Emergency water filters are the latest technology to keep your water healthy when you are on the road or even if you are home fighting for survival. By having the best survival water filter in an emergency kit has proven to help many individuals when a storm knocked out utilities and the nearby river or lake is the only source of H2O.

Learning how to purify water in the wild is important, but these types of filters are portable and lightweight, so that you can bring them as a secondary source of water.

Our bodies are made up of 2/3 water. When you are camping, hiking, fishing, mountain climbing and other types of outdoor sports invites your thirst for water from clear mountain lakes or rivers but you are not sure it is totally safe, you can now use modern water filters anywhere you go. However, if there are no water sources near by, you can use a survival poncho to easily collect rainfall.

Water purifiers lessen all the particles in water leaving you with health drinkable water. Activated carbon or charcoal are the basic granules, filters, and cartridges used to remove impurities from our drinking water.

Water purifiers are available in different operating styles and are used for their effectiveness worldwide. Global health issues are a daily concern and when you add the benefits of water filters; this is a big step in keeping our water clean and sterile.

Top Portable Water Filtration System in 2022

Product Name



Membrane Solutions Personal Water Filter Straw


Katadyn Vario Dual Technology MicroFilter


Survivor Filter PRO X


Life Defender Portable Water Filter Straw


LifeStraw Family 1.0 Portable Gravity Powered Water Purifier


Sawyer Mini-Water Filtration System


Etekcity Water Filter Straw 


Platypus GravityWorks Water Filter


LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle


Epress Portable, Personal Water Purifier 2000L


1. Membrane Solutions

Overall Rating:

5 / 5

Membrane Solution Company is true to its global reputation in creating filtering technology in varied industries from A to Z. Therefore it is no surprise that their Water Filter Straw Survival technology can easily remove all sediments and substances that are found in the water systems of Mother Nature.

An ultra-straw filtration system that is over 6” in length and 1” wide is part of your filtering impurities of the water to make it safe and drinkable. A great benefit from this portable filtered straw is that it can fit most drinking utensils.

It's pore size which is 0.1 microns vs. 0.2 microns accomplishes the same high-quality filtering results for extracting even the smallest harmful particles. This blue or camouflaged Emergency Water Filter Straw bottle by Membrane Solutions is great to include in your survival kits to keep you healthy when you must filter the water around you.


  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Carrying strap for convenience
  • Removes plastic particles, removes bad tastes, sediments, and invisible substances


  • Straw can not be used inside a retail water bottle

2. Katadyn Vario

Overall Rating:

5 / 5

The Katadyn Vario Dual MicroFilter is perfect for outdoors men like Bear Grylls and your family. It's a water purification kit that contains a glass fiber filter, a ceramic pre-filter system, carbon core and active charcoal that leaves your water smelling and tasting good.

This combination turns bacteria prone water into drinkable water. Place this lightweight water filter unit in your backpack and turn lakes, streams, rivers, and faucet water into fresh drinkable water.

You alone or others in your outdoor fun can enjoy around two quarters per minute or one quarter per minute of fresh water depending on the flow you choose.

The Katadyn Vario emergency water filter system is only 15 oz in weight with a height of 6.5”. It removes 0.2 microns of toxins, bacteria, odors, and chemicals through its customized, replaceable cartridge system, and two hoses that will last for years.


  • Customized core reduces chemicals, pesticides and a bad taste in water
  • Includes durable carrying tote, cleaning pad, and extra pre-filter
  • Dual-pumping modes


  • Removes some chloride taste but not all

3. Survivor Filter PRO X Electric

Overall Rating:

5 / 5

Survivor Filter PRO is used around the world for helping to filter and clean water. All their filtration products have passed EPA standards in removing staph bacteria, viral germs, and lessening heavy metal in waterborne environments.

Its 0.01 micron customized level of filtration filters and membranes help to yield drinkable water for families and groups of outdoors men. This survival kit features a long-life replaceable carbon filter and gives you odorless naturally tasting water.

Its plastic components are eco-friendly to your health and the environment. So are its tubing filters, accompanied drinking cup, and internal parts. The Survivor Filter PRO allows you to drink directly from your outdoor water source with safety even in the harshest of conditions. 


  • Flow rate of 17 oz. per minute
  • Top-quality filtration capacity
  • Leading activated carbon filters


  • Hard to have anything negative to say about a five-star water filter product

4. Life Defender

Overall Rating:

4.5 / 5

When it is just you and Mother Nature in the wilderness and you need a drink of water but your source is a lake, a stream, or a river, pull out your Life Defender Water Filter Straw bottle. This pocket-sized portable water bottle with a filtered straw can amazingly filter out nearly 100% waterborne bacteria, parasites, and harmful microbes.

The technology that can give you clean drinking water is a coconut-activated carbon filter, antibacterial particle beads, and a unique USDA food-grade blood dialysis hollow fiber membrane. Using the Life Defender Filter Straw gives you a chemical-free straw filter with a specialized filtering technique.

With this innovative water filtration technology and its lengthy straw, you can safely place the container in the natural water source and drink directly from it. The Life Defender is indeed a lightweight survival water filter system.


  • Can be used to filter nearly 400 gallons of water
  • Easy suction capability
  • Easy carrying bag


  • Can’t keep directly in the sunlight for a longer shelf life
  • No end of life filter indicator

5. LifeStraw Family 1.0 Portable Gravity Powered

Overall Rating:

4.5 / 5

When you pack up the family for a wilderness experience, you must pack the LifeStraw Portable Gravity Powered Water Filter for survival preparedness. Approved by the US FDA standards, this 0.02-micron filter removes nearly 100% of bacteria, parasites, viruses, and micro-plastics that are not visibility seen.

It turns undrinkable water into safe clean water with the technology of a flow rate of 12 L/h, a hose length of over 39”, and BPA/chemical fee shell. The World Health Organization and other international safety agencies approve the LifeStraw family of filters.

Amazingly, this chemical-free simple water filtering product can give your family of four, clean water for up to 3 years or nearly 5 thousand gallons of sanitized water. Its name states that it is gravity-powered. This means that gravity is the key component of its operation.

There are two chambers (upper and lower). You pour the water you need to decontaminate in the upper chamber and the lower chamber turns it into drinkable filtered H2O. Its hose and gravity are what push the filtered water through unlike the suction of a straw. The LifeStraw Gravity Powered Water Purifier is used globally for emergency and survival situations.


  • Can eliminate nearly 100% of viruses and pathogens
  • Compact and lightweight
  • Gravity powered for quick filtered water


  • May become ineffective if dropped too hard

6. Sawyer Mini-Water Filtration System

Overall Rating:

4.5 / 5

With the Sawyer Mini Emergency Water Filtration System you receive all that you need to make contaminated water into drinkable H2O. You receive a drinking pouch, disposable water bottles, hydration pack or a lengthy straw.

This easy to filter watering system is accomplished by squeezing the contaminated water into your pouch, then screw the MINI filter onto the pouch. Fix yourself a drink of clean water or squeeze the clean filtered water into bottles to share with others. The Sawyer Mini will last for years giving you more than 100,000 gallons of water.

Sawyer after more than 10 years has worked with domestic and international organizations to provide clean water. This mobile water filtering system can be used in rural areas, in the city, the country, jungles and anywhere you need clean water. Its 0.1-micron filtering technology eliminates all the micro-organisms that could cause illness.


  • 5-star global filter rating
  • Easy to keep clean and replace filters
  • Lightweight and durable


  • Sorry it is not in a twin-pack

7. Etekcity

Overall Rating:

4.5 / 5

The Etekcity Water Straw Filter features a tri-filtering system. It has a 0.01 micro pore filtering system which is rare for a straw water filter design. It comes equipped with a backwash device, foldable water pouch, hydration reservoir, and a lengthy extension tube.

Campers of all-natural water terrain types can depend on the Etekcity Water Straw filter. It is very lightweight and its compact design fits in even the smaller backpack. In a survival situation, the Etekcity Straw Filter can store more than 300 gallons of water from any water source.

If you want to eliminate insect contaminants, waste, microplastics, metal residue, E-coli, and more from natural water sources, bring the Etekcity on your next trip. With the Etekcity Water Filter Straw you receive a foldable water bag, long extension straw, a syringe, and a pre-filter system.

The Etekcity is flexible and portable because it can be affixed to traditional water bottles. This straw type filter is built of sturdy ABS plastic which works in any and all outdoor environments for survival and emergency events.


  • Meets EPA and FDA Water Quality Standards
  • Advanced straw filtration system
  • Easy to use and clean 


  • Does not come equipped with attachment elements

8. Platypus GravityWorks 4.0 Liter

Overall Rating:

4 / 5

The Platypus GravityWorks is a compact-looking science lab water filter innovation. At first glance, you can tell that it operates via gravity. Out in the wilderness, choose a tree limb and hang one chamber on a high branch and the second chamber below and let gravity give you a gallon of water.

The Platypus GravityWorks comes equipped with two water reservoirs, one for clean water and another for the dirty water. It also has a long hose, a shutoff clamp, a water storage sack, and a replaceable hollow-fiber microfilter system. As a survival kit and emergency tool, this filtered water kit is very compatible and flexible. It is designed to remove germs, bacteria, salmonella, E.coli, and more.

As a gravity-driven water filter system, you will receive 1.75 liters of clean water per minute that is derived from the unclean water pouch with no foul taste, just clean drinking water. Your clean water reservoir will fill up in just over 2 minutes because of its carbon elements, filter cartridges, bottle adapter, and lengthy replacement hose.


  • Weightless and compact
  • Easily stored away
  • Great design system


  • Flow rate is slow but dependable

9. LifeStraw Go Bottle

Overall Rating:

4 / 5

The LifeStraw system is a reusable filter that works for everyday use and especially in emergencies or survival situations. Any water containment situation will be revived with this suction straw dual water filter.

It looks like any water filter container but this would be a misconception. Its innovative hollow fiber membrane filter has been approved to remove protozoa and bacteria found in lakes and streams. It also removes nearly 100% of bacteria, chemicals, parasites, microplastics, and so much more.

With its dual activated carbon filter, contaminated water will taste clean with no odor or aftertaste. The LifeStraw Dual Integrated Filter Straw container weighs only 23 ounces. Other features include FDA food-grade silicone mouthpiece, replacement filters, and a durable clear bottle with a lanyard clip. 


  • High-quality filter bottle
  • Dependable filter straw
  • Easy to carry


  • Flow rate decreases when not in use
  • Straw suction may occasionally decrease

10. Epress 2000L

Overall Rating:

4 / 5

When you are caught in a clean water emergency, you should have an Epress Portable Water Filter container. With the Epress, you can capture lake, stream, a hole in the dirt, or rainwater and purify it for drinkability.

Its innovative filter straw is a great filter tool for getting clean water from natural but contaminated water sources. The straw design has a great safety filtration membrane that filters out impurities making your natural environment water sources clean for drinking.

The suction power comes from both its straw feature or you can stay hydrated by attaching the system to a standard water bottle. The Espress Portable Water Filter has been used in emergency and survival events. You can also use it for everyday faucet use or leisure activities.

Designed with a food-grade shell, it purifies outdoor water sources without any chemicals. It can be used as long as you need it in outdoor environments. It is a great survival water tool if you enjoy the great outdoors anytime and anywhere.


  • Very portable and convenient
  • Nearly 100% purifier of water impurities
  • Can slip into your pocket


  • May be smaller than it looks

Buying Guide For Survival Water Filters

There are many types of emergency water filtration systems that you can use in the wilderness for safe drinking water. All of them serve the same purpose, but different ones work better depending on your scenario. When looking for a water filter for survival, you want to find high quality builds that are easy to use.

Types Of Water Filtration Systems

There are several types of water filtering systems for survival, each with it's own method that may be more useful depending on your situation. Micron filter is a measurement of the size of contaminants these filters are able to remove such as bacteria and protozoa. These include:

Straw Filters

They are compact enough to store anywhere and easy to use by drinking or squeezing.

Pump Filters

A pumping motion is required for the filtration process for when you need water.

Bottle Filters

These are great for solo campers or backpackers as you can just fill and drink directly.

Gravity Filters

Like water coolers that hold more water than the other emergency water filtration systems but uses gravitational force to filter out water.

Electric Filters

It runs on electricity and filters out bacteria in the water better. It's requires less effort if you have the time to spare.


Survival water filters come in a variety of sizes, it is best to determine if you need a compact portable water filter for backpacking for a gravity filter for camping. It's ideal to bring one you can easy carry, that won't take up too much space. If you're using this for survival situations; it is best to carry a pump filter or bottle filter to store you water in case lakes and rivers are scarce.

Ease Of Use

Depending on your trip, the best water filter for emergency preparedness has to be quick and clean. You need to be able to deploy and utilize the filtration system in a few simple steps. It's not as ideal to use an electric filter since it requires a set up.


The capacity if a survival water filter should not exceed 1 gallon, which weights 8.34 pounds if you are backpacking. The weight of the water will slow you down and tire you out.

However it's smart to get a bigger capacity if you are using these water filtration systems in a stationary area for cooking, cleaning, showering, and other activities that require water.

The water filtration speed will depend on your intended use. If you have the time to spare, you can try an electric filter which will do a better job of filtering out contaminates.

Frequently Asked Questions About Survival Water Filters

Which water filter removes the most contaminants?

Reverse osmosis filter systems are made up of semi-permeable membrane that help remove 99% of harmful contaminants. The portable water filters that use this system will be your best bet at filtering out dangerous contaminants.

How do you filter and purify water for survival?

There are multiple water to filter and purify water for survival, emergency water filtration systems are popular method. You have to find a water source and depending on the type of water filter you use, you can either drink directly from the straw or fill the hydration bag and let it sit.

If you are trying to filter and purify water without these type of systems. You can boil the water or run it through a clean cloth several times, but this method is not ideal for filtering out dangerous bacteria and microorganisms.

Can water filters remove viruses?

Water filters remove solids and use a carbon filter for certain harmful contaminants like chlorine.

It's not designed to remove viruses; make sure you do your research and check out the specs of that particular water filter before purchasing.

Bottom Line

Portable survival water filters that are available in emergencies events are life-saver. As noted above, water filters are beneficial around the world. When a tragedy strikes and water is not readily available.

The best survival water filter would go to Katadyn Vario Filter due to verstility and storage. Use the water filter that's kept in your survival kit, it will allow you to drink from a natural water sources.

It is good to have these emergency water purifiers available when you are in the woods, forests, mountains, etc., and you run out of water or you just enjoy challenging yourself in how to survive without daily conveniences. Turning lake, stream, rain, river and pond water drinkable is accomplished with water filter technology that is available in these brand products.