Best Backpacking Water Filters For 2021 – Featuring Top 5 Picks

A backpacking water filter is ideal for those that love the outdoors. When you’re away from civilization, and can’t get clean water, a backpacking water filter can help you out. While they may not work for certain types of water, they play a crucial role in filtering out bacteria.

Since you shouldn’t drink water from a stream, using a filter in your backpack can help quench your thirst.

Backpacking Water Filters

Things to Consider – Best Backpacking Water Filters

Cleansing Process

There are two ways a backpacking water filter cleans your water. It uses a filter or a purification system. Choosing between a filter and a purification may seem like a simple task, but they work differently to clean your water.

The biggest difference between the two is what organisms they fight when the water passes through them. Filtration can also remove the debris and slit, whereas purification doesn’t remove all the organisms. Depending on where you want to travel, you should consider which system would be better for your needs.

Viruses tend to be more of a problem in international travel, while bacteria are mainly found in the United States.


Since you’re going to be backpacking with a filtered system, you should consider how much it is going to weigh. While a backpack may not feel heavy when it is empty, added water can make the backpack feel heavy. When you’re out backpacking, and it is too heavy, you run the risk of injury.

It’s important to know how much you can carry before deciding on getting a backpacking water filter. One other thing about the weight of the backpack is how it affects the speed of the filtration system, as well.


The speed of the system is determined by the type of system you want to use. While some are fast, others can have a slow drip. Which can take hours of time. You can add iodine and chlorine to your water to help purify it faster, but it would still take about four hours to get fully cleaned.

Depending on how you want to use the filtration system, you may want to find one that works quickly. If you’re going out with a group, you want to make sure the system can purify enough water for everyone in the group without taking up too much time.


The design of the water backpack filter should be considered as well. Whether you want a system that is easy to set up, or one that’s a little more complex to filter the water, you can find one for you. While it may seem like all the designs are the same, they’re not the same.

You don’t want to spend too much time putting a water filter together, but you don’t want to drink it if it’s not filtered. Finding the right design for you can mean the difference between staying healthy and hydrated, or getting sick and going home.

Water Source

The water source is important to the type of filter you’re going to get. In areas where dirt and debris are found in your water, you need a filter to keep it out of your water. Places where mud and sediments can be present can be filtered out of the water, allowing you to drink clean water right away.

If you’re hiking and come across a stream or river, you may not know where the water source is, and what could be in it. It’s important to locate the water source, and have an idea before drinking the water.

Filtration Process

A backpack water filter works in different ways, and understanding how the filtration process works will help you decide. There are filters that allow you to put water through the system, and then you can sit back and relax.

Thers require you to pump or squeeze the water. Depending on the type of water filter you get, you may not be able to take it to certain places. Different materials were designed for different environments, and breaking a water filter can spell bad luck for you down the line if it breaks.

Filter Types

The type of filter is crucial to your decision, because getting the wrong one for the wrong environment will break the water filter. If you’re extremely cold temperatures, and you have a ceramic filter, it is more likely to break.

There are a variety of water filters available, and knowing where you’re going will help you find the right one for you. Studying the temperatures of the environment will help you get the right filter. You want to make sure the type of filter is what you need to help you out in a pinch.

05 Best Backpacking Water Filter in 2018 – Reviews

1. Katadyn Pocket Water Filter

Katadyn Pocket Water Filter

For those looking for a water filter that they want to take on vacation, Katadyn Pocket Water Filter is the one for them. It has a ceramic filter that works perfectly for outdoor enthusiasts.

It is easy to pump, and includes a hose to suction the water. This is the ideal pump for those wanting to get clean and fresh water quickly.


Pocket Water Filter

This water filter is small enough to fit in your pocket. It was created for outdoor enthusiasts and international travelers. No matter what part of the world you’re in, this water filter will accompany you on any journey. It’s ideal for those that need something small to help them stay hydrated.

Ceramic Element

The ceramic element is easy to use, and is silver impregnated to help it withstand some of the toughest temperatures. The ceramic filter fights off bacteria and protozoa, delivering a clean and fresh water. It’s perfect to ensure you’re drinking clean water.

Fights Off Most Microorganisms

The water filter will get out any microorganism that is more than 0.2 microns. It’s practical for those that want to feel like they’re drinking clean and fresh water. You won’t need to worry about any microorganisms swimming around in your water.

Easy Pumping

The water filter has a round pump handle that makes it easy to filter your water. The outlet hose stays connected to the filter with a clip. It’s ideal for those that need an easy pup to keep their water clean.

Highlighted Features:

  • Silver lined ceramic elements
  • Filters most dirt, silt, and microorganisms
  • Easy pumping system
  • Compact for international travel


  • The filter works well
  • The design is simple to understand and put together
  • It is ideal for staving off dehydration
  • The price of the water filter is reasonable
  • The filter is durable


  • There is a lot of plastic on the filter
  • Could use a charcoal taste tester

Final Verdict

This is the perfect water filter for those that want a reliable and durable filter to help them out. While it may not feel like it is too sturdy and durable, this is a water filter that is sure to work when you need it to. Most of the microorganisms are filtered out of the water, leaving behind pure and clean water for you to drink.

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2. Potable Aqua PURE Electrolytic Water Purifier

Potable Aqua PURE Electrolytic Water Purifier

Potable Aqua PURE Electrolytic Water Purifier filter can remove most bacteria swimming around the water. It can filter about 60,000 liters of water, making it last for a long time.

It’s ideal for those that need a reliable water filter to keep them hydrated, especially when they’re out in the wilderness.


Purifies any Water

No matter what your water source is, this water filter is sure to filter out just about anything. It doesn’t require a pre-filter, making it ideal for those that need to filter water quickly. It kills just about any bacteria in the water to keep you from getting sick.

Long Life

The water filter can last up to 60,000 liters, allowing you to filter as much water as you want. No matter how much you use the water filter, you can be sure it will work for a long time. It’s ideal for those wanting a water filter that lasts.

Simple Solution

The device works by activating a brine to the water. It is a simple mixture of water and salt, which purifies the water. The solution creates a mixed oxidant disinfectant to kill any bacteria in the water.

Solar Charging

The water filter includes an onboard solar charging panel. The panel helps sustain the filtration system when you’re out in the wilderness. You won’t need to worry about getting lost in the woods when you can use the solar filtration system.

Kills Most Bacteria

This water filter will kill just about any microorganism in your water. Not only will it kill bacteria, it will kill viruses, as well. It can kill these microorganisms without a prefiltration system.

Highlighted Features:

  • Kills most bacteria and viruses
  • Long lasting life
  • Potable Aqua Pure
  • Solar charging panel
  • Purifies any water in any condition


  • It works quickly to purify water
  • The device is easy to use
  • The water filter is compact
  • The filtration system kills almost every microorganism


  • It can leave behind a strong aftertaste


This is an excellent water filter for those that love the outdoors. It’s practical because of the solar charging panel that helps the water filter. It works quickly to deliver clean and pure water. For those that want a compact water filter to keep them hydrated in the wilderness, this is the one you should consider.

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3. GRAYL Ultralight Water Purifier

GRAYL Ultralight Water Purifier

GRAYL Ultralight Water Purifier is the ideal water filter for those looking for an easy device that doesn’t require any pumping or squeezing.

It removes most microorganisms, while making the purification process quick and easy. If you’re a traveler, this is a water filter that you should take with you everywhere you go.


Ideal for Anything Outdoors

For those that want to travel, this is the water filter they need to stay hydrated. It works for hiking, backpacking, camping, and various outdoor activities. If you spend a lot of times outdoors, you know how important it is to get clean water as soon as possible.

Easy to Use

The water filter is simple and easy to use. You don’t have to suck, squeeze, or pump the water to filter it. You just fill up the water filter, press the button, and start drinking. It’s so easy, you won’t find another water filter that’s this easy to use.

15 Seconds to Filter

The water filter only needs 15 seconds to fully clean the water. You won’t need to wait a long time to get clean and fresh water. You can spend more time hiking than you will filtering the water.

Removes Almost Everything

The water filter can remove nearly 100 percent of the viruses and bacteria from the water you’re drinking. You won’t have to worry about E. coli, cholera, or salmonella when you have this water filter helping you out. You won’t get sick when you’re using this water filter.

Filters Heavy Metals

If you’re concerned by heavy metals or chemicals in your water, you can relax. This water filter will remove most chemicals and heavy metals. Even if you’re in an area where there are plenty of particles, they are filtered out.

Highlighted Features:

  • Compact for global traveling
  • One press filter design
  • Works quickly
  • Removes particles, heavy metals, etc.
  • Leaves no aftertaste
  • Removes bad odors


  • Perfect for global travel
  • Easy to use
  • Filters water quickly
  • Removes most bacteria


  • Some people may not like the seat
  • The grip heart rate may not be accurate


If you’re looking for a quality water filter that is easy to use, this is the one for you. It does everything you want a water filter to do, and it doesn’t take too much effort to filter the water. You just have to fill the water filter up, press a button, and go on your way. It’s practical for anyone spending a significant amount of time outdoors.

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4. LifeStraw Go Water Bottle Filter

LifeStraw Go Water Bottle Filter

LifeStraw Go Water Bottle Filter is the ideal water filter for any activity. You can use this water filter for traveling, backpacking, hiking, or just about anything else you want to do. It removes chemicals and bacteria easily to give you safe drinking water.

There is no odor or aftertaste left over after you’ve filtered the water through the filter. It’s perfect for any outdoor lover.



This water filter is durable enough to last you a long time. It is made from BPA-free plastic, allowing you to use it anywhere. The bottle won’t leak, which is ideal for those needing to stay hydrated. You’ll appreciate having this water filter with you.

Removes Most Bacteria

Any waterborne chemicals don’t stand a chance when you’re using the water filter to clean your water. It removes 99.99 percent of protozoa that can be found in many water sources. You won’t’ have to worry about getting sick after putting your water through the filter.

Hollow Fiber Membrane

The hollow fiber membrane water filter will remove any harmful bacteria in your water. It doesn’t require you to use any chemicals, such as iodine to sanitize the water. Once it passes through the filter, it is safe to drink right away.

2nd Stage Filter

The second stage filter removes any odors from your water to keep it fresh. Chlorine is removed from the water, and there isn’t an aftertaste when you’re using the filter to clean your water. You will taste the difference when you use this water filter.

Large Console

The large console makes reading the display easy, so you don’t have to hunch over to see it. You can keep track of your time, distance, calories, and pulse the hand grips. It’s ideal for staying within your cardiovascular rates.

Highlighted Features:

  • Ideal for any outdoor activity
  • Hollow fiber membrane
  • 2nd stage activated carbon filter
  • Durable
  • BPA-free


  • Ideal for traveling
  • It’s perfect for taking out on a kayak
  • Filters water out of the tap
  • It is easy to use


  • Some units may not have a carbon capsule

Final Verdict

For those wanting an easy to use water filter, this is the one for you. It is easy to use, and removes harmful bacteria out of the water. You won’t get sick when you’re outside, and need to get some water from a stream. While some units may not have the carbon capsule, you can contact the manufacturer to get a new one. It can be a pain, but it is worth it.

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5. Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System

Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System

For those looking for a high-performance filter, Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System is the one you want. It is practical for any outdoor activity and does everything you need a water filter to do.

It is compact, and you can attach it to just about anything. If you don’t want a complex filter, you’ll appreciate this one.


Compact Design

This water filter will fit in the palm of your hand without a problem. When you’re on the go, you can reach for the filter and have it working immediately. It will filter out just about any microorganism and bacteria.

Attaches to Drinking Pouch

The filter connects to the drinking pouch or a water bottle. Unless you want to drink straight from the stream, this is multifunctional. No matter how you want to drink your water, this filter will assist you.

Long Lasting

This water filter will last you a long time. It is certified to have 10,000 gallons of water pass through it. It is ideal for those wanting a water filter that they don’t need to change out all the time. Since it lasts so long, you won’t have to spend too much money getting replacements.

Perfect for Outdoors

No matter what type of outdoor activity you’re into, this water filter will work just about anywhere. It’s ideal for camping, hiking, scouting, and travelling. If you’re going to be going outside, you want to make sure you have this water included in your luggage.

Removes Most Bacteria

This filter allows you to filter out harmful bacteria, such as E. coli, salmonella, and cholera. Any protozoa found in the water is most likely to disappear when it’s filtered through this device. It’s ideal for ensuring you have safe and clean water to drink.

Highlighted Features:

  • Compact design
  • Attaches to water bottles
  • Filters out a lot of water
  • Removes most bacteria
  • Ideal for outdoor use


  • Ideal for filtering out bacteria
  • It is compact to take anywhere
  • You can travel anywhere with it
  • It can attach to different water bottles


  • The backflush syringe is flimsy

Final Verdict

If you’re looking for a water filter that is easy to carry around, this is the one for you. It can be used in a variety of ways, allowing you to get the most out of the water filter. If you’re planning on going on any outdoor excursion, you want to make sure you have this water filter with you. It’s ideal for anyone that loves to travel.

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Final Verdict

Backpacking water filters are ideal for those that spend a lot of time outside. Getting clean and fresh water doesn’t have to be a hassle. There are plenty of options available in order to choose the best backpacking water filter, and if you’re looking for one, there are tons available. We recommend the GRAYL Ultralight Water Purifier, because it is easy to use, and works quickly to give you your filtered water.

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