Home > Outdoor > Backpacking

The Best Backpacking Water Filters of 2024

We put the best backpacking water filters and purifiers to the test so you can stay safely hydrated on your next trip into the great outdoors.
(Photo/Chris Carter)
Support us! GearJunkie may earn a small commission from affiliate links in this article. Learn More

You don’t need much to have a successful backpacking trip. Yes, you’ll need some gear (like a tent, a sleeping bag, and a pack). But most importantly, you’ll need a way to get clean, safe water while on the trail.

Before we explain in depth how each water filter works, here are a few things that will help you through this guide. There are many different methods of filtering (or treating) water. The most common methods are through a cartridge or tube, with either activated carbon, UV light, or chemicals.

Filters also come in different styles: straw-style, pump filters, gravity filters, and UV or tablet treatments. They all make water safe to drink but differ slightly in size, durability, and price.

We’ve spoken to thru-hikers, hunters, and mountaineers, and read hundreds of customer reviews to find out which water filters on the market are truly the best.

Our team collectively tested a plethora of diverse filters for the creation of this guide. Current author and Senior Editor Chris Carter has been squeezing water through countless tubes and dropping tablets in his Nalgene each season to bring you the streamlined selection of 18 filters you see today. From stagnant green pools in the African savanna to bubbling alpine brooks in the Cascade Mountains, Chris has filtered water of all consistency and color in the wild and brings only the best filters on his excursions. Rest assured, we would trust every model in this guide to keep us safe and hydrated in the backcountry.

Be sure to check out our water filter comparison chart at the bottom, our comprehensive buyer’s guide, or our FAQ section for help in snagging the best backpacking water filter for your adventure.

Editor’s Note: We refreshed this article on April 23, 2024, adding the Lifesaver Wayfarer as the best pump-style model in our selection of the best backpacking water filters.

The Best Backpacking Water Filters of 2024


Best Overall Water Filter

Sawyer Squeeze

Specs

  • Weight 2.5 oz.
  • Filter type Bottle/inline filter
  • Filter life Lifetime warranty
  • Flow Rate 1.7 L/min
Product Badge The Best Backpacking Water Filters of 2024

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight
  • Packable

Cons

  • Included pouches aren’t very durable
Best Budget Water Filter

LifeStraw Personal

Specs

  • Weight 1.6 oz.
  • Filter type Straw filter
  • Filter life 4,000 L
  • Flow Rate N/A
The Best Backpacking Water Filters of 2024

Pros

  • We love this filter for daily adventures and as a backup filter method on longer trips
  • It lasts for up to 4,000 L, which is plenty for almost any outdoor adventurer

Cons

  • It doesn’t work for filtering water into a bladder or bottle for reserve (you have to drink as it filters)
  • You’ll also have to remember to empty the fiber chamber to prevent clogging before storing it away
Best Filter for Thru-Hiking

Katadyn BeFree 0.6L

Specs

  • Weight 2.3 oz.
  • Filter type Bottle filter
  • Filter life 1,000 L
  • Flow Rate 2 L/min
The Best Backpacking Water Filters of 2024

Pros

  • Fast flow rate
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Clogs up faster than some models
  • Doesn’t fit as many water bottles as the Sawyer Squeeze
Best Water-Purifying Tablets

Katadyn Micropur

Specs

  • Weight 0.9 oz.
  • Filter type Chemical purifier
  • Filter life 1 liter per tab
  • Flow Rate 1 L/30 min.
The Best Backpacking Water Filters of 2024

Pros

  • Destroy bacteria, protozoa, and viruses
  • Lightweight, budget-friendly, and easy to stash in a pack, pocket, or a first-aid kit

Cons

  • 4-hour wait time. (Because of this, we recommend treating your water ahead of time or in larger batches.)
  • Expire after 5 years
Best Gravity Water Filter/Best for Groups

Katadyn BeFree Gravity 3L

Specs

  • Weight 6.8 oz.
  • Filter type Gravity Filter
  • Filter life 1,000 L
  • Flow Rate 2 L/min
The Best Backpacking Water Filters of 2024

Pros

  • Requires no backflushing
  • High flow rate

Cons

  • You’ll need a place to hang the filter (so if you’re traveling to beaches or deserts, this might not be the best option)
  • Heavy
Best Backpacking Water Filter Pump

Lifesaver Wayfarer

Specs

  • Weight 11.2 oz.
  • Filter type Pump
  • Filter life 5,000 L
  • Flow rate 1.39 L/min.
The Best Backpacking Water Filters of 2024

Pros

  • Immediately filters water removing/killing all protozoa, bacteria and viruses
  • Can filter 1,320 gallons/5,000 L before replacement
  • Won't pump water once the membrane is blocked
  • NSF/ANSI P231 rating

Cons

  • On the heavier side compared to other filter types
  • More work to assemble and use than squeeze filter

Best Water Filter Bottles

Water filters aren’t just great for backpacking and hiking, but can keep you feeling healthy and fresh while road-tripping or traveling abroad. A few of the options below are great for both!

Below are some of our top choices for travel water filters, whether your adventures take you overlanding, RVing, on day trips, or on international adventures.

Best Water Filter Bottle

GRAYL GEOPRESS Bottle

Specs

  • Weight 15.9 oz.
  • Filter type Bottle filter/purifier
  • Filter life 65 gallons
  • Flow Rate 5 L/min
The Best Backpacking Water Filters of 2024

Pros

  • Convenient and great for travel
  • Durable
  • Doesn’t just filter water, but purifies it as well

Cons

  • More expensive option
Best of the Rest

LifeStraw Go Series 22 oz.

Specs

  • Weight 9 oz.
  • Filter type Bottle/straw filter
  • Filter life 4,000 L
  • Flow Rate N/A
The Best Backpacking Water Filters of 2024

Pros

  • 2-stage filter improves taste
  • Affordable
  • Durable build
  • Sleek design with lots of fun colors

Cons

  • Straw doesn't extend all the way to the bottom of bottle
  • Straw cover cap unscrews relatively easily

RapidPure Purifier+ Bottle

Specs

  • Weight 7.2 oz.
  • Filter type Bottle/straw filter
  • Filter life 75 gallons per cartridge
  • Flow Rate N/A
The Best Backpacking Water Filters of 2024

Pros

  • Filters extremely small particles
  • Nalgene-like durability

Cons

  • Bulky base doesn’t fit into cup holders or pack sleeves
  • Replacement cartridges are expensive

Platypus QuickDraw

Specs

  • Weight 3.3 oz.
  • Filter type Bottle/inline filter
  • Filter life 1,000 liters
  • Flow Rate 3 L/min
The Best Backpacking Water Filters of 2024

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Efficient system
  • Budget-friendly

Cons

  • Some wish the reservoir was larger

Katadyn Hiker Microfilter

Specs

  • Weight 11 oz.
  • Filter type Pump Filter
  • Filter life 750 liters
  • Flow Rate 1 L/min
The Best Backpacking Water Filters of 2024

Pros

  • Reliable
  • Doesn’t require replacement filters as often as other choices

Cons

  • You’ll have to pump it, although the flow rate is good enough to make up for the lost time.

LifeStraw Peak Series — Straw Filter & Squeeze Filter

Specs

  • Weight Straw: 2.3 oz.; Squeeze Filter: 3.2 oz.
  • Filter type Straw: straw; Squeeze Filter: bottle/gravity filter
  • Filter life Straw: 4,000 L ; Squeeze Filter: 2,000 L
  • Flow Rate Straw: N/A ; Squeeze Filter: 3 L/min
The Best Backpacking Water Filters of 2024

Pros

  • Lightweight design
  • Durable and sleek looking

Cons

  • On the heavy side
  • Squeeze filter has a shorter filter life than some

Platypus GravityWorks 4L

Specs

  • Weight 11.5 oz.
  • Filter type  Gravity Filter
  • Filter life  1,500 L
  • Flow Rate 1.75 L/min
The Best Backpacking Water Filters of 2024

Pros

  • Bags are clearly labeled "dirty" and "clean," so there's no confusion
  • Overall performance is great

Cons

  • The filter won't work in freezing conditions
  • It tends to clog with silty water
  • Some reviewers wished the seals on the reservoir bags were better

MSR Guardian Gravity Purifier

Specs

  • Weight 1lb., 3 oz.
  • Filter type Gravity Filter
  • Filter life 3,000+ L
  • Flow Rate 1 L/2 min
The Best Backpacking Water Filters of 2024

Pros

  • Works great for group travel in the backcountry
  • Requires no backflushing
  • Purifies the dirtiest of water

Cons

  • Pricey
  • Heavy

MSR MiniWorks EX Water Filter

Specs

  • Weight 16 oz.
  • Filter type Pump Filter
  • Filter life 2,000 L
  • Flow Rate 1 L/min
The Best Backpacking Water Filters of 2024

Pros

  • Easy to clean
  • Unique carbon/ceramic filter design

Cons

  • Pretty expensive
  • Heavy

LifeStraw Flex Gravity Filter

Specs

  • Weight 6.9 oz.
  • Filter type Gravity Filter
  • Filter life 2,000 L
  • Flow Rate 0.5 L/min
The Best Backpacking Water Filters of 2024

Pros

  • Affordable
  • Lighter than some other gravity filters

Cons

  • Pretty slow flow rate
  • Carbon filter needs to be replaced quite frequently

MSR Guardian

Specs

  • Weight 17.3 oz.
  • Filter type Pump filter/purifier
  • Filter life 10,000 L
  • Flow Rate 2.5 L/min
The Best Backpacking Water Filters of 2024

Pros

  • Self-cleaning
  • Super long filter life
  • Fast flow rate

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Expensive

SteriPEN Adventurer

Specs

  • Weight 3.6 oz.
  • Filter type UV purifier
  • Filter life 8,000 L
  • Flow Rate 1 L/90 sec
The Best Backpacking Water Filters of 2024

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Long lifetime

Cons

  • Have to keep it charged
  • Pricey

Backpacking Water Filters Comparison Chart

Water FilterPriceWeightFilter TypeFilter LifeFlow Rate
Sawyer Squeeze$392.5 oz.Bottle/inline filterLifetime warranty1.7 L/min
LifeStraw Personal$201.6 oz. Straw filter4,000 LN/A
Katadyn BeFree 0.6L$452.3 oz.Bottle filter1,000 L2 L/min
Katadyn Micropur$160.9 oz.Chemical purifier1 L per tab1 L/30 min
Katadyn BeFree Gravity 3L$756.8 oz.Gravity filter1,000 L2 L/min
Lifesaver Wayfarer$11011.2 oz.Pump5,000 L1.39 L/min
GRAYL GEOPRESS Bottle$10015.9 oz.Bottle filter/purifier65 gallons5 L/min
LifeStraw Go Series Bottle$459 oz.Bottle/straw filter4,000 LN/A
RapidPure Purifier+ Bottle$557.2 oz.Bottle/straw filter75 gallons per cartridgeN/A
Platypus QuickDraw$503.3 oz.Bottle/inline filter1,000 L3 L/min
Katadyn Hiker Microfilter$8011 oz.Pump filter750 L1 L/min
LifeStraw Straw Filter & Squeeze Filter$25 & $44Straw: 2.3 oz.; Squeeze Filter: 3.2 ozStraw: straw; Squeeze Filter: bottle/gravity filterStraw: 4,000 L; Squeeze Filter: 2,000 LStraw: N/A; Squeeze Filter: 3 L/min
Platypus GravityWorks 4L$13511.5 oz.Gravity filter1,5000 L1.75 L/min
MSR Guardian Gravity Purifier$3001lb., 3 oz.Gravity filter3,000+ L1 L/2 min
MSR MiniWorks EX Water Filter$12016 oz.Pump filter2,000 L1 L/min
LifeStraw Flex Gravity Filter$556.9 oz.Gravity filter2,000 L0.5 L/min
MSR Guardian$39017.3 oz.Pump filter/purifier10,000 L2.5 L/min
SteriPEN$1203.6 oz.UV purifier 8,000 L1 L/90 sec
From weekend outings to full-blown thru-hikes, the GearJunkie team has put each of the filters on this list through rigorous testing; (photo/Chris Carter)

How We Tested Backpacking Water Filters

The GearJunkie team is made up of adventurers from a plethora of different outdoor sports and activities, but each of their hobbies requires a central discipline: proper water filtration in the backcountry. It’s key to survival, and if done poorly, can quickly put you in a dangerous situation.

Managing editor Mary Murphy curated our initial selection of 14 filters back in May 2020. A prolific backpacker, Mary knows the value of a reliable filter for constant, dependable hydration in the backcountry. Author and Senior Editor Chris Carter took over this guide in August 2022 and has been digging through his gear closet and scouring the internet ever since to bring you the most current, deserving selection possible.

Chris has thru-hiked the Triple Crown of long trails, (the Appalachian Trail, Pacific Crest Trail, and Continental Divide Trail) and continues to pursue long-distance hiking around the world. Significant time backpacking and hitchhiking around East Africa forced him to purify water of the grimiest sorts and made him religiously fastidious in his hydration practices. He’s suffered from his fair share of water-born pathogens, and will only rely on the best of the best to filter his fluids on any adventure.

GearJunkie’s Camp, Hike, and Backpack Editor, Will Brendza, also contributed to this guide. Will has been professionally testing and reviewing outdoor gear for over 15 years and spends an inordinate amount of time out on the trail. He’s constantly testing and reviewing the latest and greatest outdoor products, including water filters and purifiers, to find the best gear to make his outdoor adventures more enjoyable.

For this guide, we carefully scrutinized the most reliable, functional water filters that outdoor enthusiasts from all ends of the spectrum depend on in the wild. We brought each of these filters on adventures and made sure that we would feel comfortable with all of them as our primary means of accruing filtered water in the field.

Buyer’s Guide: How to Choose a Water Filter

While a reliable filter will allow you to drink from most streams and rivers in the backcountry or alpine, make sure to do diligent research on the water quality of anywhere you plan on traveling to; (photo/Chris Carter)

Filters vs. Purifiers

Water filters and water purifiers work in similar ways, but it’s helpful to know the difference when choosing. Filters protect against protozoa or parasites (such as cryptosporidium and giardia) as well as bacteria (like E. coli or salmonella), microplastics, dirt, and debris. Bacteria is the main concern when you’re drinking out of unsafe water sources in the backcountry or remote areas. Popular filters include the Sawyer Squeeze and the Katadyn BeFree Gravity filter.

Purifiers go an extra step by protecting against and filtering out viruses. This is more of a concern when you’re traveling internationally or to rural places where clean water may not be accessible. Products like the MSR Guardian and GRAYL GEOPRESS Bottle will purify your water while also filtering out larger debris, while purifiers like the SteriPEN Adventurer use UV light to purify water, but won’t clear the water of visible dirt and sediment. You can run the water through a bandana or t-shirt first before using these types of purifiers to clean out the biggest particles.

For truly heinous dirty/stagnant water, it can be wise to use a number of different methods to make certain you don’t get sick. Some will filter their water with something like the Platypus QuickDraw, and then boil it, add a purification tablet like Katadyn’s Micropur M1 tablets, or add a couple of drops of bleach to ensure everything is killed. This can be time-consuming, and make the water taste interesting, but it’s far better than catching a trip-ending sickness in the wilderness.

The GRAYL GEOPRESS Bottle purifies water fast by simply pushing down on its lid and squeezing dirty water through the filter. Bottles can be on the heavy side, but are often some of the quicker ways to filter or purify water on the go; (photo/Chris Carter)

Types of Water Filters

There are a variety of different types of backpacking water filters, and we cover a broad range of them in this guide. Each one has its place in the backcountry, and which type you choose will depend on how clear the water will be on your adventure, how lightweight you are trying to go, and if you are traveling internationally.

Gravity and Inline Filters

These filters use gravity to pull water from a dirty bag, through a filter, and into a clean bag or directly into your mouth. These are often the easiest filters to use as you simply hook it up to a tree branch or tent and wait. These are usually heavier and take some time to set up, so aren’t the best options for fast and light missions. They tend to work best for large groups or to keep around a base camp.

Gravity filters allow you to keep a large amount of water handy, but they can be difficult to fill up in shallow water sources, so keep that in mind when choosing a campsite. We found the Katadyn BeFree Gravity filter to be one of the best options for large group trips.

Katadyn BeFree 3L Filter Review
Gravity filters are great for having a bunch of filtered water on hand around camp, but can often be too heavy for lightweight solo backpacking trips; (photo/GearJunkie)

Inline filters are often used in gravity systems, but they can also be paired with a hydration pouch or water bottle for quick use. Filters such as the ubiquitous Sawyer Squeeze or the Platypus QuickDraw can be used in this way. These generally rely on the user sucking the water from a pouch or water bottle, through the filter, directly into their mouth. With the correct adapters, several models of inline filters can be used with a hydration pack you may already be carrying, offering easy filtration without adding much weight.

Straw Filters

While we don’t recommend them as your primary method of water filtration in the wild, straw filters are undeniably one of the easiest ways of procuring fresh water fast. Our favorite budget filter, the LifeStraw Personal, fits this bill. These are great for trail running, mountain biking, or as a backup to your primary filter. These filters allow you to get down and dirty by a stream or lake and drink directly from the source by sipping the water through the filter like a straw.

The main downside to straw filters is that they don’t offer any way to carry filtered water with you, unless you can fit the straw into a water bottle of dirty water you are carrying with you, which can be really annoying. It can also get frustrating having to practically lie down on muddy or rocky banks to get a drink any time you get thirsty. These filters suffice for day hikes, but you’ll probably want something different for any extended backpacking trip.

LifeStraw Peak Series Collapsible Squeeze 1 L Bottle
Xiaoling filtering water with the LifeStraw Peak Series Collapsible Squeeze 1L Filter on her thru-hike of the Appalachian Trail; (photo/Chandler Keller)

Pump Filters

Pump filters, such as the MSR MiniWorks, work great for pulling water out of shallow pools or creeks and can be a solid choice for small backpacking groups. They tend to run on the heavy side, take a little more effort to use, and can be quite complicated to clean. For these reasons, you don’t see as many pump filters in the backcountry as you used to, but they do still have their place.

In some cases, as with the MSR Guardian and the Lifesaver Wayfarer, pump filters do a better job at purifying truly nasty water, by removing viruses, bacteria, and protozoa, such as E. coli, giardia, and cryptosporidium. Something to consider a little more seriously while adventuring internationally.

Water Filter Bottles

Water bottle filters are handy for quick filtering or ensuring clean water while traveling internationally, but can sometimes be a bit bulky for long backpacking trips; (photo/Chris Carter)

Water filter bottles are handy to have for traveling, road-tripping, or light hiking, but are often on the heavy side for dedicated lightweight backpacking trips. Some of these bottles, like the LifeStraw Go Filter Bottle, filter water with a simple hollow-fiber straw that extends from the nozzle into the water, while others use fancier technology to deliver a pure, fresh swig.

The GRAYL GEOPRESS uses electroabsorption and activated carbon to purify water by simply pressing it firmly on the ground. This isn’t your average Nalgene! Check out our in-depth review of the GEOPRESS if you want to nerd out a little more.

Chemical/UV Purifiers

Finally, purifying your water chemically or with UV light is another simple way to target viruses that may be present in a water source, as opposed to just bacteria and protozoa. Chemical purifiers use iodine or chlorine dioxide to deal with contaminated water, while UV purifiers employ ultraviolet rays. Some backpackers will also use bleach to treat their water (two drops per liter, then wait 30 minutes). This is a super simple solution but does leave your water tasting, well, somewhat like a pool.

We like Katadyn’s Micropur M1 tablets for chemical treatment, as they tend to leave a more subtle aftertaste compared to other brands. The SteriPEN Adventurer has been our go-to UV filter for its long lifespan and light weight.

This is a great way to purify your water more effectively, but since these don’t have filters with them, it’s important to use them with clear water that doesn’t have a lot of debris in it. Chemical or UV purifiers are lightweight and simple, but should probably not be used as your primary method of filtration on a backpacking trip. It’s hard to get filtered water fast — they can leave an unsavory aftertaste and sometimes rely on batteries and electronics (in the case of UV purifiers). Since they are so light, however, it’s always a good idea to have them as a backup.

Filter Time and Flow Rate

A fast flow rate is vital to make sure you don’t waste precious time or energy filtering large quantities of water on high-output missions; (photo/Chris Carter)

Our picks for best water filters vary widely in terms of how quickly they can filter water, ranging from 30 seconds to 30 minutes to 4 hours (chemical treatments). Types of filters and methods of purifying will play a part, as will flow rate.

Flow rate is a unit that measures how quickly a certain amount of water can be filtered. Flow rates for gravity, pump, or squeeze filters listed here vary anywhere from 1L to 3L per minute. If you are encountering a slow flow rate with your filter, it may require priming or backflushing.

Similar to needing to prime a stove, some water filters require priming before initial use. Check the instructions (it varies by filter) on how to do this. Backflushing is a process where you need to clean water out of the filter system after use. This mainly applies to filters with pumps, tubes, or tubing, and it ensures that the inside of the filter stays dry and clean.

Another consideration here is location: if you are going to be traveling through a desert landscape, there may be few to no trees (a necessity to hang some gravity filters properly). For that type of setting, a different style of filter would be best.

And if you are going to be traveling with a companion or group, the personal LifeStraw filter obviously won’t be the best option (although we love it as a backup!).

The Katadyn BeFree — an ultralight favorite — has a stellar flow rate to start with, but requires regular cleaning so it doesn’t get clogged up. All filters get slower with time, but you can prolong their life by sticking to an iterative cleaning schedule; (photo/Chris Carter)

Packed Size

This is an important point for ultralight setups and lightweight backpackers. You’ll want to choose a filter that works best for you and how much water you’ll need, but one that can also fit in your pack.

Filters like the Sawyer Squeeze and Katadyn BeFree are popular because the actual filter unit is so small, and the weight is close to nothing. The Sawyer Squeeze weighs just a couple of ounces, while the Katadyn weighs 6.8 ounces (but remember, it can filter up to 3 L of water at a time).

Filter systems that have water reservoirs and tubing also roll and pack down fairly small. Our personal preference on group trips is a gravity filter system, whereas on solo trips — though they weigh slightly more — our preference is a water bottle filter/purifier, given that we always carry a 1L bottle anyway.

It’s important to look for a lightweight, packable filter that still boasts a high flow rate for backpacking missions. Many hikers have landed on the Sawyer Squeeze or Katadyn BeFree 0.6L for ultralight backpacking; (photo/Emily Malone)

Durability and Longevity

The lifespan of a filter greatly depends on its filter method (cartridge, hollow membrane, chemical, or UV light). Backpacking water filters can last anywhere from 250 to 4,000 L. Cleaning your filter regularly using the methods that the manufacturer recommends will also help prolong the life of your filter.

Filters that use a cartridge tend to last anywhere from 200 to 500 L before you need to replace the cartridge. On the other hand, with other filters that last longer, you may need to replace the entire unit at the end of its life. The LifeStraw is an example of this; it can filter around 4,000 L, and then it will stop working and need to be replaced.

For UV methods like the SteriPEN, it’ll last forever as long as you charge or continue to replace the batteries (barring any damage, of course).

Properly cleaning and taking care of your filter can greatly improve its lifespan; (photo/Chris Carter)

FAQ

What is the best way to purify water when backpacking?

The best way to clean your water when backpacking is to use and find the cleanest water source possible. You’ll want to look for clear, running water — somewhere between a babbling brook and a rushing river.

Avoid stagnant ponds or areas where there might be runoff (from livestock, urban areas, etc.) or debris. You’ll also want to find a safe place to refill, pump, or hang your gravity filter.

With some filtering methods, like chemical filters and tablets, you’ll want to wait longer to ensure that the water is clean if it’s below a certain temperature (or cloudy).

Purifiers, like the GRAYL GEOPRESS, protect against protozoa or parasites, and bacteria, but you still want to source your water from a fast-flowing stream or river; (photo/Chris Carter)
What’s the difference between filtration and purification?

Filters most commonly use a tube, pump, or gravity method of filtering. Purifiers use a combination of a tube or chamber with activated carbon or another chemical component to fight against one key difference: viruses.

All of the choices on this list protect against at least bacteria and protozoa, and many also protect against things like toxins, chemicals, and viruses. We recommend choosing the one that will work best based on your situation, budget, and preference.

How long does a backpacking water filter last?

The lifespan of a filter largely depends on the type of filter. Most hollow fiber or activated charcoal cartridges will need to be replaced every couple hundred uses, or after a certain number of liters have been filtered. Some filters, like the LifeStraw, can last for years, but when it’s run its course you’ll need to buy a new one.

There are also some filters and purifiers that just need new batteries or to be charged.

A filter can last you many years if you take proper care of it; (photo/Emily Malone)
Can viruses be filtered out of water?

Yes! Purifiers like the Grayl Geopress Purifier and the Lifesaver Wayfarer are built especially to filter and protect against everything you could encounter, whether in the backcountry or in a developing country.

As long as you are following the instructions on your filter or purifier, it will protect against whatever it’s rated for (usually something like 99.999999% of bacteria and 99.999% of parasites and microorganisms).

How much should I spend?

Our top two considerations when buying gear like this are always: (1) how often we will be using it, and (2) price. Another important factor for many is how long a filter will last. If you backpack or hike 9-12 months out of the year, you probably want to drop more money on a filter that has a longer lifespan.

When all else fails, you can boil water to be safe. But let’s be honest, having a water filter on hand is much better.

A reliable water filter can be pricey but is an important investment to ensure a safe trip in the backcountry; (photo/Chris Carter)

Subscribe Now

Get adventure news and gear reviews in your inbox!

Join Our GearJunkie Newsletter

Get adventure news and gear reviews in your inbox!