The 11 best outdoor water filters 2024 for clean drinking water while camping

Water filters are ideal for providing you with water while Hiking, Camping, Bushcrafting, or during crises. Take a look at the best water filters now.

from Martin Gebhardt | Gear | reading time 17 Min
Updated on 22 February 2024 66.608 views 100% found this guide helpful
The 11 best outdoor water filters 2024 for clean drinking water while camping

Martin Gebhardt

From Martin Gebhardt. Check out my “About me” page.


👉 The key facts from this guide

  • Water filters are essential for survival situations, hiking, camping, and bushcraft. They remove harmful bacteria and make almost any water drinkable.
  • The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is lightweight and effective. It can filter up to 1000 liters of water and remove almost 100% of harmful bacteria.
  • The Lifestraw Go 2-Stage Filtration is a water bottle with a built-in filter. It can filter up to 1000 liters of water and is ideal for on-the-go.
  • The Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System is extremely compact and lightweight. It can be easily cleaned and effectively removes bacteria and parasites.
  • The Versa Flow Water Filter is versatile and can be screwed onto hydration packs or plastic water bottles. It removes over 99% of parasites and bacteria.
  • The Katadyn Water Filter BeFree Tactical 1.0 is a compact hollow fiber filter that reliably removes germs and suspended particles larger than 0.1 micron.

Of course, you know the most important rule in the wilderness: You can only survive for a maximum of 3 days without water.

After just one day without water, you will feel significantly worse, and you will already start to feel the effects of dehydration.

Therefore, you will agree that finding water in the wilderness should be your top priority.

Today I want to show you my best and most affordable water filters.

And to go along with it, you will receive a buying guide for water filters.

Why use a water filter?

You found a source? Perfect, because from a source, you can usually drink the water without any worries. That is truly wonderful fresh, cool water.

But sources are not available everywhere. The next possibility is that you find a stream or a lake. However, there is a danger with these bodies of water: They could contain harmful bacteria.

Actually, it could be more dangerous for you to drink the water from non-fresh sources than to drink nothing whatsoever.

What can you do?

For this case, I strongly recommend carrying a water filter with you.

There is also the possibility of building a water filter yourself. I have described how to do this here in detail.

Reading tip: Read here for other ways to obtain water.

What are water filters for camping and outdoor?

Water filters for outdoor use are portable devices that allow you to obtain clean water (drinking water) from rivers, lakes, or other natural water sources.

Here is the translation:

Harmful particles and contaminants such as bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, pesticides, and suspended matter are filtered out to make the water drinkable.

How do outdoor water filters work?

There are various methods in which outdoor water filters can work.

  • Mechanical filters create a pressure differential to push contaminated water through a porous membrane, thereby screening out germs and other microorganisms.
  • Chemical filters, on the other hand, use chemicals such as chlorine or activated carbon to disinfect the water.
  • UV light water filters kill bacteria and viruses in the water through irradiation.
katadyn pocket wasserfilter mechanismus

What contaminants can water filters remove?

Water filters for outdoor use can remove various contaminants from the water, such as bacteria, viruses, protozoa, heavy metals, pesticides, suspended particles, and other pollutants

You must be aware of the type and number of contaminants to be removed before purchasing a water filter.

What methods of water treatment are there?

If you don't have a water filter, there are other methods to purify the water.

One option is boiling, where the water is brought to a rolling boil for at least 3 minutes to kill germs and bacteria.

Activated carbon filters can also help remove impurities from the water. Another option is to use chemicals such as chlorine or iodine to disinfect the water.

Which is the best water filter? - My Outdoor Water Filter Test 2023

There are many brands and models of water filters for outdoor use on the market.

Some of the best ones are the Katadyn Befree water filter, the Grayl GeoPress water filter, and the Sawyer Mini water filter. Each of them has its advantages and disadvantages, and it is important to choose the water filter that is best suited to your needs.

To give you an overview of which water filters are fantastic and what options are available, I have compiled a list for you featuring the eleven best and affordable water filters currently available.

Here is my list, and we will go into the filters in more detail:

  1. LifeStraw - your personal water filter
  2. LifeStraw Go - the matching water bottle
  3. Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System
  4. Versa Flow Water Filter
  5. GRAYL GeoPress 24 oz Water Filter Bottle
  6. Survivor Water Filter
  7. Katadyn BeFree Tactical 1.0 Water Filter
  8. Bachgold® Pro Outdoor Water Filter
  9. MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter
  10. Katadyn Pocket Water Filter
  11. MSR Guardian Purifier

Let's take a closer look at the water filters now.

1. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

Externally, the LifeStraw is nothing more than a blue tube with a lanyard. However, internally, it is one of the most effective water filters on the market.

LifeStraw Personal (green)

Angebot

-13 %
4,7 (1333)

Daten aktualisiert vor 23 Stunden

LifeStraw Personal (green)

  • Extraleichter und sehr kompakter "Trinkhalm"-Wasserfilter

24,95 €
UVP: 28,66 €

View Product

When you first hold the LifeStraw in your hand, you will immediately notice how lightweight it is. Take it with you anywhere effortlessly, as the lanyard is extremely convenient for that.

Drink directly from the source by removing the caps. With the LifeStraw, you filter out almost 100 percent of harmful bacteria from the water. And it is sufficient to make up to 1000 liters of water drinkable.

2. LifeStraw Go 2-Stage Filtration

The matching water bottle for the LifeStraw filter has the great advantage that you have the water with you directly on your journey. You can drink from the bottle because the water is filtered directly in the bottle (up to 1000 liters).

LifeStraw Go 2 Nachfüllbare Wasserflasche mit Eingebautem (2-Stufig) Blue Filter, 22 oz. , Blau, M

Angebot

-17 %
4,4 (8665)

Daten aktualisiert vor 23 Stunden

LifeStraw Go 2 Nachfüllbare Wasserflasche mit Eingebautem (2-Stufig) Blue Filter, 22 oz. , Blau, M

  • SICHERES TRINKWASSER: Diese Wasserflasche mit austauschbarem 2-stufigem LifeStraw Filter ist ein unentbehrliches Accessoire für Wanderungen, Camping, Reisen, Rucksackreisen und Notfälle. Ohne sie ist keine Überlebens- oder Katastrophenausrüstung komplett. Die auslaufsichere Trinkflasche aus BPA-freiem Tritan fasst 0,65 Liter. Der LifeStraw filtert bis zu 1.000 Liter Wasser, die Aktivkohlekapsel bis zu 100 Liter. Beide Teile können kinderleicht ausgetauscht werden.
  • HÖCHSTE FILTTRATIONSSTANDARDS: Entfernt mindestens 99,9999% der durch Wasser übertragene Bakterien, 99,9% der durch Wasser übertragene Protozoen Parasiten und filtriert bis auf 0,2 μm; der LifeStraw übertrifft die EU- und EPA-Filterstandards. Er entfernt E. Coli, Giardia und Cryptosporidium Oozysten und viele andere wasserbasierte Schadstoffe
  • SPAREN SIE GELD: Kaufen Sie den LifeStraw Go 2-Stage, um sicherzustellen, dass Ihre Familie, Freunde und Sie gut für Ihre nächste Reise oder Abenteuer im Freien gerüstet sind. Damit ist es nicht notwendig, umweltschädliche Plastik-Wasserflaschen zu kaufen. Die LifeStraw Go 2-Stage Flasche ist das perfekte Geschenk für Ihre Outdoor-liebenden Freunde oder Familienmitglieder. Lebensdauer des Kohlefilters: 100 Liter
  • INNOVATIVER WASSERFILTER: Der LifeStraw filtert bis zu 1.000 Liter kontaminiertes Wasser ohne Verwendung von Jod, Chlor oder anderen Chemikalien; LifeStraw benötigt keine Batterien und hat keine beweglichen Teile. Der LifeStraw ist eine großartige und innovativere Alternative zu Jodtabletten und sperrigen Filtersystemen. Sie erhalten gefiltertes Wasser ohne Nachgeschmack, Chemikalien oder Jod. Das lebensmittelechte Silikonmundstück ist zur einfachen Reinigung abnehmbar
  • FOLLOW THE LITERS: Für jedes LifeStraw Produkt, das Sie erwerben, wird ein Schulkind in einer Entwicklungsgemeinschaft für ein Schuljahr mit sauberem Trinkwasser versorgt. Im Jahr 2018 hat sich LifeStraw als Ziel gesetzt, mehr als 1 Million Kinder in Afrika unterstützt zu haben

41,50 €
UVP: 49,95 €

View Product

The company LifeStraw developed and brought this water bottle to the market directly after its great success with the filter.

You can fill water from any natural source into your bottle and drink from it on your journey. This is even more practical than just using the filter separately.

3. Sawyer Mini Water Filter System

Do you want a water filter that is as compact and lightweight as possible to ensure healthy drinking water?

The Mini Water Filter System from Sawyer weighs only about 50 grams and can still eliminate all dangerous bacteria. If it starts to clog, simply rinse it with clean water.

Sawyer Mini PointONE Wasserfilter Outdoor Notversorgung enfernt 100% Mikroplastik und 99,99999%* aller Bakterien (Schwarz)

Angebot

-9 %
4,6 (4735)

Daten aktualisiert vor 23 Stunden

Sawyer Mini PointONE Wasserfilter Outdoor Notversorgung enfernt 100% Mikroplastik und 99,99999%* aller Bakterien (Schwarz)

  • ✔️Einsatz: passend zu jedem Bushcraft Rucksack mit Trinksystem, Trecking Rucksack, unverzichtbarer Bestandteil der Outdoor Ausrüstung und des Erste Hilfe Set Wandern, Prepper Ausrüstung, Camping Ausrüstung. Ideal für Outdoor Camping, beim Wandern, Trecking. Die Sawyer Wasserfilter wurden von Bear Grylls in der Sendung „Running Wild“ empfohlen.
  • ✔️Basierend auf der Technologie medizinischer Dialyseverfahren, besitzen die 0,1 Sawyer Wasserfilter im Inneren ein Bündel von Mikrofaser-Röhrchen. Das Wasser wird durch die Röhrchen-Wände hindurch in den Hohlinnenraum gesogen und gelangt durch das Endstück, während schädliche Bakterien und Protozoen in den äußeren Rohrwänden aufgefangen werden.
  • ✔️Die Qualität des mit den Sawyer Wasserfiltern gereinigtem Wasser übertrifft sogar die FDA-Anforderungen für sauberes Wasser. Alle Sawyer Wasserfilter sind 3x getestet, einfach zu reinigen mit der beigelegten Reinigungsspritze. Nicht für Salzwasser, Meereswasser oder bei Verdacht auf Viren im Wasser geeignet.
  • ✔️Entfernt 99,99999%* aller Bakterien, wie Salmonellen, Cholera und E.coli ✔️Entfernt 99,9999%* aller Protozoen, wie Giardien und Kryptosporidien ✔️ Entfernt 100 % des Mikroplastiks
  • ✔️Einsatz: passend zu jedem Bushcraft Rucksack mit Trinksystem, Trecking Rucksack, unverzichtbarer Bestandteil der Outdoor Ausrüstung und des Erste Hilfe Set Wandern, Prepper Ausrüstung, Camping Ausrüstung. Ideal für Outdoor Camping, beim Wandern, Trecking. Die Sawyer Wasserfilter wurden von Bear Grylls in der Sendung „Running Wild“ empfohlen.

49,95 €
UVP: 54,95 €

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Here you can find my detailed review of the Sawyer Mini Water Filter Set.

4. Versa Flow Water Filter

The Versa Flow is perhaps the most versatile water filter on this list.

You can drink directly from a water source with it, or simply screw it onto your hydration pack. You can also attach it to a plastic water bottle.

HydroBlu Versa Flow Wasserfiltersystem Paket
4,6 (343)

Daten aktualisiert vor 23 Stunden

HydroBlu Versa Flow Wasserfiltersystem Paket

  • Hohlfasermembran
  • Kann an Standard-Kunststoffflaschen mit internem 28-mm-Gewinde befestigt werden, kann an Trinkrucksäcken, Schwerkraft- oder Eimersystem verwendet werden oder als Strohhalm verwendet werden, um direkt aus Ihrer Wasserquelle zu trinken
  • Perfekt zum Wandern, Rucksackreisen, Camping, Reisen und für Notsituationen
  • Durchflussmenge von 3,5 l in 5 Minuten

kein Preis ermittelbar (B07DKRRTHS)

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The Versa Flow is designed to exceed the standards set by the EPA and uses multiple tiny tubes to remove over 99 percent of all parasites and bacteria.

Extend the life of the filter by rinsing it with water to remove dirt.

5. GRAYL GeoPress 24 oz Water Filter Bottle

The GeoPress water filter bottle by GRAYL can be taken anywhere and makes dirty water drinkable.

It is ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, and bushcraft, worldwide travel, and emergencies.

The bottle removes all pathogens such as viruses, bacteria, and protozoa, filters particles, and adsorbs volatile organic compounds.

GRAYL GeoPress Wasseraufbereiter-Flasche mit Filter für Wandern, Camping, Überlebens-Szenarien, Reisen, 710 ml, Schwarz (Black Camo)

Daten aktualisiert vor 23 Stunden

GRAYL GeoPress Wasseraufbereiter-Flasche mit Filter für Wandern, Camping, Überlebens-Szenarien, Reisen, 710 ml, Schwarz (Black Camo)

  • Filter dein Wasser, wo auch immer du bist. Mache schlechtes Wasser trinkbar. Ideal für Outdoor-Abenteuer (Wandern, Camping, Rucksackreisen, Angeln, Jagd, Survival-Training), globale Reisen und Überlebens-Szenarien. Einfach auffüllen. Zudrücken. Trinken.
  • Entfernt alle Pathogene: Viren (z. B. Rotavirus, Norovirus, Hepatitis A), Bakterien (z. B. E. Coli, Salmonellen, Dysenterie) und Protozoen (z. B. Giardien, Kryptosporidium, Amebae).
  • Filtert und reinigt: Partikel (z. B. Sedimente, Mikroplastik) und adsorbiert flüchtige organische Verbindungen (VOC), PFAS, Chemikalien, Pestizide, Herbizide, Schwermetalle, Aromen und Gerüche.
  • Unübertroffene Geschwindigkeit und Komfort: Reinigt 710 ml Wasser. Benötigt keine Einrichtungszeit, Pumpen, Schläuche, Saugen, Strohhalme, Batterien, Chemikalien oder längeres Warten. Müheloses Reinigen von Wasser, das aus verschiedenen Zapfhähnen, Hotelwaschbecken, trüben Flüssen, Seen oder Brunnen stammt.
  • Notfallvorbereitung: Ausgestattet mit austauschbarer Reiniger-Patrone, die für gut 250 l reicht. Perfekt für Zuhause oder im Auto, damit du bereit für jede Naturkatastrophe, Wassernotfall oder Überlebenssituation bist.

117,58 €

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Cleaning is quick and easy, without the need for setup time, pumping, hoses, straws, batteries, or chemicals.

The capacity may be somewhat limited, but the bottle is ideal for outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, survival, and travel.

Advantages:

  • Simple and fast cleaning system
  • Filters all pathogens, particles, and volatile organic compounds
  • Lightweight and easy to carry

Disadvantages:

  • The price may be too high for some customers
  • The filter cartridge needs to be replaced regularly (after 250 Liters)

I tested the Grayl GeoPress and you can read about my experience here. Then you will know for sure whether it is suitable for you.

6. Survivor Water Filter

The water filter with perhaps the fastest flow rate is the Survivor. 500 ml of water can flow through this filter per minute.

Survivor Filter PRO Nanofiltrations-Wasserfilter
4,6 (3378)

Daten aktualisiert vor 23 Stunden

Survivor Filter PRO Nanofiltrations-Wasserfilter

  • Unabhängig getestet bei Intertek Labs in den USA: Tests zeigen eine Entfernung von 99,9% der Viren, Staphylokokken und Bakterien und eine Reduzierung des Schwermetallgehalts - 99,5% von Quecksilber und 93% Blei, übertrifft EPA-Standards für Wasser-Filter.
  • Super schnelle Durchflussrate und voll Kompakt: Filtert 500 ml pro Minute, 16,5 cm lang. Auch enthalten ist eine ausführliche Gebrauchsanweisung (evtl. nicht in deutscher Sprache), größere Schläuche, eine Schlauchschelle, eine Tragetasche mit Reißverschluss, ein abnehmbarer Behälter, ein 100.000-Liter-Ultra-Filter-Vorfilter, ein Aktivkohlefilter und ein interner 0,01-Mikron-Ultra-Filter.
  • 3 Anwendungsarten: Direkt an frischwasserquelle verwenden, Wasser in beigefügten Behälter pumpen oder in ein tragbares Hydratationsgerät pumpen. Ideal für große Mengen gefilterten Wassers für die ganze Familie.
  • Dreifache Filtration bis 0,01 µm: Auswechselbare Ultra-Filter (Vorfilter und Innenfilter), die wiederverwendet werden können für bis zu 100.000 liter bevor ein Austausch nötig ist. Austauschbare Kohlenstoff-Filter für bis zu 2.000 Liter. Außenhülle aus militärtauglichem, BPA-freiem ABS-Material.

105,59 €

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Weighing just under 100 g, the Survivor filter fits just as well in your emergency backpack as it does in a glove compartment or your regular bag. Simply remove the cap to use and drink directly from the source.

7. Katadyn Water Filter BeFree Tactical 1.0

Although it is slightly pricier than other water filters, it is definitely worth the money. The Katadyn Water Filter BeFree Tactical 1.0 is a compact hollow fiber filter and weighs only 73 grams. The filter reliably removes germs and suspended particles larger than 0.1 microns.

Katadyn 8020426 Wasserfilter BeFree Tactical 1 L

Angebot

-24 %
4,6 (467)

Daten aktualisiert vor 23 Stunden

Katadyn 8020426 Wasserfilter BeFree Tactical 1 L

  • Ultraleichter und kompakter Hohlfaserfilter mit einem Gewicht von nur 73g
  • Dank des zusammenfaltbaren Trinkbeutels passt der Filter sogar in Laufhosen, Fahrradhosen, Schwimm- und Fischerwesten
  • Mit einer Porengröße von 0.1 Mikron (0.0001 mm) entfernt der Katadyn BeFree Filter zuverlässig Bakterien, Zysten und Sedimente
  • Die EZ-Clean Membrane kann durch schütteln oder schwenken ganz einfach gereinigt werden. Kein Rückspülen und keine Hilfsmittel nötig
  • Leistung: bis zu 2 l/min; Lebensdauer: bis zu 1.000 l abhängig von der Wasserqualität

52,90 €
UVP: 70,00 €

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Furthermore, the water filter is capable of filtering up to two liters of water per minute. I think the collapsible drinking bag is great, as it takes up very little space in the backpack.

In other words, drinking is as simple as from a regular sports water bottle. All components are of high quality, as Katadyn is a specialist in the field of water purification.

8. Bachgold® Pro Outdoor Water Filter

The Bachgold® Pro Outdoor Water Filter bottle with a filter capacity of 1500 liters removes 99.99% of all bacteria and filters viruses, particles, and heavy metals.

Bachgold® Profi Outdoor Wasserfilter Flasche [650ml] mit 1500L Filterkapazität I entfernt 99,99% aller Bakterien und filtert Viren, Partikel und Schwermetalle I Blackout- & Krisensicher
4,7 (476)

Daten aktualisiert vor 23 Stunden

Bachgold® Profi Outdoor Wasserfilter Flasche [650ml] mit 1500L Filterkapazität I entfernt 99,99% aller Bakterien und filtert Viren, Partikel und Schwermetalle I Blackout- & Krisensicher

  • ✔️ SAUBERES TRINKWASSER - Unsere Wasserfilter Outdoor Trinkflasche entfernt durch leistungsstarke Hohlfasermembran inkl. Aktivkohlefilter 99,99% aller Bakterien, Protozoen und andere Krankheitserreger.
  • ✔️ VIELSEITIG EINSETZBAR - Der Survival Wasserfilter ist ideal geeignet für Krisensituationen, Wandern oder Reisen. Das Wasser lässt sich aus jedem Fluss, Bach, See, Teich oder Brunnen schöpfen!
  • ✔️ LANGLEBIG & QUALITATIV HOCHWERTIG - Mit einer Filterkapazität von 1500L und Filtergenauigkeit von bis zu 0,05µm ist der Outdoor Wasserfilter innerhalb weniger Sekunden einsatzbereit.
  • ✔️ INNOVATION - Weltweit erster Selfpress Wasserfilter mit Hohlfasermembran. Durch die einzigartige All-in-One Lösung benötigt die Survival Trinkwasser Flasche keine zusätzlichen Komponenten.
  • ✔️ BACHGOLD VERSPRECHEN - Wir sind ein Unternehmen mit höchsten Ansprüchen an unser Produkt. Solltest du mit deiner Trinkflasche nicht zufrieden sein erhältst du bis zu 30 Tage dein Geld zurück!

59,99 €

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The filter is blackout and crisis-proof and ideal for hiking and traveling. It weighs 400 grams and can handle 3.9 liters per minute.

9. MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter

One of the best-selling microfilters currently on the market is the MiniWorks EX.

MSR MiniWorks EX Mikrofilter

Angebot

-33 %
4,5 (1364)

Daten aktualisiert vor 23 Stunden

MSR MiniWorks EX Mikrofilter

  • bewährter und robuster Wasserfilter für unterwegs
  • filtert Protozoen, Bakterien, Partikel und unangenehme Gerüche/Geschmack
  • hohe Durchflußrate
  • einfache Wartung
  • nur 456 Gramm | 1 Liter/min |

106,90 €
UVP: 160,00 €

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Thanks to MSR's AirSpring accumulator, it is designed for regular production of clean water in extreme environments, with a flow rate of one liter per minute.

One great feature is that the water is completely tasteless when drinking.

10. Katadyn Pocket Water Filter

One of the most expensive water filters on this list is the Katadyn Pocket Water Filter, which is why I saved it for last. For the price, you get a high-quality water filter with ceramic depth filtration that lasts for up to 50,000 liters.

Katadyn 2010000 Wasserfilter Pocket Filter

Angebot

-28 %
4,8 (590)

Daten aktualisiert vor 23 Stunden

Katadyn 2010000 Wasserfilter Pocket Filter

  • Wasserfilter Outdoor, Pumpfilter ohne Strom; Keramik-Tiefenfiltration (0, 2 Mikron = 0, 0002 mm Poren)
  • Entfernt Bakterien, Protozoen, Zysten, Algen, Sporen und Sedimente
  • Leistung: circa" 1 l/min
  • Lebensdauer: bis 50.000 L, abhängig von der Wasserqualität
  • Material: Aluminium, rostfreier Stahl, Keramik, Silikon

250,75 €
UVP: 349,95 €

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It is capable of filtering out all microorganisms, protozoa, and bacteria larger than 0.2 micrometers, producing clean, tasteless, and drinkable water.

The Katadyn works by connecting an outlet hose to the container with a clip. Then, you pump the water through the hose into the container, where it is filtered.

Here you can find my complete review of the Katadyn Pocket Water Filter and also a video:

The Katadyn is small enough to carry in your backpack and certainly small enough for your Bug Out Bag.

My conclusion: Great product, fantastic craftsmanship, and definitely worth its price.

11. MSR Guardian Purifier

The MSR Guardian Purifier is a high-performance water filter and purifier specifically designed for use in demanding conditions. It not only filters out bacteria and protozoa from the water, but also eliminates viruses and other microorganisms.

MSR Guardian Purifier - Wasserfilter, Wasserentkeimer

Angebot

-25 %
4,6 (390)

Daten aktualisiert vor 23 Stunden

MSR Guardian Purifier - Wasserfilter, Wasserentkeimer

  • Die militärische Wasserreiniger-Pumpe entfernt Viren, Bakterien, Protozoen und Partikel aus kontaminierten Wasserquellen praktisch überall auf der Erde
  • Erfüllt das NSF-Protokoll P248 Teststandard des US-Militärs, mit medizinischen Fasern zum Schutz vor den kleinsten Gefahren auf Wasserbasis
  • Pumpt schnell 2,5 Liter pro Minute, behandelt bis zu 10.000 Liter Wasser und widersteht Einfrieren, Tropfen, starker Beanspruchung und rauen Umgebungen
  • Die Pumpe reinigt sich bei jedem Hub selbstständig und bietet konstant schnelle Durchflussmenge ohne Aufwand – kein Rückspülen oder Filterschrubben erforderlich
  • Ideal für Backcountry, Expeditionen, weltweite Reisen und Überleben; Luftreiniger-Pumpe misst 20,8 x 11,9 cm und wiegt 500 g; hergestellt in den USA

329,25 €
UVP: 439,99 €

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The filter uses a hollow fiber membrane system that filters particles up to a size of 0.02 microns, effectively purifying the water. The Guardian Purifier can filter up to 2.5 liters of water per minute and has a lifespan of up to 10,000 liters before the filter needs to be replaced.

The filter is very robust and durable, with a plastic housing. The Guardian Purifier is also effortless to use, with a simple pumping system that works effectively even with heavily contaminated water.

Overall, the MSR Guardian Purifier is a high-quality water filter suitable for use in all types of outdoor adventures, from camping and hiking to expeditions in remote areas.

Buying Guide for Outdoor Water Filters - What should I consider when buying a water filter?

1. What types of water filters are available for outdoor use?

There are different types of water filters for outdoor use, including mechanical, chemical, and UV light water filters (such as the SteriPen Adventurer). Each type has its advantages and disadvantages to provide you with clean drinking water.

What filtering capabilities do outdoor water filters have?

Water filters for outdoor use can have different filtering capabilities and work in different ways. Some can filter out bacteria and protozoa from the water, while others are also specialized in filtering viruses. Therefore, before purchasing a water filter, you should inform yourself about its filtering capabilities.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of mechanical filters?

Mechanical water filters work quickly and without the use of chemicals, but may not be as effective at removing viruses. Additionally, you will need to clean the filter regularly to maintain its effectiveness.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of chemical filters?

Chemical filters are lightweight and easy to use, but they require a longer waiting time until the purified water is safe to drink. They can also leave a chemical taste in the water.

2. Effort and User-Friendliness

A pump water filter takes some time to set up, and you have to pump relatively hard to use the filter. While with a gravity water filter, you connect the hoses and simply hang it on a branch or large rock. Within a few minutes, you have filtered water due to the laws of gravity.

You need strength when pumping
You need strength when pumping

3. Speed

If you run out of water, water purification can sometimes take longer than you might think.

Especially if you have decided to boil water, you need to unpack your Hobo cooker, boil the water in the kettle, and then wait for the water to cool down.

But on the other hand, the Steripen Ultralight UV Water Purifier only takes 90 seconds to kill 99.9% of bacteria, protozoa, and viruses in one liter of water.

Impatient hikers often opt for a squeeze filter, such as the Platypus Quickdraw Water Filter because it filters a small amount of water quickly, or they use a straw-style filter.

Patients campers who need large quantities and have time opt for a gravity filter (Find my top list here).

4. Capacity

The amount of water that can be filtered at the same time varies from one liter per minute, as with the MSR MiniWorks EX microfilter, to up to three liters per minute, as with the Platypus QuickDraw microfilter system.

Think about how much drinking water you need. Should it be the whole hiking group or just yourself?

Depending on how often you need the water filter and whether it is only for you or for a group, you should consider how much water volume can be filtered per minute
Depending on how often you need the water filter and whether it is only for you or for a group, you should consider how much water volume can be filtered per minute

5. Maintenance

For quick and easy maintenance, it is advisable to use a filter with a replaceable cartridge. However, this also creates waste eventually.

Looking for a less wasteful option? The Steripen Ultralight UV Water Purifier features a built-in rechargeable battery that is charged via a USB cable.

Or the MiniWorks EX Microfilter can be cleaned repeatedly without tools to fully restore the filter.

Gravity filters are also a great low-maintenance option, as they require backwashing after a certain amount of filtered water (depending on the model).

6. Lifespan

The lifespan of outdoor water filters typically ranges from about 1,000 to 8,000 uses.

When searching for a water filter, of course, the higher the number of applications, the better.

The LifeStraw water filter filters up to 3785 liters of water, which is approximately 5000 uses if your water bottle holds 750 ml, while the lifespan of the Steripen Ultralight UV Water Purifier is 8,000 uses.

Extremely durable is the Katadyn Pocket Water Filter, which filters up to 50,000 liters of water - so it can be used 50,000 times if your water bottle holds one liter.

Considering the water filter costs per lifespan, filtered water could be an important factor if you are looking for the most affordable option.

7. Weight and Bulky

When hiking or backpacking, the rule is: the lighter, the better, which is why the LifeStraw water filter is ideal, as it weighs only 57 g, or the Steripen Ultralight UV Water Purifier, which weighs only 76.5 grams.

The MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter and the Katadyn Pocket Water Filter are bulky to carry due to all the different pump parts, their size, or their weight.

But if you go camping in the car, the additional weight might be worth it, considering that these filters filter a larger amount of water at once.

Some water filters are large and bulky and more suitable for camping with a car
Some water filters are large and bulky and more suitable for camping with a car

How do the different methods of water treatment work?

There are various methods to treat water if you don't have a water filter. One option is boiling, where the water is brought to a rolling boil for about 3 minutes to kill germs and bacteria.

Water filters with activated carbon work by adsorbing (attaching the atoms or molecules of liquids or gases to a solid surface) impurities. UV light water filters kill bacteria and viruses in water through irradiation.

How does boiling water work?

The boiling of water is one of the most effective methods, as it can largely kill pathogens in the form of fungi, viruses, and bacteria.

The water must boil vigorously for about 3 minutes to ensure that all harmful microorganisms have been eliminated.

wasser abkochen in topf

How do activated carbon water filters work?

Water filters with activated carbon work by adsorbing impurities and pollutants from the water. The activated carbon acts like a sponge, absorbing and retaining the impurities while allowing the clean water to flow out.

Adsorption is the accumulation or concentration of a substance on the surface and not within a solid (or liquid) mass.

kohle zum zaehneputzen

How do UV light water filters work?

UV light water filters work by irradiating the water with UV light to kill bacteria and viruses.

UV radiation damages the DNA of microorganisms and prevents them from reproducing and causing an infection.

Why does the MSR Guardian Purifier, according to the manufacturer, remove viruses as the only water filter?

This is a very exciting question and I wanted to get to the bottom of it.

After all, MSR advertises that they are the only manufacturer to also remove viruses with their Guardian Purifier! But how is that supposed to work?

I unfortunately haven't found a single definitive statement about it, except that the Guardian Purifier denies viruses with a size of 0.02 micrometers or larger access to the water bottle.

That means, with this fact, the MST Guardian Purifier is in no way better than the Katadyn Pocket Water Filter - because this one also has pores that are 0.02 micrometers in size.

Only Katadyn seems very cautious with this statement because it naturally also poses a legal risk.

MSR writes here:

"While conventional hollow fibers used in many microfilters today don’t remove viruses (their pore sizes are not small enough to block them), the Guardian’s hollow fibers reliably block viruses, and do so even in very challenging water conditions such as highly turbid or silty water, where other treatment options become less reliable."

And MSR continues to write on the same website:

"Adapted from kidney dialysis technology, it took MSR’s scientists more than two years, working with a U.S. medical-grade facility, to design fibers capable of consistently removing viruses, while still offering a fast flow rate, in a compact, pump design."

And here MSR writes:

"A backpacking purifier that uses hollow fiber technology should feature a pore size of 0.02 to remove viruses as well. (Notice the zero after the decimal point.) These are the industry standards."

Means: "A backpack water filter that uses hollow fiber technology should have a pore size of 0.02 to remove viruses as well. (Note the zero after the decimal point.) These are industry standards.".

Then I looked up the NSF standard P248 and on the website https://info.nsf.org/Certified/DWTU/ I couldn't find any entry from MSR for "Certified Drinking Water Treatment Units, Water Filters". It appears that the testing procedure was conducted in-house by MSR and there is no certificate or similar from the NSF association.

Conclusion? There is no specific statement about a special filter system that removes viruses. So, there is no special technology. MSR does not say more about it.

It is therefore important to note that the statement that the MSR Guardian Purifier filters out viruses should be taken with caution.

Although the filter has a membrane with a pore size of 0.02 microns, not all viruses can be filtered out because some are smaller.

However, many viruses have the property of attaching themselves to larger particles, which can then be blocked along with the viruses.

However, it is recommended to use cleansing tablets in highly vulnerable areas such as Southeast Asia.

In general, I consider the filtering performance of the Guardian Purifier to be completely sufficient, especially in Europe. However, you should keep in mind that water near human settlements has a very high potential for danger and should always be avoided if possible.

Tips and recommended procedures for water treatment for drinking water

Not everything can be achieved by your water filter, so you must take the time to figure out how to get the most out of your water filter. After all, it's also about your health.

Avoiding some crucial mistakes and taking some precautions will make any filtering method more effective.

I would like to give you the following tips:

  • Separate the containers for clean and dirty water and label them clearly.
  • Look for clean water, as sediments can affect the effectiveness of treatment. If only cloudy sources are available, use a pre-filter or let the sediments settle out of the collected water first.
  • Pay close attention to the instructions, as each product contains detailed steps to prevent cross-contamination (introduction of untreated water into your treated water).
  • Keep your hands clean by packing and using hand sanitizer frequently.
  • Keep camping, toilet, and dishwashing areas at least 50 to 60 meters away from any water source.
  • Frost conditions require special attention: Melting snow is the best choice.
  • Store filters that can freeze and crack overnight in your sleeping bag.
  • Boil the water to kill any viruses.

Conclusion: Water filters for outdoor use are essential and also ideal for crisis preparedness

Water filters are essential for staying in nature. It's a good idea to invest in them, especially if you do a lot of hiking and camping or go Bushcrafting for several days Bushcraften.

In addition, water filters can be used just as effectively for crisis prevention.

If you live in an area prone to natural disasters, a water filter is essential and should be on every emergency list. They can be expensive, but they last long and help protect you and your family.

Take care, Martin
Martin Gebhardt

Author of the guide


Martin Gebhardt

Hey, I'm Martin. On my blog, you will learn the basics and numerous details about living in the wild. I think survival, bushcraft and the good life in nature are the keys to happiness. Find me here on Instagram or on YouTube. You can find more about my mission on the About Me page.

Since this is a gear guide, here ...


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