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Best Portable Water Filters to Get Fresh Water Anywhere

No matter what adventure you plan on undertaking, you will certainly require water to fuel your efforts as you undertake it. Although sparkling mountain streams and rushing creeks typically appear crystal-clear and pure, be aware that they can often harbor dangerous organisms and particles that can quickly turn your adventure into a nightmare. The best way to avoid this microscopic slew of unwelcome hitchhikers is to arm yourself with a water filter or purifier. Both have the ability to fight against bacteria and protozoa, but only a purifier can fight against viral threats. It is a good idea to do your homework regarding the water quality in the area you intend to explore so you can prepare accordingly. Below are some of the best choices for a portable water filter based on filter quality, efficiency, and reliability. Top performing purification tablets were also included in this list to assist those who desire the added protection against viruses.

For more information on what to look at in selecting the best portable water filter in 2021, We have listed below the best portable water filter available for you to help you decide what product is best to buy.

Compare The Best Portable Water Filter Of 2021

Sawyer 3-Way Inline Portable Water Filter - Best Portable Water Filter Overall

The 3-Way Inline Water Filter is a solid top choice due to its rapid flow rate, incredible ease of use, and ability to produce insanely filtered water. Sawyer is notorious for top-notch filters. This one, if used correctly, offers exceptional protection from bacteria and protozoa since these organisms can't physically pass through the filter pores. Sawyer also makes a purifier that can remove viruses if that is a possible issue on your trip. When the filter is in place, you can simply fill up your bladder and immediately start drinking. If your water source contains large particles or sediments, it's a good idea to pre-filter your water through a cloth, microbag, or even a coffee filter before running it through the filter to avoid damage. The system also comes with a faucet attachment so you can filter tap water while traveling. To top it all off, you get a one million gallon guarantee, which means if you properly clean and care for your filter, it can last a lifetime.

Katadyn Pocket Portable Water Filter - Runner Up

The Katadyn Pocket Water Filter is an enduring favorite due to its reliability, durability, and versatility. This brick house of a filter is rock-solid, and can handle some hard core use and abuse. The ceramic filter is a breeze to clean with the scrub pad, and as long as you keep that filter clean, pumping is a breeze and the flow rate is stellar. A pre-filter on the intake tube helps keep larger particles away from the filter. The 20-year warranty isn't too shabby either. One potential downside is the weight of this filter (20 oz), but many individuals feel that its performance is worth the extra weight.

Platypus Gravityworks Portable Water Filter - Most Quiet

This filter is an excellent option if you want a lot of filtered water fast, and with very little effort. GravityWorks, as the name implies, relies on gravity filtration, and comes with two 4-liter reservoirs. Both have attached loops so you can easily hang them from whatever happens to be nearby. One reservoir is dedicated exclusively to clean, filtered water (for obvious reasons). In fact, the only way the "clean" bladder can be filled with water is through the filter itself: a design which prevents you from accidentally putting dirty water into both bags and contaminating your entire apparatus. A quick backflush at the start of each filtering session takes seconds, and will extend the lifetime of your filter. Just hang the bags, and in about two and a half minutes, you'll have 4 liters of filtered water.

Katadyn Micropur Portable Water Filter - Consider

These chlorine dioxide tablets are great for packing light, and involve no effort aside from dropping them into your water container. Adding one tablet per quart of water will kill viruses, bacteria, and protozoan parasites such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium. A potential disadvantage is the wait time for the tablets to work. Four hours is ideal for maximal purification, but you may not have to wait that long depending on water quality and the organisms present in the water. Planning your purification sessions ahead of time, such as right before bed, will make the wait time a non-issue. The tablets are individually wrapped, easily packable, and have a very long shelf life. Most users have found there to be little, if any, aftertaste. These tablets are a great addition to an emergency kit, and can be used in conjunction with a filtration system if you are extra-concerned over the quality of water that will be available during your trip.

CamelBak All Clear UV Microbiological Water Purifier - Best Portable Water Filter

The CamelBak All Clear is an extremely popular water purification system for domestic and international travelers as well as day hikers who prefer not to carry anything more than a water bottle. The system is extremely easy to use – simply fill the water bottle from your chosen water source (such as a tap, spout or stream), screw the lid back on, press the button on the cap to initiate the UV light, and gently agitate the bottle for one minute while the UV light works its magic. A 60-second counter will let you know when your water has been decontaminated of potentially dangerous microbes. You will eventually need access to a power source for a recharge, but plan on getting around 80 purification cycles with each full charge. If you plan on using this system during backcountry excursions or more rugged adventures, consider the separately sold All Clear Pre Filter to prevent any larger sediment or debris from getting into your water bottle prior to initiating the UV process.

Survivor Filter L600 Personal Water Filter - Best Personal Water Filter

This personal water filter comes as a purification straw and will give you clean water on demand. It is the perfect addition to the outdoor explorer’s backpack to make water from any source drinkable and hygienic. It comes with triple filtration – a cotton pre-filter at the inlet to remove solid particles, a 0.05-micron mid-section filter to remove microorganisms, and a final carbon filter to remove metals in the water. Each filtration level is replaceable meaning you don’t have to throw this straw but can reuse it after it gets too dirty. With its 1.38 x 1.38 x 7.09” dimensions and 100 grams weight, it compact and very handy to carry around. It can be used to drink water directly from large water bodies or from water packs. The whole unit is housed in a durable plastic casing in an army green finish. You also four free cotton pre-filters for each straw you buy.

Survivor Filter Pro - Hand Pump Camping Water Filter - Best Camping Water Filter

Say no to dirty river water! Survivor Filter Pro provides 99.9% filtration efficiency, reducing viruses, bacteria, and parasites in water. Furthermore, it eliminates heavy metals, unpleasant water taste, and odors. You can be sure that your drinking water is protected from unwanted objects. This filter is 20 times more efficient than other products on the market due to its Dual Hollow Fiber Membrane (Ultra Filters) and Carbon Filtration. The device can purify up to 500 milliliters of water per minute. This makes it perfect for filtering large jugs of water while camping for the whole family.

Buyer's Guide

Purifying water has become a necessity. Everyone now has a water filter in their homes, but how will you purify water when you are going on a trip? That is why portable water filters are your best friend. You can easily take them anywhere, and you will not have to rely on freshwater for your drinking needs, which may cause stomach upsets. Portable water filters provide protection from bacteria and protozoa, and are ideal for a trip. You will not have to worry about the quality of water, and you will not need to carry gallons of purified water with you, which is certainly a nuisance. We have prepared this guide for you to choose the best portable water filters in 2021.

Why Do You Need A Portable Water Filter?

If you travel often, you know the importance of clean drinking water. Different places in the world have different kinds of water, and when you are used to drinking filtered water, you can get sick from drinking unpurified water. If you go for a hike, it is not feasible to carry a large amount of water with you. Instead, you can take a lightweight, portable water filter with you. You can easily purify any kind of freshwater that becomes available to you during your travels. Drinking directly from water streams without filtering it can cause serious health problems. There are different organisms living in freshwater and you cannot see how clean the water is just by looking at it. Diarrhea is a very common issue that a lot of people face due to lack of filtered water. Therefore, a portable water filter is a must have if you are a frequent traveller.

What Are Some Things To Consider Before Buying A Portable Water Filter?

Weight

If you are going on a hiking trip, you do not want a very heavy water filter in your backpack. It will be difficult to carry around and you will get tired more quickly when you are carrying a lot of weight. It will be better to purchase a lightweight filter. If, however, you will be travelling by car and will not need to carry one around, you can purchase a heavier one.

Durability

You want to invest in a portable water filter that will last you a long time. When you are carrying one in your backpack, or you have placed it in your car, it is bound to face some bumps and falls. Make sure you buy one that does not break easily and can withstand a bumpy ride.

Capacity

You need to consider the capacity of the water filter before buying one. Some filters can be used for long periods of time while some need to be replaced after a few weeks. This will depend on how long your trip is and how many people are using the filter. Keep a check on the amount of water the portable water filter can purify before making your purchase.

Function

It is important to consider what kind of place you are visiting before buying a water filter. If you are hiking up in mountains, you are more at risk from bacteria and algae. If you are going to a place that is well populated, you need to be careful of viruses. Invest in one that is better suited to your needs.

What Are The Different Types Of Portable Water Filters?

Straw Water Filters

These are as simple as drinking from a straw. They are extremely lightweight and easy to carry, and all you have to do is find a water source and drink through this straw. It will purify the water as it passes through the straw. The filter has a very fine membrane that allows water to pass through, and any organisms like bacteria cannot pass through. This is the perfect portable water filter if you are going in an area where freshwater is readily available.

Bottle Water Filters

Portable water bottle filters are like normal water bottles you carry. You can fill up the water bottle with water, and it will get purified as you drink it. These can be carried easily in your backpack when you are hiking. You can use them as normal water bottles too when you come back home. You will just need to remove the filter from it.

Pump Water Filters

These water filters require you to pump water by hand. They are bigger in size than bottle and straw filters, so they will be suitable if you are going on a road trip. You can use different filters in these depending on your needs.

Gravity Water Filters

As the name suggests, these water filters use gravity to purify water. You pour in contaminated water from the top, which will go through the filtering process and clean water will be collected at the bottom of the container. Here you can store the water as well, and drink it whenever you like. This water filter does not need batteries to operate and it allows you to store water as well.

How To Pick A Quality Portable Water Filter?

Once you know the different kinds of portable water filters, you can choose one according to your needs. Make sure to choose one that is easy for you to carry around. You need to make sure that the filters in the water purifier are effective and will clean the water completely. It is important to do your research and purchase from a brand that has good customer reviews and provides some sort of guarantee on the purification of water. Buying very expensive ones might not be a good idea as well because you can find cheaper alternatives that provide quality and value for the money you pay. Therefore, it is important to do your research before you invest into one, and choose the one that best suits your individual needs.

FAQs

When should a portable water filter be replaced?

The best option is to keep track of the amount of water you have purified using the filter. This way you can change the filter after you reach the maximum capacity, which will be mentioned on the packaging.

How do I clean a portable water filter?

It is important to clean the filter after a few uses and you can do this by soaking it in a mixture of warm water and bleach. Rinse the filter after soaking it for a few minutes and dry it completely.

Do all portable water filters remove viruses?

Standard portable water filters are not designed to remove viruses from the water. If you are going to a place where you are at a greater risk of catching a virus, make sure to buy a specialized filter that is effective against viruses.

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