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The 12 Best Personal Water Filters for Hiking of 2021

Keep clean water close with these picks

When going on a hike—or embarking on a camping trip—you want to make sure you’ll have plenty of clean water to drink. And since you’ll be carrying all your gear on your back, staying hydrated isn’t as simple as throwing a bunch of full water bottles into your bag. You’ll need a lightweight solution that can filter or purify the water you find-on-the-go. Put simply, you’ll need a water filter or a water purifier, depending on where you’re headed.

It’s important to note that water filters and water purifiers aren’t exactly the same thing. Water filters can remove bacteria, protozoa, and sediment from water, but they tend not to remove viruses. Water purifiers can remove bacteria, protozoa, and viruses from water, but they tend not to remove sediment. If you’re heading to a nearby hiking trail, a water filter should suffice. But if you’re traveling internationally (or anywhere water-borne viruses may be a concern), you may want to invest in a water purifier.

There are plenty of water filters and water purifiers out there for you to choose from. So be sure to find an option that works for you before heading out on your next camping trip—or even your next hike.

Here are the best personal water filters on the market written by Lindsey Lanquist.


May 6, 2022

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Fresh drinking water is essential. This water filtration system ensures you will never run out as long as there is a nearby natural water source. It can filter out bacteria, protozoa and microplastics.

Allen Foster


Faster and more efficient than pumping or waiting for chemical treatments, the Sawyer Squeeze System offers on-the-go hydration at a good flow. This product is long-lasting, affordable, reliable, cleanable, and very user-friendly.

Alan Dixon


But Sawyer was way ahead of me — 15 years ahead, to be precise. In 2008, the brand started its Clean Water for All initiative, which provides Sawyer filters to developing countries around the world. And the company spends 90% of its profits funding it.

Shauna Farnell