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
- Gravity Water Filters – 8 Expert Reviews
- 8. Katadyn Gravity Camp 6-Liter
- 7. Berkey Countertop Light Gravity-Fed Water Purifier
- 6. LifeStraw Flex Advanced With Gravity Bag
- 5. Santevia Countertop Gravity
- 3. Miniwell Personal Gravity
- 2. Berkey Travel Gravity-Fed Filter
- And, at the top of the best, our best-rated gravity water filter- the Platypus GravityWorks
- 1. Platypus GravityWorks 4.0 Liter High-Capacity
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.
Gravity Water Filters – 8 Expert Reviews
8. Katadyn Gravity Camp 6-Liter
|Size:||10″ x 2″ x 6″|
|Capacity:||6 L/1.6 gal|
|Filter Life:||1,500 L/132 gal|
|Removes:||Bacteria, protozoan cysts, and sediment|
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.
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
|Size:||26.5″H x 9″ x 9″|
|Flow Rate:||44 L/min|
|Filter Life:||6,000 gal|
|Removes:||99.999% of viruses, bacteria, protozoa, heavy metals, pharmaceutical drugs, etc.|
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.
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
|Size:||11″ x 3″ x 5.5″|
|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.|
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.
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
|Size:||13″ x 10″ x 13″|
|Capacity:||Upper tank 1.3 gals | Lower tank 2.6 gals|
|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.|
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.
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
|Size:||18″ x 10″ x 10″|
|Flow Rate:||0.016 GPM|
|Filter Life:||6 months|
|Removes:||Bacteria, protozoa, organic and inorganic substances, unpleasant tastes, odors, chlorine, pesticides, THMs.|
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.
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
|Capacity:||3 L / 0.8 gallons|
|Filter Life:||528 gal|
|Removes:||Impurities, sediment, etc.|
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.
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
|Size:||7.5″ x 18″ x 18″|
|Flow Rate:||0.045 GPM|
|Filter Life:||6,000 gal|
|Removes:||Impurities, sediment, bacteria, protozoa, heavy metals, pharmaceuticals, etc.|
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.
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
|Size:||3.25″ x 9.5″|
|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.|
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.
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.
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.