Water Filters: Our top 10 Favorites
Everyone will agree that water is a top priority in any survival situation and hence a water filter should be one of your first purchases.
You can only survive for a maximum of three days without clean water, and within just one day, you’ll already feel the devastating effects of dehydration.
While you can technically drink water directly from the source you find it in, such as a lake or a stream, you run the risk of that water being filled with harmful bacteria that could make it more dangerous to drink than to not drink any at all.
Fortunately, with the aid of a simple water filter, you can filter out any hazardous bacteria and other negative substances to make the water safe to drink and keep yourself hydrated throughout your survival efforts.
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LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
Typical Price: $20
On the outside, the LifeStraw is nothing more than a blue tube with a neck lanyard. On the inside, however, it’s one of the most effective and portable water filters on the market. When you pick up the LifeStraw for the first time, you’ll notice right away how lightweight it is.
This, combined with the neck lanyard, is why you can carry it effortlessly with you wherever you go. To use the LifeStraw, simply remove the caps and drink directly from the water source. It is capable of filtering 99% of harmful bacteria for up to 264 total gallons.
Out of all the bug out bag water filters, the Life Straw is one of the most affordable and simplest.
Katadyn BeFree 1.0L Water Filter
Typical Price: $45
The BeFree integrated 0.1 micron filter removes harmful organisms like bacteria and protozoa like Giardia & Cryptosporidium. Filters up to 1,000 liters of contaminated water without using chemicals or other devices.
This is super easy to use, fill with dirty water and drink (try to pre-filter some of the heavy stuff our if you can.) Easy to clean by simply shaking or swishing the filter to clean debris, no backflushing or extra tools required. 100% PVC and BPA free.
LifeStraw Go Water Bottle
Typical Price: $40
Another water filter product from LifeStraw is the Go Water Bottle. Following the massive success of their personal water filter, LifeStraw incorporated the filter into a bottle.
You can then pour water from any natural source into the bottle and drink directly from it as you travel, which is arguably more practical than just having the personal water filter itself.
Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System
Typical Price: $16
If you want your water filter to be as compact and lightweight as possible, the Sawyer Mini is your choice. Despite being two ounces in weight, it’s perfectly capable of eliminating all dangerous protozoa and bacteria (though, like most filters, it can’t remove chemicals).
If it starts to become clogged up, simply backwash it out with clean water.
See our detailed review of the Sawyer Mini here.
Grayl ULTRALIGHT Compact Purifier
Typical Price: $70
This is the virtual kitchen sink of water filters! It fits in virtually any backpack pocket and provides global protection from waterborne pathogens (VIRUS, bacteria, protozoan cysts), pesticides, chemicals, heavy metals and microplastics.
Fill with dirty water, then french press the filter down and drink the good. As powerful as it is easy to use.
MSR TrailShot Pocket-Sized Water Filter
Typical Price: $50
Clean water all day—without the weight. That’s the advantage the TrailShot Microfilter provides. Designed to hide in stash pockets and deploy quickly, this tiny water filter lets you drink directly from sources along the trail for instant hydration, and fill your vessels with clean water.
Easy one-handed operation filters one liter in a mere 60 seconds, so you can get back on the trail quickly and moving again. At just 142 g (5 oz.), the TrailShot water filter is the ultimate filter for fast-paced, high-mileage adventurers, like trail runners, hikers, fast-packers and mountain bikers.
Hydroblu Versa Flow Water Filter
Typical Price: $22
A the Hydroblu versa flow water filter can attached to a plastic water bottle, used inline with a hydration pack, used as part of a gravity system or bucket filter, or can be used as a straw to directly from a suspect water source.
See our full Hydroblu Versa Flow Filter review here.
MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter
Typical Price: $90
The MiniWorks use the Marathon EX carbon/ceramic element to ensure clean, reliable and taste-free water. Thanks to its innovative AirSpring Accumulator, it’s capable of pumping one liter per minute and the flow rate can be renewed easily and repeatedly in the field—no tools required. Removes of (99.9999%) of bacteria and protozoa (99.9%) from beginning to end of filter life in “worst-case” water.
Sport Berkey Water Bottle
Typical Price: $35
The 22oz. Sport Berkey Portable Water bottle is the ideal choice for a personal traveling companion - The exclusive filter element of this Sport Bottle is composed of our exclusive proprietary "adsorbing" media that promotes IONIC "adsorption" of pollutants, such as cadmium, chromium, copper, lead, aluminum, mercury, and other dangerous heavy metals.
The Sport Berkey Portable Water Filter has a storage shelf life of 50 years. Water From Questionable Source: 160 Refills (25 gallons.) Municipal Water supply: 640 Refills (100 Gallons.)
Typical Price: $30
The water filter with perhaps the fastest flow rate is the Survivor Filter, with a flow rate of seven ounces of water a minute. With a weight of only three and a half ounces, the Survivor Filter can fit just as easily in a bug out bag as it could in a glove box or your pocket.
Never throw it away thanks to the 3 Removable Internal Filter Stages - Membrane Ultra Filter which Lasts up to 100,000 Liters (26,417 Gallons), Replaceable Carbon Filter that last up to 1000 Liters (264 Gallons) and are simple to change and the Cotton Pre-Filters which last 264 Gallons a Piece (5 Extra Cotton Pre-filters included).
To use, simply flip off the cap and drink directly from the source.