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10 Best Backpacking Water Filters & Purifiers

Nothing ruins an amazing trip faster than getting sick. Whether you like to jet set or hike in the backcountry, it’s important to have safe drinking water. Buying bottled water everywhere you go means throwing away countless plastic bottles, and that’s something nobody wants to be doing. Luckily, packing a water filter is the perfect solution. Water filters allow you to be confident that you’ll have safe drinking water no matter where in the world you are.

What to Look for in a Good Water Filter for Backpacking

There are so many variables when it comes to water filters, your travel style along with how you’re looking to use the water filter will determine which one will suit you best. Below are some of the things you need to consider before purchasing a water filter.

1. Ease of Use

The last thing you want to be doing on a hiking trail is having to pull out your backpacking headlamp to read the instructions on your new water filter. Some are quite straightforward to use while others are more difficult and you find yourself needing to be reminded how to properly use and maintain them in the backcountry.

2. Filter Capacity

Every filter has a lifespan, some are better than others. Some will only be able to filter 30 gallons of water while others may be able to filter around 100,000 gallons. Another thing to consider is how often you’ll have to backwash it while you’re traveling.

3. Speed of Filtration

The rate at which you get clean water will likely be more important if you’re traveling in a group or don’t want to be slowed down. Some filters can produce nearly four liters in two minutes while others are only able to produce a liter per minute.

Head here to find the comparison table of Best Backpacking Water Filters written by Robin Gilmore here.

LAST UPDATED

May 7, 2022

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Road Affair

Media Mentions from Road Affair

Road Affair is an independent travel magazine that delivers news and entertainment to thousands of people around the world.

Road affair is a travel blog and the online journal of a young couple in search of a more fulfilling, adventurous, and happier life by living their dream of traveling.

MEDIA MENTIONS

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

MEDIA MENTIONS

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

MEDIA MENTIONS

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