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Katadyn Vario Water Filter - clean water fast

Hiking Water Filter System Buying Guide

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Hiking, backpacking or camping are fun activities and it keeps you in touch with the wild. Do not let dirty water cramp your style by toting along a handy water filter system. Lake, stream or river water might seem pure or untainted up close, but seeing a drop of water samples from those areas under a microscope can be a different story.

Be safe with your drinking water. Here is a helpful guide about water filter systems made for camping and backpacking.

ModelFilter TypeWeightSpecificationsMore Info?
Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System
Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System
0.1 micron filter2 ounces* Attaches to included drinking pouch, standard disposable water bottles, hydration packs, or use the straw to drink directly from your water source
* Removes 99.99999% of all bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera, and E.coli; removes 99.9999% of all protozoa, such as giardia and cryptosporidium
* Filter rated up to 100,000 gallons
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Etekcity Water Filter & Purifier
Etekcity Portable Water Filter Filtration Straw Purifier Survival Gear Emergency Camping Equipment
carbon + 0.01 micron filter4 ounces* 3-Stage advanced filter system
* Removes 99.99999% of waterborne bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera, and E.coli; removes 99.9999% of all protozoa, such as giardia and cryptosporidium
* Filter up to 1,500 liters
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Katadyn Vario Water Filter
Katadyn Vario Water Filter
replaceable Katadyn carbon core and cleanable ceramic disc 0.2 micron15 ounces* A simple turn engages a ceramic pre-filter for long life in dirty water or a pleated glass fiber filter in normal conditions
* Produces up to two quarts per minute in the faster flow mode and one quart per minute in longer life mode
* Replaceable carbon core keeps water tasting fresh; reduces chemicals, odors, and toxins throughout the life of the cartridge
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LifeStraw Mission High-Volume Gravity-Fed Water Purifier
LifeStraw Mission High-Volume 12 liter Gravity-Fed Water Purifier
0.02 micron filter15 ounces* Removes virtually all bacteria (99.9999%), protozoa (99.99%), and Viruses (99.999%) that can contaminate water
* Compact roll-bag reservoir available in 5 liter (1.3 gallon) and 12 liter (3.1 gallon) sizes
* Filters up to 4,755 gallons
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Katadyn Pocket Water Filter
Katadyn Pocket Water Filter
0.2 micron filter20 ounces* Robust water filter
* Impregnated ceramic element is effective against bacteria and protozoa
* Cartridge can clean up to approx. 13,000 gallons
* 20 years warranty
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LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
0.2 micron filter2 ounces* Removes minimum 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria (>LOG 6 reduction) and surpasses EPA standards for water filters
* Removes minimum 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites (>LOG 3 reduction)
* Filters up to 1000 liters of contaminated water
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Potable Aqua Water Tablets
Potable Aqua Water Tablets
None1.5 ounces* Makes water bacteriologically suitable to drink
* One bottle of 50 tablets will treat 25 quarts of water
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Platypus GravityWorks Water Filter System
Platypus GravityWorks 2.0L Water Filter System
0.2 micron filter6.6 ounces* Removal of 99.9999% of bacteria and 99.9% of protozoa
* Microfilter can be easily backflushed in 4 seconds to maintain filter performance
* Filters up to 1,500 liter
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MSR SweetWater Microfilter
MSR SweetWater Microfilter
0.2 micron filter11 ounces* Removes bacteria (99.9999%) and protozoa (99.9%)
* Activated carbon core helps eliminate taste and odors
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Survivor Filter PRO Water Purifier with 3-Stage Nanofiltration Water Filter
Survivor Filter PRO 0.01 Micron Water Purifier
0.01 micron filter10.5 ounces* Removal of 99.9% Virus, Staph and Bacteria and Reduction of Heavy Metals 99.5% of Mercury and 93% Lead
* Dual Membrane Ultra Filters are designed to last 26,417 gallons (100,000 liters)
* Carbon Filter lasts 528 gallons (2,000 liters)
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Etekcity Portable Water Filter Filtration Straw Purifier Survival Gear Emergency Camping Equipment - clean safe waterPortable Water Filter Systems: The Benefits

Water is the key in keeping fit every day and it is a crucial survival element in the wild. If you are obliged to drink from natural water places, having a portable and effective filtration mechanism around will assist in getting rid of possible contaminants that can cause water-borne illnesses. Because carrying additional weight is not practical while covering plenty of miles, you can still have your own supply of water by means of an efficient water filter system.

Different Kinds of Portable Water Filter Systems

Camping and hiking filters are designed specifically to be compact and useful so backpackers can carry them anywhere they go. Here is a list of compact water filter mechanisms.

  • Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System - drink with filterWater bottle with inline filter

Toting a disposable plastic water bottle on a hike is not considered an eco-friendly idea these days. There are billions of plastic water bottles being thrown each all over the world and it can take hundreds of years for a single plastic bottle to eventually decay. But investing on a sole, effective water bottle with an inline filter is beneficial since this kind of item can be used time after time to filter H2O from rivers, streams and lakes.

  • LifeStraw Mission High-Volume Gravity-Fed Water PurifierGravity-fed filter

This device is a pretty straightforward system which employs osmosis filters. As its name specifies, this system makes use of a natural force like gravity to let water flow beneath the filters. Gravity-fed filters at times come in bags that are light and can be folded when empty so it will not take up so much space in your pack.

These bags can decrease up to 99.9% of bacteria, other sorts of harmful microorganisms found on all kinds of water sources.

  • Survivor Filter PRO 0.01 Micron Water Purifier with 3-Stage Nanofiltration Water FilterPump-style filter/purifier

Pump filters can be found anywhere and they are the first filtering items that individuals think of when it comes to water treatment and handling. It cleans water by pumping it throughout a filter that features a pore size which prevents bacteria, viruses, protozoa and pathogens from passing through.

  • UV light pen purifier

This kind of filter makes use of ultraviolet light to produce water that is safe enough to drink. This UV light kills over 99.9% of harmful viruses, bacteria, giardia, protozoa and other kinds of harmful microorganisms. One of the most popular light pen purifiers is the SteriPEN.

LifeStraw Mission High-Volume Gravity-Fed Water Purifier - safe and easy to useDifference Between Filtration and Purification

Each and every water treatment system made for hiking and camping pursuits get rid of unsafe substances and microorganisms to avoid infection and various illnesses. However, people often think that filtration and purification are one and the same. Here is why the two are different from each other.

  • Filtration

Systems made for filtration tasks employ a microfiltration procedure to cleanse water of unhealthy bacteria, other dangerous microorganisms and contaminants to enhance the safety and taste of the water. By making use of this process, expect an end product that is significantly safe, clean and free from awful tastes and odor.

  • Purification

Purification systems typically make use of chemical treatments, UV light being the most common, to get rid of harmful microorganisms like viruses and protozoa. The system is exceedingly efficient in terms of taking away dangerous contaminants but it does not get rid of sediments found on the water nor does it enhance the H2O’s odor or taste. This specific system is also the fastest since it can treat water in just a matter of seconds.

Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System - fill your drink bottleSelecting a Water Filter System for Hiking

Water treatment mechanisms for hiking and camping vary from portable, quick UV pen purifiers down to high-capacity systems. To decide on a product that you indeed need, you have to first narrow down your options. Here are a few suggestions.

  • Think of what kind of contaminants that you want to get rid of. Study the area and the path that you are planning to hike on and know whether it is at risk for a particular contaminant or microorganism then search for a product that can get rid of it. If you are not that certain, search products that can get rid of bacteria, viruses and protozoa in one fell swoop.

Etekcity Portable Water Filter Filtration Straw Purifier Survival Gear Emergency Camping Equipment - instant filtrationIf you just want to get rid of bacteria and viruses, you can make do with a UV pen purifier. If you are going to rely on lake or river water, you can look for a system that is capable of removing sediments.

  • Think about the kind of power that you need for your filter. A number of filters work by means of gravity while others make use of batteries or hand pumps. They are efficient and choosing the power will be based on the conditions and your personal preferences.

If you want something battery-powered, consider having some space on your pack for spare batteries while gravity-fed systems will also take up space on your pack. However the latter is available in foldable bag versions too.

  • Long-distance hikes will benefit from smaller, more portable filter systems but if you are just driving to your destination site and have loads of space, bigger options are okay. You have to consider whether you are hiking solo or with other friends too; there is a wide selection of filter capacities available and they can accommodate solo use to bigger groups.
  • Filtration speed can differ thus you have to consider your patience and need levels. There are pumps which can filter liters of water each minute while others can filter a gallon for an hour—even longer.

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