You’ll certainly agree with us when we say that clean water is essential when out and about. Whether for day to day living or for a camping trip, portable, clean water is vital for good health. The truth is that it can be challenging to find great-tasting pure water due to the increase of contaminants and heavy metals in our seas, lakes, and oceans. But what if there is an easy way to curb this and enjoy the best water there is?
Well, there is, and this solution is straightforward. Meet the portable water filters, simply designed units that are commonly used by professional travelers and hikers alike for the cleaning and purification of water whenever you please. Continue reading to for our top rated products.
Our top choice is the Survivor Filter Pro; certainly one of the best heavy metal and virus killers in the world of filters. It is made from the strongest and sturdiest metals, and ABS materials, which ensure durability. This water filter also features a BPA free construction and has some internal filters for a thorough filtration process. Furthermore, it comes with an inner steel bar that offers extra support to your portable water filter.
Our runner up is the Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System. The versatile and highly efficient Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System is our next top choice product. This water filter is perfect for all your travel needs, and removes all microplastics, bacteria, and protozoa such that you can enjoy great-tasting water for days on end. The Sawyer water filter can be attached to your pouch, and also comes with a straw for easy drinking.
Another great portable filter is the Katadyn Pocket Water, manufactured by a leading company with over fifty years of experience. The Katadyn Pocket water filter is a rugged, metal microfilter that cleans all debris from your water in seconds. It is large enough for a family camping trip. So, go ahead and backpack through a large patch of wilderness with the Katadyn Pocket Water filter in your arsenal.
Now that you are aware of our top three products, we will now take a detailed look at their key features, pros, cons, in addition to which makes them the best among the rest. Furthermore, we will also introduce you to two other products that have also made the list.
Best Portable Water Filters – Top 5 Reviews
1. Best All-Around Water Filter – Survivor Filter PRO – Virus and Heavy Metal Tested 0.01 Micron Water Filter Review
Place this first filter in your travel bag and take it on your numerous adventures with no regrets as this personal filtration system is our top favorite. Designed and tested in the USA, a single-use of this water filter removes all debris, protozoa, contaminants, as well as bacterial viruses that are responsible for waterborne diseases like cholera and diarrhea. This unit uses the ABS material for its external build, and this ensures its durability over the years.
We recommend the Survivor filter kit if you are always on the move, but need healthy, great-tasting water to quench your thirst. Other features of this water filter include the medical-grade cartridge, the detachable drinking cup, internal tubings, and detailed instructions for all users.
- Best independently tested filtration level
- Food grade activated carbon
- Shell is abs material
- A super-fast flow rate of 500 ml.
- Survivor filter lifetime warranty
The Survivor Filter Pro is perfect for all travellers and hikers who wish to enjoy tasty water on the move. This water filter is excellent for hiking, camping, and outdoor recreation.
2. Best Budget Portable Water Filter – SAWYER PRODUCTS Mini Water Filtration System Review
For the budget-conscious people, we recommend the Survivor Filter pro for you. This is the most economical filter on the market.
Sawyer has, over the years, produced some of the most efficient water filters of our time. They understand that we all need to be healthy both at home and outside our homes; thus, they use data retrieved from research and new technological advances to produce clean water when you need it.
No doubt, the Sawyer Mini offers the absolute best when it comes to filtering, ultimately giving you access to the best, clean-tasting water on earth.
- 16-ounce reusable squeeze pouch
- Ideal for outdoor recreation, hiking
- Individually tested three times
- Micron absolute inline filter
- Removes 99.99999% of all bacteria
If you have a budget and want to purchase a water filter that gives you value for money, without draining your pocket, consider the Sawyer Mini water filter. There’s no better water filter in today’s market.
3. Best Pocket-Sized Portable Water Filter – Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter Review
The Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter is truly a superb unit, put together by some of the best scientists out there. Their knowledge of water filtration and new, upcoming technologies make it possible for this microfilter to eliminate all bacteria that can be detrimental to your health.
You will love this filter because it is small and compact and can easily fit into a small pouch or fanny pack. Furthermore, the compact nature of this microfilter makes it suitable for those who travel without bags and containers, like the US Military, international travelers, and outdoor enthusiasts.
- Round pump handle
- Water filter with a 20-year warranty
- Carry bag, measuring gauge and cleaning pad
- Microfiltration method
- Effective against bacteria and protozoa
Trust that the Katadyn ceramic filter will clean your water, regardless of its original source. We can guarantee that your family and friends will benefit greatly from this fantastic, robust water filter.
4. Best All-In-One Portable Water Filter – Sawyer Products Squeeze Water Filter System Review
Another water filter in today’s review is the Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter System. This is a simply designed, compact water filter that comes in handy for mission trips, emergency preparedness, as well as groups in the backcountry. Although third on our list, rest assured that the performance of this water filter surpasses many others out there, which is why we’re recommending it for all and sundry.
What’s more, the Sawyer Filter comes with a removable push/pull cap, a BPA-free collapsible pouch for personal hydration, and faucet adapters for easy use. Even better is the fact that Sawyer’s water filter comes with a limited manufacturer’s warranty, which is guaranteed via the company’s consistent testing.
- Backed by manufacturer’s lifetime limited
- BPA-free collapsible pouch
- A complete water filtration system
- Easily field maintainable
- Tested three times to performance standards
This is a great portable filter that comes in handy both for home and outdoor. You can make use of the Sawyer water filter with ease – you will love using this filter during your camping and hiking trips, and even at home when other sources of water aren’t available.
5. Best Compact Portable Water Filter – LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle with 2-Stage Integrated Filter Review
Meet the LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle. This is one of the best money can buy which you will love to own in your traveling arsenal. The LifeStraw screen features a two stage integrated filtration system that has won several awards over the years. So, if you’re looking to create a disaster kit, the LifeStraw filter should be the first item on your list.
Rest assured; this water filter removes 99% of all dirt, debris, and contaminants to protect against waterborne diseases. Be confident drinking water from this product as it has passed all safety tests set by the EPA; thus, it surpasses all EPA filter standards. And for ultralight portability, this filter weighs only two oz, which offers a more significant advantage and alternative to bulky purifiers and iodine tablets.
Features of LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle
- Award-winning life straw water filter
- Bpa free materials
- Filters up to 1000 liters of water with a single filter
- High flow rate
- Surpasses EPA filter standards
The LifeStraw water filter is your best bet whenever you want lightweight, user-friendly, and cheap water filters to make use of.
Best Portable Water Filters – Buyers’ Guide
With all the options made available by brands and companies, selecting the best portable water filter can be a tough challenge, especially in daunting times. Luckily, with our buying guide below, choosing the best option just got easier.
How Do Portable Water Filters Work?
One easy way to get clean water at all times is to utilize potable water filters; they’re an easy and affordable solution that anyone can invest in. You might ask, what is a portable water filter, and how does it operate? Well, they simply remove all protozoa, debris, and bacteria from your water and make use of a sleek, simple cartridge system or element. The cartridge can be replaced with an activated carbon filter, depending on the brand you purchase from, whilst the screen takes hold of all contaminants such that only clean, healthy water touches your lips.
It’s also worth mentioning that the portable water filters on the market today come in varying sizes and shapes, each one designed uniquely and as sizable as possible to fit into purses and backpacks. Besides their shapes and sizes, these filters are also highly efficient; thus, you’re assured of clean water always, no matter the primary source.
Things You Should Consider When Choosing One
Every product in the market today is unique in its own right. The uniqueness is what makes our choice and selection process very lengthy and challenging. When it comes to the portable water filters, certain traits and characteristics must run through each model to ensure that you benefit fully from its performance. In the following points, we will highlight the essential factors that all potential buyers must consider before making their final choice. Some factors include the cost, filter capacity, filtration speed, and the weight of the portable water filter.
We will discuss the importance of your filter first, mainly because these products are common among travelers and those who spend the majority of their time on-the-move. When it comes to the portable water filter, weight is an essential design feature. If you travel a lot, it will be pointless to invest in a large portable water filter. To curb this, be sure to check the weight of your preferred water filter and compare it to others on the market before you make your final decision.
As a general rule, most portable water filters are designed to be compact and small such that they fit into backpacks and bags. Some external factors such as choice of material, design, and the filtering technology might make your ‘small’ filter weight a lot.
The second most essential factor you need to take note of concerns the speed of filtration in water filters. We all need water, and we need it fast. Despite this fact, we still want to ensure that the water we consume is well filtered and free from contaminants. At different rates, the various models of portable water filters will perform their primary function of eliminating pollutants from the water. Some water filters produce almost twenty ounces of water per minute, while others provide just a few ounces of clean water within the same amount of time. And if you’re with a large group of people always, or always on the move with camping trips and hikes, you might want to consider the water filter models that produce large quantities of water at a time.
Even though the filtration speed is highly essential, the filter capacity also needs to be studied and placed in high regard. At one point or the other, all cartridges expire; it’s unfortunate but true. There are different filter models on the market, each brand offering a different expiration timeline. For some brands, their filters can be used for many weeks and months, while others last for only a few days.
If you want a long-lasting water filter, you should invest in a model that utilizes a long-lasting filter cartridge. To know if the cartridge is durable, check the amount of water it can clean. For example, some water filters clean up to 100,000 gallons of dirty water with one cartridge, while others filter almost 264 gallons with a single cartridge.
Ease of Use
User experience is a very vital determinant for the purchase of any product. For this reason, manufacturers around the world make use of ergonomic designs, and simple, lightweight materials that allow you to enjoy your product to the maximum. Water filters are indeed small and compact by design, but despite this simple design, some models threaten to be tough to use. Having a screen that is impossible to use while on a hike is the last thing anyone would want. Imagine being parched, walking halfway up a treacherous mountain that aims to tear you down, while in the midst of thick forests with no water; this is the worst experience anyone can have.
The user experience should be terrific with all water filter models, no matter the manufacturer. Ensure that your preferred product features an easy to read the instructions manual, with detailed instructions both for usage and assembling. If you want to void such models altogether, choose those that are extremely simple in design, that is, those that involve you sucking up your water through a straw. Choose the best product according to your preference and enjoy it to the best of your ability.
Before searching for a new water filter for your home or your numerous trips, the leading approach and first beneficial step, everyone needs to take is to draw up a budget. Having a budget while searching for a portable water filter ensures that you choose a product that matches your financial abilities, without overspending.
There is a wide range of portable water filters in the world today with numerous sizes, shapes, and prices. Some are priced according to the brand, while others cost just as much as their efficiency. Furthermore, some water filters use expensive materials or filters; thus, they will cost more. Other models could have lower prices because they have shorter lifespans, or they make use of more affordable materials. The trick to receiving value for money is to do your research thoroughly before entering a store or making that online purchase.
What Are Some Benefits of Using One?
We all need pure water wherever you live. It doesn’t matter if you travel a lot or if you love hiking, you will need to drink water at one time or the other. The portable water filter is a great way of keeping water purified at all times. Below we list some benefits of having the portable water filter, from their ability to clean water to the prevention of waterborne disease.
- User-friendly. Most water filters are straightforward to use because of their simple construction. Many come with instruction manuals and directions on how best to install and put them together such that you benefit from the performance of the product.
- Fine filters. The filters used do a great job of cleaning your water and keeping it pure. They take away all debris, dirt particles, and contaminants present in water to keep your water in a clean and healthy state always.
- Compact & transportable. The typical water filter is elementary to move around, carry, and store and come with a simple and sleek design that doesn’t demand a lot of storage space. What’s more, the benefit of the portable water filter concerning storage and transport is that it becomes the most suitable option if you love traveling, camping, and hiking.
Types of Portable Water Filters
There is more than one type of portable water filter, and this is evident in our review article above. The varying shapes, sizes, and technologies are represented in several models all across the globe, and such designs are done to help meet the individual needs of all customers. Despite their varying designs, all these models work to achieve the same output, which is to filter your water, making it clean and safe for your consumption. We take a look at some types of filters, how they filter water in their way and some pros and cons that they possess.
The first type of portable water filter in this discussion is the pump filters. Are you looking for a screen that can fit easily into your hiking bag without taking up too much space? Chances are you will love the pump filter. These filters aren’t tiny, but they’re small and compact enough to fit into limited spaces with ease. What’s more, using this type of filter is also very easy, as it requires the user to simply connect a lead line to a water recipient and another line to the primary water source. The water is drawn via the use of a small hand pump.
Also, many pump filters rely on fiber filters, while others work in connection with ceramic filters. The modern brands utilize the activated carbon filter or a block activated carbon in conjunction with these great filtration techniques. And with the fiber filter, all contaminants are prevented from reaching your drinking water, much like how the straw filter membranes operate. The ceramic filter, on the other hand, uses mechanical filtration to cleanse your water and keep it healthy.
The lightest portable filtration solution on the market now is the straw filter. These are the most common filters used around the world. Straw filters, as the name suggests, work like straw and also have a huge resemblance to overly broad straws. Using this straw filter involves the user drawing water through the straw, after getting close to the primary water source. For the straw filter to work to perfection, like a regular straw, it utilizes a cartridge designed from a hollow fiber membrane, made from tightly woven fibers. These fibers allow your water to pass through their various layers before getting to your actual straw for drinking. The fibers have extra tiny holes and are also very porous for the natural movement of water.
The bottle filter Is used when you don’t have to filter your drinking water and comes with several advantages, which include user-friendliness and ergonomic elements that make use extra comfortable. It comes with a removable filter cartridge that allows you to enjoy the container as an ordinary drinking water bottle whenever you please. When you’re not sure about the source of your water, you place the filter cartridge back into your bottle and use the container as a filter. Some bottle filter models use a solid block activated carbon filter, while others use the fiber filters.
If you’re an emergency prepper, camper, and trekker, you will need the gravity water filter. These are great filters to use because they don’t need constant water supply and electricity to work. They also work well in areas where clean water isn’t readily available or those who like to travel in remote areas.
Furthermore, gravity filters feature two containers placed above each other, which constitutes their full operation. The first step to filter your water using this filter is to pour water in the first container. From this container, your water will go through several filter mediums, until finally, it ends up in the second container. The second tank is typically placed lower than the first, and it comes with a tap for an easy refill.
The final type to discuss is the UV Filter, a very brilliant filter for use by many. Though it is not common in the camper and hiker circle, these filters are very excellent in their performance, offering us the best and cleanest water. UV filters run on batteries; thus, they tend to come at a higher price than some people will be prepared to splurge. The UV filter comes with a lot of advantages apart from its ability to fight against parasites and bacteria. Furthermore, they work quickly to improve our water smell and taste and are highly effective against protozoa, bacteria, and parasites. Even better is the fact that such filters also retain all the minerals present in water for your overall health.
- Follow the instructions: Every product is made with different technologies and construction methods that yield different results. The portable water filters that come with manuals and instructions need special attention. So, we advise all users to follow their instructions to the letter to ensure that the unit works longer and performs exceptionally when required.
- Don’t burden your filter: To ensure that no unnecessary load is placed on your filter, search around your area for the cleanest water out of the lot. This reduces the power your filter might require for filtration, thus extending its lifespan. Instead of running currents, opt for still pools, since moving water roils up debris and sand.
- Backwash: When the output starts slowing down, some filters ten to get backwashed. To deal with this issue, you first need to detach the intake hose and then reattach it to the filter outlet. Another way to check this occurrence is to sanitize the filter element with a diluted bleach solution right before storage.
- Disinfect periodically: After every use of the portable water filter, users need to disinfect their unit. This can be done with a diluted chlorine solution, which is considered a flush solution for your filter. This solution is made with a capful of household bleach, mixed with one quart of water. You will need to pour this solution into your container and pump it for about 25 strokes before letting it dry.
- Scrub your filter: If you purchased a scrubbable filter, you would need to clean the filter as often as possible, especially after every use. Scrubbing should be done because your filter works hard, pumping lots of dirty water at a time. This can slow down the general flow of water in the unit. If your water filter isn’t scrubbable; however, you shouldn’t try to scrub it as this might compromise its integrity.
Best Portable Water Filters – FAQs
How Long Does it Take to Effectively Clean the Water?
Portable drinking water filters have varying operation times. Depending on the brand, your portable water filter can take from five minutes to thirty-five minutes to provide you with clean, healthy water. To help speed up the filtration process when your filter is taking longer than thirty-five minutes, try an extra-long soak.
Are These Types of Filters Safe?
This question can be answered as yes and no. This is because portable water filters are great for instances where your water requires the removal of contaminants. There are some models of filters like the activated carbon filters that release pollutants randomly when they are exhausted. Other dangers lurk with using a portable water filter; thus, you need to be fully aware of their benefits and safety before a purchase.
What’s the Difference Between a Water Filter and Water Purifier?
In many cases, the terms water purifiers and water filters are often interchanged. It will surprise many to know that these two terms are indeed very different from each other. Water purifiers and water filters have little similarities, and a lot of differences that set each one apart. For a more profound and better understanding of these two terms, we’ve provided a short definition of each one and how they are used.
The first term to be discussed is the water filter. These products are known all over the globe and have gained popularity amongst people when compared to the water purifier. The water filter is considered to be more useful than other water cleansing products and are responsible for the reduction and removal of impurities present in your water. What’s more, the contaminants cleaned by the water filter include lead, iron, nickel, mercury, chromium, copper, chlorine, and many more which are removed within a short period, with the only things left being viruses and bacteria. According to some scientists, the water filters can eliminate certain species of bacteria.
Water purifiers are very different from water filters in many ways. This term, as a rule of thumb, refers to the products and machines that can remove all parasitical, viral, and bacterial contaminants in the water. The water purifier deals with protozoa, bacteria, viruses, and parasites, but doesn’t remove any other contaminants. Because of their inability to remove debris and contaminants, they’re complicated to find. To benefit fully from a water purifier, manufacturers have designed a product that utilizes both the filter and purifier. These products adequately deal with the removal of bacteria and contaminants at the same time.
What Are the Best Filters for traveling?
From the various types of portable water filters, some are well suited for use by travelers, and those include the pump, gravity, and water bottle filters. The bottle filter is ideal for those who don’t carry bags, while the pump filter works for people who travel in groups.
Isn’t Boiling Water Better than Treating it with a Filter?
Cleaning water is done in varying ways, one of which is boiling. Boiling for water filtration and cleaning is a very safe method and only requires fire and heat. This method has some disadvantages, some of which include the time factor and the use of resources. So, if you need water in a rush, you might want to use another filtration method apart from boiling, and the next best way is the use of a portable water filter.
How Does Water That’s been Treated with a Portable Water Filter Taste?
Water that is purified with a portable water filter is free from contaminants and debris but still has all the required minerals and nutrients. The removal of all particles leaves your water tasting chemical and slightly bland. The taste can be altered, however, with help from water sweeteners and flavorings.
What’s the Best Filter for Hiking?
Hiking is a fantastic activity, especially when done with family and friends. During such trips, you must have clean, healthy, and portable water for your journey to prevent you from falling ill along the way. Portable water filters are one of the best ways through which you can enjoy potable water, as and when you please. Just as there are different types of water filters, there are also different types of travelers, and each type demands a different water filter type. Below, we list the varying types and their required filters.
A car camper is a person who loves to travel via vehicle, and also loves to camp with their cars. They often undertake camping trips with family and friends, and as such, they usually need a water filter with a large water capacity. If you’re a car camper in need of the best water filter, we will recommend the gravity water filters and the pump filters. These water filters help quench the thirst of several people each day, and also offer you with excellent output.
From the car, we move to the wilderness, where people love spending a lot of time. In the wilderness, you’re more likely to require a water filter because your sources of clean water will be limited. Some people love to boil water as a means of filtration, and this isn’t a bad idea at all; however, having a water filter with you allows you to get potable drinking water in seconds. For the wilderness packer, we recommend the pump water filters. These units help you filter large amounts of water at a time and store it for future drinking purposes.
Who is the day hiker? Someone who doesn’t travel with a lot of stuff on hand. Some day hikers carry only small and compact items on them during their trips. As a result, they may not even own backpacks. No doubt, the day hiker will certainly benefit significantly from the use of straw fiber filters or filtered water bottles.
If you love to explore the sights, but you hate carrying large bags and loads, you’re an ultralight trekker, hiker or backpacker. For such people, you should consider purchasing the bottle filters or straw filters which come in compact sizes, and as such, they can fit into any pocket or purse you carry along. If you don’t have any bag or pocket, these filters will fit perfectly into your palm.
The urban hiker or urban hunter, as they are affectionately called, is one who goes to areas other hikers won’t. Most of these places ventured into don’t offer easy access to healthy and clean water. For such individuals, they need water as they move around; hence why pump filters are the best option for urban hikers. Also, they will be great for those you travel in groups, while the bottle filter works well for people who travel alone.
How Do You Filter Water for Hiking?
Filtering of water can be done in varying forms and methods, and you can choose among the different techniques, depending on your needs. Filtering water for hiking takes the very same format with varying devices that help achieve clear and healthy water. The filtration of water is done based on a major theory, which states that all molecules not found in water are termed as contaminants. Just as pollutants can be present in your water, they can be removed when the right measures are taken. Water filters feature membranes that trap all contaminants once the water enters the container. The use of filters such as activated carbon filter helps remove all impurities, only allowing clean water to pass through.
Are Water Filters That are Portable a Healthy Option?
Portable water filters are great for our health in diverse ways. Their construction is done with environmentally friendly materials under hygienic conditions, which ensure that you remain safe and healthy at all times. You can filter water from any part of the world with ease when you have a portable water filter. This means you get to travel and explore the world without fear of illness. Also, water filters are designed so that they retain the minerals your body requires to stay healthy. Out of all filtration methods, we recommend the portable water filter as the best, healthiest option for everyone. It doesn’t use chemicals or electricity, just organic filtration substances such as activated charcoal.
Can Such a Filter Combat Water-Borne Diseases?
The consumption of clean water can go a long way to prevent your contraction of waterborne diseases. Rather than depending on regular, untreated water sources, it is best to switch to the use of a water filter. Some of the conditions that can be contracted from impure water include cholera, diarrhea, malaria, hepatitis A and typhoid fever. All these diseases can be prevented when you use a portable water filter. The filter works with activated carbon systems and cartridges that trap all contaminants and debris present in your water.
It doesn’t matter where you’re located, or where you wish to be; having access to clean water is a simple human right and need. No doubt, this should be one of your priorities, regardless if you’re traveling to foreign countries, or enjoying a camping session in the mountains with friends and family. No matter where you’re found, you need to ensure that the water you drink remains healthy and clean.
The best option to clean water whilst on the move is with the Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System. With its second-generation filtration system that removes all protozoa and bacteria from your dirty water. This unit is exceptionally lightweight and can act as both a filter and a storage bottle. Trust the Sawyer Mini Water Filtration system because the world’s most trusted brand makes it. They have designed thousands of similar filters that appeal to all economic levels and household needs.