Best Backpacking Water Filters (2018 edition)

Truth be told; any outdoor activity like hiking, camping any other can be quite demanding, both mentally and physically. After trailing for extended periods, you body will need a lot of water. Interestingly, you could pass a lot of water streams but you can’t take that water. The water there is not clean and can leave you dealing with an avalanche of health issues. It is because of this outdoor enthusiasts are always advised to arm themselves with the best backpacking water filters out there.

Proper water treatment is unquestionable as it is good for our health. For that, you just need the best backpacking water filters before you set out on your journey. We know how this piece of equipment is important and for that, we are going to guide you find the best, especially if you are shopping for these kinds of filters for the first time.


  1. Katadyn Hiker Pro
  2. MSR Miniworks Ex
  3. Katadyn Vario
  4. Lifestraw
  5. Sawyer Mini
  6. Etekcity Portable 1500L Emergency
  7. MSR Autoflow Gravity
  8. Platypus Gravityworks
  9. Katadyn Gravity Camp 6L

Why You Need The Right Backpacking Water Filter

First things first, before we even take a quick look at how to choose the best backpacking water filter; it will make a lot of sense if we first see why we need it in the first place. Here are some practical benefits you can net from that water filter.

Clean drinking water :

There is no denying the fact that mountain stream water can be some of the cleanest.  Now take that clean water and pour it into your water filter and you get something even much better. So if you want clean and fresh water, the best backpacking water filter is exactly what you need. It will constantly continue to feed you with some of the freshest and cleanest water throughout your journey in the wilderness.

It is lightweight :

Truth be told, when you are out there in the backcountry hiking, pretty much like any other person, you just want to keep  the weight of everything you are carrying as low as possible. You don’t need that backpack to weigh you down forcing you to take extra break in between breaks. Thankfully, with a backpacking water filter, you don’t need to worry about extra weight being added on top of what you are carrying in that backpack.

Some of these filters weighing as low as 250 grams, we could say they are impressively portable and most importantly lightweight.  In short, there no other water treatment method that beats that of backpacking water filters. So apart from enjoy some of the freshest water, you will also keep the weight of your backpack down. For real, where else can you possibly get all that.

Bring cleanest water in one portable bottle’ :

One of the biggest advantages of backpacking water filters is that you get to enjoy enough water in one bottle. As long as you are near a stream or even a river, you are good to go. However, keep in mind that it normally takes a couple of minutes for this piece of equipment to properly filter water. So you need to be little bit more patient.

What To Consider When Buying A backpacking Water Filter

The industry has in the recent months exploded into something we all wouldn’t have imagined some years back.  There are those brands that have been around for eras and their filters have found their way into the heart of many hikers and campers. However, we have seen new players come in and give them a run for their money. So with the number of choices available, it is nearly impossible to single out the best. There are virtually tons and tons of choices and if you have never been made to make a choice before, you are going to be confused.

To make your choosing process a bit easier and help you nail the best in the market, here are some of the things you may want to keep in mind when buying your water filter for your next hiking trip. These key factors will help you narrow down the list to some of the best.

Price :

This, probably, is the very first thing you need to figure out. How much money are you willing to invest on this great piece of water treatment equipment? It is important you do this as that will dictate what you are going to take at home at the end of your shopping.

Technically, water filters vary a greatly in price depending on the style and model you choose. So what you need, what you think will work for your situation and what suits your budget will determine what you are going to buy. In any case, don’t let price be the main determining factor. If you are required to dig dipper into your pocket for a great design and great features, do it. After all, what is true in other industries is also true in this industry. Cheap is expensive. Plus, you always get what you pay for.


The kind of capacity you filter comes with is critical and must be considered at all times. At this pointing time, a number of factors will play out. For example, largely depending on how frequently you travel into the backcountry and how many people are going to need that treated water; you need to consider how much water can be treated by that particular water filter. So if you are 10 and all of you are going to need water from that one filter, you may want to go with something that can take care of every single one of you.


Pretty much like any other backpacking gear, you need something that comes with a very manageable weight. Talk to any professional hikers today and they will tell you; when it comes to outdoor activities gear, it is all about keeping the weight down. Since you will be on the road or trails for the better part of your trip, you need something you can carry for miles and miles with so much ease. So when it comes to the kind of water filter you buy, make sure it is lightweight and one that will make your life much easy ion the trail.

Ease of use And Care

Truth be told, there are those complicated water filers that can take you hours or even days to figure out how to use. Treating your water is something you will have to complete multiple times every day in the backcountry.  For that you just need something that is fun and super easy to use. If your filter is obnoxious, you are likely to get annoyed with it quickly.  In other case, after a few treatments, your filter will need to be properly cleaned. So find something you can clean without any much effort. Be very careful with the choice you make.

Top Rated Backpacking Water Filters Every One Is Talking About

Although the industry has in the recent past continued to see the very best being created and made available to consumers all over the world, there are those model that have stood their grounds and become top sellers. They are not only efficient, but will ensure you enjoy some of the cleanest water all through. We have rounded them up and you might want to try out any one of them. They are efficient and the way they have been built will ensure you use them now and for years to come.


See this product on:


  • Glass fiber/carbon core filter medium
  • BPA free
  • Comes with field maintenance kit
  • Filter water quickly
  • Connects directly to hydration reservoirs
  • Effectively removes bacteria and protozoa down to 0.2 micros
  • Can handle muddy and silty water


  • Trouble performing well in freezing temperatures
  • Filter can clog over time
  • Handle and intake valve not durable

Bottom Line: Although the KATADYN HIKER PRO does come with a relatively short filter life and is quite pricey to replace, it is one of the most versatile and reliable backpacking water filter you can buy today. It will help you clean water from puddles.

If for days you have been combing through places looking for are reliable water filter option for you next hiking trip, you need not to look further. The KATADYN HIKER PRO is a solid choice. Yes, it is pricey but considering all the benefits it comes with, we could say, it is worth every single penny. Take for example, its construction; it is unlike anything we have seen on any other model on the market. It is made of ABS plastic and comes with a number of hoses and small parts. The pump also does its work well.


See this product on:


  • Field cleanable
  • BPA free
  • 4 liter capacity
  • Filter quickly
  • Removes protozoa and bacteria\Shutoff hose clamp
  • Durable
  • Antimicrobial treatment
  • Straps for hanging while its filters


  • Quite expensive
  • Filter can freeze
  • Need to use a cup to fill the dirty water reservoir when in shallow water sources
  • Can get clogged by silty and slimy water

Bottom Line: The PLATYPUS GRAVITYWORKS does its work so well. Other than just cleaning your water, it makes surer no bacteria go through the filter. One problem though; it is quite bulky and you will need a decent water source in order to fill the bag.

Based on all we have heard and read, it is without any questions, the PLATYPUS GRAVITYWORKS is one of the most convenient backpacking water filters on the market right now. Unlike others, this filter is said to require very minimal effort and the best part, it clean water fast. Its capacity is also worth mentioning. Coming with a 4 liter water reservoir, we could say this is a solid choice if you are going to need water for around 4 people or even more. However, be ready to deal with its size. Coming equipped with 2 bags, a bundle of tubing and a filter, it is quite huge. It is still the best though.


See this product on:


  • Affordable
  • Lightweight
  • BPA free
  • Hollow fiber membrane filter medium
  • Filters water quickly
  • Field cleanable
  • Removes bacteria and protozoa
  • Lifetime filtration of up to 1000 liters


  • Needs straw suction from bottle to filter
  • Straw takes a bit to get going
  • Only ideal for immediate consumption

Bottom Line: Although, it cannot in any way full bottles, the LIFESTRAW is a great emergency water treatment backup. It will truly come handy during emergencies and the best part; it is quite affordable.

Looking at the LIFESTRAW we could say this quite a feat. Designers have upped their games and came up with something simple for emergencies. This piece of equipment directs water to mouth. Its ease of use is astonishing. All you need is a straw, you then insert one end into a body of water and you drink from the other end. Other than its high efficiency, the LIFESTRAW is also one of the most affordable backpacking water filters you could find today.  Although it cannot fill bottles, going at around $20, we are pretty sure most people are going to love it. It is an amazing backup plan in case your usual water filter fails and you are in the middle of your trails. This is the best choice for people who are searching for the best but wouldn’t want to pay a lot of money for it.

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