Best Hiking Water Filter: When it’s a Matter of Survival

Water is one of the essentials you need to survive. Without access to clean water, you will not end your hiking trip. The good news is that by using the best hiking water filter, you don’t have to carry all of your water with you, because you can have water every time you come across a stream or river on the trail.

The average person needs 1 to 2 liters of water a day, sometimes more in hot weather. It’s a lot of water to carry on a multi-day hike. And if you are cooking during your hiking trip, you will need potable water to cook and clean.

Getting all this water is easier if you have a hiking water filter with you to purify H2O as you go. How to choose the best hiking water filter that suits you? This guide will help you find the best hiking water filter for your trip.

Why use this kind of equipment?

By using a good filter, you will make your water more potable and purer. Not only does the filtration system of this material make the drink taste better, but it also removes a large part of the chemicals and other elements dangerous to health.

This kind of equipment allows you to get drinking water without putting much effort. Just squeeze or pump the liquid through the filter and you’re good to go. This material will be useful for you if you are dehydrated in the wild.

The 7 best hiking water filter

When camping, traveling, when hiking … there are many cases in which this device can be extremely useful. In some cases, it is even vital. But which one to choose?

The online sale will let you have a complete overview of the models brand currently on the market. You can thus know their technical characteristics, as well as read the opinions of those who have already had the opportunity to test them even in the most extreme situations.

In addition, purchasing on the web allows you to order the product at the lowest price and receive it directly to your home, in maximum comfort. Below we present the best portable water purifiers :

Ranking: The 7 best hiking water filter on the market

The choice of your best hiking water filter depends on the use you will make of it and the way you travel. Several criteria must be taken into account to choose a filter that meets your needs.

We aim to answer that question by offering an in-depth review of the Best hiking water filter currently on the market and a detailed analysis of what goes into the making of the ideal water filter for every type of relevance. Let’s start off with our top picks of the best hiking water filter per category for 2020.

1. Katadyan hiker pro – Pump water filter

BEST FOR: Backpacking/hiking 3 seasons, all conditions of access to water

The Katikyn Hiker Pro water filter is actually a very practical, compact, and light water pump. This filter will allow you to fetch water directly from its source, a lake, a pond, a river, and pump it using the whole mechanism offered by this accessory.

This pump water purification equipment will help you remove a large number of impurities. It will be thanks to the 0.2 microns of its activated carbon filter cartridge. This cartridge will not allow any particles to pass through the drinking water that will be delivered to you, nor will it allow fouling. The maintenance requirements for the Hiker Pro filter are also very minimal, even non-existent.


  • The filter fiberglass/carbon
  • BPA includes a maintenance kit on the field
  • Filter the water quickly
  • Can connect directly to hydration tanks
  • Removes protozoa and bacteria to 0, 2 microns and can treat muddy and muddy water


  • Does not work well in freezing temperatures
  • The filter may clog over time
  • The handle and the intake valve are not durable

2. Lifestraw -Water filter with filtering straw 

BEST FOR : Hiking in any season, conditions of easy access to water

It allows you to drink water from contaminated water sources in complete safety. Filters a minimum of 1,000 liters of water and removes over 99% of bacteria and 99,9% of parasites transmitted through water.

It weighs only 56 grams and has been exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art in New York and the Tate Modern in London for its exclusive design.

It proves simple to use: just insert it directly into the source of water, or sip the water poured into a container just like a normal straw.


  • Inexpensive
  • Hollow fiber membrane filter
  • lightweight
  • BPA free
  • Field cleanable
  • Filters water quickly
  • Lasts up to 1,000 liters
  • Kills protozoa and bacteria up to 0.2 micron


  • Requires section of the straw towards the water source or the bottle to filter
  • The straw takes a little time before being functional
  • Filters only for immediate consumption.

3. Sawyer mini – Cleanable water filter

BEST FOR: short hike / 3 season hike, easy access to water

Ideal for outdoor activities and while traveling, it is a high-performance filter so compact that it fits in the palm of a hand. It removes 99% of all bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera and Ecoli and over 99% of all protozoa, such as giardia and cryptosporidium.

It has a filtration capacity of around 378 cubic meters of water. It also comes with a plunger for cleaning.


  • Hollow fiber membrane filter
  • Light, inexpensive
  • BPA free
  • Includes a syringe for cleaning in the field
  • Filters water quickly
  • Includes a reusable water bag up to 378,000 liters
  • It eliminates protozoa and bacteria down to 0.1 microns.


  • The filter can freeze
  • Which inhibits the use in cold weather
  • Requires the suction of the straw towards the water source
  • The straw takes a little time to be functional
  • Filter only for immediate consumption, problems of durability.

4. MSR Miniworks – For Backpacking/hiking

BEST FOR: Backpacking/hiking trips 3 seasons, all conditions of access to water.


  • Ceramic with the carbon core filter
  • BPA free
  • Cleanable in the field, filters water quickly
  • Screws onto wide-mouth bottles
  • Eliminate protozoa and bacteria down to 0.2 micron


  • Heavy
  • Does not work well in very cold temperatures
  • The filter can be clogged with soft and viscous water
  • The pump requires a lot of power to operate
  • The filter requires a lot of cleaning and the outlet pipe is not included.

5. Katadyn Vario water filter

BEST FOR: Backpacking/hiking 3 seasons, all conditions of access to water


  • Pleated fiberglass / ceramic filters
  • BPA free
  • Cleanable on-site
  • Quickly filters water
  • 2-filter system
  • Eliminates protozoa and bacteria up to 0.2 microns
  • Two modes – one that extends the filter life, attach to bottles, outlet hose included.


  • Heavy ceramic filters can be clogged with soft
  • Viscous water
  • Prone to leaks
  • The intake port protrudes and can be damaged.

6. MSR autoflow gravity and pump water filter

BEST FOR: hiking in any season, all conditions of access to water


  • Hollow fiber filter
  • BPA free
  • Cleanable on-site
  • 4-liter water tank
  • Quickly filters water
  • Eliminates protozoa and bacteria up to 0.2 microns
  • Universal bottle adapter, clamp stop, resistant fabric tank, strap to hang while filtering.


  • Expensive
  • The filter can be clogged with muddy and viscous water
  • Need to use a cup to fill the dirty water tank in front of shallow water sources.

7. Platypus Gravityworks water filter

BEST FOR: 3 season hike, all conditions of access to water


  • Hollow fiber filter
  • Clean BPA-free water tanks
  • Cleanable on-site, 4-liter capacity
  • Filters water quickly
  • Eliminates protozoa and bacteria up to 0.2 microns.


  • Expensive
  • The filter can be clogged with muddy and viscous water
  • The filter can freeze, preventing its use in backpack travel in cold weather,
  • It is necessary to use a cup to fill the water tank dirty.

Learn More –  6 actionable way to purify water when hiking and backpacking

How to choose the best hiking water filter?

When do you need a portable water purifier?

If you are in a forest or want to camp in an isolated place, where there is no access to a safe source of water, how can you drink? Are you sure that the water of the mountain stream you are going through can quench your thirst without causing you a stomach ache (or worse)?

There are also many countries in the world where there is water but it is not safe because there is no way to make it drinkable according to the criteria established by law.

When there is no way to pre-treat the water resources or carry large stocks of mineral water in the bottle, it is important to have a portable water purification plant.

What is a portable water filter?

On the surface, this device may seem like a simple water bottle. In fact, it has a much more advanced function. In fact, it makes the water that is found even in the most “difficult” places drinkable, allowing you to drink it in peace.

Thanks to the portable water purifier, bacteria and protozoa are eliminated and the particles that numb the water are removed, sometimes improving their flavor considerably.

Types of water filters

In this article, I recommend three types of water filters: gravity filter, pump filter, and straw filter. What do these terms mean and how do you know which one will work for you?

Gravity water filter

Gravity water filters use the force of gravity to direct dirty water through the filter. They usually consist of a raised tank bag that you fill with dirty water. Gravity helps push this water through the filter into a clean tank, water bottle or hydration pack.

Gravity filters are easy to use. They can also be a great option if you need to filter large amounts of water for a group trip.

Because they use gravity to work, you will need to find a place to hang the dirty water tank. If you are in a treeless area, this can be a challenge. It can also be difficult to properly fill the tank if only shallow water sources are available.

Pump water filter

Pump water filters use a pumping mechanism to extract water from the source. This water is directed into a tube, through the filter.

With a pump filter, you can easily draw water from deep or shallow water sources. There is also no waste of water because you only pump what you need.

The downside is that pumping can require a lot of energy and strength. When you’re tired of a day of hiking, this extra work can seem complicated.

Straw water filter

These filters are light and incredibly easy to use. However, it is not possible to filter large amounts of water with a filter straw. You also only get water when you are near a water source. If you need a lot of water or are in an area with limited water, the filter straw can leave you without potable water.

Protozoa and bacteria filtering

Your hiking water filter does more than just remove particles and dirt from your water. It also kills microscopic protozoa and bacteria that can make you sick.

The filters included in this article remove all protozoa and bacteria down to at least 0.2 microns. According to the Water Quality Association, the smallest bacteria are 0.2 microns wide. So you can be sure that these water filters prevent even the smallest bacteria from entering your water.

While most water filters kill protozoa and bacteria, they are not designed to kill viruses. If you are traveling to an area where viruses may be found in your water, you will need a water purifier. Check out my article, the ultimate solutions for getting water on your hike to find one that’s right for you.

The silt and tiny insects that you remove from your water eventually clog your filter. As your filter becomes blocked, its filtering speed may slow down to a stop.

To resolve this problem, you must clean or rinse your water filter. Unclogging your water filter is something you may need to do in the middle of your trip. Choose a filter that you think will be easy to clean on the trail.

Filter replacement
How long will your filter last before you need to replace it? Some filters can make a few thousand liters. Others only have a life of 500 liters.

Replacement filters are available for many best hiking water filters. Some water filters are no longer usable once they have reached the end of their service life.


Also, if you know a water purifier that is better than any of the water purifiers that I have mentioned, do not hesitate to comment, add the features and the reason why it is better and if it looks good, I could replace it or add it to this list of a summary! We are looking forward to hearing from you!

Do you have questions about how to choose the best hiking water filter? Do not hesitate to ask me in the comments.
What is your favorite water filter? Share it too by leaving a comment below.

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