Water-Purification Gear for Under $50
These will save you from drinking contaminated water—and shelling out a ton of money
Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter System
$40 from REI
Collect stream water in one of Sawyer's 32-ounce pouches, then filter it through the hollow-fiber membrane to remove bacteria and protozoa. The pouches are collapsible (each weighs only three ounces) and reusable, and you can drink straight from the filter's nozzle or pour the water into a bottle for later.
MSR TrailShot Pocket-Sized Water Filter
$50 from Backcountry
Like the LifeStraw, MSR's TrailShot lets you drink straight from the source, but its also good for filling a water bottles. Drop the long straw in the stream and squeeze the hand pump to get the magic started. It works fast, treating a liter of water in 30 seconds.
Katadyn BeFree Collapsible Water Filter Bottle
$45 from REI
Katadyn took a handy one-liter water bottle, which rolls up small to save space in your pack, and put 0.1-micron microfilter in its nozzle that removes 99.9 percent of nasties. The BeFree can purify up to 1,000 liters over its lifetime.
Head here to find the complete scoop on water purification gear under $50 put together by Graham Averill.
May 19, 2022
Outdoor Life: Do You Really Need a Water Filter for Backpacking and Mountain Hunting?
While DEET products may be more familiar by name and their chemical smell, sprays with 20 percent picaridin, like Sawyer Products, offer comparable protection without the harsh odor and oily feeling on your skin.
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).
SAWYER MINI WATER FILTER, $22 This has been my water filter of choice for years now. The bags can be iffy — I have had a few break – so carry a couple. However, the filter itself is reliable, light and inexpensive. -Logan