Water filters are a must-have for backpackers. You simply can't carry in enough clean drinking water to keep yourself hydrated without burdening your pack and your body. Compact in size and super simple to use, these backpacking water filters are perfect for long days on the trail and thru-hikes.
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter (opens in new tab)
Filter up to 1,000 gallons
LifeStraw is an ingenious tool that filters out 99.9 percent of waterborne bacteria and protozoan parasites without harsh chemicals. The petite LifeStraw is a superb alternative to bulkier units or iodine tablets. It weighs in at two ounces and slips into a pocket or backpack, never weighing you down. The petite LifeStraw can be submerged in any stream, lake, or river and used as a straw. Alternatively, you can fill your water bottle and use the LifeStraw to drink out of it. It filters up to 1,000 gallons of contaminated water and is an inexpensive way to pack light and stay safe in the wilderness.
Sawyer Products MINI Water Filtration System (opens in new tab)
A straw and pouch in one
Sawyer Products MINI is a dual water filtration system that is useable as a straw to drink directly from the source, plus it can purify water in your drinking bottle or bag. This system removes 99.9 percent of bacteria, protozoa, and 100 percent of microplastics. The filter is rated up to 100,000 gallons, making it an ideal choice for thru-hikers. This kit includes the Sawyer MINI filter, a 16-ounce reusable squeeze pouch, a 7-inch drinking straw, and a cleaning plunger.
Survivor Filter PRO (opens in new tab)
When you need to clean up the dirtiest, most contaminated water, the Survivor Filter PRO is a trouble-free system that doesn't take up much room. It weeds out all the bad stuff, including protozoa, viruses, bacteria, mercury, and lead. The flow rate is fast, filtering 17-ounces of water per minute. Water is pumpable into the included cup, and can also be used to fill multiple water bottles or single-serving vessels. Best of all, it comes with a lifetime warranty.
Seychelle Extreme Water Filter Bottle (opens in new tab)
Treat 28 ounces at once
With a filter capacity to treat up to 100 gallons of water, the Seychelle Extreme is a filter and water bottle in one. Guaranteed to remove 99.9 percent of viruses, bacteria, and biological contaminants, it takes dirty, disgusting water and removes the bad taste and harmful elements so you can hike longer. It will protect you from waterborne illnesses and hydrate at the same time. This is a 28-ounce bottle that slides right into any backpack water bottle holder.
GRAYL Geopress (opens in new tab)
The GRAYL Geopress works like a French press coffee maker. You fill the water bottle and press the filter unit down to remove pathogens, viruses, bacteria, chemicals, microplastics, and protozoa. It works worldwide, turning the sketchiest, dirtiest water into clean, safe drinkable water. The container is 24-ounces, and water is purified in as quickly as eight seconds. If you don't like to spend a lot of time on purification, this is the setup for you.
Hydrate safely and quickly on the trail
When logging long miles in the backcountry, nobody wants to spend an hour messing around with iodine tablets or chemicals. That's where backpacking water filters shine. They're fast, reliable, and inexpensive. The best backpacking water filter today is the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter (opens in new tab). It's a miniaturized filter that looks and operates like a straw. You can put it directly in a stream or your water bottle, and it takes care of waterborne bacteria, parasites, and protozoan for you.
If speed and ease of use rank high on your list of must-have qualities, we love the GRAYL Geopress (opens in new tab). It's a combo filter and water container that holds 24-ounces. A simple press on the built-in filter rids water of pathogens of all kinds.