The Top 10 Best Camping Water Filters [2020]


Camping is a fun and enjoyable activity which gives an opportunity to stay with nature. We researched over 50 different models before getting the top 10 Best Camping Water Filters to help you find the best choice.

Camping for an outdoor trip will come with a lot of dangers so you must have the best water filter and purifier in your backpack to avoid digestive problems from your drinking water. Keeping an adequate water filter in a backpack is essential for every camper or a hiker. 

Water filters are best to eliminate bacteria or other dangerous organisms from drinking water. You can also use this filter at home to avoid chemicals, metals and reduce the odor. For outdoor use, you must find the most compact water filter system that uses active charcoal filters with UV light for offering you pure drinking water.

It is an effective method to filter the water, just connect a hose to the water bottle and gently pump the water into the bottle producing a good pump will give a high flow rate. It can also be used to purify and store water for later use without re-contamination.

Best Camping Water Filters

Premium Pick

(Camping Chairman #1 choice)

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
  • Best camping aqua filter
  • Produces fresh water
  • Kills bacteria & viruses
  • Ultralight filter
  • Quick Filtration

Budget Pick

(Camping Chairman - Best buy)

  • Budget Friendly
  • Extremely durable
  • No chemicals
  • Kills all microbes
  • Versatile

Best Camping Water Filters!!

The LifeStraw water filter is one of the great purifying techniques for those who love to spend their time in nature; it uses the gravity filter to keep the water clean. This filtering technique can be able to clean a lot of water within a short time; it is feasibly constructed with lightweight material so it is portable which an excellent idea is also for day hikers as well as backpackers.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter


 Straw filter


2 oz


8.7 x 1 x 1 inches



Filter Lifetime

 4000 liters


The LifeStraw water filter uses an extremely advanced hollow fiber technology which is the most effective way of filtering the water purely without any chemicals. It is the best Ultralight backpacking water filter to carry all around. It provides an easy way to drink the water; you can just place one end directly to the water source and drink from another end.

Excellent purifier

If you need to drink water, take off the device from the water source and blow it out for adequate cleaning if you are planning outdoor camping during the cold season then make sure that your water filter is dry; otherwise, it can cause severe damages. The straw within the purifier can kill all the bacteria and disease-causing viruses it can filter up to 1000 liters of water in a day.

Good to carry

It is the best choice to enjoy your camping, backpacking or traveling, it is also a good emergency kit which can save your life in any unpredictable situations. If you feel like something has blocked your water filter just blow it once and then continue drinking, if the water is very dirty do this for some time so you can get a clean and purified water source. You can just wear it around your neck to provide constant support so that it will be comfortable for you to drink the water wherever you go for camping.


  • Hollow filter technology
  • Filters 1000 liters per day
  • Safe use filtration system
  • Produces fresh water


  • Affordable
  • Best survival kit
  • Extremely reliable


  • Should lay down when using

The Sawyer mini water filter system is the most compact water filtering technique so it adds additional comfort for hiking, camping or other outdoor activities. It is an amazing purifying system which can kill 99.99% of bacteria, fungus, and viruses that are present in water. 


 Straw filter


3 oz


4 x 3 x 8 inches


16 oz

Filter Lifetime

100,000 gallons

Highly durable

It looks very small but gives an efficient performance and it is highly durable, which can clean up to10, 000 gallons of dirty water in a day. If you need the best backpacking water filter then Sawyer water purifier will be a great choice.


This water filter is designed with a U-shaped hollow fiber that can easily filter the unclean water to pure drinking water and avoids the possibility of water contamination. It can be frequently cleaned and reused so there will not be any chances to replace the filters with an expensive cartridge.

The Mini water filter can be placed on soda water bottles; it also has a water pouch and straw to drink the water efficiently from the water source.

Easy to filter

When you go for long time travel or camp just fill the pouch with water, then place the filter on to the pouch, and drink directly from the water filter or squeeze it into the water bottle.

The adapter used in this filter is too small and versatile which you can easily attach with the water bottles, water pouches to enhance the quality of drinking water. 


The filter is completely covered with a hollow fiber technology and its weight is just 3 ounces. The small filter inside the bottle can easily fit into your hand and attaches to your mouth and a 7-inch straw are also used for drinking the water from the nearby lake or stream.


  • 0.1 Micron inline filter
  • Treats 30 gallons of water
  • Eliminates 100% microplastics
  • Includes drinking pouch


  • Drink directly from the source
  • Lightweight
  • High performance filter


  • May leak

This water filter is small and compact that can easily remove all the contaminants in the water. It is the best and efficient way to filter the water by using this kind of simple and portable water filter. It is designed with a pump action filter so you can filter more than 10000 gallons of water in a single day, it will operate very faster.

Survivor Filter PRO


 Pump filter


3 oz


3 x 2 x 6.5 inches


16 oz

Filter Lifetime

100,000 liters

Kills all the contaminants

It can remove all the bacteria and viruses which are above 0.1 microns; this filter comes with an ultra-fine primary inlet filter which has the capacity to clean the contaminated water into pure water. One of the best camping water filter pumps is this Survivor Filter PRO.

Durable and reliable

The carbon filter placed inside the water purifier is reliable, durable and cheap to replace; it can adequately remove all the chemicals and heavy metals from the water.

It is an effective method to reduce the disease-causing pollutants from the water and gives a good taste for you. It has 1 to 1.5 inches of size and fits directly to the ultrafilter module that is inside the filter unit.

Produces fresh water

The final stage of filtering technique is the internal ultrafilter that removes above 0.01 microns and blocks the contaminants from reaching the carbon filter, it has a small tube which must be fully inserted into the water. This filter can produce 17 ounces of fresh water per minute, with a good flow rate.


  • 3 levels of filtration
  • Replaceable carbon filter
  • Eliminates 99.9% microbes
  • Produces 16 oz of fresh water per min


  • Gives good taste
  • Durable
  • Fast flow rate


  • Flimsy

The Katadyn Vario water filter is one of the best water drinking systems and it is also adjustable for various conditions to provide maximum output. It can last for long life and gives a fast flow of water; it is designed with a lot of efficiencies and simple handling.

It is lightweight as well as portable which can be effectively used with dirty or cloudy water. You can carry the Katadyn pocket water filter whenever you go for a camp because it gives the fresh water.


 Pump filter


11.65 oz


16 x 12 x 4 inches 


6 L

Filter Lifetime

1150 liters

Removes the pollutants easily

The Vario filter uses various types of filtering techniques; the glass fiber filter can be used to remove the pollutants from the contaminated water and the ceramic filter can be used if the water is very cloudy and it can be adjusted according to the cloudiness in the water.

Ultra backpack filter

It is designed with an amazing pre-filter at the outlet which can filter up to 150 microns, and it removes a large number of contaminants before they reach the main ultra-filter to enhance the good quality and lifespan.

You can get one liter of purified water per minute, which is fully shielded with an ABS plastic for providing a constant water purification mechanism.

Comfortable to fit

The Vario can be used at any condition which is constructed by a dual piston technology for offering the high level of output with minimum effort. It is very small to fit comfortably in your backpack.


  • Takes just 64 seconds to filter
  • High volume of filtration
  • Includes cleaning pad
  • Dual piston technology


  • Perfect for backpacking trips
  • Easy to set up
  • Long lasting performance


  • Bit expensive

The Aquamira Water Treatment Drops is an effective method to kill all the bacteria that can increase the taste of water and it is very easy to use. You can just pour a single drop over the contaminated water to have a better taste and safe to drink.

If you store the water for a long time, it may produce a bad odor and gives a bad taste so you can use these drops to drink the fresh water. 

Aquamira Water Treatment Drops


Chemical Purifier


3 oz


4 x 2 x 2 inches 

Filter time

15 min

Filter Lifetime

30 gallons

Works perfectly

If you have mixed the drops into the water then wait for some time for the solution to work, which kills the bacteria and viruses from the cloudy water. These drops will work perfectly in muddy, clear, warm as well as cold water and gives a good experience while you go for camping, hiking or backpacking.


It can clear up to 10 gallons of water per minute. Aquamira is an USA made purifier that is extremely cost-effective and lightweight. This one is the best portable water purifier which fits comfortably within your small backpack.

Highly Efficient

This solution can purify 30 gallons of water with just 2 ounces of liquid chlorine. Every Aquamira purifier comes with part A and part B so you must mix it together before drinking the water. Use seven drops per liter in part A and part B wait for a while for a good blend which turns the color of the water to yellow.

The most powerful chlorine dioxide is used to kill the bacteria and viruses which will not be present in other purifiers.


  • Chlorine dioxide water treatment
  • Can be used anywhere
  • Eliminates all microorganism
  • Clears up 10 gallons of water per minute


  • Best for chemical treatment
  • Easy to use
  • Capacity to treat all quantities of water


  • Chemical taste

If you are camping for a long time with a lot of people, a platypus gravity filter will be the most efficient water filter; it can hold up to 4 liters of water and removes all the harmful bacteria and protozoa from the contaminated water.

Platypus Gravity Works 4L


Gravity filter


11.45 oz


13 x 3 x 5.8 inches 


8 L

Filter Lifetime

1500 Liters

Best filtration technique

You can just fill the water and connect it with a hose of the filter and hang it so you will get pure water within 2.5 minutes, it has the capacity to clean 1500 liters per day. It is the best water filter that works efficiently in any type of water and produces fresh clean drinking water for you.

Simple to purify

It can be perfectly suitable for a large group of people or if you want to drink a lot of water at a time, you need not pump or squeeze the filters, it is very simple and effective to purify the water.

It is very small in size as well as storage but provides maximum output. It is designed with extraordinary durability; the bags are made of plastic so it can be adaptable even in rugged situations.

It is very essential to backflush the system to provide a constant flow of water; it is constructed with hollow fiber for offering the fast and effective flow of water.

Offers tasty water to drink

You can hold the dirty water bag in one hand and clean purified water in other hands for getting the good flow and tasty water. It is very easy to collect the water simply open the top and pour the water into it and close the zip.It offers tasty and clean water using these microfilters.


  • Hands-free filtration
  • Large storage
  • Extremely durable
  • Quick disconnect valves for easy cleaning


  • Perfect for families or couples
  • Easy to handle
  • High-speed filtration within 52 seconds


  • Little bit hard to close

The SteriPen Ultra classic water purifier uses an advanced ultraviolet light to kill the deadly microorganisms like bacteria, protozoa, and viruses. It is the great UV water purifier camping technique to get the fresh drinking water.


UV purification


4.94 oz


1.7 x 7.3 x 1.7 inches 

Filter time

90 sec/L

Filter Lifetime

8000 Liters

Best water purifier

It is one of the best water purifiers to clean the cloudy and muddy water into well-purified drinking water. The purification process can be less than 4 ounces per unit and it takes one hour to filter one liter of water.

Use of Detectable sensor

This water filter is very easy to hold and handle, just place the SteriPen into the water and shake until the green light flashes on your bottle. It comes with a detectable sensor so the UV radiation can help to identify the unpurified water, so you can easily distill the water and drink safely.

The size of this filter is very small and easy to pack for camping or hiking. The UV light kills all the pollutants and germs from the water, it is also possible to charge the filter from computer, wall or USB cable.

Simple to use

This purifier is very simple to use, you can just open the top nozzle and gently press the button and leave it for 90 seconds to get the fresh water, no need to pump or swirl just hang the bottle for a while.

If you have stored water for a long time it will produce a bad feeling when you tempted to drink it so stir the SteriPen in the water for 48 seconds, if it shows a smiley indication on the exterior part of the filter then the water is in good condition.


  • Detectable sensor
  • USB rechargeable
  • Uses UV light to kill microbes
  • Best for purifying cold water


  • Neutralizes viruses
  • Very simple treatment
  • No chemicals


  • Won't work in murky water

The MSR purifier pumps are the best water filter which may be suitable for any conditions; it can work efficiently at truly terrible water sources and produce a good flow rate which is very impressive.

MSR Guardian Purifier Pumps


Pump filter


17.3 oz


8.2 x 4.7 inches 

Filter time

2.5L /min

Filter Lifetime

10,000 Liters

Offers ultimate protection

It works as a filter as well as a purifier, the Guardian offers ultimate protection if you are backpacking for high use areas. These purifier pumps are great for hikers who don’t want to wait for chemicals in extreme conditions.


It is not small and easy to carry equipment, it can weigh up to 17 ounces and this is a great choice for travel and backpacking. The filter can clean itself and back flash the water when you pump; so you no need to pump or back flash manually.

It has good versatility and durability which allows you to collect the contaminated water in the bag and clean it within a second. 

Purifies easily

Size and weight are the most important factors for water filtration.  It offers a good amount of filtration it is capable of purifying your two liters of bottle water within 2.5 seconds.

It is one of the reliable and comfortable equipments which can also be used as an emergency water purifier in case of any natural disasters; it uses 10% of water from each pump to flush out the contaminants from water.


  • US Military grade purifier
  • No Backflush required
  • Pre-filter attached
  • Withstand any harsh environment


  • Heavy use filter
  • Provides 100% protection
  • Standard P248 tested


  • Bit heavy

The TrailShot is very simple to usewhich ismade with lightweight materials and an efficient hand pump; it can pump the water from even shallow streams and purify it to drink. It is one of the best outdoor camping water filters because it is very light to carry so you may take it wherever you plan for a camp.


Pump filter


5 oz


6 x 1.4 x 2.4 inches 

Filter time

1 L /min

Filter Lifetime

2,000 Liters

Small to fit

The size is too small which can fit into your pocket, the filter used inside the bottle is made with rubber which you can squeeze or swirl to suck the water.

Effective Hydration

It comes with a 12-inch long tube which can be fixed inside the filter and gives a lot of space to fill the water. This tiny water filter gives an opportunity to drink the water directly from sources for effective hydration. You can use just a single hand to operate the filter so you can go back easily on the trail quickly.

It kills most of the contaminants from the cloudy or muddy water and gives an easy to clean you can shake the filter to restore the flow rates.


It is designed with a water tube which helps you to fill the water easily, you can use the one-handed pump to purify the water without keeping your hand on the ground and it works well in extremely dirty water and has an ability to filter one liter per minute with 5 ounces.


  • Pairs easily with water tube
  • Single person filter
  • Great for shallow source
  • Hand squeezing 4-6 L per day


  • Kills bacteria, viruses & protozoa
  • Best for runners
  • Easy to maintain


  • Easily clogs after multiple usage

The Katadyn Hiker Pro Water Filter is an excellent choice for multi-day camping trek with a lot of people; this filter will not take much space in your pack. It is a pump based filter which removes and kills all the bacteria and virus from the unclean water.


Pump filter


11 oz


3 x 3 x 6 inches 

Filter time

1 L /min

Filter Lifetime

1,000 Liters

Offers clean water

The pre-filter is attached to the hose of the outlet which can filter up to 150 microns so it offers a good drinking water from the cloudy or muddy water and removes the pollutants before they reach the main filter to enhance its lifespan.

Excellent design

It is very compact and elegant also it is the great choice for safe drinking plus hydration. The filter used in this purifier uses an active carbon to make you free from the bad odor, chemicals, and unpleasant tastes. It is the reliable filter which can be used for backpacking; it is capable of cleaning one-liter water per minute.

Gives good support

This filter is completely equipped with an ABS plastic and provides an extraordinary support for you while you move out for a camp. It provides a faster and a smoother pumping action.


  • Effective hydration pack
  • Ultra-light filter
  • Comes with hydration bladders
  • Activated carbon core reduces chemicals


  • Ideal for backpacking
  • Ability to filter 150 microns
  • Lightweight and portable


  • Have chances to leak carbon

Types of Water Filter and Purifiers

There are different types of filters available in the market depending on the usage of the adventurers. Let’s go through the types;

Pump Filters

Pump filters are the most popular filter for the backcountry. It uses the pumping action for purifying. Just throw the water tube to the source and pump the filter to get clean water. Pump filters are heavy but perform great in the woods. This is a great choice for hiking to filter one or two liters of water at a time.

Pumps water using Katadyn Hiker Pro

It works great in shallow sources. Pumping to filter water is a bit difficult. The cartridges should be cleaned thoroughly after usage. Our best picks of pump filters are the MSR Guardian and Katadyn Water Filter.

Gravity Filters

Gravity Filters is one of the quickest methods to get pure drinking water in the wilderness. It is very easy to set up. Simply connect the parts of the filter and then fill your water bag with dirty water. Then just hang the bag from the rock or any branch of the tree and let the gravity filter to do its work. 

Our Favorite Gravity filter

Here you need not want to pump the filter, the water flows downward through the filter and fills into another separate bottle for drinking. Gravity filters can treat a large amount of water within a few minutes. This is an ideal choice for backpackers because of its high filtering capacity. The leading gravity filter in our article is the Platypus Gravity Works

The major drawback here is, you would need a place to hang the water bag and you have to hold it to the head level for the filter to work downwards.

Straw Filters

Straw filters are used commonly by the trail runners and day hikers. Because they do not prefer to carry water for their challenge. These are the recently developed water filters which need not want to be set up. You can drink water directly from the source. These are very light and cheap compared to other filters. These are functional in all environments. The most popular straw filter is the LifeStraw.

How to use it?

Straw filters involve the sucking process. Just lie down on the ground, use the filter on source and suck it. The pressure of sucking transports water from the stream to the mouth.

Chemical Purifiers

Chemical purifiers are the oldest trend purifier used for drinking pure water. The system used here is Aqua tablets. You can simply add those tablets into water and wait for 30 minutes to get clean purified water. The tablets are cheap and lightweight. It kills bacteria, protozoa, and even virus. So people preferred tablets on those days. 

A similar option is now built with Aquamira Chlorine Dioxide Treatment Drops. Add a few drops to the dirty water and wait for 15 minutes to purify. It works great in cold or glacial streams. The only complaint of this purifier is that the purified water has a chemical taste.

UltraViolet Purifiers

One of the latest methods of purification system is the UV purification system. The best model for UV purification is the Steripen Purifier. Here the process is very simple. Keep the purifier in water and swirl it until the light glows green. It requires AA batteries to work. So you should always possess an additional battery for your adventure.

Camping Water Filter – Buying Guide

To make the right pick you should know which feature to look for in a water filter. If you have an idea then the buying process will be very easier

Here are some essential features to consider when buying a water filter:

Ease of use

Quite easy to pump with MSR

You must ensure that whether it will be easy to drink water using the filter? There are two common ways to drink water either you should suck the water from the source or pump it for better hydration.

The best water filter will have the activated carbon which makes the contaminated water into pure drinking water.

Some water filters will be small and compact but it will offer you ease of use to make sure that the product is good enough before buying it.

If you use the filters frequently then you should use the high-quality filters, if you use it for an occasional use then it may be less efficient.

Filtration Speed

Drinking water directly from the source with Lifestraw

Each water filter must have the capacity to eliminate the dangerous particles from the contaminated water, you must look for a filter with UV lighting technology, chlorine dioxide or iodine treatment system.

The filtration speed depends on how much amount of time it takes to filter the unclean water.

If you are not located near the water bodies then a speed of the filter will reduce. The main reason for filtering the water is to make the water free from chemicals, bacteria or other bio-contaminants.

A good water filter will not take much time for purifying the water, it can filter 1 liter of water within a minute.


If you plan for a long camp ensure that not to carry too much weight, smaller and lighter weight are actually suitable for a casual user.

It is also very important to consider that the weight of the water filter must be manageable and light because it can fit easily into your backpacks.

The ultimate water filtration system should be portable so you can take it wherever you go to a camp. It should be comfortable to carry when you travel so always keep in mind about the filter’s weight before buying it.

The weight of the filter can vary depending on their design, filtering technology used and materials used for constructing the water filter.

Filter Capacity

Handy Sawyer Mini water filter has longer lifespan

Every filter cartridge will have a limited lifespan; a well-designed filter can have a long-lasting durability. Choose the filters with long-lasting cartridges which may be the high-quality portable filters.

You must have a clear idea about the filter capacity if you go for camping frequently because less amount of water will not be enough for a long ride.

Some filters have a single cartridge which can clean up to 10000 gallons of contaminated water within a second.

Use the hollow U-shaped micro tubes which allow water through even tiny pores, where the pathogens are strained out.

In a Nutshell

Using the best water filter will improve your camping or hiking experience! Whether for camping or hiking a reliable source of drinking water is needed, choose the best camping filters for enjoying your trip!

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How do you purify water when camping?

Water filters are great options for purifying water when camping. They are simple and effective to use which works by straining the water through an internal element using a sip tube or hand pump. They leave the mud out, so you can get purified water for drinking.

  1. How do Life straws work?

All LifeStraw products are designed with a hollow fiber membrane which has microscopic pores and traps the contaminants. There is a carbon capsule that absorbs chemicals like chlorine and pesticides. The LifeStraw flex also reduces heavy metals like lead.

  1. Does Sawyer Filter virus?

The Sawyer Mini water filter is a very solid water filter that is capable of filtering down to 0.1 microns. It can easily fill out the bacteria, protozoa and viruses from the dirty water. It works very well with straw and hydration pack but minimal suction is required to get a good flow of water.

  1. Is filtered water healthy?

Filter water tastes better than the tap water and distilled water. Using a carbon filter all unwanted contaminants is removed but it still retains all the healthy mineral deposits that are to be present in water.

  1. What is the best personal water filter?

The Katadyn Vario water filter is small enough to fit comfortably in a backpack and doesn’t weigh too much. This model is capable of filtering up to 2 quarts of water per minute. The filter’s pump works very fast and making the water drinkable as well as good tasting.


  1. Camping is my passion. Every month I used to go camping with my friends. We always carry water with us. But before our camping finishes, the bottle becomes empty. So we depend on nature. We drink all sorts of water we get, as thirsty plays a vital role in camping. So for my next trip, we have planned to carry a water filter with us, to take care of our health. So put forward the best water filters for us.


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