When hiking, camping, backpacking or doing just about anything else in the outdoors, you need fresh drinking water. And if you can bring some with you that's great, but to safely drink the water that's already out there, you will need a hiking water filter. A water filter will get rid of all the bad stuff in the water, making it more or less safe to drink.
Hiking Water FilterWhat to look for from hiking water filters.
- Lightweight - If you are going to be carrying a water filter with you in the outdoors, it might as well be a lightweight water filter. Some of them can get rather heavy, but there is no real reason to carry something heavy, when there is a perfectly good lightweight option.
- Method of Filtration - You might think that pumping is the only way to get water through a filter, but you would be wrong. There are other methods of filtration, and even alternatives to filtering altogether.
Best Hiking Water FilterRecommendations on the best hiking water filter.
- MSR HyperFlow Microfilter - The HyperFlow won the 2008 Backpacker Magazine Editor's Choice award, and has gone through some improvements since then to make it even better. It will pump three liters of water per minute, and will go a total of 1000 liters before the filter needs replacing. It also weighs just 7.8 ounces, or 221 grams, which is more than light enough for most people.
- Platypus Gravity Works Filter - This water filter from Platypus is a good example of something a little different. Rather than using your hard work on the pump to get water, this filter uses gravity to get the water through the filter. It gives you 1.75 liters of water per minute, and will go for 1501 liters before the filter needs replacing. It does weigh a bit more, however, at 10.7 ounces, or 304 grams.
- Katadyn Hiker PRO Water Filter - The Hiker PRO is another pump filter. It weighs a little more than the comparable HyperFlow above, at 11 ounces, or 310 grams, but it also gets top marks for being easy to clean, while the HyperFlow is sometimes criticized as being difficult to clean in the field. It also only pumps 1 liter per minute, and the filter needs to be replaced every 750 liters, so it does fall short in a few other areas as well. Still, it's a very popular pump water filter.
Alternatives to Hiking Water FiltersWater filters are not the only way to make your water drinkable. If your water is already reasonably clear, and all you're concerned about is the things you cant see lurking inside your water bottle, then a water purifier might be the answer. The SteriPEN Adventurer, for instance, uses a blast of UV light to instantly kill just about everything lurking in your water. No pumping or waiting, just clean water instantly.
Find other hiking water filtering options at the compare hiking water filters page.