We may get a commission for purchases made through links in this post at no extra cost to you. This helps us maintain our blog and does not influence our recommendations.

Best Backpacking Water Filter : Pump and Gravity Filters Reviewed

Whenever you venture out into the wilderness, there’s one thing that should be at the top of your mind: Water. In order to stay healthy, the average person needs to drink 64 ounces (two liters) of the precious element every day

Of course, being outside of civilization, there won’t be any purified water sources readily available. To the contrary, you will have to find ways to purify the water you get from existent water sources. For that reason, bringing a backpacking water filter is a perfect solution.

Whether it is a pump or gravity filter, this device can help you get drinkable water quickly and efficiently. With all that in mind, our guide will go over five of the best backpacking water filter options on the market. 

What is more, it will provide useful information about water filters and water purification systems in general.

Last update on 2020-07-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Five of The Best Backpacking Water Filter Reviews

Katadyn Water Filter

If you are looking for a backpacking water filter that you can use in difficult situations, the Katadyn Water Filter may be the right one. Featuring a solid construction that allows you to filter water continuously throughout the day, the device is perfect for demanding journeys into difficult (and often barren) terrains. What is more, despite being lightweight and compact, this device is remarkably tough and durable. 

Katadyn Pocket Water Filter, Long Lasting for Personal or Small Group Camping, Backpacking or Emergency Preparedness

The Katadyn Water Filter is activated through the use of a pump. While this system does require a certain amount of effort on your part, its results are quick and satisfying. The micro-filtration method it uses to clean the water is efficient for both bacteria and protozoa, allowing you to drink out of large bodies of water such as rivers and lakes without danger.

Unfortunately, however, this device does not work against viruses. While it is not the most versatile or powerful, the Katadyn Water Filter is, without a doubt, a strong contender for the title of the best survival water filter. Largely, this has to do with its compact size and low weight. However, it’s also about its practicality and effectivity in difficult situations that require speed and efficiency.


  • Ceramic-covered element protects against bacteria and protozoa
  • Includes round pump handle for easy pumping
  • Filters most microorganisms


  • Somewhat small
  • Somewhat pricey


MSR Miniworks Ex

Compact and yet very powerful, the MSR Miniworks Ex is a fantastic option for a variety of adventures, including hiking, backpacking, camping, travel, survival and even emergency preparedness . Despite its reduced size, using its pumping system, this device is capable of delivering clean, taste and odor-free water quickly and effectively. As a matter of fact, it is capable of delivering up to one liter of clean, drinkable water for every minute of use. 

MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter Water Filter

Using a high-quality carbon and ceramic filter, the MSR Miniworks Ex is capable of eliminating up to 99.9999% of bacteria and 99.9% of protozoa with a single filtration. Even better, its carbon and ceramic water filters are completely replaceable, allowing you to easily use a new filter whenever the other one wears out or stops working for any other reason. 

A fantastic feature that the MSR Miniworks Ex has to offer is its compatibility with various models of water bottles and hydration bladders. This allows you to use it with your favorite containers and carry the perfect amount of water with you at all times. If it wasn’t that it clogs somewhat often and some of its parts are fragile, the MSR Miniworks Ex would be hands-down the best water filter for emergency preparedness. 


  • Replaceable filter
  • Can filter up to one liter of water per minute
  • Compatible with various brands of water bottles
  • Compatible with various brands of hydration bladders


  • May get clogged easily
  • Some of its parts are fragile


Survivor Filter PRO

If you are looking for the best survival water filter on the market, the Survivor Filter PRO can’t go unnoticed. Featuring a revolutionary design, this water filter for backpacking is capable of cleaning surprising quantities of water in very little time. Additionally, being made of high-quality materials often used by NASA and other such technological entities, this water filter is capable of removing viruses, staph, bacteria, protozoa and even mineral sediment from the water with ease. 

Survivor Filter PRO - Virus and Heavy Metal Tested 0.01 Micron Water Filter for Camping, Hiking, and Emergency. 3 Stages - 2 Cleanable 100,000L Membranes and a Carbon Filter for Family Preparedness

While its construction is somewhat complex, the Survivor Filter PRO does its job remarkably well. In addition, its ABS material shell is incredibly tough, making this a great choice for difficult and demanding situations such as survival and rescue operations. In addition, this device is capable of filtering up to half a liter (17 ounces) per minute of functioning. While this doesn’t make it the fastest water filter in this list, it does make it a remarkably efficient device. 

Despite its complex design and various parts, the Survivor Filter PRO is very easy to clean. To make this even easier, the manufacturers included a backwashing syringe system that can help you reach the toughest spots in order to disinfect them. As if all that wasn’t enough, its internal filters, tubing, detachable drinking cup and travel bag can be taken apart to be washed thoroughly when you get home. 


  • Tested 99.999% filtration removal
  • Made of strong and durable materials
  • Comes with backwashing syringe system


  • Expensive


LifeStraw Mission Water Purification System

Efficient and featuring a remarkably high capacity, this gravity water filter is a great option for large groups. Through its gravity-powered filtering system, it’s capable of getting rid of most substances that could cause you to become sick. In addition, this water filter for backpackers is easy to fill and use, making it a great choice for both casual and enthusiast outdoorsmen. 

LifeStraw Mission Water Purification System, High-Volume Gravity-Fed Purifier for Camping and Emergency Preparedness, 12 Liter

Despite having a very simple and straightforward design, the LifeStraw Mission Water Purification System is complex enough to be used in the most serious of ways. As a matter of fact, it can be perfectly used in anything from camping to outdoor activities and even emergency preparedness. Powerful and efficient, this gravity-fed device is capable of eliminating at least 99.9% of all bacteria, protozoa and viruses. Apart from being remarkably effective, the LifeStraw Mission Water Purification System is very reliable. 

One advantage of its straightforward (and yet modern) filtration system is that it can function continuously and without clogging for hours at a time. As a result, this device can help you purify large quantities of water without hiccups or interruptions. Additionally, because it features no moving or detachable parts, it is very durable and resistant. As if all that wasn’t enough, this water filtration product is very easy to clean and maintain. 


  • Very high capacity
  • Removes bacteria, protozoa and viruses
  • Easy to use and maintain


  • Somewhat slow filtering action


Sawyer Products One-Gallon Gravity Water Filtration System

Those looking for a portable water filtration system that is easy to use, efficient and reliable may want to take a look at this product by Sawyer. Another gravity-powered device in this article, the Sawyer Products One-Gallon Gravity Water Filtration System is capable of providing you with clean water without having you work for every drop. Ample, simple and with a wide mouth for easy filling, this water filter for backpackers is all about convenience and high-quality results. 

Sawyer Products SP160 One-Gallon Gravity Water Filtration System with Dual-Threaded Mini Filter, Blu/White/Clear

In a way, the Sawyer Products One-Gallon Gravity Water Filtration System offers the best of two worlds. While its bladder and its mouth are ample and well-suited for handling large quantities of water, its filtering component is remarkably small. Even though it fits in the palm of your hand, however, this ultra-powerful filter over 99.99999% of all bacteria, protozoa and cysts. As if all that wasn’t enough, the device will filter 100% of the microplastics you can find in some water sources. Without a doubt, the Sawyer Products One-Gallon Gravity Water Filtration System is one of the user-friendliest products of its kind. 

Even though it’s ample enough to filter large amounts of water at a time, it is also very portable and even foldable whenever it’s not being used. Additionally, it has various function-oriented features such as a dual-threaded MINI that allows you to screw the push/pull cap onto the filter. As if all these features weren’t enough, this product includes a cleaning plunger, a cleaning coupling and several adapters for its gravity hose. 


  • Removes most microplastics
  • Very lightweight
  • Easy to use


  • May rip easily


Types of Backpacking Water Filters

Squeeze Water Filters

These single-stage filters are effective for removing bacteria and protozoa. However, they are not capable of removing viruses from the water. Additionally, due to their design, they are best used with clear water sources without suspended organic matter that could clog the system. 

Gravity and Inline Water Filters

Using the force of gravity, this type of water filter allows you to clean large quantities of water at one time. To be used correctly, it requires a tall, stable and solid object that it can be hung from (like a tree). Once that is achieved, the dirty water will flow through a filtering hose to a clean reservoir. 

Bottle and Straw Water Filters

Normally, bottle and straw water filters use a single-stage device made of hollow fiber to clean the liquid element. The device is activated when the user sucks water stored in a bottle, allowing it to pass through the filter. This is a practical way to filter water that can be useful in places where fresh water is abundant. 

Pump Water Filters and Purifiers

Using pumps that force the water to pass through a filter in order to become purified, pump water filters allow themselves to be used on large quantities of water at once. Admittedly, they require some effort from the user. However, this effort pays out in the way of speed and efficiency.   

Water Filtering Method Considerations


Like most things in life, price is a major factor when it comes to choosing a water filtering method. This is further helped by the fact that water filtering methods vary greatly in price. Even more than that, there are great variations in price for filters of the same kind depending on their brand and model. 


When out in the wild, most of the time, you will be walking and carrying your belongings on your back. For that reason, weight is a very important consideration for any piece of equipment you are planning to carry with you into the backcountry. 

In most cases, you want the items you will be carrying to be as lightweight as possible. Unsurprisingly, the same applies to your backpacking water filter. 

Ease of Use

When you are out in the wild, treating and purifying water is something that you will have to do several times a day and, as a result, will take a lot of your time. It will not take as much time, however, if your water filtering system is easy and quick to use, making your life easier and less boring. 

On the contrary, if your filtering method is slow and obnoxious, you will likely find yourself distressed at the amount of time and energy lost operating it. 

Water Source

Without a doubt, choosing the right water source can save you a lot of problems when out in the backcountry. Apart from preventing you from coming in contact with unhealthy substances of both biological and mineral nature, choosing the right water source will save you a lot of time. Additionally, it will prevent you from having to deal with strange tastes or smells.

When available, always choose sources that have clear, cold, flowing water. Medium streams and clean lakes are usually a good option. 

Complementary Purifyiers

If you want to be extra careful about the water you drink, it’s always a good idea to bring a few chemical water purifiers to be used in addition to the water filters. 

Water purifiers are available in either liquid or tablet form. They can be made out of different substances. However, chlorine dioxide is usually regarded as the most effective one.  

SaleBestseller No. 1
Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets With PA Plus - Two 50 count Bottles
1,157 Reviews
Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets With PA Plus - Two 50 count Bottles
  • One Bottle of 50 Potable Aqua Germicidal Water Purification Tablets With One Bottle of 50 PA Plus
  • Makes contaminated water bacteriologically suitable to drink within 35 minutes
  • Effective against bacteria and Giardia lamblia
  • Emergency water purification tablets trusted by military and emergency organizations
  • Travel and camping accessory that improves taste and color of water

Last update on 2020-08-07 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Without a doubt, the five products featured in this article are worthy of consideration. However, with everything on the table, it needs to be said that the best backpacking water filter on the market is the Survivor Filter PRO

Portable, user-friendly, efficient and effective, this device can help you stay hydrated safely and healthily while out in the wild.

Survivor Filter PRO - Virus and Heavy Metal Tested 0.01 Micron Water Filter for Camping, Hiking, and Emergency. 3 Stages - 2 Cleanable 100,000L Membranes and a Carbon Filter for Family Preparedness
1,074 Reviews
Survivor Filter PRO - Virus and Heavy Metal Tested 0.01 Micron Water Filter for Camping, Hiking, and Emergency. 3 Stages - 2 Cleanable 100,000L Membranes and a Carbon Filter for Family Preparedness
  • BEST INDEPENDENTLY TESTED FILTRATION LEVEL ON THE MARKET: Tested at Multiple USA labs to show Log 5 Removal 99.999% of Protozoa (Cryptosporidium, Giardia and Parasites) Log 5 Removal 99.999% of tested VIRUS (Phi X-174), STAPH and BACTERIA. 99.5% Mercury and 93% Lead Removal which Matches or Exceeds Most Home Systems. Just Ask us for Copies of our Tests!
  • TRIPLE FILTRATION TO 0.01 MICRONS TO REMOVE VIRUS, BACTERIA, PARASITES and REDUCE MOST HEAVY METALS, TASTE and CHEMICALS: thanks to Dual Hollow Fiber Membrane (Ultra Filters) and Carbon Filtration - 20 times more efficient than the competition at 0.2 microns and none of the Competition Comes Close with Our Heavy Metal Removal. PLUS - SURVIVOR FILTER SATISFACTION GUARANTEE and LIFETIME WARRANTY: if you don't love your Survivor Filter PRO, simply return it and we will refund 100% of your purchase.
  • SUPER FAST FLOW RATE OF 500 ml. (17 OZ) PER MINUTE: can be used directly from fresh water source, pumped into attached cup, OR pumped into any portable hydration pack. Perfect for filtering large jugs of water for the whole family!
  • BUILT OF QUALITY MATERIALS: Shell is ABS Material (Same Material Used on Car Bumpers), Polysulfone Medical Grade Ultra Filter (Same Material Used in Visors of Apollo Astronauts), Food Grade Activated Carbon and Handle Contains Steel Bar Inside for Extra Support. BPA Free, Comes with all internal filters and tubing, detachable Drinking Cup, Travel Bag, Detailed instructions and How to Use Manual.
  • SURVIVOR FILTER LIFETIME WARRANTY: Survivor Filter is based in North America and we cover all manufacturing and other defects with our Lifetime Warranty. If you ever run into any problems with any of our products simply contact us and we will work to make it right.

Last update on 2020-07-06 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Matthew Russo
Hey, my name is Matt, an avid outdoorsman, prepper and action taker. If you have found this article informative please feel free to leave a comment below and share it with your friends and family, it would make my day!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Don't Miss Out!

Sign up for our monthly email and be the first to know when new content is available.

We promise to protect your information and not to spam your inbox! Privacy Policy.

Scroll to Top
error: Alert: Content is protected !!