Water filter options

One of the last things that I have been meaning to upgrade for my backpacking setup is my water filtration system. I currently have a Sawyer Squeeze that I bought in a pinch, I love that it comes with a packable bottle as well as can be hooked into your water bladder. My only concern with the Sawyer Squeeze is how long it will last.

I had a MSR trail shot that I used for a few years but after a pretty horrible experience with their customer service I’ve sworn off MSR for a while. I was wondering what other water filters people were using in the backcountry?

Sawyer claims that the Squeeze will last forever. I used it while thru-hiking last summer, and as long as you’re backflushing it, I’ve had no issues. I even replaced my o-ring with these things to separate larger particles before the water even goes to the filter.

I’m still a fan of the Squeeze. I think that as long as it is backwashed and kept from freezing it should be good to go.

I see some people using the Katadyn BeFree, for ease and flow rate. However, to me it just doesn’t seem as flexible as the Squeeze in terms of using other bladders, bottles, tubes and attachments.

I have been using the Squeeze also and loving it. I recently did have to purchase a few new pouches however after finding that they by far will not last as long as the actual filter. (Let’s just say Zion rocks are 1 vs the pouch with is now 0…lol). I do have a bit of a hard time fitting squeeze onto other containers however without leakage. That would be my biggest negative that product, but this may not be common.

I love my platypus gravity works a lot! It filters pretty quick and while it’s working you can scrub pots or whatever else you need to do. And it’s not too terrible expensive either.

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I have a Platypus Gravity Works that I love. Master the back flush and it filters a lot of water fast and hands free (as long as it can be hung on a branch somewhere). We use it for groups all the time and water is never an issue. A bonus is that the “clean” reservoir can be used to transport an extra 4L of water if needed. I was on a youth trip and the extra 4L was super handy in making sure everyone was well hydrated on our 10 mile hike out.

Some things to consider before buying a filter:

If the filter has glass filaments (gravity filters and maybe also Sawyer) then the filter shouldn’t be subjected to freezing temperatures.

Gravity filters work best when the water source is deep enough dip the bag to collect the water. It doesn’t have to be very deep, but if it’s really shallow then things could get tricky.

Pump filters usually have porcelain filters that can withstand freezing, plus they can be used on shallow water sources. But they are a lot of work at the end of the day when most of us want to kick back. in our camp chair and enjoy the view.

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I’ve used lot’s of different types (gravity, pumps, straws, etc.) and hands down my favorite is the Katadyn Be Free. It comes in various sizes from an individual squeeze model to a larger capacity gravity filter. The filters last quite a while if you can manage to stay away from highly sedimented water. These filters are easy to clean, are light weight and super reliable. That are my go to these days.

I use a sawyer mini with a larger water pouch than what it came with, but I also really like using my Grayl press filter. Its the size of a normal water bottle and if I am backpacking by myself it is great – a little bit more cumbersome to do many presses for a group of people though.

can confirm that the sawyer isn’t supposed to be frozen! If it’s cold at night I just keep it in my sleeping bag with me

I’m a total fan of the Sawyer simply for it’s versatility. I also just bought a Katadyn Hiker Pro which still packs down pretty well for larger group trips as it can really churn out filtered water. I think I may stick with my Sawyer for solo trips and use the Katadyn if I’m with friends.

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Just wanted to add another option that my friend uses. Bleach! Good for the ultralighters out there. 1-2 drops per liter for any water source that looks clean, and about 3 for any watersource that seems a little dirtier. In my mind, the main downside is that it ruins the taste.

Though I have used a Katadyn Hiker Pro in the backcountry with groups of three or more…When alone I used the sawyer mini but switched to the squeeze for greater/faster volume. Back flushing is key for effective longevity

In the interest of weight and space when backpacking I still use purification tablets as my primary water treatment. I truly never notice any kind of bad taste and I can fill/purify my second bladder while on the move. I recently purchased an MSR Trailshot (not yet tried it) since a few water sources this past summer were not big enough to fill a bladder by dipping. What sold me on the Trailshot over other devices was the ability to filter into my bladder rather than needing to take a water bottle in/out of my pack to drink.

I have been using Sawyer products MINI for a while now its filter is still working very well. I usually take it with me when I go camping, hunting, hiking, and fishing. I use this water filter to purify the water at my rest, I want to drink the purest water.

I use the LifeStraw personal water filter and am very pleased with it, the filter system is extremely reliable and really safe to use. It’s quite difficult to get water into the straw but I don’t mind knowing that my water is pure.