Best Portable Water Filters

Very often, the craving for travel throws us, users spoiled by modern gadgets, into rather harsh and uncompromising natural conditions. You may no go hiking in the African Great Lakes, but even the most harmless and well-planned trip is fraught with dangers, in some cases even having to use weapons (the best ammo on But the most common problem is clean drinking water in the wilderness.

Therefore, we have selected the 8 best representatives in the category of water filters for different occasions. Among them you will find: personal filters for hiking alone and in large groups, a purification station for a camping camp and a filter that will cope with even the dirtiest water teeming with bacteria. You can read more about the best survival water distiller here.

LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle with 2-Stage Integrated Filter Straw for HikingBUY
FS-TFC Portable Water Filter 0.0001 MicronBUY
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter for HikingBUY
Sawyer Products MINI Water Filtration SystemBUY
Logest 2 Pack Water Filter StrawBUY
Survivor Filter Pro - Hand Pump Camping Water FilterBUY
LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle with 2-Stage Integrated FilterBUY
Sawyer Products SP129 Squeeze Water Filtration SystemBUY
FS-TFC 4-Stage Portable Water FilterBUY
SimPure Gravity Water Filter StrawBUY

How does a portable water filter work?

Despite the apparent complexity of the design, everything is very simple.

Mechanical cleaning

Ceramics and activated carbon are the basic elements of most modern portable water filters. The pores in the ceramics are quite dense, about 0.2 microns, and it is they that stop harmful particles, bacteria and protozoa. Activated carbon, on the other hand, is ideal for combating organic pollution. Many scientists consider the combination “coal + ceramics” to be the most advantageous for water purification from most bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, chlorine, unpleasant odors and tastes. These filters complement each other and create the most effective filter media.
Combinations of different filters with a membrane filter also show excellent results. The latter is able to purify water from the smallest particles up to 0.01 microns in size, which is confirmed by experts. It is these filters that are used for the “most jewelry” cleaning in case the water is too dirty.
Also, the filter element in any gadget for water purification includes fiber, which is a “safety” factor and additionally filters the water. Remember to clean and replace the filter element in a timely manner. A detailed manual usually comes with the device.
It doesn’t matter what the main structure looks like: it can be either a pump or a compact “tube” through which you can draw water even from a swamp – the principle of the mechanical filter does not change. Top-selling pocket filters are able to purify an average of 1000 liters of water.

Chemical cleaning

Classic soluble capsules with an active substance (chlorine dioxide) kill all microorganisms in the water in a matter of seconds. The method is reliable and easy to use. Although the method is quick, it is highly discouraged to regularly use chemically purified water – active elements are capable of completely destroying not only harmful bacteria, but also their useful “brothers” in our body. Disinfection tablets are more of a safety solution in case of filter breakage.

Choosing the Best Portable Water Filter

Portable filters – the category is not the most extensive, so it will be difficult to get confused. Despite the abundance of manufacturers on the market for “home” stationary filters, the situation with travel counterparts is much simpler. To prevent you from bumping into a fake, we have selected the best branded filters in the following categories:
The best pocket / personal water filters are compact solutions for short term outings in the woods or fishing. Presented at the top in 3 categories:

  • Tubules – personal filters for travelers
  • Travel bottle with built-in filter
  • Most powerful portable water purifier

The best purification station for a hiking camp, which will allow you to cook soups for a company of 5-10 people. A filter for the dirtiest water with a pore of 0.01 microns, which is useful in places with particularly unsuitable water for drinking: swamps, swamps, jungles.

There are 4 leaders among manufacturers: two companies from Switzerland (LifeStraw and Katadyn) and two from the USA (Surviror and Sawyer). It was they who got into our TOP.

Best Pocket / Personal Filter

In this category, 2 models from different manufacturers compete for leadership. There is a filter tube – you can drink water directly from the source – and a model with a small capacity (0.5 l) to take some water with you. The principle is almost identical, but the difference, as they say, is in the details, each manufacturer seeks to stand out and come up with something like that. One is a manufacturer of filters for humanitarian missions, the other is a pioneer in the manufacture of portable water purification filters.

Choose which one is right for you. More personal water filters here.

#1 LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

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One of the most popular filter models among its kind. Where does this popularity come from? The first thing that attracts me is its compact size and ergonomic design. The filter is made in the form of a small tube. The device works on the principle of a cocktail straw with a built-in purification system, turning any muddy body of water into a life-giving source. It can only be used as a personal travel filter. According to American scientists, large volumes of water for cooking and cleaning cannot be processed in this way.

The cleaning process looks like this: you fill a flask or any other container with water from a natural source, dip the Personal Water Filter into it and slowly sip the instantly cleaned liquid through a straw. Simple, right?

Protects the device from LifeStraw from any bacteria, so with it you can forget about E. coli and other unpleasant microorganisms waiting for you in hot and humid climates. But it will not cleanse the water of chemicals, salts, viruses, heavy metals, and it will not eliminate the unpleasant taste either. Extreme enthusiasts used the device to purify even wastewater in one of the megalopolises, so the gadget will certainly cope with rain or spring water. The cleaning capacity of a 1000 liter filter is enough, but, as all those scientists from Florida claim, the service life of such filter tubes is only 1 year. For hygiene reasons, it is best not to use it for longer.

The model has also become the best in the category due to its simple design – the filter is simply cleaned at any time, unlike some other models that cannot be disassembled at all. But not only the large number of reviews makes this filter a bestseller – the main thing is history and experience. LifeStraw is a brand owned by the Swiss manufacturer Vestergaard Frandsen, specializing in the production of goods for humanitarian missions since 1990. Such a filter costs from $ 20.

#2 Survivor Filter – Reusable Portable Water Filter with Triple Absolute Filtration to 0.05 Microns

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A $30 personal filter that can be used in two different ways. The first option: a classic drinking pipe – a “traveler’s straw”, as is the case with the aforementioned analogs. By the way, a very important little thing that many manufacturers forget about is a special cap that protects the neck from contamination. Second: using the filter as a filtering nozzle-dispenser, which will allow you to easily fill any container.

The filtration capacity is really huge: 100,000 liters, while cleaning is 2 liters per minute (but do not forget about the shelf life for such tubes – 1 year!).

It is the most compact and convenient pocket filter of all. Affects the “army” design: the model is ideal for those who like to knead mud while hunting or fishing – thanks to the sturdy construction and complete tightness of all covers. Note: also recommends reading an interesting article about the best smart water bottles.

Best Travel Filter Bottle

#3  LifeStraw Go Water Bottle with Integrated 1000-Liter LifeStraw Filter

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Not comfortable to drink through a straw? Here is a bottle for those who love active pastime. Unlike Personal Water Filter, there is no need to look for a water container – the filter is already built into the bottle. The 0.2 micron mechanical filter has the same cleaning capacity as its predecessor from LifeStraw – 1000 liters.

With LifeStraw Go you don’t have to stop regularly and look for a trickle – just pour the liquid into the flask in advance. This also makes the model a priority for the conquerors of snow-capped peaks, because melting snow in such a device will not be difficult. Perhaps the shockproof flask is the main advantage of Go over other personal filters in case you don’t want to carry a separate water tank with you. This also affects the price – the model is almost $ 10 more expensive than the filter tube from the same manufacturer – almost $ 30.

#4 Bottle filter BRITA fill & go

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The BRITA fill & go Vital bottle is an environmentally friendly and profitable replacement for bottled water, as a liter of clean water costs less than RUB 3 here. The bottle is suitable for people who understand how important it is to have enough water in the body. With a bottle, you can always enjoy high-quality and safe water. Thanks to the bottle, both the waste on water and the number of plastic bottles are reduced. This is beneficial not only for you, but also for nature.

Main characteristics: Reducing the percentage of harmful substances that adversely affect the taste characteristics. The filter disc will last up to a month and will clean up to 150 liters. Cheap liter – up to 3 rubles. No harm to the environment. Convenience of washing. Durable materials. MicroDisc technology.

You can see more water filters for travel and hiking on

Most Productive Portable Water Purifier

#5 Katadyn Vario Water Filter

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Portable pump with 0.5 liter flask and charcoal filter. The system is similar to stationary household purifiers – you manually pump water, which, after passing through a filter, accumulates in a flask. The difference from a similar analogue from Lifestraw is a combination of a ceramic pre-filter, carbon filter and fiberglass. Each of these filters performs its function and traps various kinds of particles, viruses and bacteria – this becomes decisive in places with an arid climate, where there are no large bodies of water and the water is heavily polluted. According to user reviews, it cleans even the dirtiest water from the swamp.

The total throughput is 2000 liters, which is enough for several expeditions into uncharted wilderness. The price of this model, due to the cleaning speed and the materials in the filter, is quite high – more than $ 80, but not overstated, because this is a filter from the pioneer company on the market – Katadyngroup, created in 1926 in Switzerland. Unlike LifeStraw, the Katadyn brand has no military roots, but is a pioneer in portable water purification filters.

The most remarkable detail: the device can purify up to 2 liters of water per minute, which passes through 3 stages of purification, which is a record for compact models.

The same manufacturer also has chlorine dioxide-based water disinfecting tablets. This, of course, is not a filter, but an additional safety device for especially extreme conditions: use them so as not to waste the filter resource for water, which you will use to brush your teeth or wash your face. drinking it is still not recommended.

#6 Katadyn Micropur MP1 Purification Tablets

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Disinfecting tablets work elementary: 1 tablet is able to effectively clean a liter of water from all microorganisms and disinfect in 30 minutes. An excellent solution if you need to purify the water for washing, but you don’t want to pump water from the filter. It is not recommended to use water purified by this method for more than a week – chemical elements will begin to adversely affect the microflora of the body. The price of tablets is from $ 11.

Best Hiking Water Treatment Station

#7 LifeStraw Mission High-Volume Gravity-Fed Water Purifier

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Going on a long hike for a couple of weeks? Are there a few more people with you? Mission will solve all problems with life-giving moisture in your camp and will allow you to prepare a fragrant fish soup or mushroom soup without dragging a water tank with you. The model is a 5- or 12-liter rubber bag with a hand pump that removes organic debris and bacteria from the water. Such a filter will cost more than $ 100 – it is more profitable to immediately take a model for 12 liters, there is almost no difference in price.

The filter operates on the already familiar technology from LifeStraw and filters about 2 liters per minute. The device is suspended by a special handle, the structure is quite strong, so you can even fix it on the most hardy of the members of the campaign, providing yourself with a mobile tank with clean water. It is the large capacity and easy-to-deploy design that makes the Mission ideal for outdoor camping.

But I do not recommend extracting life-giving moisture from a swamp with such a filter – it is adapted mostly for rivers and lakes where there is no accumulation of heavy particles. The installed filter is too sensitive for them. The filter’s capacity is 18,000 liters.

#8 Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System

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The most capacitive representative of the category of personal filters! Its capacity is up to 378,541 liters, which is certainly enough for all the journeys in your life. Well, if the craving for conquering wildlife cools down, you will not regret the amount spent – after all, such a filter costs only $19.

In addition to the mechanical nozzle, the kit includes a special drinking bag (like an analogue of competitors’ flasks) and a special tube that allows you to drink from anywhere. The nozzle itself is very compact – fits in the palm of your hand, plus an additional tube is included in the kit in case you need to fill the container. But the model is not suitable for full-fledged outdoor cooking – the previous LifeStraw Mission model will do for these purposes. But the Sawyer filter will become a valuable travel companion precisely because of the huge filter resource – the largest for the personal category.

Best Survival Filter – 0.01 Micron Filter for Dirtiest Water

#9 Survivor Filter PRO – 0.01 Micron Nanofiltration Water Purifier

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Are you going to surf the most remote corners of Africa or India and want to forget about the problems with clean water? The best filter station in our top will cope with this task – it will purify even the dirtiest water. Considering the pleasant price of $ 60, this is the most profitable investment for such extreme travel.

Filters are not afraid of dirt – we can safely say about this model with a unique three-stage water purification system. It is similar to that used in stationary household filters. It works as follows: the first external pre-filter stops the largest particles, preventing them from reaching the next stages. This ensures the durability of the structure and serves as a natural weight that allows the tube to be immersed deeply in the water. The second stage passes the liquid through a classic carbon filter.

In the third stage, the water passes through a special “eternal” membrane filter that filters out the remaining particles – even if their size is 0.01 microns, which is one of the best indicators on the market. All in all – we get an ideal system for cleaning any, even the most neglected source with entire civilizations of bacteria.

The throughput is 200 ml per minute. Yes, not fast, this is the slowest filter from our review, but this is due to the large number of cleaning stages – a necessary measure in the case of a high level of pollution. Do not forget that the filter is not foldable and certainly not pocket-sized, so you will have to provide a separate place in your backpack for it. Unlike the Mission from LifeStraw, this model may seem oversized. But the advantages are obvious: more than one filter from the top has not achieved the best result.

Modern filters from the world’s leading manufacturers provide highly effective water purification in any adverse conditions. Going even on a one-day hike, you need to include one of the filters below, included in the TOP of the best water purifiers, in your camping equipment.


#1 Katadyn Vario

Katadyn (Switzerland) is a well-known European company founded in 1926. It produces various models of filtering devices.

The Vario filter successfully combines compact size, superior performance and affordability. Differs in high productivity: 2 l / min. The total throughput is 2000 liters.

The Katadyn Vario has 2 operating modes:

  • Faster Flow for lightly polluted water. The ceramic filter is turned off. System productivity – 2 l / min.
  • Longer Life – mode for very dirty water. The device with the included prefilter cleans about 1 l / min.

The design feature of the cartridge is a combination of a porous ceramic prefilter (pore Ø 0.3 microns) and a fiberglass filter with activated carbon. Such a system allows you to eliminate unpleasant odors and remove from the water small particles of all kinds of contaminants, spores of parasites, algae, viruses and bacteria, as well as chemical impurities.

According to tourists, the Vario filter thoroughly cleans even dirty swamp water. This device is absolutely irreplaceable in field conditions!

#2 Katadyn Mini Ceramic Black

The pore size of the ceramic filter is 0.2 microns, which removes up to 99.99% of all viruses and bacteria.

Small and very lightweight, this filtering device has such a distinctive nuance as silver sputtering, which guarantees the complete destruction of the simplest microorganisms, helminth cysts, etc.
Water is pumped through the cartridge using a pump. The Katadyn Mini has a capacity of 0.5 l / min and a total resource of 7000 l. A must-have device for lovers of active pastime!

#3 LifeStraw Mission

Mission mini-station of the famous LifeStraw brand is produced by the manufacturer Vestergaard Frandsen (Switzerland). The device easily and simply solves all problems with water on a long hike: after all, its productivity is up to 2 l / min., Its throughput is 18,000 l.

The LifeStraw Mission model is a 12-liter hand-pumped rubber reservoir that can be hung from the roll bag handle. The gravity membrane filter removes 99.99% of all bacteria, viruses and any organic debris.

Affordable price, convenient design and large enough capacity make the LifeStraw Mission the ideal water purification system for camping.

#4 LifeStraw Personal

This compact and ergonomic filter with built-in purification system is one of the most sought-after models for personal use. Made in the form of a tube made of durable, safe plastic.

Due to the presence of hollow fiber membranes, the filtration device is able to kill pathogenic microflora even in the wastewater of megacities. The total throughput is 1000 liters.

Since 2005, it has been widely used not only in the tourist environment, but also in places of natural disasters. Provides access to drinking water for people in extreme situations.

#5 Sawyer Point One Squeeze

Sawyer Squeeze (USA) is a filter from which water can be safely consumed without additional disinfection. The hollow fiber cartridge guarantees almost 100% protection against various microorganisms and the smallest particles of debris.

The compact filtration device is small in size; weight – 85 grams; throughput – 4.5 million liters. All threads of the device match the threads of any plastic bottle. With regular backwashing in mind, the Point One Squeeze will last almost indefinitely.

Many tourists admit that in terms of the sum of such indicators as dimensions, resource, price, filtration quality and ease of use in the wild, there is no alternative to this filter.

#6 Sawyer Mini filter

The compact filter from the American company Sawyer weighs only 60 g. But despite its minimal size, it is the most productive device in the personal category. After all, its throughput resource is almost 378,541 liters!

Another advantage is the ability to attach the Mini filter to a plastic bottle, portable drinking system, collapsible drinking tank, or to drink water from the reservoir through a special straw.

Thanks to the use of a 0.01 micron capillary membrane, the Sawyer Mini removes up to 99.99% of various impurities, salmonellosis and cholera pathogens, Escherichia coli, Giardia, etc. This microfilter reliably cleans even swamp water. With such a device, you can safely go to countries where there is no confidence in the quality of drinking water.

#7 Adventurer Opti SteriPen Portable Disinfection

The mobile device from the American company SteriPen is equipped with a filter, which is a powerful ultraviolet lamp with a long service life of 8000 hours.

The use of short-wave bactericidal UF radiation ensures complete disinfection of contaminated water. The ultraviolet lamp quickly destroys pathogenic microflora (bacteria, viruses, cryptosporidium, lamblia and other parasites), which can cause poisoning or serious illness. However, it does not remove mechanical impurities – a filter is needed for this purpose.

The Adventurer Opti model is distinguished by its light weight (108 g) and a sufficiently high performance (0.5 l / 48 sec.), Which allows you to actively use the device on long journeys, on hikes, fishing, hunting or on a trip to the country.

#8 Portable disinfectant SteriPen Ultra

It will take you less than a minute to disinfect dirty water if you use the SteriPen Ultra. This device almost instantly kills all living things in water. This high efficiency is due to the presence of a battery-powered UF lamp in the disinfectant. The protection of the electrical “filling” from water is ensured by reliable waterproofing of the disinfectant.

The device is very easy to operate:

  • One press of the button – and the lamp turns on for 1 minute to disinfect 1 liter of water.
  • Two presses – and the lamp will sterilize 0.5 liters of water in 30 seconds.

Portable model SteriPen Ultra is a solid guarantee of high-quality water purification in field conditions. That is why this device must be in the backpack of every tourist.

#9 Survival Filter PRO

Survival PRO filtration device has been successfully tested in several American laboratories. It has been proven: a double hollow fiber membrane (0.01 microns) removes 99.99% of most heavy metals (including 93% lead, 99.5% mercury), chemicals, viruses, bacteria, parasites.

The filter is made of first-class and durable materials:

  • body – made of ABS-plastic used for the production of car bumpers;
  • medical ultrafilter – made of polysulfone, which is used in space stations;
  • the handle is reinforced with a steel rod inserted inside.

Survival PRO comes with a complete set, including a removable drinking cup, a snorkel for drinking water directly from the pond, a portable hydropack, a travel bag, and more.

#10 Aquamira Frontier Emergency Water Filter System

The Frontier Emergency disinfection tube of the American brand Aquamira is a convenient travel filter with a wide range of uses. Such a structural part of the filter as replaceable adapters makes it possible to drink from a mug or a standard bottle. And if you use the complete tube, you can drink purified water directly from the reservoir.

An important nuance: the device “Aquamira Frontier” is able not only to remove almost 100% of pathogenic microorganisms from the water, but also to suppress their reproduction inside the filter.

The Aquamira Frontier is a compact solution for personal use. Small size, lightest weight (only 30 g) and sufficient resource (110 l) make this device a necessary element of equipment for tourists,

hunters, fishermen and in general everyone who spends a lot of time in nature.

#11 MSR Trailshot Microfilter Filter

The collapsible filter of the popular American brand has a high performance (1 l / min) and a solid resource of a replaceable cartridge (approximately 2000 l).

The Trailshot Microfilter filter device is attractive to consumers with features such as:

  • Modest dimensions – 6 cm x 15 cm – and light weight: only 142 g.
  • Simplicity of design – the minimum number of parts excludes the possibility of damage to the device.
  • A pleasant combination of reliability, functionality and affordable prices.

The characteristics of the pocket filter comply with the P231 NSF Protocol, which means almost 100% elimination of bacteria, protozoa and removal of solid impurities. Do you want to get rid of problems with drinking water on a hike? Then the MSR Trailshot Microfilter should always be in your backpack.

We hope this review of water purifiers from the best manufacturers in the world will help you successfully replenish your arsenal of outdoor devices. Choose, buy and enjoy!

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