8 Best Backpacking Water Filter for 2020

#1 Recommended

4.8/5

Sawyer PointOne

Our No.1 recommended backpacking water filter.

Budget Pick

4.7/5

Lifestraw Personal

The most affordable backpacking water filter.

Hiking Pick

4.7/5

Katadyn Pocket

Portable water filter that is great for hiking.

Camping is an exciting outdoor recreational activity living inside a tent or lodging in a camp. People who are fond of camping leave their home or the city and spends a few nights outdoors.

Camping involves the use of a tent, minivan, cabin, or outside the wilderness.  It is a favorite summer activity, indeed.

The lakes, streams, and rivers may look pristine and crystal clear, truth be told, it is not clean and it is never safe. A great deal of water pollution happens not from one single source but from many different scattered sources.

The main contaminants are bacteria, protozoa, and viruses. Pathogens are known as a common water pollutant. Microorganisms in water are known to be causes of some very deadly diseases and become the breeding grounds for other creatures that act as carriers. 

The following products are considered the best backpacking water filter. Fear not, because the portable water filtration system is to the rescue. 

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Product Comparison

Among hundreds of water filter for outdoors in the market, we have shortlisted 8 of the most prominent systems which are suitable for traveling and outdoor activities.

Here are summary of the 8 traveling water filter.

Sawyer PointOne SP131

4.8/5

Best Backpacking Water Filter

+ Features: 0.1 micron filter that removes 99.99% bacteria, E.coli and protozoa. 
+ Cost Per Gallon: $0.00005
+ Price: $$
+ Warranty: Lifetime 
+ Lifespan: 1,000,000 Gallons

LIfestraw Personal

4.7/5

Best Budget Backpacking Water Filter

+ Features: 0.2 micron personal filter that removes 99.99% bacteria, E.coli and waterbourne parasites. 
+ Cost Per Gallon: $0.015
+ Price: $
+ Warranty: 30 Days 
+ Lifespan: 1000 Gallons

Katadyn Vario

4.5/5

Best Camping Water Filter

+ Features: 0.2 pleated glass-fiber microfilter which removes waterborne bacteria and protozoa 
+ Cost Per Gallon: $0.10
+ Price: $$
+ Warranty: 2 Years 
+ Lifespan: 500 Gallons

Sawyer Mini

4.8/5

Best Portable Water Filter

+ Features: 0.1 micron filter that removes 99.99% bacteria, E.coli and protozoa. 
+ Cost Per Gallon: $0.00022
+ Price: $
+ Warranty: Lifetime 
+ Lifespan: 100,000 Gallons

Platypus GravityWorks

4.6/5

Best Gravity-Fed Camping Water Filter

+ Features: Gravity-fed hollow fibre filter that removes bacteria, E.coli and protozoa. 
+ Price: $$$
+ Cost Per Gallon: $0.04
+ Warranty: Lifetime 
+ Lifespan: 1500 Gallons

Katadyn Pocket

4.6/5

Best Hiking Water Filter

+ Features: 0.2 micron filter that removes bacteria, protozoa, sediments and microorganism. 
+ Cost Per Gallon: $0.01
+ Price: $$$
+ Warranty: 20 Years 
+ Lifespan: 13,000 Gallons

GRAYL Ultralight

4.5/5

Best Backpacking Water Bottle

+ Features: Removes 99.99% viruses, bacteria, and protozoa. 
+ Cost Per Gallon: $0.37
+ Price: $$
+ Warranty: 10 Years 
+ Lifespan: 40 Gallons

Katadyn BeFree

4.6/5

Collapsible Backpacking Water Filter

+ Features: 0.1 micron collapsable filter that removes 99.99% bacteria, E.coli and protozoa. 
+ Cost Per Gallon: $0.1
+ Price: $$
+ Warranty: 2 years
+ Lifespan: 264 Gallons

*Flow rate based on gallons per day (GPD) and gallons per minute (GPM).

Generally, all the systems suggested above received a high rating from its customers. But each of them has its own strengths and weaknesses.

It’s all depends on several factors such as water conditions, budget, flow rate to determine which system is suitable for your home.

Detailed Review

Sawyer PointOne SP131​

Best Backpacking Water Filter

Key Features: The Sawyer PointOne P131 is easy to use as it is portable and lightweight. It has the highest filtration on the market which is 99.9% that effectively removes bacteria such as Salmonella, Cholera, Leptospirosis, and E.coli, and protozoa such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium. It uses a 0.1 absolute micron hollow fiber membrane inline water filter.

It weighs 3.2 ounces and flow rates vary depending on how clean the filter is and how well the filter was cleaned. Altitude also affects the flow rates of portable water purifiers.

Maintenance:  The SP131 can be maintained by using the syringe filter cleaner, that is used to backflush the filter to promote a high-flow rate as well as longevity. 

It is claimed by the company that the filter can produce 1,000,000 gallons of filtered water if it was backflush properly.

Cost Per Gallon: ~$0.00005

Customer Rating: 4.5 , Our Rating: 4.8

PROS

+ A lifetime warranty 
+ Effectively removes microorganisms from water 
+ Three BPA-Free water pouches in every size 
+ Extremely long lifespan. 
+ No pumping necessary

CONS

Bags burst up near the neck 
 Lacks durability
 The filter is good for emergency use only

Lifestraw Personal

Best Budget Backpacking Water Filter

Key Features: The LifeStraw Personal uses a microfiltration membrane that removes 99.999999% of waterborne bacteria such as Escherichia coli, Campylobacter, Vibrio cholera, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Shigella, and Salmonella, and 99.999% of waterborne parasites such as Giardia lamblia, Cryptosporidium parvum, and Entamoeba histolytica. Including the smallest microplastics found in the environment.

A convenient water filter that only weighs 2 ounces yet features a high flow rate. Filters up to 4,000 liters or 1,000 gallons for an individual for more than five years. It also reduces turbidity down to 0.2 microns. 

Maintenance: LifeStraw Personal filters up to 4,000 liters or 1,000 gallons. However, it will no longer be able to draw water through the filter once it has reached its capacity. 

Cost Per Gallon: $0.015

Customer Rating: 4.6 , Our Rating: 4.7

PROS

+ Durable and ultralight
+ Contains no added chemicals for it is BPA-free
+ No shelf life
+ Easy to clean and store

CONS

Slightly difficult to use according to few users.
 Does not filter below 0.2 microns

Katadyn Vario

Best Camping Water Filter

Key Features: The Katadyn Vario is a hiking and camping water filter that has a ceramic disc that lengthens the life of microfilter, 0.2 Micron high surface area pleated glass-fiber microfilter which removes waterborne bacteria.

Katadyn Vario Microfilter is part of the backcountry series filter line for reduction of bacteria such as Klebsiella terrigena and protozoan cysts such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium. 

It weighs 15 ounces and the flow rate is up to two quarts per minute in the faster flow mode and one quart per minute in longer life mode. Highly recommended by people and is considered the best camping water filter. 

Maintenance: Katadyn Vario filters up to 1875 liters or 500 gallons. The flow rate is 2L per minute and the filter typically becomes ineffective after six months. 

Cost Per Gallon: $0.10

Customer Rating: 4.3 , Our Rating: 4.5

PROS

+ Replaceable carbon core
+ Cleanable ceramic disc
+ Includes a prefilter, deluxe carry bag, and cleaning pad
+ Suitable for small groups of four

CONS

Leaks catastrophically.
 Not recommended for backpacking

Sawyer Mini

Best Portable Water Filter

Key Features: The Sawyer Mini gives a high performance 0.1 Micron absolute hollow fiber membrane inline filter. Removes 99.99999% of all bacteria, such as Salmonella, Cholera, and E.coli; removes 99.9999% of all protozoa, such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium.

It weighs only 2 ounces and the flow rate is relatively quick but clogs up easily. Anyone can now sip from a personal drinking straw and drink directly from the source, or bottled water directly from any freshwater lake, river, or stream which makes it the best portable water filter. 

Maintenance: Sawyer Mini filters up to 100,000 gallons and offers a limited lifetime warranty only. 

Cost Per Gallon: $0.00022

Customer Rating: 4.6 , Our Rating: 4.8

PROS

+ Can fit anywhere in a backpack
+ Includes a drinking pouch, standard disposable water bottles, hydration packs, or use the straw to drink directly from your water source
+ Compact and versatile