A good water purifier is a crucial piece of equipment for taking backpacking. If the water is cloudy, of course, then it’s probably a good idea to have a water filter too, but for water that looks good and clean to begin with, all you really need is a water purifier to make the water drinkable. There are some distinct advantages for water purifiers over water filters. The best water purifier for backpacking, for instance, will be light enough that you wont even know you’re carrying it.
Best Water Purifier for BackpackingWhat to consider when looking to buy the best water purifier for backpacking.
- Timeframe – The main disadvantage of a water purifier for backpacking, as opposed to a water filter, is that you have to wait for a water purifier to do its thing. Depending on the purification method, you can be waiting hours for all of the bad things in your water to be neutralized, so that you can then drink the water.
- Purification Method – There is also more than one way to purify water. UV light, for example, is a good, and relatively fast method for purifying large amounts of water quickly. Chemicals are another option that backpackers often take advantage of, mainly because they’re so lightweight and simple to use.
Best Water Purifier for Backpacking ReviewsReviews of some of the best water purifiers for backpacking with.
- Katadyn Micropur Purification Tablets - The first and best option for many backpackers is chemical purification. The main drawback of tablets like these is that they take four hours to purify your water, so you might get a little thirsty while you wait for them to work. But the upside is that the 30 tablet package will purify 30 liters of water, and the whole thing weighs 25 grams, which is less than 1 gram per liter of water. You cant get much lighter than that.
- Hydro Photon SteriPEN Adventurer Opti - The other major way to get your water purified is to treat it with UV light. The upside to UV light is that it works quickly. The Adventurer Opti will purify at a rate of 8 minutes per gallon, which is a lot less than the 4 hours for the tablets. The downside is that you need to replace the batteries every 50 liters, so you might need to carry extra batteries on a longer trip. The unit weighs 3.6 ounces, or 102 grams.
- MSR SweetWater Water Purifier System - The SweetWater is more of a purifier system, as the name suggests. It's actually a combination of a .2 micron filter and a chlorine purification system, so that your water gets both filtered and purified before you drink it. Which might be overkill for relatively clean water, but likely just the thing for really dirty water. The SweetWater puts out 1+ liters per minute, and weighs in at 14 ounces, or 396 grams.