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What is the Best Water Purifier for Backpacking?

One of the most overlooked parts of any good outdoor gear list is one’s water purifying system. Without a solid water purifying system, one can easily expose themselves to a whole host of diseases, thanks to the little pathogens floating around in natural water sources.

When you’re out and about in the wilderness, you need to be self-sufficient when it comes to water. Spending quality time outdoors is all about being self-reliant on your own skills and equipment when you’re far from the big city.

Luckily, a good water purifying system can protect you from what can turn into a serious illness when you’re in the backcountry. However, with so many options out there for water purifiers, it’s understandable if you’re a little bit overwhelmed.

That’s why we’ve put together our list of the 10 best water purifiers for backpacking, complete with reviews of the ten best models around so you can find the one that’s right for your needs. Let’s get to it!

LAST UPDATED

July 8, 2022

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Trail & Summit

Media Mentions from Trail & Summit

Hello!

Here’s my quickie “about me”…

  • Husband to my high school sweetheart Kristen.
  • Father of two boys, Jake and Josh.
  • Ultramarathoner – completed two 100 mile races and training for my 3rd.
  • Online marketing nerd – been making my living online since 2000.
  • Based in Bend, Oregon – not a bad little mountain town to raise a family.

Take care,

-David

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