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