Outdoors enthusiasts know that purchasing the best camping water filter can significantly enhance your experience. For one thing, you won’t have to carry a lot of water with you when hiking– but also, a filter makes the water you might get across during your trip safe to drink. During an overlanding trip, it can act as an emergency water solution in case your water tanks run dry. Overlanders should consider camping water filters as a backup system.

best survival water filter

Water Filters vs. Water Purifiers

Still, there’s one thing you should note beforehand, namely the distinction between water filters and water purifiers. Essentially, a water filter eliminates the impurities present in the water, such as chromium, chlorine, lead, copper, iron, and others. Concurrently, it inhibits the development of fungi and bacteria, but not of viruses. Meanwhile, a water purifier has the role of combating waterborne protozoa, bacteria, and viruses included. That’s because the viruses are too small for the filters to catch them.

best survival water filters

How do you decide between the two? In the case in which you’re hiking in the backcountries of the U.S. or Canada, a water filter might be just enough. That’s because, in pristine environments, human traffic is reduced. Still, if you’re overlanding to less-developed countries, in locations where water treatment is poor, and the people there don’t have appropriate hygiene practices in the proximity of water supplies, getting a water purifier is a safer alternative.

That being said, we’d like to introduce you to our top recommendations of products that will maximize your safety during your overlanding or hiking trips.

In this article we will review the best portable water treatments as well as recommend you the best water purification tablets on the market.

Best Camping Water Filters And Purifiers

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System

LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle with 2-Stage Integrated Filter Straw

Sawyer Products PointOne Squeeze Water Filter System

Survivor Filter PRO

LifeStraw Family 1.0 Portable Gravity Powered Water Purifier

Survivor Filter Virus Tested Cleanable Portable Water Filter

Katadyn Vario Water Filter

MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter

Aquamira Frontier Straw Filter

Katadyn Pocket Microfilter

Etekcity Portable Water Filter Filtration Straw

GRAYL Ultralight Water Purifier BOTTLE

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Potable Aqua Water Purification Treatment (50 Tablets)

Best Portable Water Filters

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

Firstly, this water filter will facilitate no less than 264 gallons of safe drinking water, without the use of chemicals. It eliminates 99.9999 percent of bacteria, such as Campylobacter, e-Coli, salmonella, and many others. At the same time, it eradicates 99.9 percent of protozoa.

The fact that this water filter is lightweight is a major advantage when you’re hiking and you don’t want to carry unnecessary weight. To be more specific, this compact unit weighs no more than 2 oz.  

The reviews for this water filter are unbelievably positive – as its rating on Amazon is 4.7, and the number of reviews is considerable. Former users noted that the water tasted amazing, even though they expected it to have an odd taste.

A minor disadvantage could be that you have to give the filter a bit of suction, in order to get the water flowing. This is likely to happen in the case in which too much water gets in the filter.

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Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System Review

This is another compact solution for water filtration that can make the world of a difference when it comes to your safety. In spite of its compact size, it is highly efficient, in the sense that it removes 99.99 percent of the bacteria, parasites, and viruses present in the water.

Additionally, a single filter cartridge is capable of cleaning 100,000 gallons of water, without requiring replacement. It also comes with a handy adapter that you can use for attaching it to water pouches, water bottles, or faucets if you wish to enhance the quality of the water.

As a drawback, other customers mentioned that the squeeze bags are prone to burst. Hence, you might consider packing a water bottle, as well.

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LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle with 2-Stage Integrated Filter Straw Review

If you prefer the bottle design, then this product will be a welcome addition to your camping emergency kit. Firstly, this water filter utilizes a 2-stage activated carbon fiber membrane, eliminating roughly 99.99 percent of protozoa and bacteria present in the water.

Moving on to the design of this unit, it features a BPA-free plastic construction, whereas the mouthpiece is manufactured out of soft silicone. This makes it comfortable to use.

The filter successfully cleans up to 264 gallons of water. As for the reviews, they are on the positive side, as well. Still, some customers got defective products, which could indicate an issue with the quality control.

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Sawyer Products PointOne Squeeze Water Filter System Review

We’d like to move on to present this complete filtration system, weighing 12.8 ounces. Since it is quite versatile, you can use it for hiking and overlanding, being a valuable unit in the case of emergencies.

Once again, it eradicates 99.9 percent of the harmful components present in the water.

A distinguishable feature is that this system comes with an innovative adapter. You can use it for connecting it to the 32-ounce pouch so that you can transfer the drinking water from the pouch to your bottle. Another option mentioned by former users is linking it to a faucet or bucket; it’s entirely up to you.

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Survivor Filter PRO Review

This filter has been thoroughly tested in order to facilitate unmatched efficiency. It removes 99.9 percent of viruses and bacteria, while eliminating traces of metals that usually contaminate the water, as well.

An impressive characteristic is that this small water pump filters the water really fast. That is to say, every minute, this filter can filtrate approximately 17 ounces of fresh water.

A single bacteria filter cartridge cleans up to 100,000 liters of water, meaning that you’ll be using this system for a long time. A disadvantage noted in reviews is that dirty lines might contaminate the clean ones since there isn’t any way to separate them.

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LifeStraw Family 1.0 Portable Gravity Powered Water Purifier Review

This water purifier is created in order to meet the EPA standards required for water purifiers. Therefore, you can count on it for eradicating 99.99 percent of viruses, protozoan cysts, and bacteria.

Moving on, it purifies 4775 gallons of water, without the use of chemicals such as iodine, chlorine, or anything of the sort. Hence, this is definitely a family water purifier. As for its flow rate, it ranges from 9 to 12 liters per hour.

Users agree that this unit is really useful during hiking. However, others indicated that it is too bulky, while others mentioned that it operates too slowly.

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Survivor Filter Virus Tested Cleanable Portable Water Filter Review

Furthermore, this is another product with overwhelmingly positive reviews. It has been tested to remove 99.99 percent of bacteria, viruses and other harmful components, while targeting heavy metals.

At the same time, it’s worth noting that it addresses the US EPA drinking water standards. As for the maximum amount of water it filters, note that the cleanable ultra-filters last for up to 100,000 liters, making this unit a significant long-term investment.

Nevertheless, some former customers were disappointed by the fact that the water doesn’t come easily – that is to say, you require suction power. 

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Katadyn Vario Water Filter Review

This unit is portable, weighing 15 oz., meaning that it will comfortably fit inside your backpack. Concurrently, its filtering mediums ensure a high degree of efficiency. In other words, this unit filters approximately 2 quarts of water per minute.

The design is also on point, comprising of an inlet hose and an outlet, measuring 36 inches each. On a different note, the filter’s pump is fast – and presumably, an advantage is the fact that you don’t have to direct a lot of effort into pumping the water.

As noted by former users, the filters eliminate unpleasant smells and tastes, making the water good-tasting and safe to drink. A common issue is that the piston and valve might get air-locked.

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MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter Review

This Microfilter water filter does an excellent job of removing protozoa, bacteria and other components so that the water you drink is free of harmful elements. It works as expected, pumping clean water at a high rate – namely one liter per minute.

On a different note, this filter is compatible with a bunch of mouth water bottles. As for the weight of the filter, it is of one pound. You also get a limited lifetime warranty.

A common complaint highlighted by users is the fact that it requires constant cleaning. Depending on the source of the water it filters, it might clog unexpectedly.

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Aquamira Frontier Straw Filter Review

If investing in a compact, lightweight filter is your priority, then this product might be a decent option since it weighs only 0.96 ounces. Additionally, it is quite sturdy, considering its size – meaning that it might resist mishandling.

Still, this applies only if you don’t plan on using this system excessively. That is to say, if you usually go on extensive hiking trips, you might consider getting another unit from our list. This is something that most former customers agreed on.

Also, the fact that it doesn’t come with a flexible straw, as other similar items, could be seen as a shortcoming.

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Katadyn Pocket Microfilter Review

Moving on to another top recommendation of pocket water filter, this is also highly effective, as pointed by former users. Featuring a high-quality, durable construction, this Katadyn water filter is recommended for continuous use.

Hence, you might consider it if you usually plan extensive hiking trips. It is equipped with a silver impregnated ceramic element, which is extremely efficient against protozoa and bacteria, utilizing the method of microfiltration.

Depending on the water quality, this filters up to 1 quart of water per minute, and 13,000 gallons of water, overall. To offer buyers peace of mind, this filter comes with a 20-year warranty.

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Etekcity Portable Water Filter Filtration Straw Review

This product is a decent option for budget shoppers. And the fact that it has so many positive reviews comes as a guarantee, outlining that this is a unit that addresses its purpose.

Once again, it has been tested to perform impeccably, and it meets the EPA water quality standards. The customers liked that you also get a handful of useful accessories, such as a foldable water pouch you can utilize for collecting the water, a syringe for cleaning and a long straw.

As for the amount of water it filters, you can expect it to provide you with up to 1,500 liters of safe drinking water.

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GRAYL Ultralight Water Purifier BOTTLE Review

If you’re into international traveling, and you’re an innate adventurer, getting a water purifier should be on your list. Ensuring that the water you drink is safe is critical, especially in less developed areas, and this GRAYL unit addresses this purpose.
It is easy to use, as it doesn’t entail prolonged waiting, pumping, sucking or squeezing. Plus, it eliminates harmful components that might be in the water, while enhancing odor, clarity, and flavor.
Former customers have actually used this purifier in Nepal, among other countries, praising the fact that this is truly efficient while being very fast.

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Best Water Purification Tablets

Potable Aqua Water Purification Treatment (50 Tablets)

Last, but not least, we’d like to mention this water purification treatment, comprising of 50 tablets. The role of these tablets is to make questionable water safe to drink.
The water is ready to drink in roughly 30 minutes. Additionally, 50 water purification tablets aim at treating around 25 quarts of water.
Once again, these tablets are excellent for international traveling. An unmatched advantage is that the tablets don’t come with an expiration date, as long as you store them according to the manufacturer’s recommendations.
Former users were more than happy with their purchase, and this is mirrored in the high rating and the positive feedback.

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Buyers Advice For Choosing The Best Camping Water Filter

Needless to say, water is indispensable for enthusiast hikers and campers. Still, if it’s contaminated, then you expose yourself to a handful of unnecessary risks, which could grow into severe health conditions.

best survival water filter reviews

This is why a water filtration or purification system is of great importance whenever you’re traveling to a remote area. Depending on your hiking habits, you might require a unit with a smaller or greater capacity. Irrespective of that, make sure you consider this aspect, since it can make the world of a difference, in terms of safety.

If you're happen to be an overlander, water filters and water purification treatments can add to your safety. You can throw in one of the water filters above, according to the budget and in addition, water purification tablets if you're planning to really travel off the beaten path. They both could act as your survival water filters and purifiers.


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