The best camping water filter depends on many factors, such as the type of camping you are doing, the volume of water you need, where you are going, and how lightweight you want the filter to be.
If you are camping and traveling in a recreational vehicle or travel trailer, check out our best RV water filter reviews page.
You can get a camping water filter that will produce safe and clean drinking water for under $20 or you can spend over $200 for the best water filters.
The Pump - The standard camping filter uses a pump system to draw water from the source. The pump forces the water through a micro-filter (down to one or two microns) and then the clean water comes out a tube that can be placed in a container or cooking pot.
Gravity-Fed Bag - Another type of water filter for camping is gravity-fed. You fill a pouch with the source water and elevate it or hang it from a tree, allowing gravity to pull the water down through a filter that removes 99.99% of bacteria and protozoa.
The Straw - The other main type of camping filter uses a straw and filtration media. One type of straw filter you place directly in the stream or source water and suck. Water is drawn up through the filtration media providing safe drinking water. You can also get a straw water filter bottle, which is usually more convenient. Both straw type filters are designed for personal use and cannot provide water to fill other containers.
After reviewing numerous camping water filters, we recommend the following as the best of each type.
This water filter can be used for personal use or for as many as 3 to 4 campers. It is lightweight and portable and can be used with extremely dirty or cloudy water. It has a silver-impregnated ceramic element that is effective at removing all bacteria and protozoa and is used by the United States military. Comes with a 20-year warranty.
This gravity-fed system is used by many disaster-relief organizations and is also ideal for individual or group camping. It removes virtually all bacteria (99.9999%), protozoa (99.99%), and Viruses (99.999%) in contaminated water. It is easy to use and maintain and provides 18,000 liters (4,755 gallons) of filtration capacity. Bag reservoir is available in 5 L or 12 L sizes.
This 23-ounce water bottle has an integrated filtering straw. The filter surpasses EPA standards for removing Giardia, E. Coli, Cryptosporidium, as well as other water contaminants. The leak-proof bottle is made of BPA-free Tritan and can be re-used indefinitely. When the filter reaches its capacity, you can purchase a replacement filter.
Further reading . . .