Do you have a water filter for hiking? Not sure if you need one? Keep reading to find out if you need one, which ones are on the market, and how the top three stack up.
CLEAR2O sponsored this article.
Why do I need a Water Filter for Hiking?
Every hiker brings water with them, and nearly every hiker has run out of it at one time or another. Running out of water means turning around and heading back to camp most of the time.
If you find yourself lost and out of water, the situation can quickly become an emergency. Out in the woods, you can’t find clean and safe water to drink. Having a portable personal water filter can save your life.
Types of Water Filters for Hiking
There are five types of water filters on the market. Some of the filters combine one or more of the types listed below. In this article, we will focus on straw and squeeze filters.
- Straw – place directly in the water source and drink through the straw
- Squeeze Filters – fill the reservoir, attach the filter, squeeze water through the filter and directly into your mouth
- Gravity – fill the reservoir, hang, wait, then fill a secondary container with water
- Bottle Filters – fillable bottle comes with a filter. So fill the bottle, attach the filter, sip
- Pump Filters – a hose that pumps water directly from the water source to the container
Why Choose a Straw or Squeeze Filter
Straw and squeeze filters are compact and lightweight, making them attractive to hikers and backpackers. The last thing you want on the trail is something complicated and bulky. You want something that will fit in your pack or even your pocket.
The straw filters are more difficult to suck through. This difficulty comes from the filter blocking the bacteria and other contaminants as the water passes through. If the water passed more quickly, bacteria and other pollutants would pass through the filter.
You can use a collapsible water bottle with the straw filter (converting it into a squeeze filter), making it easier to filter. Simply squeezing the water bottle adds pressure and easily moves the water through the filter.
How do the top Three Straw-Style Filters Stack Up?
There are three leading straw-style filters: CLEAR2O Personal Water Filter, Sawyer MINI Water Filter, and LifeStraw Personal. Check out the table below for all specs.
The CLEAR2O Personal Water Filter and Sawyer MINI Water Filter can be either straw-style filters at the source or squeeze filters with a collapsible water bottle.
The CLEAR2O filter comes with a large 1-liter collapsible water bottle made from durable 3-ply material. However, the Sawyer filter comes with a smaller (16-oz) foil pouch.
All three straw filter models have caps, but those on the Sawyer MINI and LifeStraw often fall off. The CLEAR2O Personal Water Filter has secure silicon caps on both ends that keep the straw clean until it’s time to use.
All three filters protect against bacteria and microplastics. The CLEAR2O Personal Water Filter also reduces protozoa, parasites, dirt, cloudiness and removes bad taste and odors.
Ability to Backwash
You can backwash both the CLEAR2O Personal Water Filter and Sawyer MINI Water Filter, extending the filter’s life. Unlike the Sawyer filter, the CLEAR2O filter allows you to see inside the filter and see when backwashing is needed.
The Best of the Straw Filters: CLEAR2O Personal Water Filter
The most significant advantages CLEAR2O has over the competition are the following:
- 1-liter large collapsible water bottle (3 ply durable material)
- filter that reduces/blocks bacteria, microplastics, sand, dirt, smell, and bad taste
- carbineer (hook) for ease of carrying
- silicon caps that keep straw clean
You can watch a step-by-step how-to video of the CLEAR2O here!
Tips for Using Your Personal Water Filter
Your water filter will do a lot of the work to help you clean your water and make it safe to drink, but there are still some best practices. Keep reading to find out what they are.
Seek Flowing Water
If possible, find flowing water from a spring or stream—the closer to the water source, the better. Collecting water upstream is recommended.
Don’t wait until you are thirsty to find and drink water. It can be very easy to get dehydrated on a hike, especially in hotter or drier climates.
Wash Your Hands
Keeping your hands clean will help ensure that your water stays clean. Dirty hands can contaminate the water you are drinking and your food.
Don’t let Your Filter Freeze
Frozen water could damage the filter and allow contaminants to flow through. You won’t know if your water is safe to drink.
Backflushing is Important
Backflushing (backwashing) will keep the filter from clogging, make it easier to use, and extend the life of your filter.
Keep Water Purification Tablets
Keeping tablets is a good plan B if you have forgotten your filter or somehow damaged it. The tablets are small and easy to keep in a pocket. You can buy some here (This is an affiliate link. We receive a commission for purchases made via this link): https://amzn.to/3lYSWVs.
You can find out more about water filter maintenance by clicking here.
Should you buy a Water Filter for Hiking?
Yes!! Having a personal water filter for hiking is fantastic. It will help you refill your water on your hikes and save your life if you are in an emergency. While there are many different kinds of personal water filters on the market, we compared three straw-type filters.
The CLEAR2O Personal Water Filter was the best of the straw filters we compared and the one we recommend.
You can buy yours at this link: https://www.CLEAR2O.com/products/CLEAR2O-personal-water-filter-pwf850.