Best Water Filters For Hiking In 2018 | Recommended By A Pro

As a hiker I know how beneficial a portable filter to instantly drink from the puddle, pond, stream and river without judging how badly the water is infected with bacteria, protozoa and even virus. Because an efficient water filter contains an instant water purification system to slap any water born bacteria that is harmful for human body. You can apply your filter on any restricted water sources where you are not allowed to use the water for direct drinking. These simple but intelligent water filters aren’t bulky and these can take a decent place in your backpack.

But if you use the straw filter, it would always go with your water bottle and you don’t need to find any extra space to store it. You can directly use the filter’s mouthpiece to drink the water.

So after researching the usability of 20 water filters and testing a few of them, we recommend these portable best water filters for hiking.


Five Best Water Filters For Hiking – Comparison And Their Pros And Cons

Hiking Water FiltersCan Filter Up To
(Some May Have Replaceable Cartridge)
Cleanse Power Adjust-ability With Water Bottles Our Ratings Price

Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System

100K Gallons Of Water
(Not Tested, According To
Manufacture's Claim)

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

264 Gallons Of Water99.99%Yes4.7

Etekcity Portable Water Filtration System

1500 Liters Of Water99.99%No
(Bladder Included To Squeeze)

Survivor Filter – Virus Tested Water Filter

100K Liters Of Water99.99%No
(Bladder Included To Squeeze)

Katadyn Hiker Microfilter

200 Gallons Of Water99.99%No
(It Directly Lifts The Fresh Water
From any Source)

Read their specification in below to reveal the reasons why the hiker and backpacker need them.


1)Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System (editor’s choice)

Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System

With the capacity of filtering 100,000 gallons of water the Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System gives like a limitless service. It can be obviously rated as high end portable water filter and the limitations of it to filter the water beats many other competitors. Indeed, it immensely works to cleanse harmful bacteria and protozoa and it nearly kicks out 99.99% harmful stuffs to successfully purify the water of any sources. Its 0.1 micron hollow fiber membrane filter efficiently eliminates the harmful things to join again in the water.

I should let you know that it doesn’t work to eliminate the virus and chemicals! But these lacks wouldn’t be marked as the drawbacks of this filter. Because they are rarely found in North America and on your fair usage, chances are nearly zero to find them in the stream, river and pond. The filter is also remarkable for the extensive versatility, because it can be installed on the water bottle, bladder and water pouch. So the high-end service of it can be enough to impress a user.


  • Extensive lifetime.
  • 0.1 micron hollow fiber membrane filter for high-end purifying.
  • Can be adjusted on water bottles and water bladder.
  • Reusable squeeze pouch for quickly collecting the purified water.


  • Haven’t any weakness that impacts on usage. But it shouldn’t be used to remove the virus and chemicals.

Price: $19.95

2)LifeStraw Personal Water Filter(Our 2nd choice)

 LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

Compared to the first one this water filter of LifeStraw can be used on more addled water. Alongside removing the waterborne harmful bacteria and protozoa, it also prevents the chemicals. So if you use it to purify the addled water, you would get 99.99% clear and bacteria free water. But our first choice has an extensive limitation of treating 100k gallons water, but it is comparably very limited and only can filter 1k liter water. Although after comparing the capability of cleansing the harmful stuffs, the Lifestraw water beats the first one to additionally remove the chemical.

The filter also has been praised to us for high flowing rate to convert any unpurified water to 100% purified water. Moreover, the lighter high portable design is extremely appreciated to any hiker or backpacker.


  • Even can remove the chemicals.
  • High flowing rate while it purifies the water.
  • Portable, lightweight.
  • Affordable cost.


  • Only can treat 1k liter water.

Price: $17.47


3)Etekcity Portable Water Filtration System

Etekcity Portable Water Filtration System   

This portable water filtration system provides the same kind of solutions and it can treat the water well of any source you use. But it has been remarkable to us for its multiple layers based filter that can differ the water from insects to any unwanted waterborne stuffs. In our research, we have found the satisfied feedbacks of lots of hikers and backpackers on the water’s treatment ability of it. Undoubtedly, it is recommended for any people who go to the places where the lack of clean and bacteria free water.

It continues giving 100% service to filter up to 1.5 k liters of water and you can carry the included squeeze pouch for instant filtration.


  • Multi layers based filter.
  • Differs anything from the water.
  • Lightweight.
  • Foldable & squeeze pouch for immediate filtration.


  • Cleanse is slightly difficult after every use.

Price: $17.99


4)Survivor Filter – Virus Tested Reusable Water Filter

Survivor Filter - Virus Tested Reusable Water Filter

It’s achieved the excellence for being capable to erase anything from the water. It depends on 0.05 micron three stage filtration system that cleanses anything when it is applied to suck out the high-end purified water. It behaves to kill all viruses, chemicals, bacteria and protozoa while the water comes tasteless and odor free. The Membrane Ultra Filter works until you have completed to cleanse 100K liters water. Moreover, the carbon filter and cotton free filter are replaceable that should be replaced at a fixed time(after 264 gallons) to retain the same service.

The water flowing rate is also incredible and it can pass 7Oz water per minute and moreover, this versatile filter can be screwed in your water bottle, so you can become greatly reliable with this filtration system.


  • Virus removal action.
  • Make the water odor free and tasteless.
  • Replaceable carbon and cotton free filter.
  • Versatile.


  • Haven’t found any weakness in taste.

Price: $29.79


5)Katadyn Hiker Microfilter (recommended for serious hiker)

Katadyn Hiker Microfilter

The Katadyn Hiker Microfiber an intelligent water filter that can purify gallons of water in 6-7 minutes with its high speed water flowing system. It’s very functional and actually it directly imports the water from any source by the included pipe while you can push-up and down the small handle to instantly erase the bacteria, viruses and other stuffs from the water. It uses an outer pipe to pour out the purified water into the bottle or other vessel. In a small amount of time you can gather liters of drinkable water by this microfilter.

It uses 0.2 micron glassfiber that can filter up to 300 gallons of water. But the cartridge is replaceable and after a due time it can be simply replaced to reuse the filter again. I think this is one of the high end portable water filtration systems that every hiker would like to include during their trip.


  • Ergonomic design.
  • Good water flowing rate.
  • Replaceable cartridge.
  • 0.2 micron glassfiber filter.


  • Price is comparably higher than our other recommended filters.

Price: $69.40


Our Short Buying Advice


How important to have the virus removing feature?

To be honest, most of the portable water filters have the absence of this feature to differ the water from viruses. Because according to a research in North America viruses in the water are very rarely found. So if you hike or backpack in the regions of North America, having the virus removing capability in the filter isn’t mandatory. But if you travel out of North American regions, of course a high end efficient water filter is recommended to be used. And for this purpose Katadyn Hiker Microfiber would be our choice.


Should you care about the water flowing rate?

The water flowing rate determines how quickly the water comes out through getting filtered to fill your bottle, bladder or when you drink directly from the mouthpiece. The higher flowing rate basically gives some reliability when you collect the water. But sometimes getting a filter on a limited budget with higher flowing rate would be crucial. In this case if the other qualities are good, then I think that the filter is still qualified to be your choice.


Replaceable or Non-replaceable cartridge?

It’s not mandatory, you can choose it by your preference. Having a non-replaceable cartridge in the filter means you have to eliminate filtering after reaching the limits. Because every cartridge has the limitations of treating the water. On the other hand, if you pick a replaceable cartridge based filter, you can replace it after filtering the certain amount of water.   


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