Do you love the great outdoors? Are you at your happiest around a campfire or hiking through the wilderness? If so, you’ll need a high quality, efficient portable water filter to improve your camping or hiking experience. One of the leading benefits of water filters is weight. Once you start carrying a filter, you won’t need to carry lots of water.
You’ll be able to refill your water filter from natural sources as you move forward on your journey. This also saves money, as your travel expenses will be lower, especially if you’re buying water from a shop in the middle of nowhere with extortionate prices.
In this piece, we’ll review five of the best portable water filters currently available, all of which can make almost any source of freshwater safe to drink. We’ll look at the pros and cons of each model, as well as offering you a buyer’s guide and answering some of the webs most frequently asked questions.
- LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
- Sawyer Products MINI Water Filtration System
- LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle (2-Pack)
- Katadyn Vario Dual Technology MicroFilter
- LifeStraw Family 1.0 Portable Gravity Powered Water Purifier for Emergency Preparedness and Camping
- Buyers Guide
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Final Verdict
The LifeStraw personal water filter is hands down the world’s most popular portable water filter model today. It’s small, easy to use, well priced, and efficient.
We think that the intelligent design of this filter is perfect. Also, although this model is compact and small, it can provide almost 800 gallons of clean, safe water, without the use of any chemicals.
Additionally, the filter removes up to 99.9% of the protozoa and bacteria that is commonly found in freshwater. Another brownie point for this model is its lack of shelf life. The filter doesn’t depend on chemicals to filter out the contaminants from the water. Therefore, it can be stored indefinitely, even after use.
The Sawyer MINI Water Filtration System is perfect for outdoor activities such as scouting, camping, hiking, or traveling in general. It’s portable, light, and perfect for emergencies. The versatility of this product is also great, as it attaches to the drinking pouch included, hydration packs, water bottles, or you can use the straw for drinking directly from a water source.
The high-performance 0.1 Micron inline filter is small and lightweight. All of the MINI products on the market are individually tested three times to the rigorous Sawyer performance standards. These filters can remove 99.99999% of bacteria and protozoa. This includes salmonella, cholera, E-coli, giardia, and cryptosporidium.
They also remove 100% of microplastics from any source of water. The filters are rated for up to 100,000 gallons, and this particular product includes one Sawyer MINI filter, a 7-inch drinking straw, a 16-ounce reusable squeeze pouch, and a cleaning plunger.
The LifeStraw Go is a perfect companion for backpackers, campers, and travelers. It is also a welcome addition to any emergency kit. The water filter utilizes a 2-stage activated carbon filter cartridge, removing any nasty tastes and smells. A hollow fiber membrane is used to eliminate 99.99% of protozoa and bacteria in the water.
We love the design of this model and the fact that it’s made from BPA-free plastic. The mouthpiece is made from soft silicone, which is very comfortable to use. Additionally, the mouthpiece can be removed, and the plastic container can become a regular water bottle as soon as you’re confident that the water has been purified.
When you come across dirty water, attach the mouthpiece and filter as required. One single straw can filter almost 264 gallons of water. Additionally, when the filter has expired, it will stop taking in water.
This list wouldn’t be complete without paying homage to the Katadyn Vario water filter. Their units are lightweight and small enough to fit into a backpack comfortably. They are also incredibly efficient, with premium filtering mediums, allowing the filtration of up to two quarts of water every minute.
Our team here at Eole love the design of this particular product. The model utilizes an inlet and outlet hose, each measuring 36”, and a plastic clip that attaches the hose to the top of your water bottle, stopping it from falling as the bottle fills up.
The charcoal filters work hard to remove the majority of unpleasant smells and tastes, meaning that the water is drinkable and tastes good. The filter pump is fast, and the effort needed to pump water is minimal.
There is a reason that LifeStraw has three products on our best portable water filter review list; they make GREAT water filtration equipment!
This particular model uses a gravity filter. All you have to do is pour fresh water into the top of the unit, and it will come out of the bottom clean and drinkable. The LifeStraw Family is super-efficient, removing 99.99% of viruses, bacteria, parasites, and protozoa from natural water sources.
The filter is quick, managing to purify 12 liters of water per hour. It also has a large capacity, meaning that it’s able to produce enough water for a group of friends or a small family in no time at all.
Five Things to Consider Before Buying a Portable Water Filter:
There are several important factors to consider before you finalize a purchase or make a decision on which model of portable water filter you will buy. Here are some of the things to look out for:
1. Filtration Speed
Different models eliminate contaminants from the water at different rates. Some will be able to produce just a few ounces of clean water per minute; others are capable of producing almost 20 ounces of water in the same amount of time.
Buying a unit that can filter water quickly can be advantageous if you are camping or traveling with a large group of people.
It’s pointless buying a heavy portable water filter if you’re traveling around a lot. Therefore, make sure you consider the filter’s weight before you decide on a model. The majority of portable water filters are small and compact, but weight varies in accordance with design, construction materials, and filtering technology.
3. Filter Capacity
Unfortunately, all filter cartridges expire at one point or another. Some models will last for only a few days, while others will keep filtering for many weeks and months. The highest quality portable filters utilize long-lasting filter cartridges.
Some products will allow the filtration of almost 264 gallons of water with just one cartridge; others will clean up 100,000 gallons of dirty water.
The leading approach to finding a portable water filter that matches your budget is to have a figure in mind before you start searching for one. As with most products, portable water filters come in a range of shapes, sizes, and prices.
Some use expensive materials, high-grade filters, and have the muscle of a big brand name behind them. Others are cheaper, but could be flimsy or have short lifespans. It’s a delicate balance, and the more money you spend doesn’t guarantee a better model.
Believe us; there are many efficient models available at reasonable prices. So don’t break the bank before you’ve done plenty of research.
5. Ease of Use
Although these products are small and compact, some of them are almost impossible to use. Which is the last thing you need when you’re parched, halfway up a mountain, in the middle of nowhere.
Many models come with detailed instructions regarding assembly and usage, so make sure you pack these if you’re worried about constructing or using a particular model.
Or opt for a simpler model, like one that involves sucking water up through a straw. Only you will know that model that suits your individual needs.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Do Portable Water Filters Work?
Water filters use a cartridge or element to trap tiny debris, bacteria, and protozoa. As with all types of filters, repeated use leads to clogging, and filters must be cleaned thoroughly or replaced. Water purifiers usually rely on chemicals or ultraviolet light to eliminate any viruses.
What is Inside a Water Filter Cartridge?
A water filter’s primary filtering mechanism uses ion exchange resin and activated carbon. Activated carbon is manufactured using coconut shells. Ion exchange resin manages to reduce limescale, copper, and lead in any sources of water that need to be filtered.
Can Water Filters Remove Viruses?
Water filters are generally designed to eliminate bacteria and waterborne protozoa, not viruses. However, water purifiers can remove all three of these contaminants. The problem is, viruses are too small for filters to catch. Therefore, if you’re traveling to somewhere that you know is susceptible to viruses, you will need to purchase a water purifier before you drink from any natural source.
Is Purified Water the Same as Filtered Water?
Almost! Both of these water types are filtered in one way or another. However, purified water is cleansed and purified using additional processes. These typically involve reverse osmosis, deionization, and distillation.
We stand by the LifeStraw Personal as our top pick. How can we argue with thousands of five-star reviews? It’s affordable, portable. Award-winning, and it provides safe, clean water.
That’s the bottom line here; we want to support products that offer the safest, cleanest water for our readers. For families or large groups, the LifeStraw Family 1.0 is perfect. It produces enough clean water to quench a small group’s thirst, and it does this quickly. It’s not too pricey, and it’s a high-quality product.
For a product that looks the part and does the job, take a look at the Katadyn Vario, it’s fast, affordable, compact, and uses a glass fiber filter.