9 Best Portable Water Filters in 2020 – Reviews and Buyer’s Guide

Best Choice

Sawyer Products Personal Water Bottle

  • It uses extremely effective hollow-fiber membrane filter
  • Includes collapsible pouches that can be used hundreds of times
  • It features a built-in push/pull cap
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Best Value

Sawyer MINI Water Filter

  • Ultra-lightweight — excellent for outdoor adventures and emergency preparedness
  • High performing 0.1-micron hollow filtration system
  • It can be attached to standard disposable water bottles, drinking pouch, and hydration packs
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Premium

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

  • Weighing less than a pound, this water filter is one of the lightest in the market
  • Powered by hollow-fiber filter membrane with a high flow rate
  • The 0.2-micron filter removes an excessive amount of bacteria and protozoan parasites
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If you’re an outdoor enthusiast keen on exploring the wilderness, the availability of drinking water could be a significant issue you have to face. While it may not seem like much of a problem, but at times, this dodgy situation may come down to your very survival.

Having a portable water filter will drastically improve your outdoor experiences, and it will come in handy for emergency preparedness. These devices can filter out the contaminants from any outdoor water sources and turn it into safe drinking water.

First of all, investing in a high-quality portable filter will significantly reduce the weight of your backpack, as you no longer have to carry water. You can use this device to filter water from any source and drink it on the go.

Secondly, a portable water filter will also reduce your travel expenses. With these handy devices on your backpack, you will not have to buy bottled water.
In this article, we have taken a closer look at some of the best portable water filters in the market. These filters will effectively remove contaminants like parasites, cryptosporidium, and bacteria, ensuring safe and clean drinking water.

For your convenience, we have prepared a comprehensive review of 9 Best Portable Water Filter that works wonders in purifying water. Along with the detailed review, we have also included a comparison chart, things to consider before buying, and FAQs to make it easy for you to choose the best portable water filter.

Our Top Pick

LifeStraw Go Water Filter

If you’re an avid backpacker looking for a premium portable water filter, we highly recommend you to go for LifeStraw Go Water Filter. Out of all the products we’ve reviewed, this award-winning ultralight filter is hands down the favorite outdoor companion for safe drinking water. It features a 0.2-micron hollow-fiber membrane filter that effectively removes 99.99% of contaminants from water and excessively reduces the turbidity. Still not convinced? Well, this water filter weighs less than a pound and is capable of purifying 264 gallons of water, which is more than excellent for backpacking and outdoor purposes.

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Quick Summary of Best Portable Water Filters

Product Image Product Name
Best Filtered Bottles with Two-Stage Filters
LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle

Weighing only 0.36 pounds, this is the only filtered bottle that makes it to the list of the portable water filters. With a two-stage filtration, this bottle is capable of purifying water from any sources in an instant. For long term use, it also features a replaceable filter.

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Premium Quality Portable Water Filter with Excellent Performance
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

Undoubtedly, LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is one of the most reliable names in water purification. The award-winning ultralight filter makes a great outdoor companion and ensures safe drinking water, even in the remotest of places.

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Best Value for Money
Sawyer Products MINI Water Filtration System

This premium filter is known for its high-performance, versatility, and ultra-lightweight. Along with the removal of bacteria and protozoa with its powerful 0.1-micron hollow fiber technology, this filter also whips out the microplastics from the water.

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Best Water Filter with Tremendous Capacity
LifeStraw Family 1.0 Portable Gravity

Family Portable Gravity by LifeStraw is by far the most used portable water filters on the list. Used by over 13 million households throughout the world, this water filter is undoubtedly one of the most trusted products in the market. Equipped with top-notch filtration technology, this filter effectively removes waterborne contaminants from almost any freshwater source. It can purify 4,755 gallons of water throughout its lifespan.

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Top Pick for High Performance with a Lifetime Warranty
Survivor Filter PRO Water Filter

If you’re looking to invest in a water filter that can serve you for a lifetime, Survivor Filter PRO Water Filter is your best bet. With three-stage filtration, this product is designed to perform in the harshest of conditions. It operates with a single button and offers an extremely high flow rate. This filter comes with a lifetime warranty to clear out any doubts about the built quality and durability.

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Top Pick for Sturdy Design and Durability
Sawyer Products PointOne Squeeze Water Filter System

Sawyer Products PointOne Squeeze is one of the most trusted names in high-quality filtration systems. This filter comprises a U-shaped microtubule that works wonders in filtering out contaminated water. It also features a backflush syringe that helps maintain a high and constant flow rate of water.

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Budget-Friendly Portable Water Filter
Etekcity Water Filter Straw

Superb performance, ultra-lightweight, and inexpensive — Etekcity Water Filter Straw is proof that you do not need to spend more for a quality product. This straw-type filter is designed with a 3-stage filtration system that ensures the performance of the highest level. If you’re looking for a portable water filter that can fit in your survival kit, this is the go-to product.

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Top Pick for Instant Filtration Technology
Katadyn Vario Dual Technology MicroFilter

Powered by triple-stage pleated glass fiber filtration technology, this filter appliance is highly efficient in eliminating waterborne pollutants. The dual-piston technology makes it highly competent to pump water, and it is extremely easy to use. It also features an innovative ‘Fast Flow Mode’ that is hard to come by in a portable water filter.

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Top Pick for Effortless Design
MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter Water Filter

If you’re opting for a well-performing and durable water filter that requires less maintenance, MSR MiniWorks Ex is the product for you. It features a ceramic plus carbon core filter that filters not only the contaminated water but also removes the bad taste from it. It has a super-fast flow rate that filers one liter of water every minute.

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Best Portable Water Filters of 2020 - Reviewed

LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle

Best Filtered Bottles with Two-Stage Filters

Features Highlights

  • Award-winning hollow fiber membrane filter
  • Two-stage activated carbon
  • Long-lasting — the microbiological filter serves for five year
  • Sturdily built out of BPA-free Tritan plastic
  • Leak-proof lid with flexible and detachable mouthpiece for easy cleaning
  • Straightforward design, compact, and easy-to-use
LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle is one of the most reliable names in portable water filters. With a two-stage filter system, this filtered water bottle guarantees clean and safe water anywhere you go. Check Price on Amazon

Product Specification

  • Dimensions:

    3.1 x 3.1 x 9.2 inches

  • Weight:

    0.36 pounds

  • Filteration System:

    0.2 Micron Hollow Fiber Technology Filter

  • Material:

    Impact Resistant Tritan Plastic

  • Warranty:

    30-Days Limited Policy

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

Premium Quality Portable Water Filter with Excellent Performance

Features Highlights

  • Weighing less than a pound, this water filter is one of the lightest in the market
  • Powered by hollow-fiber filter membrane with a high flow rate
  • The 0.2-micron filter removes an excessive amount of bacteria and protozoan parasites
  • Easy to use and can fit literally anywhere
  • It is capable of filtering up to 264 gallons of water
  • It has a detachable lanyard for easy gripping
Looking for a premium quality portable water filter at a reasonable price? Invest your dime on LifeStraw Personal Water Filter and never go thirsty, even in the remotest of places. With an award-winning 0.2-micron hollow-fiber filtration technology, this water filter purifies pollutants from any freshwater source in an instant. Check Price on Amazon

Product Specification

  • Dimensions:

    8.7 x 1 x 1 inches

  • Weight:

    0.12 pounds

  • Filteration System:

    0.2 Micron Hollow-Fiber Membrane

  • Material:

    ABS Plastic

  • Warranty:

    1 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty

Pros

  • Ultralight and sturdy built
  • Uses 0.2-micron hollow-fiber filter membrane
  • Removes the excessive amount of water contaminants and reduces cloudiness
  • Easy to operate
  • Durable

Cons

  • Does not remove the aftertaste
  • Does not survive the hard drops

Our Verdict

If you’re looking for a high-quality water filter for backpacking, LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is the best pick for you. This award-winning filter is equipped with a 0.2-Micron Hollow-Fiber Membrane that easily outperforms any other filtration system.

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Sawyer MINI Water Filter

Best Value for Money

Features Highlights

  • Ultra-lightweight — excellent for outdoor adventures and emergency preparedness
  • High performing 0.1-micron hollow filtration system
  • It can be attached to standard disposable water bottles, drinking pouch, and hydration packs
  • Along with bacteria and protozoa, it also removes 100% of microplastics from the water
  • It includes one MINI filter, 16-ounce reusable pouch, cleaning plunger, and drinking straw
Inexpensive yet extremely versatile, Sawyer Mini is a high-class filtration device that offers great value for its price. With a powerful 0.1-micron hollow filter, this product can purify unfiltered water on-the-go. Check Price on Amazon

Product Specification

  • Dimensions:

    4 x 3 x 8 inches

  • Weight:

    0.12 pounds

  • Filteration System:

    0.1 Micron Hollow Fiber Absolute Filter

  • Material:

    ABS Plastic

  • Warranty:

    Lifetime Warranty

Pros

  • It is extremely lightweight
  • An advanced filtration system that effectively removes contaminants
  • It is versatile and can be attached to the reusable pouch, hydration bladder, or even regular water bottle
  • High performing 0.1-micron hollow filtration system
  • Instant filtration system

Cons

  • Slightly difficult to fill the bottles directly from streams
  • It is not 100% leak-proof

Our Verdict

Light as a feather with only 0.12 pounds, this product is excellent for outdoor enthusiasts who do not want to carry much on their adventure. Shielded with 100% leak-proof material; this model from Sawyer does not allow contamination. Additionally, its 0.1-micron filtration system works extremely well and purifies water in no time.

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LifeStraw Family 1.0 Portable Gravity

Best Water Filter with Tremendous Capacity

Features Highlights

  • It offers a high flow rate, with 9 to 12 liters of water per hour
  • It uses advanced hollow fiber filtration technology
  • It is rated to treat up to 18,000 liters of water, which is enough to supply a family for nearly three years
  • It does not require any batteries, electrical power, or replacement parts
  • Easy to operate
  • It includes a backwashing bulb that makes it convenient to clean the filter
Looking for a water filter with high performance and longevity? With filtration capacity of 18,000 liters, LifeStraw Family 1.0 Portable Gravity is a powerhouse when it comes to portable water filters. This filtration device is one of the most used water filters across the globe. Its advanced hollow fiber membrane technology not only removes the water contamination but also reduces turbidity to provide safe and clean water. Check Price on Amazon

Product Specification

  • Dimensions:

    11 x 9 x 4.5 inches

  • Weight:

    1.15 pounds

  • Filteration System:

    Hollow-Fiber Filter Membrane

  • Material:

    ABS Plastic

  • Warranty:

    1 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty

Pros

  • High flow rate
  • Advanced technology and high-quality filter
  • It is capable of purifying up to 18,000 liters of water
  • Easy to use and clean
  • Requires no additional batteries or electrical power to operate

Cons

  • It does not improve the taste
  • Water leaks from the filter

Our Verdict

Not many portable water filters meet the protective and safety standards of the World Health Organization and the United States EPA. With LifeStraw Family 1.0 Portable Gravity, you’re getting the product that does! This tiny filtration device has set a high standard with its powerful hollow-membrane filter. Additionally, with massive 18,000 liters capacity, this filter outperforms any other filter in this list.

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Survivor Filter PRO Water Filter

Top Pick for High Performance with a Lifetime Warranty

Features Highlights

  • Equipped with 3-stage advanced filters — 0.1 Micron UF Pre-Filter Membrane, Carbon Filter, and UF Membrane Filter
  • Operates with a single button
  • Lab-tested for performance and efficiency to remove contaminants
  • Super-fast flow rate
  • Can be used directly from the water source or pumped into any attached cup or portable hydration bladder
  • It can filter up to 95 gallons of water with 2 AA batteries
  • Backed by a lifetime warranty
If you’re looking for a highly effective water filter with a lifetime warranty, look no further! Survivor Filter PRO. powered by triple-stage advanced filtration technology is also backed by a lifetime warranty. Check Price on Amazon

Product Specification

  • Dimensions:

    3.2 x 2 x 6.5 inches

  • Weight:

    0.51 pounds

  • Filteration System:

    UF Pre-Filter Membrane, Carbon Filter, and UF Membrane Filter

  • Material:

    ABS Plastic

  • Warranty:

    Lifetime Warranty

Pros

  • It includes 3-stage advanced filters
  • Easy to use
  • Effectively removes bacteria and viruses
  • High flow rate
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Long filter life

Cons

  • It has no straw
  • Too big for solo travelers

Our Verdict

This portable water filter features a three-stage filtration system that effectively removes waterborne bacteria and viruses. With single-button technology, this device is effortless to operate and offers a high flow rate. Additionally, this product is covered by a lifetime warranty.

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Sawyer Products PointOne Squeeze Water Filter System

Top Pick for Sturdy Design and Durability

Features Highlights

  • It uses extremely effective hollow-fiber membrane filter
  • Includes collapsible pouches that can be used hundreds of times
  • It features a built-in push/pull cap
  • Includes inline adaptors that can squeeze filter on a hydration pack
  • It is equipped with backflush syringe to maintain a higher flow rate
Sturdy, durable, and high performance! Sawyer Products PointOne Squeeze uses U-shaped microtubules in its filter that is extremely effective in purifying the contaminated water. The backflush syringe that comes with the filter helps to maintain a higher flow rate. Check Price on Amazon

Product Specification

  • Dimensions:

    3.5 x 6.1 x 6.1 inches

  • Weight:

    2 pounds

  • Filteration System:

    Hollow-Fiber Membrane

  • Material:

    ABS Plastic

  • Warranty:

    Lifetime Warranty

Pros

  • Equipped with powerful 0.1 absolute micron hollow fiber membrane filter
  • Includes additional collapsible pouches
  • High flow rate
  • Include backwash syringe
  • It comes with an all-in-one kit

Cons

  • The bladder bag is weak
  • This water filter is not freezable

Our Verdict

This water filter is extremely versatile and comes handy if you’re looking to buy a filtration system for a larger group. It can filter up to 540 gallons of water per day, which is ridiculously high for a portable water filter. Additionally, this portable water filter comes with a comprehensive all-in-one kit that includes everything you need for high-purity water.

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Etekcity Water Filter Straw

Budget-Friendly Portable Water Filter

Features Highlights

  • Highly competitive price
  • It can filter up to 396 gallons of water
  • EPA-compliant filtration process and FDA-compliant filter
  • Designed to fit standard bottles with lightweight straw
  • It includes additional water pouch, back-wash syringe, and long straw
Highly effective and surprisingly inexpensive, what more can you ask in a portable water filter? Etekcity Water Filter Straw is a compact filtration device that is powered by three-stage advanced filtration technology and guarantees safe drinking water. Check Price on Amazon

Product Specification

  • Weight:

    0.13 pounds

  • Filteration System:

    3-Stage Advanced Filters — Pre Filter, Activated Carbon Filter, 0.01 Micron Hollow Fiber UF Membrane

  • Material:

    ABS Plastic

  • Warranty:

    One-Year Limited Warranty

Pros

  • Reasonable price considering the quality
  • Capable of filtering up to 396 gallons of water
  • Lightweight and designed to fit regular water bottles
  • It includes an additional water pouch, a back-wash syringe, and a long straw

Cons

  • Relatively lower flow-rate
  • It includes smaller water pouch
  • backwash syringe and water bladder are not very durable

Our Verdict

If you’re low on budget but do not want to compromise on the quality of high-tech water filters, Etekcity Water Filter Straw is your best bet. A portable filter that uses triple filtration technology is hard to come by at such an affordable price.

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Katadyn Vario Dual Technology MicroFilter

Top Pick for Instant Filtration Technology

Features Highlights

  • It features triple-stage pleated glass fiber filter
  • An extremely high-output system, purifying up to 0.5 gallons per minute in ‘Fast Flow Mode’
  • Dual-piston technology to minimize the effort to pump water
  • It is attachable directly to wide-mouthed bottles
  • Replaceable carbon cartridge
Designed to outperform any other water filter, Katadyn Vario Dual uses a triple-stage pleated glass filter to purify water and is extremely easy to use. Check Price on Amazon

Product Specification

  • Dimensions:

    16 x 12 x 4 inches

  • Weight:

    1 pound

  • Filteration System:

    0.3 Micron Pleated Glass Fiber

  • Material:

    ABS plastic

  • Warranty:

    Manufacturer's Limited 2 Years

Pros

  • Three-stage pleated glass fiber filter
  • It features ‘Fast Flow Mode’
  • Dual-piston technology
  • Replaceable carbon cartridge
  • It comes with useful accessories

Cons

  • It requires more maintenance
  • Leaks between the filter housing and the pump head

Our Verdict

No gimmicks guaranteed! This microfilter is engineered to offer high-purity water with exceptionally less effort. The super powerful 0.3-micron pleated glass fiber with dual-piston technology produces the purest water with almost no effort.

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MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter Water Filter

Top Pick for Effortless Design

Features Highlights

  • Replaceable carbon and ceramic filter delivers safe, clean and odor-free water
  • Versatile water pump compatible with a variety of hydration bladders and water bottles
  • Meets NSF Protocol P231 for the removal rate
  • Decent filtration speed that filters up to one liter of water every two minutes
  • The filter is easy to clean and requires no additional tools
Long-lasting and fully field-maintainable, MSR MiniWorks EX is the best-selling microfilter of its kind. With Marathon Ex Ceramic Plus Carbon Core, this filter guarantees safe drinking water with improved taste. Check Price on Amazon

Product Specification

  • Dimensions:

    10 x 4 x 7 inches

  • Weight:

    1.01 pounds

  • Filteration System:

    Ceramic Plus Carbon Core

  • Material:

    Polyurethane

  • Warranty:

    Manufacturer’s Limited Lifetime Warranty

Pros

  • High performing ceramic and carbon filter
  • Sturdy and durable filtration system
  • It can purify up to 2,000 liters of water
  • Meets the safety protocol of NSF
  • Easy to clean and maintain

Cons

  • It feels relatively heavy
  • Requires frequent maintenance

Our Verdict

Well, this filter is one of the highest selling products for a reason. Its filtration system is pretty straightforward and unbelievably efficient. The ceramic element removes the water pollutants while the carbon element reduces the bad odor from water. If you’re looking for a decent quality water filter at a reasonable price, this is your go-to product.

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Comparison Table

ItemsDimension (in inches)Weight (Pounds)Filtration SystemMaterialWarranty
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter8.7 x 1 x 10.120.2 Micron Hollow-Fiber MembraneABS Plastic1 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty
Sawyer MINI Water Filtration System4 x 3 x 80.120.1 Micron Hollow Fiber Absolute FilterABS PlasticLifetime Warranty
LifeStraw Family 1.0 Portable Gravity11 x 9 x 4.51.15Hollow-Fiber Filter MembraneABS Plastic1 Year Manufacturer’s Warranty
Survivor Filter PRO Water Filter3.2 x 2 x 6.50.51UF Pre-Filter Membrane, Carbon Filter, and UF Membrane FilterABS PlasticLifetime Warranty
Sawyer Products PointOne Squeeze Water Filter System3.5 x 6.1 x 6.12Hollow-Fiber MembraneABS PlasticLifetime Warranty
Etekcity Water Filter Straw1.2 x 6.20.133-Stage Advanced Filters — Pre Filter, Activated Carbon Filter, 0.01 Micron Hollow Fiber UF MembraneABS PlasticOne-Year Limited Warranty
Katadyn Vario Dual Technology MicroFilter16 x 12 x 410.3 Micron Pleated Glass FiberABS plasticManufacturer's Limited 2 Years
MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter Water Filter10 x 4 x 71.01Ceramic Plus Carbon CorePolyurethaneManufacturer’s Limited Lifetime Warranty
LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle3.1 x 3.1 x 9.20.360.2 Micron Hollow Fiber Technology FilterImpact Resistant Tritan Plastic30 Days Limited Policy

Things to Consider When Buying a Portable Water Filter

There are tons of things you need to take into consideration if you’re planning to purchase a portable water filter. Here are a few things you should look for:

Weight

This is hands down the most important thing you need to consider when buying a portable filter. There is absolutely no point in purchasing a unit that is heavy and uncomfortable to carry while traveling. While most portable models are compact and small, their weight may vary with design, filtration technology, and construction.

Filtration Speed

Any model you choose, most of them will effectively remove waterborne contaminants. From a couple of ounces to almost 20 ounces every minute, different models can purify water at different speeds. If you’re planning to go camping or hiking with a large group, investing in a filter that is capable of filtering water at a fast pace would be a better decision.  

Filter Capacity

It is a no brainer! The filter cartridge of every model will have a limited lifespan. While some filter lasts only for a few days, some can be used for weeks or even months. It is up to you to decide whether you want models with less capacity or the ones that last for an extended period. However, high-quality units generally feature long-lasting filter cartridges.

Cost

The most obvious thing you need to consider while buying a portable water filter is the cost. The best approach to find the ideal filter for you is to set a budget beforehand. Portable water filters come at different prices. Just because you invest in an expensive model does not necessarily mean you’re getting the best technology. Browse through the several models that match your budget and choose the most functional unit out of it.

Easy Operation

It makes no sense to buy the most expensive water filter with advanced functionality if the model is complicated to use. Some units come with a user manual and detailed instructions to guide you through the installation, and others are straightforward to use. Search for the model that is convenient to use and has functions that suit you the best.

FAQs

A portable water filter is a self-contained appliance that is used to purify water from various untreated sources for drinking purposes. These handy devices are easily transportable and are used to remove harmful contaminants and pathogens for safe and clean water.

The portable water filters are primarily used to eliminate chlorine, salt, sediments, sand, fluoride, iron, sulfur, chloramines, and pesticides. And it doesn’t stop there, it also removes bacteria and viruses that are found in untreated water.

Absolutely! It is advised to clean this device every single time if you’re using it to purify untreated water. However, if you’re willing to grab one of these for gyms or regular uses to cut down single-use bottled water, you can use it for about five times a week before cleaning it.

In general, snow contains traces of pollutants which are not water-soluble, which means these pollutants will most likely transfer when the water turns to snow. While certain particles may not filter out, you can throw it into the portable water filter and turn it into drinkable water as long as the snow appears white and fresh.

Conclusion

Well, that’s that! These are the 9 best portable water filters available in the market today. All these portable filters are rigorously engineered to produce highly pure water. Regardless of which portable water filter you choose to buy, they’re all designed with high-capacity filters and tested to perform well! Cheers!

In Hurry? Editor's Choice
LifeStraw Go Water Filter