Are you looking for the best water filter for travel? When it is about drinking water you should be more careful as unpurified water may be very harmful and even it may destroy your whole trip. Using a portable water purifier bottle will dramatically improve your traveling and hiking experience.
In the following article, we take a look at some of the best travel water filters with their key features, pros, and cons.
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Why Should You Use Reusable Filtered Water Bottles?
If you are a travel buff, a portable water bottle with a filter should be your best and most important companion. Many travelers prefer to buy packaged drinking water bottles when traveling abroad or in an area where the water is not safe.
As a responsible budget traveler, I never promote buying packaged drinking water. I know it is safe and good practice to be safe while traveling in an unknown country. But why not using a water filter for travel?
A portable travel water filter not only eliminates the chance of getting sick while traveling but also helps to reduce and eliminate single-use plastics that are polluting our environment.
And most importantly, a travel water filter saves a lot of money. I’m a budget traveler and I know the value of every single penny. If you spend $2 a day on bottled water, it can cost you more than $700 on a year-long trip.
All of these filtered water bottles and travel water purifiers are under $100. You may also like to read another article on how do I save money on food while traveling.
Is A Portable Water Filter Worth It For Travel?
Travel water filters are not too expensive. As mentioned earlier, you can easily find some of the best water filters for travel under $100 on Amazon. This is also considered one of the most important camping essentials.
A portable travel water bottle with a filter can save money, the environment, and your body. With a travel water purifier bottle, you can carry less water and fill up as you go. This is a great help for your shoulders while going for a long hike or long day travel across the globe.
So yes, a small investment on a travel water filter or a water purifier bottle is completely worth it.
What to Look for a Travel Water Filter Bottle?
Assuming that you are convinced to buy a portable water filter for travel. With a rise in international travel, you will get to see the abundance of water filters and water purifiers in the market. Don’t be puzzled while choosing the best portable water purifier for travel. Here are some important things to consider when buying a water filter or purifier.
Carbon filters are the best for removing heavy metals and bacterial contaminants. The Straw filter is also a common type of filter where you suck on the mouthpiece and the water is filtered through the straw on its way up.
While a straw filter gives you instant access to filtered water, a Gravity filter usually works slowly but allows you to filter a large amount of water. A Pump filter is a simple and easy process. Once you pump the water through the filter you can drink it for up to 48 hours.
The pore size of the water filter indicates the smallest particle that can pass through the filter. Experts recommend buying a water filter for travel that has at least a 0.1-micron filter to remove microorganisms, microplastics, and silt.
Metal bottles are increasing in popularity for their durability and effectiveness, but they are a little bit heavy and pricy. If you buy a plastic water purifier bottle for travel, don’t forget to check if it is BPA-free, else it may cause some serious decease.
Water Filter or Purifier:
Water filters are very effective to remove protozoan cysts and bacteria, not viruses. Viruses are too small that can be eliminated by a water purifier. If you are traveling to a developing country, you can consider buying a water purifier.
Best Water Filter for Travel
Grayl is one of the best and renowned brands for filtered water bottles. Whether you’re out for hiking, biking, camping, traveling, or fishing, the Grayl GeoPress water bottle will impress you with its purifying ability and patented OnePress technology.
GeoPress is lightweight and removes 99.9% of all viruses, bacteria, and protozoa. No more waiting for gravity-fed filters GeoPress filters any chemicals, metals, pesticides, and odors out of the water in 8 sec. In addition, there is no setup time.
It has a compact design and can be fit in your backpack easily. Their SimpleVent Drink Cap vents air while purifying and protects the water against dirt or potential cross-contamination.
- Removes 99.9% pathogen
- Patented OnePress technology
- LED flashlight
- Provides a neoprene case and belt loop
- 24-ounce capacity perfect for longer backpacking or camping trips
- Filters water in 8 seconds!
- Non-slip bottom
- Great taste and clarity after filtering
- SimpleVent Drink Cap makes drinking easy
- Doesn’t fit well into drink holders
- Not as lightweight as the GRAYL Ultralight
LifeStraw is another popular brand for its filter and purifier products. If you are looking for a water filter for backpacking, go for Lifestraw Go Water Bottle. It is easy for everyday use, affordable, and an excellent choice for hiking, biking, and travel within the US.
Their two-stage activated carbon filter technology removes 99.9999% of bacteria, protozoan cysts, microplastics, unpleasant chlorine, and other odors from the water. You just need to fill the bottle up, re-insert the straw filter and suck through it.
The manufacturers recommend replacing the water filter every three months. Although it can efficiently remove bacteria and protozoan cysts, this water filter travel bottle doesn’t remove viruses and heavy metals. So, I wouldn’t recommend this product to use in developing countries where the tap water isn’t safe to drink.
- 22-ounce capacity
- Two-stage carbon filtering
- Removes chlorine, organic chemicals, microplastics, and odor
- Leak-proof design
- Longer lifetime
- Easy to use
- Two-stage filtering technology proves its efficiency
- Removes 99.99% of bacteria, chemicals, and microplastics
- Doesn’t REMOVE viruses
- Doesn’t REMOVE heavy metals(Lead)
- Cannot REMOVE bad tastes totally, just reduces
- not good for travel in developing countries
Nalgene has been making water filter bottles and water purifiers for years. Most of their products are pretty affordable but they never compromised with their product quality. And when it comes to portable water filters for travel, hiking, or camping, Epic Nalgene OG Ultimate Travel Bottle is the go-to choice for many travelers.
The filters remove pretty much everything you can expect to find in drinking water. From PFOA, fluorides, chlorine to bacteria, viruses, cysts, its filters can remove pretty much everything from the water.
Its activated carbon filter can effectively remove heavy metals and odor. Even if you are planning a long hike, camping, or visiting a country with unsafe water sources, this 32-oz filtered travel bottle can remove more impurities than an average water filtering bottle.
- Removes 99.99% of tap water impurities
- Uses BPA-free plastic
- Activated carbon filters
- Reusable everyday use product
- Passed NSF testing
- Activated carbon filter removes 99.9% of viruses, bacteria, and cysts
- Removes 99.9% of chlorine, lead, heavy metals, and odors
- Suitable for more than one person(32 oz)
- Silicone sipping straw
- Durable and reusable.
- Excellent for daily use and travel
- It is not for you if looking for a small filtered travel water bottle.
- Doesn’t fit most cup holders in cars.
GRAYL is maintaining its brand value for the last few years by serving top-notch quality and keeping harmful pathogens out of your water. Grail Ultralight and Grail Geo press both are my favorite.
Generally, I use Ultralight for daily use, on a plane, short day hike whereas Geopress is perfect for camping and long hikes where I need more water. It came with great help while I was exploring the hiking trails in Southern California.
You can easily fit this small, super-light water purifier bottle into a backpack pocket, or in a bag which makes it very convenient to travel with.
The GRAYL Ultralight uses an activated charcoal filter that eliminates 99.9% of viruses, bacteria, and protozoan from the water. It also filters out chemicals and bad smells from the water to make it more refreshing and healthy.
GRAYL Ultralight takes only 15 seconds to filter the entire bottle of 16 oz. This high-rated travel water purifier bottle is very simple to use. Fill up the bottle and just press the button on the lid and the bacteria and chemical-free water are ready to drink.
- 16-ounce capacity
- Three purifying technologies
- Filtering in 15 seconds
- 99.99% pathogen removal
- Removes 99.9% of viruses, bacteria, protozoa, chemicals, and odors.
- Ultra-lightweight making it ideal for travel and hiking
- Filter the entire 16 oz of water in 15 seconds
- Great taste
- No sipping lid like the larger GeoPress model below
- Not recommended for camping and long hiking when you need more water.
If you want to take your water filtration to the next level of safety, you must take a close look at Katadyn Vario Water Filter. It is one of the best water filters for travel. Katadyn Vario is stylish, effectively designed and it uses dual technology(Katadyn carbon core and cleanable ceramic disc) microfilter to remove the bacteria, microplastics, and protozoa.
At only 1.6 pounds in weight, you’ll barely feel this small device in your backpack. Its efficient filtering system can produce up to 2 quarts of water per minute in the faster flow mode.
The charcoal filters are capable to remove most of the bacterias, unpleasant tastes, and odors, making the water drinkable and good tasting. You can attach the pump to a wide range of bottles, and water-holding bags.
- Includes Prefilter, Deluxe Carry Bag, and Cleaning Pad
- Cartridge Capacity: Up to 500 gallons
- Filters up to 2 liters per minute
- Dual technology: Replaceable Katadyn carbon core and cleanable ceramic disc
- Weight: 15 oz, Height: 6.5”
- Simple, easy to use, and light.
- Removes 99.99% bacteria and protozoan cysts
- Perfect for small group camping
- The pump can stop by air locking the piston and valve.
- Cannot remove viruses.
The Seychelle Rad/Advanced Water Filter Bottle is one of my favorite water purifier bottles that I can use for daily use, traveling, hiking, and camping.
Seychelle has been producing various types of bottles for years, but if you are looking safest water bottle for travel that can protect you from swallowing bacteria, pathogens, chemicals, and pesticides, go with the Seychelle Rad/Advanced Filtered Water Bottle.
Its Ionic Adsorption Micro Filtration technology absorbs or removes 4 types of contaminants including viruses, bacteria, and other waterborne pathogens from the water.
Most other bottles in this list are only efficient against common impurities. But the Seychelle Rad/Advanced water filter bottle removes even radioactive contaminants such as radium 226 and cesium 137.
- Ionic Adsorption Micro Filtration technology
- 28-ounce capacity and BPA-free plastic body
- Removes chemical contaminants
- Suitable for camping and emergency kits
- Works very fast and ready to drink
- Provides a sipping straw
- Removes 99.9% of bacteria, chemicals, odors, and radioactive contaminants.
- It has a non-slip grip, easy to grab.
- Larger in size, not recommended to travel with on a plane.
- Some users have reported leaking near the lid area
Whether you are in an emergency or passionate about traveling, hiking, and camping, Sawyer Products SP131 is one of the best water filters for travel. This model is highly effective when you are traveling in an unknown country or hiking a remote trail where water is not safe to drink.
Weighing just 3 ounces, it removes more than 99.9% of the bacteria and protozoan cyst and provides filtered water very fast. You have to find a river, lake, or any water source, fill the 32-ounce pouches with dirty water, and squeeze them into a clean bottle.
Sawyer Products SP131 has an ingenious adapter to transfer the filtered water from the 32-ounce pouch to your drinking bottle, or any reservoir. It rids the water of 100% microplastics, making it safe and tasty for drinking.
- Ultralight high performance 0.1 Micron inline filter
- BPA-free collapsible pouch
- Comes with an ingenious adapter to transfer filtered water
- Uses Squeeze Filter technology
- Removes 99.99% of all bacteria, and microplastics.
- Long-Lasting travel filter water bottle. Can filter up to 1 million gallons without replacing the filter cartridge.
- Perfect for travel, outdoor adventures, or emergency preparedness
- Super lightweight with a fast flow rate.
- 32-ounce reusable squeeze pouch can be rolled up when empty and takes less space
- Collecting water with the pouches in the shallow can be challenging.
- Need more effort than gravity filters.
- Pouches built quality could be better.
LifeStraw’s flagship product on the water filter and purifier is praised globally. The best thing about LifeStraw is that they produce top-quality models at a very reasonable price. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is a great pick for budget travelers and backpackers who are looking for affordable water filters for travel.
The hollow fiber membrane technology can transform contaminated water into clean and safe drinking water within a second. Even if you don’t travel frequently you can keep this small portable water filter in your house for any uncertain natural disaster or emergency event.
LifeStraw water filter is small in size but it can filter around 1000 liters of water, and remove 99.99% of bacteria and protozoan cysts. It is made from BPA-free materials and doesn’t use any chemicals to filter out harmful particles.
- Only 2 oz, need no batteries or pumping
- Removes 99.999999% of waterborne bacteria and parasites
- Passed all the testing standards by the US EPA, NSF, ASTM for water purifiers
- The longer lifetime with 1000 gallons filter
- One of the cheapest portable water filters for travel
- Ultralight and takes less space
- Easy to use and easy to carry
- Longer lifetime
At high altitudes, suction can be a little tough.
It is an all-rounder in this list of the best water filter for travel. OKO H2O Advanced Filtration Water Bottle is a great choice for everyday use to traveling and outdoor adventures. This filtered water bottle is lightweight, inexpensive, and can filter up to 100 gallons of water.
The water filter bottle is made from BPA-free hard plastic and it has a good grip with a soft mouthpiece. The OKO bottle can remove 99.99% bacteria, protozoa, parasites, chemicals, and heavy metals from the water. It is also effective to remove viruses with a pore size of 2 microns.
- Removes 99.99% bacteria and pathogen removal
- Removes 100% microplastics
- 100 gallons filter lifetime
- BPA-free hard plastic
- Extremely lightweight (5.2 oz bottle weight)
- Level 2 filter is very effective while traveling in developing countries
- Sleek design with a soft mouthpiece
- Has a large bottle size of 1 liter
- Easy to grip
- Might be too big to put in your backpack
- It is a little tough to suck the water due to the extra filtering
If you are looking for the best water filters for hikers, I will highly recommend SteriPen Adventurer Opti UV Water Purifier. A small and simple device that you can carry anywhere.
It can destroy over 99.9 percent of harmful microorganisms like bacteria, viruses, and protozoan cysts. It is just a one-button operation, you just need to place the SteriPen into your glass, or bottle, and then click the button. Once the purification process is completed, the green light will blink and the water is ready to drink.
The pen can be reused for around 8000 liters. Remember that the SteriPen device is operated by batteries. So, carry extra CR123 batteries while going for long hiking or camping.
- UV water purifier
- Kills more than 99.99% of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa
- Filters up to 80000 liters
- LED flashlight for water sensor
- Virus killing efficiency is ideal for traveling in developing countries where the tap waters are not safe.
- Offers the best taste
- Compact design and longer lifetime of the filters
- Little expensive but under $100
- Some users reported that it consumes more power. Keep extra CR123A batteries handy.