Which Portable Water Filtering System is the Best? 

Whether you’re a hiker, survivalist, or just like to keep your water as clean as possible, a portable water filtering system is an essential piece of gear. A good filter is able to remove contaminants from your drinking water, while also leaving in the essential nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy and strong. 

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The best portable water filter should be easy to use and carry around and should be able to handle tough conditions. This means it should be lightweight and durable, so you can take it with you on hikes or camping trips without worrying about it breaking down. 

It’s also important to look for a filter with an independent certification of its effectiveness, such as NSF’s Gold Seal. This is a guarantee that the device is tested to be effective in filtering out waterborne contaminants, such as bacteria, cysts, parasites, and viruses. 

There are several different types of portable water filtering systems, from pumps and gravity filters to UV purifiers. Choosing the right one for your needs can be challenging, so here are a few things to consider before you buy: 

Pump-style filters are simple and easy to use. They use a hand pump to pull water through a membrane and into a bottle, pouch or container. They also require minimal assembly. 

However, they can be a pain to use when you’re on the move and don’t have access to power. Thankfully, pumps have evolved into smaller, lighter, and more convenient alternatives, such as the Sawyer Mini, which can filter up to 1 gallon per minute. 

Gravity filters are more difficult to use than pump-style filters, but they can filter water quickly and efficiently. They’re ideal for hikers, campers, and emergency preppers because they don’t need a constant supply of water to function, and can be used without electricity or a battery. 

They do, however, need to be hung or held up to let gravity do its work. This can make them less portable than other systems, especially if they aren’t accompanied by a backup bottle. 

It’s also important to check the micron size of a portable water filter’s filter cartridge. The smaller the micron, the more efficient it is at removing harmful chemicals and particles. 

Bacteria typically have a 0.3-micron size, while viruses can be as small as 0.1 microns. Many portable filters have a 0.1-micron cartridge, which is enough to eliminate most bacteria and prevent pathogens from entering your bloodstream. 

The best portable water filter will be able to trap and neutralize viruses, as well. It should be able to do this by either using a hollow fiber design or a ceramic filter. 

This will ensure you won’t be ingesting dangerous pathogens that can cause serious health problems, such as hepatitis or salmonella. 

There are several options to choose from, but the Sawyer MINI is our top choice because it’s a versatile and lightweight portable filter that lasts longer than any of its competitors and is well-reviewed by hikers, survivalists and environmentalists alike. It’s also backed by a lifetime warranty so you can feel confident that it’ll be a reliable partner on your next adventure.