1. Katadyn Pocket Water Filter – Editor’s Pick
I would consider Katadyn to be the gold standard in water purification, not only because of their overall prices, but because of their quality. They even sell a desalination system.
This particular system I’m linked to is a “pocket” version. It is a pump system like the Survivor filter above. With this system, you would pump the water into another container. It filters down to 0.2 microns and has a life of approximately 13,000 gallons. It can filter up to 1 liter per minute! Pretty impressive numbers there.
Katadyn is one of my all time favorite brands and I would recommend them to anyone. This one is super compact but they have a lot of other great systems.
Benefits/Basically perfect and easy to use
The inconvenients/Not cheap by any means
Final result/This is the only filter to have if you need the best of the best
2. Survivor Filter Pro – Budget choice
I have been using this filter for quite some time and have always felt comfortable using it. It purifies down to 0.2 microns. It is easy to use, easy to clean, and has a fast flow. I am able to fill this transparent cup in record time.
This is a great system for filtering a lot of water in a large container like a water bag, gravity system, or just a regular bottle. Since I go out with my family and dogs on a regular basis, a water purification system like this makes sense.
It has been independently tested in the United States to show 99.999% filtration removal of tested viruses, bacteria, parasites and reduces heavy metals, unpleasant tastes and odors. It has a flow rate of 17 ounces per minute, so it quickly fills the containers.
Benefits/Excellent filter and fast flow
The inconvenients/Adds more to your gear that you need to pack
Final result/Ideal for camping or adventure with larger groups
3. Renovo Water MUV Survivalist – The most innovative
Renovo is quite innovative in its design. This is a modular system where you can have different types of filters at once, or just one or two filters. They can be interchanged which is pretty cool.
It can remove chemicals, heavy metals, bacteria, eColi, Giardia, Cryptosporidium, cysts, viruses, etc. Kills 99.999% of bacteria, 99.99% of viruses and chemicals, heavy metals and diesel fuel. Yes, you read that right. Diesel fuel. Have you ever thought about removing fuel from your water? In urban areas, you might want to.
In addition, their hollow fiber module filters down to 0.1 microns. They also have a water bottle system which I have used a few times and love. My kids also found it easy to drink from the bottle, which was important to me.
Benefits/Smooth and easy to use, also filter the fuel from your water
The inconvenients/Smaller size
Final result/An amazing modular water filter that would be ideal for urban survival, as well as serious adventures
4. 24 oz GRAYL GeoPress Water Purifier Bottle
This is a water bottle filter. Pour the water into the bottle then squeeze it and it filters through, then you drink it from the water bottle. All in a pretty nice package. I like it because there are not a lot of parts, it’s like a standard water bottle.
It eliminates viruses (eg rotavirus, norovirus, hepatitis A), bacteria (eg E. Coli, salmonella, dysentery) and protozoa (eg giardia, cryptosporidium, amoeba). It also filters and cleans particles (e.g. sediment, silt, microplastics), many chemicals (e.g. chlorine, benzene, chloroform) and heavy metals (e.g. lead, arsenic, chromium) and improves taste, smell and clarity.
I love this filter, except for two things –
- It only holds 24 oz – I would refill it constantly!
- The filter has a short life and filters only 65 gallons – I can use 65 gallons in a weekend camping trip between myself, my husband, two kids and two dogs.
However, I still love this method for quick water purification while hiking or for household purposes. I have several filters for water bottles and I especially like having them for the kids because I can just hand the water bottle to them and they don’t have to do anything special, they can drink from the bottle everything from following.
Benefits/Easy and convenient to use and excellent filter
The inconvenients/Small bottle and short filter life
Final result/A large bottle for one person to use on a medium adventure
5. APEC reverse osmosis drinking water filter system – Choice of domestic system
Your home needs it. Every household needs it.
I mention this system because I believe every home should have a reverse osmosis system. You can’t take it with you on your hikes, but it’s perfect for the home. This reverse osmosis system will essentially remove water from everything, even nutrients. While stripping him of the bad things is great, it will strip him of the good things as well. A bit like distillation.
By saying this, you can still add nutrients to your own body or to the water through various powders, vitamins, etc. But it’s a great system to have in your home to make sure your water is safe to drink no matter what.
Benefits/75 gallon system with multiple filters for water purity
The inconvenients/Not mobile and expensive, also filters a lot of vitamins
Final result/Every household needs potable water – Period
What is so important about clean water?
Instead of guessing if the water is safe to drink, the best thing we can do for ourselves is filter the water to the highest possible purity.
In the old days, the best method was to strain and boil. It’s still a classic and always will be. But even boiling won’t make everything go away. It kills many common pathogens and while some pathogens can survive, many of them are not harmful, although some may still be. That’s not to say boiling is dangerous, it’s fine if that’s all you’ve got and most likely will make a good majority of the water perfectly suitable for drinking.
First filter large things with a cotton ball, such as a bandana, then boil the water. When the water comes to a boil, let it sit for a minute. Altitudes above 6,500 feet should let it boil for three minutes.
Before filtering the water, examine the actual source of the water. Is it a flow from the top of a summit? Are there any nearby mines or other chemical or agricultural factories? Getting a feel for the water source will provide a better idea of what you could possibly be trying to filter.
I am quite passionate about water purification. If The Oregon Trail has taught us anything, it’s that no one wants to die of dysentery. Especially when there are so many ways to prevent it.
Tips for buying a filter
When you are done using a water filter (outside of the reverse osmosis system) and plan to put it away, be sure to take it apart as best you can and let it sit and dry completely. This is especially important for the filter, make sure it is completely dry before storing it, otherwise it could get moldy and no cleaning will fix it.
Pay special attention to the water filter you rely on to clean potentially harmful elements from your water. The type of water filter you use could very well be the difference between life and death.
Do some thorough research, think about your surroundings and water sources, as well as your household needs, if this is the way you are going.
How efficient is a water purification system?
Most decent water purification systems will filter out 99.99% of the bad stuff you don’t want to drink. And about the remaining 0.001% that could possibly remain, there is nothing that really concerns you. So yes, they are very effective.
How long should a water purification system last?
Each brand and type of filter is different in terms of service life. Follow the manufacturer’s directions for filter replacement and plan accordingly.
We are committed to finding, researching and recommending the best products. We earn commissions on the purchases you make using the retail links in our product reviews. Learn more about how it works.