For outdoor enthusiasts, clean and safe drinking water isn’t something to be taken for granted. Whether you’re spending the day trekking through remote wilderness, embarking on a multi-day hike or simply camping in the backcountry, it’s a good idea to bring along one of the best backpacking water filters to ensure access to potable water.
Packing your supply of water for longer trips adds significant weight to your backpack, which may be cumbersome at best and a challenge at worst. While natural water sources like rivers, streams and lakes might look pristine, they can harbor harmful microorganisms, parasites and contaminants that can cause gastrointestinal issues and ruin your adventure. That’s where a good portable water filter comes into play. They are devices designed to remove harmful substances from water while preserving its taste and clarity.
Read on for some of the best backpacking water filters on the market to ensure you can quench your thirst anywhere there’s a natural water source.
How We Chose The Best Backpacking Water Filters
We relied on independent testing, online reviews and expert insights when selecting the best backpacking water filters. Each filter included in this roundup is one we own ourselves, borrowed from friends and family or tested in conjunction with the manufacturer. When testing each water filter, we weighed important specs and features, including size, lifespan of the filter, ease of use and durability. We also considered online reviews from customers just like you and compared these reviews against our findings to make more informed decisions.
How Much Water Do You Need While Backpacking?
According to the Mayo Clinic, the baseline amount of water needed for a day is roughly 125 ounces for men and 91 ounces for women. Though typically, a good rule of thumb if you’re hiking or doing an outdoor activity is an additional half-liter of water for every hour of moderate exercise (though you may need more depending on the intensity of your workout and how hot it is outside).