Best water filtration devices for 2021

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Some backcountry hardasses may tell you to just sip straight from the creek, but it’s a good way to swallow parasites or disease-causing bacteria. Whether you camp, paddle, or hike for days without a clean source of clean water, taking the time to treat your H2O with water filtration devices will ensure you stay hydrated and healthy.

Boiling water is the easiest way to make it drinkable, but it can waste a lot of time and fuel. Alternative methods include filtering, which removes bacteria and protozoa as well as any dirt or sediment, and purification, which does all of the above and also removes viruses. UV lights do the same, but they require a battery or solar charge. Finally, chemical treatments like iodine tablets are super compact, but sometimes they can leave a funky aftertaste.

To help you choose between all of the different options, we’ve rounded up some of the best devices for each method of cleaning drinking water. Grab any of these for a drink when you’re miles away from a tap.

The best water filtration devices

Grayl Geopress

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1. Water purifier: Grayl Geopress

The Geopress deserves to be at the top of this list simply because it is so satisfying to use. There is nothing else on the market. Simply immerse the outer container in a lake or stream, place the smaller capsule inside, and apply pressure to the lid. In about 15 seconds, you will have 24 ounces of clean, drinkable water.

The Geopress eliminates waterborne pathogens, pesticides, chemicals, heavy metals and microplastics, and also improves the taste, smell and clarity of water. Although it weighs 15.9 ounces, our testers were happy to have it on a recent 30-mile hike on the Four Pass Loop in Colorado. A note: after approximately 350 presses, Grayl recommends replacing the purifier cartridge ($ 30).

[$90; grayl.com]

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Katadyn Micropur Purification Tablets

Katadyn Micropur Purification Tablets

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2. Chemical treatment: Katadyn Micropur purification tablets

Some backcountry travelers bring these tablets as a backup as they are practically lightweight and have a long lifespan, but they can be used perfectly as a first line of defense. One tablet cleans a quart of water, so you don’t have to do any complicated math on the trail. However, it does take a while: 15 minutes to dissolve and destroy most viruses and bacteria, 30 minutes for Giardia, and four hours for Cryptosporidium, which most other water sanitizers don’t clean. Users say the tablets only create a slight chemical taste, but unlike purifiers or filters, they won’t remove silt, odors, or foul flavors.

[$14; rei.com]

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CrazyCap2 Water Filtration Devices

CrazyCap2

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3. UV light: CrazyCap2

With the CrazyCap2, you won’t have to worry about the quality of your water anymore, whether you are traveling abroad or just filling your bottle at the gym. The cap of this fairly classic looking gourd is ultra high-tech. It contains a UV light source (the same technology used to disinfect hospital rooms and clean water in water treatment plants) that activates every four hours to kill 99.9996 percent of germs and pathogens in the insulated container (it will keep your drink hot or cold for hours too). This means that your drink will be free from germs, and unpleasant moldy smelling water bottles will build up over time. Your purchase also includes a charger and a lifetime warranty.

[$70–$84; waatr.com]

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LifeStraw Water Filtration Devices

Life Straw

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4. Water filter: LifeStraw

If you want to drink straight from a water source, this tool is for you. This nifty tube is about the size of a small summer sausage and has the power to filter up to 1,000 gallons of water – enough water to last five years per person. It doesn’t kill viruses or reduce chemicals or lead contamination, but it filters out bacteria, parasites, microplastics, dirt, and silt. It weighs less than two ounces and comes with a lanyard so you can wear it around your neck on runs, paddles, hikes, bike rides, and more. Plus, LifeStraw is a Certified B Corp, and your dollars help support the brand’s humanitarian projects.

[$20; lifestraw.com]

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Platypus QuickDraw microfilter system

Platypus QuickDraw microfilter system

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5. Water filter: Platypus QuickDraw microfilter system

The QuickDraw fiber filter cartridge features 0.2 micron hollow fibers that filter out bacteria and protozoa, and it delivers a flow rate of up to three liters per minute. It’s an ideal system for backpacking: Combined with the included one-liter tank, the QuickDraw weighs just 3.3 ounces and takes up less space than a rolled-up t-shirt. You can drink directly from the filter or use it to fill your water bottles; the filter is compatible with other Platy bottles and even some plastic screw cap bottles.

[$40; platy.com]

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LifeSaver Jerrycan Water Filtration Systems

LifeSaver Jerrycan

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6. Water purifier: LifeSaver Jerrycan

If you are car camping, this giant water purifier will make keeping clean water handy much easier. With a built-in purifying filter and pump, the cartridge can quickly produce 4.9 gallons of potable water. It kills protozoa, bacteria, and viruses, and an activated charcoal disc helps alleviate unpleasant tastes or odors. You can pump 5280 gallons before replacing the filter, and its thick, BPA-free molded plastic construction can withstand the inevitable dents and scratches of pavement life.

[$290; rei.com]

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