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Best Survival Water Filter : A Straw For Life

young woman drinking water from a river

Have you ever been in a situation in the wilderness where good drinking water can be challenging to find?   You could be hiking in the mountains or across the desert, but when there is not good drinking water that’s easy to come by, you’ll either need to have your own drinking water or a survival water filter that’ll help you purify any water that you may encounter. This could be water in a body of water or even a small puddle.  

When you are dehydrating, it is vital to be able to drink a little water to replenish yourself so that you don’t die of thirst. If you drink contaminated water, it can give you diarrhea or make you vomit, which could actually cause you to get dehydrated more quickly.  

In this guide, we are going to look at five of the best survival water filter options on the market as well as some tips that will help you select the one that works best for your needs .

Last update on 2021-09-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

The Best Survival Water Filter Reviews

Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System

The first water filter for survival that we are going to take a look at is one that is manufactured by Sawyer. This company is a well-known enthusiast for equipment that is imperative to have for outdoor survival and recreation . You can purchase this straw in several different color options. It can even be bought in a pack with multiple straws in it so that you can have one for your travel buddies as well. This water filter can be attached to disposable water bottles, hydration pouches, or they can be placeddirectly into the water source.  

Sawyer Products SP128 Mini Water Filtration System, Single, Blue

The filter is designed to be a lightweight option that will only weigh about two ounces. In addition, this product can filter out impurities that are over 0.1 microns in size, which means that it can clear away up to 99.99 percent of all of the impurities found in the water. The filter is rated to be able to purify up to 100,000 gallons of water before the filter needs to be changed.  


  • It is a filter that has a very compact design
  • It is straightforward to use, and it fits on standard water bottles
  • The purging syringe makes it very easy to clean


  • It does not clear heavy sediment well
  • Sucking water through the straw takes a bit of effort


LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

The next water filter that we are going to explore, which is designed by LifeStraw, is a great option that can be used in the wild. It comes in two color options, and it comes in a pack of one, two, or three so that you can decide the best option for your needs. This is a filter that is designed to clean up to 4,000 liters of water, which is the equivalent of 1,000 gallons before the filter needs to be changed or cleaned.  

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter for Hiking, Camping, Travel, and Emergency Preparedness, 1 Pack, Blue

This is a very effective way to clean any parasites or bacteria from the water. The microfiltration system in this pen is capable of clearing away up to 99.99 percent of these impurities. In fact, it can keep anything larger than 0.2 microns from the water. In addition, the filter is very lightweight, so it will only weigh about two ounces in your backpack.  


  • It’s a purchase that will not break the bank
  • It’s very simple to use
  • It’s a very lightweight filter that is easy to take with you hiking


  • It can be awkward to drink from because you need to lie on the ground to reach the water
  • The lifespan of the product could be longer before it needs a filter change


Survivor Filter – 0.05 Micron Portable Water Filter Straw

This filter from Survival Filter is a great option to consider that has a three-stage system that is designed to purify your water. This is a system that can purify down to 0.05 microns, and it is only about 3.5 ounces, so it is very simple to take with you while you are hiking. In fact, it’s only about seven inches long, so it will not take up much space in your bag. This is a great straw filtration system that can easily screw onto water bottles that you may already have in your home, or it can be used as a straw directly into the source of water.  

Survivor Filter Personal Water Filter Straw - Ultra Water Purifier for Camping Gear, Survival Kit, Hurricane Supplies, Hiking Gear, Bug Out Bag, Emergency Kit, Vacation and Backpacking Gear, Green

As stated, this is a water filter that comes with a three-stage filtration system. The first stage is a cotton pre-filter that will separate large particles from the water. The second is an ultra filter that helps remove any bacteria that is larger than 0.05 microns. This filter will work to purify up to 100,000 liters of water. The third stage of filtration is a carbon filter that reduces heavy metal that can be in the water and improves the overall taste. The entire water filtration system also comes with a lifetime warranty.  


  • It leaves the water clear and odor-free
  • It is the perfect size to screw onto a water bottle and use instead of bending down to get a drink
  • It comes with a three-stage filtrations system that can get more of the impurities out of the water


  • The water flow of this water filter is not as fast as other models
  • It takes quite a bit of suction to use the straw


Etekcity Water Filter Straw with 3-Stage Filtration

The Etekcity water filter is another three-stage filtrations system that is designed to help you get clean water to drink when you need it. The straw includes a pre-filter that is designed to eliminate solid materials, rust, and silt. The second stage includes an activated carbon filter that removes heavy metals and chemicals such as chlorine from the water. The third stage is a hollow fiber UF membrane that can clear 99.99 percent of the waterborne pathogens that can be found in water. In fact, it can easily keep anything out of the water that is larger than 0.01 microns.  

Etekcity Water Filter Straw Camping Water Purification Portable Water Filter Survival Kit for Camping, Hiking, Hurricanes

The filter is a lightweight model that is easy to take with you in the woods. It can purify up to 1500 liters of water before the filter needs to be cleaned or changed. This straw comes with a water pouch that you can use to keep your water in and a syringe that will make it easy to clean the straw when it starts to slow its filtration speed.  


  • This is a lightweight filter that is hardly noticeable in your backpack
  • The three-stage filtration system is ideal for creating clean water
  • It can be attached to a standard water bottle for ease of use


  • Cleaning the filter can be a bit difficult the first time
  • It can be difficult to get water through this filter


LifeStraw Steel Personal Water Filter with 2 Stage Carbon Filtration

  The final water filter that we are going to review in this guide is a two-stage option that is manufactured by LifeStraw. It is a great option that will clear contaminants as well as improve the taste and the odor of the water. The filter is designed to remove any of the waterborne parasites that are in the water as well as any chemicals that are present. In fact, it can remove 99.99 percent of all of the impurities, which will include anything that is over 0.2 microns in size.  

LifeStraw Steel Personal Water Filter with 2 Stage Carbon Filtration for Hiking, Camping, Travel and Emergency Preparedness

It is made from a durable stainless steel material that is great for hiking. The filter is a straw-like device that will be able to filter up to 1,000 liters of water with ease. The first stage of the filtration system is designed to remove the chlorine and the odor from the water. The second stage will work to remove the bacteria that are in the water.  


  • This is a lightweight filter that can easily be carried in a backpack
  • The two-stage filtration system is very effective
  • It does a great job removing odor from the water


  • It is difficult to suck water through the straw
  • Water may have a metal taste once it is filtered


The Best Survival Water Filter Types

When you’re looking for a portable water filter that can help you survive in the wilderness, there are going to be a few different types that you can consider. Each type has its pros and cons, so let’s take a look at them all to see which one you will prefer.  

Straw Filters

This is the most portable survival water purifier that you can consider. It looks like a large straw that you can put into any source of water that you want to drink from, and as the water goes through the straw, it will be filtered so that you can drink it.  

Most of these straws can filter up to 0.2 microns, so any bacteria, parasites, and viruses that are bigger than this will not be drank. It is not a great method to use when the water has heavy metals or chlorine in it.  

Pump Filters

This is a larger option, but it’s still small enough to fit in your backpack and take hiking with you. You use a pump to suck water from the source into another container.  

It is able to filter out any contaminants that are 0.5 to 1 micron in size. However, this is not enough to filter out all of the bacteria that can be found in water, so it may not be the best option for survival.  

Bottle Filters

This is a type of filtration system that can be useful to have in any situation, not just a survival one. If you remove the filtration system, it can be used as a regular water bottle as well.  

With this type of filter, you’ll put the water that you’re going to drink into the water bottle, and when you suck it through the straw, it will filter out the contaminants.

Beneficial minerals remain in the water, and the rest is filtered out using a carbon filter.  

Features of the Best Water Filter for Emergency Preparedness

When you’re looking for a new survival water purifier to help you get clean drinking water in the wild, there are certain features that you should consider before you make a purchase.  

Considerations Before Making a Purchase:  


With any water filter that you consider, you are going to want it to be extremely portable so that you can easily pack it in your backpack when you go hiking.  

The straw variety of water filters is a great option to consider, especially since they have a compact design that will not take up extra space in your bag.  

Micron Rating

This is the size of the holes in the filter that will allow the water through.  

You will want to find a system that has a smaller micron rating because it means that the system will allow less bacteria through. Bacteria can be as small as 0.2 microns, so finding a water filter that has 0.1 micron holes is imperative.  

Filtration Speed

Some water filters are designed to clean the water quickly while others will take much longer to do the same process. The faster a water filter can clean your water, the more effective it will be.  

In general, a larger water filter will be faster at filtering the water that you need to be purified.  

Taste of the Water

When the water that you drink is not filtered properly, the organisms and the chemicals that are still in the water can give it a funny taste.  

If the water tastes funny, then it may not be as clean as you think is, and it could even cause you to get sick. Clean water should have a neutral taste that is not flavored in any way.  

Easy to Maintain

Depending on the water filtration system that you choose, as time goes by, it may seem like it’s filtering the water at a slower speed.  

This means that the filter itself is probably dirty and needs to be replaced. Some models have filters that can be cleaned as well, which can help you save some money. Sediments that come from rivers and bacteria form lakes can cause a filter to become clogged and no longer work as it should.    

Final Thoughts

When you are looking for the best water filter for emergency preparedness, there are quite a few options that you can consider, and all five of the products that we have reviewed in this guide provide portable options that can be great for hiking or camping.  

If we were to choose one of the survival water filters that we have reviewed in this guide as the top option, then the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter would be our choice. It removes 99.99 percent of all bacteria, it is very lightweight, and it is easy to maintain.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter for Hiking, Camping, Travel, and Emergency Preparedness, 1 Pack, Blue
  • Removes bacteria & parasites: The microfiltration membrane removes 99.999999% of waterborne bacteria (including E. coli and salmonella), and 99.999% of waterborne parasites (including giardia and cryptosporidium)
  • Removes microplastics: Removes the smallest microplastics found in the environment (down to 1 micron), and reduces turbidity down to 0.2 microns
  • Rigorous Testing: All claims are verified with laboratories using standard testing protocols set by the US EPA, NSF, ASTM for water purifiers
  • Long Lifetime: The microbiological filter will provide 4,000 liters (1,000 gallons) of clean and safe drinking water with proper use and maintenance
  • Make an Impact: For every LifeStraw product purchased, a school child in need receives safe drinking water for an entire school year.BPA Free materials

Last update on 2021-09-29 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Jared Russo
Hey, my name is Jared, a self-reliant expert and action taker. I hope you've enjoyed this article and found it informative. If you have please feel free to leave a comment below and share it with your friends and family, it would make my day!

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