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 December 2, 2020. Stores' prices and availability are updated daily.
Recent Water Treatment Product Reviews
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
I was gifted a Grayl by someone who knows that I have occasionally taken risks with drinking stream water on hiking trips, so far so good but it drove them crazy. This filter is highly effective, durable, no parts to hunt around my pack for, will suffice for day hikes and longer hikes and acts like a great water bottle. I love it! Full review
I have been testing the Grayl GeoPress Purifier, a new, large capacity water filtration bottle, while canoeing, canoe camping, and day hiking this summer and fall. For the past three years, I have used a Grayl Ultralight Water Filter bottle, to provide clean and safe water for me and my dogs while canoeing and camping. I reviewed that bottle here on Trailspace on 10/14/18, and since then have continued to carry that bottle in my canoe bag, and occasionally, in my backpack side pockets. The new GeoPress… Full review
The Sawyer Micro Squeeze is a very lightweight, compact, and versatile water filtration system with a long lifespan that will help keep you safely hydrated on the trail. You can drink directly from the water source with the included straw or filter water from the included bladder using the squeeze method or from disposable water or soda bottles using the gravity method. Once filtered it's ready to drink or store in the vessel of your choice, and you can even direct line to hydration packs. Sawyer… Full review
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
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 became available to the consumer market in spring 2020. The Thru-Link 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 very good flow, but depending on how you… Full review
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
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
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