Top 8 Gravity Water Filters (“Down-to-Earth” Picks) Reviewed in 2021

 Last updated  - November 29th, 2021

If you’re an outdoor enthusiast who thrives off roughing it in remote areas, and “living off of the land” as much as possible, then you’ll be thrilled with our latest research project. We’ve decided to tackle portable gravity water filters. We looked at dozens of options, so you don’t have to, and have narrowed them down to the top choices worthy of your attention.

Below, we’ve listed our eight favorite systems, in order of least positive ratings, to most. Keep in mind that all of these are fantastic options, so if a product sounds right for you, don’t be deterred just because it’s lower on the list. 

Quick Comparisons

Before you read the reviews, let’s see our top three picks! Here are the three portable gravity water filter units that made it to the podium.

Platypus GravityWorks High-Capacity Water Filter...
Travel Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter with 2...
miniwell Gravity Water Filter Straw Ultralight...
Platypus GravityWorks 4.0 Liter High-Capacity Water Filter System
Travel Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Purifier
Miniwell Personal Gravity Water Filter
Capacity
4 L / 1.06 gal
5.68 L / 1.5 gal
3 L / 0.8 gallons
Best Feature/Benefit
Filter a high-volume of water in a quicker amount of time than any other
Removes the nastiest particles from water: protozoa, viruses, pathogens
Filter out contaminants as small as 0.1 microns small
Star rating
Prime?
Platypus GravityWorks High-Capacity Water Filter...
Platypus GravityWorks 4.0 Liter High-Capacity Water Filter System
Capacity
4 L / 1.06 gal
Best Feature/Benefit
Filter a high-volume of water in a quicker amount of time than any other
Star rating
Prime?
Travel Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter with 2...
Travel Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Purifier
Capacity
5.68 L / 1.5 gal
Best Feature/Benefit
Removes the nastiest particles from water: protozoa, viruses, pathogens
Star rating
Prime?
miniwell Gravity Water Filter Straw Ultralight...
Miniwell Personal Gravity Water Filter
Capacity
3 L / 0.8 gallons
Best Feature/Benefit
Filter out contaminants as small as 0.1 microns small
Star rating
Prime?

Gravity Water Filters – 8 Expert Reviews

8. Katadyn Gravity Camp 6-Liter

Katadyn Gravity Camp 6-Liter water filter guide
Size: 10″ x 2″ x 6″
Weight: 10 oz
Capacity: 6 L/1.6 gal
Flow Rate: 2L/min
Filter Life: 1,500 L/132 gal
Removes: Bacteria, protozoan cysts, and sediment
best gravity water filter katadyn gravity

This unit uses Katadyn’s unique Ultra Flow FilterTM technology, which allows water to flow fast enough for showering (with a separately purchased shower adapter), making it a breeze to quickly fill bladder bags and water bottles for the whole group. It features a 6-liter bag with a water level indicator window. The quick-connect adaptor attaches directly to most hydration bladders.

Pros
Fast flow rate of 2 L/min
The outlet hose is detachable by a quick-release valve
Also available in a 10-liter bag size
Cons
Algae will severely clog it
Katadyn’s customer service could be better

The Katadyn will keep you quenched and clean while you’re camping or backpacking. Its impressive features place it a level above your more basic gravity filtration systems.

Of course, these extra features do mean that Katadyn’s price is higher than a basic unit, but customers have said this system is well worth it. Just remember to follow the manufacturer’s recommendations for use, as it is prone to clogging and malfunctions otherwise. Other than that, you’re good to go hiking!

7. Berkey Countertop Light Gravity-Fed Water Purifier

countertop light gravity-fed water purifier review
Size: 26.5″H x 9″ x 9″
Weight: 5.15 lbs
Capacity: 2.75 gal
Flow Rate: 44 L/min
Filter Life: 6,000 gal
Removes: 99.999% of viruses, bacteria, protozoa, heavy metals, pharmaceutical drugs, etc.
best gravity water filter Berky countertop light

The Berkey system is a great countertop solution, that’s most useful for camping for extended periods. This unit is designed for use with four Berkey filters but can operate with a minimum of two, in a pinch. Using all four filters increases the unit’s filter life and flow rate.

The best part about this Berkey product is that it’s also a water purifier, so it filters out up to 99.999% of viruses, bacteria, and protozoa, along with heavy metals and various chemicals. 

Pros
A see-through container allows you to see the water level
Extra filters increase the flow rate and protection
Lightweight and easy to set up
Cons
Thin plastic
Base could be sturdier

Economical and long-lasting, a pair of Black Berkey Purification Elements lasts for up to 6,000 gallons before needing replacement. You can travel the world, prepare for emergencies, and take control of your family’s everyday drinking water with this countertop gravity water filter. An excellent camping trip companion, this unit does not require electricity, tools, or plumbing.

6. LifeStraw Flex Advanced With Gravity Bag

LifeStraw Flex Advanced water filter with gravity bag guide
Size: 11″ x 3″ x 5.5″
Weight: 6.94 oz
Capacity: 1 gal
Flow Rate: 0.13 GPM
Filter Life: 500 gallons (hollow fiber membrane)/26.4 gallons(replaceable carbon capsule)
Removes: 99.999% bacteria, protozoa, microplastics, heavy metals, parasites, etc.
best gravity water filter lifestraw flex

This Lifestraw system features a double-filtration process. The first filter is a replaceable carbon filter that is great at removing bad tastes and odors while it works. Then, water passes through a hollow fiber membrane filter, that catches contaminants as small as 0.2 microns.

The microbiological filter lasts for 500 gallons (more than 1.5 years of drinking water), while the replaceable carbon filter lasts for 25 gallons (more than 3 months of drinking water). This system exceeds both the US EPA drinking water standards for bacteria and parasites and the NSF 53 standard for the reduction of lead and other heavy metals. 

Pros
Versatile
Thick nylon bag resists tears
Meets EPA and NSF 53 standards
Cons
Low flow rate
Fragile backflush syringe

LifeStraw is well-known for its high-quality goods, such as some of the best-filtered water bottles on the market. The Flex is no exception, and it offers the same durability, efficiency, and quality as LifeStraw’s other products.

You can also use the filter in three other ways besides with the gravity bag; as a personal straw filter, as an in-line filter with most hydration packs, or simply attached to most disposable water bottles. 

5. Santevia Countertop Gravity 

countertop gravity water filter system guide
Size: 13″ x 10″ x 13″
Weight: 8.6 lbs
Capacity: Upper tank 1.3 gals | Lower tank 2.6 gals
Flow Rate: Unspecified
Filter Life: Ceramic Filter 1 year, Fluoride Filter 4 months, Mineral stones two years
Removes: Rust, sediments, bacteria, parasites, microplastics, fluoride, chlorine, herbicides, pharmaceuticals, industrial chemicals, tri-halomethanes, heavy metals, organic chemicals, particulates, and more.
components of a water filter

The Santevia Countertop system mimics the earth’s natural filtration methods, with its four-step process. It starts with a ceramic filter that catches impurities as small as .3 microns. Next is a fluoride filter that removes chemicals and bad tastes, then a layer of mineral stones, which add beneficial minerals back into the water. The last step is a magnetic aligner that energizes the water molecules. 

Pros
See-through, so you know when to refill it
Alkalizes water
Fights against fluoride
Cons
Not certified by the EPA or NSF
There are some design flaws

The Santevia may be the most comprehensive option on our list. Its fluoride filter eliminates fluoride, without leaving behind residual aluminum, like many competing filters. And in comparison to water ionizers, this unit uses porous Maifan stones to oxygenate the water, add dissolved minerals, and restore alkalinity.

This countertop model restores water to a clean, great-tasting, mineralized, and alkalized state, using the power of gravity alone. But, due to its design, it might not be the best option for serious backpacking or wilderness survival.

4. Katadyn TRK Drip Gravidyn

Katadyn TRK Drip Gravidyn water filter benefits
Size: 18″ x 10″ x 10″
Weight: 6.63 lbs
Capacity: 2.64 gal
Flow Rate: 0.016 GPM
Filter Life: 6 months
Removes: Bacteria, protozoa, organic and inorganic substances, unpleasant tastes, odors, chlorine, pesticides, THMs.
high capacity countertop water filter

The Katadyn TRK Drip Gravidyn free-standing gravity filter features a 10-liter water container, making it ideal for camps, cabins, or homes without running water. The Gravidyn comes with three combined ceramic and activated carbon filter elements.

The pore size of Katadyn ceramic filters is 0.2 micron (0.0002 mm), which efficiently filters out bacteria (which ranges in size from 0.2 to 5 micron) and protozoa (1 to 15 micron). These ceramic filters can be mechanically regenerated and have a measurable filter capacity.

Pros
Simple to set up and use
Long-lasting ceramic filters
Lightweight compared to other countertop filters
Cons
Low flow rate
Not certified by the EPA or NSF

This Katadyn TRK gravity water filter is a minimalist’s approach to filtration; basically a tall bucket with a few filters in it. However, don’t let the basic design fool you. It features three ceramic filters that you can clean several times, eliminating the need for frequent replacement. Also, the activated carbon in the filters adds an extra layer of protection.

The best part is that the TRK is suitable for large groups since it can hold up to 10 liters of water at a time. Between its high capacity and high-performing filters, this Katadyn unit has everything you need, and nothing you don’t.

3. Miniwell Personal Gravity

Miniwell Personal Gravity wide mouth opening water filter
Size: Unspecified
Weight: 11 oz
Capacity: 3 L / 0.8 gallons
Flow Rate: 0.06L/min
Filter Life: 528 gal
Removes: Impurities, sediment, etc.
best gravity water filter miniwell

This Miniwell system includes a dirty water reservoir (3000ml), clean water collapsible bottle (1000ml), silicone hose and hose clip, and tree strap (1meter). Unlike many other bag filters, this unit is not a single-user straw system. Instead, it features a slide-lock-designed reservoir, with a wide-mouth opening for fast, easy filling. 

Pros
Compact
Lifetime warranty (body only, not the filter)
Multi-use
Convenient carry handle
Cons
Low flow rate
Not intended for heavy-sediment/heavily contaminated water

The Miniwell gravity water filter is a little filter with a lot of potential. You can use it with a bucket connector, bladder bags, a water reservoir, a plastic bottle, or a combination of these. The filter comes with all these items (except for a plastic bottle), and everything else you might need, such as straps or clips.

The Miniwell’s filtration medium features a high-quality hollow membrane filter, which removes contaminants as small as .1 microns across. The entire system is small, lightweight, and perfect for taking on a backpacking trip, or for hiking or fishing.

2. Berkey Travel Gravity-Fed Filter

Travel Berkey gravity-fed water purifier features
Size: 7.5″ x 18″ x 18″
Weight: 7.5 lbs
Capacity: 1.5 gal
Flow Rate: 0.045 GPM
Filter Life: 6,000 gal
Removes: Impurities, sediment, bacteria, protozoa, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, etc.
water filter for outdoor use

This Berkey unit is capable of filtering around 6,000 gallons of water before the filters need replacing. It removes almost all of the harmful contaminants that you may encounter on your camping trips or outdoor adventures.

Like the countertop Berkey system, the Travel comes with two OEM Berkey purification elements but can use up to four at a time. Using more filters expands the filter lifespan, and increases the flow rate. 

Pros
Made in the U.S.A.
High-quality stainless steel is excellent for outdoor use
Uses up to four filters for a longer life span
Cons
Expensive
Have to lift lid to see water level

The Travel Berkey is hands-down the best non-plastic countertop gravity filter on the market. The polished stainless steel will make it the center of attention at your camp, and the amazing filtration system provides some of the cleanest water possible. It removes even the nastiest particles from water, including protozoa, viruses, and other pathogens.

And, at the top of the best, our best-rated gravity water filter- the Platypus GravityWorks

1. Platypus GravityWorks 4.0 Liter High-Capacity

high capacity water filter buying guide
Size: 3.25″ x 9.5″
Weight: 11.5 oz
Capacity: 1.06 gal
Flow Rate: 0.46 GPM
Filter Life: 396 gal
Removes: Impurities, sediment, 99.9999% of bacteria, and 99.9% of protozoa, including giardia, cryptosporidium, E. coli, salmonella, cholera, etc.
best gravity water filter

No pumping is required, the Platypus GravityWorks’s reservoir fills easily, and hangs from a tree to deliver four liters of filtered water in 2.5 minutes. The package includes a 4-liter dirty water reservoir, 4-liter clean water reservoir, hollow-fiber microfilter, hoses, shutoff clamp, and storage sack. 

Platypus’ design sense is also worth mentioning. Each bag is marked with “dirty” and “clean” labels, so you’ll never get them mixed up. It’s a very modern-looking filtration system, without being over the top and full of strange colors.

Pros
Extremely lightweight
Excellent price
Meets EPA and NSF standards
Cons
Not suitable for large groups
The plastic holes for the straps stretch when the bag is full

The GravityWorks unit doesn’t just look great, it also works great. It can filter a high volume of water, with a flow rate that is three to four times faster than most of the systems we’ve listed. And, you can rest assured that Platypus didn’t trade speed for safety, as the GravityWorks still meets both EPA and NSF standards.

This Platypus system is at the top (technically the bottom) of this list due to its functionality, convenience, and style. We’d recommend it to anyone who’s looking for a gravity water filter, for anything from camping, to day trips, to rugged survival.

 

Conclusion

Water is the most important aspect of outdoor survival and activities. We hope we’ve taken the guesswork out of shopping for you, by providing in-depth information about these eight amazing products.

While they’re all top-of-the-line units, the Platypus GravityWorks System deserves its spot at the top. It works amazingly, is lightweight and convenient, and is even a reasonable price! What’s not to love? 

However, no matter which filter system you choose, you can relax knowing you’ll have clean drinking water while enjoying the outdoors. Be sure to check out our other articles on water filtration and storage, for both adventuring and home life, right here at WaterFilterAdvisor.