­čąçPortable Water Filters – Purifiers – From Budget to Best – We found the lowest prices

water filter
There’s no doubt that access to clean water is a priority in emergency and survival situations. The human body cannot survive for very long without water. ┬áPortable water filters are also great for backcountry camping. In this report I’ve searched for the best deals on various types of water filters.

I’ve found water filters at three different price points. You can┬áJump straight to each segment:

Best of the Best

Best Value

Best on a Budget

Also Good to Have

In addition to having a water filter you can also add water purification tablets like these:
survival water filter

The Potable Aqua tablets can be used to purify water but its best to combine this with filtration because filtration will also make the water more attractive to drink.  Microfiltration can also remove protozoa like Giardia and certain bacterial like E.Coli. Microfilters generally have a pore size of about 0.1 microns. Some of the filters have smaller pores of about 0.01 microns. This is called Ultrafiltration and removes most types of bacteria as well as some viruses. These methods may not be very good at removing all viruses and thats why I suggest using purifying tablets in addition to filtration. Different methods for purification and filtration are needed based on where your water source is.

The most common method for purifying water is boiling the water. Its effective at killing the majority of viruses and bacteria. But this method on its own won’t remove chemicals, particles, or metals from the water. Also, this method can be impractical as it requires a heat source and takes time. Ultimately its a good idea to have a combination of methods for purifying and filtering water.

Keep in mind that its also better to use running water to start with. Have a look at what the experts have to say about water treatment in the Center For Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) water treatment guide:

water purifier

For more information from the CDC on water filtration and purification please visit this guide on their website:

CDC Guide to Drinking Water Treatment and Sanitation for Backcountry & Travel Use

BEST OF THE BEST



BEST OF 

THE BEST

Water Capacity

Lifetime filtration capacity (per filter)

Ultrafiltration

#1 WINNER

Lifestraw Mission


12 Litres/ 3.1 Gallons

18,000 Litres/ 4755 Gallons

Yes

#2 WINNER

Platypus GravityWorks 4L

4 Litres/1.06 Gallons

1500 Litres/ 396 Gallons


No

#1 WINNER
Lifestraw Mission Water Purification System

 

Water Capacity: 12 Litres/3.1 Gallons

Lifetime filtration capacity (per filter): 18,000 Litres/ 4755 Gallons of Water to 0.02 Microns

Ultrafiltration: Yes

Pros: Good build quality. Good flow capacity. Easy to use. Gravity fed. Exceeds EPA guidelines for filtration (filters viruses too)

Cons: Filter can’t withstand freezing. Slow filtration. Hard to use.

The Lifestraw Mission is a great high quality water filter. It works very well and is easy to use. It can filter up to 0.02 microns. Whats really great about this filter is how portable it is when empty. Also it uses gravity so no need for pumping. Its available in 12 litre and 5 litre sizes. This is a perfect filter for families and large groups. It removes 99.9999% of bacteria, 99.99 % of protozoa, and 99.999% of viruses. It’s my pick #1 Winner for the following reasons: 1) It uses gravity rather than pumping 2) its high capacity 3) its very well made and durable 4)It has Ultrafiltration. Another huge plus is that for every purchase of a LifeStraw one child in a developing country receives safe drinking water for a year!

 #2 WINNER
Platypus GravityWorks 4.0 L Water Filter Kit

 

Water Capacity: 4 Litres/1.06 Gallons

Lifetime filtration capacity (per filter): 1500 Litres/ 396.25 Gallons of Water to 0.2 Microns

Ultrafiltration: No

Pros: Meets all EPA guidelines for filtration. Gravity fed. Lightweight. Very fast filtration (1.5 litres per minute).

Cons: No ultrafiltration (doesn’t remove all viruses), no large capacity option.┬áFilter life isnt’ the best.

The Platypus GravityWorks system is excellent and has fast filtration. Its easy to use and although it can’t beat the #1 Winner in terms of capacity it still can hold quite a lot of water. It meets EPA standards for filtration and has a filter pore size of 0.2 microns. ┬áThis system filters water very quickly at a about 1.5L per minute. It takes my #2 spot because it lacks ultrafiltration and the filter doesn’t last as long as the #1 Winner. Due to its lack of ultrafiltration I would recommend treating the filtered water with a purifier tablet as well. You may want to do that with all filters anyways just to be doubly sure. If you need ultra fast filtration this could be the filter for you.

 

BEST VALUE



BEST VALUE

Water Capacity

Lifetime filtration capacity (per filter)

Ultrafiltration

#1 WINNER

Platypus GravityWorks 2 L


2 Litres/ 0.53 Gallons

1500 Litres/ 396 Gallons

No

#2 WINNER

MSR MiniWorks EX

Varies based on container used

2000 Litres/ 528 Gallons


No

#3 WINNER

Katadyn Vario Dual

Varies based on container used

2000 Litres/ 528 Gallons


No

 

#1 WINNER
Platypus GravityWorks 2.0 L Filter Bottle System

Water Capacity: 2 Litres/0.53 Gallons

Lifetime filtration capacity (per filter): 1500 Litres/ 396.25 Gallons of Water to 0.2 Microns

Ultrafiltration: No

Pros: Meets all EPA guidelines for filtration. Gravity fed. Lightweight. Very fast filtration 1.5 litres per minute. Very portable. More affordable.

Cons: No ultrafiltration (doesn’t remove all viruses), no large capacity option. Filter life isnt’ the best.

The Platypus GravityWorks 2.0 is basically exactly like the 4L system but with a lower capacity and lower price. If you don’t need the extra capacity you can save money by getting this configuration. It’s my pick for #1 Winner of Best Value because of its price and its excellent filtration speed.

 

#2 WINNER
MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter

Water Capacity: Varies based on container used.

Lifetime filtration capacity (per filter): 2000 Litres/ 528 Gallons of Water to 0.2 Microns

Ultrafiltration: No

Pros: Good build quality. Good flow capacity. Easy to use. Easy to transport. Filters some chemicals as well.

Cons: Doesn’t include water bottle or hydration bladders. Pumping required to filter water.

The MSR MiniWorks is a versatile and compact filter. It can filter around 1L per minute but requires manual pumping to work. It doesn’t filter out all viruses since its only a microfilter without ultrafiltration. Its best to use this one in combination with other purification methods like boiling water or chemical purification tablets. Its reasonably priced and well made. You get quiet a lot of filtration before having to change the filter. It features a ceramic filter and charcoal which give the added benefit of filtering some chemicals as well. It requires quite a bit of force to manually pump and thats why it takes my #2 Winner spot. The gravity system of the Platypus GravityWorks is easier to use repetitively and is set and forget!

 

#3 WINNER
Katadyn Vario Dual Technology MicroFilter

 

Water Capacity: Varies based on container used.

Lifetime filtration capacity (per filter): 2000 Litres/ 528 Gallons of Water to 0.2 Microns

Ultrafiltration: No

Pros: Double action (dual piston) pump. Filters rapidly. Reasonably priced.

Cons: Build quality of pump handle could be better. Have to clean pre-filter often. Doesn’t include water bottle or water bladder. Bulky

The Katadyn Vario is a great water filter. Its easy to transport and you can use it to fill various sized water bladders, water bottles, and other containers. It filters rapidly at a rate of 2 L per minute. The dual piston pump requires very little force to operate. You get a lot of bang for your buck with this filter. It takes my #3 Winner position because there have been some complaints about the durability of the pump handle. Its also on the bulkier side compared with the other winners in this segment.

 

BEST ON A BUDGET



BEST ON 

A BUDGET

Water Capacity

Lifetime filtration capacity (per filter)

Ultrafiltration

#1 WINNER

Survivor Filter PRO


Varies based on container used


100,000 Litres/ 26,417  Gallons

Secondary Carbon filter: 2000 Litres

Yes

#2 WINNER

Katadyn Hiker 

Varies based on container used

750 Litres/ 200 Gallons


No


#1 WINNER
Survivor Filter PRO Water Purifier

 

Water Capacity:Varies based on container used.

Lifetime filtration capacity (per filter): 100,000 Litres/ 26,417  Gallons of Water to 0.01 Microns. Secondary carbon filter capacity is 2000 litres.

Ultrafiltration: Yes

Pros: Very Affordable. Incredible filter life. Removes most viruses as well as bacteria, protozoa, and reduces heavy metals. Improves taste and door of water. Lifetime warranty.

Cons: Filter can’t withstand freezing. Hand pump isn’t the best quality. Overall durability could be an issue.

The Survivor Filter Pro is an excellent filter that uses a 3-stage ultrafiltration system. It can remove some viruses as well as heavy metals. This filter has a huge filter life capacity and is a good addition to any one’s prepping kit. It pumps at a rate of about .5 litres per minute. Its very affordable and very effective. I would add this to any other filters that I have just to have a backup. There have been some complaints about the quality of the pump and the build quality overall. Since there’s a lifetime warranty I don’t think you have to worry about this.┬áBut, you definitely don’t want it to break when you need it so I would suggest buying this one as an add-on filter. I really like that this is has the ultrafilter stage. Its my pick for #1 Winner because its affordable and the filters last a long time.


#2 WINNER
Katadyn Hiker Microfilter

 

Water Capacity: Varies based on container used.

Lifetime filtration capacity (per filter): 750 Litres/ 200  Gallons of Water to 0.3 Microns.

Ultrafiltration: No

Pros: Easy to use.  Easy to clean. Reasonably priced.

Cons: Replacement cartridges are pricey. Doesn’t include a water bladder or bottle.

The Katadyn Hiker microfilter is a simple and effective device. It will remove most of the microbes that can make you sick but its doesn’t use ultrafiltration. This means that it can’t remove viruses which is only an issue depending on where your water source is. You can combine this microfilter with boiling water and water purification tablets┬áif you are in an area where the water is known to have viruses in it. The Katadyn Hiker includes a bottle adapter which fits some water bottles and water bladders. No bottles or bladders are included with the purchase. It takes approximately 48 strokes/pumps to filter 1 litre of water. This means that you can get a litre of water quite easily compared to other pump systems. It takes my #2 Winner spot because filters are expensive and don’t last that long.

 

ALSO GOOD TO HAVE

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter for Travel & Emergency Prep

Water Capacity: Unlimited

Lifetime filtration capacity (per filter): 4000 Litres/ 1056 Gallons of Water to 0.2 Microns

Ultrafiltration: No

Pros: Conveniently drink straight from the water source. Purchase supports children in need. Inexpensive.

Cons: Doesn’t have ultrafiltration. Can’t use it to fill a container.

This is a great add-on filter to have with you for camping, emergencies, and prepping scenarios. You can drink straight from the water source. Its very inexpensive and lasts for a long time. Keep in mind that this doesn’t filter out viruses, sewage, salt, and metals so be sure about the area your source water is in before using it.

FINAL THOUGHTS

Having clean water to drink is the most important thing for emergency prepardedness. Filtration and purification are different processes that are both needed to clean the water. Different water sources require different combinations of the two methods.  Portable water filters and purification tablets, and boiling water can solve the problem of not having clean water when you are backcountry camping or in an emergency. Now that thats taken care of lets talk about having food supplies for your Prepper kit (bug-out-bag), have a look at my report on Bug Out Bags and Food Rations.

 

Want to know more about Water Filters and Water Purifiers?

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_filter

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Water_purification

CDC Guide to Drinking Water Treatment and Sanitation for Backcountry & Travel Use