The 8 Best Survival Water Filters: Clean Water for Your Outdoor Trips

Benjamin Roussey

Introduction

When you are out in the wilderness, one of the most critical aspects you need to have is clean and safe drinking water.

Nowadays, there is a wide range of water filtration and purification systems on the market. Science and technology have significantly advanced through the years and you can now buy survival water filtration and purification systems that are easy to use and carry no matter where you are headed off to. Before we delve in the different options available to choose from, we need to know what we should keep in mind to pick the best survival water filter for our trips out in the wilderness.

At a Glance: Our Choices for The 8 Best Survival Water Filters

Click on one of the links to go directly to our overview, opinion, and features of each filter.

Water Filters vs. Water Purifiers: Which One Should You Pick?

Before you buy a water filter or water purifier, you should understand the difference between the two as well as their individual pros and cons.

Water Filters: A water filter is a porous substance, like activated carbon, which removes unwanted sediments and substances such as harmful toxins and chemicals from water.

Although they are stellar, they are, when used by themselves, inadequate for turning well or municipal water, as well as water from natural sources like streams, rivers, ponds, etc. into safe drinking water. A water filter helps in improving the taste and odor of water and reduces the level of chemical contaminants present in water.

Water Purifier: A water purifier is a system designed to remove 90 to 95% of all contaminants, such as chemicals, viruses, biological contaminants, and other materials in water. You will find three recognized water purifier technologies nowadays – deionization, reverse osmosis (what the US Navy uses on their ships) and distillation (what is used by the UAE and should be used by cities like LA since Lake Mead is being sucked dry). As they have powerful capabilities, purifiers must be used to form the foundation of any drinking water system so that you can create truly safe and pure drinking water.

It is not easy to make sense of all the different water filters and water purifiers that are available in today’s market, and unfortunately, people often use these two terms interchangeably, adding to the confusion.

If you are looking for something that is easy to use and can be carried and stored easily when you are on one of your wilderness trips, your best option is a water filter. It is the most hassle-free way to make sure that you have safe drinking water out in the great wide open.

How to Choose an Outstanding Survival Water Filter

When you have a fantastic filter with you when you are out on your outdoor trips, you never have to worry about always having clean and safe drinking water. Surviving in the wild is tough and the last thing you want is to get sick because you drank contaminated water from a natural source somewhere.

To make sure that you choose the best water filter to carry on your outdoor adventures, there are a few factors that you should keep in mind, such as:

Filter Capacity: One of the first things to check in a survival filter is its capacity. This depends on how much drinking water you will need while you are out in the wilderness. The filter should be able to produce the amount of clean water you need every day. Additionally, picking a survival water filter with a larger capacity allows you to filter water for other people if you are traveling in a group – they will probably have their own, but you can make the process of filtering water faster by carrying a high-capacity survival water.

Ease of Use: With the technology available nowadays, there are various types of survival filters that you can choose from – some of them are highly innovative and advanced. The problem is that these advanced filters can be difficult to use. When you are in the wilderness, you need a survival water filter that is easy and convenient to use.

You should be able to quickly get clean, safe drinking water whenever you need it. Buying a survival water filter that requires complicated steps to eliminate contaminants will slow you down and maybe even prevent you from effectively getting safe drinking water.

Size: Another critical factor to consider when choosing a survival water filter is the size. While you want to make sure that you have enough drinking water, you also need to make sure that your filter is not too bulky and a hassle to carry into the wilderness.

A compact survival filter is easy to carry around and does not slow you down as you make your way through the different terrains and conditions you go through when you are out in the wild. It is also easy to store away when it is not in use as it does not take too much space in your backpack.

Weight: Like size, the weight of a survival water filter is a critical consideration when you are choosing one to take with you on your outdoor trips whether you are camping, hiking, or hunting. As mentioned earlier, you do not want to be slowed down while you walk through the wilderness.

A lightweight filter makes sure that you avoid this problem. It is easier to carry in your backpack – you can make your way through the great outdoors without tiring too easily and feeling bogged down by your water filter.

Effectiveness: Last but not least, you need to check out how effective a survival water filter is in eliminating the various contaminants in water.  Three main classes of organisms are typically responsible for contaminating water that you find in the wilderness – bacteria, viruses, and protozoan cysts.

Survival water filters can take care of bacteria and protozoa – you will either need to treat your water chemically, boil it, or get a filter with purification technology to eliminate viruses. Avoid buying filters that claim to remove viruses. You should choose a 0.1 Micron absolute hollow fiber membrane inline filter that can eliminate 99.9% of bacteria and protozoa.

One of the essential things to survive in the great wide open is water – clean water that is free of any contaminants and safe to drink and cook with. When you are checking out survival water filters to carry on your next adventure, keep the tips mentioned above in mind and you will be sure to find a high-quality, effective filter that meets all your needs.

Top 8 Water Filters for Survival

 #1

Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System

Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System
Our Rating: (4.8/5)
Capacity: 100,000 gallons
Microns: 0.1 microns
Weight: 2 oz

Pros:
(+) Outstanding size and weight
(+) Can be used with hydration packs
(+) Easy to use and clean
Cons:
(-) Pouch a little small for some users
(-) Does not fit perfectly with some bottles

Overview

This is a compact water filtration system that is perfect for all types of outdoor activities like camping, hiking, etc. and emergency preparedness. The Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System is a high-performance filter that comes with a 0.1 Micron absolute hollow fiber membrane inline filter.

The filter rates up to 100,000 gallons and can remove 99.99999% of all bacteria, like E.coli, salmonella and cholera, as well as al protozoa, like cryptosporidium and giardia. This compact and lightweight can be attached to the included 16-ounce reusable squeeze pouch, hydration packs, standard disposable water bottles, etc. The Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System comes with the drinking pouch, a 7-inch drinking straw and a cleaning plunger.

Conclusion

The Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System is a striking choice if you are looking for something compact and lightweight. It works very well and you do not have to worry about any strange taste or smell.

You might find the drinking pouch a tad small for your needs, but we do not think that the size is a major issue – you can always replace it with a 32-ounce one. Well-made and durable, the Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System is definitely one of the top water filtration systems out there.

 #2

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
Our Rating: (4.7/5)
Capacity: 1,000 liters
Microns: 0.2 microns
Weight: 2 oz

Pros:
(+) Allows you to drink straight from the stream
(+) Quick and efficient in filtering water
(+) Compact and lightweight
Cons:
(-) May need to suck hard to get water through the filter

Overview

Made by the award-winning LifeStraw, the Personal Water Filter is a handy filter that is ideal for all types of outdoor adventures and survival situations. Weighing only 54 grams, the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is perfect for those who want their backpack or survival gear to be as light as possible.

It can deliver up to 0.5 microns, which means that it can effectively eliminate all types of contaminants, including waterborne bacteria, protozoan parasites, and more. Trusted by health agencies across the globe, the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is a superb choice if you are looking for an easy-to-use and effective survival water filter.

Conclusion

There is nothing too negative to say about the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter. It is one of the most recommended filters – even the United Nations endorses it. If you want something small and lightweight, this is definitely one of the best water filters out there.

What makes it so amazing is its effectiveness in removing all types of bacteria and protozoa. Whether you are out hiking, camping, hunting, or in a survival situation, you will be thankful to have the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter around. Used by millions all over the world, this is one of the best water filters available today.

 #3

Katadyn Pocket Water Filter

Katadyn Pocket Water Filter
Rating: (4.4/5)
Capacity: 50,000 liters
Microns: 0.2 microns
Weight: 20 oz

Pros:
(+) Eliminates more contaminants with its dual-filter technology
(+) Compact, lightweight, and portable
(+) Extremely durable
Cons:
(-) Does not produce sufficient suction if not maintained properly

Overview

This pocket-sized filter is another excellent choice for minimalists who want to pack as light as possible while going out on outdoor trips – it is designed to be handy for outdoor enthusiasts and international travelers.

The Katadyn Pocket Water Filter features a silver-impregnated ceramic element that effectively eliminates bacteria and protozoa. It can filter all types of microorganisms that are larger than 0.02 microns, giving you clean and safe drinking water. It also has a round pump handle to make pumping easy and an outlet hose that you can attach to containers with a clip. Compact, lightweight, and effective – a solid choice if you ask us.

Conclusion

Like the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, there is not much to complain about with the Katadyn Pocket Water Filter. You can tell that it is designed and built to give you more durability and effectiveness than many other filters out there.

You can filter 300 gallons of clean, safe drinking water before you need to replace it. With the Katadyn Pocket Water Filter, you do not have to carry a lot of drinking water on your trip. Compact and lightweight, it is a great survival filter for all types of outdoor trips and emergency situations. You should consider getting the Katadyn Pocket Water Filter if you are looking for a filter for your outdoor adventures.

 #4

MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter

MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter
Rating: (4.4/5)
Capacity: 100,000 gallons
Microns: 0.1 microns
Weight: 2 oz

Pros:
(+) Carbon/ceramic provides safe drinking water
(+) Fast filtration speed
(+) Easy to clean and maintain
Cons:
(-) Air intake valve needs an adjustment with every use
(-) A little heavier than most filters

Overview

This is a high-quality water filter that can eliminate 99.9999% of bacteria and 99.9 of protozoa. The MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter is a reliable and durable filter with ceramic/carbon element that provides you taste- and odor-free, safe drinking water – even after you use it heavily and frequently.

You can clean it easily and repeatedly without any tools for full filter recovery. It also features the AirSpring Accumulator increases the speed of filtration – up to 1 liter per minute. The MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter comes with a carbon core that works to remove weird odors and tastes caused by organic compounds, like iodine, pesticides, and chlorine, giving you better-tasting water.

Conclusion

The MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter is an easy-to-use survival filter that is excellent for all types of outdoor trips. However, you may find that it has too many parts for simpler trips like hiking.

This survival water filter is a poignant option as it is easy to maintain while you are in the field, and its pump handle is worth noting. The quality is superb and it is extremely easy to replace the filter. If you are looking for a compact and durable water filter for your outdoor trips, you should definitely consider the MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter.

 #5

LifeStraw Family 1.0 Water Purifier

LifeStraw Family 1.0 Water Purifier
Our Rating: (4.3/5)
Capacity: 2,000 liters
Microns: 0.2 microns
Weight: 16 oz

Pros:
(+) Can provide clean drinking water for a 4-member family
(+) Purifies up to 18,000 liters of water
(+) Easy-to-use gravity filter
Cons:
(-) A little tough to set up at first
(-) Might not eliminate viruses as advertised

Overview

This is a fantastic family water filter which is easy to use and maintain as well as highly durable. It can eliminate 99.9999% of bacteria and 99.99% of protozoan cysts to 0.02 microns. LifeStraw claims that it can also eliminate 99.999% of viruses. The LifeStraw Family 1.0 Water Purifier can filter up to 4,750 gallons of water before it needs to be replaced.

While it is not very easy to set up and use, this product does its job of purifying water once you get the hang of it. It has a great flow rate of 9 to 12 liters per hour. If you need a product to effectively provide you with clean, safe drinking water in the wilderness, the LifeStraw Family 1.0 Water Purifier is a great product that you might want to check out.

Conclusion

If you need a filter that you and your family can use for a long time, the LifeStraw Family 1.0 Water Purifier might be the one for you. Although portable and lightweight, it is not ideal for hiking or backpacking as it can be a little tough to set up. Also, there is no purification system that can be seen, so it may not get rid of viruses as it is claimed by LifeStraw. However, it does do a great job in eliminating bacteria and protozoa. This is an awesome filter that works great and lasts long.

 #6

Etekcity Portable Water Filter Filtration Straw

Etekcity Portable Water Filter Filtration Straw
Our Rating: (4.3/5)
Capacity: 18,000 liters
Microns: 0.02 microns
Weight: 16 oz

Pros:
(+) Tested in agreement with FDA standards
(+) It comes UF membrane filter technology
(+) Comes with useful accessories
Cons:
(-) Slower filtration of water through the device
(-) Takes time to clean

Overview

This is a 1,550-liter survival filter that has guaranteed safety tested in agreement with regulations of the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). The Etekcity Portable Water Filter Filtration Straw features a hollow fiber UF membrane that can clean up to 0.01 microns.

With a rating like this, you can be sure that this water filter will eliminate a wide range of contaminants that might cause serious illnesses. The Etekcity Portable Filtration Straw comes with additional accessories, including a foldable water pouch, a long straw that can be attached to the filter and a syringe for cleaning and extending its lifespan.

Conclusion

When it comes to survival filters, the Etekcity Portable Water Filter Filtration Straw is a notable option thanks to its quality and compact size. Although it can be a little slow in filtering water, it does filter very effectively, so you can always be sure that you will have safe drinking water no matter where you are.

This kit comes with everything you need to clean and maintain the filter. If you are looking for a high-quality survival water filter for your outdoor trips, the Etekcity Portable Filtration Straw is a great choice to keep in mind.

 #7

Survivor Filter – Reusable Water Filter

Survivor Filter - Reusable Water Filter
Rating: (4.1/5)
Capacity: 1,000 liters
Microns: 0.05 micron
Weight: 3.5 oz

Pros:
(+) Excellent quality
(+) Great filtration and durability
(+) Triple filtration technology
Cons:
(-) Needs more functionality in the bottle/bag setup
(-) Included bags need to be improved

Overview

This is another fine-quality water filter that comes with some excellent features to give you clean drinking water when you are in the wilderness or in a survival situation. The Survivor Filter is a virus-tested cleanable and reusable filter with 0.05 micron 3-stage filtration.

It comes with a 100,000-liter membrane, 6 cotton, pre-filters, and replaceable carbon. It also features a special mouthpiece that makes it easy for you to drink from, as well as an integrated cap that keeps the mouthpiece clean. With a super-fast 200-ml flow rate per minute, the Survivor Filter is another product worth considering when picking a quality filter for your outdoor trips, survival kit or bug out bag.

Conclusion

If you are looking for a survival water filter that works effectively, then you should consider getting the Survivor Filter. It is well designed and well built, making sure that it will last longer than many other filters available on the market today. It is compact, which means that it is portable – easy to carry everywhere and anywhere you go.

The bottle/bag setup needs to be a little more functional and the bags included in the kit could use a little improvement. However, all in all, the Survivor Filter is a superb product that can give you clean drinking water on all your outdoor trips.

 #8

AcquaPura Premium Camping Water Filter

AcquaPura Premium Camping Water Filter
Our Rating: (4.1/5)
Capacity: 1,500 liters
Microns: 0.01 micron
Weight: 2.12 oz

Pros:
(+) Reverse flush system to extend the filter’s lifespan
(+) Works well in eliminating contaminants
(+) Easy to use and maintain
Cons:
(-) A little too small for some users
(-) Difficult to suck water from the filter

Overview

This is a quality water filter that is ideal for all types of outdoor activities like camping, hiking, etc. as well as for survival kits. Compact and lightweight, the AcquaPura Premium Camping Water Filter has a triple filtration system with excellent safety. It uses silver ion to eliminate all bacteria and an exclusive anti-bacterial Dampening System.

This is a portable and reusable filter that can filter up to 396 gallons of water. The AcquaPura Premium Camping Water Filter features an innovative dust-free design to keep the outer mouthpiece protected from secondary pollution. If you need an efficient filter, this is definitely another one you should consider when picking a great filter carry with you when hitting the great outdoors.

Conclusion

The AcquaPura Premium Camping Water Filter is an excellent choice for outdoor enthusiasts and survivalists who are looking for a compact and lightweight survival water filter that is easy to carry and use. Although some users might find it a little too small, it does do its job well and provides clean drinking water.

Its nifty dust-free design gives the mouthpiece protection from secondary pollutants, so you don’t have to worry about getting sick. The AcquaPura Premium Camping Water Filter comes with some salient features that make it a solid option when choosing a quality water filter.

Final Thoughts

Surviving in the wilderness can be difficult if you do not have clean water to drink. How many bottles of water can you carry with you, right? To make use of the water you get from natural sources, you need a fabulous and dependable water filter to help you get rid of bacteria, protozoa, and other contaminants.

Nowadays, you can find a wide range of survival water filters to carry with you on your outdoor trips and help you get safe drinking water. Check out the products mentioned above to get a better idea of what is available for you to choose from. It will help you find the best survival water filter to suit your needs and budget and survive during your time in the great wide open.

Comments
  • Kathrin Diaz
    Reply

    Cleanliness and being healthy are the top priority of my family. I have been persuaded in using water filter through this! It is beneficial for my whole family. Thanks a lot!

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