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Best Survival Water Filter

Water is vital to our everyday survival and is a must-have for your emergency preparedness kit. You can only survive three days without clean water. Whether you are heading off into the wilderness for a camping adventure, traveling abroad, or prepping a disaster emergency kit, including a survival water filter is a necessity.

It’s not like it’s easy to bring along enough water if you’re camping out for days at a time. Plus, what if the unexpected happened and now you don’t have access to clean water?

Drinking unfiltered water could have severe consequences. There are some bacteria and parasites that can be ingested which can lead to illness by drinking untreated water. A survival water filter removes those harmful pathogens so that you stay healthy and hydrated.

Rank Product Highlights
#1 LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

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  • Color: Blue
  • Material: Plastic 
  • Weight: 2 ounces 
  • Dimensions: 8.66 x 0.98 x 0.98 inches
#2 Sawyer MINI Water Filtration System

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  • Color: A wide variety of colors. 
  • Material: Plastic 
  • Weight: 0.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 4 x 3 x 8 inches
#3 LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottles

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  • Color: A wide variety of colors. 
  • Material: Plastic 
  • Size: 34 or 22 fluid ounces
#4 Platypus GravityWorks Water Filter System

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  • Color: Clear 
  • Size: 4 liter or 6 liter 
  • Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.8 x 5.8 inches
#5 Sawyer Squeeze Water Filtration System

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  • Color: Black and blue  
  • Size: Select a kit with either 1, 2, or 3 pouches 
  • Dimensions: 4 x 2.5 x 7.5 inches
#6 Katadyn BeFree Bottle

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  • Color: Clear with blue designs. 
  • Size: 0.6 liters 
  • Dimensions: 2.8 x 2.8 x 9.1 inches

There are a wide variety of portable water filters that you can throw into your backpack or store in your emergency kit for times like this. Some of these filters can be used directly in the water source like a straw. While others look more like a water bottle. There are even more sophisticated systems like gravity filters. It comes down to the primary reason why you need the water filter and how many people will be with you.

 

Our Picks for the Top 6 Best Survival Water Filters

We have compiled a list of the six best survival water filters that you can find online to help you prepare your emergency kit. Read on to find the one that best suits your needs.

1. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

SPECS:

  • Color: Blue
  • Material: Plastic 
  • Weight: 2 ounces 
  • Dimensions: 8.66 x 0.98 x 0.98 inches

The award-winning LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is one of the most popular options on the market. This is a must-have survival water filter for hiking, camping, travel, emergency kits, and disaster kits. 

It filters up to 1,000 gallons of contaminated water without using any chemicals like iodine, or chlorine. The best part is there are no batteries required and no other parts that you need. You can drink directly from the water source and it will filter as you drink. 

The LifeStraw can remove a minimum of 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria, 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites, and filters to 0.2 microns. This by far surpasses the EPA standards.

It is super lightweight and already comes sealed which makes it perfect for putting in your backpack or supply kit.

Pros Cons
  • Comes prepackaged for easy storage in a backpack or emergency/disaster kit. 
  • Lightweight. 
  • Filters water as you drink without any other tools needed. 
  • LifeStraw never expires.
  • Takes a lot of physical exertion to drink the water from the LifeStraw directly from the source. 
  • Not practical for everyday use but a good option for emergencies.

Who Should Buy This?

If you are putting together an emergency or disaster kit, these are a must-have as they are lightweight and don’t require batteries or any chemicals.

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2. Sawyer MINI Water Filtration System

SPECS:

  • Color: A wide variety of colors. 
  • Material: Plastic 
  • Weight: 0.5 pounds
  • Dimensions: 4 x 3 x 8 inches

The MINI water filtration system from Sawyer is one of the lightest and most versatile personal water filtration systems. This survival water filter is conveniently compact to take to a variety of places where water needs to be filtered before drinking. From camping trips, emergency preparedness, to traveling abroad, this is a great system to have. 

Included with the filter are drinking pouches, disposable water bottles, and hydration packs. You simply attach the filter to any of those to start the filtration process.  Plus, included in the package is a drinking straw that will allow you to drink directly from a water source.

The MINI  is a high performance 0.1-micron absolute inline filter that is rated up to 100,000 gallons. It removes 99.99999% of all bacteria (salmonella, cholera, and E. coli), 99.9999% of all protozoa (such as giardia and cryptosporidium), and also removes 100% of microplastics.

Pros Cons
  • Compact enough to fit in the palm of your hand and easily packs into any bag. 
  • Enjoy peace of mind that every Sawyer filter is performance tested three different times during the manufacturing process. 
  • Comes with a wide variety of drinking accessories and can be used on other bottles or as a stand-alone straw.
  • Some reported that the drinking bags broke so it’s important to bring more than one with you just in case.

Who Should Buy This?

If you are planning a hiking or camping trip, these are a must-have. They are also a great idea to put into any disaster kit due to the small and compact size.

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3. LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottles

SPECS:

  • Color: A wide variety of colors. 
  • Material: Plastic 
  • Size: 34 or 22 fluid ounces

If drinking directly from a water source with a straw isn’t your thing, consider the LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle. All you have to do is fill the bottle with water and the filtration system will get to work. Say goodbye to single-use plastic bottles of water, making this your go-to water bottle on any trip or adventure. 

LifeStraw removes bacteria, parasites, microplastics, chlorine, and organic chemical matter while improving the taste of the water. The filter is long-lasting, providing up to five years of safe water. The activated carbon filter lasts up to 26 gallons of water. 

It is durable and BPA free. It has met all of the protocols established by the United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and NSF International/ANSI.

Pros Cons
  • A portable water bottle that can be reused.
  • Easy to pack and take on the go. 
  • Lasts up to 1,000 gallons of water. 
  • A carabiner is included so you can attach it to your backpack or emergency kit.
  • Some users have reported that it is difficult to drink through the straw.

Who Should Buy This?

If you want to cut down on the number of disposable bottles you need and prefer to not drink directly from the water source with just a straw, this is a great option for you.

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4. Platypus GravityWorks High-Capacity Water Filter System

SPECS:

  • Color: Clear 
  • Size: 4 liter or 6 liter 
  • Dimensions: 13.2 x 2.8 x 5.8 inches

Collect water from any source and let gravity do the work with the Platypus GravityWorks water filter system. GravityWorks filters provide clean water faster than most pump systems. They make it easier to store, transport and dispense all the water you need. This survival water filter is perfect for solo travelers or group camping, outdoor adventures, and emergency preparedness. 

No pumping is required. Simply fill the dirty water reservoir and then hang it on a tree or pole and the water will filter into the clean water reservoir. You can clean four liters of filtered water suitable for cooking and washing in 2.5 minutes. 

GravityWorks filters meet EPA and NSF guidelines, removing up to 99.9% of bacteria and protozoa including Giardia, Cryptosporidium, E.coli, Salmonella and Cholera. The replaceable cartridge filters up to 1,500 gallons and produces a flow rate of 1.75 liters/minute.

The package comes with a 4-liter dirty water reservoir, 4-liter clean water reservoir, hollow-fiber microfilter, hoses, shutoff clamp, and a storage sack.

Pros Cons
  • Great for groups of people that need to filter enough water at one time for cooking and or washing. 
  • Fast and easy way to filter a significant amount of water while outdoors.
  • Filling the dirty reservoir bag from a lake or river may be a challenge. 
  • Not great for shallow water sources.

Who Should Buy This?

This is a perfect survival water filter if you’re camping with a group of people.

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5. Sawyer Squeeze Water Filtration System

SPECS:

  • Color: Black and blue  
  • Size: Select a kit with either 1, 2, or 3 pouches 
  • Dimensions: 4 x 2.5 x 7.5 inches

This is a simple and portable filtration system from Sawyer that is lightweight, perfect for packing. 

This water filter removes harmful bacteria, protozoa, cysts, sediment, and 100% of microplastics. Filter water anywhere including freshwater lakes, rivers, streams, or faucets from your hotel room, or home during an emergency. 

It is small enough to fit in the palm of your hand but that doesn’t change the high performance of this filter. 

To filter the water,  simply fill the squeeze pouch with water from your water source. Then, screw the squeeze filter onto the pouch and start drinking via the removable flip-top sports cap. The porches fold up tightly when not in use for easy storage. 

The package includes two reusable 32-oz, BPA-free collapsible pouches, a drinking straw, one set of Sawyer Inline Hydration Pack Adapters for a filter, and a mesh storage bag.

Pros Cons
  • Enjoy peace of mind that every Sawyer filter is performance tested three different times during the manufacturing process. 
  • The Squeeze filter can be cleaned and reused without expensive cartridges to replace.
  • Lightweight. 
  • Easy to pack.
  • The squeeze bag can be prone to tears. 
  • Not ideal for groups.

Who Should Buy This?

If you are looking for a quick and easy, lightweight filtration system for short trips, this is for you.

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6. Katadyn BeFree Bottle

SPECS:

  • Color: Clear with blue designs. 
  • Size: 0.6 liters 
  • Dimensions: 2.8 x 2.8 x 9.1 inches

If you’re heading out for a hiking adventure or want to filter water at a hotel, the Katadyn BeFree bottle is the perfect fit. It is a collapsible soft bottle that can pack down into tight spaces including packets, purses, vests, and more. 

All you have to do is scoop the water and drink straight from the bottle. It will filter the water as you drink, taking less time as opposed to other filters you need to wait for. The softness of the bottle will make it easier to suck the water compared to a hard-sided bottle. 

The 0. 1-micron water filter removes harmful organisms like bacteria and protozoa like giardia & Cryptosporidium. The BeFree surpasses EPA standards. It filters up to 1,000 liters of contaminated water without chemicals or other devices. 

You won’t need extra tools to clean the EZ-clean Membrane. All you have to do is shake or swish the filter to clean out any debris.

Pros Cons
  • Lightweight and collapsible bottle that will fit into the palm of your hand when not in use. 
  • Easy to clean the filter. 
  • Fast flow rate.
  • Can’t treat a lot of water at one time. 
  • The bottle may feel too flimsy to some.

Who Should Buy This?

If you want an easy solution for a day trip or even to keep this one on hand as a backup water filter.

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In Summary . . .

Now that you have an in-depth buying guide and some great examples, it’s time to start shopping. A survival water filter is a must-have for any emergency/disaster kit or when you’re traveling, or camping. 

There is something for everyone on our list of the best survival water filters.  Take all of our tips into consideration so that you can make the best choice.