Water Treatment

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 water treatment, reviewed and curated by the Trailspace community. The latest review was added on January 13, 2020. Stores' prices and availability are updated daily.

Recent Water Treatment Product Reviews

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 4 of 5 stars
MSR Thru-Link

The MSR Thru-Link inline filter is a two-stage water filter design that MSR has been providing to the U.S. military for more than a decade; it will be available to the consumer market in spring 2020. The filter is unique in that it is configured to be used in-line with a reservoir/bladder that can be filled with unfiltered water on the go and then your water is filtered as you go along on your hike. In use, the Thru-Link Filter works well and has good flow, but depending on how you stow your bladder… Full review

rated 5 of 5 stars
Katadyn BeFree 0.6L

This filter has been a literal lifesaver on my adventures. Its ease of use and modular bottle system allows it to adapt to various needs. Its flow-rate is top notch. I have been using this filtration system for over a year now. Although I have replaced the original filter cartridge due to the slowed flow-rate, it still technically works. Recently, I used this filter for all of my water over five weeks in Nepal. The Khumbu (Everest Region) is beautiful, but the water quality is very poor (many contaminants). Full review

rated 5 of 5 stars
HydroBlu Versa Flow

Lightweight water filter. This 2oz filter employs hollow fiber tubes with thousands of tiny holes (0.1 microns) that block 99.9999% of harmful bacteria, Giardia, E. coli, protozoan cysts, Cryptosporidium and more. Unlike other filters, which filter through their core, the VersaFlow filters water through the outside of these tubes by bending the hollow fiber. This dramatically increases the surface area and flow rate of the filter while protecting the filter integrity itself. I've not yet experienced… Full review

rated 4.5 of 5 stars
LifeSaver Liberty

Water purifier that does it all, even on an easy Sunday morning hike in the forest! "Found a picture in my phone, my daughter made a picture of me, from my best side, using the filter in a stream on a sunday morning, filling the filter with the hose." My first review ever, and in English, so I hope you can read/understand this. I cannot say that I am the most active outdoor person in my country, just consider myself as an outdoor enthousiast. Like walking, hiking with the family on a Sunday or on… 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
Sawyer MINI

Compact, lightweight, and efficient. A perfect companion for the trail. You'll never know that it is in your pack. This is a great filter for backpackers, day hikers, and even those taking to the trail for an extended time. I felt perfectly confident with every use. It clearly worked well as I had no negative effects drinking from lakes, streams, and ponds. This little filter is so small and light you'll never know that it is there. Easy to use and easy to maintain. This is my go-to filter far any… 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 5 of 5 stars
MSR Miox

Amazingly light, and extremely effective purification. I have used this for over 12 years and NEVER had an issue with it ! I have used this device for over 12 years; and in guiding groups of up to six people, I have NEVER had anyone suffer any stomach ailments or discomfort. Ever! But I do not use it the way the manual suggests. By using dirty murky water in the purification reservoir,  I found that friends' MIOX devices eventually corroded the electrodes and rendered them unusable. Instead, what… Full review

user rating: 5 of 5 (6)
Platypus GravityWorks Filter System 2L Pump/Gravity Filter
$90 - $99
user rating: 5 of 5 (6)
MSR Guardian Purifier Purifier
$350
user rating: 5 of 5 (4)
Katadyn Combi Pump/Gravity Filter
$165 - $219
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (28)
Sawyer MINI Bottle/Inline Filter
$20 - $43
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (20)
Platypus GravityWorks Filter System 4L Pump/Gravity Filter
$110 - $119
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (15)
Katadyn Pocket Pump/Gravity Filter
$370
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (9)
Aquamira Water Treatment Drops Chemical Treatment
$14 - $16
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
LifeStraw Original Bottle/Inline Filter
$20
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Grayl Ultralight Purifier
$60 - $69
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
LifeStraw Go Bottle/Inline Filter
$40
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (6)
Katadyn Micropur MP1 Purification Tablets Chemical Treatment
$10 - $14
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (6)
Katadyn BeFree 0.6L Bottle/Inline Filter
$40 - $59
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (2)
Aqua Research H2gO Prime Purifier
$99
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Katadyn Gravity Camp 6L Pump/Gravity Filter
$90
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
HydroBlu Versa Flow Bottle/Inline Filter
$25
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Katadyn Exstream/MyBottle Virustat Kit Accessory
$35
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Sawyer All in One Filter Pump/Gravity Filter
$50
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Katadyn Gravity BeFree 3.0L Pump/Gravity Filter
$55 - $69
user rating: 4 of 5 (51)
Katadyn Hiker PRO Pump/Gravity Filter
$50 - $84
user rating: 4 of 5 (32)
Sawyer Squeeze Pump/Gravity Filter
$35 - $49
user rating: 4 of 5 (31)
Katadyn Hiker Pump/Gravity Filter
$50 - $74
user rating: 4 of 5 (9)
SteriPEN Adventurer Opti Purifier
$90 - $99
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
Katadyn Carbon Cartridge Accessory
$20
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
Potable Aqua Iodine and Taste-Neutralizer Tablets Chemical Treatment
$12
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
LifeSaver Liberty Bottle/Inline Filter
$83
user rating: 4 of 5 (2)
Sawyer Water Filter Squeeze Pouch Accessory
$9
user rating: 4 of 5 (2)
Sawyer Select S1 Bottle/Inline Filter
$45 - $59
user rating: 4 of 5 (1)
Vapur MicroFilter Bottle/Inline Filter
$35
NEW!
user rating: 4 of 5 (1)
MSR Thru-Link Bottle/Inline Filter
$40
user rating: 4 of 5 (1)
Platypus Meta Bottle + Microfilter Purifier
$50
user rating: 4 of 5 (1)
Potable Aqua Pure Purifier
$100
user rating: 4 of 5 (1)
Katadyn Hiker/Hiker PRO/Base Camp Replacement Element Accessory
$40 - $49
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (42)
MSR MiniWorks EX Pump/Gravity Filter
$90 - $139
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (30)
Katadyn Vario Microfilter Pump/Gravity Filter
$10 - $94
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (23)
Katadyn Base Camp Pump/Gravity Filter
$70
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (17)
MSR HyperFlow Microfilter Pump/Gravity Filter
$100
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (4)
MSR MiniWorks Pump/Gravity Filter
$40
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (3)
Katadyn Drip Gravidyn Pump/Gravity Filter
$295 - $317
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (1)
Potable Aqua Chlorine Dioxide Water Purification Tablets Chemical Treatment
$12
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (1)
MSR Trail Base Water Filter Kit Pump/Gravity Filter
$140 - $149
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (1)
SteriPEN Ultra UV Water Purifier Purifier
$100 - $109
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (1)
SteriPEN Classic 3 UV Water Purifier Purifier
$63 - $79
user rating: 3 of 5 (10)
LifeSaver Bottle Bottle/Inline Filter
$109
user rating: 3 of 5 (3)
LifeSaver Jerrycan Pump/Gravity Filter
$225
user rating: 3 of 5 (1)
Sawyer Select S2 Bottle/Inline Filter
$80
user rating: 2.5 of 5 (2)
LifeStraw Mission Gravity Water Purifier Pump/Gravity Filter
$120 - $129
user rating: 2 of 5 (4)
Katadyn Mini Pump/Gravity Filter
$110
NEW!
MSR Home Emergency Water Filter Bottle/Inline Filter
$40
Aqua Research H2gO Global Purifier
$99
user rating: 5 of 5 (13)
First Need Deluxe Water Purifier Purifier
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