The Best Backpacking Water Filters
We cover everything you need to know about backpacking water filters—why they’re important, how the different filtration methods work, and which models are our personal favorites.
The ability to filter water is critical for most multi-day backpacking trips. Being able to turn any natural water source you come across—like rivers and lakes—into clean and safe drinking water is what makes most extended backcountry trips possible (otherwise you would have to haul all your water with you!).
And while a good water filter system is such an important piece of backpacking gear, finding the right one can be really difficult. I know this could be said about a lot of topics, but I honestly can’t think of anything more nuanced than backpacking water filters.
There are just so many different factors to consider: the actual method of filtration (physical, chemical, or UV), the different designs (gravity, squeeze, pump), and different configurations (in-line or batch). On top of that, there’s a bunch of science-y and tech-heavy terminology to wade through. Some of it relevant, some of it not. You get the point. It’s a lot.
But don’t worry, we are going to break it all down for you!
In this article, we’re going to highlight the reasons why it’s important to use water filtration (and carry a backup) when backpacking, review the main methods of filtration, discuss the pros and cons of different designs, and offer our personal recommendations of filters we have used and loved. Read it here.
May 7, 2022
Outdoor Life: Do You Really Need a Water Filter for Backpacking and Mountain Hunting?
Fresh drinking water is essential. This water filtration system ensures you will never run out as long as there is a nearby natural water source. It can filter out bacteria, protozoa and microplastics.
Faster and more efficient than pumping or waiting for chemical treatments, the Sawyer Squeeze System offers on-the-go hydration at a good flow. This product is long-lasting, affordable, reliable, cleanable, and very user-friendly.
But Sawyer was way ahead of me — 15 years ahead, to be precise. In 2008, the brand started its Clean Water for All initiative, which provides Sawyer filters to developing countries around the world. And the company spends 90% of its profits funding it.