Top 5 Best Portable Water Filter in 2020

#1 Recommended

4.3/5

Katadyn Hiker Pro​

Our No.1 recommended portable water filter.

Budget Pick

3.9/5

Sawyer Micro

Value for money among all portable water filter.

Popular Pick

4.1/5

Seychelle Extreme​

Most popular and trusted portable water filter

If you’re planning to go on an outdoor expedition either just by yourself or with your friends, you need to equip yourself properly. That means securing the essential pieces of outdoor equipment.

You should count the best portable water filter among those must-have items for reasons that will become clear as you go through this article.

DISCLOSURE: We may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.

Product Comparison

In this post, we put together 5 of the most popular portable water filter in the market and compare their benefits and features.

Katadyn Hiker Pro

4.3/5

Best Portable Water Filter

+ Filter Type: Pump Filter
+ Lifespan: 300 Gallons
+ Replacement Cost: $38
+ Contamination Removal: 0.2 micron filter that removes bacteria and protozoan

Sawyer Micro Squeeze

3.9/5

Best Budget Portable Water Filter

+ Filter Type: Press Filter
+ Lifespan: 100,000 Gallons
+ Replacement Cost: $9
+ Contamination Removal: 0.1 micron filters that removes 99.99999% of bacteria and protozoan

Lifestraw Flex

3.3/5

Best Collapsible Water Filter

+ Filter Type: Straw Filter
+ Lifespan: 26 Gallons
+ Replacement Cost: $12
+ Contamination Removal: 0.2 micron filter that removes 99.99999% of all bacteria and protozoan

Seychelle Extreme

4.1/5

Best Popular Portable Water Filter

+ Filter Type: Straw Filter
+ Lifespan: 26 Gallons
+ Replacement Cost: $12
+ Contamination Removal: 0.2 micron filter that removes 99.99999% of bacteria, viruses and radiological contaminants.

Survival Filter

4.2/5

Best Squeeze Portable Water Filter

+ Filter Type: Squeeze Filter
+ Lifespan: 26,000 Gallons
+ Replacement Cost: $15
+ Contamination Removal: 0.05 micron filter that removes 99.99999% tested viruses.

*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

Katadyn Hiker Pro

Best Portable Water Filter

The Hiker Pro Transparent Water Filter from Katadyn and what you’ll probably like the most about this product is its durability.

Durability: The manufacturers put a lot of thought into its design, ensuring that it will be able to withstand the rugged environments that you will likely encounter outdoors. The filter itself is protected by a durable container. Even if you drop it a few times, the whole thing should remain mostly intact.

The container itself is a bit small as it can only hold about 11 ounces of water, but it should still be enough to satisfy your thirst.

Type of Filter: This pump-type filter is something you will have to work yourself in order to get the clean water you need. Early on, the pumping is no problem. However, as you use this product more, the pumping can grow to become more difficult.

Contamination Removal: By using this filter, you can take out contaminants such as cryptosporidium, giardia, and different types of bacteria.

Lifespan: The filter itself should last for a while in your possession. The original filter included should be able to clean up around 300 gallons of water.

On-going Cost: Once the original filter is worn down, you can purchase a replacement filter for around $38. It’s a little pricey for a replacement filter, but it can process up to 300 gallons.

PROS

+ Durable container holds up well to drops
+ Container can be easily cleaned
+ Features activated carbon filter to improve the taste of the water

CONS

Pumping can become more difficult over time
 Replacement filter is expensive

Sawyer Micro Squeeze

Best Budget Portable Water Filter

Perhaps you’re among those people who prefer not worrying about how long their portable filters will last. You’d rather purchase one portable water filter and just continue using it for every outdoor trip.

If you are indeed that type of outdoor explorer, then the Micro Squeeze Water Filtration System should be right up your alley.

Contamination Removal: Potentially harmful substances that are removed by this portable filter include cryptosporidium, giardia, and microplastics.

Lifespan: The filter included in this Sawyer offering is rated to last for 100,000 gallons. That should be more than enough to last for all your upcoming outdoor excursions.

On-Going Cost: You can use this filter by attaching it to the included squeezable pouch. The pouch itself is reusable, but it is prone to damage. If you ever need additional pouches, you can get a 3-pack of 32-ounce replacements for $9.

This filter has also been designed in such a way that it can be attached to water bottles and hydration packs. It can also be used on its own as a drinking straw.

The problem with this filter is that it can sometimes work very slowly. When used to process noticeably dirty water, it may take a while before this filter can produce the water you need to quench your thirst. It’s best to start filtering water using this product well before you get the urge to drink.

PROS

+ Filter included is rated to last for 100,000 gallons
+ Works with reusable pouches, drinking bottles, and hydration packs
+ Can also be used as a drinking straw

CONS

Takes a long time to process noticeably dirty water

Lifestraw Flex

Best Collapsible Water Filter

LifeStraw is arguably the best-known brand in the portable water filter industry and with good reason. Their products are super compact and easy to use.

Take the LifeStraw Flex. This is the kind of portable filter you can use in different ways.

Straw Filter: It works on its own as a straw-type filter that’s perfect for getting small sips of clean water. You can also use it as an inline filter together with the soft-touch water bottle if you want to have more water on hand.

Compatibility: You also have the option of switching from the straw to inline filter depending on what you need at the moment. Alternatively, the filter can also be paired with a plastic bottle or even a hydration bladder.

Contamination Removal: Regardless of how you decide to use this filter, it can take out substances such as chlorine, lead, and other heavy metals in the water. With a 0.2 micron rating, it filters 99.9999% bacteria and water-borne protozoa.

The straw itself is also so small that it should fit easily in your pocket.

Lifespan: The biggest downside to this portable water filter is that the carbon capsule it uses has to be replaced often. Each replacement carbon capsule is only good for processing around 26 gallons of water. A replacement carbon capsule costs around $12.

On the plus side, the item itself should remain usable for a year and a half.

PROS

+ Versatile water filter that can be used on its own or with a variety of containers
+ Lasts for a year and a half
+ Will fit easily into your pockets
+ Great for taking quick sips of water

CONS

Makes use of low-capacity carbon capsules
 Low lifespan filter of 26 gallons.

Survival Filter

Best Squeeze Portable Water Filter

Survivor Filter’s product offering may not feature the same kind of longevity as the Sawyer creation, but you can still count on it remaining in service for an extended period of time.

Contaminants Removal: Bank on this portable filter eliminating numerous possible contaminants with it’s 0.05 micron filter including staph, giardia, and cryptosporidium.

Great Flow Rate: This is also not the kind of water filter that will keep you waiting. It has a flow rate of seven ounces per minute, so you should have no trouble quenching your thirst quickly.

Additional Canteen for Storage: You won’t be able to use this portable filter on its own as a drinking straw, but it connects easily enough to Survivor Filter’s Collapsible Canteens. Each canteen can hold up to 33 ounces of water.

Remember to avoid squeezing the canteen to hard when you are drinking from one. You could end up spilling water all over yourself if you grip the canteen too tightly.

Lifespan and cost: The original filter installed inside this product is rated for over 26,000 gallons. The replacement filter you can purchase for this product does not offer quite the same capacity, but it still processes over 260 gallons. The replacement filter is also priced very reasonably at $15.

Should there be issues with the Collapsible Canteens or if you just so happen to lose them during one of your camping trips, you can easily secure replacements. A two-pack of replacement Collapsible Canteens costs $13.

PROS

+ Original filter has a capacity of over 26,000 gallons
+ Features a good flow rate
+ Pairs with a 33-ounce canteen

CONS

Applying excess pressure on the canteen can cause the filter to leak

What Is A Portable Water Filter?

When you’re out in the wilderness, making sure that you have enough water to keep your body properly hydrated is crucial. You don’t want to suddenly collapse outdoors because you weren’t able to drink enough water.

The great thing about portable water filters is that they eliminate the need for you to bring bulky water containers. You can just go to a nearby body of water, use the filter, and after a short wait, you will have clean water for drinking.

How To Pick A Portable Water Filter?

Included below are five of the main factors you need to check before deciding whether or not you should purchase a specific portable filter. Taking the following factors into consideration should make it easier for you to find the best portable water filter.

Type

There are several types of portable water filters, but the ones you’ll likely encounter most are gravity, pump, squeeze, and straw-style filters.

Gravity filters are great because you don’t have to do that much work, but as REI.com notes, they can be slow. Pump filters will enable you to draw water even from shallower sources, but they tend to become tougher to work with as they age.

Squeeze filters are remarkably versatile, but many of them have to be paired with separate containers. The straw-style filters are very compact, but they aren’t ideal for producing a large amount of clean water.

Speed

To get an idea of how quickly the filter can provide clean water, you should take a look at its flow rate. The filters with higher flow rates are best if you want your thirst addressed as quickly as possible.

Contaminants Eliminated

Portable water filters that eliminate as many contaminants as possible would obviously be best, but at the very least, look for ones that specifically target cryptosporidium and giardia. These are parasites that can cause diarrhea and must be avoided at all costs when you’re outdoors.

Longevity

Check to see how many gallons of water the filter can handle before it needs to be replaced. You will be able to find filters that can process so much water that they should essentially last for a long time. You don’t necessarily have to aim for that, but filters that can go through 200 gallons of water are good to have.

If it’s a straw-style filter that you’re considering getting, you don’t have to worry as much about how many gallons it can process since they only work on small amounts of water whenever they’re used.

Ease of Use

The portable water filter should be your ally outdoors and not your enemy. If it takes a lot of energy to get the filter set up, it may not be worth using. Pick one up that you can use easily so that you can get water on demand.

Wrap Up

Hopefully, the product reviews and additional details listed above will help you find the best portable water filter for your needs. You never know what may happen outdoors, so having a portable water filter on hand at all times is very important.