You’ve seen all of those thru-hikes on Youtube. The long days and nights hiking through the wilderness, and the hikers talking about keeping weight down, ultralight, etc. Well, water isn’t light. In fact carrying a lot of water weighs a lot, so what do you do? Knowing the best backpacking water purifiers will be essential to keep your load light and be able to source water from places you may not think of.
The options listed below offer multiple options for sourcing water. The Lifestraw is what I keep handy for more emergency situations. It’s an affordable option at around 12 bucks.
Weight was a consideration for a lot of these backpacking water purifiers. Ideally if you’re car camping then you probably won’t need to worry too much. Heck, I even fill up a jug of water from home and just keep in my car. These options will keep weight down for various hiking lengths, so think about how far you’re going, how much water you can take with you, and keep in mind what water sources you’ll have along the way.
Here are the top five options for the best backpacking water purifiers:
The LifeStraw Personal water filter is a really basic water filtration device that comes in at 2 oz. and is perfect for short or long hikes. What’s different about this device is that it’s a water filter. It doesn’t use any kind of tablets or iodine to clean water, the filter itself will handle 1000 liters for its life.
This high-performance 0. 1 Micron absolute inline filter fits in the palm of your hand and weighs just 2 ounces; 100% of MINI units individually tested three times to performance standards by Sawyer.
Attaches to included drinking pouch, standard disposable water bottles, hydration packs, or use the straw to drink directly from your water source
Removes 99. 99999% of all bacteria (salmonella, cholera, and E. coli); removes 99. 9999% of all protozoa (such as giardia and cryptosporidium); also removes 100% of micro plastics
Filter rated up to 100, 000 gallons; Includes one Sawyer MINI filter, 16-ounce reusable squeeze pouch, 7-inch drinking straw, and cleaning plunger.
Proven protection against bacteria and protozoan cysts down to 0.2 micron with pleated glass-fiber filter media.
Activated carbon in the core of the filter improves the taste and reduces chemicals in your drinking water.
The field cleanable filter protector screen extends the life of the cartridge in challenging conditions.
Long-time trusted option for backpackers with it’s ultra-light 11oz, compact size and compatibility with hydration bladders.
Transparent design allows you to see the filtration working.
Pure™ requires only a small amount of brine (salt and water) solution and an electric charge to produce a mixed-oxidant disinfectant that you add to your water bottle.
Inactivates microbes in all types of water—kills bacteria, viruses, giardia and Cryptosporidium without prefiltering.
Easily select the volume of water you want to treat from 1 to 20 liters
Recharge the integrated battery from a USB port on your computer or a wall outlet; incorporated solar panel offers failsafe, backup charging
No pumping or stirring required; salt storage built into the device
Ideal for outdoor recreation, travel and disaster preparedness
Integrated flashlight is fast and easy to access
Exceeds the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Guide Standard and Protocol for Testing Microbiological Purifiers, and weights 3.8 oz.
Fast and easy-to-use: simply fill at any stream, lake, sketchy tap or hotel sink, then press on the ground or at knee level and drink safe water anywhere.
Removes 99.9999% of viruses (e.g., Hepatitis A, SARS, Rotavirus) and disease-causing bacteria (e.g., E. coli, Salmonella).
Removes and 99.999% of protozoan cysts (e.g. ,Giardia, Cryptosporidium)
Ultra-powdered activated carbon effectively filters particulates, many chemicals and heavy metals, eliminating bad flavors and odors.
Replaceable purifier cartridge rated for 300 uses (40 gal. / 150L) before needing replacement; bottle can be used indefinitely.
Engineered to stand up to the harsh demands of international travel, outdoor adventure (backpacking, hiking, camping, fishing) and emergency situations.
Fits in most pack pockets and cup holders, and weighs 10.9 oz.
Using Grayl to treat local water (instead of buying bottled water when traveling) saves money and waste.