Best Backpacking Water Filters: Get Clean Drinking Water

Get fresh and clean drinking water on the go with these backpacking water filters

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If you’re planning a backpacking trip, you need a reliable backpacking water filter. Staying hydrated is one of the most important things to keep in mind while hiking, and you may not have access to freshwater. While you could take a chance and drink the water straight from the river, that may be unwise. Instead, here are the best backpacking water filters you should consider to filter out any contaminants. 

  • Best Overall
    Runacc Water Purifier Camping Straw Filtration System
    Summary
    Summary
    The filtration system is made out of high-grade silicone and able to purify up to 600 gallons of water.
    Pros
    Pros
    The kit works to filter up to 99.99 percent of bacteria. The ball pump makes it convenient and easy to get water without sucking it through the filter. It provides a good water flow and comes with a carrying case.
    Cons
    Cons
    The additional pump makes it bulky and a bit more difficult to pack away. It also takes a while for it to pump water.
  • Best Value
    LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
    Summary
    Summary
    A small yet powerful and reliable straw that is capable of filtering up to 1,000 gallons of water without chlorine or chemicals.
    Pros
    Pros
    The whole thing is lightweight and is only 2 ounces, making it ultra-portable and easy to stow. It’s strong enough to filter out dirt, sand, and mud to make crystal clear drinking water.
    Cons
    Cons
    It takes a bit of suction to get the water flowing which can be more difficult in higher altitudes. This also means you will need more lung capacity.
  • Honorable Mention
    Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System
    Summary
    Summary
    A compact, two-ounce water filtration system capable of filtering out 99.99 percent of bacteria and 100 percent of microplastics.
    Pros
    Pros
    The tiny filter is rated to filter 100,000 gallons of contaminated water. Plus, it comes with a drinking straw, reusable squeeze pouch, and cleaning plunger. It’s simple to use and understand, will last several hiking trips, and can be used for on-demand filtration, in-line filtration, or filtration on the move.
    Cons
    Cons
    The 16-ounce bag is small and can take a while to filter. It will take a while to drip out the water into a bottle, and sucking through the straw can be a chore and time-consuming.

Tips

  • Bring a few water bottles with you on your hike if you have the room. It can take a while to filter out fresh water from a pond or river, and you don’t want to stay out until dark. You can fill empty water bottles with contaminated water then and then filter them back at the campsite.
  • Filtering water on the go can be time-consuming and take a few minutes, so make sure you leave yourself enough time to get to where you are going before it gets dark.
  • For an easier time carrying the water filtration system, get a backpacking backpack. It allows you to carry more gear more conveniently.
  • Clean the filter when necessary. If you continue running water through it after its recommended to change the filter can damage the straw and the filtration system.

FAQs

Q: How long will a backpacking water filter last?

A: This varies by the type of bottle and manufacturer. For instance, if the filter says it can filter up to 1,000 liters of water, then after it reaches 1,000 liters, it will no longer function as intended. You then need to purchase a new filter or a brand new water filtration system.

Q: How can I tell when the filter is close to running out?

A: Keep a record of how many liters or gallons you have filtered with the filter. You can easily do this by pouring the water into a water bottle and taking notes of how many liters it fills. Some are designed to stop working once they reach or surpass their intended limit.

Q: Will a backpacking water filter work on seawater?

A: No. They are not intended to filter out salt from the ocean or sea. It is advisable to never use them on saltwater.

Final Thoughts

If you want a reliable and long-lasting backpacking water filter, check out the Runacc Water Purifier Camping Straw Filtration System

There’s the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, which is less expensive, lightweight, powerful, and filters 1,000 gallons of water.