GEAR REVIEWS

Best Filtered Water Bottle: Your Best Friend in a Survival Situation

Lifesaver bottle ultra filtration water bottle
Mark Foster
Written by Mark Foster

One of the best items you could have on an outdoor trip or a survival situation is a filtered water bottle. This way you solve the problem of finding pure water to drink and you avoid getting dehydrated or worse, catching a disease that will diminish your chances of surviving out there in the unforgiving wild. So, you can see why the search for the best filtered water bottle must be thorough.

You may have survived on nothing but bottled water so far. This is totally feasible, but in case you wish to take that traveling hobby of yours to the next level, you’ll need to graduate from the bottled water and enter the fascinating world of filtered water bottle, where even water from the most contaminated sources can be magically turned into a perfectly drinkable water. This will not only lessen the hassle for you, but it is also more environmentally-friendly. You won’t have to keep discarding used water bottles anymore.

Filtered Water Bottle

There is a great number of filtered water bottle varieties currently available on the market. To make the job easier for you, we took a look at 7 products and we reviewed them. So, below you can read about the best products we recommend and the most important features you should consider.

Our Top Picks

Product nameCapacityDimensionsBest UsePrice
CamelBak All Clear750 ml3 x 3.25 x 11.25 inchesCar camping or casual campingCheck price on Amazon
GRAYL Legend Trail473 ml9.1 x 3 inchesLong-distance hikingCheck price on Amazon
ZeroWater ZR-230 2-Pack760 ml5.2 x 2.5 x 4.9 inchesHeavy-duty water purifyingCheck price on Amazon
LifeStraw Go680 ml9 x 3 x 3 inchesTraveling on a budgetCheck price on Amazon
bobble Classic547 ml3 x 6.4 x 9.3 inchesFor kidsCheck price on Amazon
Brita Sport Twin Pack590 ml5.2 x 3.6 x 9.8 inchesFor everyday urban useCheck price on Amazon
CamelBak Groove590 ml3 x 3 x 11.5 inchesFor urban use by an adultCheck price on Amazon

Things to consider before buying

Staying hydrated will always be the single most important consideration needed to stay fit and healthy in the wilderness. Whether you are out on a 5-day survival trail, or simply enjoying a hike in your local park, anticipating the need and preparing means to acquire clean drinking water should be your first priority.

Now, we need to get all of this into a package which is not going to break the bank, so we will be paying close attention to the value that we are likely to get out of each one.

Anti-Bacterial Properties

This is especially important if you are planning to use the filtered water bottle to purify water taken from natural sources. When you are on a hiking trip, there comes a time when you’ll need to drink water taken from a lake or a river. This kind of untreated water is riddled with all kinds of microorganisms, which will make you terribly sick if consumed without being properly treated first.

Filtered Water bottle properties

Therefore, one of the most important factors to consider when it comes to buying a water bottle is whether it has anti-bacterial properties or not. A good water bottle will purify even the most tainted water. The current norm is 99.999% purification rate, although ideally, it’ll be 100%. It must kill bacteria, viruses, and protozoa (very small little organisms).

Ease of Use

It must do its job with as little fuss as possible. We all want something which twists open easily, can be used to scoop water without leaking droplets everywhere, and does what it does best. It should not be terribly complicated. We certainly don’t want to have to search around for piece ‘A’ which fits into socket ‘B’, and must be pointing North before you’re able to properly drink from it.

Filtered water bottle ease of use

The more expensive filtered water bottles are typically capable of filtering the water automatically. All you have to do is fill it with water, and it’ll do the hard work for you. However, there are also water bottles that require you to operate it. These typically involve manually pressing on the inner filtration sleeve to get the flow going.

Capacity

A good water bottle should give you a reasonable amount of water. We think a reasonable amount of water is anywhere between 600 ml and 1 liter. Remember, however, that the bigger the capacity of the water bottle is, the heavier it would be, especially if you fill it to the brim.

This will be troublesome if you are on a long-distance hike, in which case you might want to pick a bottle that allows you to purify water obtained from natural sources rather than bottles that have a big capacity.

Durability

It should be robust and easy to carry. The bottle has to withstand a few bumps and drops. You might think that the more expensive the water bottle is, the longer it will last, but this is actually not true. On the contrary, the cheap plastic water bottles are actually the ones that come with a lifetime guarantee.

Durable plastic filtered water bottle

Drinking water from plastic bottles for a long period of time is not wise, however, since the chemicals can be bad for you. In the end, which one is the better choice for you depends on your individual inclination. If you are health-conscious, picking the more expensive yet less durable glass bottles will be more suitable.

Versatility

A good filtered water bottle should be able to work on its own. We certainly don’t want to be hunting for a power source or any other apparatus to get our water filter or purifier to work while we are in the wilderness, because these things can be seriously hard to find when you’re far away from civilization.

Water Filter vs Water Purifier

Remember there is a difference between a water filter bottle and a water purifying bottle. Water filter bottle is the bottle with a relatively simple filtering system, typically a carbon-based filter, and is intended to take some of the chlorine and a few other elements out of the water, which you are likely to find at home or from a water fountain. These filters are going to last a couple of months, perhaps a bit more.

Water filter versus water purifier

Water purifying bottle is the bottle which is designed to kill 99.9% of the potentially dangerous microorganisms that may be found in polluted or natural water sources. For the most part purifiers do not filter the water, so it would be a good idea to do some filtering first to get the sediments out of the water before purifying it.

Best products on today’s market

Now that we’ve explained the basic factors that you should take into consideration when measuring the worth of a filtered water bottle, let’s get started on the recommendations:

CamelBak All Clear Purifier BottleCamelBak All Clear Microbiological UV Water Purifier

Price: Approximately $70

Capacity: 750 ml

Dimensions: 3 x 3.25 x 11.25 inches

Specific features: Impact resistant cap, good for 10,000 cycles, clear and simple LCD display

Best use: Suitable for car camping or casual camping, where there are electrical power sources

UV light kills just about everything that stands a chance of doing you harm so this is one of the safest products out there. However, in order to produce the UV light, CamelBak All Clear Purifier Bottle – .75L needs some form of energy.

This lowers the level of versatility that it offers, because it would be difficult to find a power socket you can draw energy from in order to purify more water in case you run out along the way. However, it has the capacity to supply you with 25 oz of safe drinking water between charges. This means that you are likely to run out of camera battery life long before you run out of drinking water in case you choose to use the CamelBak All Clear. Be sure to test the battery life of your new bottle before hitting the trail.

This is a real pack-and-go solution, and with the press of a button, a simple LCD screen will let you know the instant your water is safe to drink. But that’s what you would expect at the price. This water purifier is not the cheapest one out there, but it offers great benefits for its price.

On the other hand, if you’re picky about the taste of the water, be warned. The bottle does a great job in killing bacteria and bugs, but the taste of mud is going to stay, if you are scooping dirty water.

PROS:

  • Good capacity
  • Water purifier, not a water filter
  • Inbuilt LCD screen

CONS:

  • Occasional access to power is required
  • On the expensive side
  • The water may not taste good, depending on the source
  • Purchase of additional filtration system might be necessary

Related: One item that is often used in conjunction with the CamelBak Water Purifier is the Camelbak All Clear Pre-Filter. This takes out all the unwanted debris from the water, so that the end result is a cleaner, purer drinkable water. At $20, this product might be considered as an expensive addition, but it is worth it.

Check the price on Amazon

GRAYL Legend Trail Water FilterGRAYL Legend Trail Water Filter

Price: Approximately $70

Capacity: 473 ml

Dimensions: 9.1 x 3 inches

Specific features: Replaceable trail filter is good for 300 cycles, produces 16oz’s in 15 seconds, robust stainless steel construction

Best use: Great for long-distance hikers who might go a long time without encountering any electrical power source

If you are in the habit of tossing your water purifying bottle out the car window at 45mph, and watching it roll though an intersection before coming to rest in a parking lot, then this is the bottle for you. The sleek look of the GRAYL Legend Trail Water Filter belies its heavy, robust construction. If any water bottle can survive the fiasco mentioned above, GRAYL Water Filter would be it.

GRAYL Water Filter has a rather basic design and constitution. There is little by way of technology here, and that can be a good thing, because you would not need to concern yourself over the need to find an electrical power source, as with UV light models. However, at the same time, this water bottle is also less convenient than the UV models, as you will need to put yourself to some good-old hard work to get the result you need.

Essentially what happens here is that you fill the reservoir, and then press the filtering inner sleeve down. This action displaces the water through the filter, and leaves you with clean filtered water. It’s going to take a little effort, and we would not recommend it for elderly folk, who may be succumbing to the frailties of life.

PROS:

  • Doesn’t need a power source to work
  • Very durable, has an admirable capacity to withstand abuse
  • Has a simple and straightforward design
  • Functions without a fuss
CONS:

  • This is a heavy bottle
  • The bottle alone is quite expensive already
  • If you also want to have your water purified, which is often the case, you will need to purchase a purifier separately, which further pushes up the price tag
  • Not suitable for elderlies thanks to the extra effort needed to work this bottle

Related: A water filtration system on its own is only effective for eliminating debris. The resulting water may seem clean enough, but you really don’t want to know the kind of bacteria or other microscopic organisms that are still floating around in there. You’ll only be safe if you couple the use of the GRAYL Water Filter with this GRAYL Purifier Cartridge.

Check the price on Amazon

ZeroWater ZR-230 2-Pack Travel Bottle FiltersZeroWater ZR-230 2-Pack Travel Bottle Filters

Price: Approximately $10

Capacity: 760 ml

Dimensions: 5.2 x 2.5 x 4.9 inches

Specific features: Portable filtration on the go, removes virtually all dissolved solids for great tasting water, for use with the ZeroWater travel bottle, 5-stage ion exchange filtration system

Best use: Great for people who prioritize pure water and are not so concerned with the cost they have to pay

ZeroWater ZR-230 2-Pack Travel Bottle Filters incorporates a patented 5-stage ion exchange filtration system. This is designed to return a 000 reading of total dissolved solids (TDSs), meaning the water will be totally free of contamination.

Now, the idea here is to give you a great tasting water, and that it does, but there are some drawbacks. This water filter must be used with the ZeroWater model #zb-030 tumbler. You will need to consider that the filters don’t last too long before changing color, signaling that you need to replace the filter. This is a variable cost that will continue to increase the more you use these filters and tumbler.

Not many water filtration systems can offer as pure a water as this one can, but you might want to consider whether it fits into your budget or not.

The tumblers do not hold cool temperatures for long, so once filtered you may need it to chill it in the refrigerator to avoid drinking room-temperature water. Great-tasting water also comes at a price. Considering you would need to pay for a tumbler on top of everything else, this purchase can quickly turn into a really expensive one.

PROS:

  • Great-tasting water
  • Produces amazingly pure water
CONS:

  • These are only filters, not drinking tumblers. The tumblers must be purchased separately
  • Short lifespan
  • Expensive, especially when you think about how you need to continue paying for new filters every time the ones you have need to be changed
  • Can’t keep the water cool for long

Related: As mentioned above, you need to purchase the tumblers separately before you’d be able to put the ZeroWater filters to the test. That means, the purchase of this ZeroWater 26oz Portable Filtration Tumbler is practically mandatory.

Check the price on Amazon

LifeStraw Go Water BottleLifeStraw Go Water Bottle

Price: Approximately $30

Capacity: 680 ml

Dimensions: 9 x 3 x 3 inches

Specific features: Robust BPA-free design, good for 1000 liters / 264 gallons

Best use: Great for travelers on a budget that don’t mind some fundamental flaws in design

LifeStraw Go Water Bottle with Integrated 1000-Liter LifeStraw Filter is a scoop-and-go design, and is great for hiking trips where you know you are going to come across some natural water.

They say that good capacity and awesome filter lifespan must come at a price, but LifeStraw Go Water Bottle is surprisingly cheap. Is this the revolutionary water bottle that finally breaks the unspoken rule? In order to determine that, we look a bit deeper into the claim of ‘zero aftertaste’, and herein lies a cautionary note. There is, by many accounts, a chemical / plastic aftertaste. Exactly where this emanates from is not immediately clear; it could be the filter, or simply the bottle.

Putting aside the aftertaste problem, LifeStraw Go Water Bottle is actually quite the remarkable engineering feat. The straw will no longer deliver water when it has reached its expiry point. Unfortunately, the draw-thru type of filtration does mean that you are going to need to suck fairly hard to get the water through the filter.

Some folk have complained that the straw does not reach the bottom of the bottle, leaving a not-so-insignificant amount of water at the bottom that simply cannot be reached no matter how hard one tries. The manufacturer claims that this was intentionally done to avoid ingesting the heavier particulates which will have gathered at the bottom. This is particularly the case when you’re getting your water from a muddy supply.

PROS:

  • At 1000 liters, you are not going to go thirsty in a hurry
  • A very affordable option
  • Long filter lifespan
CONS:

  • Fairly difficult to draw water through the straw
  • A slight chemical taste to the water
  • The straw does not reach down far enough

Related: The filters for LifeStraw Go Water Bottle tend to last for a long time, but everything comes to an end sooner or later. When it’s time to replace the filters, you can do so easily by purchasing these LifeStraw Carbon Capsule Replacement Filter for Go Bottle 2-Stage.

Check the price on Amazon

Bobble Classic Water BottleBobble Water Bottle with Carry Cap 185-Ounce

Price: Approximately $20

Capacity: 547 ml

Dimensions: 3 x 6.4 x 9.3 inches

Specific features: BPA free, good for 300 cycles

Best use: Great for casual urban usage or for kids, but not suitable for heavy-duty tasks

Bobble Classic Water Bottle with carry cap, 18.5-Ounce is a funky water bottle, and with its array of colors, it is going to suit most wardrobe themes. The bottle is a simple water purifier intended for use with water from your municipal supply, so don’t go scooping water from a nearby river. No sucking is required, but it does take a bit of squeezing.

If you are old enough to remember the first generation of water filtering systems—essentially a jug where water trickled through a carbon filter—then this is pretty much what we have here. The difference is that this is a take-along-with-you model. And if the manufacturers’ claims are anything to go by, it’s going to last for 300 refills, which is adequate for most.

This product is one of the cheapest ones out there. Unfortunately, the quality reflects its price. The overall quality is questionable, by some accounts, and the bottle is likely to distort after some robust squeezing, especially for those who wish to get a big gulp of water in a hurry. It should be able to last for a while, though, as long as you handle it with care.

PROS:

  • Ideal for kids
  • Very affordable
  • Doesn’t require you to suck the water out of it. Only a bit of squeezing is needed to get the water flowing
CONS:

  • Urban application only, not capable of purifying heavily contaminated water
  • Breaks easily. When handled roughly, may break after only a few usages

Related: If your current filter for the bobble Water Bottle has gone past its expiration, then you can purchase their replacement—namely Water Bobble 2-Pack Replaceable Water Filter—easily and at a very reasonable price.

Check the price on Amazon

Brita Sport Twin Pack Water Filter BottleBrita Sport Water Filter Bottle, Twin Pack

Price: Approximately $15

Capacity: 590 ml

Dimensions: 5.2 x 3.6 x 9.8 inches

Specific features: you get two bottles, replace filter every 2 months, easy squeeze construction

Best use: Great for basic everyday urban usage

A brand synonymous with filtered water! However, for the 20-ounce sport bottle, the design and concept is about as basic as you can get. Remember Brita Sport Water Filter Bottle, twin pack is a water filter bottle, and not a purifier, so you’ll be using it at home, the office, or gym etc. This is not for use on the trail!

Unlike some of its competitors, this bottle is made from a ‘soft’ BPA-free plastic material, which really means that you can safely re-use it, and it’s safe for top-shelf dishwashers. But most importantly you can squeeze the bottle to get the water out in a hurry. This is a useful addition for the active folk who needs to gulp water quickly from time to time.

Speaking of squeezing, herein lies its drawback. Numerous customers have complained about the bottle leaking around the top. Not that a few drops of water is likely to be the bane of your day, but it’s just enough to be an irritating complication.

PROS:

  • So cheap you will start to wonder about its quality, but it’s in all actuality simply a really great value for money
  • Filter lasts for 2 months
  • Robust, easy to squeeze
  • Can be reused and washed using a dishwasher
CONS:

  • Only for urban usage, not for filtering water from a natural source
  • There’s a manufacturing flaw. You’ll have to learn to deal with the minor leak around the top

Related: In case the leak with the Brita Sport Water Filter Bottle is a flaw that you just can’t stand, you should consider purchasing Best Sports Water Bottle instead. With a leak-proof lid, those of you who get driven crazy by the dripping water will finally find solace.

Check the price on Amazon

CamelBak Groove Water BottleCamelBak Groove Insulated .6L Water Bottle

Price: Approximately $30

Capacity: 590 ml

Dimensions: 3 x 3 x 11.5 inches

Specific features: Filter lasts approx. 3 months, insulated, lifetime guarantee

Best use: Great for everyday urban use by an adult

If you are accustomed to the regular non-filter CamelBak bottle, this one may take a little getting used to. Owing to its suck action to draw the water through the straw, this is not an unusual characteristic of this type of bottle. Whilst adults should have no problem mustering enough suction power to draw the water, little kids may find this task leaving them a little breathless.

CamelBak Groove Water Bottle is a water filter bottle, and does no purifying, so if you are hitting the trail, its best to leave this one behind. The insulation will have some effect at keeping water chilled for a short while.

As with most soft silicone rubber spouts, they are going to get a bit ‘gungy’, and this happens when you are chewing on the end of it for days on end. By some accounts the spouts have a 3-month lifespan, before you may need to call upon the guarantee. As for the bottle itself, as long as you don’t drive over it, it should last a lifetime. Even if it does break, all you have to do is call upon the guarantee to get a new one—as long as the damage was not done intentionally.

PROS:

  • An insulated bottle
  • Lifetime guarantee
CONS:

  • Not for little kids
  • Not for hiking or camping trips, only suitable for urban usage
  • The spouts of the bottle are rather fragile, and are typically the first part of it to break

Related: You can replace the filter for the CamelBak Groove Insulated Water Bottle once they have gone dirty easily. The CamelBak Groove Filter may be an annoying extra variable cost, but they’re quite affordable, and you don’t have to replace the filter all that often.

Check the price on Amazon

Wrap Up

You are either going to take enough water along with you, or you are going to take the right equipment with you, to ensure that you get enough water by drawing from the wild. Carrying water bottles with you is not only inconvenient, but also bad for the environment. That leaves the right water filter / purifying bottle as your best, and most sensible option. Out on the trail, a good filtered water bottle is worth every cent, and then some.

Review water filtered bottles

Which filtered water bottle will you take with you on your next excursion? Do you have any other suggestions you’d like to share with us? Please do so in the comments section below.  

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Mark Foster
Mark Foster

Mark Foster loves to push his limits when it comes to survival in the wilderness. He might go for a 30-days adventure without any food or equipment except for a survival kit and a knife. We should mention that his survival kit has 122 items in it, so he know what he is doing. Mark is working on his book to share with the world all his experience gained during those brave adventures.

  • Molly Stansfield

    I loved my Bobble when I got it, however, I lost it at work so I have to replace it. The refills for the filter are not expensive at all which is great. What I don’t like is the mouthpiece being connected to the filter which made it a little difficult for me to disinfect. Also, its bulbous shape does not fit in common bottle holders. Anyway, I am still going to buy a new one.

  • Mark Foster

    It’s good value for money although I often remind users that this is not intended for water found in streams or rivers. Works great for municipal water, though. It is simple but works great.

  • Meg Gardner

    I eventually became a fan of LifeStraw products. My friend and I are both pleased with it. I gave it as a Christmas present to another friend who never had a filter bottle before and he liked that you can use it like a straw instead of pouring into your mouth. The only small thing is that it leaks a bit when not placed in an upright position.

  • Mark Foster

    The LifeStraw has been around for quite some time and recipient of many awards. I had mine when I was starting out and it never fails to protect me when I’m on my camping trips.
    Thanks for your invaluable input and for passing by Meg!

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