What to do About Water – The Best Survival Water Filters

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Clean water is essential for life. The average person needs about 2 liters of safe drinking water each day in order to survive, more if the weather is hot or they are engaged in demanding physical activity.

A gallon of water weighs just over 8 pounds. Whether you’re on a multi-day hike or on your way to your bug-out location, that’s a lot of water to carry. Especially if you have to physically carry enough drinking water to last for several days. And if you’ll be preparing food, you’ll need safe, clean water for cooking, too.

With a good survival water filter, you can refill your water supply as you go, replenishing from streams, rivers, or other sources. The water filter works to remove all of the dangerous impurities and leave you with safe, refreshing, life-giving water.

There are a lot of water filters on the market, and some of them make some pretty amazing claims. Knowing which survival water filter works best can be confusing. This is an important decision, one that could potentially save your life, so you definitely want to take it seriously.

We’ve cut through all of the sales pitches and marketing promises to help you find the best survival water filters on the market today.

Picture

Water Filter

Type

Output

Price

Rating

msr gravity filter.jpg

MSR AutoFlow Gravity Filter

Gravity

1.75 liters per minute

$$$$

4.5

platypus gravity works.jpg

Platypus GravityWorks 4.0L Water Filter System

Gravity

1.75 liters per minute

$$$$

4.5

katadyn hiker.jpg

Katadyn Hiker Pro Microfilter

Pump

1 liter per minute

$$

4.5

msr miniworks.jpg

MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter

Pump

1 liter per minute

$$$

4.4

lifestraw.jpg

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

Straw

n/a

$

4.7

sawyer mini.jpg

Sawyer Products SP128 Mini Water Filtration System

Straw

n/a

$

4.7

3 Things to Consider When Choosing a Survival Water Filter

Types of Water Filters.

  • Gravity Filters. This type of filter uses gravity to pull unclean water through the filtration medium and out into a reservoir or water bottle as clean potable water. These filters are easy to use and are particularly handy if you need to filter large amounts of water to sustain a family or large group. However, they can be difficult to fill from a shallow water source, and you have to wait for gravity to do its work, so you won’t exactly have clean water on demand.
  • Pump Filters. These filters utilize a pumping mechanism to draw water from a source and force it through the filter and into your bottle. With this type of filter, you can pull water from even the most shallow of puddles. They can unfortunately take some physical energy to use. This can be a major drawback if you are weak or otherwise physically tired.
  • Straw Filters. Practically as easy as drinking through a straw. Basically, you stick one end in the dirty water and suck water through the filter. It comes out the other end as safe drinking water. This type of filter is lightweight, compact, and easy to use. However, if you need extra water for cooking or cleaning, or even brushing your teeth, this type of filter just isn’t going to cut it.

Removal of Protozoa and Bacteria

You have to be concerned about more than dirt and grit in your drinking water. The real danger can’t even be seen with the naked eye. Microscopic protozoa and bacteria can make you dangerously sick.You need a water filter that removes all of the wiggly creatures you aren’t able to see.

All of the water filters we’ve recommended here remove protozoa and bacteria as tiny as 0.2 microns. So, you can trust these water filters to keep even the smallest microscopic critters out of your drinking water.

Replacement Filters.

All filters need to replaced after a time. Stocking and carrying replacement filters with you is something you need to take into consideration when choosing a survival water filter. Some filters are capable of filtering thousands of gallons before they need to be replaced. Others only last through a few gallons.

Make sure you know what kind of replacement filter you need, as well as how often it needs to be replaced, and make sure you plan accordingly.

Survival Water Filter Reviews

msrgravityfilterMSR AutoFlow Gravity Filter

FILTER TYPE: Gravity
OUTPUT: 1.75 liters per minute

PROS: BPA free, full 4 liter capacity, includes universal bottle adapter, convenient strap to hand while filtering, easy field cleaning

CONS: expensive, may need to use a cup to fill dirty water reservoir from shallow water sources.

Platypus GravityWorks 4.0L Water Filter System

FILTER TYPE: Gravity
OUTPUT: 1.75 liters per minute

PROS: BPA free, full 4 liter capacity, easy field cleaning

CONS: expensive, may need to use a cup to fill dirty water reservoir from shallow water sources, filter may freeze in extreme cold temperatures.

Katadyn Hiker Pro Microfilter

FILTER TYPE: Pump
OUTPUT: 1 liter per minute

PROS: BPA free, includes, field maintenance kit, lightweight, compact size, compatible with hydration bladders.

CONS: filter can clog over time, handle and intake valve do not seem very durable.

MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter

FILTER TYPE: Pump
OUTPUT: 1 liter per minute

PROS: BPA free, screws onto wide-mouth bottles, can be cleaned repeatedly for full filter recovery.

CONS: Pump takes some effort to use, relatively heavy, ceramic filter is fragile.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

FILTER TYPE: Straw

PROS: inexpensive, lightweight, compact, BPA free, filters up to 1000 Liters, comes in a sealed bag that ensures safe storage for emergencies.

CONS: Filters only for immediate consumption.

Sawyer Products SP128 Mini Water Filtration System

FILTER TYPE: Straw

PROS: inexpensive, lightweight, compact, BPA free, includes syringe for easy field cleaning, filters up to 378,000 Liters

CONS: Filters only for immediate consumption.

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