Last Updated: July 26, 2021

Best Camping Water Filter

Camping is a great way to get outdoors and leave the hustle and bustle of everyday life behind you… but that doesn’t mean it’s a walk in the park either.

Whether you’re on a family camping trip, taking an RV for a whirl, or going on a full-on backcountry mission, having a solid supply of water is essential. After all, running low on liquids can be dangerous, especially in warmer climates. If you’re backcountry camping, clean water can be scarce and, even in the best campsites, things can go wrong with the water supply, leaving you parched.

Even if you manage to find a water supply it might not be safe to drink – you can get nasty viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens dwelling in water, and water with lots of sediment in it can be harmful too. That’s why it’s always a good idea to take a water filter camping with you. They can filter out pathogens and remove sediment from natural water sources, making them safe to drink.


At A Glance: Our Top 3 Camping Water Filters


There’s quite a range of them out there, including large-capacity ones catered to families and small-scale emergency ones great for backcountry missions. To help you find the one that’s right for you, we’ve put together this list of the best camping water filters currently on the market.

Top Product Overview

Platypus GravityWorks High-Capacity Water Filter System for Group Camping and Emergency Preparedness, 4.0 Liter
  • Large capacity yet light weight
  • BPA-free materials
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LifeStraw Flex Advanced Water Filter with Gravity Bag - Removes Lead, Bacteria, Parasites and Chemicals Blue, 1 gal
  • Bottle mode is great for individual use
  • Straw mode is great for emergency use
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LifeStraw Personal Water Filter for Hiking, Camping, Travel, and Emergency Preparedness, 1 Pack, Blue
  • Can be used with shallow water sources
  • BPA-free materials
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MSR Guardian Military-Grade Water Purifier Pump for Backcountry, Global Travel, and Emergency Preparedness
  • Designed to withstand rugged use and harsh environments
  • Effective against bacteria, protozoa, viruses, and particulate
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Katadyn Gravity Camp 6L Water Filter
  • Extra-large capacity is great for large groups
  • Shower adaptor available for an easy conversion
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GRAYL Ultralight Water Purifier [+ Filter] Bottle (Orange)
  • Protects against protozoa, bacteria, and viruses
  • Carbon system removes unwanted tastes
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Katadyn 8018270 Hiker Microfilter
  • Can be used with shallow water sources
  • Great for traveling and hiking as well as camping
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CrazyCap 2.0 UV Water Purifier & Self Cleaning Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle - Turns Any Water Source Into Clean Drinkable Water - Perfect for Hiking Camping Travel and Survival
  • Super easy mechanism
  • Option for a quick cleanse or deep purification
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Best Camping Water Filter


Top Pick

Platypus GravityWorks 4L

Platypus GravityWorks High-Capacity Water Filter System for Group Camping and Emergency Preparedness, 4.0 Liter

First up on our list of the best camping water filters around is the Platypus GravityWorks 4L.

This device can filter up to 4L of water at a time, making it a great choice if you’re camping with a family or in a large group. What’s more, this filter works by harnessing the force of gravity to draw dirty water from a bag that you hang from a tree (or another tall object), through the filtration system, and into another bag that you can drink from directly… so you can say goodbye to hand-pumping for hours on end to get your hands on some safe drinking water. It has a rapid flow rate of 1.75L/min too, so you won’t have to hang around for hours waiting for a drink.

The cartridge that actually filters the water works against particles as small as 0.2 microns, which means it will remove over 99.9% of bacteria and protozoa, although it’s not effective against viruses. Despite being made from plastic, it’s entirely BPA-free, so you don’t have to worry on that front either. Oh, and can’t get enough of the carbon element that removes the odd tastes you might find when drinking from cheaper models.

It weighs in at 11 oz, which is very light for its capacity, although it might not be ideal for backpacking adventures. Plus, it comes in a 2L version too if you like the sound of this filter but want to shed some weight.

Overall, this is an excellent device to leave around the campsite to make sure you’ll always have a back-up supply of water for your friends and family.

Pros

  • Large capacity yet light weight
  • BPA-free materials
  • Carbon system removes odd tastes
  • Gravity-based system requires minimal effort

Cons

  • Not effective against viruses
  • Slightly heavy for backpacking adventures

Product Information

  • Dimensions: 3.25 x 9.5 inches
  • Weight: 11.5 oz
  • Flow rate: 1.75L/min
  • Effective against: More than 99.9% of bacteria and protozoa
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Best Allrounder

LifeStraw Flex Water Filter

LifeStraw Flex Advanced Water Filter with Gravity Bag - Removes Lead, Bacteria, Parasites and Chemicals Blue, 1 gal

Can’t decide if you want a straw-like filter, a gravity filter, or a filter that works with a bottle? Well, with the LifeStraw Flex Water Filter you don’t need to choose!

This incredibly versatile water filter can be used without any add-ons as a simple straw, with a soft bottle (included), with most hydration packs, and even with a 1-gallon gravity bag (also included), making it great for any occasion. What’s more, despite all these uses, the price tag is surprisingly low.

The filter protects you from water-borne bacteria, protozoa, and even microplastics (but not viruses), and it also features a carbon fiber capsule to remove rotten tastes. The filter itself has an incredibly long lifespan and will work its way through 2000L of water without any issues.

You can use it with shallow water sources in straw mode, you can let gravity do the hard work when used with the bag, you can use it solo as a bottle, or you can provide water to your friends when using the almost 4L capacity bag… there really isn’t much that this water filter can’t do! And the cherry on the cake? For every item purchases, a child in need is provided with water for a whole school year.

Pros

  • Bottle mode is great for individual use
  • Straw mode is great for emergency use
  • Gravity mode is great for group use
  • Excellent value for money
  • Each time bought funds a child's drinking water for a year

Cons

  • No protection against viruses

Product Information

  • Weight: Depends on use
  • Dimensions: Depends on use
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Best Budget

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter for Hiking, Camping, Travel, and Emergency Preparedness, 1 Pack, Blue

If you’re camping in the back and beyond, you need to be prepared for anything, including your water filter breaking down. The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is an awesome bit of backup gear that could make all the difference to your survival in an emergency.

What’s more, it’s super cheap, incredibly small, and weighs just 2 oz – so there really is no excuse for not popping one of these in your bag before any adventure into the wilderness. Despite its minuscule size, this filter can protect you from 99.9% of bacteria and protozoans, and all the materials are free from BPA.

It’s incredibly easy to use – simply insert one end into a water supply and then use it like a straw. While this means it can be used with both deep and shallow water sources, it does have the drawback of meaning you’ll have to get right down to water level to use it.

Of course, you can’t expect this miniature filter to supply water to a large group, and you wouldn’t want to rely on it for your primary water supply, but it’s an excellent bit of gear to have on your for just in case.

Pros

  • Can be used with shallow water sources
  • BPA-free materials
  • Incredibly lightweight and easy to transport
  • Very economical option
  • Great for emergencies

Cons

  • No protection against viruses
  • Small capacity
  • Must be very close to water source to use

Product Information

  • Dimensions: 9 x 1 x1 inches
  • Weight: 2 oz
  • Effective against: Bacteria and protozoa
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MSR Guardian Pump Filter

MSR Guardian Military-Grade Water Purifier Pump for Backcountry, Global Travel, and Emergency Preparedness

If you want to go all out and get a water filter that will cope in almost any situation, then look no further than the military-grade MSR Guardian Pump Filter.

This beast of a filter is effective against not only bacteria and protozoa, but also viruses and sediment, offering ultimate all-round protection from unsafe water. It also features an incredibly rugged design, so you can be sure that it will stand up to the challenges of life in the great outdoors, and it’s also been purposefully built to withstand extreme temperatures.

The limited capacity and pump feature doos mean that this filter is best designed for personal use, and you probably don’t want to use it for your primary water supply (your hands will probably get tired!), but at least the flow rate is awesome (2.5L/min). Plus, the pump self-cleans with each stroke, ensuring that the flow rate doesn’t drop with extended use. On top of that, the filter will work its way through a whopping 10,000 L of water before it needs replacing.

The main drawback of this filter is the ridiculously high price tag – it certainly won’t be within everyone’s budget. However, if you have the cash to splash and want a heavy-duty filter offering ultimate protection, this is the one for you.

Pros

  • Designed to withstand rugged use and harsh environments
  • Effective against bacteria, protozoa, viruses, and particulate
  • Great flow rate for a hand pump
  • Self-cleaning pump maintains flow rate

Cons

  • Very expensive
  • Small capacity

Product Information

  • Dimensions: 8.2 x 4.7 inches
  • Weight: 17.3 oz
  • Flow rate: 2.5L/min
  • Cartridge Life (L): 10,000 L
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Katadyn Gravity Camp 6L

Katadyn Gravity Camp 6L Water Filter

We’re heading back to the realm of gravity water filters now to bring you the Katadyn Gravity Camp 6L.

The extra-large 6L capacity makes this an excellent choice for camping adventures with larger groups, and we love that there’s even an indicator on the side so you can see how much water is left – so you’ll never get caught out without a drop. In fact, the capacity is so big, you might even want to use this filter for a super clean shower, in which case you can pick up an adaptor for a cheeky shower conversion (purchased separately).

Plus, because it’s a gravity filter system, you don’t have to do any pumping at all to get your 6L of clean water. Oh, and the flow rate is pretty rapid too (2L/min), so you won’t have to wait too long for a drink. We do recommend using as sediment-free water as possible with this device, as the filter is prone to clogging with heavily soiled water, which will slow the flow rate. Like many filters, you aren’t protected against viruses, but you are against bacteria and protozoan cysts.

Unlike some other gravity filters, that pass water from one bag to another, this system only includes one bag, so bear in mind that you’ll need another vessel to store your clean water. this does, however, help to keep the weight low for the capacity, which is great if you’re worried about your bags weighing you down.

Overall, if you want a large capacity without the bulk of the effort, then this water filter should be top of your list.

Pros

  • Extra-large capacity is great for large groups
  • Shower adaptor available for an easy conversion
  • Light weight for large capacity
  • Gravity-based system requires minimal effort
  • Fast flow rate

Cons

  • No bag included for clean water storage
  • Filter prone to clogging with heavily sedimented water

Product Information

  • Weight: 10 oz
  • Capacity: 6L
  • Effective against: Bacteria, protozoan cysts and sediment
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GRAYL Ultralight Water Purifier

GRAYL Ultralight Water Purifier [+ Filter] Bottle (Orange)

Introducing one of the more stylish options on our list, the GRAYL Ultralight Water Purifier.

This clever device works by filtering contaminated water from an outer compartment into the inner section – all you need to do is fill it up, place it on a solid surface, and give it a squeeze! What’s more, the cartridges will protect you against not only bacteria and protozoa but also viruses, winning.

On top of that, the bottle features a carbon system to remove metallic tastes and odd odors from your water – phew. The sleek dimensions make this a great option for times when space in your pack is tight – which includes traveling and hiking as well as camping.

Its small capacity does mean that it’s best-suited for individual small-scale use, and it’s actually quite expensive for its size (plus you have to replace the cartridges every 3 months, adding to the running costs). However, it offers great protection in a stylish, transportable design, and it’s definitely one of our favorites for personal use. Oh – and 1% of each purchase is donated to charity, so you don’t need to feel quite so guilty about splashing out.

READ OUR FULL REVIEW

Pros

  • Protects against protozoa, bacteria, and viruses
  • Carbon system removes unwanted tastes
  • Sleek design makes it great for traveling and hiking as well as camping
  • 1% of purchases go towards environmental charities

Cons

  • Small capacity
  • Slightly expensive
  • Cartridges need replacing frequently

Product Information

  • Dimensions: 2.4 x 2.4 x 9.4 inches
  • Weight: 10.9 oz
  • Effective against: Protozoa, bacteria, and viruses
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Katadyn Hiker Microfilter

Katadyn 8018270 Hiker Microfilter

Can’t decide if you want a straw-like filter, a gravity filter, or a filter that works with a bottle? Well, with the LifeStraw Flex Water Filter you don’t need to choose!

This incredibly versatile water filter can be used without any add-ons as a simple straw, with a soft bottle (included), with most hydration packs, and even with a 1-gallon gravity bag (also included), making it great for any occasion. What’s more, despite all these uses, the price tag is surprisingly low.

The filter protects you from water-borne bacteria, protozoa, and even microplastics (but not viruses), and it also features a carbon fiber capsule to remove rotten tastes. The filter itself has an incredibly long lifespan and will work its way through 2000L of water without any issues.

You can use it with shallow water sources in straw mode, you can let gravity do the hard work when used with the bag, you can use it solo as a bottle, or you can provide water to your friends when using the almost 4L capacity bag… there really isn’t much that this water filter can’t do! And the cherry on the cake? For every item purchases, a child in need is provided with water for a whole school year.

Pros

  • Can be used with shallow water sources
  • Great for traveling and hiking as well as camping
  • Reputable brand and sturdy design
  • Easy to use

Cons

  • No protection against viruses
  • Small capacity
  • Slightly expensive

Product Information

  • Dimensions: 3 x 3 x 6 inches
  • Weight: 11 oz
  • Effective against: Bacteria and protozoa
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CrazyCap 2.0 UV Water Purifier

CrazyCap 2.0 UV Water Purifier & Self Cleaning Stainless Steel Insulated Water Bottle - Turns Any Water Source Into Clean Drinkable Water - Perfect for Hiking Camping Travel and Survival

And last, but by no means least, on our list of the best camping water filters is the CrazyCap 2.0 UV Water Purifier.

This water bottle may look like others that you’ve seen before… but look again. Unlike the other water filters on our list, this one purifies water by harnessing the power of UV light to zap away harmful pathogens – pretty neat huh?

This technology is integrated into the cap itself, so all you need to do is fill up the bottle, pop on the cap, and wait for it to do its thing. Pressing the cap twice initiates a 60-second cleanse while tapping it 5 times initiates a deep 2-minute purification. What’s more, every 4 hours, the bottle automatically activates, keeping your filtered water safe all day long.

The stainless steel construction is entirely BPA-free and can stand up to some serious bumps and scrapes (which is inevitable if you spend a lot of time in the great outdoors) – and in case you don’t believe it, it’s backed by a lifetime warranty too. What’s more, it’s great for general hiking trips too, as it will keep cold drinks cold and hot drinks, well, hot – perfect for refreshing drinks in summer and soul-nourishing cups of tea in winter.

Obviously, this mechanism has no means to filter out sediment, but it’s effective again bacteria, protozoa, and viruses, which is pretty darn good. The capacity isn’t the largest either, so it can’t be used to supply water to large groups, and it’s slightly heavy for its capacity too. Overall, however, this is a very cool way to ensure you’re drinking water is safe – oh, and we lost forget, it’s probably the best-looking device we’ve seen too!

Pros

  • Super easy mechanism
  • Option for a quick cleanse or deep purification
  • Automatically purifies every 4 hours
  • Lifetime warranty included
  • Great for everyday use too

Cons

  • Slightly heavy for capacity
  • No protection against sediment
  • Can't be used with large groups

Product Information

  • Weight: 12.6 oz
  • Effective against: Viruses, bacteria, protozoa
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What To Look For In A Camping Water Filter

So, there you have it, our list of the best camping water filters around. As we’ve seen, camping filters can vary a lot, so what is it we should be keeping an eye on when we’re shopping around?

Protection

Ultimately, the main purpose of a water filter is to protect you from unsafe water. How far you want to take this is up to you. If you’re just worried about the tap in the local campsite, you probably don’t need to go all out and get every form of protection. However, if you’ll be in the back and beyond for extended periods, you probably do. If you’re worried about sediment, make sure you get a system with a filter cartridge and not a UV one, but if you’re worried about viruses then a UV option is great. Do your research in advance so you know exactly what it is you’re looking for.

Capacity

This will depend on how you’ll be using your filter. If it’s as a primary water supply, then a high-capacity gravity bag is probably right for you. If it’s just for emergencies, then a hand-pump (or even straw) will probably do the trick.

Portability

Again, this depends on the kind of camping you’ll be doing. Hand-pumps are small, but they can be a little heavy, especially the large-capacity ones. Straws and small-capacity gravity filters are probably your best bet for backcountry camping, depending on whether you’ll be using it as a primary or emergency water supply. If you’ll be taking a car with you, then you can afford to go all out and get a large-capacity gravity bag and quench the whole group’s thirst!

Our Top Three…

Still, struggling to decide which camping water filter is right for you? Here are our top three to help you decide:

If you’re looking for a camping water filter that won’t break the bank, then we definitely recommend the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter.

This ultra-lightweight tiny little filter costs next to nothing, and you’ll hardly notice it in your bag, yet it could really save the day in the case of an emergency.

It can be used with very shallow water, is super simple to operate, and is constructed from BPA-free materials – an essential bit of safety kit for anyone camping in the back and beyond.

Sale
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter for Hiking, Camping, Travel, and Emergency Preparedness, 1 Pack, Blue
70,047 Reviews
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter for Hiking, Camping, Travel, and Emergency Preparedness, 1 Pack, Blue
  • Removes bacteria & parasites: The microfiltration membrane removes 99.999999% of waterborne bacteria (including E. coli and salmonella), and 99.999% of waterborne parasites (including giardia and cryptosporidium)
  • Removes microplastics: Removes the smallest microplastics found in the environment (down to 1 micron), and reduces turbidity down to 0.2 microns

Our top all-round camping water just has to be the LifeStraw Flex Water Filter – how could it not be when it’s so incredibly versatile?

You can take your pick from a straw filter, a bottle filter, or a gravity filter, meaning it’s great for emergency, solo, and group use – what a winner!

Sale
LifeStraw Flex Advanced Water Filter with Gravity Bag - Removes Lead, Bacteria, Parasites and Chemicals Blue, 1 gal
1,961 Reviews
LifeStraw Flex Advanced Water Filter with Gravity Bag - Removes Lead, Bacteria, Parasites and Chemicals Blue, 1 gal
  • Hollow fiber Membrane: 0.2 micron pore size. Removes 99.999999% of bacteria, 99.999% of protozoa, and 99.999% of Micro plastics
  • Carbon fiber capsule: improves taste while reducing lead, other heavy metals, chlorine and Organic chemical matter (pesticides, herbicides, voc)

And finally, what’s our absolute favorite camping water filter? It’s the Platypus GravityWorks 4L.

This filter is proof that you don’t always have to splash the cash to get a great bit of gear. This filter lets gravity do the hard work so that you don’t have to, is entirely BPA-free, and even features a carbon system to make sure your water tastes fresh.

It’s also very lightweight considering its large capacity, and it comes with a secondary bag to store your clean water too. This really has to be one of the best filter systems out there for cleaning water en masse!

Sale
Platypus GravityWorks High-Capacity Water Filter System for Group Camping and Emergency Preparedness, 4.0 Liter
1,214 Reviews
Platypus GravityWorks High-Capacity Water Filter System for Group Camping and Emergency Preparedness, 4.0 Liter
  • High-capacity, gravity-fed, hollow-fiber water filter system is ideal for group and family camping, outdoor adventures, and emergency preparedness
  • Meets all EPA/NSF guidelines for removal of 99.9999% of bacteria and 99.9% of protozoa, including giardia, cryptosporidium, E. coli, salmonella, cholera