Best Portable Water Filters On The Market

Best Portable Water Filters On The Market

Portable water filters are a must if you are someone who likes to travel a lot and live off the grid.
But while they are simple to use and carry around, portable water filters must also be trustworthy and efficient so you can rest assured that you are drinking the cleanest water possible on your way to exploring and making memories.
Unfortunately, there are many options on the market and it can be really difficult to tell which one is the best for you especially since they are usually quite an investment so you can’t just purchase a number of them just to test them out and see which one is the most efficient.
With that being said, it’s best to be well informed before buying a portable water filter so this guide aims to take you through all the usual features and what you should look out for before owning your own portable water filter.
First of all, always pick based on your own needs and preferences when it comes to the amount of water you want filtered and the kind of substances you think might be in it.
Unlike chemical filters, portable ones can use UV light or physical filters to clean your water.
Portable water filters should also be useful in a variety of situations and this guide will also provide you with an extensive list of some of the best on the market and what they have to offer, taking all the guesswork out of it!
But before that, here are some of the things you need to pay attention to before getting one.
First of all, one of the most important factors is the intended use of the product. For instance, if you need one for activities such as hiking or camping, there is no doubt that your main concern should be filtering any bacteria and sediment from your drinking water.
If you are traveling to another country, on the other hand, you should focus more on a portable water filter that can better target bacteria and viruses.
Other things to consider are the filter’s type, capacity, durability, size and how easy it is to use!

Credit: Unsplash/Amritanshu Sikdar
Credit: Unsplash/Amritanshu Sikdar


There are many styles available out there, including some that come with a drinking straw, as well as UV filters, bottle, gravity, pump and more!
Straw: Water filters that include a straw are very convenient since they feature a straw like many other regular drinking bottles but, as opposed to those, these ones have filters in the straw so when the water passes through whenever you want to take a sip, it gets purified before reaching your mouth.
UV filters are really great since they can also filter viruses in addition to bacteria. They only use UV light to do it so they are really easy to use. Just keep in mind that, since there is no physical filter inside, they are not able to filter any chemicals and particles in the water. They are also battery operated so they can be less convenient to use since you’d have to worry about always having batteries for them. If you need something that can sanitize a bottle of water in a matter of minutes, however, UV water filters are great for you!
Gravity: Gravity filters tend to be bigger, which means larger capacity but also harder to carry around. It can include one or two containers and use gravity to sanitize your water. As for drinking, you can do so through either a nozzle or filter the water into another, smaller container.
Bottle: If you are someone who finds themselves traveling or camping quite often, a filtered bottle is all you need since they are so convenient and easy to carry around. These bottles usually feature a straw filter so your water gets cleaned as you drink it.
Pump: These are handheld filter tubes that can be inserted into the water source. The pump then forces the water through the filter, sanitizing it. The clean water then flows through a second tube so it can be safely collected for drinking and storing. Of course, this type of water filter can be a bit less convenient since it requires manual effort by pumping to filter the water. The advantage, however, is that a pump can be used to supply water for more than one person since you wouldn’t have to unsafely use the same straw or bottle.

Credit: Unsplash/Callum Shaw
Credit: Unsplash/Callum Shaw

Size and Weight

As mentioned before, you should also consider the filter’s size and weight before buying it. This way you can get exactly what you need for your particular situation without having to struggle with really heavy devices or, on the contrary, end up with a really small container that will not be able to store as much water as you need in case there is no constant source in your vicinity.
Just keep in mind that, at the end of the day, no matter the type, portable water filters are designed to be as lightweight and compact as possible for increased portability when compared to traditional water filters.

Filtration Speed

While some portable filters can clean your water instantly, some might take a few minutes or even more depending on their type.
For instance, filtration straws, bottles or pumps will provide you with clean water immediately.
The flow rate for them is also fast enough even though there is a little resistance when drinking through a filtered straw as compared to usual straws.
The ones that take longer to filter the water are gravity and UV filters. After all, there is no suction or pumping to push the water through so they might take minutes to filter their specified quantity of water.

Credit: Unsplash/Water Lovers
Credit: Unsplash/Water Lovers

Durability and Maintenance

Of course, a great portable water filter should not crack or break completely at the first little fall while on the go. Since such things are common and sometimes unavoidable, you should always pick a durable option which is why plastic filters are so common.
As for maintenance, it’s important to know that all portable water filters require at least a little bit of it since you’d need to do things like cleaning the clogs, changing the water filter or the battery in the case of UV filters.
You might also need to disinfect and back flush the filtration system from time to time and each manufacturer mentions the process and the frequency such maintenance is needed.
Those that get in contact with the drinker’s mouth such a straw or bottle models need to be washed every day.
But if reading this, you are not sure portable water filters are what you need, there is another option – purification tablets!
Tablets are small and super easy to carry around and you don’t need any other accessories, being able to use any bottle you already own.
With that being said, this guide also includes a couple of tablets you can choose from if you consider they are more suitable for you than water filters.
All you need to do is keep some in your bag while on the go and you can use them whenever there is no clean water source. No hassle, no extra steps! Some even use them at home from time to time, just because it’s great to know for sure your water is clean and healthy.

Sawyer PointOne Squeeze Portable Water Filter

This is one of the best travel water filters out there thanks to how lightweight and durable it is.
The Sawyer PointOne Squeeze Portable Water Filter only weighs three ounces and is small enough to fit in your pocket, which is why it’s so easy to take with you anywhere!
Furthermore, it’s very versatile, being able to filter water in a couple of different ways, depending on the situation.
By using the included roll-up pouches, you can squeeze water through the filter and fill another, bigger bottle or another receptacle.
Another method is screwing it onto a water bottle and drinking through the filter directly, which is, of course, the easiest and most practical of all if you intend of using it just for yourself and not share it with anyone else.
Finally, you can also use it as a gravity-feed system or as an in-line filter for a hydration pack.
Furthermore, it has a super long lifespan! Most filters have to be replaced every 1,000 gallons of water filtered but this one just needs to get backflushed which is why it will keep filtering your water for up to 100,000 gallons!
The only thing you need to be careful about is when using it in really low temperatures since it seems to be prone to freezing and breaking in very cold environments.

Platypus GravityWorks

The Platypus GravityWorks is super effective against bacteria, particulates and protozoa and weighs a little over 11 oz.
It’s easy to use and the treatment is quite speedy and portable even though it is a gravity-fed model.
It can treat and also sore up to 8 L of clean water.
Setting it up is very easy and because it’s a gravity type filter, it is really useful for a larger group of people using the same one.
It has a 4 liter clean water capacity since there are two 4 liter bags, one for clean and one for dirty water.
Furthermore, the bags can also convert to an off the grid, solar shower or hang washing station.
It’s really effortless since there is no need for squeezing or pumping. Just hang one bag up after filling it with dirty water and you’ll have clean water in a matter of minutes.

LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle

Most travelers prefer a filtered water bottle as opposed to most other types of portable filters since it’s so convenient and easy to carry around.
All you need to do is fill it up and it’s ready for drinking!
The LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle has a capacity of 22 ounces and is able to filter bacteria, parasites, sediments, microplastics, protozoa and even some chemicals.
And that’s not even all! The two-stage filter also features an activated carbon layer that is able to reduce any unpleasant odors and tastes.
The plastic bottle comes with a filtering straw and a silicone mouthpiece.
The filter needs to be changed after about 1,000 gallons of water filtered which is in line with most other such filters on the market.
And when that time comes, there is no need to buy the bottle again since filter replacements are available.
Finally, this product is very durable, leak proof and comes with a carabiner so you can attach it to your backpack or bag for more convenience.

GRAYL GeoPress Water Purifier Bottle

If you need to filter contaminated water sources, this water purifier bottle is perfect for you.
The GRAYL GeoPress Water Purifier Bottle is great at filtering sediment, bacteria and protozoa, and even some chemicals.
But that’s not all! This product does a good job getting rid of any dangerous viruses from dirty water as well.
The electroabsorptive media, the ion exchange, and a carbon filter remove all contaminants from the water but also the bad odors, and the unpleasant flavors you might be sensing.
The bottle is made out of plastic and has a 24-ounce capacity.
It has a press mechanism that is able to filter your water in no more than eight seconds!
All you need to do is fill it up, press the filter down and this allows the newly cleaned and healthy water to trickle down into the clean water reservoir.
The purifier cartridge filters up to 65 gallons of water and is replaceable.

LifeStraw Flex Advanced Water Filter with Gravity Bag

This is one of the best water filters out there and this is thanks to its versatility.
The LifeStraw Flex Advanced Water Filter with Gravity Bag can be used as a personal straw filter, allowing you to drink right out of a lake or stream safely since it promises to remove 99.9 percent of all bacteria but also microplastics, lead, chlorine, parasites, organic matter, heavy metals and suspended sediment.
But, of course, you can also use it as an in-line water filter with your very own water-hydration pack.
This is really impressive for a product of its kind since most portable water filters are not made to remove chlorine or lead.
It weighs a bit less than 7 ouches which makes it really easy to carry around with you anywhere, no matter how small your backpack is.
It has a lifespan of over 500 gallons of water so you can use it for years before having to replace it.

Katadyn Vario Water Filter

If you want a really durable and sturdy portable water filter, Katadyn Vario Water Filter is the one for you!
The pump-style filter is able to get rid of a lot of contaminants in water including algae, bacteria, protozoa, spores, cysts, and sediment.
Furthermore, since the system contains activated carbon granulate, it is also able to reduce chemicals such as chlorine as well as improve the taste and smell of the filtered water.
It operates in two modes for your convenience by using glass fiber for microbiological filtration.
More precisely, the “Longer Life” mode sends the water through a ceramic disk, producing up to a liter of clean water per minute.
As for the “Faster Flow” mode, it sends water through the glass fiber filter membrane directly and so, the water flow is quicker as well, producing up to 2 liters of clean water per minute.
The dual piston mechanism inside the system can produce a continuous water flow with very minimal effort.
The product has a 2,000 liter capacity which is quite high when compared to other pumps out there.
Furthermore, replacement filters are available for purchase online.

Survivor Filter Pro – Hand Pump Camping Water Filter

The Survivor Filter Pro is a hand-pump water filter that is perfect for any survival situation.
The triple filtration system is able to get rid of bacteria, sediment, protozoa, as well as parasites, and viruses from dirty and contaminated water.
Furthermore, it can also significantly reduce the concentration of heavy metals and the unpleasant taste and odors of the water.
Since the pump is so small, it’s super convenient to carry around everywhere.
And despite being barely bigger than the palm of your hand, it is able to filter up to 100,000 liters before you need to order a replacement pump.

SteriPen Adventurer Opti UV Personal Water Purifier

This portable UV water filter is great if you need to clean your drinking water from microorganisms.
This is because it promises to get rid of 99.9 percent of microorganisms such as bacteria, protozoa, giardia, and even viruses.
And since it uses UV light to disinfect the water, it will not change the pH, taste and other mineral properties of the water.
It needs two CR123 disposable batteries to work and you can use it for up to a total of 8,000 1-liter water treatments.
As for how to use it, all you need to do is insert the wand into a water bottle and stir. Then press the button and the water will get sanitized in just 90 seconds.
And you don’t even need to check the time! The indicator light will let you know when your water is safe for drinking.

BOTTLED JOY Portable Water Bottle with Filter

This is a high-quality 2-stage filter that is able to filter down to 0.1 microns. Just keep in mind that you need to replace it after filtering 55 gallons of water, which means it’s not as durable.
But depending on your needs, this might be just what you’re looking for!
The bottle is included with the filter and has a capacity of 17 ounces.

Etekcity Portable Water Filter-Straw

The Etekcity Portable Water Filter-Straw is compact and lightweight and features a small roll-up water bladder that lets you carry it around and drink through the straw attached to the top of it.
The shape of it is great if you want something really portable and convenient although it’s a little difficult to full due to the small hole.
Furthermore, the filter has a lifespan of 1,500 liters before having to replace it.

Potable Aqua PURE

The Potable Aqua PURE is able to purify up to 20 liters of water at one time and one charge can last you up to 150 liters.
Furthermore, a rechargeable battery and a solar panel are also included.
As for how to use it, you need to first mix salt and water in a tiny container and then add it to the device before selecting the amount of dirty water you wish to clean.
The machine then creates a sodium hypochlorite solution that will treat most of your water in about 30 minutes.
It’s a pretty unique system that you won’t see in most products of its kind but it’s just as efficient.

P&G Purifier of Water

The P&G Purifier of Water is a flocculent and disinfectant combo that causes toxins and particulates to clump together for an easier removal process.
One packet can treat 2.5 gallons of water.
All you need to do is pour the mix into the water and then shake for 5 minutes.
The mixture is able to surround all the bad particles in the water, clumping together until they’re bigger and heavier, causing them to fall to the bottom of your water bottle.
Let it rest for 5 minutes and pour the water into another container through a really basic filter such as a cotton shirt you don’t need anymore! The material will do its thing and trap the now bigger impurities.
Then, leave the water to sit for another 20 minutes for the treatment chemicals to finish the disinfecting process.
This method, while a bit more of a hassle, it’s better than many others due to the fact that it is able to remove heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, and chromium.
Furthermore, it can also remove humic acid and DDT, both really common toxins in many parts of the world, especially in developing and third world countries.

Jeffrey Olmsted

Jeffrey likes to write about health and fitness topics, being a champion fitness instructor in the past.

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