There’s no disputing how important water is to survival. In fact, the human body can only survive three days without it!
But when you’re in an emergency or stuck out in the wilderness, you’ll be lucky to find clean and purified water. That’s where survival water filters come in.
Unsafe drinking water can cause serious illnesses, and, as important as water is, dirty water will only hinder your survival further. Finding the best survival water filter will therefore give you the best chance of survival when times are tough and supplies are scarce.
Having water purification products in your survival backpack is essential, and owning the best survival water filter for your needs could make the difference between getting sick, or feeling hydrated when you need it the most.
Product Quick Comparison
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
You can go just three days without water before your body shuts down.
That’s why having a good water supply is vital to guarantee life, and therefore a successful survival story.
The LifeStraw water filter, made of hollow fiber membranes, enables you to filter up to 1000 gallons of contaminated water without iodine or other chemicals.
You don’t want to experience illness when out in the wild, as it will burden your chances of survival.
This water filter surpasses EPA standards and helps to sieve out waterborne bacteria and protozoan parasites.
It comes in a sealed bag, which is ideal for storing in your bug out bag or backpack. The bag keeps it clean and safe to use, helping to prevent any health issues and also keeps the filter safe and in reach.
This filter doesn’t require batteries and has no moving parts, it has a simple, yet effective, design and no disaster kit is complete without one.
This product is on the market as an average price for a water filter and is budget-friendly, which makes it easily acquired for survivalists of all backgrounds.
- Filters up to 1000 gallons of contaminated water - without iodine, chlorine, or other chemicals
- Comes in a sealed bag for protection
- Hollow-fiber membrane technology
- Longevity of product has been questioned
- Needs suction to get going
Sawyer Products MINI Water Filtration System
Despite being a mini water filter, this product from Sawyer isn’t mini in its capabilities. It can process up to 100,000 gallons of water, using a 0.1-micron inline filter.
It removes 99.99999% of all harmful bacteria, such as salmonella, and 99.9999% of all protozoa. Each Sawyer Mini unit is tested three times before packaging, to ensure no harmful pathogens are left behind.
Not only is it a powerful filter, but a versatile one too. The Sawyer Mini can screw onto standard water bottles, so you can simply pour your water into your bottle, and you’re good to go. Alternatively, you can fill the squeeze pouch with water from your source, screw the filter on top, and start drinking straight away.
The 16oz squeeze pouch is reusable, which is especially convenient for survival situations when you could be stuck for long periods. The filtration system also includes a 7-inch drinking straw for your convenience.
- Filter rated up to 100,000 gallons
- Removes harmful bacteria and protozoa to a high standard
- Reusable and compact squeeze pouch for convenience
- MINI filter can screw onto pouch or water bottle
- Not ideal for large groups and is more intended for individual use
Survivor Filter PRO X Electric Water Filter
The PRO X Electric Water Filter has an incredibly fast flow-rate compared to other filters on the market. It produces about 0.5 liters per minute, and with a 0.01 rating, its speed is undoubtedly impressive.
This electric handheld filter is also super easy to use. It runs on AA batteries and can plug into a variety of USB sources. With the press of a button, the filter will start to remove bacteria, protozoa, and viruses from the water to make it safe for drinking.
It has a long filter life, able to provide up to 12000oz of clean water in poor conditions, and 15000 in ideal conditions.
Although the PRO X only weighs around 10z, it is quite large in size, and may be inconvenient if you are going solo in a survival situation. You’ll have to consider whether it is worth sacrificing some space in your survival backpack to make room for this filter.
- Fast flow-rate is convenient in survival situations
- 3 stage filtration system
- Comes with backwashing syringe system
- Removes bacteria, protozoa, and viruses
- Long filter life
- Easy to use
- Does require batteries or USB charge, which could be unreliable in the outdoors
- Quite large to fit into a survival backpack
- Not budget-friendly
Katadyn Vario Dual Technology MicroFilter
The MicroFilter from Katadyn comes with three different filter levels. It features a high-performance glass fiber filter for the primary filtration, a ceramic pre-filter that can alter depending on the cloudiness of the water, and the use of active charcoal to remove odors.
It filters the water quickly, producing up to two quarts per minute by using the ‘faster flow’ mode, or one quart per minute in the ‘longer life’ mode. Although it is a powerful and high-tech filter, it is easy to use, with a dual-piston pump, to smoothly pump out up the water quickly.
As the water is cleaned so quickly, the MicroFilter makes a sensible choice for large groups. The adapter base can also attach to water bottles for enhanced convenience, or you can attach it to the hose that comes with the filter, to fill up larger containers.
- Three different filter levels to allow for powerful filtering
- Quickly treats water, making it an excellent choice for groups
- Can attach to water bottles or the included hose pipe
- Lightweight and fits in a survival backpack
- Removes 99.9999% of bacteria
- Not budget-friendly
- Some customers have reported leaks between parts of the filter
Etekcity Water Filter Straw
The second straw-type filter on our list, the Etekcity Water Filter Straw features a 3-stage filtration system. This advanced filtration includes a pre-filter, an activated carbon filter, and a 0.01 Micron Hollow Fiber UF Membrane Inline filter. With the use of this powerful technology, the filter straw removes 99.99999% of waterborne bacteria, such as E.Coli and cholera.
It provides up to 1500 liters of clean drinking water, and you can filter it from any source, such as streams and lakes.
Ideal for survival situations, this filter comes with a foldable water pouch for collecting water, a syringe for cleaning, and a 70cm straw to attach to the filter, which makes it easier to drink in hard to reach sources. Even with the additional kit, the whole product only weighs around 4oz, so it is portable and easy to carry on the go.
However, it is worth noting that this filter does have a slower flow-rate than competitor filters, providing around 1-1.1 liters per minute. This means it will require more power to drink directly, and could be inconvenient.
- High-quality 3 stage advanced filtration system
- Removes 99.99999% of waterborne bacteria
- Provides up to 1500 liters of safe drinking water
- Useful additional items for convenience
- Slower flow-rate than competitor filters
- The water pouch only holds 16oz, so you may need to bring extra containers for long trips
Water Source and Purification
The kind of water source you collect your water from will determine how intensive your water treatment needs to be.
If you find water from a cold spring, a glacier, or snowmelt, for example, then the water will be relatively pure to begin with. It’s unlikely to have been contaminated by humans or animals.
For water sources such as these, a basic water filter is appropriate. It’s worth bearing this in mind if you know you’re going to be traveling in a freezing or snowy climate.
However, unless you already live in a snow-covered area, it’s more likely that you’ll be in an urban or wilderness setting when disaster strikes. In this instance, you’re more prone to collecting contaminated water. Water from swamps or streams will need more intense filtering.
Not only will it need to be filtered, but this water should also be purified as an essential precaution. Purification removes viruses, odors, and bad tastes that could otherwise slip through a standard filter.
Individual or Group Survival
You’ll need to consider how many people will be with you when you’re stuck without water. If you’re certain it’s only yourself that will be out in a survival situation, then a lightweight inline filter or a filter straw should be sufficient.
Alternatively, if you are in a larger group, having a filter built for individual purposes will be pointless. A small pump water filter will instead be a more sensible option. Small pump water filters can fill several water bottles at a fast rate, and the task of pumping can be spread between members of the group.
While it’s not always possible to know if you’re going to be out in the wilderness for an extended period, gravity-fed filters are a smart choice to take if you are anticipating this.
These filters are much quicker at filtering large volumes of water, and can provide you with gallons a day if the water is continually being poured into it. These are a better option for camping, as they aren’t easy to transport and require a bit of space to set up.
A Portable Water Filter
In a survival situation, you need to keep your gear as light as possible. When disaster strikes, you won’t know how long you’ll be out in the wilderness for, and having a heavy survival backpack would only make matters worse.
That’s why the best survival water filter will be lightweight and portable. Anything bulky or cumbersome will take up unnecessary space. A water filter doesn’t need to be heavy to be efficient. Many small in-line filters should be able to fit even in a small pocket, and should be ultralightweight to hold.
While larger filters, such as gravity-fed filters, are not designed to fit in backpacks, some small pump-style filters can work well for long periods while comfortably fitting in a survival backpack.
It is worth considering whether you are willing to sacrifice a larger, perhaps more efficient pump, for a smaller lightweight option, that may take longer to filter your water thoroughly.
You’ll need to consider whether a more budget-friendly water filter is going to be as effective as a more expensive option.
More expensive filters may work better as a long-term investment if they can filter more gallons than cost-effective filters. Make sure to compare the specifications before purchasing a water filter.
A simple, basic filter can often work just as well as a higher-priced one that boasts lots of features. You may be able to use the extra expenses on different survival gear, where price equates to quality. It is worth considering what features you specifically want from a water filter, and whether a higher price means more functionality.
Another aspect of price to consider is whether your chosen filter has easily replaceable parts. Your filter may need parts replacing throughout its life, so a higher-priced option could end up costing you more in the long run, rather than being a sensible investment.
Easy to Use
The best survival water filter should be easy to use without having to read through manuals of step-by-step instructions. When you’re stuck in a survival situation, getting your water filtered should be a stress-free process, as pressure is high, and time is of the essence.
Some water filters will require additional items to work correctly. They may need a special hose, for example. They may also require you to be in a particular environment or position to sufficiently filter water.
Popular straw-like filters are currently available on the market. While they have many advantages, they only work when you are very near to a water source, as you have to physically suck the water through the straw.
It is therefore important to consider how easy the filter is to use, as the best survival water filter will be able to adapt to different environments and conditions.
After reviewing these products, it’s clear that there’s an array of high-quality survival water filters on the market. However, my pick for the best survival water filter would have to be the Sawyer Products MINI Water Filtration System.
This filter offers high-quality results, while being budget-friendly and easy to use. It is a lightweight choice for survivalists, and is one of the best portable water filters to store in your survival backpack.
Thanks for reading, and we hope our reviews have helped you to choose the best survival water filter to keep you safe and hydrated in times of survival.
Please leave any feedback in the comment section below, and if you have any suggestions for topics, please get in touch with us. We’d love to hear from you!
Good Luck and Happy Survival Prepping!
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