11 Best Water Filter for Hiking and Factors To Consider

Water filter for hikers

A highly packable and portable water filter is a necessary survival item for every outdoor man or hiker. If you enjoy hiking in areas where water quality is questionable, then, owing a water filter should not be downplayed. Lightweight filters allow you to carry less packed water while hiking serving as access to clean water.

For persons who hike a few miles from the beaten path, owning a water filter will come in handy for both convenience and safety. In this guide, we will therefore be considering some of the best water filters that you can use for your hiking adventures.

So, let’s get on with it.

Eleven Best Water Filters for Hiking and Factors to Consider

Packing water for your hiking adventure might be too heavy. Worse off, will be having to go hiking without any water at all. This is where a lightweight and a portable water filter will come in handy.

We will therefore be covering eleven of the best water filters for hiking and some of their stand-out features.

Let’s get started.

1. Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System

This Mini Filter by Sawyer is a compact water filter for hiking adventures when you are short on space and can’t afford to bring a bulky unit. This water filter is lightweight enough to be held in your palms.

This water filter is more than safe to use with regular freshwater sources. A lot of hikers have attested to the fact that with this filter, there is the ease in filtering stream water in the backcountry or tap water in the third world. This filter can be used as a straw which means that you can drink through it.

This water filter has been designed to be directly attached to regular water bottle threads and hydration bladders. You can also attach it to the Squeeze bag offered by Sawyer as well. This filter is an effective and versatile water system.

Highlighted Features:

  • Highly affordable.
  • Super lightweight such that it can fit into your palms.
  • It can be easily cleaned.
  • It can be attached to a water bottle, hydration bladders, or Sawyer’s squeeze bag.

2. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

This LifeStraw water filter is perhaps, the most popular water filter available in the market as it comes affordable and highly packable. It is also quite easy to use so you won’t find it difficult working with it.

This water filter can filter very dirty water as it comes in to remove a minimum of 99.99% of waterborne bacteria and it surpasses EPA standards for water filters. Without making use of chlorine, iodine, or any purifying chemical, this water filter can clean up to 4000 liters of water in its lifespan.

This water filter also comes in incredibly lightweight as it weighs just two ounces. The design of the filter has also made it narrow and packable. So, if you are looking for a filter that will go the mile with you, then, you should place this as a top priority.

Highlighted Features:

  • Narrow design that makes it lightweight and packable.
  • Highly affordable and easy to use.
  • Protects from microplastics, microparasites, and bacteria.
  • It is quite easy to use.

3. EtekCity Water Filter Straw

This water filter comes affordable and easy to use. It features a three-stage filter straw that is capable of removing waterborne bacteria such as E. coli and cholera. It can also remove protozoa like cryptosporidium.

The first stage of this filter is used to remove large particles like rust, silt, and bloodworms. The second stage comes designed as an antibacterial activated carbon filter. This means it is used to remove impurities like heavy metals and chlorine.

The third stage of this filter is 0.01-micron hollow fiber UF membrane that is used to remove waterborne pathogens and protozoa. Operating this water filter is not in any way difficult, all you have to do is to place the straw into the fresh water and drink.

Highlighted Features:

  • Lightweight and highly portable.
  • Three-stage water filter system for removing waterborne impurities.
  • It can be screwed to a water bottle.
  • It comes with accessories like the water pouch.

4. Katadyn Pocket Microfilter

The quality of construction of this Katadyn filter has given it a good reputation amongst hikers. This filter is built with metal moving parts and a silver-impregnated element to deliver a rugged and long-lasting unit.

This filter can be easily cleaned and used. This pocket microfilter is capable of removing microorganisms larger than 0.2 microns to offer you very clean and clear water at the rate of about a liter per minute.

This water filter is quite easy to operate. All you have to do is place the hose in the freshwater source and pump the handle. It comes with an outlet hose that can be attached to containers with a clip.

Highlighted Features:

  • Designed with metal moving parts for a rugged fit.
  • Comes with a hose for accessing hard-to-reach water.
  • Silver impregnated ceramic element.
  • Capable of removing microorganisms larger than 0.2 microns.

5. LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle

This LifeStraw unit comes in as an easy-to-operate water filter that can also function as a water bottle. This is a LifeStraw that is incorporated into a durable and leak-proof bottle. The filter extends down to the bottom of the bottle.

A small gap has been designed between the bottom of the bottle and the straw to prevent the straw from sucking up sediment that might be in the water. This two-stage activated carbon filter removes chlorine, and odor and leaves no aftertaste.

It features a hollow fiber membrane that can be used to remove waterborne parasites and protozoans. This filter comes with some very nice colors that you can choose from making it aesthetically appealing.

Highlighted Features:

  • Hollow fiber membrane to remove impurities.
  • Aesthetically appealing.
  • Two-stage carbon filter to remove chlorine and odour.

6. MSR Trail shot Pocket-Sized Water Filter

This filter is an ultralight and efficient personal filter that comes with impressive portability. It is quite lightweight and compact and it fits well in a stash pocket for trail running and hiking. It can also be used as an emergency survival kit.

This filter features a hollow fibre technology that allows the smooth passage of water but entraps harmful protozoans and bacteria. This unit can be used to filter up to 2,000 litres of water without purifying chemicals.

Highlighted Features:

  • Lightweight and compact.
  • Hollow fibre technology to remove impurities.
  • Filters up to 2,000 litres of water.

7. Steripen Adventurer Opti Water Filter

This Steripen water filter comes in unique in the water filter world. It makes use of UV light to disrupt the production of bacteria and viruses as it renders them harmless. It is quite effective against viruses that might seem too small for other filters.

This filter comes in with lightning-fast speed in filtering a litre of water on the trail. This filter also comes in a tad waterproof. If you accidentally drop it in water for a few seconds, the battery would remain intact.

This Steripen water filter will never let you down. It has been tested for some questionable water sources and is efficient in removing the impurities from these sources. So, this filter will be a great fit for your hiking adventures.

Highlighted Features:

  • Lighting speed in filtering water.
  • It makes use of UV light in eliminating bacteria.
  • Waterproof.

 8. GRAYL GeoPress Purifier Water Bottle

This GeoPress water filter makes use of cartridges that features multiple technologies to remove bacteria, viruses, protozoa, worm eggs other chemical contaminants. Instead of working with the typical sieve-like filters, this purifier works with cartridges to absorb pathogens.

Since this purifier works with cartridges, this means that they can be used to absorb bad taste and smell from water leaving your questionable water source fresh and clean. So, if you are hiking in regions that might be heavily contaminated, then, you should consider this purifier.

This GRAYL purifier comes in as a safe option if the water sources in your hiking area are not safe to drink. It is also quite easy to use. All you have to do is to put the water in the bottle and press the cartridge down. You can drink from this bottle directly or make use of any other container.

Highlighted Features:

  • Fast treatment time.
  • Uses cartridges to eliminate heavy contaminants in your water.
  • Easy to use and quite versatile.
  • It can be used to treat protozoa, bacteria, and viruses.

9. MSR Mini Works Ex Water Filter

This is one of the most popular hiking water filters as it features a ceramic filter with a pore rating of 0.1 microns. This means that this filter will come in handy to remove bacteria, protozoa, and tapeworm eggs.

It comes with a carbon element that is used in removing some contaminants and bad taste from water. This filter also features an AirSpring accumulator that helps to make the water pump faster. You have to be careful so the filter does not get clogged. So, you can disassemble the filter and clean it instead of backflushing.

Another excellent feature of this filter is that it attaches to a Nalgene bottle. This means that you can pump directly from the bottle. This water can filter up to 2,000 litres of water across its entire lifespan which is not so bad for a filter.

Highlighted Features:

  • Ceramic filter to remove bacteria, protozoa, and tapeworm eggs.
  • Carbon element for removing contaminants and bad taste.
  • AirSpring accumulator to aid water pumping.
  • It can filter up to 2,000 liters of water.
  • It attaches to a Nalgene bottle.

10. Hydro Blue Versa Flow Water Filter

This Hydro Blue water filter can be used as an inline, squeeze, gravity, or straw water filter. In making use of this filter, you don’t need additional syringes, connectors, replacement gaskets, or adapters as the filter is highly effective.

This filter is compatible with all 28mm soda bottles and reservoirs. It features colour-coded end caps to ensure that it keeps intake and output spouts clean. This means that you can trust that this water will get rid of the impurities in the water source.

This water filter does not leak in between uses and it features a transparent inspection window that you can use to monitor when the water needs to be cleaned. This Versa Flow filter helps to eliminate waterborne bacteria, protozoa, and viruses.

Highlighted Features:

  • It can be used as an inline, squeeze, or gravity water filter.
  • Compatible with 28 mm soda bottles.
  • It features colour-coded end caps to keep the intake and output spouts clean.
  • Transparent inspection window.

11. Platypus Gravity Works Water Filter

This PlatyPus water filter is a gravity filter that incorporates two four-litre water reservoirs, a water filter, and connecting hoses that have been set up in a gravity filter configuration. It comes in perfect when you have companions and you need to filter water for a large group of people.

This Gravity Works filter physically removes bacteria, particles, and protozoa down to 0.2 microns ins size. This means it can remove microorganisms like giardia, salmonella, and cryptosporidium. It comes with a quick disconnecting valve and hose clamp that makes it easy to clean.

Highlighted Features:

  • Two four-litre water reservoirs.
  • Water filter and connecting hoses.
  • Removes particles down to 0.2 microns in size.
  • It is easy to clean.


We have been able to cover some of the best water filters that you can use for your hiking adventures. So, you can look through our review, make your pick, and bid farewell to dirty water as you go about hiking.

Spread the love

Written by Jane Miller

I'm Nomadic Jane, a digital nomad and travel blogger. Since 2009, I've been traveling the world and exploring cultures through my travel blog.