Best Survival Water Filter: 2018 Top Picks and Buying Guide

Best Survival Water Filter

A clean and safe supply of drinking water is one thing that we all need. Especially when you are outdoors, such as when you are camping, it may be challenging to find a source of potable water. Thankfully, there is a solution – the best survival water filter.

Basically, with a survival water filter, you can retrieve liquid from almost any source. It has a mechanism to get rid of the impurities that are present in the water, including bacteria that can cause health problems. It can be a true lifesaver in situations when you are already thirsty and there is no clean water supply available.

If you are planning to buy a survival water filter, keep on reading the rest of this post and we’ll help you make the right choice.

Our Top Picks for the Best Survival Water Filter

Below are some of the top products that you might want to include on your list.

1. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

It is impossible to talk about outdoor water filters without a mention of LifeStraw. It is one of the most popular brands on the market, which is spoken a lot about its quality and performance.

Among others, one of the best assets of this product is its size. It is ultra-light and travel-friendly. It won’t take too much space in your bag! The approximate weight is only 62 ounces, which means that it will never be a burden to bring along in your camping trips or outdoor adventures.

This product is equipped with an innovative filter that has a rated lifespan of 1,000 gallons or 4,000 liters. If it is going to be used only by one person, this can last up to five years. The filter is designed in such a way that it can effectively remove microplastics, parasite, and bacteria from the water.

The manufacturer does not make baseless claims in promoting this product. In fact, it has been through rigorous tests and everything that they are claiming is backed up with real data, providing you with the confidence that it will work as expected.


  • Lightweight and compact 
  • Affordable 
  • Durable construction


  • Can be hard to suck water out of the straw 
  • Easily prone to clog


Made by one of the most popular brands in the market, it is equipped with a filter that comes with a filtration capacity of 4,000 liters. The filter effectively eliminates parasites, bacteria, and microplastic in your water.

2. Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System

Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System

Similar to LifeStraw, Sawyer is also a reputable brand, which should be enough to provide you with peace of mind.

The filter is less than two pounds and can easily fit in the palm of your hands. It also comes in a complete package with the other things that you will need to drink water – filter, straw, plunger, and pouch.

The effectiveness of this product can be largely attributed to the hollow fiber material that is used in the filter. It can treat up to 100,000 gallons of water. Also, throughout its lifespan, the flow rate is estimated to be at least 98.5%. To add, the filter has a size of only .1 micron, providing an assurance that even the tiniest contaminants won’t be able to pass through.

Lastly, this product is also excellent when it comes to versatility because of the multiple ways you can use it. You can drink direct to the source of water, have it attached in a water bottle, connect it in the included squeeze pouch, or attach to a hydration pack.


  • Excellent flow rate 
  • Sturdy 
  • Comes in a complete kit


  • Easily prone to clog 
  • Does not treat a large quantity of water


This versatile water filter weighs less than two pounds, making it the perfect outdoor companion. It comes with a hollow fiber membrane filter, which is capable of treating up to 100,000 gallons of water.

3. Etekcity Water Filter Straw

Etekcity Water Filter Straw with 1500L 3-Stage Filtration, 0.01 Micron, Personal Mini Purifier Survival Gear for Hiking, Camping, Travel, Emergency

With this filter straw, you will never have to think twice again when drinking water when you are hiking or camping. The effectiveness of this product can be attributed to the use of a hollow fiber UF membrane filter, which can tackle up to 0.01 microns of dirt.

In line with its filtration capability, it is praised by many because of the three stages that the water has to pass through to be filtered. It goes through the pre-filter, an anti-bacterial activated carbon filter, and the hollow membrane filter.

In terms of capacity, however, it should be noted that it can filter only 1,500 liters of water, which is pretty much limited compared to its top-rated competitors.

To provide excellent value for money, it is inclusive of other accessories that you will find useful. For instance, there is a pouch for storing water. A syringe is also included, which makes cleaning the filter a lot easier.

There is no need to worry about your safety and the effectiveness of this water filter. It has been through an FDA test to prove that it won’t be a waste of money.


  • Utilizes a three-stage filtration 
  • Easy to clean and maintain 
  • Meets FDA standards


  • Minimal filtration capacity 
  • Takes quite a while before water is ready


This reliable water filter has a maximum capacity of 1,500 liters, which is quite small compared to others. It utilizes a three-stage filtration mechanism to provide you with peace of mind regarding the potability of water.

4. Survivor Filter

Survivor Filter - Virus Tested 0.05 Micron Portable Water Filter for Camping, Emergency Preparedness and Hiking. 3 Stage – Carbon, Re-Usable 100,000L UF Membrane and 6 Cotton Pre-Filters

This is a bit more expensive compared to the options that are mentioned in this post, but the price is easily justified by its features and performance.

As the manufacturer claims, they have better filtration compared to its leading competitors. In one test that evaluated its effectiveness, the results showed that it removed up to 99.9% of staph, bacteria, and virus in water.

The longevity of this water filter is one more thing that makes the price not an issue. On average, it can filter up to 100,000 liters of water, making it the perfect investment for those who love to enjoy the outdoors.

It is also worth noting that it has a 0.05 micron filtration capability to get rid of any impurity that could damage the quality of your water. Plus, the straw comes with a cover to keep the dirt out.

There is no need to be hesitant in buying this portable water filter. The manufacturer guarantees your satisfaction. If you are unhappy in any way, let the manufacturer know and they will issue a refund. They also offer a lifetime warranty.


  • Has excellent pre-filters 
  • Easy to use 
  • Lasts a long time


  • Water flow rate can be slow 
  • A bit expensive


This water filter can treat up to 100,000 gallons of water. It has a 0.05 micron filtration capacity. For your peace of mind, the manufacturer is offering a 100% money-back guarantee and a lifetime warranty.

5. Tactical Health Survival Straw

Tactical Health Survival Straw - Emergency Personal Water Filtration & Purification Straw - .01 Micron Absolute Hollow Fiber Membrane - 530 Gallon Capacity (Black Lanyard) FREE EMERGENCY FIRESTARTER

This is not as popular as the four other products that have been mentioned above. Nonetheless, at its price point, this is one product that you might want to consider if you are on the lookout for cheaper alternatives.

The straw is able to filter 1/100 micron, which is pretty much the standard within the product category. To add, it eliminates 99.9999% of harmful substances that are possibly present in your water.

As a bonus, it comes with a black lanyard, which will keep the filter accessible and secure. There is also an emergency fire starter that is included.

The longevity of this straw can be an issue for many people. In fact, the rated capacity is only 530 gallons, which makes it underwhelming compared to the products that have been earlier briefly reviewed.

Lastly, if you are unhappy with how it performs, just let the manufacturer know within 30 days after purchase and you will receive an unconditional refund.


  • Comes with a fire starter 
  • Lightweight and easy to carry 
  • User-friendly


  • Few online reviews are available 
  • Minimal filtration capacity


With a 0.01 micron filtration capacity, this product can treat up to 530 gallons of water throughout its functional life. Plus, the manufacturer offers a money-back guarantee for 30 days.

Water Filters vs Water Purifiers

Basically, while they are both capable of removing the impurities that are possibly present in water, they differ in terms of the size of the microorganism that they can eliminate from the source.

In the case of water filters, they can physically strain the biological pathogens that are present in the water, including bacteria and protozoan cysts. Parasites, algae, and inorganic chemicals can also be treated by a water filter.

In contrast, a water purifier has the ability to combat even viruses, as well as other small particles that are relatively too small for the filter to be dealing with.

Basically, for most backpacking or camping needs, a water filter will be more than enough, including those products that have been mentioned above. On the other hand, if you are travelling to less-developed countries that are known for poor water treatment practices, a water purifier is the better option for you.

Types of Survival Water Filters

The survival water filters available on the market will differ depending on the mechanism at which they work and their overall design.

Etekcity Water Filter Straw with 1500L 3-Stage Filtration, 0.01 Micron, Personal Mini Purifier Survival Gear for Hiking, Camping, Travel, Emergency


  • Straw: One of its strongest points is convenience. It is lightweight and compact. It is an oversized version of the regular straw. You can submerge the end of the straw directly in the source of water, such as a river, and drink from the mouthpiece. 
  • Pump: It is a large tube that is fitted with a filtration medium inside. You will have to use your hand for manual pumping. This pulls the water, allowing it to pass through the medium that will have it screened from potential contaminants. 
  • Gravity: With this type, you will need to have a reservoir that will hold the water. There is no need to pump or suck. Let gravity do the work to filter the water. It is quite slow compared to other filtration systems. 
  • Bottle: Think of this as the normal tumbler or water bottle that you bring with you when you are traveling. The only difference is that there is a built-in filtration system from where you are sipping. Fill it with water from a source and when it passes through the straw when sipped, it is automatically filtered.

Choosing the Best Survival Water Filter

You will surely be confronted with a long list of possibilities, making it difficult to decide which one to purchase. To help you out, take note of the factors that are briefly mentioned below:

  • Ease of Use: One of the most important is to have user-friendly features, which will make it almost effortless on your end to filter water from the source. 
  • Size and Weight: If you intend to use it for camping or traveling, it should be compact and lightweight so that it won’t be too much of a burden to bring along. 
  • Capacity: This refers to how many liters or gallons of water the filter will be able to treat before it finally reaches the end of its lifespan. 
  • Filter Technology: Take note of the material and the mechanism at which the filter works. Some have several filtration stages to make sure that even the tiniest impurities won’t be able to escape. 
  • Flow Rate: Look at how fast the filter will be able to get rid of the contaminants from water. It is annoying if it takes a long time before you can finally have a drink! 
  • Taste Quality: You should take the time to read reviews from other people and learn from their personal experiences. The water should be devoid of any foul flavor or odor once it has been filtered.

Wrap Up

With the use of the best water filter, you can stay hydrated while you are outdoors even if there is no clean water source available. It has the ability to eliminate the contaminants present in water, making the liquid potable. This is a handy gear that can save your life in the worst situations!

Best Survival Water Filter: 2018 Top Picks and Buying Guide
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About the author

Michael Everett

I am Michael, I like camping and have camped many times over the place. I'm the creator of blog, through my blog I want to share my camping and travel experiences for people, there are explanations, questions and things you need.

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