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Best Portable Water Filter

best portable water filterSometimes you just need a pitcher with a water filter so you can have clean water anywhere in your home when you need it. Then there are other times when you are out backpacking, run out of water, and need to filter stream water in order to have something safe to drink. The best portable water filter options in this category will be able to meet your clean water needs, no matter where you might need to take a drink.

Some of the portable water filters in this category are designed like a large-scale filtered water bottle. Other portable water filters use gravity to their advantage so you can effectively treat a large amount of water and then store it for future use. The top-rated portable water filters in the chart below are proven to make sure you have the clean water you need.

PictureProduct NameOur RatingPrice
PictureProduct NameOur RatingPrice
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter4.7$$
Survivor Filter Reusable Portable Water Filter4.7$$
UPD Survival Water Purifier Straw4.6$$
Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System4.7$$
Etekcity Portable 1500L Camping Water Filter4.6$$
Vario Dual Technology Microfilter4.4$$$$$
Survival Water Filter Personal Water Filter Straw4.7$$
MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter4.3$$$$$
LifeStraw Family 1.0 Water Purifier4.6$$$$
Crazo Water Purifier Straw4.7$

What is a Portable Water Filter and Why Do I Need One?

Portable water filters help you be able to have something clean to drink, no matter where you happen to be. This is especially important for those who do backcountry hiking or frequently travel outside of North America or Europe. Water quality varies widely around the world, so the best strategy for hikers or travelers to use is to filter their water before they drink it.

A portable water filter can remove chemical compounds from the water, such as chlorine, to improve its smell and flavor. Some filters are able to remove bacteria, amoebae, and protozoa that may be present in the water as well. UV sanitation, when included with a portable water filter, can even remove a virus that might be lurking in the water supply.

Even though a water source may be clean, all it takes is one infected animal (or human) to leave waste materials in the water to contaminate it. The best portable water filters will remove the contaminants and then store up to 8L of water for future consumption. That way you only need to work on the filtration process a few times per week instead of a few times per day.

How to Find the Best Portable Water Filter for Me

There are four basic types of portable water filters that can be considered in this category.

Micro-filters. These are hand-held water filters that are good for hikers, campers, and general travel. They are stronger than a standard household-style water filter, like you’d find in a water bottle, but will only remove basic contaminants from the water supply. Some are rated to remove bacteria and protozoa.
Gravity Filters. This type of filter does a good job against most types of water contaminants, though micro-viruses may still be able to enter the water supply. If cysts, bacteria, and protozoa are suspected to be in the water, this device will help you make sure you have a clean drink of water to enjoy.
Pump Filters. These work in the same way as a gravity filter but use a pump to move the water through the filter instead of gravity. This is your best option if you aren’t sure that you’ll have enough space to hang a filter somewhere so that gravity can move the water through the filter.
Purifiers. This is the type of portable water filter you’ll need when there is a suspected virus living in the water. It is recommended for all travelers outside of North America and Europe when a natural water source must be tapped. It may also be required in communities when a “Do Not Drink” order has been issued for the local water supply.

Even with the best portable water filter helping you get the clean drink you need, there may still be a requirement to disinfect the water. For this reason, you may wish to stock a supply of chlorine dioxide tablets. These tablets are rated to be effective against viruses, micro-organisms, and even Cryptosporidium.

We recommend this box of 30 water purification tablets from Potable Aqua to purify your water because it has a minimal aftertaste and only requires 4 hours of treatment time for the most contaminated water supplies.

What Else Can I Do to Purify My Water?

If you’re not sure about which portable water filter is right for you, then there is always a fail-safe option available to you. Boiling your water is a foolproof way of making sure it does not contain any contaminants. The heat will effectively disinfect the water. It is 100% effective against all waterborne pathogens.

It is often recommended to boil your water for at least 60 seconds to make sure the heat has disinfected it. This is because the Hepatitis A virus is believed to be able to survive for up to 60 seconds in the increased heat. If you are at a higher elevation (5,000 feet or higher), then the recommendation rises to a 3-minute boil.

This option will only work if you have fuel to heat the water and a container which can resist the heat.

What Are the Prices of the Best Portable Water Filters?

Entry-level water filters in this category can often be found for under $30. At this price, you’ll receive disinfectant removal and light contaminant removal.

If you need an all-purpose water filtering and treatment system, then you’ll find prices may rise up to $120 or more for some products. At this price, you will find gravity or pump filters that can store water for your traveling needs. Look through the best portable water filter reviews for a product that is easy to assemble with an outlet hose that is compatible with multiple sources.

A complete portable purification system which is rated to remove viruses may cost $350 or more. The price for a purifier depends on its size, the amount of water it can store, and how quickly the purification process is completed.

Product Reviews

LifeStraw Personal

This is the portable water filter that has been used successfully by millions of people around the world. Now you can have safe water in the convenience of your pocket. It removes virtually all waterborne bacteria and 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites. The filter is effective down to 0.2 microns, screening out virtually every possible contaminant except some viruses. It will filter up to 1,000 liters of water before needing to be replaced. Grab it for emergencies or your next hiking trip and you won’t be disappointed by what this water filter can do.

Click here to look at pricing on Amazon and get the best deal.

Survivor Filter

This is another water filter that does a great job of filtering out virtually all contaminants. It’s been rated to filter down to 0.05 microns with its 3-stage filtration process. Unlike other filters of this size, it will actively filter up to 100,000L of water, so it really is built to last forever. It comes with a lifetime warranty, can screw onto virtually any standard water bottle, and is made from military-grade ABS materials. Make sure you grab this water filter for your emergency kit and you’ll be ready for virtually any circumstance.

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UPD

This is the only water filter we had the privilege of looking at which featured an 8-stage filtration process. It’s a design which allows the filter to have an accuracy rating of 0.01 microns. It is able to filter up to 1,600L of water before needing to be replaced. It’s compact enough to fit into a pocket or backpack if you wish, but it also has a locking carabiner clip so you can stick it to your pack mesh or a belt loop so it won’t get lost. Great as a survival tool or as part of your camping equipment, you won’t want to miss this deal.

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Katadyn

This pumping water filter eliminates the entire straw process altogether. It removes particles thanks to its activated carbon filter, so it reduces chemical exposures as well. A glass fiber filter is also included in the design so your water becomes incredibly clean, especially with the ceramic pre-filter as part of the design as well. It comes equipped with dual pumping modes, so it can produce up to two quarts of water per minute. Filtration is to 0.2 microns and the product is backed by a 1-year warranty.

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Crazo

This portable water filter kit gives you access to clean water in virtually any scenario. A purifier straw will give you clean water from virtually any source. You also have a mini-filter that you can take along for a hiking trip if you wish. The total capacity of this kit is 1,500L and it purifies without iodine or chlorine. There’s also a backwash device installed to protect the quality of the water.

Click here to look at pricing on Amazon and get the best deal.

The best portable water filter will help you make sure that you have a clean drink whenever thirst may strike. Whether you’re stocking an emergency kit, preparing for a backcountry expedition, or are just tired of tap water that smells like chlorine, these are the water filters that will help you enjoy drinking water once again.

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