Water filters are like sieves with very, very tiny holes which are rated in micrometers. The holes trap contaminants so only clean water can pass through. Trying to choose any water filters can be tough and confusing. You need to consider type, what the filter can treat, how easy it is to use, flow rate, cartridge rate, durability, and portability.
1. MSR Guardian Purifier.
One of the few filters that can remove viruses whilst maintaining a fast flow rate. It can also withstand being frozen, work in shallow water sources and self clean. the MSR Guardian Purifier features a hollow fiber filter with a micron rating of 0.02. That’s small enough to filter out viruses as well as bacteria and protozoa. The cartridges can last for over 10,000 liters. Pros: Filters viruses, Long-lasting cartridge, Self-cleaning system – no need to backflush, Very durable, Fast flow rate, Withstands freezing conditions. Cons: A bit heavy and bulky, Pricey
2. GRAYL Geopress Water Purifier.
GRAYL is a newer water filter company that has quickly built up a following of enthusiasts. The main reason that people love it is that the GRAYL is so easy to use. You put dirty water into the bottle. Then you just push the filter tube into the bottle. Screw it in place and you can drink the water immediately right from the bottle. Or empty the clean water into another container and filter some more water. It only takes 8 seconds to filter 24oz, which breaks down to 5 liters per minute. Pros: Compact and lightweight, Removes all types of contaminants, No squeezing, Works quickly. Cons: Short cartridge life, A bit pricey
3. Sawyer Mini.
It is by far one of the simplest survival water filters to use. Just fill the included pouch with dirty water. Screw on the Sawyer Mini filter. Then squeeze to get clean drinking water. It’s pretty versatile too. You can buy adapters to use it as an in-line filter. With that adapter, you can rig up a gravity filter. The filter comes with a straw attachment. Pros: Very small and lightweight, Versatile, 1 million gallon life, Very affordable. Cons: Will be destroyed in freezing weather, Included pouches pop quickly; will need backups or to screw it onto a plastic bottle
4. Sawyer Point Zero Two.
The Sawyer Point Zero Two filter is meant for emergency preparedness, such as boil alerts. It’s also good for traveling in undeveloped countries. The Point Zero Two filter is a gravity system. Unfortunately, you have to set up the system yourself. This includes: Getting a bucket, Drilling a hole into the bucket (the drill bit is included with the kit), Putting the adapter into the hole you made, Once you do these three steps, you can fill the bucket with water. Pros: Filters viruses, Filters unlimited amounts of water, Kit contains faucet adapter. Cons: Low flow rate, Must be used with bucket (not included), Not portable
5. Big Berkey With Black Filters.
Berkey is one of the only tabletop water filters which could actually be used in emergency or complete SHTF situations. The Berkey filter unit comes in various sizes. There is a travel size which could be used for camping trips. For at home, the Big Berkey (2.1 gallons) is a good choice for up to 4 people. The Big Berkey holds up to 4 “Black” filters. You can also get optional fluoride filters. Pros: Attractive tabletop system, Easy to use, Removes or reduces virtually all types of contaminants, Stainless steel. Cons: Filter life is likely much less than advertised, Expensive system and replacement filters, Not independently certified to NSF/ANSI standards, Not available in California or Iowa
6. Platypus 4L GravityWorks Filter System.
The top reservoir holds 4 liters of dirty water and the bottom reservoir holds 4 liter of clean water, giving it a total capacity of 8 liters. The system is designed to filter a lot of water in a short period of time. While not nearly as fast as the MSR Guardian, you don’t have to do any pumping for the GravityWorks. The kit has a 0.2 micron hollow fiber filter. It will remove bacteria and protozoa, but it will not remove viruses or chemicals. Pros: Easy to use, Filters and holds a lot of water at once, Compact. Cons: No shower attachment, Not versatile
7. Renovo Water MUV Eclipse Water Filter System.
It is actually made up of three different filters in one. You can snap the different parts of the filter together to use them all at once. Or just use the filter parts that you need. Here are the 3 parts of the filter: MUV1: Activated Carbon Fiber (150 gallon life) MUV2: Hollow Fiber Filter (100,000 gallon life) MUV3: Nanalum Virus Filter (90 gallon life) Pros: Three filters in one, Can mix and match filters based on need, Works as pump, straw, gravity, and bottle filter, Very versatile system, Affordable, Good cartridge life, Replacement carbon and virus filter parts are affordable. Cons: Flow rate not given, New company; needs further testing, Lots of parts that you could lose