3 Best Portable Water Purifiers for Camping

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Hey there campers and welcome to my post where we will check out my three best portable water purifiers for camping this year.  Living in the city, it is easy for us to take things for granted since we can easily access clean drinking water as needed.

But this is not the case when you are out in the wilderness and although you can fetch water from nearby lakes and rivers, you still need to consider the harmful microorganisms present there. This is where a good water purifier comes in.

So help those of you looking for some clean camping water, I have had a look around and come up with three good options below. Let’s check them out…

My three recommended portable water purifiers for camping

I will review these in more detail below however if you just want to get moving without all the carry-on, my recommended products are listed here for your convenience: 

 Water PurifierPriceGet it
best portable water purifiers for camping - FS-TFC 4-Stage Portable Water Filter Pump 0.01 Micron Water PurifierFS-TFC 4-Stage Portable Water Filter Pump$CURRENT PRICE
best portable water purifiers for camping - GRAYL GeoPress 24 oz Water Purifier BottleGRAYL GeoPress 24 oz Water Purifier Bottle$$CURRENT PRICE
best portable water purifiers for camping - Survivor Filter Pro X Electric Water Filtration System Survival KitSurvivor Filter Pro X Electric Water Filtration System$$$CURRENT PRICE

What are water purifiers for camping?

Camping water purifiers describe portable water cleaning systems that you can use during your stay in the great outdoors. When it comes to cleaning water whilst camping, there can be confusion between water filters and purifiers. A water filter is intended to remove waterborne protozoa and bacteria but not viruses. On the other hand, a water purifier is designed to remove protozoa, bacteria, and viruses, providing an additional layer of defense.

In most cases, options for camping are lightweight and compact allowing them to be quickly and easily stowed in your gear or your camping backpack should you be hiking to your campsite.

best portable water purifiers for camping - purifier jug

What should you be looking for?

The following factors should be considered as you look for a good water purifier to meet your camping needs:

  1. Type
  2. Weight
  3. Pore size
  4. Flow rate
  5. Additions

Type

As you search for water purifiers for camping, you will undoubtedly encounter various options of different types. Here are the different kinds of water purifiers available:

  1. Gravity/inline purifiers: These systems, which use an inline filter and are ideal for groups, base camping, or any other situation where you need to filter large amounts of water while using minimal effort. Gravity purifiers are also straightforward to use in that you fill the dirty water bag, connect the filter to the port or hose and let gravity take care of the rest. Some gravity systems collect water in a separate “clean” container, whereas others dispense it directly into your vessel (or mouth) via a hose with an on/off valve.
  2. Pump purifiers: This purifier type is ideal for small groups (1-4 people), especially when drawing water from shallow pools. A pump siphons water from a source, through a hose and filter and out another hose into a clean receptacle.
  3. Bottle purifiers: These portable purifiers, also known as squeeze purifiers, attach to the spout of a soft-sided bottle or pouch and clean the water as you drink. Their lightweight and simple design make them an excellent choice for weight-sensitive trips and solo backpackers, day hikers, trail runners, cyclists, etc.
  4. Chemical purifiers: As indicated by the name, these purifiers use iodine or chlorine dioxide to rid the water of unpleasant components. These chemicals will eventually kill anything in the water while remaining safe for you to drink. Despite being incredibly light and compact, chemical purifiers take a long time to work (at least 15 minutes for 1 liter).
  5. UV light purifiers: These relatively new water treatment devices use UV light to disrupt the replication of bacteria and viruses in the water. They are quick and straightforward to use for small amounts of water, but they have the disadvantage of relying on batteries and electronics.

Weight

Water filters and purifiers vary in size and weight with most popular options for individuals weighing between 2 and 5 ounces. As with all backpacking gear, I suggest going as light as possible while maintaining functionality. Pumps and gravity systems are the heaviest and bulkiest, with numerous components such as storage bags and hoses.

Pore size

This feature refers to the size of the filter’s tiny openings measured in microns. The more particles the filter can block, the smaller the pore. According to the CDC’s water treatment guide, a pore size of 1 micron (or less) is required to filter out protozoa, while a pore size of 0.3 microns is required to filter out bacteria. 

best water purifiers for camping - girl drinking water

Flow rate

Flow rate describes how quickly the purifier treats water and is usually measured in liters per minute. Gravity filters have the fastest flow rates in general. Pump purifiers come next, with squeeze and straw types coming last.

Chemical and ultraviolet purifiers do not have a flow rate as they do not filter water. They do however have a wait time before the water is safe to drink, which is usually between 15 and 30 minutes for chemical purifiers and 90 seconds per liter for UV pen purifiers.

Additions

Other potential additions include:

  1. Carry bag: This item helps in safekeeping the water purifier so that it is protected from the elements, and you can carry the product easily.
  2. Ergonomic handle: If you are aiming to buy bottle purifiers, then look for products that have soft and nonslip pads.
  3. USB cable: For battery-powered camping purifiers, the USB cable becomes handy. This item helps recharge the gadget’s battery for smooth and efficient operation.
  4. Warranty: This feature guarantees that the product you will buy is durable and damage-free. However, ensure to read each manufacturer’s policy to optimize the warranty they provide better.

FAQ

How do you purify water when camping?

When it comes to clean drinking water whilst camping, the surest method to kill the viruses, bacteria, and parasites found in water is to boil it. However if you don’t have access to the heat of a fire or stove, then a portable water purifier can be just as effective.

What is the difference between a water purifier and a water filter?

In short, a filter will generally remove bacteria, waterborne protozoa and some toxins. A purifier however will remove all of them plus more importantly, any viruses found within the water as well.

My three recommendations broken down

So based on the information above and my own experience, I recommend the following options:

1. FS-TFC 4-Stage Portable Water Filter Pump

My first water purifier option is equipped with a state-of-the-art filtration system that gives you safe-to-drink water in all locations. Coupled with a great flow rate, this product ensures fast cleaning and purification as well.  See its specifications below:

  • Brand: FS-TFC
  • Type: Pump purifier
  • Microns: 0.01
  • Capacity: 8000 liters
  • Flow rate: 1500 mL per minute
  • Weight: 0.68 pounds

Other inclusions:

  • Four-stage filtration process
  • Ergonomic design and handle
  • Travel bag
  • Manual book
  • Lifetime warranty

Why have I chosen it?

 The camping purifier is crafted using highly-durable materials to give you clean drinking water for a long time. To achieve 99.99% pure water, this product employs a four-stage filtration process with a 1.5-L flow rate that is 2-3 times faster than other brands. The price tag is even affordable and perfect for camping of all types.


2. GRAYL GeoPress 24 oz Water Purifier Bottle

My second product recommendation is a water purifier bottle that can give a small group of campers (3 to 4 people) clean and refreshing nature water. Thanks to its ingenious design, this product removes all types of pathogens with straight forward construction and use.  See its specifications below:

  • Brand: GRAYL
  • Type: Bottle purifier
  • Microns: Not stated
  • Capacity: 710 mL
  • Flow rate: 5000mL per minute
  • Weight: 0.99 pounds

Other inclusions:

  • Geopress drink cap
  • Nonslip base
  • 10-year warranty

Why have I chosen it?

The item is a water bottle with an integrated purification system notable for its ability to clean water contaminated with heavy metals, microplastics, viruses, and microorganisms. The outside bottle is thicker plastic, while the inside container is made of thinner plastic, giving the product a solid structure. Finally, this is a simple water purification system with no complicated parts or pieces and no steps to memorize.  Perfect for those who like to hike to the campsite.


3. Survivor Filter Pro X Electric Water Filtration System

My final water purifier uses a three-stage water purification process that effectively removes bacteria, protozoa, and other potentially harmful particles from water. It is effortless to use and you can even adjust the floater on the tube to prevent the straw from falling to the bottom of the water, where all the dirt is. See its specifications below:

  • Brand: Survivor Filter
  • Type: Pump purifier
  • Microns: 0.01
  • Capacity: 100000 liters
  • Flow rate: 5000mL per minute
  • Weight: 0.88 pounds

Other inclusions:

  • USB cable
  • USB wall charger
  • Carrying case
  • Back washing syringe

Why have I chosen it?

The water purifier treats all threats you might encounter in any emergency or while hiking in the backcountry including E. coli, giardia, cryptosporidium, algae and fungi, viruses, heavy metals, chemicals, and pollutants. This item is made of ABS, a high-quality plastic known for its long-lasting durability. This is a great option for family camping or for those who like to travel light as well.

Conclusion

There you have it, my three best water purifiers for camping. I would be pleased to know how this article helped you, and as usual,  let me know of your experiences with them.

Also, please do not hesitate to comment below if you have any questions, concerns, corrections, or would like me to check anything else out for you.

Until next time.

Have fun

Paul

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Hi, I'm Paul

I am a passionate fishing, camping and four wheeled driving hobbyist who researches, tests and educates around issues and equipment relevant to them.

I am by no means a professional however my passion is to assist you in making informed decisions about buying and using awesome gear that will give you the best chance of success at whatever you are doing for the best price.

Please get in touch if you have any questions.

Paul