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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 May 31, 2022. Stores' prices and availability are updated daily.

user rating: 5 of 5 (6)
Platypus GravityWorks Filter System 2L Pump/Gravity Filter
$80 - $109
user rating: 5 of 5 (5)
MSR Guardian Purifier Purifier
$292 - $389
user rating: 5 of 5 (4)
Grayl GeoPress Bottle/Inline Filter / Purifier
$90 - $99
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (29)
Sawyer MINI Bottle/Inline Filter
$21 - $48
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (20)
Platypus GravityWorks Filter System 4L Pump/Gravity Filter
$90 - $119
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (16)
Katadyn Pocket Pump/Gravity Filter
$395
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (9)
Aquamira Water Treatment Drops Chemical Treatment
$15
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
LifeStraw Original Bottle/Inline Filter
$15
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
HydroBlu Versa Flow Bottle/Inline Filter
$22
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (6)
Katadyn Micropur MP1 Purification Tablets Chemical Treatment
$10 - $15
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (3)
Grayl Ultralight Bottle/Inline Filter / Purifier
$70
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)
Aquamira WaterBasics RED Line Filter Bottle Bottle/Inline Filter
$50 - $59
user rating: 5 of 5 (1)
Katadyn BeFree Gravity 3.0L Pump/Gravity Filter
$56 - $124
user rating: 4 of 5 (51)
Katadyn Hiker PRO Pump/Gravity Filter
$67 - $89
user rating: 4 of 5 (32)
Sawyer Squeeze Bottle/Inline Filter
$29 - $49
user rating: 4 of 5 (31)
Katadyn Hiker Pump/Gravity Filter
$60 - $79
user rating: 4 of 5 (11)
SteriPEN Adventurer Opti Purifier
$100 - $119
user rating: 4 of 5 (7)
Katadyn BeFree 0.6L Bottle/Inline Filter
$34 - $64
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
Sawyer Micro Squeeze Bottle/Inline Filter
$29
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
Katadyn Carbon Cartridge Accessory
$27
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
MSR Guardian Gravity Purifier Purifier
$250 - $269
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
LifeSaver Liberty Bottle/Inline Filter
$83 - $124
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (1)
Platypus QuickDraw Microfilter System Pump/Gravity Filter
$36 - $44
user rating: 4 of 5 (2)
Sawyer Water Filter Squeeze Pouch Accessory
$10
user rating: 4 of 5 (1)
MSR Thru-Link Bottle/Inline Filter
$34 - $44
user rating: 4 of 5 (1)
Katadyn Hiker/Hiker PRO/Base Camp Replacement Element Accessory
$41 - $54
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (41)
MSR MiniWorks EX Pump/Gravity Filter
$90 - $119
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (30)
Katadyn Vario Microfilter Pump/Gravity Filter
$82 - $109
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (17)
MSR HyperFlow Microfilter Pump/Gravity Filter
$100 - $134
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (1)
MSR Trail Base Water Filter Kit Pump/Gravity Filter
$120 - $169
user rating: 3.5 of 5 (1)
SteriPEN Ultra UV Water Purifier Purifier
$130
user rating: 3 of 5 (3)
LifeSaver Jerrycan Pump/Gravity Filter
$320
HydroBlu Go Flow Water Gravity Bag with Versa Flow Water Filter Pump/Gravity Filter
$50
Platypus Meta Bottle + Microfilter Purifier
$29 - $32
user rating: 2.5 of 5 (2)
LifeStraw Mission Gravity Water Purifier Pump/Gravity Filter
$92
user rating: 2 of 5 (2)
SteriPEN Ultralight UV Purifier Purifier
$90
Aqua Research H2gO Global Purifier
$99
LifeStraw Peak Series Gravity Filter System 3L Pump/Gravity Filter
$60
MSR Home Emergency Water Filter Bottle/Inline Filter
$35 - $46
user rating: 5 of 5 (13)
First Need Deluxe Water Purifier Purifier
user rating: 5 of 5 (5)
Katadyn Combi Pump/Gravity Filter
$220 MSRP
user rating: 5 of 5 (4)
First Need Deluxe Water Purifier XL Purifier
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (8)
CamelBak All Clear Bottle/Inline Filter / Purifier
$99 MSRP
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
Sawyer PointOne Filter with Bucket Adapter Bottle/Inline Filter
user rating: 5 of 5 (2)
CamelBak Groove Bottle/Inline Filter
$25 MSRP
user rating: 4.5 of 5 (2)
Sawyer Inline Water Filter Bottle/Inline Filter

Recent Water Treatment Product Reviews

rated 2 of 5 stars
LifeSaver Bottle

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

rated 5 of 5 stars
Aquamira WaterBasics RED Line Filter Bottle

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! 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 trip I was dehydrated due to the hassle of finding a good source to use my hand-pump filter when I needed water. I decided on the Aquamira Red… Full review

rated 2 of 5 stars
Katadyn BeFree 0.6L

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

rated 1 of 5 stars
SteriPEN Adventurer Opti

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

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
SteriPEN Adventurer Opti

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

rated 5 of 5 stars
Platypus GravityWorks Push-Pull Cap Adapter

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

rated 5 of 5 stars
Grayl GeoPress

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

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