Open main menu

Pump and Gravity Water Filters

Need help getting started? Read our four-part guide to backcountry water treatment:
Part 1: Proper Hydration
Part 2: Keeping Your Water Supply Safe
Part 3: What’s in Backcountry Water?
Part 4: Methods for Making Water Safe

The best pump and gravity water filters, reviewed and curated by the Trailspace community. The latest review was added on February 28, 2022. Stores' prices and availability are updated daily.

Recent Pump/Gravity Water Filter Reviews

rated 5 of 5 stars
Katadyn Combi

I've travelled and used this filter for over 20 years and never had a problem. The best I've ever seen and you avoid all these anoying plastic bottles. Just as an additional comment: the usage and cleaning of the filter depends a lot on how dirty the water you are filtering is. Whenever possible I filtered the tap water which made it easy and the taste was absolutely perfect. It even filtered out the disgusting taste of chlorine. Full review

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Platypus QuickDraw Microfilter System

Without a doubt Platypus has a very clear understanding of what its customers are looking for in a water filter, resulting in the Platypus Quickdraw Microfilter. From my perspective, it is the number one hollow-fiber membrane water filter design available today for solo through hikers or anyone looking to buy their very first water filter. The well designed Quickdraw Microfilter is a hollow-fiber membrane water filter that takes a few evolutionary steps from an integration and maintenance perspective… Full review

rated 2.5 of 5 stars
Katadyn Mini

This filter is an overpriced dog. As it is small I give it the 2.5 stars, but the 2.5 minus is based on practical use and volume of water per pumping labor time. It is slow and ridiculously slow... Thumb size replacement filter cartridges are expensive!! For the amount of work you have to do I would just filter the water through a coffee filter and drop some tabs in it. I took this on a motorcycle trip in the backcountry cycle trails and used it to fill my drinking system from creeks and lakes to… Full review

rated 2 of 5 stars
Katadyn Pocket

Consistency in filtering is an issue. Weight is heavy and constant cleaning of filter, along with difficulty in usage, make this a "miss" for filter choice. I'm confident of the effectiveness in filtering—I have drank some poor quality water and never got sick. I have had lots of problems though. It sometimes clogs and is very difficult to pump. It requires scrubbing of the ceramic filter very often, meaning you have to take apart to clean, lose pressure, and risk having it not work properly. Full review

rated 5 of 5 stars
Katadyn Drip Gravidyn

The Gold Standard. Okay, obviously this isn't something to be carried on the trail—with the possible exception of a large group hike. For base camp, car camping, cabins, remote outposts it cannot be beat.  The instructions must be read carefully. The units that incorporate activated charcoal internally of the ceramic have a "6 Month" lifespan. This is only a factor for continuous use. If the elements are cleaned and dried then their lifespan is practically unlimited, on the order of several thousand… Full review

rated 5 of 5 stars
Platypus GravityWorks Filter System 4L

Perfect for individual or small group use in BWCAW. I've now used this filter system for two BWCAW trips, two nights in August and five nights in October. The August trip taught me the necessity of taking care when collecting water, to avoid clogging the filter. In October I had zero issues, partly because I took care to rinse out the dirty water bag each time before refilling it. I didn't need to do any back flushing in five nights/six days. Full review

rated 5 of 5 stars
Katadyn Hiker

A good alternative to treatment pills. I have used the older PUR version of this filter for the past 20+ years to purify all our drinking and cooking water each hiking day. Find a flowing water source if possible, they say 20 feet of tumbling water is somewhat clean. I would not expect this filter to clean water from a stagnant pond that horses use.  I have tried treatment pills, but don't like the idea. I cover the inlet filter screen with a double paper coffee filter held in place by a rubber… Full review

rated 2.5 of 5 stars
HydroBlu Go Flow Water Gravity Bag with Versa Flow Water Filter

Hydroblu's Go Flow Water Gravity Bag with the Versa Flow Filter is a lightweight, efficient way to filter for a group of people. Comparable to the Sawyer Mini, the Versa has an impressive flow rate. Water filtration can be tricky to navigate. Factors like external temperature, filter flow rate, and weight might go into your choice. If you're into ultralight backpacking, chances are that you've owned a Sawyer Squeeze or a Mini. But the birth of Hydroblu's Versa Flow Filter has me intrigued. Offering… Full review

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
MSR HyperFlow Microfilter

More efficient than the TrailShot and lighter than the MiniWorks, this filter is ideal for solo trips where water is free flowing and clear. Filters protozoa and bacteria, but not viruses. Weighing 221g, MSR claim the Hyperflow filter works down to 0.2microns and will filter 99.99% (see the caveat there) of bacteria and protozoa with an output of 2.75l per minute though you'd have to be pumping pretty hard and fast to achieve anything like this kind of flow rate. The cartridge has a 1,000l lifespan… Full review