When you are outdoors whether it is camping or hiking, water purification is an essential element that should not be overlooked. Not all water sources are safe, even if the water looks crystal clear and clean, it may still contain contaminants that may make you sick if they are ingested.
When you are deciding on which water treatment solution you should get for your next trip, there are a few considerations you should keep in mind.
Filters versus Purifiers
The main difference between a water filter and a water purifier is the size of the microorganism each is trying to fight. A water filter strains out bacteria and protozoan cysts, while a water purifier can also help fight viruses that are too small for a filter to catch.
Many purifiers come with a cartridge or other internal element that is made of pores to help trap debris and other bacteria. As these elements are strained through the cartridge, the materials may begin to clog up these pores, so the internal cartridge will need to be regularly cleaned and replaced when needed.
Types of Purifiers
Gravity Based Water Purifier: These purifiers use pressure as the water travels from the higher chamber to the lower chamber while filtering out bacteria.
They do not require electricity to work, they are a relatively low cost and affordable way to purify water, the filters are low cost, and the device is easy to maintain, and they are portable and extremely easy to use. However, they cannot kill all various microorganisms and cannot filter heavy metals.
UV Water Purifier: These water purifiers use an ultraviolet purification technology to clean the water. The UV radiation is able to kill bacteria, germs, and viruses.
These purifiers do not have to use any chemicals so the water will taste the same and they are a cost effective and minimal maintenance water purification solution. However, this type of purifier does require electricity to operate and cannot remove any fluoride, arsenic, lead, or nitrates.
The following are reviews for the best water purifiers for hiking:
Best Water Purifier for Hiking
Water Filter Straw with .1 Micron Purifier for Hiking
This Water Filter Straw with purifier is a 7-inch portable straw that can convert any contaminated water into a drinkable water source on your hiking trip.
The straw is able to connect to any 28mm water bottle which makes it even easier and more convenient to use. It includes a lanyard for additional durability and includes several new features which make it the perfect accessory to include on your next trip.
- Item Dimensions: 1 x 1 x 9 inches
- Item Weight: 3 ounces
- Hydration Capacity: 28mm
- Can screw onto any standard size water bottle
- Comes with a carabiner, signaling mirror, tourniquet, extension tube, bear whistle, and compass
- It is extremely portable and lightweight
- Eliminates 99.99% of contaminants
- The mouthpiece is BPA Free and chemical free and will not alter the taste of the water
- Collect water on the go and simply attach the straw when you are ready to drink
- Cannot open the device to see the filter
- If you require a larger amount of water it needs to be attached to a bottle
Camelbak Unisex All Clear UV Purifier Bottle
The Camelbak UV Purifier Bottle is a portable purification system that is built right into the bottle. It has an energy efficient design that can last up to 10,000 cycles and it features an impact and weather resistant cap that helps to insulate the UV bulb. It is able to reduce a number of bacteria in the water by 99.99% and provides a clear and precise LCD readout to help simplify the process.
- Item Dimensions: 3 x 3.25 x 11.25 inches
- Item Weight: 1.15 pounds
- Hydration Capacity: 25 ounces
- Effectively neutralizes microbiological contaminants without chemicals
- Built-in LCD to confirm the results
- It takes only sixty seconds to purify the water
- UV cord is included
- Includes a Camelbak Classic Cap
- Include a case to store the cap and USB cord
- Needs electricity to charge
- Higher weight
- Higher initial investment
LifeStraw Go Water Bottle
The LifeStraw Go Water Bottle is a convenient and effortless way to purify water on your hiking trip. It is a 23-ounce bottle that has been integrated with replaceable LifeStraw filters that can filter and purify water up to 264 gallons down to 0.2 microns.
The bottle is leakproof and is made from BPA-free Tritan that can be used repeatedly. The bottle leaves no aftertaste and will not alter the taste of the water because there are no chemicals or iodine needed to purify the water. The mouthpiece is also removable and is easy to clean because it is made from a food-grade flexible silicone material.
- Item Dimensions: 9 x 3 x 3 inches
- Item Weight: 0.24 pounds
- Hydration Capacity: 670ML
- Filters at least 264 gallons of water
- Removes up to 99.99% of contaminants and bacteria
- No need to pump or wait for any chemicals to react
- Fast, easy, and convenient way to purify drinking water
- Lightweight, leak-proof, and high flow rate design
- Hard to find replacement filters
- Flip straw construction may allow leaks when bottle lays horizontally
Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System
The Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System is ideal for any outdoor recreational activity, including hiking and camping. It includes a high-performance filter that weighs only two ounces and provides a 0.1-micron absolute hollow fiber membrane inline filter. It can easily attach to the included drinking pouch or a standard size water bottle or hydration pack. It includes a 16-ounce reusable squeeze pouch, a 7-inch drinking straw, and a cleaning plunger
- Item Dimensions: 8 x 3 x 4 inches
- Item Weight: 0.5 pounds
- Hydration Capacity: 16-ounce pouch
- Filter rated up to 100,000 gallons
- Can screw onto most water bottles
- Very lightweight, portable, and versatile
- Removes up to 99.99% of all contaminants and bacteria
- Does not use chemicals and does not alter the taste of the water
- Pouch is small and cannot hold large amount of water
- Must use care to avoid contamination when using
When looking for the best water purifier for hiking, you will want something that is lightweight, portable, and easy to use because you are on the move.
All of the above purification devices are ideal to use on the go and can attach to a standard size water bottle. You can collect the water on the go, and then purify the water when you are ready to drink.
Always keep in mind your particular needs and uses as well as how much water you think you will need to purify at a time and these considerations will help you find the right water purifier for your trip.
Want to read about the truth about water purification in the wilderness? Check it out here.
Need a water filter for your backpacking trip? Read about our favorite one here.
Going on a kayaking trip soon? Learn about our favorite kayak paddles to bring with you here.