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What are the best water filter and purification treatment systems used by backpackers? We asked backpackers whether they preferred squeeze-style water filters, pump water filters, gravity filter systems, chemical purification or purification using an ultraviolet light. We surveyed 1275 hikers in 2019 to ask them what water filters and treat methods they prefer. We found that 80% of them use just 10 different makes and models, which we list below, together with their average satisfaction ratings on a scale of 1-5, with 5 being the most favorable.

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May 7, 2022

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Section Hiker

Media Mentions from Section Hiker

Philip Werner is a full-time outdoor author and backpacker who resides in New England. His website SectionHiker.com is ranked as the #1 Hiking and Backpacking Blog on the internet by AdventureJunkies.com in 2018, 2019, 2020, and 2021.

The name of this site, Section Hiker, refers to the Long Trail which I section hiked in 2008 and the Applachian Trail that I’m still working through. To date, I’ve completed 1400 miles of the AT and hope to complete all of the sections between Georgia and Maine someday. I’ve also hiked thru-hiked the TGO Challenge (Coast-to-Coast across Scotland) twice and I’m currently section hiking the Cape Wrath Trail, also in Scotland.

MEDIA MENTIONS

Of all the creepy crawlers, ticks keep me on high alert. They can be very tiny in the nymph stage and difficult to see. They love to hang out in tall grasses along the trail and hitch a ride on hikers passing by. I plan on treating most of my clothes and gear with Sawyer Permethrin.

Joanne Gigliotti

MEDIA MENTIONS

Ultra-compact and lightweight

House Grail
Media Mentions from House Grail

MEDIA MENTIONS

I would often just drink directly from the sawyer squeeze if I was feeling lazy- which by the way works wonderfully.

Rachel McVittie