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The 10 Best Backpacking Water Filters of 2021

Stay healthy on the trail by drinking clean water.

The Rundown

Best Overall: LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle at Amazon

"Operates similarly to a standard water bottle, so it's an easy adoption for people who are new to filtering water."

Best Budget: LifeStraw Personal Water Filter at Amazon

"Consider this compact, lightweight filter system an affordable emergency option."

Best Lightweight: Sawyer Mini Water Filter at Amazon

"The entire four-piece kit weighs just two ounces."

Best for Groups: MSR AutoFlow XL Gravity Filter at Amazon

"With a 10-liter capacity, this system minimizes trips to the stream for easy group filtering."

Best Gravity Filter: Platypus GravityWorks Water Filter System at Amazon

"Lightweight and high volume, this gravity-fed filtration system is great for group hikes."

Best UV Light Filter: Crazy Cap UV Filter Bottle at Amazon

"Features a UV light that kills viruses and parasites by dismantling their DNA, rendering them harmless."

Best Chemical Treatment: Katadyn Micropur Purification Tablets at Amazon

"Taking up nearly no room, these cubes are great to pack for backup purification."

Best Bottle-Integrated Filter: Sawyer Products Select S3 at Amazon

"Just a few squeezes of this bottle is all it takes to purify your drinking water."

Best for International Travel: Grayl Geopress Water Purifier at Amazon

"Filters pathogens from bacteria to viruses so you can drink water from questionable locations."

Best Splurge: Katadyn Pocket Water Filter at Amazon

"A pump-style filter that’s meant to last for adventures where you can’t afford for it to fail."

Any survivalist can tell you that having a safe water source is one of the most important things to consider when heading out on a camping or backpacking adventure. Car campers can just carry jugs of water from home, but when you get further afield, carrying becomes impractical since water is extremely heavy. Drinking water from unknown sources is never a good idea, especially when you’re far from civilization and medical care.

Enter portable water filters. They let you carry a device for purifying water so you can use those wild sources of hydration without worrying about contamination. We rounded up our top backpack water filters across several categories so you can find the right solution for your adventures.

Read on for the best backpacking water filters available written by Justin Park.

LAST UPDATED

May 6, 2022

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Media Mentions from Trip Savvy

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MEDIA MENTIONS

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

MEDIA MENTIONS

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

Pete Ortiz
Writer

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