Top 10 Best Survival Water Filters ǀ 2021 Reviews (Survivor Filter)

Turn pond, rain, river, stream, and lake water into something drinkable and safe with the best survival water filters. They are great for emergencies when you don’t have access to potable water while in the woods or outdoors or during calamities. They are usually lightweight, simple to use, and helps you survive without the daily conveniences. Water filters are available in different styles, filtering operations, sizes, and effectiveness to serve different purposes. Check out the summary for our best survival water filters, available in varying operating types. 

Top 10 Best Survival Water Filters Reviewed

  1. Survivor Filter PRO X Electric – Best Overall
  2. LifeStraw Go Bottle – Best Value
  3. LifeStraw Water Filter – Editor’s Choice
  4. Katadyn Vario
  5. Sawyer Mini Water Filter
  6. Life Defender Water Filter Straw Bottle
  7. Brita 38367 Premium Filtering Bottle
  8. Etekcity Water Straw Filter
  9. Platypus GravityWorks Emergency Water Filter System
  10. LifeStraw Family 1.0 Portable Gravity Powered Water Filter

#1. Survivor Filter PRO X Electric – Best Overall

Survivor Filter PRO X Electric

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  • Type: Electric filter
  • Flow Rate: 17 ounces/minute
  • Capacity: 100,000 liters
  • Micron Rating: 0.01
  • Levels of Filtration: 3

If you are looking for one of the most effective and reliable water filters, the Survivor PRO X Electric is one of the best survival water filters in the market. It’s a small water filter system that can easily fit inside your backpack, but a must-have in case of emergency, especially if you find yourself with no access to potable water in the wilderness. However, don’t let the size fool you because this water filter can produce around 17 ounces of clean and drinkable water every minute. It might be small, but it comes with all the necessary components to pump water at a brisk pace. 

However, its most notable feature is the filter system itself, made with carbon filtration and a dual hollow filter. Overall, it’s around 20 times better than other water filters you can find. There is also a water cup included, which attaches to the filter and makes it easy for you to drink. 

This water filter boasts a 0.01-micron filter level and can remove 99.5% of metal and 99.99% of bacteria from the water. What’s even better is it can remove parasites, allowing you to drink from any water source, even in a harsh outdoor condition. 

The plastic materials used for this water filter, medical-grade polysulfone and ABS plastic, are eco-friendly. It’s safe for the environment and your health. 

Long-life replaceable carbon filtersNot the most durable plastic material
Top-notch activated carbon filter
Great quality filtration capacity
Eco-friendly water filter
Excellent flow rate

#2. LifeStraw Go Bottle – Best Value

LifeStraw Go Bottle

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  • Type: Bottle filter
  • Micron Rating: 0.2
  • 2-stage activated carbon filter
  • Microfiltration membrane
  • Lasts up to 4000 liters

A filter bottle is one of the most portable water filters around, something you can easily stuff inside your backpack or carry along with you wherever you go. The LifeStraw Go Bottle is a fantastic example of a perfect companion if you go traveling, camping, or hiking. It’s a must-have when you go out in the wild, ensuring that you have clean water to drink no matter the circumstances. 

This water filter has a 0.2-micron rating and can remove 99.9% of waterborne parasites and bacteria. It boasts a 2-stage activated carbon filter that ensures you only get water without chlorine or any unpleasant odor, and all without changing the taste after filtration. You can use this water filter bottle even if you’re drinking water from a stream or a lake, thanks to its innovative hollow fiber filter that can remove bacteria and protozoa. You can fill the bottle from any water available water source and filter it as you drink. Even contaminated water will taste clean when you use this water filter bottle. 

Filtration system aside, this water bottle is also a favorite for its high-quality and sturdy BPA-free plastic bottle. The attached mouthpiece is also food-grade silicon material, ensuring your safety while drinking 100%.

No change in water taste after filtrationBottle tends to leak when tilted
Top-quality filter bottle
Easy-to-carry design
Reliable filter straw

#3. LifeStraw Water Filter – Editor’s Choice

LifeStraw Water Filter

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  • Type: Straw filter
  • Capacity: 4000 liters
  • Micron Rating: 0.2
  • Hollow Fiber membrane
  • No expiration date

You never know when you will badly need a water filter. If you want to prepare for survival and emergencies whenever you go hiking, camping, or traveling, packing this LifeStraw Water Filter inside your backpack is a smart idea. It’s a handy device for your personal use, a small water filter that can be your ultimate lifesaver when facing dire conditions outdoors, like looking for clean water to drink. It’s a must-have and a favorite choice for many backpackers, one to complete any disaster kit. You don’t even have to break the bank to get this one. 

If the only water source you have is a pond, lake, or swamp, this straw water filter can give you 100% drinkable water in no time. It boasts a fantastic hollow fiber membrane, well-known for its dependability when facing contaminated water. It can remove anything from chemicals, microplastics, parasites, and bacteria. 

What’s even better is this tiny water filter won’t take up so much space inside your backpack, but it can filter up to 4,000 liters of water. This water filter is good for five years if you’re using it alone. We like that it’s simple but highly dependable in giving you drinkable water anywhere you go. The lack of moving parts is an advantage, ensuring that the product is durable. The minor downside, however, is the plastic clips that are a bit thin and flimsy. 

Removes contaminants even without iodine tablets or large purifiersSlightly flimsy plastic clip
Effectively removes chemicals and bacteria
Ideal for survival and preparedness 
Cost-effective water filter option
Solid construction

#4. Katadyn Vario

Katadyn Vario

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  • Type: Ceramic filter
  • Flow Rate: 2-quarts/minute
  • Micron Rating: 0.2
  • Glass fiber filter
  • Replaceable Katadyn carbon core

If you need a dependable water filter for you and your family, the Katadyn Vario is a fantastic option. It’s a complete kit to ensure that you have 100% drinkable water in case of emergency or survival. The water filter kit comes with a ceramic pre-filter system, a glass fiber filter, carbon core layer, and active charcoal. It has every necessary component that can leave any contaminated water tasting and smell clean and good. 

You can easily stuff this kit inside your backpack, especially with the included carrying tote, and you and your family will have drinkable water from rivers, lakes, and streams. It can deliver around two quarts of drinkable water from virtually any water source in the wild per minute. 

This lightweight water filter can remove 0.2 microns of bacteria, chemicals, toxins, pesticides, and bad odor, only giving you freshwater irrespective of the source. This ceramic filter is one of the toughest you can find, perfect for outdoors, and the two hoses it comes with can last for years. 

It’s also a cost-effective water filter choice for you, giving you a great value, especially since the kit includes an extra pre-filter. Overall, it’s one of the best survival water filters if you are looking for a ceramic filter that is portable but perfect for the entire family. 

Includes extra pre-filter, cleaning pad, carrying toteDoesn’t remove chloride taste 100%
Customize core reduces bad taste in water
Lightweight but durable construction
Dual pumping modes
Sturdy ceramic filter

#5. Sawyer Mini Water Filter

Sawyer Mini Water Filter

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  • Type: Straw filter
  • Micron Rating: 0.1
  • Included: 16 ounces pouch
  • Fiber protection

If you are looking for an even smaller water filter than most straw types, the Sawyer Mini Water Filter fits the job right. It’s a tiny water filter but can effectively keep up with the expectations and demands. It’s a high-innovative water filter, a must-have for your survival kit, especially if you like to pack light. When a clean water source isn’t always available, like when you go into the wild, this mini straw filter can be your lifesaver. 

It’s one of the most compact and lightweight water filter around, but that aren’t the only good features of this product. It boasts an innovative filtering technology that can remove 0.1 microns of bacteria, microplastics and can even get rid of 99.9% cholera, E. coli, and salmonella in the water. What’s even better is that this tiny survival water filter features a higher capacity than most of its bigger counterparts. It can filter 100,000 gallons of water in its lifespan. 

Buying this mini water filter gives you everything you need to have drinkable water in no time, no matter where you got the water from. It includes disposable water bottles, a drinking pouch, a hydration pack, and a straw. Overall, it’s the best survival water filters if you want the tiniest but dependable filter that you can find. 

Removes 99.9% cholera, E. coli, salmonellaChallenging to draw water
Compact and lightweight design
High-capacity water filter
Simple filter replacement
Easy to clean

#6. Life Defender Water Filter Straw Bottle

Life Defender Water Filter Straw Bottle

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  • Type: Bottle filter
  • Micron Rating: 0.01
  • 3-stage filtration
  • Coconut-activated carbon filter
  • Filters up to 1500 liters

When it’s just you in the wilderness, and there’s no clean and drinkable water insight, you can easily pull out the Life Defender Water Filter Bottle for survival. It’s a pocket-sized water filter that can give you 100% drinkable water from various contaminated sources like rivers, lakes, and streams. It boasts a 3-stage filtration system that can remove about 100% of harmful microbes, parasites, and bacteria. 

The innovative design behind this unique water filter is its coconut-activated carbon filter. That alone is an impressive filter technology, but this product also comes with a hollow fiber membrane with a USDA food-grade blood dialysis rating and antibacterial particle beads. This product uses a specialized filtering technique, giving you a straw filter that is 100% chemical-free. It’s safe for you and the environment. 

We also appreciate the lightweight and compact design of this filter, making it easy to carry around or pack inside your backpack. The carrying bag is also a bonus, so is the extendable straw that makes it easy to drink water directly from your source. Don’t let this product’s portability fool you because it can filter up to 1500 liters of water in its lifespan. However, the downside is there’s no end-life indicator for the filter. 

Includes an easy-carrying bagNo filter shelf-life indicator
Filters up to 1500 liters
Lightweight design
Extension straw
Easy suction

#7. Brita 38367 Premium Filtering Bottle

Brita 38367 Premium Filtering Bottle

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  • Type: Bottle filter
  • Capacity: 16 ounces
  • BPA-free plastic
  • Lasts two months
  • Cup holder-friendly design

If you are looking for a simple way to ensure that you only get the cleanest water whenever you need it, the Brita 38367 Premium Filtering Bottle is a fantastic option. Whether you’re buying this one for yourself or a gift to family and friends, this is no ordinary water bottle. It may look like one, but it comes equipped with a remarkable filtering system so you and your loved one can drink clean water while hiking, camping, or traveling. 

If you are looking to reduce your carbon footprint, this water filtering bottle is one of the most eco-friendly options. It’s safe for Mother Nature and safe for your health with its BPA-free plastic material. It has a lightweight design but a sturdy companion whenever you go outdoors. Enjoying your clean water is also comfortable with the straw. It filters water as you drink and can reduce a great amount of chlorine content so you can stay healthy. 

Another advantage of this filtering bottle is it’s easy to maintain. You can stuff it on the dishwasher, and you’re good to go. Plus, the filter is good for use up to 40 gallons of water. After that, you can exchange it with a new filter that is also simple to replace. 

Lightweight and portableBulkier than most water bottles
Eco-friendly water filter
Dishwasher safe
BPA-free plastic

#8. Etekcity Water Straw Filter

Etekcity Water Straw Filter

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  • Type: Straw filter
  • Flow Rate: 400 milliliters/minute
  • Capacity: 1500 liters
  • Micron Rating: 0.01
  • FDA Compliant

A water purifying straw is a wonderful addition if you prepare your survival kit before camping or hiking. The Etekcity Water Straw Filter will fit right in your kit, especially with its compact and handy design. It won’t take up much space inside your pack, but you can depend on it to give you clean and drinkable water up to 1500 liters. This filter straw is ready for all sorts of dire situations outdoors, especially with its 400 mL/minute flow rate. It’s a super handy straw to have in case of an earthquake, hurricane, and other catastrophes where you can’t find any potable water source. 

In terms of dependability in the wild, you can rely on this filtering straw to remove waste, insect contaminants, metal residue, microplastics, E-coli, and other contaminants. Besides the pre-filter that can block most of these large contaminants, the filtering system also includes an ion exchange resin that filters chlorine and other heavy metal ions. It can eliminate up to 99.9% of waterborne pollutants, thanks to its 0.01 microns beneficial hollow fiber.

While some straw filters are not ideal for use in chlorine-treated water, that wouldn’t be a problem for this one because it’s usable for all situations.

Overall, it’s one of the most flexible and best survival water filters, which you can affix to conventional water bottles for comfortable drinking. 

Improves appearance, odor, and taste of waterNo attachments included
Meets FDA and EPA standards
Compact and handy filter
Advanced straw filtration 
Suitable for all situations

#9. Platypus GravityWorks Emergency Water Filter System

Platypus GravityWorks Emergency Water Filter System

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  • Type: Gravity filter
  • Flow Rate: 1.75 liters/minute
  • Capacity: 4-liters
  • Micron Rating: 0.2
  • Hollow Fiber technology

If you are worried that there might not be any clean water available in the wilderness when your family goes camping or hiking, bringing the Platypus GravityWorks Water Filter System is smart. It can be your lifesaver when there is no tap water in sight, and all you see are lakes, rivers, and streams. This filter system can turn contaminated water from any source into freshwater that is 100% drinkable.

This gravity water filter system can deliver 1.75 liters per minute, which might not be much compared to other models, but you can depend on its flow rate. Using the system can produce up to four liters of clean water in one go, a suitable option for supplying clean water for the entire family. 

Using this filtering system is straightforward. There are two pouches, with one to fill with dirty water, and the other will hold the filtered water. You only need to hang the dirty water bag higher than the other to let the gravity work its magic. It features a 0.2 hollow microfiber that also does the job of ensuring that you get clean water free from impurities and bacteria. The filter can last for up to 1500 gallons of water, enough to last for years.

Weightless and compact designSlow flow rate
Excellent design system
Easy to carry and store
Flexible water filter kit
Dependable flow rate

#10. LifeStraw Family 1.0 Portable Gravity Powered Water Filter

LifeStraw Family 1.0 Portable Gravity Powered Water Filter

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  • Type: Gravity filter
  • Flow Rate: 9-12 liters/hour
  • Micron Rating: 0.02
  • Capacity: 18 liters

If what you’re looking for in the best survival water filters is the quantity of water you can get from it, the LifeStraw Family 1.0 Portable Water Filter is your best bet. It can give you as much as nine to 12 liters of potable water per hour. But that’s not all because, like other LifeStraw filter systems, this one also boasts effectiveness. It has a 0.02 filter membrane that can purify your water and remove viruses, bacteria, parasites, and other chemicals and contaminants. It’s a must-have every time the family goes camping or hiking.

What’s excellent about gravity filters like this one is you don’t have to do much to get clean water for drinking. Setup is simple and usually only includes filling the water tank with dirty water and elevating it so gravity can do the work. You don’t need batteries for this thing to run, and there are no parts that you need to replace either. The filter system can last for an extended period of up to 18,000 liters of purified water.

Overall, it’s one of the best survival water filters that can purify large quantities of water, although it’s not the best option for chlorinated water sources. 

Eliminates 100% pathogens and virusesDoesn’t filter chlorine
Lightweight and compact
Suitable for family use
Quick filtering
Simple to use

Best Survival Water Filters – Survivor Filter PRO X Electric

Being stuck in the wild, with no access to clean water for drinking is devastating. However, that wouldn’t be a problem if you have the Survivor Filter PRO X Electric, the best survival water filters, not only because of its name. This product can remove 99.99% of viruses and bacteria and up to 99.5% of metal contaminants, making it suitable for use on any water source in the wild. 

However, the best part about this product’s filtering system is it can also remove parasites. It lets you enjoy drinking fresh water no matter the circumstances, a must-have if you go camping, hiking, traveling, or even if you’re only packing a survival kit at home. 

Best Survival Water Filter Brands

There are tons of filtering and purifying system brands available that make it tricky to find the best ones to buy. If you are looking for trusted and well-rated brands, here are our top picks for you. 

Survivor Filter

Survivor Filter is a world-renowned brand, a top home filtration provider in the US and worldwide. Survivor Filter is now a global venture with the vision of providing a better technology to access cleaner and drinkable water in any environment. It produces various water filtering products suitable for outdoor activities, travels, hiking, camping, and preparedness. The brand offers high-quality filtration systems that can remove 99.999% of chemicals, parasites, and harmful bacteria found outdoors. 

Survivor Filter is also popular for offering the best price for its best survival water filters, using reusable, sustainable, and cleanable filter components.


LifeStraw is another well-known manufacturer of various water purification and filtration devices. It’s a sister company of Vestergaard, a famous science-based innovator brand. Its first product and the original LifeStraw is a portable and compact straw filter that can deliver clean water up to 4,000 liters. It’s enough to supply one person with clean and healthy water for three straight years. 

LifeStraw delivers quality products that are easy to use and can convert clean and safe water from any water source. 


Katadyn is also a fantastic brand option if you look for quality products that can turn any water into safe and clean drinking water. The brand has been one of the top choices for health organizations, militaries, and many outdoor enthusiasts and hobbyists worldwide. Katadyn offers water filtering systems for every need and circumstance, including biking, fishing, paddling, sailing, backpacking, camping, and traveling. It strives towards providing filtering systems that offer higher quality and long-lasting performance.  

Types of Survival Water Filters

Water filters come in many styles and designs. Before settling with what you believe are the best survival water filters, it’s essential to know the available options. 


Straw water filters are some of the most compact and portable filtering systems available. It works like a straw, which filters water as you drink or take a sip. The primary advantage of this type is they are the easiest to carry around as they are lightweight, and you can stuff them inside your backpack without taking too much space. You can use it to drink directly from the water source or attach it to a bottle or container. 


Bottle filters are similar to straw types, but only with a plastic bottle. It’s handy and convenient to carry with you on your camping or hiking trips. Unlike straw types, you don’t have to be on all fours sipping right from the river with this one. You can fill the water bottle with dirty water, and it filters as you take a sip from the straw. 

Gravity Fed

Like its name, this type of water filtering system relies on gravity to work. It usually features two bags or water containers attached to a filter with hoses. The container that holds the dirty water should be elevated from the one with the clean water. Gravity-fed filters may be slow at producing clean water, but they offer a dependable flow rate and more effective in producing clean and safe water than pressure-based options.

Ceramic Filters

Since ancient times, ceramic filters have been used to produce clean and potable water from ponds, lakes, and rivers. They are the best option for getting rid of harmful contaminants and microbes in the water, thanks to its microscopic openings. Ceramic filters are the best survival water filters if you want nearly 100% clean and safe water to drink from almost all sources. 

What to Consider When Buying

There are more to the best survival water filters that its type of design. It has to be effective in filtering water, and there are also essential features that you need to consider before buying one. 

Filtration vs. Purification

Filtration and purification work differently, although most people use these terms interchangeably. 

Filtration happens when water passes through a sieve, which can either be biological or through a chemical process. The carbon filter is a common method used in infiltration systems. It eliminates most contaminants, odor, and color but isn’t 100% effective in eliminating certain chemicals and viruses. 

Purification, on the other hand, removes any impurities in the water. It takes contaminated water and then turns it into clean water, free from bio-contaminants, pathogens, and chemicals. 


The best survival water filters come in varying sizes. Suppose you want something compact that would make a fantastic companion while backpacking. There are lightweight options like straw and bottle filters. They take little space in your backpack and adds little to no weight to your luggage. 

Ease of Use

If you’re looking for the best survival water filters for emergency preparedness, your best bet is something that can produce clean water quickly. It should be easy to set up the filtration system and won’t take much longer to filter the water. Electric-powered filters are not the best option in most cases as they require power to set up and use.


Effectiveness when choosing the best survival water filters depends on how fine the sieves of the filter are. You can gauge that on the water filter’s micron level. The smaller the rating is, the better it is at filtering water contaminants. Bacteria is usually at 0.2 microns, so a water filter with a 0.2-micron rating should be sufficient. A filter smaller micron rating like 0.1 should be able to remove viruses and cysts from passing through. 

Capacity or Output Speed

A high flow rate or output speed makes it quicker to harvest clean water from a source. Larger filters, except for gravity-fed types, usually produces drinkable water at a higher speed than smaller variants. Straw types, for example, uses a sip-and-drink mechanism. 

Taste Quality

The water’s taste quality depends on how effective the filter is from getting rid of microorganisms and chemicals. The best survival water filters should be able to filter out the funny taste of contaminated water. Activated carbon does the job well in this case, so a water filter with this feature should give you good-tasting water. 


Getting the best survival water filters can be your lifesaver in case of emergencies when no potable water source is available. Our best pick for that would be the Survivor Filter PRO X Electric as it can remove 99.9% of bacteria, giving you clean and safe water to drink.

It’s good to have an emergency water filter available, whether you go camping, hiking, or simply for survival purposes in case of calamities. It’s a convenient way to turn water from rain, rivers, ponds, streams, and lakes into drinkable water.  

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

Can a water filter get rid of viruses in the water?

Most water filters remove solid particles in the water and use carbon to eliminate other contaminants like chlorine. However, other water filters come with unique filtering systems with membranes that can remove bacteria and even viruses, but it depends on the model or product. Be sure to check out the effectiveness of a water filter before buying. 

What is the best water filter that can remove contaminants?

Water filters with semi-permeable membranes are usually the best option if you want to remove 99% of contaminants from dirty water.

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