Best Water Filters for Backpacking of 2021
Having access to clean drinking water is absolutely vital when you’re hiking. However, what’s even more crucial is having CLEAN drinking water. That’s why carrying one of the best water filters for backpacking is so important.
If you’re going on a day hike, you can certainly attempt to pack enough water bottles to keep you hydrated. But that adds a lot of extra weight to your backpack. You also run the risk of running out of water.
That’s why it’s a good idea to carry a water filter. With one of these top water filters for hiking, you know you can turn any water into safe and clean drinking water.
This list of the best water filters for backpacking includes a variety of styles and designs. Check out the different options and figure out which one will work best for your needs.
1. Sawyer Squeeze
The Sawyer Squeeze is what I like to pack when I’m hiking. It’s small, lightweight, and incredibly easy to use.
Simply fill the pouch with water, screw the filter on the top, and squeeze the water out into another container, such as a water bottle or a water bladder.
Keep in mind that the pouches do wear down over time, so I recommend carrying some replacement pouches with you so you don’t have to worry about running out when you’re on the trail.
Related: How to Stay Cool Hiking in the Heat
2. Platypus GravityWorks
While the Sawyer Squeeze is a great personal water filter, it’s not convenient for filtering a lot of water for a group of people. That’s when the Platypus GravityWorks comes in handy.
To use this water filter system, simply fill the “Dirty” bag with water, hang it higher than the “Clean” bag, and gravity will take care of everything else for you.
The 4-liter and 6-liter high-capacity bags will quickly and effectively give you plenty of clean water for drinking, cooking, cleaning, and more.
Related: The Best Hiking Backpack for Every Hiker
3. Katadyn BeFree
The Katadyn BeFree is one of the best water filters for hiking because it gives you clean water on demand and offers everything you need in one convenient bottle.
Simply fill the bottle with water and the replaceable membrane cap will filter out harmful organisms. When you’re thirsty, just squeeze the bottle to get a drink.
When you’re done, the collapsible bottle folds up to easily fit into any small, tight space in your backpack.
4. LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle
The LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle is another all-in-one water filter bottle that can give you clean drinking water on the hiking trail. Simply fill the BPA-free bottle with water and drink through the straw like normal.
The hollow fiber membrane water filter removes bacteria, parasites, and even microplastics. You can also get replacement filters for your bottle.
Related: Hiking Mistakes You Never Want to Make
5. Katadyn Gravity Camp 6L
Do you need a lot of clean water quickly? Then you’ll love the Katadyn Gravity Camp 6L. Simply fill the bag with water, hang it up, and let gravity provide you with safe, fresh water.
The bag produces up to 2 liters a minute, which is faster than a lot of other gravity filters. Plus, not only is the bag compatible with hydration bladders, but you can also get an adapter to convert it into a camp shower.
6. MSR TrailShot
The MSR TrailShot is one of the best water filters for backpacking because it’s small, lightweight, and affordable. One advantage that the MSR TrailShot has over other backpacking water filters is that it works well in shallow water sources.
To use, simply place the end of the hose into the water source and squeeze the pump to pull water through the filter. You can squeeze the water into a water bottle or directly into your mouth.
Related: Important Tips for Hiking in the Rain
If you’re searching for a lightweight and affordable personal water filter for hiking, LifeStraw might be your ideal option. The filter removes bacteria, parasites, and more.
Simply place the LifeStraw in the water source and drink through the straw. The microfiltration membrane traps impurities and gives you safe and clean water.
One downside of LifeStraw is that you have to get close to your water source to use it. That means either laying on the ground next to your water source or scooping the water into a different container. That’s why the LifeStraw might make a better emergency option for your hiking trip.
Related: Essential Survival Gear Every Hiker Should Carry
8. MSR Guardian
If you’re going to be dealing with some seriously dirty water, such as a hiking trip through a developing country, the MSR Guardian is the water filter you need.
This water filter uses a military-grade water purifier pump and medical-grade fibers to remove viruses, bacteria, protozoa, and particulates from water. It self-cleans on every stroke, so you’ll get safe and consistently fast flow rates without any hassle.
It’s also designed to take a beating. It can withstand freezing weather, drops, and heavy use. While this water filter is heavier and more expensive than the other filters on this list, when it comes to peace of mind knowing you have safe and clean water, it’s certainly worth it.
8 Best Water Filters for Backpacking
You never have to worry about running out of drinking water when you’re on the trail when you choose one of these best water filters for backpacking. Whether you need something small and lightweight or strong and powerful, you’ll find exactly what you’re searching for with these top options.
More Hiking Gear Recommendations
If you like these recommendations on the best water filters for hiking, make sure you check out some of our other popular hiking gear posts: