Best Portable Water Filter: In-Depth 2020 Buyer’s Guide

man filtering his water

The best portable water filter will remove contaminants from water, making it drinkable, while also improving its taste. A portable water purification device is self-contained and easy to transport and carry. Typically, these water filters are compact, hand-carried, and commonly used by survivalists, outdoor enthusiasts, and military personnel. Using the right filter can dramatically improve a camping or hiking experience. Once you start using a filter, you won’t have to carry water with you on your journey, which equals a lighter pack and improved comfort during a hike. Having this type of filter on hand will also be important in the event of a natural disaster.

Of course, there are so many different types of water purification methods to choose from, in addition to several popular models, which makes it difficult to choose the right one based on intended application, ease of use, and overall quality.

I’ve created this buyer’s guide to help you find the right water filtration system, one that will be invaluable on a hiking or camping trip, or if you’re simply looking for a portable model that you can store in a bug out bag, in the event of a natural disaster. I’ve tested out many different types and models of filtration systems, narrowing it down to six must have filters that are powerful, efficient, and can be a total game changer when you’re hiking and camping in the backcountry.

Below, you’ll find a comparison chart that includes each of the models that made it onto my list, their top features, and how they rated.

Portable Water Filter Comparison Chart

ProductFiltration MethodTypeRemoves
Viruses
Rating
Survivor Filter PRO

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Activated Carbon/ROPumpYes
LifeStraw Flex Water Filter

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Gravity/
Activated Carbon
GravityNo
MoKo Portable Water Filter

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Activated CarbonPumpNo
FS-TFC Portable Water Filter

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Reverse OsmosisPumpYes
WakiWaki Gravity
Water Filter

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Carbon/PPGravityNo
Survimate Filtered
Water Bottle

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Carbon/Membrane/PPStrawNo

Survivor Filter PRO


Our Rating: (5/5)

This latest filtration system by Survivor Filter has been heavily tested in labs, with impressive results that have proven this model is capable of removing up to 99.999% of protozoa. Additionally, it has been tested for its power to remove bacteria and viruses, lead, and mercury. The triple filtration design removes microns as small as 0.01 and can remove chemicals and heavy metals, due to its carbon filtration and dual hollow fiber membrane. The manufacturer claims that the filter is twenty times more efficient compared to competing models. It’s covered by a lifetime warranty, with a one hundred percent satisfaction guarantee. Customers who are not completely satisfied with the filter’s performance can contact customer support for a full refund. This gives consumers every reason to buy.

In terms of performance, the filter features a very fast flow rate of 500 millimeters per minute. It can be used directly from a fresh water source where the water is then pumped into an attached cup. It can also be pumped into any type of portable hydration pack. The filter is perfect for filtering large jugs and buckets of water and will be invaluable on any hiking and camping trip.

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • 100% money-back guarantee
  • Removes viruses
  • High flow rate

Cons

  • Clogs easily

Conclusion

This filter is built out of heavy-duty ABS materials and features a polysulfone medical grade filter, complete with a food grade activated carbon filter. The filter comes equipped with a handle that consists of a steel bar and a thick rubber coating for improved durability. This model is powerful, efficient, easy to use, and a welcome addition to any long hiking or camping trip. It will also be invaluable during a natural disaster.

LifeStraw Flex Advanced Water Filter


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

The Lifestraw filtration system features a hollow fiber membrane with a 0.2-micron pore size. The system is capable of removing up to 99.999% of micro plastics, protozoa, and 99.999999% of bacteria. Unfortunately, it’s not able to remove viruses. The system’s carbon fiber capsule is designed to improve the taste of water by reducing organic chemical matter such as VOC, herbicides, pesticides, in addition to filtering out chlorine and heavy metals such as lead. In terms of longevity, this model has a lifetime rating of five hundred gallons.

Pros

  • Easy to use
  • Uses five filtration methods
  • Can be used four ways
  • High lifetime rating

Cons

  • Cannot remove viruses

Conclusion

This is a versatile, powerful filtration system that can be used in four ways. It comes with a one-gallon gravity bag and can be used as an in-line filter with a hydration pack, or users can attach it to a disposable water bottle. On average, the filter can last for more than one and a half years and comes with a replaceable carbon filter that will last for up to twenty-five gallons of drinking water. This filter is a great buy for any type of outdoor adventure and is also a good addition to any survival pack.

MoKo Portable Water Filter


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This portable, lightweight filtration system is perfect for outdoor situations such as camping and hiking. It can turn river water, lake water, and rainwater, into drinkable, clean water, without the use of iodine, instantly. The system has been extensively tested by the TUV SUD Institute and passed with flying colors. The filter features an advanced coconut shell activated carbon filter that removes microns as small as 0.01 and can eliminate a wide variety of contaminants including waterborne contaminants, sediment, and chlorine. It produces an impressively fast flow rate of six hundred milliliters of water per minute and comes with a carbon filter that’s replaceable and can be used for up to 660 gallons.

Pros

  • Third-party tested
  • Includes coconut shell activated carbon filter
  • Removes waterborne pathogens
  • Lightweight, durable design

Cons

  • Cannot remove viruses or heavy metals

Conclusion

This filtration system’s design is very straightforward, which makes it user-friendly and easy to set up. This model features a durable body, survival straw, and back-flushing filter. The filter is designed to last and can remove waterborne pathogens in a matter of seconds. This easy to use system can be used for hiking and camping trips, or it can make a great addition to any bug out bag.

FS-TFC Portable Water Filter


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

The FS-TFC portable water filter uses reverse osmosis filtration. It features a sand filter head with UF prefiltration. The triple filtration action will remove heavy metals, chemicals, arsenic, fluoride, parasites, bacteria, and viruses. In terms of flow rate, it offers a rating of three hundred milliliters per minute, which is average. The hollow fiber low pressure membrane, combined with the reverse osmosis membrane, allows users to filter saltwater, producing clean, pure drinking water. It can also be used directly from fresh water sources and can be pumped directly into an empty water bottle. The ergonomic design makes pumping water through the different filters a cinch.

Pros

  • Reverse osmosis filtration
  • Can remove viruses, waterborne pathogens, heavy metals, and parasites
  • Ergonomic design
  • Made out of food grade materials

Cons

  • Included directions are vague and difficult to follow

Conclusion

This durable water filtration system is highly portable and made out of food grade materials. The main body is made out of tough ABS plastic and a medical grade filter made out of polysulfone. This model comes with an internal reverse osmosis filter, complete with silicone tubing, water pouch, and a travel bag for easier transport. The filter is covered by a lifetime warranty and comes with a one hundred percent money-back guarantee. If you’re looking for a filter that’s fast, efficient, and designed for backcountry use, then this powerful user-friendly model is a must-have for your next backpacking or camping adventure.

WakiWaki Gravity Water Filter


Our Rating: (4.5/5)

This is a top of the line, three-stage filtration system that’s powerful, highly portable, and easy to use. This model features a pore size of just 0.1 microns, allowing it to remove up to 99.9999% of sediment, dust, and up to 99.99999% of micro-plastic. The included activated carbon filter will minimize bad odors and flavors, while the PP cotton filter will remove larger particles from the water. The filter features an extra-large capacity of TPU storage and can filter up to 1321 gallons, producing a flow rate of seven gallons per hour. This is a multifunctional gravity fed filtration system that features a three-in-one design, including an extension tube, filter, and filter straw. The filter can directly connect with the gravity bag, making it a great choice for buyers in search of a model that can be used for a large group.

Pros

  • micron pore size
  • Efficient
  • Gravity fed system
  • Included PP cotton filter for larger debris

Cons

  • Cannot remove viruses
  • Slow flow rate

Conclusion

This filter is easy to use, highly portable, and comes with a built-in handle that makes transporting and carrying the filter a breeze. Using this gravity fed system is simple. To do, simply hang the filter from a tree, relying on gravity to quickly move the water through the filtration system. The filter is made up of food grade materials and features the type of durable design needed for backcountry use.

Survimate Filtered Water Bottle


Our Rating: (4/5)

This filtered water bottle by Survimate features an advanced purification system. The bottle is equipped with a medical grade PP cotton filter, coconut shell activated carbon filter, and a hollow fiber membrane. The bottle itself is made out of tritan copolyester that’s rated as food grade material. The filter must be replaced after one year of continuous use. The bottle is extremely durable, heat resistant, and made out of BPA-free plastic.

Pros

  • Includes PP cotton filter, coconut shell activated carbon filter, and a hollow fiber membrane
  • Can be used for up to one year
  • Low price
  • Bottle is heat resistant and durable
  • Includes built-in compass

Cons

  • Low water capacity

Conclusion

If you’re looking for a water bottle for your next hiking or camping trip, you’ll be impressed with how powerful and efficient this small filtration system really is.

This durable, easy to use multi-filtration water bottle will come in handy for hikes and camping use. Using the filter is as simple as filling up the water bottle and drawing the water up through the straw. Users will enjoy instantly filtered water, no pumping, squeezing, or hoses required.

Portable Water Filter Buyer’s Guide

Standing water and running water can both contain pathogens and chemicals, making the drinking water unsafe for consumption. Pathogens can include larvae, protozoa, viruses, and bacteria. In terms of chemical pollutants, the water may contain heavy metals or pesticides. These contaminants not only make the water unsafe to drink, but it will also impact how the water tastes and smells.

There are many different types of water filters on the market. Not all models are created equal, offering varying levels of efficiency when it comes to removing microorganisms, viruses, parasites, and bacteria. Some systems will feature a combination of filters and purifiers, offering a design that makes them more effective against removing parasites, viruses, protozoan cysts, bacteria, and sediment.

Before I go over what features you should look for in your new portable water filtration system, first, let’s take a look at some of the benefits using one of these systems offers and why you won’t ever want to go hiking or camping without one.

Portable Water Filter Benefits

girl drinking filtered water

  • To start, these portable filtration systems can efficiently remove contaminants such as sediment and organic chemicals, creating pure water. These impurities found in water can cause the water to taste bitter and often have a strong pungent odor. However, once the water has gone through the filtration system, the water will taste and smell fresh.
  • If you and your family or friends enjoy hiking or camping out in the backcountry and spend hours a day hiking and taking in the beautiful sights in search of the perfect camping spot for the night, then pack weight is probably a major concern. With a portable filter, you can ditch the plastic bottles and jugs of water. If you’ve hiked and camped, hauling water with you for miles at a time, then you know that making the switch to a filter can reduce your pack weight by several pounds, allowing you to travel faster and further each day.
  • Plastic bottles and jugs are harmful to the environment. Purchasing a filtration system will help you do your part for the environment by minimizing waste.

Filtration Methods

A water treatment plant will clean enough water for an entire city using filters and chemicals that work to remove impurities. When you’re vacationing overseas or you’re hiking and camping, relying on natural water sources, you need to use a water filter to remove harmful bacteria, parasites, viruses, algae, and chemicals from the water that can cause serious illnesses in both humans and animals.

Portable filters are available in a variety of shapes and sizes, most of which use both chemical and physical filtration in order to remove microscopic contaminants and particles from water. Physical filtration will provide a physical barrier that will remove the large particles from water. With chemical filtration, chemical reactions will occur in water that passes through activated material such as carbon, in order to remove impurities that a physical filter is not able to trap and eliminate.

When you’re shopping for a portable filter, you’ll need to look at the type of filtration process used to remove contaminants from your drinking water. There are a total of four primary methods that are used to filter water, including:

  • Activated carbon filters
  • Steam distillation
  • Ion exchange
  • Reverse osmosis

Reverse Osmosis

A reverse osmosis water filter will use water pressure to remove contaminants from the water, flushing it through a semipermeable membrane. When water passes through this membrane, certain types of contaminants such as iron, mercury, and lead are flushed away. This filtration process is not able to remove certain solvents, pesticides and some metals such as radon and chlorine.

Ion Exchange

An ion exchange filter will be important if you’re traveling overseas and encounter hard water. Ion exchange involves a chemical process that will release certain ions, such as sodium, exchanging them for unwanted ions such as heavy metals. This will result in softer water that has a much better taste. However, this type of filtration system isn’t a good choice for people who follow a diet that’s low in sodium.

Steam Distillation

Steam distillation involves heating water and cooling steam in order to get rid of contaminants. Most types of contaminants have a boiling point that’s higher than water, so they will be left behind after the water has turned to steam. The steam will then be condensed back into water. Unfortunately, this filtration process removes natural minerals from the water, which may be a major drawback for some buyers.

Activated Carbon

This is the most common filtration method used. Charcoal is a porous form of carbon, so it features a large internal surface area that will trap any contaminants. It will act as a magnet for compounds such as VOCs and lead, trapping them internally as the water rushes through the filter.

Each of these filtration methods have their own pros and cons, which is why some systems will use more than one method per filtration system.

Must-Have Features

Choosing the right filtration system can seem like a big challenge, especially considering how flooded the market is with a variety of styles, models, and types, making it difficult to determine which model offers the type of efficient performance every buyer is looking for. When you’re shopping for a water filter, there are many factors to consider and features to look for that can help you narrow down your choices and find a filtration system that’s powerful, easy to use, and efficient. Filtration speed is one of the first factors you’ll want to consider, since some systems are very slow and have limitations regarding how much pure water they can produce at any given time. Below, I’ll go in-depth concerning these important factors, the different types of systems available, and what features you should look for that indicate quality and a solid performance.

Water Filtration Speed

When it comes to filtration speed, how long it takes for the filter to remove chemicals, toxins, and other harmful impurities will vary from model to model. Some systems are able to produce around twenty ounces of water within sixty seconds, while others will only produce two to four ounces in the same amount of time.

Function

Will you be in an area that’s largely concentrated with people and you want to reduce the risk of contracting a virus? Will you be hiking in high altitudes where the biggest threat is water that’s contaminated with parasites and bacteria? Some filters are not designed to kill viruses. Because of this, you need to make sure you buy a model that is capable of removing a wide range of contaminants based on the environment.

Weight

A hiker or backpacker doesn’t want to carry a water filter that’s heavy. Most models are designed to fit in a backpack; however, their weight will vary depending on the type of filtering technology they use, their structure, and other components. Make sure you check the weight of the filter you’re interested in purchasing before you buy.

Capacity

How often do you plan on using the filter? Some models will only be good for a few weeks while others will function for a longer period of time. Look at each filter’s capacity. Some models can handle filtering up to a couple hundred gallons while others are designed to clean more than one hundred thousand gallons.

Ease of Use

Some models feature a very simple design with few moving parts. Other filtration systems are more complex with several components that need to be cleaned and assembled after each use.

Durability

A filter should be able to hold up to the elements. It should feature a durable design that allows it to handle a drop without breaking. A filter’s durability is determined by the materials it’s made out of and how it’s designed.

Prefilters

Different types of matter can make their way into water including mud that’s been stirred up by a storm, leaf debris, silty water, and glacial sediment. While natural particles aren’t really a health concern, they can easily impact how easy it will be to treat water, the lifespan of filter elements, and how much maintenance will be needed. One way many of the leading filtration systems deal with the natural particles is with the use of a prefilter. A prefilter works to remove large particles from water in order to improve the treatment process.

Many pump filters will come with a prefilter, or you can purchase a prefilter separately.

These prefilters will work to maintain a regular filter’s flow rate and can lessen maintenance needs while also extending the life of the large filtration system. It will also improve the effectiveness of chemical treatments and is essential for use with a UV filtration system.

Maintenance

A filter cartridge can become clogged with bacteria, debris, algae, and more. After using a filter for an extended period of time, cleaning it will be necessary when you return from your trip. Water that contains debris or silt can make cleaning more difficult. If a filter is dirty, you’ll immediately notice a decrease in water production. While it’s a good idea to clean out a filter after each trip, there will be a time when you forget. Fortunately, most models are easy to disassemble and clean. If you have a UV filter, the only upkeep it will require is swapping out batteries. Squeeze bottle systems need to be replaced when the flow is very low, which isn’t a problem since those filters are very affordable. Some models are easier to clean than others. When it’s time to clean your filter, make sure you pay close attention to the manufacturer’s cleaning instructions and follow them carefully in order to avoid damaging the filtration system and to ensure it continues to run in perfect working order.

Types of Portable Water Filters

While each type of filtration system offers similar results, each type filters the water in its own unique way.

Straw

Straw filters are the lightest filtration option available and do not require electricity to use. Acting like a regular straw, the camper or hiker can stick the filter in a bottle of water, sucking the water directly through the straw for instantly filtered water.

Like a basic straw, this filter will require a powerful draw in order to function, however, the filtration process itself is very straightforward. These filters require a cartridge that’s made out of a hollow fiber membrane. These tightly woven fibers form several layers that the water must travel through. These fibers are very small and porous. The majority of membranes use holes that measure in at 0.0 microns wide, which is one hundred thousand times smaller than a two-centimeter hole. The water will pass through these holes as it makes its way through the filter. Any parasites, viruses, or bacteria found in the water will be trapped and unable to pass through the filter.

Essentially, all of the elements that float in water will be too large to pass through the membranes, so as the water makes its way through the filter it will come out with no bacteria or residue. These filters are able to efficiently remove debris and sediment, in addition to parasites, protozoa, viruses, and bacteria. The biggest drawback for this type of filter is clogs. The holes in the membrane tend to get clogged easily with bacteria, sediment, and debris over time, so the user will need to periodically change out the cartridges. Additionally, a straw filter is not able to efficiently remove any type of dissolved contaminants such as pharmaceuticals, heavy metals, and chlorine.

Pump

For this kind of filter, a lead line must be connected to the water source, with another line connected to a water recipient. The filter is compact and small enough to fit easily into a backpack, without taking up too much room. These filters will remove protozoa and bacteria and come equipped with a hand pump that forces the water through the filter, where the water is then filtered out to a secondary storage for later use. In order to operate the pump, be prepared to use some elbow grease. These devices do an excellent job of filtering water quickly and often come equipped with a pre-filter located at the end of the hose that is dropped into the water source.

Some types of pump filters will rely on ceramic filters, while most will use fiber filters. You may also come across filters that come equipped with an activated carbon filter or a block activated filter. The fiber filters will work exactly like a straw’s hollow membrane filter by mechanically stopping the contaminants from reaching the cleaned water. The ceramic filter will also provide mechanical filtration.

These are very porous filters and their surface is usually covered in holes that measure in at 0.5 to one micron. The water will pass through these small holes, while blocking any contaminants from moving through the filter. These filters are so powerful, they’re also able to block asbestos. Unfortunately, there is bacteria that’s small enough to pass through a ceramic filter. Additionally, ceramic filters are not able to stop organic compounds from passing through. Because of this, some manufacturers will use an activated carbon filter in conjunction with the ceramic filters. The activated carbon features millions of tiny pores between the carbon atoms. Every gram of activated carbon features a surface area of up to two thousand square meters. The contaminants in the water that were able to make their way past the ceramic filter will be trapped on this surface. Bottom line, this type of filtration system will improve how water smells and tastes. Models that use activated carbon filters are long lasting and will only need to be changed once a year. However, these filters tend to turn into a breeding ground for trapped bacteria, so proper maintenance is crucial.

Bottle

This type of filter works like a straw filter, filtering the water through a hollow fiber single stage filter. The biggest advantage of this type of filter is that the filter cartridge can be removed so the hiker or camper can use the bottle like a normal drinking container. If you don’t need to filter your water, then remove the bottle’s filter cartridge. When you have to drink from a water source that’s possibly contaminated, then put the filter cartridge back in the bottle. Most types of bottle filters will use fiber filters to clean the contaminated water, however, there are some models that use solid block activated carbon filters. Models that use the basic fiber filters will work just like a straw, but instead of placing the straw in the water source, the bottle is used as a recipient for the tainted water.

The straw works to filter out any contaminants, allowing only clear water to make its way to the mouthpiece. Models that use an activated carbon block filter will rely on similar technology, but it’s more effective. The carbon has been compressed and treated to create a type of uniform matrix that allows the carbon to absorb a higher level of toxins, while reducing the size of their pores to create a more effective filtration process that does an excellent job of trapping parasites and bacteria. These filters can remove arsenic, heavy metals, and other types of contaminants, quickly and effectively. However, a bottle filter cannot block nitrates, fluoride, or dissolved salts.

Gravity

Hikers, preppers, and campers will love these filters; however, they are much larger than the other filters mentioned above. A gravity filter makes it easy to process a large quantity of water using the power of gravity. It comes equipped with a dirty bag, which is a large water reservoir that’s suspended on a tree branch, with a hose that leads to a water filter. The output portion of the filter will flow out another hose to the clean bag, which is a clean reservoir.

Squeeze

This is a type of single stage filter that does a great job of removing protozoa and bacteria, but it’s not able to remove viruses. Squeeze filters are best used with a clear water source that has suspended organic matter and is low in particulates, otherwise, the filter is prone to clogging. The processing time will depend on the volume of the dirty water reservoir and the level of pressure that’s exerted to push the water through the filter. These devices usually slow down with use and have to be back flushed with the use of a cleaning syringe, on a regular basis in order to maintain the proper flow rate.

UV

UV filters run on batteries, so these devices usually have a higher operating cost. These filters are very effective against parasites and bacteria, thanks to the power of ultraviolet light. The light provides an effective form of water purification that will neutralize viruses, protozoa, and bacteria. Ideally, it should be used with clear water since it’s not able to remove any organic matter or particulates. Additionally, while purification with this type of filter is considered relatively fast, it’s not able to process larger quantities of water. It can also run out of power since it runs on batteries.

Choosing a Filtration System Based on Application

As you can see, there are several different types of filtration systems to choose from. However, some will be more convenient to use than others. In addition to choosing a new filter based on your water needs, you also need to take into consideration where and how you’ll use the filter. Are you a backcountry backpacker? Is your biggest priority keeping your pack weight low? Do you often go car camping and need a more efficient, larger system? The answers to these questions can help you choose the right system for your next adventure.

Backcountry Backpacker

If you enjoy spending time hiking through the backcountry, then you probably need a lightweight filtration system that’s fast and easy to use. While you can always boil water in place of using a portable filter, boiling isn’t quite as effective or nearly as convenient. A pump filter will be a great choice for the backcountry backpackers since they’re able to filter a large volume of water in a short period of time, providing the backpacker with their daily ration of water in a few minutes.

Low Pack Weight Backpacker

People who enjoy hiking and trekking, but don’t want to carry a massive backpack or a lot of gear can use a bottle filter or straw filter. These devices are compact, lightweight, and designed to easily fit in smaller packs.

Car Camper

People who car camp usually plan camping trips with family or friends. Because of this, the car camper often needs a water filter that’s able to efficiently clean a large volume of water. Gravity or pump filters are both great choices and offer an excellent output for larger groups of campers.

Day Hikers

A day hiker will travel light, with a small fanny pack or backpack that can carry all the supplies they need. For short hiking trips, a straw filter is a great choice.

Water Purifiers Versus Water Filters

The biggest difference between a filter and a purifier is the level of protection provided. These two types of systems differ in terms of how they protect against harmful microorganisms. A filtration system will remove waterborne bacteria and protozoa. However, water filters don’t work as well as a water purifier when it comes to removing viruses. Filters consist of a porous material that includes activated charcoal designed to remove unwanted substances and sediment. Filters will also remove harmful toxins and chemicals from water and can improve how water smells and tastes.

A water purifier specializes in removing viruses, bacteria and protozoa from water, offering a higher level of defense. Purifiers are available in three technology choices:

  • Distillation
  • Deionization
  • Reverse osmosis

Many of the leading water filtration systems also come equipped with water purification technology, for twice the power.

Water Filters Versus Tablets

Many survivalists and campers prepare for unsafe drinking water by bringing along water purification tablets or a water filter. Using a portable water filtration system is much different than using purification tablets. A filter will remove microorganisms, leaving safe drinking water behind, with no negative impact on the taste of the water. Purification tablets will totally remove any contaminants from the water; however, these tablets contain chemicals that can leave the water tasting stale and bitter.

Risks of Drinking Unfiltered Water

It’s important for anyone traveling overseas, or people who often camp and hike in the backcountry to always have a water filter on hand. When traveling overseas, there’s always the possibility of death, disease, or sickness linked to drinking water that has not been treated. There’s a higher risk of virus contaminated water in larger populations and water located in industrialized areas where the water may be exposed to chemical run off.

Below, you’ll find a list of common risks that are linked to drinking untreated water.

  • Bacteria from human or animal fecal waste can include coliform, salmonella, shigella, E. coli, and cholera, all of which can cause serious illnesses. If you do consume untreated water that’s contaminated, then you can become seriously ill or die without immediate medical treatment.
  • Parasites can cause traveler’s disease or giardiasis and cryptosporidium, both of which are infections of the intestinal tract that cause a weakened immune system, vomiting, nausea, severe diarrhea, and excruciating abdominal pain.
  • Viruses are commonly found in untreated water and can include hand, foot and mouth disease, SARS, rotavirus, polio, norovirus, meningitis, and hepatitis.
  • Some forms of algae found in untreated water can be harmful to both humans and animals.

Other Water Treatment Tips

  • Avoiding a few common mistakes and taking simple precautions can make any type of water filtration process more effective.
  • First off, make sure you clearly designate clean and dirty water containers.
  • Always pay attention to the directions that come with the filter since many products will come with detailed steps that can help you avoid cross contamination.
  • Look for clean water since sediment can have a major negative impact on how effective the filter is.
  • Use hand sanitizer or wash your hands with soap and water prior to filtering water
  • Handwashing, dishwashing, and toilets should be kept at least two hundred feet away from a natural water source.
  • In freezing conditions, you will need to filter water differently. In most cases, filter melting snow will work the best. A filter that can crack and freeze can be stored in a sleeping bag overnight, however if daytime temperatures remain freezing then this won’t be of much help. Additionally, keep in mind that if your filter runs on batteries, the battery life can be negatively impacted by freezing temperatures.

Frequently Asked Questions

What Water Filter Removes Viruses?

The latest technology involves ultrafiltration membranes that efficiently remove viruses and bacteria from water, disinfecting and purifying it. These filters also produce water that tastes great and is safe to drink.

Is it Bad to Drink Reverse Osmosis Water?

While reverse osmosis water isn’t perfect, it’s definitely safe to drink. When any water passes through the membrane during the filtering process, the water that comes out of the filter is totally clean and does not contain any impurities.

Which Water Filter Removes the Most Contaminants?

Reverse osmosis systems are known for their strong and effective filters that can remove up to ninety-nine percent of dangerous contaminants.

Does Reverse Osmosis Kill E. Coli?

Many filters are effective when it comes to removing E. coli from drinking water. This type of filtration system uses a membrane that’s semipermeable. The membrane does an excellent job of blocking any contaminants, including E. coli.

Final Thoughts

Having the best portable water filter on hand will be crucial whether you’re traveling through the backcountry or trying to survive after a natural disaster. Each of the models that made it onto my must-have list offer a powerful, efficient performance, come loaded with great features, and can provide the volume of water you need, when you need it the most. This guide will help you determine which type of filter can provide the volume of water you need for the day or week, based on important features, filtration power, and your budget.

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