The Best Water Filtration Tools for Travel, Survival & Emergency Preparedness

Having the right tools to properly filtrate your water is essential when you are a fan of traveling, survival or just want to drink clean water. Clean water is essential for the human body to function properly and as you probably already know, one can only survive three days without it. However, we cannot always rely on mineral water from the store. Did you know that studies point out that water-related diseases are responsible for over 80 percent of all illnesses and death cases in all developing countries?

Millions of people all over the planet are dying each year due to unsafe drinking water which could be prevented.

The good news is that we can learn from each other and avoid the risks of unsafe drinking water with these simple-to-use filtration tools.

What is a Water Filtration Tool?

Water filtration tools are different devices used to purify water. Water purification is used to filter out all of the unwanted chemicals as well as the organic, inorganic and biological pollutants from water. This process dramatically reduces the risks of getting infected by the various parasites, bacteria, viruses and fungi for which water is a great environment to thrive. Only people that have been to countries where clean water is an unfamiliar concept learn to truly appreciate the tap water that runs through their pipes daily.

No matter if you are a fan of hiking, a traveling enthusiast or just prefer to be rather safe than sorry in case of emergency, water filters are probably one of the most beneficial and compulsory gadgets a person can buy.

Water filtration tools come in different shapes and sizes such as filter straws, gravity bag filters, filter bottles, pump filters, etc. If you are not familiar with these tools, do not worry – we will take quick look at the most popular types.

Filter Straws:

Filter straws are gadgets that work exactly the way they sound. They are straw-shaped devices with the purpose to filter your water. The dirty/contaminated water enters into one side of the straw. Inside, there are filter membranes with pores, which only allow the clean water to pass through, blocking all of the bacteria, parasites, microplastics, dirt and other types of haze that is too big to pass through. The result is 99.9% cleaner and safer-to-drink water.

Gravity Bag Filters:

As opposed to the other types of water filters, which require manual work and take valuable time, gravity bag filters offer an innovative, brand new and hands-free solution for filtering water. Working on a different principle, they do not actively force water through various filters, they simply let gravity do its job. Gravity pulls down water from a hanging reservoir through a water filter and into a waiting receptacle.

Filtered Water Bottles:

Filtered water bottles are not only great for drinking clear water but they are also extremely eco-friendly. Many of us promised ourselves we would travel more this year. However, what happens when we find ourselves in a place with no clear water. Water bottles with filters solve all of our problems whether we go out there in the wild for a couple of days or we just decide to go for a walk in the park. These bottles contain replaceable filters that will purify your water so it’s up to 99.90% cleaner.

The Top Rated Products

We have done our research and will display the best water filtration tools currently on the market in the second part of this post. Each can be a real benefit. If you want to learn more about each product pay extra attention to the pros and cons sections!

1. Filter Straw: Sawyer MINI

After long research and fact-checking, our first choice for a water filtration tool for travel, survival or emergency preparedness is the Sawyer MINI. We consider it the best choice because it’s small, light as a feather and an extremely easy-to-use for various outside activities. Not only its filtration system, without exaggerating, is out of this world, but also its price is really affordable. This is definitely an investment you will not regret!


  • The price is affordable.
  • It is easy to use.
  • It is so small it can fit in the palm of your hand.
  • It can be used as a filtration straw so you can drink directly from any freshwater source.
  • It can be used as a normal filtration bottle with 28 mm threading.
  • All requirements from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency are met.
  • A wide variety of colors to choose from.


  • Some people cannot attach the Sawyer MINI to the squeeze pouch properly.
  • Some people report that there was a problem while they were using the syringe for backwashing.
  • A few people experienced а problem with defective O-rings, which later caused leaks.

If you are dead set on buying a portable water filter straw we highly recommend you to read more.

2. LifeStraw Steel Personal Water Filter

The Steel Personal Water Filter by LifeStraw is another water straw filter which takes a top place in our ranking. This device features a new 2-stage filtration system that terminates both contaminants and odor and tastes. It is good for up to 1,000 liters of water and scientifically tested to remove 99.9999% of bacteria found in water, which surpasses the standards for water purity set by the EPA. One of the biggest advantages of this water filter is that it removes the dissolved heavy metals in your water during the filtering process.


  • Extremely lightweight.
  • Easy to pack and to travel with.
  • Easy to use.
  • Filters out dissolved heavy metals in your water.
  • Filters out parasites as well as bacteria.


  • There can be a steel taste when you drink from it.
  • The straw needs to be primed.

3. Platypus Gravity Bag Water Filter

Our #1 choice for a gravity bag filter is the Gravity Works System from Platypus. It is a system that includes a bag for dirty water and a bag for clean water. Its total weight is 11 ounces or 300 grams in total, which is considered heavy for this kind of systems. Both bags can hold 4 liters of water so you will be able to filter and drink over a gallon at a time!

Its flow rate is 1.75 liters per minute, which is incredible. The in-line filter also lasts for about 1500 gallons, which is a great investment.


  • Kills over 99% of bacteria.
  • Has a huge 4-liter reservoir.
  • Amazing 1.75 liters per minute flow rate.
  • In-line filter lasts for 1500 gallons.


  • It is a bit heavy.

4. Katadyn Be Free Gravity Water Filter

Katadyn is a commonly known brand among hikers and different adventurers. The best thing about this filtration system is that it is a very simple and does not require any hosepipes. It is made up of a huge three-liter bag that has its own and unique filtering mouthpiece. The cap of the mouthpiece allows the water to pass through the filter with a high flow rate of 2 liters per minute.

This gravity water filter is unique, as we have already mentioned because you can drink directly from the bag – no other tools are required! Another distinctive feature is that the filter does not need backflushing. All you have to do is to shake it and clean it and the water will continue to flow normally. The negative side of this bag is that its filter is useable for 260 gallons only, which is a short filter lifespan.


  • Very simple system.
  • Does not require hosepipes.
  • You can drink directly from the bag.
  • An extremely high flow rate of 2 liters per minute.


  • The filter can be used for no more than 260 gallons.

5. ClearlyFiltered Tritan Filtered Water Bottle

The Filtered Water Bottle by ClearlyFiltered is one of the most practical bottles we have ever seen. Its filter demolishes 99.9% of the contaminants, making your water much safer to drink. The design of the bottle makes it suitable for everyday use, no matter where you are. The body is made entirely out of BPA. Above that, ClearlyFiltered allows all of their customers to subscribe for regularly replacement filters while providing them a nice discount!


  • Extremely easy to maintain.
  • Highly effective water filter.
  • The opening is wide.


  • May be too big for some hands.
  • There is no variety such as color options.


No matter what type of water filtration tool you choose, drinking quality and clean water is too important to ignore. Having your own water filter when traveling or in an emergency will definitely give you peace of mind. So, when are you going to buy your own?