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 4, 2023. Stores' prices and availability are updated daily.
Recent Water Treatment Product Reviews
The Waterdrop is a versatile water filter system that can be used as a simple straw for a solo traveler, or in conjunction with the included gravity kit to serve a small or medium group. It’s lightweight but sturdy, if not a bit bulkier than some competitors’. Fast water flow and quality of the filtered water is slightly above average according to my experience, making it a good option for camping, backpacking, or traveling. Before researching Waterdrop, I had no idea the company had a massive… Full review
It does filter water, but the whole design is poorly thought out and low functioning. It is the least practical item of travel gear I own. The design is so unbelievably poor I’m amazed they got it through R&D. It leaks constantly, it’s bulky and heavy, the strap isn’t even designed to make it easy to carry, the whole thing is so poorly thought out it beggars belief. Does the filter work? Yes, it filters out bacteria and viruses. I used it for 10 days on Jordan tap water and had no issues… Full review
The Aquamira Red Line filter blocks 99% of bacteria and microbes, plus 99% of viruses. Handy for dipping in the stream on the trail and drinking immediately Aquamira Red Filter Bight that Valve!* Well—the bite valve came off the filter and I had to futz with it to put it back on the filter. May be a hazard of bite valves in general. Was told about Aquamira filter systems by a veteran mountaineer friend. He found it the most efficient way of staying supplied with water in the backcountry. Last… Full review
Works well when it works, but seems to be unreliable. My filter malfunctioned after just 10 days of use in the field, even though I followed the instructions in the manual. I purchased a BeFree filter in March 2018 and used it for a total of 10 days on hiking and kayaking trips here in Australia before the pandemic started. It worked well in that time with a good rate of flow and I liked how simple and compact it was, enabling me to easily filter water even when inside my tent. Two weeks ago, on… Full review
Avoid this company The first SteriPen I got, I never got to use. I tried it at home a couple of times for a couple minutes. Packed it away for 6 months. Pulled it out when I need to actually use it and it never turned on. Charged it, etc... it just stopped working. I think this company is no longer around because when I looked, I couldn't find any contact information. If it is, they rose from the grave. Stay away. Great idea, but a product you can in no way count on. Full review
It works really well. Trusted my health with it on third world travel. I traveled all over India from Sri Lanka in the south to the Himalayas in the north with a 32oz Nalgene bottle and my SteriPen Adventurer Opti. Trusted this product fully with sterilizing my water. If I hadn't used the pen, I would have been sick as a dog like some of my traveling companions who risked it all and didn't heed my warning. Just swish it around in the water for a minute or two while the UV light kills proto and giardia. Full review
MEC description: "This adapter allows Platypus GravityWorks systems to filter and backflush directly with most hydration systems and Platypus bottles that have a push-pull cap." I recommend this piece of equipment for adding functionality to a gravity water filter system. Platypus GravityWorks In-Line Adapter I have the Platypus GravityWorks 4.0L Filter System and this adapter fits perfectly on Platypus push-pull caps which can be purchased separately or come with some Platypus bottles. I just take… Full review
The GeoPress is fast and clean, never leaks, and does a better job of providing super clear water than my Lifestraw did. You do have to use a fair amount of pressure to push it down, but the excellent results are worth it. Oh, and it is also easier to clean with a quick rinse. Use this just like a water bottle—plunge and you are good to go. I have filtered lots of river and pond water with excellent results. No muss, no fuss. If you are just filtering municipal water, get a cheaper, lighter… Full review
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