Best Backpacking Water Filter (19 Portable Picks!) Reviews in 2022

 Last updated  - January 12th, 2022

When hiking or camping, you don’t want to be outside for long without a personal water filter. Having a backpacking water filter and purifier ensures that your group/family and you have unlimited access to clean, safe, fresh water at all times.

You’ll also be doing your part by eliminating the use of hundreds of plastic bottles with an Alkaline bottle filter. Here is a list of nineteen of the backpacking water filters you can have on a camping trip or for emergencies.

Choosing a Backpacking Water Filter

  • A backpacking water filter should meet all your mobility and safety needs. Our recommendation is to pick one featuring the most advanced filtration system, able to clean the water from bacteria, protozoa, even viruses, heavy metals, microplastics, chemicals, pharmaceuticals, etc.
  • A second aspect to look for is compactness, size, weight, and durability. These filters should fit in your rucksack or pocket, be lightweight, and easy-to-use.
  • While price and brand do matter, make sure you get a filter and purifier that has high filter life, high flow rate, and allows you to easily replace the filters.

Look at Our Comparisons

Before you move on to reading the reviews, let’s see quickly three products we picked as they caught our interest. Remember that all the filters and purifiers on this list come with impressive tech specs and features. All you have to do is choose the right one for your needs!

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter for Hiking,...
MSR TrailShot Pocket-Sized Water Filter for...
Sawyer Products SP129 Squeeze Water Filtration...
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
MSR TrailShot Pocket-Sized Water Filter
Sawyer Products Squeeze Water Filter System
Filter life
1,000 gal
530 gal
100,000 gallons
Best for
Removes Bacteria, Parasites, Microplastics
Removes Protozoa, Bacteria, Particulates
Removes Bacteria, Protozoa
Star rating
-
-
Prime?
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter for Hiking,...
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
Filter life
1,000 gal
Best for
Removes Bacteria, Parasites, Microplastics
Star rating
Prime?
MSR TrailShot Pocket-Sized Water Filter for...
MSR TrailShot Pocket-Sized Water Filter
Filter life
530 gal
Best for
Removes Protozoa, Bacteria, Particulates
Star rating
-
Prime?
Sawyer Products SP129 Squeeze Water Filtration...
Sawyer Products Squeeze Water Filter System
Filter life
100,000 gallons
Best for
Removes Bacteria, Protozoa
Star rating
-
Prime?

Review Section – Backpacking Water Filters

19. Katadyn Hiker Microfilter

Katadyn Hiker Microfilter water fiter features
Size: 3″ x 6″
Weight: 11 oz
Filter Life: 200 gal
Filtration System: Activated Carbon
Materials: BPA-Free plastic
Removes: Impurities, microorganisms, bacteria, etc.
best gravity water filter backpacking Katadyn

The Katadyn Hiker Microfilter is a great tool to have on any hike or camping trip. It’s small, lightweight, and works well. It makes it perfect for fitting into your backpack. The filter is one of the highest quality filters you’ll find anywhere. It has an anti-clog technology that keeps the water flowing, and it features activated carbon. It can filter out contaminants as small as .2 microns.

Pros
Bottle adapter prevents spills.
It is one of the best-selling microfilters in the U.S
Compact
Cons
The filter needs frequent replacements.
Replacement filters are expensive.

The Katadyn Hiker Microfilter is a high-quality, sturdy, reliable product, just like Katadyn gravity water filters. It doesn’t break easily, and it fits in with your other hiking gear without taking up too much space. It even comes together with a carry bag for protection and a bottle adapter to make it stress-free to fill up your water bottle.

This product has everything you need for clean water on a hike. This Katadyn ultralight backpacking water filter provides you with a water system for every need including traveling, camping, backpacking, sailing, paddling, fishing, and biking.

18. MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter 

MSR MiniWorks EX microfilter water filter features
Size: 2.75″ x 7.5″ x 5.5″
Weight: 1 oz
Filter Life: 530 gal
Filtration System: Activated Carbon | Ceramic
Materials: BPA-Free plastic
Removes: Bacteria, protozoa, particulates, bad water taste, odor.
best gravity water filter backpacking msr miniworks

The MSR microfilter is one of the most innovative microfilters on the market. It features exclusive technologies such as the Marathonâ„¢ EX carbon/ceramic element and the AirSpring Accumulatorâ„¢. The Marathonâ„¢ EX carbon/ceramic element filters out 99.9 percent of contaminants. It’s a durable filter that can be cleaned in the field easily without numerous tools. It also meets the NSF protocol P231.

Pros
Unique technologies ensure optimal performance.
Built strong and durable.
Lifetime warranty.
Cons
Expensive
Pressure can build up and make it hard to pump.

This backpack filter can remove harmful microorganisms from all water except wastewater. The second technology, the AirSpring Accumulatorâ„¢, ensures an easy and fast flow of up to one liter per minute. These two technologies are paired together to give you a quick and effective way to have refreshing water while hiking.

The MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter provides proven, reliable water filtration for camping and hiking, backcountry adventures, global travel, survival situations, and emergencies.

17. Survivor Pro

Survivor Pro backpacking water filter buying guide
Size: 3.2″ x 2″ x 6.5″
Weight: 8 oz
Filter Life: 530 gal
Filtration System: 3 Stages | Activated Carbon | Dual Hollow Fiber Membranes
Materials: ABS
Removes: Bacteria, protozoa, viruses, mercury, lead.
best gravity water filter backpacking

The Survivor Pro has a three-filtering system unlike any other portable water filter system on the market. The first and third filters (micron membrane filters) remove the organic contaminants as small as .1 micron. The second filter (a carbon one) removes impurities, odors, and bad tastes. In other words, this device is the best backpacking water filter for any survival situation. It also features a high flow rate of 17 oz/minute. The package includes all internal filters and tubing, detachable drinking cup, travel bag, detailed instructions, and How to Use manual.

Pros
Three-filter system.
It removes viruses.
Lifetime warranty.
Cons
Takes a good bit of force to pump it.
The first filter clogs easily.

This filter is named “Survivor Pro” for a reason. The Survivor Pro is one of the most rugged filters on the market. It lasts a long time, filters contaminants to the max, and provides you and your group with fresh, crisp, clean water. The best part is that it produces significant results from a tiny, compact, lightweight container, so you can easily toss this in your backpack when you go hiking.

16. Purewell Straw

Purewell water filter straw guide
Size: Comes in two lengths – 6.88 in or 8.46 in
Weight: 2.1 oz
Filter Life: 396 gal
Filtration System: 4 Stages | Activated Carbon | Hollow Fiber Membrane | PP cotton
Materials: BPA-Free plastic
Removes: Bacteria, cysts, particulates, sediments, etc.
best gravity water filter backpacking straw

Even though it’s small and meant for solo use, it competes with some of the larger backpacking water filters and purifiers. The filters are good for up to 1,500 liters of water before you need a new straw. The filters meet the EPA and FDA standards, and the plastic is BPA-free. It’s everything you need in a small, affordable little package.

Pros
Four-stage filtering removes the smallest impurities.
Five-year shelf time.
The plastic housing is durable.
Cons
Not suitable for cooler temperatures.
You may have to check the product for defects before using it.

If you’re looking for an affordable, ultralight backpacking water filter, a personal straw filter is just what you need. The Purewell straw filter is small, lightweight, and convenient. It’s made from a food-grade ABS plastic and features a four-stage filtering process for extreme accuracy. Excellent for camping, hiking, mountain climbing, hunting, trekking, backpacking, biking, boating, car rides, outdoor trips, and wilderness adventures.

15. Etekcity Water Filter Straw

Etekcity water filter straw guide
Size: 6.3″ high
Weight: 2.1 oz
Filter Life: 396 gal
Filtration System: 5 Stages | Activated Carbon| PP cotton | UF hollow membrane
Materials: BPA-Free plastic
Removes: Bacteria, heavy metal ions, remained chlorine, VOC, organic, and insect contaminants.
best gravity water filter backpacking etekcity

The straw features a multiple-stage filtration process that is very effective at removing contaminants and impurities from the water. It has been FDA-tested and meets EPA standards. This straw, along with the folding water bag and the rest of the accessories will keep you safely dehydrated on your backpacking trip. Keeping it on hand will allow you to access drinking water from nearby puddles, ponds, and streams.

Pros
It is a complete kit.
The multiple-filter process filters out the smallest contaminants.
Budget-friendly.
Cons
Low flow rate.
A bit complicated to clean.

Water filter straws are trendy, so here is another one that is an excellent product. The Etekcity water filter straw is the best filter for people on a budget. It’s very affordable without sacrificing quality. The straw features lightweight plastic, and it’s the perfect size to fit inside a backpack. It comes with accessories and a storage bag to complete it.

14. Sawyer Products Squeeze

Sawyer Products squeeze water filter system features
Size: 4″ x 2.5″ x 7.5″
Weight: 2 oz
Filter Life: 100,000 gal
Filtration System: Hollow membrane | Activated Carbon
Materials: BPA-Free plastic
Removes: Bacteria, protozoa, microplastics.
best gravity water filter backpacking sawyer

The pouches hold 32 ounces of water each and are BPA-free. They are reusable, and you can use them hundreds of times. The whole system comes with Sawyer’s lifetime limited warranty so you can be confident with your purchase. Freshwater is just a squeeze away with this water filter system. Ideal for boil alerts, outdoor adventures, and emergency preparedness kits.

Pros
No need to replace pouches frequently.
Lifetime warranty.
Small and compact.
Cons
Low flow rate.
The package may miss some components

The Sawyer Squeeze is the best for people who are short on space. The squeeze bottle is small, and the pouches fold down to almost nothing, so you’ll barely even notice them in your gear. The filter bottle is versatile. You can use it with the pouches, or you can use it with a plastic water bottle.

As you know, Sawyer is a reputable brand when it comes to water filters. They also make some of the best filtered water bottles for travel or urban activities in case you want to carry a smaller package.

13. MSR TrailShot Pocket-Sized Water Filter

MSR TrailShot pocket-sized water filter benefits
Size: 11″ x 9″ x 4.5″
Weight: 5 oz
Filter Life: 530 gal
Filtration System: Hollow Fiber Technology
Materials: BPA-Free plastic
Removes: Bacteria, protozoa, particulates.
best gravity water filter for backpacking

The hollow fiber technology meets U.S. EPA drinking water standards, allowing water to pass through, but trapping harmful protozoa, like giardia and cryptosporidium, as well as bacteria, like salmonella. Ultralight (5 ounces) and compact (6×2.4 inches), it fits in a stash pocket for trail runners, hikers, and mountain bikers. The easy, one-handed pumping mechanism filters 0.26 gallons in just 60 seconds.

Pros
Made in the U.S.A.
Easy to clean the filter.
Small enough to fit in your pocket.
Cons
Clogs easily.
We would have liked more upfront info on the warranty.

This MSR TrailShot Pocket-Sized Water Filter is the best portable water filter because it’s small and straightforward to use. It can fit into your pocket, hassle-free. When you’re ready to use it, pull it out and drop the pre-filter into the water source.

Begin pumping, and you’ll have fresh, clean water that you can drink directly from the pump; or you can fill up a water bottle with it. There is no need to fumble with a lot of different pieces. The MSR TrailShot is all one piece, so you don’t have to worry about losing anything. It’s simplistic but effective.

12. Sawyer Products SP128 Mini Water Filter

BPA-free water filter straw
Weight: 2 ounces
Filter Life: 100,000 gal
Filtration System: Hollow Fiber Membrane
Materials BPA-Free plastic
Removes: Bacteria, microplastics, and protozoa
using a mini waterfilter outside

This product makes a perfect choice for activities like hiking and scouting. The ultra-light Sawyer Mini purifier weighs only about 2 ounces. Therefore, it is quite packable and ideal for camping. The squeeze water pouch is quite convenient since it is reusable and rolls back when empty. The Absolute 0.1-micron water filter can produce clean water from lakes, streams, and rivers. The straw included allows you to consume water directly from the water source.

The filtration process is also very simple. Firstly, fill the pouch with the water from the water source. Then attach the MINI filter onto the squeeze pouch. Now you can either drink right from the MINI or pour the water into a bottle. The Sawyer MINI has a smaller inner diameter combined with the thick fiber walls. This way, it is about 75% stronger than most hollow fiber membranes. Furthermore, it gives you a very fast flow rate. This product has a 0.1 absolute micron filter. This means that no pore is larger than 0.1 microns. That is why bacteria, protozoa, or microplastics can’t get through.

The hollow membranes of the MINI are fully sealed, encased, and protected. If they weren’t enclosed, the fibers would be exposed to physical damage. This would allow dangerous contaminants to get through the filter. To ensure your protection, all the Sawyer filters were tested three times.

Pros
Ultra light.
Versatile
Reliable and durable.
Inexpensive
Cons
Hard to squeeze and suck.
Cold clog easily.

11. SteriPEN Ultra ULT-MP-EF SterPen UV

portable UV water filter
Size: 7.3’’ x 1.3’’ x 1.6’’
Weight: 0.3 pounds
Filter Life: 3,962 gal
Filtration System: UV Light
Materials: Plastic
Removes: Bacteria, viruses, and protozoa
portable water filter buying guide

The SteriPEN ULT-MP-EF is just about the most effective UV purifier in its class. When paired with a small-mouth bottle, the Ultra purifier is a very fast filtration method. This water treatment method is very convenient and simple to use. Just flip the product upside down and gently mix for about 90 seconds. However, a little downside to this product is that it’s battery-powered. Still, it can easily provide you 5 days of water for 2 people, which is more than 50 liters. Speaking of battery, this one is rechargeable so you don’t need to worry about buying new filters.

The biggest downside to this purifier is that it doesn’t work with murky water. Therefore, you should always carry a pre-filter and some backup pills with you just in case. In terms of portability, this water filtration product weighs only about 5 ounces. It is light enough so you can take it on any road trip with you. Its dimensions are 7.3’’ x 1.3’’ x 1.6’’ which is just about small enough so you can fit it in the pocket. The UV rays can easily remove up to 99.99% of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa.

The display on this device is pretty straightforward. It shows you the battery and the lamp life, the countdown timer, and liter settings. This product is very sturdy and should be able to last very long.

Pros
Lightweight
Quite convenient.
Very fast.
Successfully removes viruses.
Cons
Expensive
Doesn’t work with murky water.
Battery-powered

10. Katadyn BeFree 1.0L Water Filter

Katadyn BeFree 1.0L water filter review
Size: 10 x 4.25 x 3
Weight: 63g
Filter Life: 264 gal
Filtration System: EZ-Clean Membrane | BeFree Micron Filter
Materials: BPA-Free Plastic
Removes: Bacteria and protozoa
travel water filter guide

Katadyn BeFree is the right choice if you need a lightweight on-the-go water filter. This system successfully removes the weird taste and smell from water. It also does a good job of filtering out protozoa and bacteria. However, a little disadvantage of this product is that it is not capable of filtering out viruses. The filter is very durable and it should be able to filter 1000 liters before you have to replace it.

This product is also very simple to maintain. You just need to rinse it underwater, switch it around and your filter is cleaned. Simple as it is! Still, you should note that this system doesn’t have a very durable soft bottle. Therefore, you should buy a second one if the first one begins to leak. Because this is an on-the-go filter, it is extremely fast. The Katadyn BeFree is also very packable. It makes a perfect choice for activities like mountain biking or trail running.

The filter weighs about 63g with both the filter and the soft bottle. It is also fairly short which means it can easily fit inside many different soft bottles. The setup is extremely simple as well. Katadyn BeFree is ready to use right out of the box. Just simply pour some water, screw the filter on top and that’s it. Even though the filter is a little bit more expensive, it still offers very good performance.

Pros
Very light.
Quite simple to maintain.
Can fit inside various soft bottles.
Cons
Not ideal for backpacking.
Soft bottle not very durable.

9. GRAYL Geopress 24-oz Purifier

GRAYL Geopress 24-oz Purifier
Size: 11.8 x 5.4 x 4.1
Weight: 1.7 pounds
Filter Life: 65 gal
Filtration System: Ion Exchange, Activated Carbon
Materials: BPA-Free Plastic
Removes: Viruses, bacteria, protozoa, microplastics, and chemicals
travel water filter for hiking

The GRAYL GeoPress is a purifier that removes bacteria, protozoa, and viruses. It is very easy and safe to use. But this water filter has two key features that make it different and better from many others in its class. The first one is knowing when the filter needs changing. The second one is something you may have not heard about called cross-contamination. It is basically when you contaminate the part of the purifier you are drinking from. To prevent this from happening, this filter’s drinking spout is covered by a screw-on top.

This water purifier has an inner and an outer bottle. One bottle is where the filter is at, and the other is with a screw-on top and a drinking spout. To use it, separate the inner bottle from the outer one. Then fill the outer bottle up with drinking water, and push the inner bottle back in. You may have to push the inner bottle a little harder. The filter element should be able to last for about 300-400 uses.

On a new filter, it would take you 9 seconds to push the inner bottle inside the outer one. Once this action takes more than 35 seconds, it is time to change the filter. When the GeoPress finishes purifying, the clean water starts filling the inner bottle. Now, you can either drink it immediately or pour it into a different bottle if you want.

Pros
Easy and safe to use.
Very durable.
Quite fast.
Amazing water quality.
Cons
Heavy and bulky design.
Short cartridge lifespan.

8. Katadyn Micropur MP1 Purification Tablets

water filter tablet
Size: 12 x 2 x 2
Weight: 0.8 ounces
Filtration System: Chemical Treatment
Removes: Viruses, bacteria, and protozoa
Katadyn Micropur MP1 used in travel

Katadyn Micropur MP1 are tablets that will very effectively purify your water. These tablets are a chemical treatment that is using chlorine dioxide to filter your water. They weigh only about 0.8 ounces. Therefore, when it comes to portability, tablets are probably the best possible option. The treatment ratio is also pretty good. You can count on 1 tablet per liter of filtered water. Plus, it is also important to mention that each tablet is wrapped individually. These purification tablets need 15 minutes to filter viruses and bacteria. However, you will have to wait 30 minutes for Giardia and about 4 hours for Cryptosporidium.

Some users have complained that the water tastes chlorinated after these tablets. The concentration of chlorine in both tap and bottled water is the same, so it does make sense. On the other hand, many people haven’t even noticed the weird taste and smell. Still, you can always use a carbon filter to get rid of it. So, if you don’t want to take the risk of getting sick from the water, but still keep weight to a minimum, these tablets are a great option. Furthermore, Micropur MP1 tablets are also quite inexpensive.

Pros
Quite effective.
Extremely portable.
Cons
Chlorinated taste and smell.

7. LifeStraw Flex Multi-Function Water Filter System

water filter straw review
Size: 1 x 1 x 4.7
Weight: 3.15 ounces
Filter Life: 500 gal
Materials: BPA-Free plastic
Filtration System: 2 stages Flex, Advanced hollow fiber
Removes: Bacteria, protozoa, lead, and heavy metals.
water filter for fresh water

This water filter does a pretty good job of removing protozoa and bacteria. The LifeStraw Flex also comes with a relatively lightweight soft bottle. Still, we must mention that it is not capable of removing viruses. The company claims that this filter can remove lead from all water sources as well. This hollow tube design has pores the size of 0.2 microns. Although it works perfectly in sediment-free water, it is not the same with turbid water. The cartridge is made out of activated carbon which significantly improves the taste.

Even though the filter seems to be pretty durable, it does get clogged sometimes. But, it is also very simple to clean, just unscrew it and flush it out. According to LifeStraw, the filter should last about 500 gallons. However, the carbon filter is expected to last only about 25 gallons (100L). The Flex weighs about 3.15 ounces which is pretty light, but still not the lightest option out there. The filter can also be used without a bottle (on its own). Furthermore, it can easily fit into a backpack or a running vest since it has a pretty slim profile.

Pros
Versatile
Very simple to maintain.
Inexpensive
Quite lightweight.
Cons
Very slow flow rate.
Bottle may leak.

6. LifeStraw Go 2-Stage Water Filter Bottle Replacement Filters

travel water filter replacement
Size: 8.2 x 1 x 1
Weight: 3.6 ounces
Filter Life: 264 gal
Materials: BPA-Free plastic
Filtration System: Hollow fiber membrane and Activated Carbon.
Removes: Bacteria, protozoan parasites.
LifeStraw Go 2-Stage filter size

Maintaining your water purifier is of great importance. And when it comes to maintenance, replacing the filters is crucial. If you don’t replace the filters on time, they will start losing effectiveness. What’s more, after some time, they won’t be able to filter at all. Plus, the water will get the weird taste and smell back after the carbon filter expires. That is why it is essential to stick to the replacement schedule. The replacement filters on the LifeStraw Go are quite well-made. They can easily filter out 99% of the bacteria such as Salmonella and E.coli.

Furthermore, these filters do an amazing job of removing microplastics and parasites. Although the LifeStraw Go filters can’t filter out viruses, they can remove dirt and chlorine. Moreover, the activated carbon filter makes sure all the bad tastes and smell from the water are gone. With proper maintenance and use, the membrane microfilter should last up to 4000L. On the other side, the carbon filter lasts up to 100L, which is about 26 gallons. These filters are also very durable and made out of BPA-Free materials. Therefore, they meet US EPA water standards. We should also mention that the replacement filters are very light.

Pros
BPA-Free
Quite effective.
Durable
Cons
Can be used only with water (not with other liquids).

5. Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets

water purification tablets
Size: 5.75 x 3.63 x 1
Weight: 2.24 ounces
Filtration System: Chemical Purifier
Removes: Bacteria and protozoa.
Potable Aqua purification tablets guide

While Potable Aqua water purification tablets shouldn’t be used as a primary method, they are quite good as a backup method. These tablets are Iodine-based and can be convenient in case of an emergency. Potable Aqua tablets do leave a weird taste in the water but are not as bad as some other tablets. Tetraglycine Hydroperiodide & Iodine is the primary active ingredient. It successfully removes protozoa (like Giardia) and bacteria. However, it can’t protect you from some hard-shelled cysts as they are resistant.

This purification method is effective with most types of water, from clear to cloudy ones. Even though the odor of Iodine may be annoying to some people, others can’t even detect it. The jars the tablets are in are quite heavy-duty. Although they are made out of glass, it is pretty thick and very difficult to break. This treatment method doesn’t have any maintenance or durability issues.

Speaking of treatment, it is separated into two steps. The Iodine tablet is the first step which takes about half an hour to kick in. After that, put the neutralizing tablet and wait for about 3 minutes. If the taste is not such a big deal to you, you can buy only the Iodine tablets. The Potable Aqua purification tablets are kept in two jars. Both jars together weigh only about 2.24 ounces. Therefore, they are quite packable and portable.

Pros
Easy to use.
Packable
Lightweight
Cons
Not safe for long-term usage.
Poor taste.

4. Katadyn Gravity Camp 6L Water Filter

Katadyn Gravity Camp 6L water filter
Weight: 11 ounces
Filter Life: 396 gal
Filtration System: Gravity Filter
Materials: BPA-Free plastic
Removes: Particulates, bacteria, protozoa
Katadyn Gravity Camp 6L used in travel

The Katadyn Gravity Camp 6L is a perfect suit for backpacking trips. It offers a magnificent flow rate which allows it to filter 6L in just about 6 minutes. This water filter does a perfect job in clean water. However, you may experience some difficulties with water that is full of sediment. In terms of water quality, the Gravity Camp has a glass fiber filter with carbon inside. This way, all the bad smells and tastes in your water will be gone. A little downside to this water filter is the fact that it can’t filter out viruses.

This product is extremely sturdy and very simple to maintain. With its durable design, the filter can freeze and after it thaws out it will still be functional. As mentioned above, the Gravity Camp is one of the fastest gravity filters out there. It is capable of filtering 1 liter per minute. The speed is bigger while the bag is full. But, when the bag starts emptying, the speed starts decreasing as well.

The Katadyn Gravity Camp water filter weighs only about 11 ounces. It is the size of an average bottle making it very portable. The biggest advantage of all gravity filters is that you don’t have to do a lot. Just hang it, sit back, and relax. This product has the best quality-price ratio. Considering the quality, features, and flow rate you get, the price is quite low.

Pros
Great price.
Durable design.
Great for cold weather.
Cons
Doesn’t work while frozen.

3. CrazyCap 2.0 UV Water Purifier

CrazyCap 2.0 UV water bottle purifier
Weight: 12.6 ounces
Filtration System: UV Light
Materials: Stainless steel
Removes: Bacteria, viruses, and protozoa
UV light water filter bottle

If you need a purifier that can easily destroy toxins in your water, CrazyCap is the right choice. Not only is it great at removing viruses, but at removing bacteria and protozoa as well. Both the cap and the bottle are incredibly insulated, durable, sealed, and waterproof. This purifier can easily purify water in one minute with a single touch of the button. What’s more, UV light can also be used to clean surfaces that could be contaminated. Another advantage of this purifier is that it can’t be turned on accidentally.

Its design is quite lightweight and allows you to carry it around with ease. The battery is also extremely durable and lasts at least one week before it needs to be recharged. CrazyCap is a perfect suit for international travel. The bottle you get is also quite sturdy and easy to maintain. This product has a rechargeable battery, so don’t forget to always bring the cord with you.

The bottle included in the package can treat 0.5 liters of water. Still, if you want to store more water, you can easily find a bigger compatible bottle. This purifier needs about 2 minutes to purify 1 liter of water. Have we mentioned how simple to use this purifier is? On the CrazyCap everything is hands-free. You don’t need to push, pump, or squeeze anything. Just collect the water, hit the button, and wait.

Pros
Pretty lightweight.
Waterproof
Fast charging.
Cons
Small bottle size.

2. SteriPen Adventurer Opti UV Personal Water Purifier

personal water filter buying guide
Size: 6.1 x 0.9 x 1.3
Weight: 0.2 pounds
Filtration System: UV Light
Materials: Plastic
Removes: Bacteria, viruses, and protozoa
how to use a peronal water filter

Even though this product is quite compact and lightweight, it is not as low maintenance as Sawyer Squeeze for instance. This product still requires monitoring and battery changing now and then. Still, it is quite more reliable and smaller than some older models like SteriPen Journey LCD. Furthermore, the SteriPen Adventurer can also double as a flashlight. What makes it a good choice for international travel is that it can remove viruses.

Including the case and the batteries, the Adventurer is only about 0.2 pounds. That is much lighter than most pump filters out there. When it comes to the treatment time, this product needs about 90 seconds to purify one liter. The biggest concern with UV purifiers is the batteries. Since this model uses the same batteries as the Journey, they may be difficult to find. However, if you are in a big city it probably won’t be mission impossible.

The SteriPen Adventurer does not impact the taste or smell of the water in any way. That can be considered either as a good or as a bad thing. If the water you are filtering is very gross, then this can be taken as a disadvantage. Still, the fresh mountain flavor of the water can be quite delicious. Some pump filters can enhance the smell and taste of the water, the Adventurer leaves it the way it is.

Pros
Doubles as a flashlight.
Lightweight and compact.
Cons
Need to monitor the batteries.

1. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

LifeStraw Personal water filter benefits
Size: 9 x 1 x 1
Weight: 1.7 pounds
Filter Life: 1,000 gal
Filtration System: Microfiltration Membrane
Materials: BPA-Free plastic
Removes: Protozoa and bacteria.
best gravity water filter backpacking lifestraw personal

The LifeStraw Personal can easily filter water from various water sources. It is quite lightweight, simple, and easy to use. This system weighs only about 1.75 ounces. With the hollow fiber 0.2 cartridge, it can easily filter out protozoa and bacteria. This LifeStraw water filter works perfectly in clean water. However, it is not a perfect suit for filtering turbid water. This product can roughly last about 4000 liters, which is 1000 gallons. With the power of suction, this product doesn’t require any pumping. It makes a great emergency water filter since it can quickly attain water.

One of the best features of the LifeStraw is that it’s easy to suck the water from the straw compared to other straw filters. It also has a decent flow rate, so you’ll be able to quench your thirst in a fair amount of time. To make it even better, LifeStraws are very affordable, so you can have backup straws or straws for your family members without breaking the bank. Since they don’t have an expiration date, you can stock up on them while knowing you aren’t wasting money.

Pros
It meets EPA standards.
Each purchase helps provide water for underprivileged kids.
No expiration date.
Quite affordable.
Very lightweight.
Cons
The manufacturer does not provide a specific flow rate, leaving you to speculate.
It can be challenging to clean the cap.
Difficult to clean.

In terms of portability, the LifeStraw Personal is one of the quickest options in its class. You can fit your backpack or wear it around the neck. The value of this product is really hard to beat. Still, the LifeStraw Personal is pretty limited to on-the-go use. So if it is the performance you need, Sawyer Mini makes a better choice. Unfortunately, you can’t store water in this purification system. That is why you should have a container for dirty water with you while on the go. 

As we said before, LifeStraw is a fantastic company with amazing products, so it’s no surprise that they hold the first and second spots on the list.

This LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is an easy-to-use product that is designed to last a long time and has a quality that other straw-type filters on the market cannot easily match.


Frequently Asked Questions

Do Backpacking Filters Expire?

If you care for them properly, no, they don’t. The critical aspect is to replace the filters when their time is up. Otherwise, with proper protection, the shelflife of backpacking water filters can be endless. Just make sure you clean them well and store them properly.

How Do You Filter Water While Backpacking?

You can boil the water to eliminate bacteria or protozoa from the water. However, in case of an emergency, natural or manmade, in a survival situation or in an extreme environment, the best solution is to use a backpacking water filter or a gravity water filter. Boiling does not remove chlorine, chemicals, heavy metals, and other contaminants in the water. Filters do.


Bottom Line

It’s better to be safe than sorry. Most of the backpacking water filters on the list are very affordable, so it’s cheap to ensure that you have clean drinking water while hiking. On top of that, it’s smart to have a personal water filter in case of emergencies. The list above contains nineteen of the best on the market, so there is no doubt that one of these is the perfect backpacking water filter for you.

As for our number one pick, LifeStraw is a company that has been turning the portable water filter industry on its head. Their products, including this gravity water filter, have won numerous awards for being superior to other products on the market. It means when you buy a LifeStraw product, you know it’s going to work well.