There is plenty of water out there in the outdoors, but most of it carries at the least risk of making you unpleasantly sick. For that, you need a backpacking water filter. A filter is a crucial piece of gear for backpackers, as well as campers and hikers. There are any number of contamination sources, both natural and man made, that ruin an otherwise fun backpacking trip. And if you don't like the idea of having to carry a filter around, there are some alternative options as well.
Backpacking Water FilterFeatures to look for when buying your next backpacking water filter.
- Lightweight - Water filters can get rather heavy, but there is no reason to carry a heavy filter when there are plenty of lightweight backpacking water filter options available. Lighter water filters also tend to be smaller, which helps to cut down on bulk in your backpack.
- Filter Lifetime - Filters always need to be replaced after a certain amount of time, but many will need to be replaced sooner than others. By buying a filter with a long lifetime, you will be able to filter more water before you need to buy a replacement.
Best Backpacking Water FilterA few of the very best backpacking water filters.
- Platypus Gravity Works Filter - Why pump when you can let gravity do the work of getting your water through your filter instead. The Gravity Works filter is designed with two pouches, one with the dirty water in it and one for the clean water, and a tube with a filter on it between the two. You hang dirty water higher than the clean water bag, leave for a few minutes and come back to clean water. The Gravity Works weighs 10.75 ounces, or 304 grams, filters 1.75 liters per minute, and will filter 1501 liters of water before you need to replace the filter.
- MSR HyperFlow Microfilter - The HyperFlow is your standard pump water filter. It won the 2008 Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice award, however, which helps to set it apart from the competition. It puts out 3 liters of water per minute, and will last for 1000 liters before you need to replace the filter. Best of all, it weighs just 7.4 ounces, or 209 grams.
- Katadyn Hiker PRO Water Filter - Another standard pump filter, this time from Katadyn. It weighs 10.9 ounces, or 310 grams, and only goes for 750 liters before you need to replace the filter, both of which are worse numbers than the HyperFlow above. Still, it gets plenty of positive reviews, and is a good alternative if you don't like the HyperFlow.