Last Updated: July 12, 2023
Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. Read more here.

Best Survival Water Filter (Updated 2023)

If you’re the kind of person who loves to explore untrodden grounds then you’ll know that things don’t always go to plan. Your planned route may change and take an extra day, you might fall in love with areas you find and want to spend a week there instead of a day, who knows, anything can happen.


At A Glance: Our Top 3 Survival Water Filters


One thing is for sure when going on these back-country expeditions, you’re not going to want to carry a week’s worth of drinking water, if you did, you probably wouldn’t make it.

However, water from the surrounding rivers, streams, and lakes isn’t the best idea either. There could be a dead animal upstream that you end up sipping on, and if you get sick in the sticks, then your life is on the line.

Enter the best survival water filter. With one of these in your backpack, you’ll have the freedom to explore without the burden of carrying or boiling water each and every day. You can just add whatever water is nearby, add it to the survival water filter, and drink it knowing you’re safe to do so.

Here are some of the best survival water filters on the market for you to choose from.

Top Product Overview

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter for Hiking, Camping, Travel, and Emergency Preparedness, 1 Pack, Blue
  • Lightweight and very packable
  • Great 1000 gallon filtration capacity
SEE ON AMAZON →
Sawyer Products SP129 Squeeze Water Filtration System w/ Two 32-Oz Squeeze Pouches, Straw, and Hydration Pack Adapter
  • Collapsable pouches for easy packing
  • Super lightweight and slim dimensions
SEE ON AMAZON →
LifeStraw Go Series Water Filter Bottle - BPA-Free, Removes Bacteria, Parasites, Microplastics, Improves Taste, 22oz, Aegean Sea
  • Comes as a water bottle for convenience
  • Removes 99.999% of bacteria and parasites
SEE ON AMAZON →
Katadyn Pocket Water Filter for Backpacking, Group Camping & Emergency Preparedness
  • Amazing 13000-gallon life span
  • Pump mechanism for easy filtering
SEE ON AMAZON →
FS-TFC Water Purifier Survival Gear 4-Stage Portable Water Filter 1.5L/Min Fast Flow for Personal or Small Group Hiking, Camping, Travel, and Emergency Preparedness
  • 4 stage system down to 0.01 microns
  • Removes almost everything from dirty water
SEE ON AMAZON →
SimPure BPA-Free Water Bottle with 4-Stage Filter, Reusable and Portable, Ideal for Travel, Camping, Hiking
  • 4 stage 0.1 micron filter
  • Removes 99.9999% of bacteria/parasites
SEE ON AMAZON →
Membrane Solutions Filtered Water Bottle, 0.1-Micron 4-Stage Water Filter Bottle, Reusable BPA-Free Water Purifier Bottle for Camping, Hiking, Travel and Emergency
  • Affordable and easy to use
  • A good flow rate of 450ml/min
SEE ON AMAZON →
Seychelle Rad/Advanced Emergency Backpacking Camping Water Filter Bottle - Single - 28 oz
  • Easy to use squeeze system
  • Removes up to 99.99% of contaminants
SEE ON AMAZON →

Best Survival Water Filter


Best On A Budget

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

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

The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is one of the best survival water filters when it comes to both affordability and portability.

These water filters weigh just 0.1 lbs, so a few ounces, and having a straw design means you can slot them into your pack with ease. They are so light, you’ll probably forget it’s there.

When it comes to filtration, this survival water filter has a 0.1-micron filter that removes 99.999999% of waterborne bacteria and parasites along with 100% of any microplastics. So whatever water you’re drinking it’ll make it clean and safe.

To top it off, you can get 1000 gallons, that’s 4000 liters of clean safe water from one of these survival filters, so they last a while if you ever have to use them.

The one issue with the LifeStraw Personal water filter is that you have to suck pretty hard to get a flow going, and they aren’t that long, so your face is going to have to get pretty close to your water source, but in a survival situation, it probably won’t bother you too much.

Pros

  • Lightweight and very packable
  • Great 1000 gallon filtration capacity
  • Filters out all bacteria, viruses, microplastics
  • Easy and simple to use
  • EPA approved and very affordable
  • Every purchase helps a child have safe water

Cons

  • You have to suck hard to get a flow going

Product Information

  • Weight: 0.1lbs
  • Dimensions: 8.66 x 0.98 x 0.98 inches
  • Capacity: 1000 gallons
  • Filtration: 0.1 microns
SEE ON AMAZON

Sawyer SP129 Squeeze Water Filtration System

Sawyer Products SP129 Squeeze Water Filtration System w/ Two 32-Oz Squeeze Pouches, Straw, and Hydration Pack Adapter

The Sawyer SP129 Squeeze Water Filtration System is a great survival water filter hence why it has won our prize for the best all-rounder.

This survival water filter comes with two bladder bags where you fill up your raw water and a filtration lid. To drink clean safe water, just squeeze the bag and the water is filtered and ends up safe to drink when it hits your mouth – super convenient compared to a straw.

The 0.1-micron filter removes 99.999% of bacteria and parasites plus 100% of microplastics, and it’s EPA approved so it does work.

This whole package wraps up into a 0.2 lb carry bag and its dimensions are so tiny, you’ll always find space for it in your pack.

The bladder bags don’t last very long though, but you can add the filter top to any 28mm water bottle or even put it in line with a pump.

To top it all off, this survival water filter is affordable, has a 540-gallon capacity, and comes with a lifetime warranty – it’s hard to beat.

Note: Compare LifeStraw and Sawyer filters.

Pros

  • Collapsable pouches for easy packing
  • Super lightweight and slim dimensions
  • Filters out 100% of microplastics
  • Removes 99.99% of bacteria & parasites
  • Great 540-gallon capacity
  • Easy and convenient to use
  • Retrofits to bottles and pumps

Cons

  • Bladder bags wear out

Product Information

  • Weight: 0.2 lbs
  • Dimensions: 4 x 2.5 x 7.5 inches
  • Capacity: 540 gallons
  • Filtration: 0.1 mircon
SEE ON AMAZON

Best Of The Best

LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle

LifeStraw Go Series Water Filter Bottle - BPA-Free, Removes Bacteria, Parasites, Microplastics, Improves Taste, 22oz, Aegean Sea

The LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle is probably the best survival water filter bottle you’re going to find.

By being in a bottle, this survival water filter is about as convenient as possible. No need to stick a straw in a stream and suck, just top up your bottle, and off you go.

You do need to get some sucking power going though to pull the water through the filter, but it’s not too bad, especially if you’re thirsty.

The bottle contains two filters – a membrane that removes close to 100% of parasites, bacteria, and 100% of microplastics. Then there is a carbon filter that removes odors, chlorine, and organic chemicals like pesticides.

The membrane lasts for 1000 gallons and the carbon filter lasts for 26 gallons so 100 liters. When the filters run out, you can buy new ones to replace them.

All of the filters are EPA tested and approved so you know you’re drinking safe water wherever you are.

In our eyes, this is the best, most convenient, and long-lasting survival water filter around, and we love that each purchase gives a school child clean water for a year.

Pros

  • Comes as a water bottle for convenience
  • Removes 99.999% of bacteria and parasites
  • Takes out 100% of microplastics
  • Carbon filter reduces chemicals
  • Super lightweight and durable

Cons

  • You have to suck quite hard
  • Can leak

Product Information

  • Weight: 1lb
  • Dimensions: 4.8 x 3.8 x 11 inches
  • Capacity: 1000 gallons
  • Filtration: 0.1 micron & carbon
SEE ON AMAZON

Katadyn Pocket Water Filter

Katadyn Pocket Water Filter for Backpacking, Group Camping & Emergency Preparedness

The Katadyn Pocket Water Filter is a bit of a different survival water filter compared to the others as it’s a pump filter rather than a bottle or straw.

This makes it perfect for larger groups of people – why all carry a survival water filter when one will do.

Using it is incredibly easy, just slip one tube into your raw water source, say a river, and then pump the filter by hand and safe drinking water will come out of another pipe which you can have sitting in your water bottle or jerry can.

The outlet hose even comes with a clip so you can attach your container to stop it from falling over with pressure from the hose.

The filter removes anything down to 0.2-microns which includes 99% of parasites, bacteria, sediments, and microplastics – so your water is always safe.

This filter is light and compact for portability and lasts for a whopping 13,000 gallons but it is super expensive.

Katadyn BeeFree is another great product from them. It is a large gravity filter if you want a little more bang for your buck in terms of volume. A gravity filter uses good old mother earth to push the water down through the filters. So, it is not something you can speed up, but it works a treat for larger quantities.

Pros

  • Amazing 13000-gallon life span
  • Pump mechanism for easy filtering
  • Filters all microorganisms larger than 0.2 microns
  • Great for large groups of people
  • Removes bacteria and protozoa

Cons

  • Super expensive

Product Information

  • Weight:1.3 lbs
  • Dimensions: 2.56 x 5.43 x 1.5 inches
  • Capacity: 13,000 gallons
  • Filtration: 0.2 micron
SEE ON AMAZON

FS-TFC 4-Stage Portable Water Filter Pump

FS-TFC Water Purifier Survival Gear 4-Stage Portable Water Filter 1.5L/Min Fast Flow for Personal or Small Group Hiking, Camping, Travel, and Emergency Preparedness

The FS-TFC 4-Stage Portable Water Filter Pump is another pump-style survival water filter but it’s far more affordable than the one above and you could argue, better at filtering.

This survival water filter has a 4 stage system that removes everything down to 0.01 microns – 10 or 20 times smaller than others featured.

This means it removes almost everything from bacteria to parasites, fluoride, chlorine, and most heavy metals. So no matter how dirty the raw water you’re using is, this will make it safe to drink.

The filters last for 2,100 gallons which is more than enough for you and your mates, plus using it is quick and easy. When pumping you get a flow rate of 1.5 liters a minute so you can fill a water bottle or jerry car in next to no time.

You might think it would be less portable than other types of water filters but at just 0.6lbs in weight and with compact dimensions, it will slip into your pack with ease.

Pros

  • 4 stage system down to 0.01 microns
  • Removes almost everything from dirty water
  • Pump filter makes it easy to use
  • A quick 1.5L per minute flow rate
  • Light, compact, and portable
  • Very affordable for the quality

Cons

  • No separate bags for in & out pipes

Product Information

  • Weight: 0.6 lbs
  • Dimensions:11.2 x 1.9 x 3.5 inches
  • Capacity: 2100 gallons
  • Filtration: 0.01 microns
SEE ON AMAZON

SimPure Filtered Water Bottle

SimPure BPA-Free Water Bottle with 4-Stage Filter, Reusable and Portable, Ideal for Travel, Camping, Hiking

The SimPure Filtered Water Bottle is a very affordable survival water filter that uses a bottle design making drinking safe clean water a lot easier than a straw.

It features a 4 stage filtration system that removes everything down to 0.1 micron which includes 99.99999% of bacteria and parasites along with sediments and chlorine.

The filters last for around 396 gallons of filtration which is 1500 liters. This is not as much as others but replacement filters are readily available.

The bottle itself is made from BPA-free Food Grade Tritan material which lasts and has no odors that will affect the taste of your water.

While this survival water filter is affordable and easy to use, you do have to suck quite hard to get water out of it and it’s a lot heavier than some of the other options, but not by too much.

Pros

  • 4 stage 0.1 micron filter
  • Removes 99.9999% of bacteria/parasites
  • Activated carbon improves taste
  • Filters last a while and can be replaced
  • Convenient bottle design makes it easy

Cons

  • Takes some sucking power to work
  • A little heavier than others

Product Information

  • Weight: 1.4 lbs
  • Dimensions: 9.06 x 2.95 x 2.95 inches
  • Capacity: 396 gallons
  • Filtration: 0.1 microns
SEE ON AMAZON

Membrane Solutions Water Filter Bottle

Membrane Solutions Filtered Water Bottle, 0.1-Micron 4-Stage Water Filter Bottle, Reusable BPA-Free Water Purifier Bottle for Camping, Hiking, Travel and Emergency

The Membrane Solutions Water Filter Bottle is another excellent survival water filter that is very affordable.

It consists of a 600 ml leakproof and durable water bottle with a 4 stage filtration system in the spout. To use it, just fill up the bottle with dirty water and suck out the clean, safe drinking water.

Unlike other bottles, you don’t need quite as much sucking power and get up to 450ml per minute out of this one.

The filter uses 4 stages with activate carbon to remove odors and chlorine. It filters everything out down to 0.1 micron which removes 99.9999% of bacteria, viruses, and microplastics.

It only has a capacity of 396 gallons, which is less than others but you can buy replacements easily. It’s also a tad heavier than others for carrying around in your pack.

Pros

  • Affordable and easy to use
  • A good flow rate of 450ml/min
  • The filter removes all harmful creatures
  • The bottle is durable and leakproof
  • Carbon filter removes odors and improves taste

Cons

  • Large and heavier than other options
  • Lower filtration capacity than others

Product Information

  • Weight: 1,25 lbs
  • Dimensions: 9.7 x 4.5 x 3.2 inches
  • Capacity: 396 gallons
  • Filtration: 0.1 micron
SEE ON AMAZON

Seychelle Rad/Advanced Water Filter Bottle

Seychelle Rad/Advanced Emergency Backpacking Camping Water Filter Bottle - Single - 28 oz

The Seychelle Rad/Advanced Water Filter Bottle is another fantastic survival water filter and it’s probably one of the easiest to use.

This bottle is a squeeze bottle meaning you don’t have t make your cheeks sore to get the water out. With a solid squeeze, water comes squirting out the filter, making drinking safe water a lot easier.

The filter system uses 4 stages to filter down to 0.2 microns and thus removes everything that might cause you any harm.

It goes further than other water filters in fact removing heavy metals and even radiological contaminates.

The one thing holding this little filter bottle back is that the filter lasts for just 100 gallons before it needs replacing.

Pros

  • Easy to use squeeze system
  • Removes up to 99.99% of contaminants
  • Even removes radiological contaminants
  • Light, compact, and portable
  • Super affordable

Cons

  • Lower capacity than others

Product Information

  • Weight: 0.40 lbs
  • Dimensions: 9.5 x 3.5 x 3.5 Inches
  • Capacity: 100 gallons
  • Filtration: 0.2 microns
SEE ON AMAZON

What To Look For In The Best Survival Water Filter

Type

The first decision you need to make when shopping for a survival water filter is what type suits you best. You can choose from a straw, bottle, or pump-style water filter, each of which has its advantages.

Straw

If you plan on using your water filter just in serious survival situations then straw is ideal, mainly because chances are you won’t have to use it often. To use a straw you have to put one end into the contaminated water and suck hard to get clean water which will then come straight into your mouth. This is fine when you’re stuck for hydration but it’s not something you want to be doing daily.

Bottle

Bottle-style survival water filters are a lot more convenient as you can carry them around and drink when you need to. They work by pretty much having a staw as a lid though, so you might have to use some serious suction power to get them going. Some of them are squeezable though which makes getting clean drinking water a lot easier.

These are ideal if you want to use your water filter daily when hiking around, topping up from rivers and lakes as you go.

Pump

Pump water filters are perfect for large groups and easier to use than any others. Just put the intake pipe in the dirty water, the outlet pipe into your water container, and pump away by hand. You can get around 1.5 L a minute of clean drinking water out of these and there is no sucking required.

Portability

When you’re out in the backcountry for weeks at a time, the last thing you want is to be carrying any extra weight. Luckily, most portable water filters weigh in at under 1lb so they are more than worth it for their weight.

You’ll notice that all the water filters featured have their weight and dimensions featured underneath them, so you can base your decision on them if portability is important.

Water Filtration

You’ll notice that every water filter has a micron filtration rating. Now, bacteria sits at its smallest around 0.2 microns so you’ll need an o.1-micron filter to remove all of it, which luckily most of them come with.

This means, as you will have read, that they can remove 99.9999% of all bacteria and parasites that contaminate water so you can drink it with confidence and not get sick.

These types of water filtration also remove 100% of microplastics which is a sad thing to need but you do. Even rivers and streams at the top of mountains have microplastics because they are transferred there by rain.

Taste

The next thing is the taste of the water. A 0.1-micron membrane doesn’t do much for odors and taste which is why activated carbon filters are added to the system. If you want good-tasting odor-free water, then make sure to pick a filter with activated carbon in it. It removes chlorine too!

Capacity

Every water filtration system has a limit to how much water it can filet effectively before it wears out and becomes unsafe. The survival water filters featured have capacities ranging from 100-13000 gallons.

The bigger the capacity, the less often you’re going to need to buy replacement filters so make sure to calculate this along with the price you’re paying.

EPA Approved

Whichever survival water filter you decide to buy, make sure it’s EPA approved. They uphold the levels of safe public drinking water and if they have stamped it ok then you can go ahead and use your filter without any concerns.

Our Favorite Survival Water Filters

The best filter for your water, if you’re on a budget, is the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter. It’s super affordable, lightweight, and packable, EPA approved, plus it makes any freshwater safe to drink thanks to removing all the nasties, microplastics included, with its 0.1-micron filter.

Sale
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

The all-around best survival filter is the Sawyer SP129 Squeeze Water Filtration System. This system uses a filtration lid with bladder bags and to drink safe water all you need to do is squeeze. It comes with 2 re-usable bladder bags but it also retrofits to water bottles with a 28mm spout and you can add it inline with a pump.

Sawyer Products SP129 Squeeze Water Filtration System w/ Two 32-Oz Squeeze Pouches, Straw, and Hydration Pack Adapter
  • Lightweight, Easy To Use Portable Water Filter Removes Harmful Bacteria, Protozoa, Cysts, Sediment, And 100% Of Microplastics; Perfect For Outdoor Adventures, Travel, Or Emergency Preparedness
  • High-Performance 0.1 Micron Absolute Inline Filter Fits In The Palm Of Your Hand And Weighs Just 2 Ounces; 100% Of Micro Squeeze Units Individually Tested Three Times To Performance Standards By Sawyer

The best survival water filter is the LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle in our opinion. The convenience of having a bottle is fantastic, it comes with a dual filter both membrane and carbon and it takes all the nasties out as well as odors, chlorine, and organic chemicals.

LifeStraw Go Series Water Filter Bottle - BPA-Free, Removes Bacteria, Parasites, Microplastics, Improves Taste, 22oz, Aegean Sea
  • LifeStraw Go Series is the ULTIMATE SIDEKICK. The BPA-Free bottle filters out nasties so you can fill up from airport bathrooms, a tap in Mexico, or a gas station while road-tripping
  • IMPROVES TASTE: the Carbon filter reduces chlorine, odors + organic chemical matter