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The 5 Best Backpacking Water Filters of 2024

We tested backpacking water filters and treatment systems from Platypus, Sawyer, Katadyn, LifeStraw, and others to find the best option for your adventures.

Our filtration gurus have bought and tested 44 of the best backpacking water filters over the last 12 years. This updated review covers 24 filters and treatment systems. We tested these filters extensively on various adventures, from climbing trips in Peru to running expeditions across the USA to fastpacking adventures in Iceland. We evaluate portability and ease of maintenance in the field while also investigating critical aspects such as what each model removes from the water and how long it takes to process one potable liter of water. We confidently offer backcountry travelers our insights and recommendations based on our comprehensive field and objective in-house testing.

When it comes to the backcountry, having the right backpacking gear makes all the difference. If you're in the market for the best backpacking backpack or a best backpacking stove, we have recommendations for your specific needs and budget. From the best backpacking tents that won't take up too much space in your pack to the best base layer tops to keep you warm, you'll be ready for the backcountry in no time.

Read the complete review written by By Amber King, Jessica Haist, and Trish Matheny here.


March 26, 2024

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Gear Lab

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Have you ever wanted to buy an outdoor product and been stumped about which product is best? Or, worse, bought a product only to learn later that you didn’t buy the right one for your needs? I have, and that is why I started OutdoorGearLab.

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Media Mentions

Sawyer has an alternative [to DEET] made with Picaridin, which works just as well without spoiling your clothes.

James Wong
Freelance Writer

Media Mentions

Zinzi Edmundson, the founder of Treehouse newsletter, who gardens in Maine, suggests spraying your shoes, especially (she uses Sawyer’s permethrin).

Laura Fenton

Media Mentions

I carry bottles of water, but I also have a Sawyer squeeze water filter. Also, if it’s cold, make sure you sleep with your water filter in your sleeping bag, so it doesn’t freeze.

Shilletha Curtis