Make A Wise Decision and Choose From These Best Portable Water Filters
Using the best portable water filter conveniently improve one’s hiking and camping experience. What’s more beneficial is that when you start using a portable water filter on the go, you do not have to carry an extensive amount of water with you at any given time or have to worry about clean water as you go because you can easily use the filter to refill your water receiver. Secondly, it actually lessens your travel expenses in a way that you do not have to buy water at overpriced costs, instead, you can just use your portable water filter and make the water you experience on you’re the run drinkable.
It’s quite understandable that having the resources to filter and purify water for drinking is crucial as having a water source and quite frankly most of the water you find while traveling to areas may hold contaminants that compromise water potability. Hence, to make water safe and free from any harmful impurities, one of the easiest methods of purifying it is through the use of portable water filters. The best portable water filters majorly help decontaminate and purify water by reducing impurities such as parasites, cysts, bacteria, viruses, and other heavy metals.
Why Use the Best Portable Water Filter?
Because of the small sizes, portable water filters can be easily packed into a backpack making it the ideal for purifying water while on the go and enjoying events such as camping, hiking or traveling. In addition to that, portable water filters are an essential component of most emergency aid kits and soldier kits because of their efficiency and ease of use. These uses of portable water filters make them a must-have gadget for every individual specifically for those who frequently perform outdoor activities and usually live on the go.
There are several options available in the market to choose from and choosing the best portable water filter can be a daunting task. The abundance of portable water filter brands in the market today makes it quite difficult to know which filters are more convenient and efficient than others. And because of this, it is of utter importance to understand how these devices work, what you should consider when purchasing a portable water filter and the different types of portable filters are currently available in the market and moreover this that how efficient these water filters are against various different types of contamination.
What’s the Difference Between a Water Filter & Water Purifier?
Despite the fact that water filters and water purifiers are used as interchangeable terms, yet they do not actually mean the same thing. Read on carefully to understand the definition of each term.
Water filters are more popular than purifiers and these filters help remove or reduce the impurities you can find in the water. The impurities they clean or eliminate includes but not limited to iron, nickel, lead, mercury, chlorine, chromium, copper, and more. Though they don’t remove all the bacteria and viruses from the water, they effectively decrease their number, and they efficiently remove certain species of bacteria overall.
On the other hand, the term water purifiers mention the units that can remove all the bacterial, viral, and parasitical contaminants in the water. The water purifies models do a great job of removing any bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and parasites in your drinking water, but they do not remove any other contaminants. This is why water purifiers are more difficult to find and use. That is why usually manufacturers choose to develop purifiers that work in combination with a water filter.
How Does Water Purify Itself From Filtration With the Best Portable Water Filter?
A portable water filter is a device that makes water potable and safe for drinking by removing contaminants and impurities found in water via a fine physical barrier. By passing water through a barrier, heavy impurities such as copper, nickel, lead, chromium, chlorine, iron, sediment, sand, fluoride, pesticides, Sulphur and mercury as well as some species of bacteria and protozoa, are removed or reduced.
That’s scary? We know right! Just know that by removing and eliminating all those above-mentioned contaminants from your water by owning a portable water filter, you also eliminate the possibilities of run into these diseases, viruses, and bacteria; Giardia, Dysentery, Diarrhea, Hepatitis A & E, Cholera, Typhoid.
The barrier that most water filters use usually comes in the form of a replaceable container and contains several layers of leaky and absorptive material. The materials sometimes also include a porous cloth for trapping large residue and activated carbon with which, impurities bind to. Because activated carbon has such a high surface area, it is extremely effective at trapping contaminants.
Hence, by far you get the idea that it’s beyond worth it to filter your water. By filtering the water and removing impurities from, you are guaranteed to save your immune system by the contaminants that do not even smell or you cannot even taste their presence in water.
The Top 7 Aspects to Consider When Buying The Best Portable Water Filter
Drinking clean water is and should be one of every person’s top priorities, no matter where you live or traveling to. Whether you’re out camping in the mountains or traveling in foreign countries, you must always make sure that the water you drink is appropriately clean and healthy. Portable water filters offer an easy and effective solution to the clean water problem on the go. Generally, portable water filter models are small enough to fit in a backpack, and they’re efficient enough to clean every source of water.
What’s daunting here to think is that finding the right portable water filter for sure seems like a daunting task at times. There are a lot of models available in the market, and it’s difficult to know and tell which one performs better than the other. Read on to know what factors to look for when you go on to choose a portable water filter, how a water filter works, what types are there and what should you have on priority according to their respective pros and cons, and why you should use such a filter when you’re traveling.
There are a lot of things one should take into consideration when looking and shopping for a portable water filter or a water purifier. Here are the key factors on which basis you should look for.
There’s no point in buying a portable water filter if it’s not lightweight and is uncomfortable to carry around when you travel. You should always take the filter’s weight into consideration before deciding on a model because when you are on the go, every ounce matters while packing hiking backpacks. Most portable water filters are small, minimally weighted and compact, but their weight varies according to their design, filtering technology used, and their construction materials, so weight is a completely vital aspect to one’s camping or hiking trip because make sure packing of your portable water filter does not add in killing your back.
Every portable water filter removes the contaminants from the water at a specific rate. Some of them produce a couple of ounces of clean water every minute, whereas others can produce nearly 20 ounces of water in the same timeframe. Using a unit that’s capable of filtering the water quickly can be an advantage if you plan on traveling or camping with a large group of people. So, choose the one that produces clean water at an adequate flow rate as it’s fairly important to quench your thirst quickly and effectively.
Point here to be noted is that every filter holder has a limited lifespan and come in different sizes. Some models might last for a few weeks, while others can be used with good results for even a few months. Filters vary the amount of water and filtrate the volume all at once, working it through the carbon or charcoal system to reach water to the mouth. Filter capacity also influences the practicality of filtration speed. But, the highest quality portable filters use long-lasting filter holders. Some portable filter models also let you filter up to 264 gallons of water with a single cartridge, whereas others can clean up to 100,000 gallons of contaminated water.
Ease of Use
In spite of the fact that portable water filters are small and dense, not all portable water filters are convenient and easy to use. Some water filter models come with detailed installation and briefing instructions, and you may have to take the instructions pamphlet along with you when you travel to make sure you set the water filter up properly wherever you go. On the other hand, some models are extremely simple to use, and you simply have to draw water through them and drink it, as if you are using a straw.
The best approach to finding a water filter that matches your budget is to set a budget before you start browsing for one. Just like all the other products you can buy, potable water filters come at different prices and buying the most expensive model doesn’t guarantee you’re getting the best model. Plenty of efficient models come at cheap prices, so you can get a small and functional unit at a great price.
When you think of investing in a water portable filter, you obviously will want to invest in a model that appears to be a durable one. So, you can also derive the durability of the materials used. Almost every none out of ten people are buying the portable water filters for the outdoor world, so while purchasing, you need to make sure will it hold up to the elements and rough inscrutability of nature? Moreover, you must obviously want to invest in one that will also provide with much accident protection up to a greater extent.
Maintenance and cleaning is another very important aspect to take into attention while purchasing the best portable water filters that remove chemicals and viruses. Filters make water cleaner and safer for drinking by capturing the impurities and waste products found in the contaminated water as it passes through the filter container. As obviously the continuous usage of the model without cleaning leads to blockage of dirt and other contaminants can negatively affect the efficiency of the product. That is why it is essential to know how and what is the process to clean the particular portable water filter you are purchasing and how frequently it should be cleaned and how often containers are expected to be replaced before purchasing a specific filter model.
Types of Portable Water Filters
Best Portable Water Filters as you will see in our thorough reviews below is that there is more than one type of portable water filters. Even though they lead to similar results, each type of portable water filter filters the water in its own way. Read on and have a look at how they do it and the highs and lows of using each type of portable water filters.
Bottle filters are quite popular portable water filter as it has the advantage of being useful even when you do not have to filter your drinking water. Besides the fact that it is easy to use, bottle filters can also be used simply as a bottle when you are sure that the water source is safe and healthy and you don’t need to filter your water before drinking just by removing the filter’s container and using just the bottle. Although most bottle filters use fiber filters to decontaminate water, yet some specific models as an alternative use solid block activated carbon filters.
Some models work like the straw filter that depends on suction to induce the contaminated water through the filter. Others like the activated carbon block filter work differently as it creates a uniform matrix using activated carbon which has been treated and compressed. This activated carbon absorbs chemicals and is more efficient at capturing parasites and bacteria. This is also because activated carbon is made up of millions of extremely small pores found between its carbon atoms, it is a very efficient filter container especially since a single gram of activated carbon presents a surface area of approximately 2,000 meters on which contaminants can be trapped.
Pros. & Cons.
- Effective at minimizing and decreasing the heavy metals, arsenic, and many other contaminants in the water
- Effective at blocking the bacteria and viruses especially parasites from reaching to your drinking water
- Activated carbon block filters allow beneficial minerals to remain in the water
- Does not lessen the dissolved salts like fluoride and nitrates
- Does not reduce cadmium
Straw water filters are the lightest portable water filtration solution available in the market. Just like it’s in the name, unlike normal straws, this portable straw filter usually looks like overly large straws, but they work exactly like regular straws as well. Moreover, it is extremely easy to use, as all you have to do is to get close to the water source and draw the water in the mouth using the straw filter.
Not like a regular straw, this filter requires a more powerful draw to make it work, but the filtration process is relatively quite easy and straightforward. Straw filters use holders made out of hollow fiber membrane and most of them average 25-30 cm in length and 29-35mm in diameter with the ability to filter somewhere between 700-1000 liters of water. These fibers are tightly merged together, so the water has to pass through a lot of fiber layers before reaching the actual straw you’re drawing on. The fibers are also very porous yet small.
Most membranes use holes that are 0.2 microns wide, so that’s one hundred thousand smaller a 2 cm hole. Woah! The water passes through the holes make its way to the straw, and all the bacteria, viruses, and parasites or other sediments in the water that are larger than the hole are trapped and are not able to pass. So, basically the water you end up drinking after the straw filtration contains no residue, bacteria or sediments. That means the water that enters your mouth from the straw filter is for sure safe and potable for drinking.
Pros. & Cons.
- Efficiently removes all sediment and contaminants including but not limited to viruses, protozoa, parasites and cysts
- Proficiently captures the particles that cause the water to taste and smell bad
- The holes in the membrane get easily clogged with debris, sediment, and bacteria over time, so change on a regular basis required
- Not very capable of removing dissolved contaminants like chlorine, heavy metals, and more
While they are not extremely small as the straw and bottle filters, but pump filters are still small enough in size to take up just a small amount of space in your backpack. With the pump filter method, a small lead line is connected from the filter to the water source and another from the filter to the recipient whereas, water is drawn using a small hand pump.
Some manufacturers use fiber filters, while others use ceramic filters while combining the filtration techniques with a block activated carbon filter. Fiber filters work somehow like the hollow membrane filters of the straw filter. Ceramic filters are also great at mechanical filtration and are especially effective against asbestos. These pump filters are porous and have a micron size of 0.5 – 1. But, because of the micron size, some bacteria and viruses can pass through the filters and for this very reason, some manufacturers combine it with the activated carbon method.
The activated carbon has zillions of extremely small pores between its carbon atoms where each gram of activated carbon offers a surface area of up to 2,000 square meters, and the contaminants in the water are trapped on this surface. Read on the below-mentioned pros and cons of using an activated carbon filter.
Pros. & Cons.
- Improves the water’s smell and taste
- Activated carbon filter can be used up to 1 year without any change
- Beneficial minerals in the water are not eliminated by this filter
- The filter needs to be cleaned and changed otherwise it may act as a breeding ground for captured bacteria
- Some bacteria are able to pass through the pores of carbon granules because they are large
Gravity filters are greatly ideal for trekkers, campers, and emergency preppers because it doesn’t require a constant water supply to function. It is also of great use for travelers traveling to remote areas where clean water is difficult to come across.
In this type of gravity filter, two containers are placed above each other. Water is discharged into the container placed on top of the other and gravitational pull then causes the water to pass through a filter into the container below. At the bottom of the container below is a tap which is then open to access filtered water. The gravity filter uses a mixture of ceramic and activated carbon filters to contaminate water and because of this combination, the filtered water is free of any harmful contaminants and safe for drinking.
Pros. & Cons.
- Ably removes bacteria, protozoa, and parasites from the water
- Able to remove some herbicides, pesticides, and other man-made contaminants
- Can filter out chlorine from the water
- Filter containers can last for up to one year of use
- Larger than other types of water filters mentioned above
- Is made out of multiple parts and the first container can contaminate the second if it’s not kept correctly
Even though UV filters are not very frequently used by campers or hikers, yet there are some good UV portable water filters out there. These filter models run on batteries, so they have higher operating costs. One of the advantages of using UV filters is that they’re relatively quite effective against bacteria and parasites.
Pros. & Cons.
- Works fast
- Not much effective for beneficial minerals
- Effective against bacteria, viruses, protozoa, and parasites
- Run on batteries
- Effectiveness is directly proportional to the relatively cleaned water such as its effectiveness decreases as the water is dirtier
- Does not have any effect on heavy metals or chemicals like chlorine
Our Top Picks – Best Portable Water Filter Reviews
Clean drinking water is a necessity for life. Portable water filters are great for traveling, hiking, trekking and first aid in disaster relief. Portable water filters that remove chemicals, viruses and bacteria are the best for survival in the wild if you are into camping and outdoor trips. Portable water filtration systems for disaster relief and management can help save lives in the time of calamity. Here are some of the best portable water filters reviews to help you choose the best option.
The best thing about the models we are presenting in the following best portable water purifier reviews is that it can easily make almost every source of fresh water drinkable. Read on and take a look at some of the top portable water filters you can use on the go and reveal their pros and cons.
MRS SweetWater Purifier System
MRS SweetWater Purifier System is our top Pick. The reason – it is a complete, two-step filtration and purification system. It consists of MRS SweetWater Microfilter that comes with SweetWater purifier solution. This water filter meets NSF protocol P231 for removal of 99.9999% bacteria and 99.9% protozoa from water. This filtration capacity lasts the entire life span of this water filter even in “worst-case” water scenario. This portable water filter is lightweight, durable and versatile. It efficiently filters out sediments, pollutants, toxins, bacteria, protozoa, and cysts.
MRS micro filter comes with an easy to use pump handle that works like a lever. It has a 4-to-1 mechanical advantage and the dual pump action easily takes up water for filtration. It effectively removes bad odors through an activated carbon core so the water tastes fresh. The activated carbon also helps remove all the unwanted heavy metals from the water. This is the first step of the MRS microfilter water purifier system. For the second step, which is water purification, the iodine-free, chlorine-based chemical water purifier solution comes with this water filtration and purification system. This chemical solution deactivates and removes viruses from the water making it clean and healthy for drinking.
MRS SweetWater micro purifier is a complete portable water filter solution that removes chemicals and viruses, as well as all kinds of toxins from the water. It is lightweight and easy to carry at just 14 ounces. Comfortable to carry as it fits in a backpack with its compact size. It comes with foldable handle and tube for convenient storage. An excellent choice for road trips, hiking, trekking, it is the best economical yet portable water filtration for disaster relief. This system also meets all the U.S. EPA regulations for microbiological water purifiers, making it the best choice for use in critical situations, and wilderness where viral and bacterial protection is crucial. It, therefore, offers great value for money with its dependability and ease of use.
Pros. & Cons.
- Easy level action pump handle with 4-to-1 mechanical advantage for quick water filtration
- Meets NSF protocol P231 and US EPA regulations
- Lightweight at 14 ounces
- Foldable handle and tube for compact storage
- Portable water filtration that removes viruses and chemicals with 99.9999% bacteria and other pollutants
- Silt might block the filter
- The ceramic carbon core is fragile
- Cannot remove viruses without chemical purifier solution
The Next best – Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter
The next up is our second best choice. This portable water filter is best for developing regions with a lack of clean drinking water facility, wilderness, and disaster relief. This portable water filter removes viruses and chemical as well along with bacteria, toxins, pollutants, and sediments.
The katadyn pocket microfilter is one of the best portable water filters that remove viruses and chemicals available in the market. It is compact in size, and can efficiently filter water from practically any source. Katadyn is a high-end portable water filtration system with great performance record in almost any environment. The construction and design are durable and long lasting although it is expensive.
The katadyn pocket is an easy to use portable water filtration system for disaster relief, first aid, camping, trekking, and hiking. The body is strong heavy duty metal and PVC which lasts a lifetime. And the quality of the water you get given its small size is just too good.
It features a strong and reliable ceramic water filtration system impregnated with antimicrobial silver. The silver and ceramic combination efficiently filters out anything above 0.2 microns. Therefore, this portable water filter effectively removes microorganisms including waterborne pathogens and microorganisms, bacteria, algae, protozoa, spores, viruses and of course sediments. The filter meets the U.S. EPA quality and safety standards.
The ceramic is durable and easy to clean for long term use. However, this filter does not remove chemicals and smells like carbon filters by itself. Yet you can get a separate detachable Katadyn carbon cartridge to use with this filter. This will help eliminate volatile organic compounds, chlorine, and other chemicals to make the water healthy and taste fresh.
The filter uses a pump mechanism, which might need some work to start off but otherwise, it has a good filtration speed. The average flow rate is 1 quart per minute. This portable water filter is great for disaster relief, removes viruses, bacteria and chemical too with a small addition of carbon cartridge upgrade.
With proper care and maintenance, this filter will last you a lifetime. Just flush out the ceramic filter and wipe it gently with cleaning pads that come with this potable water filter. Leave it open to dry out completely when storing. This will help avoid molds and bacteria growth.
Pros. & Cons.
- Long lasting metal construction
- Durable silver impregnated ceramic filter makes it a great portable water filter that removes viruses and microbes
- Comes complete with abrasive pads for easy cleaning, a carry bag, and output hose
- Meets U.S.EPA safety and health standards
- It is quite expensive
- Weighs around 2 pounds with all the accessories
- Cannot remove chemicals; you need to buy a separate carbon cartridge for that
The Best Portable Water Filter Bottle for Everyday Use – LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle
This is a water bottle with built-in filter. Yes, you read it right! Just fill the bottle with water from practically any source and sip the clean, safe and fresh water, thanks to the built-in a filtration system for everyday use.
No fuss at all. Just a simple, lightweight, easy to carry, travel size, water bottle for on-the-go use! This LifeStraw Go water filter bottle is ideal for camping and trekking. No need to bear the additional water weight with your backpack. Keep it handy and enjoy clean and safe water on-the-go.
This BPA and phthalate free plastic water bottle is lightweight, durable and leak proof. It can hold up to 670ml of water at a time. The silicon cap with filtration tube is easily removable. Just make sure the dirty water does not touch the cap or get into the drinking tube to avoid contamination. It works on suction, which means it filters the water as you sip it out of the bottle. The filter effectively removes 99.9999% bacteria, parasites, and microplastics. It comes with carbon capsule to remove chemicals, bad odors and bad tastes from the water.
This carbon capsule will last 3 to 4 months of regular use before needing a replacement. The shelf life of this bottle is approximately 5 years.
While this portable water filter removes chemicals, it does not work on viruses. So, we don’t recommend this bottle if viruses are common in your region. We do not recommend this portable water filtration for disaster relief either. However, it is great for drinking water from running water streams and rivers while trekking and camping.
Pros. & Cons.
- Lightweight, conveniently portable and durable
- Easy to use with suction technology, great for on-the-go traveling, trekking, camping and emergencies
- Removes parasites and bacteria
- Removes chemicals, organic chemical matter, parasites and bacteria
- Does not remove viruses
- Carbon capsule needs regular replacement
- Not recommended portable water filtration for disaster relief
- Mouthpiece is not protected from contamination
The Best Portable Filtration for Disaster Relief and Survival – Survivor Filter Pro
Water is a necessity for survival. Whenever you prepare for survival, disaster relief, and management, clean drinking water is the topmost priority. This is because survival without access to clean drinking water is impossible. Our top pick for the best portable filter for disaster relief is Survivor Filter Pro.
Survivor filter pro is a small, compact, and lightweight portable water filter for disaster relief and survival. At the same time, it is great for hiking, trekking, and camping. This water filter works best with fresh water sources.
The build is solid and durable. However, it is still all plastic so use carefully to avoid breakage. The plastic is good quality, BPA free for safe drinking water. The main body comes in a plastic cup-like cover, which also works as a container. This portable water filter comes complete with an inlet hose, a primary inlet filter, floating elements, and an outlet hose. It comes with an extra inlet filter and a carry bag for easy portability and storage. Survivor filter pro weighs only around 8-ounces, so it is easy to carry.
Survivor filter pro is a portable water filter that removes chemicals, viruses, and bacteria from water through its reliable three-step filtration process.
In the first step, the inlet hose comes with an Ultra Pre-filter. This 0.1-micron ultra pre filter efficiently acts as a barrier to remove debris, algae, pollen, even parasites and bacteria from the water. It is easy to clean and has a water filtration capacity of 100000 liters.
The carbon filter is the next step in this potable filter that removes chemicals. The food grade, safe to use activated carbon effectively removes organic chemicals, bad smells, and tastes from the water. Its capacity is up to 2000 liters. However, that depends on the quality of water you filter. It might need an early replacement if the water contamination level is high.
The third and final step in survivor filter pro is the ultra filtration. At this stage, this portable water filter removes everything above 0.01 microns. The filtration capacity of this filter is also 100000 liters. And it is also easy to clean by simply back flushing with clean water. This portable water filter removes viruses at this stage.
This portable water filter works on the pump mechanism. The pump is easy to work with a long filter life and good flow rate of around 200ml per minute.
Pros. & Cons.
- Good flow rate
- Durable, leak-proof yet light weight
- Easy to use and clean
- This portable water filter removes viruses, chemicals, and bacteria
- Plastic hand pump must be used carefully to avoid breakage
- Not for use in cold freezing temperatures, the water can freeze inside the filter and cause leakage
The Most Efficient and Lightweight UV Portable Water Filter that Removes Viruses – SteriPen Ultra
All the above portable water filters are manual devices, that work on either pump mechanism, bottle or straw. The most efficient and easiest water purifier is the one that uses UV rays to purify water. Although it is only suitable for removing microbes from fresh drinking water or tap water, it works well in disaster management and disease control. It is great for use in underdeveloped regions with contaminated tap water. These filters, however, can not remove chemicals or sediments. Here is the best UV based portable water filter review. It is the most time efficient choice for travelers and survival.
SteriPen Ultra is the smallest, most compact and lightweight water filter. It is also the most efficient water filter and can purify up to I liter of water in a minute.
SteriPen ultra is a small pen-like device. It operates on water and emits ultraviolet rays that kill the DNA of the microbes. Therefore, it effectively purifies the water from any disease-causing bacteria or viruses.
Simply submerge the wand into the water and turn it on. Wait for a minute and the indicator on the pen will tell you when the water is safe to drink. This UV treated water is 100% safe to drink.
A SteriPen is lightweight, conveniently portable and easy to use, at the same time, it is efficient, versatile and eco-friendly. However, it does not remove any particles from the water like most of the other portable filters and you will have to use additional devices for that. It is also quite expensive and the batteries need regular replacement.
Pros. & Cons.
- Small and lightweight
- Efficient and easy to use
- Operates on UV rays
- Quite expensive
- Not good portable water filter at removing chemicals
- Batteries need regular replacement
By now, we understand from this best portable water filter reviews and comprehensive buying guide that finding the right portable water filter is not a difficult task once you know what to look for. These modes can be installed and used with ease, while transforming almost all sources of fresh water into clean potable water.