8 Best Portable Water Filter for Backpacker

If you are a type of outdoor enthusiasts loving such activities as hiking, climbing and traveling, you might be aware that having enough fresh water along the way is quite a challenge.

We use water to drink, to shower, to cook. However, water nowadays is not as purified as it’s used to be. Especially when you are outside, nothing can guarantee the purity of the liquid you consume.

People have a habit of drinking water right away from the faucet which is not sanitary because there are still bacterias, chlorine and even microplastics inside that we cannot see with our own eyes. But, there is a solution to that issue.

The best portable water filters of reasonable prices.

Join me in the next line to find out which one you are looking for.

Top 8 Best Backpacking Water Filter 2019

1 Sawyer Products PointOne Squeeze Water Filter System – Most Versatile Filter For Water

This product comes with a lot of accessories which can help you customize the use of the water filter.

There is a pouch to contain water, a faucet adapter, a filter hanger, installation cleaning and maintenance instructions. In the time of crisis or catastrophes, this full kit will be valuable assistance for survival.

Besides some specific kits from personal to full-set, there are some extra pieces of equipment to upgrade functions of the filter. However, you have to pay extra cash for those utilities. As a result, the overall price is not as small as it seems.

You can use this for your trip and in your everyday water stream as well if you have full of the accessories. The mechanism of the filter is to lock out the bacterias and the dirt substances outside of the U-shaped microtubes, an innovative feature of Sawyer.

The device can reach almost 1 million gallons of water filtration while the pouch can contain a maximum of a liter of water each time, which is sufficient for outdoor purposes.

PROS

  • Quick and easy mounting
  • Lightweight in backpacking
  • Flexible usage

CONS

  • Squeeze pouch might leak
  • Filter clogged through time
  • Surcharge for attachments

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2 LifeStraw Family 1.0 Portable Gravity Powered Water Purifier – Best For Large Groups

LifeStraw is a one-piece product with a filter and a container for raw water, which means a lot of conveniences while carrying around.

It has only one color to choose, which is less attractive as for the young.

One specialty of this product is that other versions of which can reduce heavy metals and chemicals which appears to not be available in other products.

The LifeStraw is said to be able to prevent 99.99% of viruses, bacterias and protozoan cysts to 0.02 microns.

This equipment is advantageous in group meetings for outdoor activities such as hiking, climbing, and picnics. It can turn almost 18,000 liters of unclean water into purified one throughout its life cycle.

Each hour, a LifeStraw can clarify 9 to 12 liters of water depending on the age of the product.

To use this filter, first you have to hang the container in high ground, the filtration must be lower than its tank. After a while, the water goes through the filter and goes out from the tube attached to it. Many users think this process is complicated and leaking often happens in between.

Also, using for house faucets can be a brilliant choice for healthier lifestyles because longevity is enough for a family use within three years.

This water filter much more expensive than the previous one, but taking into account the durability and the cost-efficiency, it’s worth a try.

PROS

  • Maximum limitation to viruses, chemicals, and heavy metals
  • Easy to clean

CONS

  • A little hard to use
  • Leak problems
  • Slow dripping

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3 Survivor Filter PRO – Most Effective Water Purifier

What might cross your mind is that the Survivor Filter has triple stages of filtering which increase the clean water ability many times up.

Also, for more durability, separate parts of the filter can be replaced to gain longer life spans.

The main structure is ABS, a material used in car pumper, which helps to reduce the size but promote the rigidity.

Fiber yarns in the purifier are half size thinner than other product of the same function, and the filter speed is quite fast as well. Every minute, it filters about half a liter of water.

Same as others in the top list of best portable water filters, Survivor Filter PRO claims to prevent 99.99% of viruses, bacterias, parasites.

Still, only 95% of mercury and 93% of lead ensured, which is a less efficient figure for effective water filtration.

Users put the pre-filter top to the source of water, attach another tube at the top of the tool and connect to the end-container. After all the preparation, we start to pump to filter water; the stream then goes through 3 stages of purification.

PROS

  • Of excellent quality
  • Simple to use
  • Lightweight and neat
  • Brilliant customer services

CONS

  • Too small for groups
  • Efficiency in filtering is not impressive

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4 Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System – Most Convenient For Hikers And Climbers

This Mini Water Filtration System is a mini version of the Sawyer Products PointOne Squeeze Water Filter System.

It is neater with the capacity of only 2 ounces, combining a pouch and a bottle for containing water. All of them are from disposable materials, friendly to the environment.

The fiber net of the filtration consists of thinner cotton strings of 0.01 micron while the standard size is 0.02. This feature doubles the efficiency of the machine.

This version is mostly used for outdooring because it is compact, very small and it doesn’t require tools for flexible installation.

Almost similar to the PointOne, this piece of equipment can get rid of 99.99% of bacterias and protozoa. Still, it can’t extract heavy metals or chemicals.

The price is quite reasonable, which is under $30.

Unfortunately, some customers claim that the pouch included sometimes happens to leaks, which mixes the purified water with the unfiltered one.

PROS

  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Simple to clean up
  • Easy to assemble

CONS

  • Leaking issues
  • Unable to filter heavy metals or chemicals

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5 LifeStraw Personal Water Filter – Best For Personal Use

To use this kind of LifeStraw, drink directly from the tubes of the product. It is an all-in-one device which saves you from having to pour water into any containers.

Also, the usage is limited because there are no extra tools to satisfy the hardship of ordinary daily activities.

Still, many customers love LifeStraw Personal Water Filter for the quality of filtration it brings about and pretty cheap price of around $20 only.

That is why this LifeStraw is still on the list of top-ranked portable water filters.

Moreover, it can reach a maximum of 1000L filtration. However, reuse is impossible for this device. So personal use is the best usage of this filter.

It is also ultralight, same as the Mini Water Filtration System from Sawyer. However, sometimes it is inconvenient to bend down to drink water from a stream or a lake, which makes the design become a drawback.

Overall, the LifeStraw still can eliminate 99.99% of bacterias, including E. coli and salmonella, parasites, microplastics, heavy metals, chlorine, and especially bad taste.

PROS

  • Affordable price.
  • Satisfy basic needs for filtering water

CONS

  • The neckband is not neat and secured
  • Jam sometimes happens during the process
  • Not too long-term life circle

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6 Katadyn Vario Water Filter – Most Luxurious Water Filtration With High Technology

Throughout all of the above portable water filters, Katadyn Vario models may be of a higher class.

The structure of it is a little bit different. The filtering core is detachable for cleaning so that you can use it over and over again.

Inside the filtration net is a system of activated carbons for better-removing exile toxic chemicals.

The filtering fibers are glass textures, which is safe for the environment. All accessories, including the activated carbon core, is replaceable for a sustainable life expectancy.

However, this filter applies a pumping mechanism, so it is not very comfortable in everyday life. The best usage is when you have a cruise in the jungles, or when you go camping and hiking.

One excellent point of this product is that it possesses duel pumping modes to raise the flow rate. The speed is impressive with 2 liters of water per any minute.

Still, it’s a bit heavy and bulky in comparison with other products of the same type. Its weight is 1.5 pounds, and the size is 16 x 12 x 4 inches, which is pretty big to carry around.

For it is more durable and has lifetime insurance, and not too expensive for permanent use.

But if you want to have something temporary, the #4 or #5 product will look better like an ideal choice.

PROS

  • Great for group usage
  • Super fast filtration
  • Clogging is rare
  • Permanent usage

CONS

  • Inconvenient for traveling
  • Limited usage

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7 GRAYL Ultralight Water Purifier [+ Filter] Bottle – Best Water Filter For The Environment

This product consists of two main parts: the outside cover and the inside. When put to use, remove the inner part and fill the case with water.

Then push the core in until it fits. Now you can drink water straight from the purifier like an ordinary cup.

Of all the best portable water filters, this GRAYL Ultralight is the less uncomfortable tool ever because it gives out a feeling of a traditional drinking bottle.

The inside core has a part called cartridge which is the most vital component to filter water.

For this model, you can replace it, which enables reuse of the product. Still, it sometimes gets stuck with particles and needs regular change or general clean-up.

You can find GRAYL Ultralight helpful on almost every occasion, including, but not limited to, climbing, hiking, traveling, emergencies, outdoor adventures.

However, the mechanism of the filtration limits the amount of water we can transfer for a period of time. You can only purify 500ml water once. But in return, the speed of purification is in a blink of an eye.

Along with that, there is one significant point of this filter is that it runs with an environmental campaign and donation to protect living surroundings.

Its price compares to the benefits it brings might not be worthy.

PROS

  • Easy to use
  • Fast and convenient
  • Pretty outlook

CONS

  • Small water capacity
  • complicated to clean and dry out
  • Troublesome to press the core to make it work
  • Leaking issues

CHECK IT PRICE ON AMAZON.COM


8 Platypus GravityWorks 2.0 Liter Complete Water Filter Kit – Most easy-to-use Water Purifier

Last but not least is the platypus Gravity water filter.

The structure of this device is much different from the others.

It makes use of two bags; in other words, two pouches, takes advantage of gravity to push flows and purifies the water.

This idea of using a bag does lower a lot of weights on the product.

Size is pretty optimized. One pouch can contain two liters of water, but only takes a space of a one-liter bottle.

There are even larger sizes for empty bags for more capacity. Flow rate is incredible, approximately 1.5 liters per minute.

Bag form helps hikers or climbers purify water when they are on the journey because of its flexibility. Also, the water pouch is easy to be hanged insides of the backpack.

This kit helps prevent 99.99% of bacterias, protozoa, including Cholera, Giardia, Salmonella, E. coli, Cryptosporidium.

However, getting rid of heavy metals and chemicals seems to be impossible. For the quality stated above, a price seems to be a bit expensive. All the convenience does not compensate for this price.

PROS

  • Super lightweight
  • High flow-rate
  • Easy to filter in many types of terrain

CONS

  • High cost
  • Bag container might leaks

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Types Of Portable Water Filters

Talking about filtering water, there is not only one but various types of filtration system matching each one’s personal or group purposes.

In the meantime, the number of the most well-known kinds of water filters is five.

Straw Filters

This type comes in a one-piece filter. The filtration system lies in the middle of a tube-shaped structure.

As the name suggests, it looks similar to a big sized straw, from which users can drink water through the tubes. The way straw filters work is the same as the way you drink water with a straw.

As a result, this is considered the handiest type you can find in the market. It is neat and extremely lightweight, convenient to carry around.

The thing is, sometimes, it gets clogged in the fibers, and you need to cleanse it periodically.

Another problem with this model is you can’t always bend down to drip the straw filter into the water source. It can be dangerous due to the height level, or you just have some back pains.

Pump Filters

It works on the pump force to push water into the purifier and remove the dirt. Pump filters apply a lead line or ceramic filters for purification.

More innovative versions combine the new technology of activated carbon core to enhance efficiency.

The purifying net of pump filters makes from 0.5 to 1-micron holes, which is smaller than straw filters. Therefore, it can remove more pollutants and harmful chemicals.

Still, pump filters are of no use to organic compounds, which are the main reason for the bad smell and terrible taste of the water.

Instead, they won’t filter out healthy minerals so that you can enjoy pure, fresh, and beneficial beverage.

Pump Filters are long-lasting, fast-flowing, but pretty heavy.

Bottle Filters

Bottle filters have the shape of a conventional bottle but include a filtration inside. It uses push force to filter water; then, you can drink water directly from the bottle mouth.

This version often makes use of fiber filters, but a solid block of carbon can also be added to filter out more contaminants.

You can even remove the filtering core and use the bottle filter as a bottle when the water source is safe.

However, this type of water filter usually has a low capacity. It is more of personal usage than group usage.

Gravity Filters

This type takes advantage of earth gravity to allow the stream to flow through the purifier. It works fast and effectively, also has a large capacity.

The secret behind gravity filters is a combination of activated carbon and ceramic mediums, which doubles the performance of the purifier.

Because they get the power from the most natural force, you can carry gravity filters with you in every journey. It is 100% workable in any condition.

Still, leaking happens because the material is more fragile than other types.

Moreover, there are quite many attachments with gravity filters, and each requires careful maintenance to prevent contamination. So, this may not a perfect option for a not-so-meticulous user.

UV Filters

This is a complicated mechanic system with a high price. The device always examines water quality and sterilize any contamination they find via UV rays.

UV filters run on batteries to be able to operate, so no power source means no water filtration. As a result, this is not suitable for a long trip into the wilderness when you are pretty away from civilization.

Still, UV filters are of the latest technology. They are the most effective model against bacteria and parasites.

With the help of this kind of purifier, you will no longer be afraid of waterborne diseases such as E. coli infection, diarrhea, dysentery…


Water Filters VS Water Purifiers

Filter and purifier might be the two words that interchange each other a lot, but when it comes to this tool, these are totally different function products.

Water Filters

Filtering water helps us getting rid of contaminants and particles like viruses, bacterias, parasites and others such as heavy metals and chemicals.

Other than that, tinier substances which can pass through a network of the filter remains in the water, specifically, minerals or toxic chemicals or salt from seawater.

Therefore, the filtering system is not able to cast out such matters like this, they are way too small beyond water filters’ capability.

Water Purifiers

But purifier is of another level.

It is like a filter, but a purifier can stop the smallest cells out of the way of pure water. Purified water consists of no substance except for water molecules.

This seems incredibly healthy, but the lack of minerals is indeed might put human’s health in danger.

Minerals are naturally necessary for the human system to work properly. Water steam, for example, can be considered naturally purified water.


Water Treatment For Camping & Hiking

There are many ways to obtain a water supply during an outing trip. Boiling water has been an old-time solution and never out of fashion.

But in nature, boiling water doesn’t make the contamination go away, neither the bad color and awful smell.

Also, it takes a considerable amount of time to heat water to boil, wait for it to cool down, and pack for a long way trip.

All of the efforts just don’t worth it as we will soon use up the amount and will have to repeat the process again.

Double burdens!

So why don’t you consider a second solution?

A portable water filter.

As said above, a water filter extracts toxic impurity such as bacterias, parasites, and viruses that make people sick, meanwhile retain the proper natural minerals which are good for the body.

Boiling becomes unnecessary when you have a water filter. Water can be used right after filtering.

Filtering water with a water purifier is fast and can be compatible with various water sources.

No more carrying a bag dragged heavily of prepared fresh water.

Whether you are hiking, climbing on mountains or having a nice and gentle picnic with your family, a water filter can provide enough amount of fresh water continuously and sufficiently.


Things to Consider When Buying A Portable Water Filter

Water purifiers are more common and better used by people who love outdoor journeys because of their reasonable price and sufficiently beneficial usage.

But, to choose among millions of brands and types, which qualities can you depend on, making you feel no regret of spending such amount of money? Keep reading to find out.

Weight

To bring around, you probably need something lightweight. Most water filters are very light, but it still varies between types.

Take notice how heavy you can carry and look for the full weight (the weight of the filter when it is at the full capacity) on the package. You will find the most appropriate one.

Filtration Speed

Some filters can clean a significant amount of water in a time counted by minutes, but some do the same amount but with much longer time depending on which type you carry.

The kind designed for the family as well usually has a slower flow rate. In groups of plenty, the fast rate of producing fresh water is fatal.

Filter Capacity

Different types of water filters have the unalike capacity. While a gravity filter might clarify two liters of water, a bottle filter can only do 500ml.

Ease Of Use

Known as a handy and compact tool of filtering, these water filters still have some models requiring intricate resemblance.

Some accessories missing during operation can take you plenty of time and effort or even make the machine useless.

Cost

All of the above factors wouldn’t matter if you can not afford to buy one water filter. It might sound funny because most water filters are kind of cheap on average.

But you must compare the price and the values it can bring. Evaluate if the expenses we give out deserve what we get in return or not.

Conclusion

Water filters are an extraordinary type of equipment, a life-saving solution for outdoor lovers like hikers, climbers, backpackers, and picnickers.

You won’t have to worry anymore about where to buy fresh water in a whole new country, whether the water system here is secure or not, or how much water should be brought to avoid dehydration in climbing.

A lightweight, quick-purified and small tool like the best water filters reviewed will get you through the day. And you will never run out of clean water.

No matter what, being provided with fresh healthy water every time, everywhere will increase our life quality. So, a water filter should always in each people’s backpack.

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