There aren’t many activities quite as peaceful as hiking out into the backcountry, surrounded by nothing but nature. Outdoor adventures and activities are just as good for the mind as they are for the body, but a key aspect of health is staying well-hydrated by drinking water.
If you are venturing out into a familiar area or an area where you know there are water sources for you to drink, you can keep the weight of your pack down by skipping the numerous water bottles for a quality filtered bottle.
Here are 3 of some of the best filtered water bottles for outdoor enthusiasts.
Sawyer Filter Bottle
First up is Sawyer’s Personal Water Filtration Bottle. Sawyer is a well-known water filtration brand so it’s no surprise that their filtration bottle is fairly popular to get purified water and stay hydrated during your hikes. Those who are only going to spend a few hours outdoors or people who are doing a lot of traveling around North America and want the protection of water filtration will be happy with this bottle to get rid of all the contaminants in water.
Details & Features:
- Weighs only 5.5 ounces empty
- Carries 34 fl. oz. of water
- Comes with a sturdy 63mm cap & two replacement filter straw
- BPA-free materials
- Compatible with other hydration pack system
- Uses Sawyer’s PointONE hollow fiber filter
- Backwash syringe allows for cleaning in the field
- Has a high flow rate to ensure you get clean water quickly
- Widemouth bottle cap will work with other bottles
Water Filtration Capabilities:
- Removes 99.99999% of bacteria – including E. coli, vibrio cholera, and salmonella
- Removes 99.9999% of protozoa – including cryptosporidium and giardia
- Meets EPA standards
- Does not remove viruses
The Sawyer Personal Water Filtration Bottle does not remove viruses or chemicals, so it isn’t an all-in-one style of filter bottle. However, the vast majority of water sources in North America are largely free of viruses which makes this bottle safe for turning clean freshwater sources into safe drinking water. The other benefits of this bottle still make it a great choice.
Like many of Sawyer’s other filtration systems, this bottle can easily be maintained while in the field. In the kit you receive with the bottle there is a special backwashing syringe for this purpose. This syringe hardly takes up any space and can be stowed away in your daypack pocket in case you need to clean the bottle after you get purified water while out in the country.
The bottle’s size of 34 ounces is perfect for the majority of people. It holds enough that you won’t have to stop every hour to refill but also isn’t so large and bulky like the bottles that hols a couple of liters of water, that it’s unnecessarily heavy or cumbersome to hold in one hand. This bottle is designed as a personal water bottle, but a couple may choose to share or it can be used for a couple of kids to drink.
Another really cool feature of the Sawyer bottle is that the filter is attached to the cap of the bottle. The 63mm cap is a classic widemouth size which means it will be compatible with other similar-sized bottles. While the durable BPA-free Sawyer bottle works perfectly, it’s nice to have the option of using the filter on another bottle for whatever reason.[easyazon_infoblock align="center" identifier="B013S26OLA" locale="US" tag="alloutdoorsguide-20" type="single" link_id="4612220"]
“I really like the design and size of this product. Nice to have on a trail hike or in an emergency situation if I find that I need drinking water and there is non-potable water. I pack coffee filters to strain out any sediment before filling the bottle if the source requires it.” by David Allen Beasley on Amazon.
“…Filled the bottle with normal tap water and drank from the filter straw and omg that was the freshest and sweetest water I ever drank in my life.
I thought it was psychological so I got my girlfriend to try it and she too agreed that the water was very fresh…” by Andy Toh on Amazon.
Lifesaver 4000UF Bottle
As an all-in-one filtration bottle, the Lifesaver 4000UF is the perfect bottle for the more hardcore outdoor enthusiast that is going to spend a significant amount of time outdoors or may also be traveling outside of North America. The filtration system in this bottle can handle a lot and is reliable for freshwater water sources that may questionable.
Details & Features:
- Bottles hold 750ml, or roughly 25 ounces, of water
- Has a filtration life of 4,000 liters
- The bottle has a failsafe feature when the filter needs to be replaced
- Tested and approved by Independent Test House to meet NSF Protocol 231
- Simple fill and pump design for quick access to clean water
- The bottle is free of BPAs and BPSs
- Hardy outer shell can take on rough handling
- Comes with a pre-filter scavenging sponge to soak up water at very low levels in emergency situations
Water filtration capabilities:
- Removes 99.99% of viruses
- Removes 99.9999% of bacteria
- Removes 99.9% of cysts
- Reduces haziness of cloudy, muddy or glacial water
- Reduces unpleasant tastes or bad odors in the water
The Lifesaver 4000UF bottle has a refill lifespan of about 5,400 times, making it perfect for someone that is really going to put their bottle through a lot of use. The sporty yet tough shell of the bottle doesn’t have to be babied and can easily handle daily use throughout an extended period of time.
As a do-all type of water filter bottle, it’s no surprise that the Lifesaver can make tap water and almost any water sources safe to drink. Free of all the contaminants and chemicals that might be harmful and without the chlorine odor and aftertaste some filters let. It will strip out bacteria, cysts, and protozoa but also remove viruses.
As mentioned earlier, North America water sources are essentially free of viruses and bacteria but this bottle will give you extra security and peace of mind, not to mention you can use it in other countries safely. As for chemical reduction, the filtration system helps remove bad tastes and any water turbidity that you don’t want to have in your bottled water.
Even though the Lifesaver bottle is a bit more on the expensive side when compared to other water bottle filters, it is money very well-spent for globetrotters or hardcore backpackers.[easyazon_infoblock align="center" identifier="B001EHF99A" locale="US" tag="alloutdoorsguide-20" type="single" link_id="4612221"]
“This appears to do the job – of course I cannot validate the chemical analysis of the water but it tastes great and looks crystal clear. The process of filtering is a little tedious but for what it is designed to do that is not even an issue. This little bottle can save lives – I plan to do quite a bit of desert travel and this will be going with me. Its well constructed and should last a long time.” by Aussieonyak on Amazon.
“If you are in jam with no clean water around, this little bottle can be a life saver. Be sure to try it out, prime it and flush out the charcoal bits before using it. Then, once used, keep it moist or count on buying replacement filters.” by USPSA_Guy on Amazon.
Grayl Ultralight Purifier Bottle
An up and coming water bottle now available for pre-order is the Grayl Ultralight Purifier Bottle, ready to help you stay hydrated with safe water. This bottle has a few key differences from other water filtration bottles and is one of the best filtered water bottle choices for extended backpacking or camping trips as well as filtering & purifying in foreign countries.
Details & Features:
- Filter lifespan of 40 gallons of water or 300 gallons full uses
- Super simple fill, press, and drink design
- Weighs only 10.9 oz with 16 oz capacity
- Patented electro-adsorptive media traps pathogens and inorganic particles
- The ultra-fine powdered activated charcoal filter removes more toxins than traditional charcoal filters
- Natural antimicrobial zeolites prevent bacteria or microbial growth while maintaining a fresh taste and odor in the water
- Bottle is BPA-free
Water Filtration Capabilities:
- Meets all NSF/ANSI Protocol 42 & 53
- Removes over 99% of bacteria, viruses, and protozoa – including Shigella, hepatitis A, rotavirus, giardia, amoebas, salmonella, cholera and more
- Filters out particulates, chemicals, and heavy metals – including arsenic, chlorine, iodine, sediment & silt, and more
The Grayl is an incredibly powerful water purifying and filtering bottle to get rid of all the bacteria and viruses you don’t want in your drinking water. It is one of the best choices you can make if you often travel to countries like Africa, China, Mexico, Brazil, Thailand, etc and would prefer saving on bottled water. It is more than powerful enough to take on freshwater sources throughout North America.
Aesthetics-wise, the Grayl Ultralight is really beautiful but definitely not fragile. It is available in two colors – orange or black. The bottle is also transparent so you can actually see the filtration process happening. Actual filtration only takes 15 seconds. Simply take out the inner filter, fill the outer shell with water and press the inner filter back in slowly. In no time you will have 16 ounces of ready-to-drink water.
Water filtration is an integral part of staying healthy and properly hydrated while backpacking, hiking, mountaineering or traveling. Filtration bottles really simplify the whole process of getting clean water ready to drink, which means you get to spend more time exploring. More and more companies are developing compact filtering bottles but these featured 3 are an excellent starting point.
“I actually have two Grayls – a stainless steel one and the one shown – a lighter weight plastic have used both on my travels and have drunk water from all kinds of places without any problems.” by Piz on Amazon.
“I was going to Cuba and thought about purchasing a water purifier in lieu of having to buy plastic bottles of water. I read a bunch of reviews and it seemed like the GRAYL was the best choice although it seemed expensive. Then a friend told me she had taken this to Africa and drank out of a river without getting sick! I immediately bought it. Another friend pointed out that the GRAYL would cost more than bottles of water for the whole trip which made sense but I have no regrets. ” by Penelope on Amazon.
- How to Pick the Best Portable Water Filters for Your Outdoor Experience
- Klean Kanteen vs Hydro Flask [2019 UPDATE]: Choose One!
Sam Hardy is an outdoor enthusiast with a penchant for survival skills. He writes about the great outdoors and his favorite equipment here.