If you are planning a trip to the mall, a hike in the wilderness or you just need clean water to drink, clean water for mixing liquid baby formula, a portable water filter can help you get potable water at anywhere. Once you have it, you don’t need to worry about the water quality even if you are not at home. Such a device can remove many contaminants in our water, like chemicals, heavy metals, virus and bacteria, etc.
Our water is polluted seriously and most of our water supply in the world becomes not potable and drinkable because of all kinds of contaminants. It is estimated that 90% of the freshwater supply available on Earth is polluted in some way, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. You may think the tap water is safe to drink. However, even with many big cities in the U.S., the tap water or fountain water may be not safe to drink. Therefore, having a filter to purify water is a good way to get pure water to drink, or in the long run, the contaminated water may cause serious health issues.
Why Should I Use A Portable Water Filter?
A portable water purifier is helpful to our health because even water treated through public water treatment facilities in our towns and cities is impure, letting along other water sources. Most water we use to drink and cook actually contains many contaminants, from chemicals to heavy metals to biological contaminants. Chemical contaminants are harmful chemicals which have entered the water，through pollution from factories and sewage or through the atmosphere. Biological contaminants include various microorganisms, such as bacteria, viruses, and protozoans. Heavy metals include mercury, lead, chromium and so on and their salts.
Biological contaminants can be killed in boiling water. However, chemicals and heavy metals cannot remove by boiling the water. Therefore, we need a purifier to remove chemicals, heavy metals and biological contaminants together. Such a portable filter is light and compact, so you can take it anywhere if you don’t trust the water quality(for example, traveling in other countries).
How Does A Portable Water Purifier Work?
Generally, there are 2 basic types of portable filters on the market: chemical water purifiers and non-chemical water filters.
One kind of chemical water purifier is a water purifier based on iodine treatment, because iodine is much more effective than other types of chemicals used for water filtration. Therefore, many filters use it to purify water. However, as light sensitive chemicals, it must be stored in a dark container so that it can maintain its efficiency. And iodine may be an allergen for some people. For example, if you are prone to be allergic to shellfish, you are highly possible allergic to iodine. Of course, in this situation, you cannot buy a water filter that is based on iodine treatment. In this type of filter, iodine is added to the unclean water to destroy contaminants in water, while inevitably there are iodide ions in filtered water.
Another type of chemical type filter is based on chlorine treatment. It is similar to our tap water treat. This type of filter is widely used as an alternative method of chemical water purification if individuals are incapable of using iodine. The treatment process is similar to the treatment based on iodine; chlorine is added to the impure water and the contaminants will be destroyed while the chlorine and water minuet become undisturbed.
There are different non-chemical water purifiers available, and they tend to a variety of different water filtration systems to purify the water. Some may use ultraviolet radiation for water purification, but ultraviolet radiation may cause sunburn in some individuals. If you plan to buy a non-chemical filter, you should check the information provided by the manufacturer to understand more because of the variety in non-chemical purifiers.
Top 5 Best Portable Water Filters
1. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
This filter is one of the most popular portable water filters on the market. The average rating is up to 4.6/5 stars. What’s more, there are over 1,900 customer reviews and it is very affordable.
It has been used by millions of people around the world since 2005. It is capable of removing a minimum 99.9% of waterborne bacteria and protozoan parasites. This filter is not based on iodine, chlorine and other chemicals treatment. Therefore, it is safe to use. It also comes in a sealed bag, great for storing for emergencies. If you plan to go out for a hike and feel worried about the water quality in the river, lake or well, this filter is a must-have because it can provide you up to 1000 liters of clean water.
2. Sawyer Products Mini Water Filtration System
This mini water filter is so small, making it perfect for outdoor activities. It is also the lightest most versatile portable filter from Sawyer. It only weighs 2 ounces and can fit in the palm of your hand. Although it is small and compact, it can filter up to 100,000 gallons of water, much more volume than other portable filtration systems. You can attach it to standard water bottles, included the drinking pouch, hydration packs, or just use it to directly drink from your water source. It can remove 99.99999% of all bacteria and 99.9999% of protozoa. Therefore, it is perfect for hiking, scouting, outdoor recreation, travel (both domestic and international), camping and emergency preparedness. It gets a 4.7/5 stars.
3. Katadyn Vario Water Filter
This portable filter has a ceramic pre-filter, which can make it last for long life even in dirty water. If you want water more quickly, you can use it in the faster flow mode to produce 2 quarts per minute, or it can produce 1 quart water per minute in longer life mode. This filter can effectively reduce odors, chemicals, and toxins. Its adapter base can easily attach to water bottles directly. You also can use an output hose to fill hydration system or larger containers. The rating is 4.5/5 stars. And there are over 200 customer reviews to check. And most people think it deserves to have.
4. MSR Miniworks EX Microfilter
This microfilter is light and it was designed for expedition use in demanding environments. Its carbon/ceramic element is very durable, so you don’t need to worry about it and just enjoy safe, clean, taste-free water even if you use it heavily. It can produce 1 liter water per minute with the AirSpring Accumulator. It is also very easy to clean and maintain without any tool. It can effectively reduce protozoa, bacteria, chemicals/toxins, and particulate.
The rating is 4.5/5. And there are over 200 customer reviews.
5. Katadyn Pocket Water Filter
I would like to say this filter is the most amazing portable water purifier on the market. If you are only need a cheap one, don’t choose this and buy any cheap piece of junk with a plastic handle which might break. It is very popular in the world. It has a 13,000 gallon life on one filter, which allows you to have enough clean water to drink and cook in the open air or while travelling. One of my friend even used it on a mission in Philippines. This top rated filter has got an average rating of 4.7/5 stars. There are over 200 reviews left by real user. I also have bought one. When I travel or go out for a hike or riding, it helps me a lot and I don’t need to worry about the water quality.