bacteria and protozoa.

No chemicals

Kindly note that there is no chlorine or iodine utilized in the filtration process.

Maintain effortlessly

Likewise, cleaning the model after use is a piece of cake.

In fact,  the MSR TrailShot Micro-Filtration System is a versatile, portable, and effective design for day hiking.

PROS

  • Portable
  • No chemicals
  • Lightweight
  • Versatile functionality

CONS

  • Small for a multiday hike

5. Etekcity Water Filter Straw

“Best Portable Water Filter Straw For Hiking, Trekking, and Camping!”

Reliable Pick

Etekcity Water Filter Straw

Main Features

  • Reusable water pouch
  • Portable and inexpensive
  • Utility belt for attaching to backpack

This model is packed with a tone of life-saving features.

Effective three-stage filtration capability

To begin with, this brand is capable of filtering up to 1500 liters. It is possible thanks to a three-stage filtration system that completely eliminates insect contaminants, bacteria, heavy metal ions, and chlorine among other elements. First, there is a pre-filter that removes solid dirt. After that, there is a carbon filter on the base that eliminates bad taste and also neutralizes bad odor and taste. At last, we have the micron hollow fiber membrane that captures microorganisms and other harmful agents.

Easy to use

The filter is easy to use. Alongside that is an extension tube that can be used to retrieve water from a deep source.

Sufficient water pouch

Similarly, the model comes with a 16-ounce pouch that can hold filtered water.

Effortless maintenance

Moreover, cleaning this product is pretty effortless as it includes a syringe. For easy access, the model has a utility belt that can be attached to a backpack.

No doubt, A pocket-friendly price, unmatched functionality, and incredible durability make the MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter a premium emergency purifier.

PROS

  • Easy to use
  • Advanced 3-stage filtration
  • Reliable accessories
  • Compact

CONS

  • The flow rate is slow

6. MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter

“Best Portable Microfilter Straw For Hiking, Trekking, and Camping!”

Reliable Pick

MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter

Main Features

  • Hollow fiber technology
  • BPA free
  • Reservoir with a 4-liter capacity

The MSR MiniWorks EX microfilter has proven to be a very reliable purifier for camping, hiking, and other backcountry excursions.

Exceptional filtration system

It boasts of a replaceable Marathon EX ceramic which is very harsh against bacteria, protozoa, and particulates. Plus, its carbon core is very adequate in expelling bad odor and taste. 

Exemplary filtration rate

Still, this comes with an advanced AirSpring Accumulator that enables it to maintain an amazing flow rate of one liter per minute.

Versatile

That’s not all, another fascinating thing about the micro-filter is its compatibility with a good number of bottles and reservoirs.

Easy to carry around

Additionally, it is quite compact and lightweight for sweat-free portability. On top of these features is a storage bag.

In addition to being dependable, the microfilter is very portable. It is a valuable hiking gear that deserves a try.

PROS

  • Fast flow
  • Universal bottle adapter
  • Durable
  •  Integrated holding strap

CONS

  • Filters get clogged easily

7. Platypus Gravity Works 4 L Filter

“Best Portable Gravity Water Filter For Hiking, Trekking, and Camping!”

Reliable Pick

Platypus Gravity Works Filter

Main Features

  • Easy to handle and field cleanable
  • Spacious reservoir 
  • More durable design

Using the Platypus Gravity Works filtration system is a no-brainer.

Unmatched filtration rate

This product is very effective with the capability of filtering four liters of clean water within 2.5 minutes.

Superior effectiveness

Nonetheless, the model is very tough on dirt and water-borne pathogens. What is more, the model has a Platy zip opening for effortless filling and refilling.

Sufficient storage capacity

Its eight-liter storage capacity is adequate for a group or a multi-day hike.

Long-lasting filter cartridges

Also, its filter cartridges are very durable and can process up to 1500 liters of water before having to be replaced.

Portable

At 305g, the Platypus Gravity Works filtration system is very light and easy to carry around.

In fact,  It is a five-star gravity filter worth every penny you spend on it.

PROS

  • Quick filtration
  • Has antimicrobial treatment
  • Made from long-lasting material
  • Integrated strap for fast filtration

CONS

  • Comparatively expensive

8. Sawyer Products Squeeze Filter

“Best Portable Squeeze Water Filter For Hiking, Trekking  and Camping!”

Reliable Pick

Sawyer Products Squeeze Filter

Main Features

  • Easy to assemble
  • BPA free
  • Easy to clean
  • Capacity: 540 Gallons

The PointOne squeeze filter system does not disappoint when it comes to providing good drinking water in the jungle.

Revolutionary construction

It is sturdily constructed from quality material to stand the test of time. The model is fitted with a one-micron filter which makes sure the dirty water is filtered accordingly. Its innovative setup allows one to drink from a pond, river, or lake directly. This is owing to the inbuilt push-pull cap. Still, the model has faucet and bucket adapters which can be utilized in increasing the volume.

Integrated storage pouch

Likewise, you can suck it up into an integrated pouch for storage. You will love the fact that it is compatible with standard threaded bottles.

Innovative filtration system

Furthermore, the filtration system is facilitated by U-shaped microtubes. These tubes are responsible for trapping bacteria.

Easy to set up

By the same token, the model comes with a syringe filter cleaner. Actually, that makes it easy to maintain this after use.

In fact,  this all-in-one model will live up to your safety expectations. No doubt, this design saves you a great deal of time and money too.

PROS

  • Cost friendly
  • Great filtration rate
  • Reliable
  •  Modern design

CONS

  • Squeeze bag fails the durability test

9. Survivor Filter PRO Filter

“Best Portable Water  Purifier For Hiking, Trekking, and Camping!”

Reliable Pick

Survivor Filter PRO Filter

Main Features

  • Easy to assemble
  • BPA free
  • Easy to clean

This water filter is designed to tend to the needs of avid hikers in the absence of fresh water in the jungle.

Innovative carbon filter

At the top of the list of features is the innovative carbon filter. As a result, it can produce up to 528 gallons of water prior to replacement. Plus it gives the water better quality by getting rid of the nasty aftertaste.

Rugged design

Together with that comes an internal 0.001-micron ultra-filter that expels dirt, protozoa cyst, and bacteria. A cup-style lid can be used to scoop or drink filtered water. The model comes with a modern rugged design that is extremely lightweight for added portability. Also, the model has proven to be ideal for sources of low volume. Lastly, the filter is easy to assemble and clean.

Durable

Durability is unquestionable as it is made from military-grade materials.

Impressive flow rate

You will also like its unparalleled flow rate of 2 liters per minute.

In fact,  the Survivor Filter PRO is an affordable filter. No doubt, that is fully equipped to handle any water-related emergencies in the jungle.

PROS

  • Affordable replacement  filters
  •  No aftertaste
  • Made from sturdy material
  • Gentle on hands

CONS

  • Only available in one color

10. GRAYL Geopress 24 oz Purifier

“Best Portable Ultralight Water  Purifier For Hiking, Trekking, and Camping!”

Reliable Pick

GRAYL Geopress 24 oz Purifier

Main Features

  • Award-winning ONE PRESS technology 
  • Eliminates viruses, protozoa, and bacteria
  • Easy to use and maintain

Top-notch functionality and exceptional lightweight are some of the attributes that best define the Grayl Ultralight Purifier Bottles.

Fast filtration process

This model takes approximately eight seconds to filter 24 oz (710 ml) of clean drinking water. Its simple yet powerful design allows you to utilize your body weight in an effortless manner for a timely filtration process.

Portable

Moreover, the compact and lightweight structure makes the purifier portable.

Superior purification technology

Aside from that, its purification technology is unlike any other. First, there are rugged double non-woven layers of ceramic fiber at the base which offer durability. On the same note, its cartridge is fitted with mesh ions that are positively charged to eliminate impurities. To top it off, it comes with activated carbon that is tasked with absorbing odor and bad taste. All these sections work hand in hand to enhance the removal of impurities and unwanted pathogens.

In fact,  if you need a filter that offers value and utmost reliability, we would recommend the Grayl ultra-light.

PROS

  • Chemical-free
  • Replaceable filter cartridges
  • Very light and portable
  • Great flow rate

CONS

  • Not suitable for deep sources

11. Survivor Filter Personal Water Filter Straw

“Best Portable Water Filter Straw For Hiking  and Camping!”

Reliable Pick

Survivor Filter Personal Water Filter Straw

Main Features

  • Super-light and portable
  • Compatible with bottles
  • 99.99% effective

If you are in search of a reliable filter then the Survival Hax straw should be your go-to model.

Versatile design

Some of the features that make it outstanding are its versatile design.  You can either sip water from a source directly or filter it into a bottle first.

Convenient to use

For added convenience, it comes with an extended tube that can be utilized in the event the source is deep or murky.

Safe

Additionally, the filter is made from materials that are safe for human use.

Durable

Nevertheless, the filter is very durable and guarantees over five years of service.

Effective filtration system

A two-stage filtration system ensures 99.99% effectiveness in eradicating dirt and microorganisms.

No chemicals applied

Another interesting attribute is that there are neither chemicals nor artificial additives at play.

Additional features

Unlike your common water filter, this is packed with multiple life-saving features such as a compass and signaling mirror. Apart from being light, it has an integrated carabiner that can be connected to a bag to ease carrying.

In fact, This filter is an exceptional design. Of course, that is not just effective but also well equipped to keep you hydrated from any source.

PROS

  • Can be used directly
  • Easy to use
  • Durable
  • Comes with compass and signaling mirror

CONS

  • Does not eliminate bad taste

Luckily, portable purifiers are here for you. Water filters make it possible for adventurers to enjoy clean and safe water from outdoor sources. They are not only portable but also quite reliable and super-efficient.

How Do Portable Water Filters Work?

The working mechanism behind water filters is no rocket science. They utilize a series of cartridges aligned along their structure to combat debris, protozoa, and bacteria. Also, these cartridges get clogged over time and might have to be cleaned or replaced.

Actually, some models have pre-filters that take care of debris and sediment. The subsequent extract then moves on to the filter cartridges. Pre-filters come in handy when filtering huge water quantities with huge amounts of dirt.

How Do You Purify Water When Hiking?

There are multiple ways in which you can purify water when hiking.

1. Water Filters

Here are some of the types of filters:

i. Gravity filters

This option is ideal for a group setup. It is composed of a filter and two reservoirs. Gravity filters have proven to be fast, convenient, and effective in filtering large volumes. With gravity filters, you can have four liters in less than four minutes. All you need to do is fill it up, hang it on a raised surface, and wait for clean water. No pumping is required in this case.

ii. Pump filters

As the name suggests, pump filters have a pump. This makes pump filters faster than gravity filters owing to the pumping mechanism. The option is great for a small group or a single person. Nevertheless, pump filters are prone to mechanical damage and require regular maintenance. Likewise, they tend to be a little costly. They adequately eliminate dirt, protozoa, bacteria, and odors.

iii. Squeeze or sip filters

With this kind of filter, you need to squeeze or sip in order to access clean drinking water. They are perfect for personal use. Another unique feature about them is their ability to draw water from deep water sources. They are fitted with a system of microscopic pores that undertake the filtration process.

2. Purifiers

Unlike water filters, purifiers are able to adequately remove small and evasive viruses. Most of them use UV light and chemicals in their filtration process.

3. Chemicals

The most commonly used chemical in purifying water is iodine tablets. They are very sufficient in eradicating small parasites although they leave an aftertaste. All the same, patience is required as they take up to thirty minutes to work effectively.

Are Iodine Water Purification Tablets Safe?

Iodine tablets are very good at purifying water. Yet, too much of anything – especially a chemical – is harmful. Exorbitant amounts of over 1100 mcg per day will yield negative effects on one’s health.

4. Boiling

Boiling is simple yet very potent against infection-causing pathogens. Even so, it is not the best option for a one day hike as you will have to carry a boiling container and make a fire. Another downside of this method is that it fails to remove sediment.

Does Boiling Water Kill Parasites and Bacteria?

Scientific studies have proven that water at seventy degrees Celsius will be able to kill 99.99% of viruses, protozoa, and bacteria within a minute. Hence, at one hundred degrees Celsius, the water will be totally safe for drinking.

What Is The Best Water Purification Method?

While water filtration will only expel protozoa and bacteria. The purification ensures that all contaminants including viruses are eradicated. There are several methods of purifying water but reverse osmosis is the best so far. It tackles a wider spectrum when it comes to removing pathogens.

What Will A 1-Micron Filter Remove?

A micron is the measurement of the openings on a water filter. They are designed to be smaller than protozoa cysts or bacteria for sufficient filtration. The average diameter or width of bacteria ranges from 0.2 to 2 microns. Thus, a 1-micron filter is capable of eradicating most of the cysts and bacteria from water.

Can Water Filters Remove Viruses? 

Water filters are only capable of getting rid of protozoa cysts and bacteria. They are not equipped to handle viruses apart from a few high-end filters. Conversely, purifiers are a good match for tiny viruses.

What Is The Best Water Filter For Camping? 

Quick view list:

1. Sawyer Products SP126 Mini (Premium Pick)

2. LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle (Top Pick)

3. Katadyn BeFree 1.0L Filter (Best Value)

4. Survival Hax Filter Straw

5. MSR TrailShot Pocket-Sized Filter

6. Etekcity Water Filter Straw

7. MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter

8. Platypus GravityWorks High-Capacity Filter

9. Sawyer Products PointOne Squeeze Filter

10. Survivor Filter Heavy Tested Micron Filter

11. GRAYL Ultralight Water Purifier Bottle

Final Verdict

It is vital to have a proper portable water purifier if you really look to have a good time in the jungle. Before choosing the water purifier for hiking and camping, you should consider your needs. Above all, get one with a fast flow rate, impressive durability, and five-star functionality.

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