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Best Water Filters And Purifiers For Backcountry Camping

Paddling Buyer’s Guide

No matter how much you like to rough it, clean and safe drinking water is one thing no camper can do without. Untreated water may look and taste perfectly fine, but various contaminants can lurk within, with the potential to put your health at serious risk. Fortunately a wide range of water treatment options is available, but which one is right for you? From gravity filters to pumps, water treatment tablets and more, here are our picks for the best filters and purifiers for your next backcountry camping trip.


5. Best Versatility

Sawyer Squeeze

$38 |

How do you stand out in the crowded water treatment market? With the Squeeze Filter, Sawyer has created a three-in-one design. You can drink directly from the source via the filter, connect the filter to your hydration bladder, or squeeze water into another bottle. The filter itself is palm-sized and weighs just three ounces. The kit has two one-liter pouches and additional accessories for inline use.

Sawyer has several other smaller squeeze-controlled filters, including the Mini and Micro. Still, this Squeeze kit stands out for its ability to provide for groups, filter out particles, protozoa and bacteria, and provide a liter of water in about 30 seconds flat.

Read more about the best water filters and purifiers for backcountry camping here.


January 13, 2023

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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.

Kevin Brouillard
Travel & Leisure


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
Media Mentions from Halfway Anywhere


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

Bikepacking Team