A good backpacking water filter will help ensure you have a safe trip into the wilderness, and will be protected from parasites, bacteria, and viruses. An expert out in the field would never drink an untreated water source, no matter how innocent it seems. The fresh water you find in mountainous areas or in local forests are often polluted with bacteria, as well as the remnants of decomposing animals. Water must be treated in some way, and your options tend to come down to either a water filter or iodine.
Most typical backpacking filters will treat about a quart of water per minute. In theory, they are very effective, however the more you use them, the more sediment will clog the filters. Performing maintenance for your water filter is vital to ensuring they are at their best when you need them. It is also a good thing to look for a water filter containing a pre-filter. This pre-filter is used to remove larger floating particles and extend the life of your filter. Always be sure to follow the manufacturer’s instructions on use as well.
If you do not want to carry along filters, another option to treat water is iodine tablets or crystals. The advantage of these is that they take up almost no space in your backpack and are extremely lightweight. Although they are convenient and easy to use, many experts question how well they work to eliminate the dangers of parasites and bacteria. Again, be sure to follow treatment instructions on the bottle if you decide to use iodine.
Some of the best water filters for backpacking options you may want to explore are:
Table of Contents
- 1 Top 3 Best Backpacking Water Filter Reviews
- 2 What to Look for in a Backpacking Water Filter
- 3 Best brands in backpacking water filters
- 4 Conclusion
Top 3 Best Backpacking Water Filter Reviews
1. MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter
- Carbon and ceramic build
- Item weight of 1.01 pounds
- Made for heavy and repeated use
- Easy to use clean and maintain
- Very affordable
- Helps prevents cross contamination
- Good tasting water
- Difficult to use with smaller bottles
- Can freeze and crack the ceramic filter
- Not ideal for servicing large groups of people.
Although the filter doesn’t really last long, Mini Works filters are durable and last for many years when properly maintained.
2. Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System
- Micron absolute hollow fiber membrane mini filter
- One 16 oz reusable squeeze pouch
- Cleaning plunger
- Filter tip cap
- Drinking straw
- Ideal for outdoor recreation and more
- Weighs 2 oz
- Filters up to 100,000 gal
- Requires backflushing often
- Can freeze in sub-zero temperature
- Not large enough for backpacking trips.
Sawyer Mini is less expensive, very light, easy to carry about, great for hiking on the go.
3. Katadyn Hiker PRO
- Removable filter protector
- Quick connect fittings
- Connects directly to hydration packs with 1/4″ drinking tubes
- Includes pre-filter, bottle adapter, and carry bag
- Very easy to use and clean
- Very easy to install
- Durable with long-lasting filter
- Expensive replacement cartridge
- Pump handle easily gets broken
- Takes up lot of space.
It’s very durable and lasts a long time if well maintained. However, one slight glitch of this product is that the inlet of the pump tends to break a lot, and can’t be fixed quickly. If you’re hiking when the inlet pump gets broken, you won’t be able to use it .
What to Look for in a Backpacking Water Filter
Backpacking water filters are essential for any wilderness excursion, where bringing bottled water is not an option. Read reviews to gather an estimate of durability, price, replacement ratios, and filter efficiency. The end result is surety that they are protected and your backpack will not be weighed down. Search and compare online and find the best filter that fits your needs.
When you go hiking, one of the most important things you will need to bring is fresh drinking water. The next time you go hiking, consider bringing a portable water filter instead. You could be saving backpack weight and enjoying the clean water available.
The trick is to keep your backpack as light as possible.
To truly enjoy hiking you need to take the least amount possible. You do not want a heavy backpack weighing you down and causing muscle strain or exhaustion. With a light backpack, you can cover more distance with less strain on your muscles.
Most hikers know that the heaviest they will pack is usually the supply of drinking water. As water weighs a gram per milliliter, a water bottle weighing one liter can add a whole kilo to the weight of the backpack. Depending on the length of the hike, one liter might not even be enough drinking water.
A portable water filter can weigh only 250 grams. That’s just one quarter the weight of a liter of water. Imagine losing that extra weight. It’ll definitely give you more stamina.
Enjoy fresh water consumption.
If you have ever tried free running water, it is known to be some of the cleanest water you can get. Pour that pure water into a portable water filter and it really is the cleanest water around. There is minimal pollution and no extra additives – just clean drinking water.
Even pure mountain water can contain dangerous bacteria and pathogens, such as typhoid, dysentery, cholera, colibacillosis, amoebic dysentery protozoa, cryptosporidium cysts, fungi, parasites, spores, and giardia. Chances are you’ve never heard of most of these pathogens. Normally, water treatment plants of the city take care of these dangers for you. Lightweight portable water filters are able to effectively remove these pathogens, too. Besides that, they remove other pollutants, as well as unpleasant tastes and odors. Dissolved chemicals, such as chlorine and iodine, are also removed by using a water filter.
Unlimited carry water in a bottle
One of the best advantages of using a portable water filter is that you almost always have enough water. While near a stream, river or lake, you have access to portable water. Usually, it only takes a couple of minutes to properly filter this water to become drinkable.
If you are going to pack your own water instead, you could be out of luck once your water runs out. You would have no choice but to risk drinking water from a stream or lake. The bacteria in the water could eventually make you sick, ruining your hiking trip.
During a hike, drinking water is extremely important. Using a backpacking water filter will make it easier and your water clean for your hike.
Water filters are used for hiking, humanitarian aid organizations in emergency situations, and by the military, to name a few. These filters tend to be small and lightweight, and typically filter water via a hand pump of some kind, although a siphon drop system is also an option. Others are built in water bottles. The unclean water is pumped through a silicon hose filter sieved through a custom filter and into a storage container. These filters work to eliminate bacteria, protozoa, and microbial cysts that can cause diseases. Filters can have finer meshes that may need replacing or regular cleaning, and ceramic filters may have their outer areas chafe or erode when they have become clogged with impurities.
Best brands in backpacking water filters
Katadyn Hiker Microfilter
It is a highly-rated clarifier that is ideal for when you want to control your weight and travel light. The filtration system removes bacteria and parasites, such as Cryptosporidium and Giardia. It is very easy to use and comes with an adapter for bottles and a Nalgene hydration pack attached. This is an efficient and lightweight portable filter that produces a large volume of water with each stroke.
Mini Micro Ceramic
If you are looking for a filter for ultra lightweight portable water, this is the one for you. This is the lightest around at only 8 ounces. It is only 7 inches high, so it is convenient to pack as well. The clarifier has a 0.2 micron ceramic depth so it can be cleaned in the field when used. It puts out 2,000 gallons before it needs to be replaced, and comes with a pre-clarifier bottle clip, carrying bag, a measuring instrument and cleaning pad.
The SweetWater Micro filter is a lightweight portable water filter — fast and efficient, as well as having the reputation of being easier to pump. The weight totals 11 ounces, which is lighter than systems of comparable water. The pump runs with an action lever which provides a mechanical advantage, resulting in smooth and easy pumping. This portable water filter system is reliable, and gets rid of bacteria, protozoa, and parasites in the water. It is easy to maintain in the field with dense brush cleaning included. The micro portable filter resists freezing, is impact-free, and has no small parts to lose.Definitely a solid build overall, and very convenient.
For you to enjoy your camping or hiking experience, it’s paramount to go for the best portable water filter products that has distinctive features that best suits the requirements needed for hiking trips. The products listed above have been well researched and come recommended from numerous sources. However, if they don’t match your needs, it’s advisable to research more options that may better suit you. It goes without saying that you want your camping or hiking experience to be an enjoyable one, and having the right backpacking water filter and equipment is a must.