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, 2021. Stores' prices and availability are updated daily.
Recent Water Treatment Product Reviews
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
Lightweight and easy to use water filtration system. I have had my Adventurer for more than 10 years. It works using a UV light. I was skeptical about this, but my dad used to design sewage treatment plants and said "oh yeah, that will do it." The Steripen itself is very compact—about 2 inches wide and about 8 inches long. I have even stuffed it in a purse when flying across the country. This was a huge benefit over the Katadyn Hiker pump I had been using previously in both weight (SteriPen… Full review
I bought this product years ago, when it was newly on the market. There are too many "Caution Statements" not fully covered in the instructions. All of this may have been addressed since then... Perhaps not. (From ORIGINAL Instruction Booklet)Notice in the instruction book's photo, there are NO DROPLETS on the glass, above the water line… Because they will NOT be cleaned. Cautions—not fully explained! These are not listed or explained in the instruction booklet! When you dip your Nalgene bottle… Full review
2.6 ounces, no pumping, nothing to clog, 90 seconds treated water I have a Steripen Adventurer that I've used off and on for several years. It's never given me any trouble, but utilizes CR123 batteries, while my headlamps use AAA. It's pretty light, but not crazy light. The Steripen Ultralight weighs under 3 oz (2.6 oz) and is very compact. It utilizes a rechargeable battery (via a USB Micro). I purchased one a couple of months ago and took it on a short (3 days/2 nights) backpacking trip. It… Full review
This filter is an overpriced dog. As it is small I give it the 2.5 stars, but the 2.5 minus is based on practical use and volume of water per pumping labor time. It is slow and ridiculously slow... Thumb size replacement filter cartridges are expensive!! For the amount of work you have to do I would just filter the water through a coffee filter and drop some tabs in it. I took this on a motorcycle trip in the backcountry cycle trails and used it to fill my drinking system from creeks and lakes to… Full review
The MSR Guardian Gravity Purifier is an all-in-one water treatment system that is ideal for groups, or people needing potable water in larger volumes. Not only removing bacteria, protozoa, sediment and particulate, MSR’s new flagship purifier also removes the tiniest viruses, while also using activated charcoal to improve flavor and reduce chemicals. The Guardian’s new purge valve quickly and easily cleans the filter to maximize flow rate, removing debris. Mountain Safety Research (MSR) is no… Full review
The Grayl UL is heavier and more expensive than in-line filters like the Sawyer Mini or Squeeze. But when we consider that it doesn’t require a container and also filters out viruses and chemicals/odors, it shows some advantages. It’s an all-in-one solution, good for outdoor use, but perhaps even more for emergencies: for those qualities I keep one new in my bug-out-bag. I see the Grayl UL as more of an all-in-one solution to water treatment and storage than a simple filtration system. I can… Full review