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Best Portable Water Filter for Backpackers

8 Best Portable Water Filter for Backpackers in 2022

If you are a type of outdoor enthusiast loving activities such as hiking, climbing, and traveling, you might be aware that having enough fresh water along the way is quite a challenge.

We use water to drink, shower, and to cook. However, water nowadays is not as purified as it used to be. Especially when you are outside, nothing can guarantee the purity of the liquid you consume.

People have a habit of drinking water from the faucet which is not sanitary because there are still bacterias, chlorine, and even microplastics inside that we cannot see with our own eyes. But, there is a solution to that; best portable water filter.

8 Best Portable Water Filter Reviews

1. Sawyer Products PointOne Squeeze Water Filter System – Most Versatile Filter For Water

This product comes with a lot of accessories that can help you customize the use of the water filter.

There is a pouch to contain water, a faucet adapter, a filter hanger, installation cleaning, and maintenance instructions. In time of crisis or catastrophes, this full kit will offer valuable assistance for survival.

You can use this for your trip and in your everyday water stream as well if you have it full of the accessories. The mechanism of the filter is to lock out the bacteria and the dirt substances outside of the U-shaped microtubes, an innovative feature of Sawyer.

The device can reach almost 1 million gallons of water filtration while the pouch can contain a maximum of a liter of water each time, which is sufficient for outdoor purposes.


  • Quick and easy mounting
  • Lightweight in backpacking
  • Flexible usage


  • Squeeze pouch might leak
  • Filter clogged through time
  • Surcharge for attachments

Shower filters for blonde hair

2. LifeStraw Family 1.0 Portable Gravity Powered Water Purifier – Best For Large Groups

LifeStraw is a one-piece product with a filter and a container for raw water, which means a lot of conveniences while carrying around.

It has only one color to choose from, which is less attractive, especially for young people.

One specialty of this product is that other versions of it can reduce heavy metals and chemicals which appear not available in other products.

LifeStraw is said to be able to prevent 99.99% of viruses, bacteria, and protozoan cysts to 0.02 microns.

This equipment is advantageous in group meetings for outdoor activities such as hiking, climbing, and picnics. It can turn almost 18,000 liters of unclean water into purified ones throughout its life cycle. Each hour, a LifeStraw can clarify 9 to 12 liters of water depending on the age of the product.

To use this filter, first, you have to hang the container on high ground. The filtration must be lower than its tank. After a while, the water goes through the filter and goes out from the tube attached to it. Many users think this process is complicated and leaking often happens in between.

Also, using house faucets can be a brilliant choice for healthier lifestyles because longevity is enough for a family to use within three years.

This water filter is much more expensive than the previous one, but taking into account the durability and the cost-efficiency, it’s worth a try.


  • Maximum limitation to viruses, chemicals, and heavy metals
  • Easy to clean


  • A little hard to use
  • Leak problems
  • Slow dripping

Inline water filter for refrigerator

3. Survivor Filter PRO – Most Effective Water Purifier

What might cross your mind is that the Survivor Filter has triple stages of filtering which increase the clean water ability many times up. Also, for more durability, separate parts of the filter can be replaced to gain longer life spans.

The main structure is ABS, a material used in car pumpers, which helps to reduce the size but promotes rigidity.

Fiber yarns in the purifier are half size thinner than other products of the same function, and the filter speed is quite fast as well.

Every minute, it filters about half a liter of water. Same as others in the top list of best portable water filters, Survivor Filter PRO claims to prevent 99.99% of viruses, bacteria, and parasites.

Still, only 95% of mercury and 93% of lead were ensured, which is a less efficient figure for effective water filtration.

Users put the pre-filter top to the source of water, attach another tube at the top of the tool and connect it to the end container. After all the preparation, we start to pump to filter water; the stream then goes through 3 stages of purification.


  • Of excellent quality
  • Simple to use
  • Lightweight and neat
  • Brilliant customer services


  • Too small for groups
  • Efficiency in filtering is not impressive

4. Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System – Most Convenient For Hikers And Climbers

This Mini Water Filtration System is a mini version of the Sawyer Products PointOne Squeeze Water Filter System.

It is neater with the capacity of only 2 ounces, combining a pouch and a bottle for containing water. All of them are from disposable materials, friendly to the environment.

The fiber net of the filtration consists of thinner cotton strings of 0.01 micron while the standard size is 0.02. This feature doubles the efficiency of the machine. This version is mostly used for outdooring because it is compact, very small and it doesn’t require tools for flexible installation.

Almost similar to the PointOne, this piece of equipment can get rid of 99.99% of bacteria and protozoa. Still, it can’t extract heavy metals or chemicals. The price is quite reasonable, that is, under $30.

Unfortunately, some customers claim that the pouch included sometimes happens to leaks, which mixes the purified water with the unfiltered one.


  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Simple to clean up
  • Easy to assemble


  • Leaking issues
  • Unable to filter heavy metals or chemicals

5. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter – Best For Personal Use

To use this kind of LifeStraw, drink directly from the tubes of the product. It is an all-in-one device that saves you from having to pour water into any container.

Also, the usage is limited because there are no extra tools to satisfy the hardship of ordinary daily activities.

Still, many customers love LifeStraw Personal Water Filter for the quality of filtration it brings about and pretty cheap price of around $20 only. That is why this LifeStraw is still on the list of top-ranked portable water filters.

Moreover, it can reach a maximum of 1000L filtration. However, reuse is impossible for this device. So personal use is the best usage of this filter.

It is also ultralight, the same as the Mini Water Filtration System from Sawyer.

However, sometimes it is inconvenient to bend down to drink water from a stream or a lake, which makes the design become a drawback.

Overall, LifeStraw still can eliminate 99.99% of bacteria (including E. coli and salmonella), parasites, microplastics, heavy metals, chlorine, and especially bad taste.
See also: How to tell when pur water filter needs replacing


  • Affordable price.
  • Satisfy basic needs for filtering water


  • The neckband is not neat and secure
  • Jam sometimes happens during the process
  • Not too long-term life circle

6. Katadyn Vario Water Filter – Most Luxurious Water Filtration With High Technology

Throughout all of the above portable water filters, Katadyn Vario models may be of a higher class. The structure of it is a little bit different; the filtering core is detachable for cleaning so that you can use it over and over again.

Inside the filtration net, is a system of activated carbons for better-removing exile toxic chemicals. The filtering fibers are glass textures, which are safe for the environment. All accessories, including the activated carbon core, are replaceable for a sustainable life expectancy.

However, this filter applies a pumping mechanism, so it is not comfortable in everyday life. The best usage is when you have a cruise in the jungles, or when you go camping and hiking.

One excellent point of this product is that it possesses duel pumping modes to raise the flow rate. The speed is impressive with 2 liters of water per minute.

Still, it’s a bit heavy and bulky in comparison with other products of the same type. Its weight is 1.5 pounds, and the size is 16 x 12 x 4 inches, which is pretty big to carry around.

Also, it is more durable and has lifetime insurance, and is not too expensive for permanent use. But if you want to have something temporary, the #4 or #5 product will look better as an ideal choice.


  • Great for group usage
  • Super fast filtration
  • Clogging is rare
  • Permanent usage


  • Inconvenient for traveling
  • Limited usage

7. GRAYL Ultralight Water Purifier [+ Filter] Bottle – Best Water Filter For The Environment

This product consists of two main parts: the outside cover and the inside. When put to use, remove the inner part and fill the case with water. Then push the core in until it fits. Now you can drink water straight from the purifier like an ordinary cup.

Of all the best portable water filters, this GRAYL Ultralight is a less uncomfortable tool ever because it gives out a feeling of a traditional drinking bottle. The inside core has a part called a cartridge which is the most vital component to filter water.

For this model, you can replace it, which enables the reuse of the product. Still, it sometimes gets stuck with particles and needs regular change or general clean-up.

You can find GRAYL Ultralight helpful on almost every occasion, including, but not limited to, climbing, hiking, traveling, emergencies, and outdoor adventures.

However, the mechanism of filtration limits the amount of water we can transfer for a period of time. You can only purify 500ml water once. But in return, the speed of purification is in a blink of an eye.

Along with that, there is one significant point of this filter is that it runs with an environmental campaign and donations to protect living surroundings.
Its price compares to the benefits it brings, might not be worth it.


  • Easy to use
  • Fast and convenient
  • Pretty outlook


  • Small water capacity
  • complicated to clean and dry out
  • Troublesome to press the core to make it work
  • Leaking issues

8. Platypus GravityWorks 2.0 Liter Complete Water Filter Kit – Most easy-to-use Water Purifier

Last but not least is the platypus Gravity water filter. The structure of this device is much different from the others.

It makes use of two bags; in other words, two pouches take advantage of gravity to push flows and purify the water. This idea of using a bag does lower a lot of weight on the product.

The size is pretty optimized. One pouch can contain two liters of water, but only takes up a space of a one-liter bottle. There are even larger sizes for empty bags for more capacity. The flow rate is incredible, approximately 1.5 liters per minute.

The bag form helps hikers or climbers purify water when they are on the journey because of its flexibility. Also, the water pouch is easy to hang inside the backpack.

This kit helps prevent 99.99% of bacterias, and protozoa including Cholera, Giardia, Salmonella, E. coli, and Cryptosporidium. However, getting rid of heavy metals and chemicals seems to be impossible. For the quality stated above, the price seems to be a bit expensive.

All the convenience does not compensate for this price.


  • Super lightweight
  • High flow-rate
  • Easy to filter in many types of terrain


  • High cost
  • The bag container might leak

Types Of Portable Water Filters

Talking about filtering water, there is not only one but various types of filtration systems matching each one’s personal or group purposes.

In the meantime, the number of the most well-known kinds of water filters is five.

1. Straw Filters

This type comes in a one-piece filter. The filtration system lies in the middle of a tube-shaped structure.

As the name suggests, it looks similar to a big-sized straw, from which users can drink water through the tubes. The way straw filters work is the same as the way you drink water with a straw. As a result, this is considered the handiest type you can find in the market. It is neat and extremely lightweight, convenient to carry around.

The thing is, sometimes, it gets clogged in the fibers, and you need to cleanse it periodically. Another problem with this model is you can’t always bend down to drip the straw filter into the water source. It can be dangerous due to the height level, or you just have some back pains.

2. Pump Filters

It works on the pump force to push water into the purifier and remove the dirt. Pump filters apply a lead line or ceramic filters for purification. More innovative versions combine the new technology of activated carbon core to enhance efficiency.

The purifying net of pump filters makes from 0.5 to 1-micron holes, which is smaller than straw filters. Therefore, it can remove more pollutants and harmful chemicals.

Still, pump filters are of no use to organic compounds, which are the main reason for the bad smell and terrible taste of the water. Instead, they won’t filter out healthy minerals so that you can enjoy pure, fresh, and beneficial beverages.

Pump Filters are long-lasting, fast-flowing, but pretty heavy.

3. Bottle Filters

Bottle filters have the shape of a conventional bottle but include filtration inside. It uses push force to filter water; then, you can drink water directly from the bottle’s mouth. This version often makes use of fiber filters, but a solid block of carbon can also be added to filter out more contaminants.

You can even remove the filtering core and use the bottle filter as a bottle when the water source is safe. However, this type of water filter usually has a low capacity. It is more of personal usage than group usage.

4. Gravity Filters

This type takes advantage of the earth’s gravity to allow the stream to flow through the purifier. It works fast and effectively, and also has a large capacity.

The secret behind gravity filters is a combination of activated carbon and ceramic mediums, which doubles the performance of the purifier. Because they get the power from the most natural force, you can carry gravity filters with you on every journey. It is 100% workable in any condition.

Still, leaking happens because the material is more fragile than other types. Moreover, there are quite many attachments with gravity filters, and each requires careful maintenance to prevent contamination. So, this may not a perfect option for a not-so-meticulous user.

5. UV Filters

This is a complicated mechanical system with a high price. The device always examines water quality and sterilizes any contamination they find via UV rays.

UV filters run on batteries to be able to operate, so no power source means no water filtration. As a result, this is not suitable for a long trip into the wilderness when you are pretty away from civilization.

Still, UV filters are of the latest technology. They are the most effective model against bacteria and parasites. With the help of this kind of purifier, you will no longer be afraid of waterborne diseases such as E. coli infection, diarrhea, and dysentery.

Water Filters Vs Water Purifiers

Filter and purifier might be the two words that interchange each other a lot, but when it comes to this tool, these are totally different function products.

1. Water Filters

Filtering water helps us get rid of contaminants and particles like viruses, bacteria, parasites, and others such as heavy metals and chemicals.

Other than that, tinier substances which can pass through a network of the filter remains in the water, specifically, minerals or toxic chemicals or salt from seawater.

Therefore, the filtering system is not able to cast out such matters like this, they are way too small beyond water filters’ capability.

2. Water Purifiers

It is like a filter, but a purifier can stop the smallest cells out of the way of pure water. Purified water consists of no substance except for water molecules.

This seems incredibly healthy, but the lack of minerals indeed might put human health in danger.

Minerals are naturally necessary for the human system to work properly. Water steam, for example, can be considered naturally purified water.

Water Treatment For Camping & Hiking

There are many ways to obtain a water supply during an outing trip. Boiling water has been an old-time solution and never out of fashion. But in nature, boiling water doesn’t make the contamination go away, nor does the bad color and awful smell.

Also, it takes a considerable amount of time to heat water to boil, wait for it to cool down, and pack for a long way trip. All of the efforts might not be worth it as we will soon use up the amount and will have to repeat the process again. Double burdens!

So why don’t you consider a second solution?

A portable water filter. As said above, a water filter extracts toxic impurities such as bacteria, parasites, and viruses that make people sick, meanwhile retain the proper natural minerals which are good for the body.

Boiling becomes unnecessary when you have a water filter. Water can be used right after filtering. Filtering water with a water purifier is fast and can be compatible with various water sources.

No more carrying a bag dragged heavily of prepared fresh water. Whether you are hiking, climbing mountains, or having a nice and gentle picnic with your family, a water filter can provide enough amount of fresh water continuously and sufficiently.

Things to Consider When Buying A Portable Water Filter

Water purifiers are more common and better used by people who love outdoor journeys because of their reasonable price and sufficiently beneficial usage.

But, to choose among millions of brands and types, which qualities can you depend on, making you feel no regret of spending such an amount of money? Keep reading to find out.

1. Weight

To bring around, you probably need something lightweight. Most water filters are very light, but it still varies between types. Take notice of how heavy you can carry and look for the full weight (the weight of the filter when it is at full capacity) on the package. You will find the most appropriate one.

2. Filtration Speed

Some filters can clean a significant amount of water in a time counted by minutes, but some do the same amount but with a much longer time depending on which type you carry.
The kind designed for the family as well usually has a slower flow rate. In groups of plenty, the fast rate of producing fresh water is fatal.

3. Filter Capacity

Different types of water filters have an unalike capacity. While a gravity filter might clarify two liters of water, a bottle filter can only do 500ml.

4. Ease of Use

Known as a handy and compact tool for filtering, these water filters still have some models requiring intricate resemblance. Some accessories missing during operation can take you plenty of time and effort or even make the machine useless.

5. Cost

All of the above factors wouldn’t matter if you can not afford to buy one water filter. It might sound funny because most water filters are kind of cheap on average. But you must compare the price and the values it can bring. Evaluate if the expenses we give out deserve what we get in return or not.

Water filters are an extraordinary type of equipment, a life-saving solution for outdoor lovers like hikers, climbers, backpackers, and picnickers. You won’t have to worry anymore about where to buy fresh water in a whole new country, whether the water system here is secure or not, or how much water should be brought to avoid dehydration in climbing.

A lightweight, quick-purified and small tool like the best water filters reviewed will get you through the day. And you will never run out of clean water.

No matter what, being provided with fresh healthy water every time, everywhere will increase our life quality. So, a water filter should always be in each people’s backpack.

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