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
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
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
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
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
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