The Best Tactical Water Filter

The Best Tactical Water Filter: Choosing Your Best Option

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The Best Tactical Water Filter: Choosing Your Best Option

If you are a backpacker who loves to go adventuring for days on end, it is imperative to have ready access to clean drinking water to keep you hydrated

While there may be a river or stream you might encounter along your adventurous journey, you can’t take the safety of these water sources for granted.

Rivers and streams may appear clear and cool to the touch, but these unregulated water sources are home for many parasites, bacteria, and other unhealthy contaminants.

There could be lots of stuff in there to make you sick, so how can you quench your thirst without risking your health? Be equipped with the best tactical water filter!

How Does a Tactical Water Filter work?

The best tactical water filters are also known as survival water filters. Using a tactical water filter gives you the freedom to enjoy an abundant supply of safe drinking water even if you plan to be on your outdoors adventure  for over a month. They come in different types and  execute different methods, but they all share the use of hollow fiber membrane technology in common.

The filtration process occurs whenever you collect stream or river water and it goes through the tactical filter membranes.

These fiber membranes have pores which are very tiny, even smaller than you may possibly imagine. To help you picture it more clearly, a hair strands size is around 10 – 200 microns wide, while the pores of the best tactical filters can effectively filter out harmful microorganisms that are as small as 0.2 microns.If unsure of access to clean water, it may be a great idea to keep one of these filters in your backpack.

Best Tactical Water Filter: The Various Types to Choose From

Each type and brand have advantages and disadvantages, and so one best tactical filter may have certain advantages over the other under certain circumstances.  Given there are several different type tactical water filters available online, it’s a good idea to research the different types before you begin looking at specific brands.

 

Squeeze Filters

Title
Amazon's Choice
Sawyer Products PointOne Squeeze Water Filter System
Amazon's Choice
HydroBlu Versa Flow Light-Weight Camping and Outdoor Water Filter System
Survivor Filter Portable Water Filter - 3 Filter Stages
Image
Sawyer Products SP131 PointOne Squeeze Water Filter System with 3 Pouches
HydroBlu Versa Flow Light-Weight Camping and Outdoor Water Filter Package - Hollow Fiber Inline, Water Bottle, or Gravity Filter with Clear Window Filters 100,000 gallons
Survivor Filter Squeeze - Virus Tested Portable Emergency Water Filter with 2 Attachable (33oz) Canteens (2L Total). 3 Stage – Carbon, Re-Usable 100,000L UF Membrane and 6 Cotton Pre-Filters.
Pouch Capacity
Varies (16-, 32-, and 64-ounce)
64 ounce collapsible canteens
33oz. each canteen
Filter Life
Lasts a lifetime
100,000 gallons
26,417 gallons for membrane; 264 gallons for replaceable carbon and pre-filters
Filtration Technology/System
PointOne Hollow fiber membrane
Hollow fiber membrane
3-Stage Filtration System (cotton pre-filter, membrane ultra filter, carbon filter)
Filter Pore Size
0.1 microns
0.1 microns
0.05 microns
Key Contaminants Removed
Removes greater than 99.99999% of all bacteria and 99.9999% of all protozoa
99.9999% of harmful bacteria, Giardia, E. coli, protozoan cysts, Cryptosporidium and more
99.9% Removal of Virus, Staph and Bacteria; reduces heavy metals
BPA-free materials
Comes with filter syringe for backflushing
Why You'll Love It
Comes with three varied sizes of collapsible pouches that roll up tightly for easy packing and can reused hundreds of times
Very versatile and comes with many accessories to use on a water bottle, gravity system, bucket filter, inline water filter, or as a straw.
Proven and tested filtration technology; comes with 6 pre-filters
Prime
Price
$40.95
$23.95
from $49.00
Customer Rating
-
-
-
Amazon's Choice
Title
Sawyer Products PointOne Squeeze Water Filter System
Image
Sawyer Products SP131 PointOne Squeeze Water Filter System with 3 Pouches
Pouch Capacity
Varies (16-, 32-, and 64-ounce)
Filter Life
Lasts a lifetime
Filtration Technology/System
PointOne Hollow fiber membrane
Filter Pore Size
0.1 microns
Key Contaminants Removed
Removes greater than 99.99999% of all bacteria and 99.9999% of all protozoa
BPA-free materials
Comes with filter syringe for backflushing
Why You'll Love It
Comes with three varied sizes of collapsible pouches that roll up tightly for easy packing and can reused hundreds of times
Prime
Price
$40.95
Customer Rating
-
See More Details
Amazon's Choice
Title
HydroBlu Versa Flow Light-Weight Camping and Outdoor Water Filter System
Image
HydroBlu Versa Flow Light-Weight Camping and Outdoor Water Filter Package - Hollow Fiber Inline, Water Bottle, or Gravity Filter with Clear Window Filters 100,000 gallons
Pouch Capacity
64 ounce collapsible canteens
Filter Life
100,000 gallons
Filtration Technology/System
Hollow fiber membrane
Filter Pore Size
0.1 microns
Key Contaminants Removed
99.9999% of harmful bacteria, Giardia, E. coli, protozoan cysts, Cryptosporidium and more
BPA-free materials
Comes with filter syringe for backflushing
Why You'll Love It
Very versatile and comes with many accessories to use on a water bottle, gravity system, bucket filter, inline water filter, or as a straw.
Prime
Price
$23.95
Customer Rating
-
See More Details
Title
Survivor Filter Portable Water Filter - 3 Filter Stages
Image
Survivor Filter Squeeze - Virus Tested Portable Emergency Water Filter with 2 Attachable (33oz) Canteens (2L Total). 3 Stage – Carbon, Re-Usable 100,000L UF Membrane and 6 Cotton Pre-Filters.
Pouch Capacity
33oz. each canteen
Filter Life
26,417 gallons for membrane; 264 gallons for replaceable carbon and pre-filters
Filtration Technology/System
3-Stage Filtration System (cotton pre-filter, membrane ultra filter, carbon filter)
Filter Pore Size
0.05 microns
Key Contaminants Removed
99.9% Removal of Virus, Staph and Bacteria; reduces heavy metals
BPA-free materials
Comes with filter syringe for backflushing
Why You'll Love It
Proven and tested filtration technology; comes with 6 pre-filters
Prime
Price
from $49.00
Customer Rating
-
See More Details

Squeeze water filters are extremely lightweight and tiny since there’s no need for a pump.  Simply fill the collection vessel, either a pouch or a bottle, with water and then screw the filter unit into it. Then you just squeeze the pouch to force the water through the filter, the contaminants are trapped behind and only clean water gets through, ensuring safe potable water for you drink wherever you are.

Apart from its simple use, a squeeze filter is also very flexible and adaptable. You can attach it to a water bladder to make it work like a gravity filter. Or you can also fit it with a straw and sip directly from the water source.

A squeeze filter won’t break your back or squeeze your piggy bank!

Pros:

  • Easy to use
  • Lightweight and very handy
  • Very flexible, can work as a gravity or straw filter

Cons:

  • Low water flow rate

 

 

Gravity Filters

Title
Geekpure Emergency Water Filter
Amazon's Choice
Platypus GravityWorks Water Filter
Amazon's Choice
Sawyer One-Gallon Gravity Water Filtration System
Image
Geekpure 4stage 10L Emergency Water Filter Bag for Hiking Camping Personal or Family Use-Reduce 99% Bacteria Lead and Some Arsenic
Platypus GravityWorks 4.0 Liter High-Capacity Water Filter System for Group Camping and Emergency Preparedness
Sawyer Products SP160 One-Gallon Gravity Water Filtration System with Dual-Threaded Mini Filter
Pouch/Bag Capacity
10 liters
4 liters
1 gallon
Filter Capacity
Up to 20 gallons
396 gallons
100,000 gallons
Filtration Technology/System
Advanced 4-Stage Filtration System
Hollow Fiber Technology
U-shaped hollow fiber membrane
Filter pore size
0.01 microns
0.2 microns
0.1 micron
Key Contaminants Removed
Removes 99.9% of Taste, Odors, Colors, Bacteria, Cadmium, Chlorine, some Arsenic, Mercury, Iron, and Fluoride
99.9999% of bacteria and 99.9% of protozoa, including giardia, cryptosporidium, E. coli, salmonella, cholera
99.99999% of all bacteria and 99.9999% of all protozoa
BPA-free materials
Why You'll Love It
Large capacity with wide application in drinking and life water solution for outdoors
High capacity that comes with a complete water filter kit
Hollow fiber membrane and lightweight bladder with wide mouth for fast, easy filling.
Prime
Price
$26.99
from $243.41
$39.99
Customer Rating
-
-
-
Title
Geekpure Emergency Water Filter
Image
Geekpure 4stage 10L Emergency Water Filter Bag for Hiking Camping Personal or Family Use-Reduce 99% Bacteria Lead and Some Arsenic
Pouch/Bag Capacity
10 liters
Filter Capacity
Up to 20 gallons
Filtration Technology/System
Advanced 4-Stage Filtration System
Filter pore size
0.01 microns
Key Contaminants Removed
Removes 99.9% of Taste, Odors, Colors, Bacteria, Cadmium, Chlorine, some Arsenic, Mercury, Iron, and Fluoride
BPA-free materials
Why You'll Love It
Large capacity with wide application in drinking and life water solution for outdoors
Prime
Price
$26.99
Customer Rating
-
See More Details
Amazon's Choice
Title
Platypus GravityWorks Water Filter
Image
Platypus GravityWorks 4.0 Liter High-Capacity Water Filter System for Group Camping and Emergency Preparedness
Pouch/Bag Capacity
4 liters
Filter Capacity
396 gallons
Filtration Technology/System
Hollow Fiber Technology
Filter pore size
0.2 microns
Key Contaminants Removed
99.9999% of bacteria and 99.9% of protozoa, including giardia, cryptosporidium, E. coli, salmonella, cholera
BPA-free materials
Why You'll Love It
High capacity that comes with a complete water filter kit
Prime
Price
from $243.41
Customer Rating
-
See More Details
Amazon's Choice
Title
Sawyer One-Gallon Gravity Water Filtration System
Image
Sawyer Products SP160 One-Gallon Gravity Water Filtration System with Dual-Threaded Mini Filter
Pouch/Bag Capacity
1 gallon
Filter Capacity
100,000 gallons
Filtration Technology/System
U-shaped hollow fiber membrane
Filter pore size
0.1 micron
Key Contaminants Removed
99.99999% of all bacteria and 99.9999% of all protozoa
BPA-free materials
Why You'll Love It
Hollow fiber membrane and lightweight bladder with wide mouth for fast, easy filling.
Prime
Price
$39.99
Customer Rating
-
See More Details

This type of tactical water filter has long been a popular choice for family camping and other group activities in the outdoors.

You just fill the pouch with your stream or river water and hang it up on a tree or somewhere high enough for the gravity to work while you are off doing things of more importance.

Hang it up and let gravity takes care of the rest, gravity allows the water to seep through the porous filter membranes so that only safe drinking water comes out to finally quench your thirst.

Pros:

  • No need to squeeze or pump
  • Can filter plenty of water at once

Cons:

  • Slower than moderate filtering time

 

Straw Filter

Title
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter Straw
Survival Hax Water Filter Straw
Life Defender Water Filter Straw
Image
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter for Hiking, Camping, Travel, and Emergency Preparedness
Survival Hax Water Filter Straw with .1 Micron Purifier for Camping & Hiking (Green)
Life Defender Best Water Filter Straw for Camping, Hunting - 50% More Filtration than Lifestraw - Lightweight Survival Filter - No Added Taste - Removes Heavy Metals & 99.9% of Waterborne Bacteria
Filter Capacity
Lasts 1,000 gallons
400 gallons
396 gallons
Filtration Technology/System
Advanced hollow fiber technology (microfiltration membrane)
Advanced filter membrane + coconut activated carbon
Advanced 3-Stage Filtration
Filter pore size
0.2 microns
0.1 microns
0.1 microns
Contaminants Removed
Removes a minimum 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites
Eliminates 99.9999% of parasites and bacteria
Removes 99.9% of waterborne bacteria and protozoan parasites
Can be attached to standard water bottle
Why You'll Love It
Ultra-light with high flow rate
Can be screwed onto standard water bottle, and comes with survival gear items
More advanced filtration technology with 3 filters in a straw!
Prime
Price
from $19.95
$19.99
$19.97
Customer Rating
-
-
-
Title
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter Straw
Image
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter for Hiking, Camping, Travel, and Emergency Preparedness
Filter Capacity
Lasts 1,000 gallons
Filtration Technology/System
Advanced hollow fiber technology (microfiltration membrane)
Filter pore size
0.2 microns
Contaminants Removed
Removes a minimum 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites
Can be attached to standard water bottle
Why You'll Love It
Ultra-light with high flow rate
Prime
Price
from $19.95
Customer Rating
-
See more details
Title
Survival Hax Water Filter Straw
Image
Survival Hax Water Filter Straw with .1 Micron Purifier for Camping & Hiking (Green)
Filter Capacity
400 gallons
Filtration Technology/System
Advanced filter membrane + coconut activated carbon
Filter pore size
0.1 microns
Contaminants Removed
Eliminates 99.9999% of parasites and bacteria
Can be attached to standard water bottle
Why You'll Love It
Can be screwed onto standard water bottle, and comes with survival gear items
Prime
Price
$19.99
Customer Rating
-
See more details
Title
Life Defender Water Filter Straw
Image
Life Defender Best Water Filter Straw for Camping, Hunting - 50% More Filtration than Lifestraw - Lightweight Survival Filter - No Added Taste - Removes Heavy Metals & 99.9% of Waterborne Bacteria
Filter Capacity
396 gallons
Filtration Technology/System
Advanced 3-Stage Filtration
Filter pore size
0.1 microns
Contaminants Removed
Removes 99.9% of waterborne bacteria and protozoan parasites
Can be attached to standard water bottle
Why You'll Love It
More advanced filtration technology with 3 filters in a straw!
Prime
Price
$19.97
Customer Rating
-
See more details

Straw filters provide a very easy and portable way to access clean water to drink on the go. There’s no need to collect water and hang or squeeze a pouch to filter the dirty water. You can simply sip the water directly from its source through the straw filter whenever you feel the need to hydrate.

They are very portable and cost less than most of the other best tactical filters,but just a word of advice, a filter straw needs an available water source, so if you want a straw filter to function while you’re on the move, you must collect water in a separate bottle whenever and wherever you come across with it.

This ensures you have something to sip whenever you need to replenish.  This means additional weight and stuff to drag along through the wilderness.

Pros:

  • Very affordable
  • small and very lightweight
  • Very convenient

Cons:

  • Needs bottle to collect water for later use

 

Pump Filters

Title
Boston Fortis Personal Portable Water Filter
Amazon's Choice
Survivor Filter PRO
Diercon Survival Water Purifier
Image
[2018 UPGRADED] Boston Fortis Personal Portable Water Filter, 4-Stage Purifier, Emergency Survival Gear, Outdoor, Hiking, Camping, Travel, Backpacking, Military, 0.1 Micron, with 5 Integrated Features
Survivor Filter PRO – Virus and Heavy Metal Tested 0.01 Micron Water Filter for Camping, Hiking and Emergency. 3 Stages - 2 Cleanable 100,000L Membranes and a Carbon Filter for Family Preparedness.
Diercon Tactical Water Microfilter -Upgraded Aluminium Monocoque Body, Portable Water Filter Pump with 3 Stage Purification, Emergency Water Filtration, Survival Purifier Gifts for Camping, Hiking.
Filter Capacity
More than 500 gallons
Cleanable filter lasts 26,417 gallons; replaceable carbon filter lasts 528 gallons
792 gallons
Filtration Technology/System
New advanced 4-Stage Filtration System
3-Stage Filtration with dual hollow fiber membrane and carbon filter
3-Stage Filtration System
Filter pore size
0.1 microns
0.01 microns
0.01 microns
Contaminants Removed
99% of Bacteria, Microorganisms, Protozoa, Metals, Chemicals
Removes virus, bacteria, parasites, and reduces most heavy metals, taste and chemicals
99.99999% removal of waterborne bacteria and 99.99% of cysts
Color
Green
Dark green
Green
BPA-free
Why You'll Love It
Integrated with 5 additional emergency features
Super long-lasting, reliable lab-tested pump filter
Includes lots of accessories with back flushing device
Prime
Price
$34.99
$79.95
$67.87
Customer Rating
-
-
-
Title
Boston Fortis Personal Portable Water Filter
Image
[2018 UPGRADED] Boston Fortis Personal Portable Water Filter, 4-Stage Purifier, Emergency Survival Gear, Outdoor, Hiking, Camping, Travel, Backpacking, Military, 0.1 Micron, with 5 Integrated Features
Filter Capacity
More than 500 gallons
Filtration Technology/System
New advanced 4-Stage Filtration System
Filter pore size
0.1 microns
Contaminants Removed
99% of Bacteria, Microorganisms, Protozoa, Metals, Chemicals
Color
Green
BPA-free
Why You'll Love It
Integrated with 5 additional emergency features
Prime
Price
$34.99
Customer Rating
-
See More Details
Amazon's Choice
Title
Survivor Filter PRO
Image
Survivor Filter PRO – Virus and Heavy Metal Tested 0.01 Micron Water Filter for Camping, Hiking and Emergency. 3 Stages - 2 Cleanable 100,000L Membranes and a Carbon Filter for Family Preparedness.
Filter Capacity
Cleanable filter lasts 26,417 gallons; replaceable carbon filter lasts 528 gallons
Filtration Technology/System
3-Stage Filtration with dual hollow fiber membrane and carbon filter
Filter pore size
0.01 microns
Contaminants Removed
Removes virus, bacteria, parasites, and reduces most heavy metals, taste and chemicals
Color
Dark green
BPA-free
Why You'll Love It
Super long-lasting, reliable lab-tested pump filter
Prime
Price
$79.95
Customer Rating
-
See More Details
Title
Diercon Survival Water Purifier
Image
Diercon Tactical Water Microfilter -Upgraded Aluminium Monocoque Body, Portable Water Filter Pump with 3 Stage Purification, Emergency Water Filtration, Survival Purifier Gifts for Camping, Hiking.
Filter Capacity
792 gallons
Filtration Technology/System
3-Stage Filtration System
Filter pore size
0.01 microns
Contaminants Removed
99.99999% removal of waterborne bacteria and 99.99% of cysts
Color
Green
BPA-free
Why You'll Love It
Includes lots of accessories with back flushing device
Prime
Price
$67.87
Customer Rating
-
See More Details

This water filter is much like a straw filter because it requires no additional burden of a collection vessel. You simply put one end in the water source and pump, water is pulled into and through the filter cartridge into your mouth or whatever you want to put it.

Wala, safe water to quench your thirst!

Pros:

  • Filters quickly
  • Applicable for shallow water sources
  • Available in various sizes

Cons:

  • bulky for single person to use

However, majority of users report that the filters don’t do much to deal with odors and tastes of the water.  I guess you just need to decide if you want bad health or bad taste!

Last Words

The best tactical water filter is a unit that can effectively remove harmful contaminants as well as some of the bad taste from water, convenient to use and also convenient to bring along on your trip.

High quality straw filters are the best option if traveling alone and always on the go. Just don’t forget to weigh all the possible options at your disposal to survive and enjoy each of your exciting adventures in the great outdoors.

 

Last update on 2018-12-15 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

About the Author Jack Wilson

Jack Wilson is a water treatment consultant as well as a topic researcher and post editor for all posts on bestpurifiation.com.

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