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BEST WATER FILTERS CLEVER HIKER GEAR GUIDE

Clean drinking water is an incredibly important consideration for any trip into the backcountry. If you’ve ever had the pleasure of experiencing a stomach parasite (we have, it’s awful), then you already know how critical clean drinking water is. If you haven’t, good! Let’s keep it that way.

For any extended trip into the wilderness you’ll want a treatment method for cleaning your drinking water. But when you start shopping for a good filter or purifier, you’ll quickly find that there are A LOT of different products out there.

We put together this guide to explain key treatment method differences and to share our personal favorite products. We’ve spent hundreds of hours researching and testing these tools, so we hope you find this information helpful.

QUICK RECOMMENDATIONS

Check out this quick list of our favorites if you’re in a hurry, or continue scrolling to see our full list with in-depth reviews.

  • Best quick ultralight water filter: Sawyer Squeeze
  • Ultralight microfilter with an impressive flow rate: Katadyn BeFree
  • Best gravity water filter for group camping & backpacking: Platypus GravityWorks
  • Lightweight & affordable filter that works well in shallow water sources: MSR Trail Shot
  • Best backup water purification: Chlorine Dioxide Drops / Pills
  • Best UV light water purifier: Katadyn Steripen Ultra
  • Best filter for purifying the worst of the worst water: MSR Guardian

Find more about what's important in a water filter, written by Dave & Annie here.

LAST UPDATED

May 9, 2022

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Clever Hiker

Media Mentions from Clever Hiker

CleverHiker.com is a website dedicated to providing knowledge, skills, and gear recommendations for lightweight backpacking adventures. We make tutorial videos, gear reviews, and in-depth trip guides to make backpacking easier for everyone.

We're Dave and Annie, the gear nerds behind Cleverhiker.com. Dave is a thru-hiker, Eagle Scout, and nature nut who's trekked every continent on the planet. Annie is a "retired" teacher who swapped out the classroom for wilderness adventures. We built CleverHiker.com to help share our backpacking knowledge, inspire people to get outdoors, and help conserve our wild spaces.

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