So you’re planning a backpacking trip and need some new gear for water purification. Only one question remains – what’s the best backpacking water filter? There’s quite a few lightweight, effective water filters on the market these days. Below are some different examples to to choose what best fits your needs:
Sawyer Mini Water Filter
There’s been some recent advances in water filtration that have set a new bar in weight savings, ease of use and price for backpackers or hikers on the trail. The Sawyer Mini Water Filter is a perfect example and it’s versatility is genius. Weighing in at only 2 ounces and rated to 0.1 micron filtration, the Sawyer Mini can be attached to the included 16 oz, reusable squeeze pouch, inline on a hydration pack, crewed onto the top of a standard, off the shelf water bottle, or attach the included water straw and drink directly from the source!
We actually field tested the Sawyer on a recent backpacking trip. Read our Saywer Squeeze Water Filter Review
A simple backwashing easily restores the Sawyer’s flow rate, and one mini camping water filter is good for up to 100,000 gallons of filtration. Sawyer works well for collecting quality drinking water for use with cooking as well. The Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System is very affordable at around $20
The Lifestraw is the ultimate water filter for ultralight backpackers, weighing in at a mere 2 ounces! The lifestraw lets you drink directly from any stream or lake, or from any container it will fit in. This means it’s instant drinkable water from the source. The drawback is you can’t really filter water into a container for uses such as cooking, but have no fear ultralight backpackers you can obviously just boil your water.
Platypus GravityWorks Water Filter
Another option is Platypus’s gravity fed water filtration system which comes in both 2 Liter and 4 Liter kits. The Platypus GravityWorks 2L Water Filter is ideal for backpackers looking to save on weight, yet filter a larger amount of water in a short period of time, capable of filtering 1.5 liters of water per minute. Cartridge life is 1500 liters and the complete kit weighs 11.5 ounces. You can also use the kit in a reconfiguration, such as direct-to-bottle, shaving some weight down to as little as 7 ounces.
For larger groups or need for a larger volume of filtered water, the Platypus GravityWorks 4L Water Filter is capable of 8 liters of water storage depending on configuration. You can filter four liters of water in 2.5 minutes
Katadyn MyBottle Water Purifier
The MyBottle Water Purifier by Katadyn is another lightweight backpacking option for those looking for just an easy process of supplying drinking water. The weight of the MyBottle Purifier is 9.7 ounces. Simply fill the MyBottle in a lake or stream, screw the cap on and start sipping. The MyBottle has a 3-stage purification process eliminates viruses, bacteria and protozoa and can be filled 155 times for the purifier cartridge needs to be placed. The MyBottle is a drinking/sipping bottle, so it wouldn’t be ideal for purifying extra water for cooking, etc.