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The 9 Best Survival Water Filters For You in 2020

Imagine being in a situation where access to drinking water gets cut off. You have no store to look for bottled water. Would you survive by collecting rainwater?

What method of purification would you depend on? What if there is just mud and puddles or unclean water all around you? It should look like a helpless situation, a nightmare. You do not want to be the person who dies out of quenching thirst.

Science has fortunately been thoughtful enough about the human race who can be under such a threat where their survival is questioned. Technology has created what we call survival water filters that purify all kinds of water, killing the bacteria, viruses, parasites, as well as every type of impurities.

You must take a good look at this list to find the best survival water filter for yourself.

1. Sawyer Products MINI Water Filtration System

The Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System is the most purchased product from stores selling survival kits specifically for filtration and purification of water from unclean sources in the wild. It is a light and versatile device with compact features. 

This survival filter can be used when hiking or camping, loaded with features like absolute micron filtering, fiber protection, hollow fiber membrane that accurately purify your water and make your experience pleasant. 

The product includes a drinking pouch, a disposable bottle, and hydration packs, to which you can attach the MINI and filter water. You can also use the MINI directly into the source of water and drink like a straw. 

Specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 4 x 3 x 8 inches ; 3.52 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • ASIN: B00FA2RLX2
  • Item model number: SP128

Pros:

➞   Removes bacteria and protozoa by 99.99%
➞   It even removes microplastics and any other harmful organisms like E. coli and Salmonella that cause cholera and typhoid.
➞   The filtration is a 0.1-micron squeeze filter which can filter up to 100000 gallons of water.
➞   The MINI unit is tested thrice before being manufactured.

Cons:

➞   It does not filter out the chemicals or viruses.
Gets clogged when treating large quantities of water.

2. Katadyn Vario Water Filter

This Switzerland-based company, Katadyn, has been famous for its ceramic pump filters for years and has loyal customers. The Katadyn Vario Water Filter has features of the best survival water filter. It has dual pumping modes. 

It can easily remove particles found in unclean water, as well as reduce the chemical quantity in the water due to the Active Carbon in the filter. It is a water filter that improves the taste of the water you filter. 

Features that make it best survival water filter include Dual pumping modes along with Removes particles and Activated Carbon reduces chemicals. It also includes a glass fiber filter and it is suitable for backpacking as well.

Specifications

  • Output: Up to 2 quarts (2 liters) per minute
  • Cartridge Capacity: Up to 500 gallons (1875 liters)
  • Weight: 15 ounces
  • Height: 6.5 inches
  • Hose Length: 36 inches
  • Product Dimensions: 16 x 12 x 4 inches 
  • ASIN: B000KUVVY4
  • Item model number: 8014931

Pros:

➞   Removes chemicals with replaceable active carbon.
➞   Has a cleanable ceramic disc, ceramic pre-filter, and high-performance glass fiber filter.
➞   Dual piston technology allows more water to get purified.

Cons:

➞   Some users have complained about the hose breaking off the filter.

3. MSR Miniworks Ex

MSR Miniworks Ex is the best survival water filter for hiking, camping, backpacking, traveling, or only a situation of crisis. It pumps out water at the rate of 1 liter per minute. It is also loaded with carbon and ceramic filter that are replaceable. 

These two components both filter and eliminate the presence of any impurities like bacteria and other living organisms, and foul smell along with the chemicals. 

It includes replaceable carbon and ceramic filter that are excellent in removing bacteria, organic compounds, protozoa, and particulate that enables it to deliver clean, taste-free, and odor-free water.

Specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 10 x 4 x 7 inches
  • Weight- 1.01 pounds
  • ASIN: B000BBF2RY
  • Item model number: 040818564257

Pros:

➞   NSF approves it under the P231 protocol for removing up to 99.99% of bacteria, protozoa, organic compounds, and particles.
It also rids the water from any foul smell and chemicals.
➞   It pumps water at a rate of 1 liter per minute and has a lifetime warranty.

Cons:

➞   Some users have complained about being very slow at filtering water.

4. LifeStraw Mission Water Purification System

This gravity-fed survival filter is a high-capacity, hollow membrane water purifier with a system that can be used when camping outdoors with a family or a group of hikers. It is also a useful item for areas where it is difficult to find drinking water. 

It removes 99.99% of bacteria, protozoa, as well as viruses. It also has a reservoir that comes in both 12-liters and 5-liters capacity. It can be hung from a tree or any other support.  

With this best survival water filter, you will opt for a gravity-fed, hollow membrane and high-capacity water purifier. This one is considered perfect for group and family camping, emergency preparedness, and outdoor activities.

Specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 12 x 5 x 4 inches
  • Weight: 15 ounces 
  • ASIN: B00XWAP2SU
  • Item model number: LSM12

Pros:

➞   It removes not only bacteria and protozoa but also viruses.
➞   It has a capacity of 12-litre reservoir
➞   It has a lifetime filtration capacity of 18000 liters.

Cons:

➞   It does not filter out microcystin toxins.

5. Survivor Filter PRO X Electric Water Filter

This handheld portable Water filter runs on electricity, charged by AA batteries or a mobile charger. It has the capacity of producing up to 17 Oz of pure water every minute. 

One tap can clean the water from any impurities, bacteria, parasites, or heavy metals. It has a detachable drinking cup, travel, and internal filters with tubing. It provides 0.01-micron protection against these impurities.

The features that made it secure its place as the best survival water filter for you are its ability to be super convenient and easy to use, plus it also comes up with a backwashing syringe system. You will also get a lifetime warranty of survival filter.

Specifications

  • Dimensions 9.02 x 4.57 x 3.74 inches 
  • Item Weight 1.14 pounds 
  • ASIN B07MTR4166 

Pros:

➞   It runs on electricity and can be powered via multiple sources.
➞   It has three-level filtration: ultrafilter pre-filter, Carbon filter, and internal ultrafilter.
➞   It cleans water off any heavy metals, chemicals, bad odor and removes any impurities like bacteria, protozoa, etc.

Cons:

➞   It does not remove viruses.

6. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter for Hiking

As the name suggests, The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is meant for hiking. It is considered to be an indispensable survival tool to be carried everywhere by a person who will not get enough drinking water.

It has been an award-winning product as it acts almost like a straw. The filter cleans the water and removes any bacteria, protozoa, parasites, chemicals, iodine, chlorine, etc.

It is top-notch in filtering up to 1,000 gallons (4,000 liters) of contaminated water without chlorine, iodine, or any other chemicals. Its works without needing any batteries, plus it does not have any moving parts

Specifications

  • Item Dimensions 8.66 x 0.98 x 0.98 inches
  • ShippingWeight: 1.4 ounces
  • ASIN: B006QF3TW4
  • Item model number: LSPHF017

Pros:

➞   It is lightweight and has a filter pore size of 0.2-microns.
➞   Requires no batteries or pumping.
➞   Removes bacteria, chemicals, microplastics efficiently.

Cons:

➞   It can be inconvenient when it takes a longer time to filter water.

7. GRAYL Ultralight Water Purifier

This lightweight water filter is a compact product that can be carried anywhere to get safe and clean drinking water. It is not only lightweight but very efficient at filtering water quickly; the very reason hikers use this product. 

It removes every waterborne pathogen, particulates like chemicals and sediments with a lot of efficiencies. It also filters out the water, eliminating any bad taste and odor which makes it the best survival water filter for you.

It is considered first-rate when it comes to removing waterborne pathogens such as Hepatitis A, Rotavirus, Norovirus; Bacteria such as E. coli, Cholera, Salmonella, and Protozoan Cysts such as Giardia, Cryptosporidium.

Specifications

  • Shipping Weight: 15.5 ounces 
  • ASIN: B07YNR2YB6
  • Item model number: GRAYL Ultralight Compact Purifier

Pros:

➞   Has two layers of non-woven ceramic fiber.
➞   A positively charged mesh of ions discards any pathogens or chemicals, and Active carbon eliminates the heavy metals, chemicals and removes water of any bad odor and flavor.
➞   Removes pathogens and chemicals efficiently

Cons:

➞   Takes longer than usual to filter water.

8. Katadyn Hiker Microfilter Water Filter

Another product from this brand, specially made for campers is a deficient maintenance product with a 0.2-micron glass fiber filter that filters the water efficiently. It eliminates any chemicals, sediments, particulates, and pathogens. 

The active carbon is responsible for eliminating the foul odor and taste of water. The cartridge cleans up to 100 gallons of water. It will provide you safe drinking water in any challenging conditions, and this makes it the best survival water filter for you as well.

It comes up with an easy-to-use design that is considered great for the beginning camper to the serious backpacker. It is also designed in such a way that you will get high output with little effort. 

Specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 8 x 3 inches ; 1.2 pounds
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds
  • ASIN: B0047QV0AM
  • Item model number: 8018270

Pros:

➞   Effective against all the pathogens.
➞   Eliminates bad taste and foul odor.
➞   It eliminates the sediments and chemicals too.
➞   It filters up to 300 gallons of water before it needs to be replaced.

Cons:

➞   Does not eliminate any viruses.

9. SteriPEN ULT-MP-EF SterPen Ultra UV Water Purifier

This product has a high-contrast Organic Light Emitting Diode display that shows information about the treatment of water, the battery status, as well as the condition of the lamp. 

The UV light in the device is effective at destroying any germs or pathogens after being filtered. A single battery charge can be used 50 times and has a solar panel for which you will not need to buy any batteries. This product gives you service for seven years and an average of 8000 times.

It is excellent in destroying more than 99.9% of bacteria, protozoa, and viruses.  It is also top-notch in destroying the ability of germs to reproduce. And this makes it secure its place in the list of the best survival water filter.

Specifications

  • Product Dimensions: 7.3 x 1.3 x 1.6 inches ; 4.8 ounces
  • Shipping Weight: 9.4 ounces
  • ASIN: B00NK9948M
  • Item model number: ULT-MP-EF
  • Batteries 1 Lithium Polymer batteries required.

Pros:

➞   Has organic LED light to display the treatment status of your water, that is, successful or failed.
➞   It kills pathogens with the UV light it has inbuilt in it.
➞   It runs on solar energy.

Cons:

➞   Sometimes users complain that the product does not charge properly.

Buying Guide

Awareness about all these survival water filters is a start to your process of selecting the best survival water filter that exists in the market. You must have first-hand knowledge in selecting one by going through all the features, the way it is built, the type of filtration or purification it offers, etc. There are several kinds of water filters- an in-line, hand pump, gravity-fed, etc. Let us look over the features you must look for in a survival water filter before purchasing one-

Filter Type/technology of filtration

This part will be a very vital point to assess in a survival water filter. You must look through the technology that has been used to purify your water. Sometimes they have UV technology to kill the bacterias. Some have multiple filters that have their mechanism. Depending on the source of water you must choose one. 

The Frequency at which filters have to be replaced

It may become difficult to find replacements for survival water filters if the manufacturing is done obsoletely. Make sure you can get in touch with the manufacturer and get replacement filters quickly beforehand. If your water filter needs a low rate of replacements, then getting hold of a few won’t be a problem. If you know that you can afford to replace filters after a particular number of times of usage, it is your choice to do so.

Capacity

You must look through the capacity or the number of people the filter can feed water at a particular time. If the filter is for one person, it is advisable to have individual filters ready. If the filter is a system that can store water in considerable amounts after filtration and purification, then it is admissible to buy one and use it for a family or group of people. For a group of 2 to 5 people, a small pump water filter works well. If you are to stay in one place, gravity-fed survival water filters are a better option.

Cost

The cost is based on gallons it can purify. You shall get the best survival water filter that filters water effectively yet works for a longer time. It may be expensive initially as the features it bears are meant to make it last and perform longer than other water filters. Spending once for a good water filter is better than spending less and getting to use a water filter for a limited period. Other features add up to the cost like multiple filters, UV purification, etc. 

Weight

In-line filters can be effortless to carry everywhere as they are very small and portable. But with survival water filters that come with extensive features, they are heavier and bigger. Check if you can carry around a water filter that heavy when in the wild. If you want better technology to save you from any trouble, water filters can be heavy. Think over this part when purchasing a survival water filter.

Source of Water

If you are going out into the wild and looking for a safe source of water, you must not drink it directly from there. A survival water filter comes handy in this case. The wild usually have pure water but may be infested with bacteria and parasites. Whereas, a situation where you have to get water from the nearest water body in your city can be well-contaminated in every way possible. In this case, the best survival water filter can save you.

Conclusion — Best Survival Water Filters

Thus, with this guide, you can frequently opt to go out camping and hiking and not worry about the availability of clean drinking water anymore. Get the best survival water filter that kills or eliminates any pathogens, sediments, chemicals, viruses as well as impurities efficiently.

FAQs

Is Brita or zero better?

Brita water is considered better.

Which water filter removes the most contaminants?

MSR Miniworks Ex

Which is the best survival water filtration system?

Sawyer Products MINI Water Filtration System

Which is the best survival water filter homemade?

Charcoal works the best. 

Which is the best survival water filter bottle?

Sawyer Products MINI Water Filtration System has a detachable bottle. 

Article by:

Eric Birch

Eric Birch is a survival specialist trained in the U.S. military's Survival, Evasion, Resistance, and Escape (SERE) program. When he’s not ferociously learning new survival tactics, he enjoys the great outdoors, and/or cheering on one of his favorite sports teams.

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