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Best Backpacking Water Filters of 2021

From ultralight chemical purifiers to gravity filters for large groups, we break down the top outdoor water treatment options

Everyone exploring the backcountry needs water, but staying hydrated is not as simple as drinking straight from streams and lakes. To protect against protozoa, bacteria, and even viruses, there is a wide range of water filtration and purification systems built specifically for backpacking (many options on this list are great for day hiking, trail running, and travel too). Our top picks for 2021 below include everything from ultralight straw filters and chemical drops to pumps and large-quantity gravity filters.

Interested in learning more? Click on the link to continue reading the complete article written by the Switchback Travel Staff that explores multiple water filter options, as well as, other things to know when staying hydrated in the backcountry.

LAST UPDATED

May 6, 2022

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Switch Back Travel

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Authentic gear reviews and travel guides for the modern adventurer.

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My only complaint is that eventually, backflushing won’t be enough. These can clog up after some time and no amount of back flushing will fix its low flow. I went through 2 on the AT. However, it will attach to Smart Water Bottles and most bladders!

Anna Hamrick

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Built for backcountry reliability and portability, the Sawyer Squeeze filter is our pick for the best portable water purifier.

Pete Ortiz
Writer

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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
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