Last Updated on January 25, 2022 by TODD FRANZEN
Imagine you are on a hiking trip or backpacking and you take your final sips of water. You’re still a long way from the trailhead and you have no way to refill your water bottle. A portable water filter is a must for any outdoor enthusiast!
Fortunately, there’s water all around you. The problem is that clean looking stream in front of you is probably not very clean at all. If you didn’t know, approximately 80% of the world’s wastewater never gets filtered.
In the great outdoors is our planet’s bathroom for animals, birds, and insects. Water dilutes and dissolves those solids making them invisible.
“It is better to be safe than sorry”! – Todd Franzen
As a Colorado Native, and 2-time Lymphoma survivor, I know how important it is to have clean water with you at all times! Also, as an avid Cross Country Mountain Biker, having a way to filter water on the go solves a number of challenges. Dehydration being the biggest!
I’ve already done the heavy lifting for you. I created this list to help you choose what’s best for your budget!
#1 Membrane Solutions WS02 Water Filter Straw
$17.05, 3000 liters(793 gallons), 0.1 Micron
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐The WS02 outdoor water filter will be an ideal tool for many purposes as camping, hiking, or biking. It can also serve in case of natural disaster and emergency preparedness by removing harmful impurities from your drinking supply! For a deeper dive on the WS02, Click Here.
💧The 4 Stage Filtration Straw is a 0.1-micron pore size water filter that can remove 99.99% of bacteria, harmful heavy metals, and chemicals like iodine or chlorine with its ability to make drinking water safe for consumption in addition to reducing the risk of illness when using this product. They use FDA-approved materials that ensure your health while still allowing you great taste from tap sources!
💧Premium Filter Performance: The Portable Water Filter Straw features a compact frame and lightweight, bigger capacity (for those who need more), faster flow rate to provide at least 3 thousand liters of clean water. Reusable filters do not expire like tablets with batteries so it’s very easy to use!
💧More Filtering Modes: Direct use as a personal water filter, also ideal for connecting with a soft water pouch or standard disposable bottles to squeeze and get pure water; even add an extension silicone straw (Tubing NOT included) on this gravity-based system and drink from it further away.
💧Membrane Solutions upgrade water straw filters both ends of it can be disassembled, use municipal or pure water for direct flushing and storage. Innovative backwash design makes cleaning easier – no extra tools required!
#2 Sawyer Products MINI Water Filtration System
$19.97, 100,000 gallons, 0.1 Micron
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐The Sawyer MINI Water Filtration System is ideal for outdoor recreation, hiking, and camping. It can be used in emergency preparedness by the military as well as international travelers who need a way to safely drink from streams or lakes without using their precious resources like plastic bottles that may take years before they are recycled again!
💧 You’ll never have to worry about your water filters again with this one! It’s small, lightweight, and easy to carry. You can fit it in the palm of your hand or hang it on the bag so there is no shortage of ways for you to get access when needed most.
💧 A high-performance 0.1 Micron absolute inline filter that weighs just 2 ounces because you want nothing but peace of mind knowing these miniature units meet industry standards three times over by testing them to meet Sawyer performance standards.
💧 Attaches to included drinking pouch, standard disposable water bottles, or hydration packs. You can also use the straw for direct sipping from your faucet!
💧 Removes 99.99999% of all bacteria (salmonella, cholera, and E Coli). Also removes 100% of microplastics
Removing just about every type of pathogen is what this product does for you!
$45.00, 160-680 refills, See PDF
⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐The Sport Berkey Water Bottle is on this list because it adds an extra function that other bottle filters don’t. And that is the bottle shape allows it to travel in a bicycle water bottle cage. I have been unable to find another water bottle that solves this problem.
And for the record, I Love My Berkey!
If you’re looking for an effective, but portable water bottle then look no further. The 22oz. Sport Berkey Portable Water Bottle features exclusive IONIC ADSORPTION MICRO FILTRATION TECHNOLOGY which makes it the ideal choice when traveling or on the go!
The Sport Berkey water filter bottle uses the same filtration formulation as Black Berkey Elements, which are used in our popular outdoor gravity-fed systems. It’s an efficient way to get clean drinking water for those who enjoy spending time outdoors or on outings where they may need access to fresher sources of hydration like riversides and lakeshores!
Avoid costly filter replacements! We recommend that you replace your filters after 160 refills of untreated water, or 640 Tap Water refills.
The Sport Berkey Bottle is made from a durable, non-leaching LDPE #4 medical-grade polymer. This means it’s BPA-free and won’t harm your body in any way!
The Sport Berkey water filter bottle has been tested by multiple independent third-party labs to ensure that it can remove or reduce typical contaminants found in tap water and other freshwater sources like lakes and ponds.
#1 Membrane Solutions Personal Water Filter Straw
$10.99(1), 1500 Liters, 0.1 Micron
Membrane Solutions Personal Water Filter Straw checks off a number of items you want in a personal water filter. This water filter straw gets the top spot on the budget list simply for the features and its price!
Even though water is considered a basic necessity, the way that you obtain it can make all of the difference. By having an emergency straw on hand in case a natural disasters strikes or other emergencies arise, your drinking water will be cleaner than ever before!
💧 The Membrane Solutions Personal Water Filter Straw is the older brother of their more recent WS02. This outdoor water filter will be an ideal tool for many purposes as camping, hiking, or biking.
💧 The 4 Stage Filtration Straw is a 0.1-micron pore size water filter that can remove 99.99% of bacteria, harmful heavy metals. Chemicals like iodine or chlorine with their ability to make drinking water safe for consumption in addition to reducing the risk of illness when using this product.
💧 The Portable Water Filter Straw features Premium Filter Performance in a compact frame and lightweight. Bigger capacity (for those who need more), faster flow rate to provide at least 1500 liters of clean water.
#2 Waterdrop Water Filter Straw
$13.99, 100,000 Gallons, 0.1 Micron
💧 Premium materials: Coconut shell-activated carbon fiber offers the best of both worlds when it comes to producing drinking water. It effectively reduces 99% of harmful substances, improves odor and taste, ensures your safety from contaminants in bottled waters or tap sources.
💧 Outdoor water needs: Fulfill all your outdoor water demands with ease and speed. The Straw can be used in a variety of situations including hiking, camping, domestic travel abroad, or an emergency preparedness kit to meet the ever-changing need for safe drinking water when there is none available!
💧 The small package will not weigh you down while fulfilling these essential tasks making it perfect as part of someone’s backpacking gear list – no matter where they are going adventure takes them. It also offers peace knowing that if something goes wrong (tornadoes), rainstorms, etc.), at least one person has access to clean refreshing drinkable H2O without waiting days before being able to get more supplies locally.
💧 Innovative super-wash design: Save time and space with an innovative approach to backwashing! No need for the extra syringe, it’s a hassle that you don’t have on your hands. Now get pure water with all of these convenience benefits!
💧 Smaller frame, but bigger capacity! The WaterDrop Filterstraw can provide safe drinking water up to 100,000 gallons. It is easy for you to absorb it and quench your thirst instantly with its high efficiency. Just match the size of this straw with any of our compatible bottles or bags so that they work in perfect harmony together. There is no need for additional equipment when the utility set includes both drinkware sets too!
#3 Etekcity Water Filter Straw
$19.32, 1500 liters, 0.01 micron
💧 The Etekcity water purifier is the ultimate drinking experience. It has been tested by German TüV SüD Examination Institute and meets EPA Water Quality Standards, making it safe for you to enjoy any time of year!
💧 Advanced Filtrations Design: Pre-filter to defense large contaminants. Ion Exchange Resin removes chlorine, heavy metal ions, and THMs from the water you drink with a 0.01-micron hollow fiber UF Inline Membrane that can filter 99% of all dirt particles in just one sip!
💧 The ultimate outdoor survival kit includes a range of equipment to help you through any emergency. The dependable accessories in this kit are a foldable Water Pouch (480 ML, 16 OZ) with D Type hook, extension tube, and syringe for thorough cleaning or backwashing; along with four PP Cotton pads on hand.
💧The Etekcity Water Filter Straw is a great choice for people who like to drink filtered water and it’s small enough that you can take it anywhere. The straw provides up to 1500L of safe drinking, which means the 400ML/min yield is more than adequate!
💧The perfect backpacking essential is lightweight and small, with a durable design that can be stored for emergency preparedness. The 2-ounce weight of the product makes it easy to carry around camp or anywhere else without being cumbersome while still delivering all of its essential functions in case you need them!
Best Runner-Up #1
$39.95, 1000 liters, 0.2 Micron
There are many reasons why I like the Platypus QuickDraw.
The lightweight, easy-to-use QuickDraw Microfilter System offers a quick and simple way to access clean water on any adventure.
💧Hollow fiber technology is perfect for the rigorous needs of those who want to drink clean water. It filters at 3L/min, has micron size 0.2 which removes bacteria and protozoa from your drinking source with NSF P231 protocol compliance – all in a cartridge life expectancy reaching 1000 liters!
💧The QuickDraw Reservoir is the perfect water bottle for those on the go. It has a durable, taste-free body and a wide mouth that makes filling it at any source easy!
💧Two easy, quick cleaning techniques–shake-to clean and tool-free backflushing ensure fast flow rates for the duration of your trip!
💧The QuickDraw Microfilter System is a lightweight, durable and easy-to-use hydroponic system for anyone. The 3.6-ounce total weight includes the filter cartridge which measures 5×1 inch with walls up to 1/4″ thickness; reservoir size at 11 inches x5 5″, plus an additional storage area that makes it possible to pack everything into 8.2×3.5 inches. Made in America!
Best Runner-Up #2
MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter Water Filter
$99.95, 2000 liters, 0.2 Micron
💧MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter Water Filter is a must-have for hiking, backpacking, and camping. Perfectly designed to withstand the elements of nature this device can provide you with safe drinking water during your adventures whether they be in survival mode or an emergency situation like Hurricane Harvey
💧Replaceable carbon and the ceramic filter removes bacteria, protozoa, organic compounds as well as particulate to deliver clean water with no taste or odor.
💧Pumps at an impressive rate of one liter per minute and can be used with a variety of water bottle types. The included wide mouth tube makes it easy to fill up your hydration bladder without any spills!
💧The filter is specially designed to remove bacteria and protozoa. It also has one replaceable cartridge, which can treat up to 2,000 liters of water!
💧The pump measures 7 5/8 x 2 3/4 inches and weighs 1 pound. The Mini Works comes with an included storage bag, and a manufacturer’s limited lifetime warranty–made right here in America!
Best Under $15
Membrane Solutions Straw Water Filter
$10.99, 1500 liters (396 Gallons), 0.1 Microns
The older version of the Membrane Solutions WS02 Water Filter Straw. Best Value on this list!
Best Under $50
Sport Berkey Water Filter Bottle
160-680 refills, $45.00, See PDF
Best Under $100
Platypus GravityWorks™ 2.0L Water Filter
1500 liters, $99.95, 0.2 Micron
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
$14.83, 4,000 liters, 0.2 Micron
LifeStraw is the original, tried, and true filtration straw. The Lifestraw Personal Water Filter reduces bacteria, protozoa, and parasites from freshwater sources.
The lightweight design makes it a perfect item for hiking or camping trips! It can easily fit into your backpack pocket without adding any weight to the pack. The length of the straw is 8.6 inches. You can’t go wrong with the Original!
MSR Hyperflow Microfilter
$119.00, 1000 liters, $0.2 Micron
Being the more expensive filter on this list, the MSR Hyperflow Microfilter is a great compact water filter. Its high flow rate and ease of use make this filter a good companion for Hiking and Camping.
Testing: Meets NSF protocol P231 for removal of bacteria (99.9999%) and protozoa (99.9%) from beginning to end of filter life in “worst-case” water.
The high flow rate is more than 3 liters per minute or 1 liter every 20 strokes.
Ultralight and Ultra Small: Just 7.8 oz. (221 g). Just 7×3.5 in. ( 17.8 x 8.3 cm) makes it easy to take along even when space is at a premium.
Field-Maintainable: Can be cleaned repeatedly for flow recovery without tools.
Super Convenient: Quick Connect bottle adapter lets you filter water directly into a variety of containers, including all MSR hydration products and other wide-mouth containers
Vital Portable Water Filter Features to Consider
Portable water filters come in many shapes and sizes, but the difference between them is weight. For those who want to go lightest should consider a straw or squeeze filter because they are made from BPA-free plastic with lightweight hollow fiber filtering systems that don’t add much bulk when full.
However, you can only drink directly out of these sources so it doesn’t make sense for heavy carrying capacity like those filtered by gravity or submersible pumps which will feel significantly heavier after packing away all their supplies at home before heading out into nature again this season!
If you’re looking to save weight, keep your backpack free of clutter and compact for storage then size matters. Bottle filters with a hand pump take up more room because they are made from multiple components compared to other types like water filter straws which only contain one component without any added pieces.
Size matters when it comes to the amount of space your filter can take up. One bottle filter or a hand pump filter will naturally use more room than a straw or a squeeze filter, but these types may not fit in some backpacks without folding them first!
Ease Of Use
When you’re out hiking and camping, it’s natural to want the most peace of mind possible. That means taking care of every small detail before setting off on your adventure in order not only to feel prepared but also enjoy yourself even more!
With this mindset, many people carry water filters with them so they can be ready at any moment! Hand pumps and squeeze filters take a little longer to set up, and straws are about speed and simplicity.
Portable water filters are a great way to make sure that you always have clean drinking water on hand. The filter capacity will vary depending on the size of your needs, but most can range from 3 months up until 5 years with proper care and maintenance in between replacements
The Waterdrop Water Filter Straw has an expected lifespan of 100,000 gallons, not bad considering it’s small enough for camping trips! You might need something this durable if going out into remote regions or across long distances though so be mindful before making purchase decisions based on this alone.
If you want to make sure that everyone in your group has access to clean drinking water, then the flow rate should be above average.
The flow rate is an important factor in determining how much water passes through the filter and cleans your drinking container. For example, if a gravity filter doesn’t have enough pressure, then it will take longer for that water to make its way from top-to-bottom when filtering.
Flow rate is an issue for many people. The solution depends on what type of filter you have, gravity or pump. Either backwashing your current one or purchasing a replacement filter should do the job!
What does “potable water” mean?
A potable water source is a drinking water supply that meets the health-based, quality standards of a public health authority.
How much should I pay for a portable water filter?
You shouldn’t pay more than $50 for a personal water filter! One of the best budget-friendly personal filters is the Waterdrop Water Filter Straw at $13.99. (See above)
If you need more water, The Platypus QuickDraw with its 3L per minute for $45.00 might be a great option for you!
What is the Best feature of a Personal Water Filter?
Your water will be the best tasting in town. The filtering media itself is what makes a filter really great, as it’s made of tiny pores too small for any contaminant to pass through!
Although the smallest pores on a filter are only 0.1 microns in size, The smallest pores on a filter are only 0.1 microns in size, but they still work to trap impurities and chemicals.
What kind of standards are manufactures heald to?
There are none. The industry is quite unregulated. Manufacturers have gone through the process of getting accredited and are guided by multiple organizations. The EPA’s (Environmental Protection Agency)Guide Standard Protocol, NSF certified(National Sanitation Foundation), WQA (Water Quality Association), and ASTM (American Society for Testing and Materials).