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7 Best Portable Water Filters: The Ultimate List from Heavy

A highly packable and portable water filter is a pivotal survival item EVERY outdoorsman and traveler should own. If you enjoy spending time in the great outdoors or in parts of the world where water quality is questionable, then owning a water filtration system is an absolute must.

Lightweight and packable water filters allow you to carry less packed water while hiking or traveling and of course provide you with emergency access to clean water. Those who hike even a few miles from the beaten path are wise to own a portable water filter for both convenience and safety.

Packing water is heavy, and going without it for any duration is simply not an option. There’s nothing more important than clean water in each and every survival scenario you can think up — a portable filter is an easy solution to this fact.

All of our selected filters have been chosen for their portability, effectiveness, and lifespan, so don’t rule these units out for at home emergency use!

You can go on for days or even weeks without food, but the human body requires clean fresh water for survival in as little as 24 hours. Carrying a device into the field that ensures you stay hydrated should be rule number one for any serious trekker. Falling ill from ingesting unclean water will furthermore be the morbid end to any survival situation and is easily avoided with filters from our top list.

Drastically trim your pack weight and ensure you always have the ability to create clean water with one of our top picks of portable water filters. They’re affordable, add very little volume or weight to your gear load and just might save your life in a jam! Happy trails from all of us here at Heavy!

See the full list by Harry Spampinato on Heavy's website here.

LAST UPDATED

May 7, 2022

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Heavy

Media Mentions from Heavy

Heavy is a global platform for the most sought-after news and information.

Through its flagship website, Heavy.com, and Spanish-language platform, AhoraMismo.com, readers benefit from rapid, unbiased reporting to access the most sought-after news and information in real time.

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My only complaint is that eventually, backflushing won’t be enough. These can clog up after some time and no amount of back flushing will fix its low flow. I went through 2 on the AT. However, it will attach to Smart Water Bottles and most bladders!

Anna Hamrick

MEDIA MENTIONS

Built for backcountry reliability and portability, the Sawyer Squeeze filter is our pick for the best portable water purifier.

Pete Ortiz
Writer

MEDIA MENTIONS

The Sawyer Squeeze was (by far) the most common Pacific Crest Trail water filter this year – for the fifth year in a row. It’s a $39, 3 oz / 85 g hollow fiber filter that rids your drinking water of protozoa and bacteria (and floaties). It can be used with Sawyer bags (included with the filter) or with compatible water bottles (Smartwater is the bottle of choice for many hikers).

Halfway Anywhere
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