Best Camping Water Purifier Reviews

If you intend to camp in an area where there isn’t a reliable and safe-to-drink water source, and you aren’t able to bring enough water from home for your time away, a water purifier is a must-have item. Drinking water from unreliable sources is one of the riskiest things you can do when you’re in the wilderness.

Even a mild water-related illness can ruin your camping trip, so you need to make sure you have access to safe, clean water. A purifier is one way to ensure this is the case.

First, it’s important to understand a few important things before you invest in a water purifier. You need to know the difference between the various items available for cleaning up drinking water and understand what you need to do once you have the device. You can have the most elaborate and reliable water purifier on the market, and if you use it incorrectly, it won’t help you at all.

Filters vs. Purifiers

We’re talking about purifiers in this article, so it’s important to know the difference between those and a water filter.

Both filters and purifiers contain internal cartridges that catch debris, bacteria, and protozoa. These are things you don’t want to ingest because they can make you very sick. Most purifiers additionally use chemicals to kill viruses and are therefore offer a more comprehensive method of cleaning up water than filters. The nasties that are too small and can fit through a filter need to be taken care of, and purifiers do this for you. In addition to chemicals, this can also be done with ultraviolet light in the purifier.

Purifiers and filters might also contain activated carbon that makes water taste better. This isn’t necessarily something that is necessary, and you might not get sick if you don’t have a purifier that does this, but overall it can make drinking water safer, and it certainly improves the taste.

What are Our Picks for the Best Camping Water Purifiers on the Market?

Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration SystemSawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System

This system sells for about $20 and is a versatile option for purifying water. It can be used as a straw, it can help you fill up a water bottle, or you can attach it to the straw on your hydration pack. We love that it gives you a few different options, and this is one of the most powerful purifiers on the market. It weighs just 1.4 ounces when empty, and it’s capable of cleaning up to 100,000 gallons of water. It’s also very easy to clean.

Check it out on AMAZON.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

LifeStraw Personal Water FilterThis system retails for about $15 and is a popular choice among campers and hikers. It’s very user-friendly and basically mimics drinking from a regular straw. This filter is able to handle protozoa and bacteria (something a lot of filters cannot do), but it can’t handle viruses. The good news is this won’t be a problem if you’re camping in the United States or most of Europe. It can handle up to 260 gallons of water, so it’s likely not your best long-term option or great for longer hikes, but if you need something with you in case of emergency, this is a fantastic option.

Check it out on AMAZON.

Katadyn Vario Water Filter

Katadyn Vario Water FilterThis one is pricier than the first two options on our list at just over $70, but it’s because it works so fast and is a more comprehensive system. It features an ergonomic handle and cleans water through a three-step system. The ceramic filter catches larger particles then the glass fiber filter performs the main filtration then the carbon filet reduces chemicals and makes the water smell better.

This filter has many parts and tends to break more easily than the simple purification systems we’ve included on our list. It’s very easy to use and cleans water fast. You’ll get about 520 gallons per filter cartridge before needing a change.

Check it out on AMAZON.

Katadyn Hiker Pro Microfilter

Katadyn Hiker Pro Transparent Water FilterThis is the other purification system we like from Katadyn. It’s one of the best-selling purifiers available and is lightweight, small, and gets the job done.

This purifier is able to remove bacteria, cysts, and protozoa, but can’t remove viruses. Again, this shouldn’t be a problem if you’re camping or hiking in the United States and most parts of Europe.

It’s a simple system that uses an AntiClog pleated fiberglass filtering cartridge. There are activated carbon granules in the cartridge, so you’ll get fresher tasting water after it’s been run through the system. It’s easy to use, in general, but some users reported struggling with holding it while pumping.

It does have a small treatment capacity of just 200 gallons, so many would consider it more of an emergency option than something you’d want to bring along on every camping on a hiking trip as your sole source of water purification. However, you can carry along a spare cartridge that would double your ability to clean water.

Check it out on AMAZON.

Platypus GravityWorks 4.0 Liter Filter System

Platypus GravityWorks 4.0 Liter Filter SystemThis is a simple purification system without a pump. It relies on gravity to clean the water. It’s possible to store up to two gallons of water in this system, which means when you arrive at your site you can clean about a day’s worth of drinking water and have it ready to go while you’re there. Obviously, this is optional, but it’s a nice feature if you don’t want to worry about constantly cleaning water at your campsite every time you need a drink.

The Platypus purification system filters water fast and is appropriate for providing water to groups of people. It’s also lightweight and fairly small, so it’s appropriate for hikers and campers.

Finding the right purification system if you’re planning a camping trip can be a daunting experience, especially if you consider that it’s something that would be important for survival in an emergency. Knowing the different types of filters available makes the process easier and ensures you’ll make the right choice for whatever suits your needs.

Check it out on AMAZON.

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