What is an Emergency Water Filter? 💎
It is a device designed to help make pre-treated or untreated water safe for drinking. Most often used during natural disasters, these filters provide access to safe drinking water in the absence of other viable options.
The water first passes through a pre-filter made of porous foam or woven fibres that trap sediment, debris and particles.➡️ This removes dirt, sand, plant matter and other particulate from the water. Next, the water flows through a filter made of tightly packed activated carbon. The carbon’s high surface area adsorbs chemicals, pesticides, heavy metals and odours, removing them from the water.
Some filters include an ion exchange resin, which removes heavy metals and radioactive particles by exchanging hydrogen and hydroxide ions for contaminant ions. ➡️ This makes the water safer to drink. Microscopic hollow fibres with pore sizes of 0.1 microns filter out protozoa, bacteria and microplastics at this stage. Pathogens larger than 0.1 microns cannot pass through.
At the end, water passes through a tight carbon block filter that removes organic compounds and improves taste. ➡️ Viruses may also be removed at this stage depending on the pore size.
Watch this video to find more information 💻
✳️ A defining feature is their portability and compact size. They are designed to be lightweight, weighing anywhere from 5-20 ounces depending on capacity. Their small size allows them to easily fit into bug-out bags, glove compartments, pockets, survival kits and more for on-the-go water filtration. Models with collapsible bags and tubes take up even less space. Being highly portable makes them ideal for use in emergencies and outdoor activities where space is limited.
✳️ They are engineered to rapidly filter water to remove contaminants and make it potable. Most can filter 1-2 litres per minute, providing drinking water in minutes rather than hours. This rapid rate allows you to efficiently procure water for your needs rather than having to wait long periods to hydrate or accomplish tasks. The quick filtration also conserves your energy and fuel if you boil water instead.
✳️ To thoroughly remove pathogens, particles and chemicals, these filters utilize multi-stage filtration systems. This means water passes through a series of filters, each with pore sizes to trap progressively smaller contaminants. Earlier stages filter sediment, protozoa and bacteria using filters like hollow fibre membranes. Later stages will remove viruses and chemicals using high-grade carbon filters and iodine resins. The multi-stage system ensures no trace contaminants make it into the clean drinking water.
✳️ Keeping your emergency filter working properly is made simple through design conveniences. Features like interchangeable filter cartridges, backwashing systems and quick connects for tubing make it so you can clean and replace filter media yourself without extra tools or expertise. Most cartridges are good for hundreds or thousands of gallons, with replaceable carbon blocks to refresh chemical filtration ability. Keeping up with basic maintenance will maximize effectiveness and lifespan.
✳️ They are engineered with durable materials and construction to withstand repeated use in rugged conditions. Housings made from hard plastics or stainless steel protect filtration media from damage. They resist cracks, punctures and wear from frequent transport and use in the wilderness. Intake and outflow tubes are made from resilient materials like BPA-free plastic rather than fragile glass. Premium filters can last for years even with heavy repeated use if properly cared for.
|🟡 Pump filters||These use a hand-operated pump to force water through the filter media. The pumping action means the filter does not rely on gravity alone.|
|🟡 Straw filters||These are lightweight and portable filters shaped like a drinking straw. You simply place the intake end in water and sip from the other end. They are compact but have lower capacities than larger filters.|
|🟡 Gravity filters||Gravity does the work with these. Water flows from an upper reservoir through the filter into a lower collecting bag or bottle.|
|🟡 Bottle filters||These contain the filter media inside a bottle. You fill the bottle from the water source and drink directly from the spout which has an integrated filter.|
|🟡 UV light filters||These kill viruses and bacteria by exposing water to ultraviolet light as it passes through.|
|🟡 Squeeze filters||Similar to bottle filters, you squeeze or compress the bottle to force water through the filter, speeding up flow.|
|🟡 Ceramic filters||Made from fired clay, these simple filters contain micropores that trap bacteria.|
Popular Uses 🧐
🔰 Natural Disasters 🔰
They can be extremely helpful during natural disasters like hurricanes, floods, and earthquakes when normal water sources become contaminated or inaccessible. After major storms or flooding, tap water can become unsafe to drink due to things like sewage contamination. Using an emergency filter allows you to filter and purify found water sources like lakes, rivers or rainwater so it is potable. They are lightweight, portable and easy to use which makes them ideal for disaster preparedness kits and bug-out bags.
🔰 Wilderness Exploration 🔰
For hikers, campers, and others spending time in the wilderness, this filter is a must-have item. When you are far from civilization, you cannot rely on access to clean drinking water. Lakes and streams can harbour bacteria, parasites and other contaminants like giardia. An emergency filter allows you to drink from these sources without getting sick by removing dangerous organisms and particles. They give you the peace of mind that you will have an infinite supply of drinking water no matter what hazards you encounter.
🔰 International Travel 🔰
Travelling abroad, especially in countries with poor sanitation and water treatment, necessitates bringing means to purify your own water. Tap water in many parts of the world can make you dangerously ill if consumed untreated. Carrying a water filter allows travellers to drink water safely during their trip without having to rely on purchasing bottled water. It also provides you with access to water in rural areas that may not have drinkable tap water readily available.
🔰 Emergency Preparedness 🔰
Emergency water filters are a smart addition to any emergency preparedness kit for your home, vehicle or bug-out bag. In the event of a disaster scenario that disrupts water service, they allow you to drink from water sources like pools, ponds, rainwater or other untreated sources without risking harmful contaminants. When fresh water access is limited, being able to filter and purify water yourself keeps you hydrated and healthy until services can be restored. They are a compact, inexpensive way to be proactive about emergency preparedness.
TOP-15 Emergency Water Filter | Best Survival Water Filter | Portable Water Filters and Purifiers
1# LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
When going on a long trip into the wilderness water Filter is a must-have and every experienced traveller, camper, or hunter knows that. Even if you prepare water at home and carry it with you, it still can be not completely safe to consume and that’s when LifeStraw steps in. It will last for many trips because it can easily clean up to 1000 gallons of water without any moving parts and batteries needed. Make the water you drink free from almost all waterborne bacteria or protozoan viruses immediately by consuming it through the straw. Don’t ever carry iodine tablets or any other chemicals, this filter is super lightweight and can easily fit in your backpack. No need to filter water and only then drink, and consume safe and clean water directly from the source with the help of a high-quality microfiltration membrane that keeps all the dirt and other unwanted things away.
With this LifeStraw, you will always feel safe during nature getaway adventures. Be sure that this water filter will never let you down – it can last longer than you might expect it to because it can as much water as the average person consumes during the year. Put it in your emergency and camping kit now and forget all your worries.
2# Etekcity Water Filter Straw
Feel safe when drinking up to 1500 litres of water from any source you’ll be able to find in the wilderness with this 3-level filter that will clean water from 99.9% of any possible waterborne bacteria. Satisfy your thirst with ultra-safe, odourless, and tasteless water without any dirt, chlorine, or metal ions. Etekcity is an international and trusted brand that will never let you down and will be sure that you get a super safe and maximum quality product.
If you want to drink water from hard-to-reach sources, there’s a great foldable extension tube that will allow you to consume liquid comfortably. This filter straw is really small and lightweight, you can easily fit it in your backpack or kit to be sure that you always have an opportunity to get clean water without constantly carrying around bottles and canisters. This is definitely a must-have for those who can’t imagine their life without hiking and camping. Being able to stay hydrated as you go is as essential as hunger satisfaction.
3# Sawyer Products MINI Water Filter
This is probably one of the most important things you shouldn’t forget when packing your backpack and getting ready for the next adventure. Every experienced hiker, camper, or scout knows that staying hydrated during a long time walking and other activities is more essential than calorie intake. That’s when this mini filtration system comes in handy. It weighs only about 2 ounces and you can fit in your hand but it does magic. As our tests have shown you will even boldly give it to your child to drink through it – the filter removes 99.9% of waterborne bacteria and protozoa and will completely clean water from any microplastic pieces.
Keep yourself hydrated and satisfy your thirst without being scared of salmonella or cholera – water with this filter will be safer than the one from your tap. It will last you for more than a year with its ability to clean up to 100,000 gallons of liquid. For easier drinking mini filter system includes drinking pouch disposable bottles, but if you’re okay with drinking directly from the source for more wildlife experience there is a drinking straw for that.
4# Survivor Filter PRO Water Filter
This is the filter you will trust unquestionably. It was tested multiple times in different laboratories to ensure that your health won’t be in danger again the next time you decide to go camping or hiking far from civilization. Survivor Filter brand wants you to feel safe and hydrated outdoors and has nothing to hide – feel free to ask for test results copies.
Now you can boldly forget about carrying lots of heavy bottles and canisters on the trip – this filter will quickly and flawlessly clean your water from any dirt, protozoa, viruses, staph, and waterborne bacteria and protect you from consuming any harmful heavy metal ions and microplastic. And to prove to you that this product has an excellent, brand-lifetime warranty and will give you a full refund in case you’re not satisfied. But this is unlikely – the filter is made of high-quality medical and food-grade materials and can quickly clean a lot of water in a short period. Get around 0.5 litres pumped into any container just in one minute. You will be satisfied with this filter for years and will fully enjoy your nature getaway.
5# Katadyn Vario Water Filter
Flawlessly clean your drinking water with three filter levels that will remove all possible waterborne bacteria. There are glass fibre filters, ceramic prefilters to get rid of dirt and sand, and an active charcoal filter that can be replaced to perfectly reduce all unwanted odour and weird tastes along with harmful chemicals and pesticides. This filter is a perfect fit to easily store in your backpack or kit to always have in handy when hiking or camping. The dual-piston mechanism produces continuous fast flow without much effort and energy.
Don’t wait for an hour to get a full bottle – this filter will fill any container really fast. Using this product, our team found that it is really long-lasting and will be your great and reliable companion for years, giving you tasty and clean water anywhere you go. Forget about the exhaustion you felt after carrying heavy canisters full of water to your campsite – get clean liquid even from the puddle. After every trip you be satisfied with how easy it is to clean this water filter – you will be able to do it in a few minutes and start getting ready for your next getaway to nature.
6# SimPure Water Filter Straw
Satisfy your thirst and protect yourself from health issues and consuming plastic, bacteria, chlorine, or other harmful chemicals with this water straw provided with ultrafiltration equipped with a few layers of filters. Don’t worry about any unwanted taste or weird odour – the straw is made of high-quality food-grade plastic which is, of course, BPA-free and safe even for the youngest. Everyone knows how important it is to stay hydrated throughout the day, especially when it’s a hot season or during physical activity. This straw is a piece of essential equipment to take with you on any trip to have a reliable source of fresh drinking water to satisfy your thirst.
This straw will be able to filter up to 1000 litres of water and will save you money, and the energy you could spend on thousands of bottles, and this filter is for sure a great choice for the environment. This straw will take zero effort to be used – just suck on it from any water straw and then blow out of it to clean the filter from dirt. I recommend putting this filter in your backpack and always carrying it around to have on handy. This straw is small and lightweight, very portable, and doesn’t take up much space.
7# Katadyn Hiker Pro Transparent Water Filter
This filter might appear pricey to you but how much are you willing to pay for a high-quality product that will help you stay hydrated and won’t harm your health? For people who cannot imagine their life without long getaways, hiking trips or the coziness of a campsite having clean and fresh water as you go is as essential as food supplies, and let me tell you – hydration is definitely more important. But if you’re staying in the woods or somewhere else for a week or more it can be hard and not convenient to carry lots of bottles or large and heavy canisters with water.
So in order to stay safely hydrated and not get exhausted because of weight I recommend you purchase this lightweight and compact water filter that will remove all possible harmful bacteria and protozoa from water, even if you consider drinking from the puddle because things happen. Don’t worry about getting a strange taste or unpleasant smell from your drinking water – the filter reduces all of it and even improves its flavour. And it is so easy to pump water with this construction, that even your child will handle doing that.
8# Platypus Gravity Works 4 Liter Water Filter System
Forget about all the heavy canisters of water that you had to carry around during camping trips. And don’t be afraid that you won’t be able to properly clean water – this product makes it effortless to filter water practically anywhere and from any possible source. Just fill one of the containers with liquid and let the gravity clean it for you in a few minutes, faster than most of the pump filters.
Another container that will accumulate clean and safe water will do a great job as a storage reservoir for transportation and as an easy liquid dispenser when you next need it. This filter will clean all the bad and harmful stuff from your water, all the bacteria and protozoa will be removed, so you can even boldly give it to a child to drink without worrying about health. So I truly recommend purchasing this nice filter and the next time you camping or hiking, you’ll be able to get four litres of safe and clean water just in 3 minutes.
9# LifeStraw Flex Advanced Water Filter with Gravity Bag
This filtration system is one of the most convenient purchases for those who can’t last a few months without going on a camping or hiking trip. What can be better than a lightweight and super compact option instead of a few heavy containers with water just for one week getaway? You won’t even notice that it is in your backpack but you’ll really appreciate having it when cleaning water for a small group of your friends. The system includes a water bag, plastic hose, filter, and an additional syringe to make cleaning easier.
All filtration system is pretty easy and quick to assemble and get a full bag of water really fast. The strainer filter inside will perfectly remove all harmful bacteria while the charcoal filter will ensure that no chemicals will affect your drinking water. So just make sure that everything is securely attached so nothing will leak and get lots of water in only a few minutes.
10# Sawyer Products Gravity Water Filtration System
This filtration system is a must-have for those who are passionate about camping or hiking or just simply trying to be most prepared for emergency situations. This a compact water filtering tool that is super convenient for buying and extremely efficient despite being small and lightweight, only 2 ounces. It will for sure remove all possible harmful and dangerous chemicals, bacteria, and even viruses that can hide in the water.
Despite being foldable and easy to fit in your backpack when not using it, a 1-gallon reservoir is perfect for water storage and easy carrying thanks to the comfortable and convenient handle. This is not only essential to have in handy when traveling and exploring wildlife, but also a piece of the necessary equipment to put in your emergency and disaster kit because fresh and safe water is more important than food supplies. This filter is very easy to clean without the need to replace cartridges and filters again and again, so you can boldly and with no problem filter up to 100,000 gallons of water.
11# WakiWaki Straw Filter
Can you imagine a day without water? Probably not, because hydration is the most essential thing for our body after breathing. That water filtration tool is a must-have for any kind of survival. This personal straw filter will help you get tasty, fresh, and safe water anywhere you need. This life-saving accessory is a necessary thing to keep in your bag or Survival kit to always have in handy.
Don’t let its small size and wonderful lightweight fool you – this mini-filter is provided with an advanced filtration system that can remove all the unwanted and harmful pieces from your drinking water, such as bacteria, dangerous chemicals, and microplastics. And you won’t even notice that water is from an unknown source – activated carbon removes all the unpleasant smell and weird taste, you are going to be delighted by how good water tastes. Our research has shown that thanks to straw’s durability it will also help the safe environment by not using thousands of bottles that will go to waste, so drink clean water with this eco-friendly filter that is easy to carry around without too much space taken.
12# SimPure Water Filter Straw
Boiling water is not always an option in the wilderness. It takes lots of time and effort, and after that, you can’t be completely sure that water is super clean and safe to drink. That’s when this straw comes. It will impress you with its convenient design feel free to use it directly with any water source you are able to find. This set also includes a foldable and lightweight water bottle that will allow you to carry half a litre with you in case of emergency when no water will be available close.
Forget about thousands of plastic you might have left after buying water bottles – this straw will surely save the environment by flawlessly cleaning up to 5000 litres for you. And to extend its life for longer you can easily clean the filter with the help of backwashing with clean water after a camping trip. Straw is made of BPA-free and food-grade materials to become your reliable and safe companion in any emergency. Safe your health and improve water taste with high-quality filtration that removes all the things you probably don’t want to have in drinking water, such as heavy metals and harmful chemicals.
13# SteriPen Aqua UV Water Purifier
If you have worries about drinking tap water and want to be sure that it’s clean and safe, then this purifier is what you need. If you are enjoying road trips or just want to have fresh water at home this UV purifier is the sure solution for safe and healthy living. It is extremely to use, just put it in the container with water and press the button. In just a minute you will have safe and clean water with almost all bacteria viruses and protozoa removed. So if you’re tired of lots of plastic bottles that will go to waste and don’t want to worry about the questionable quality of the water in your travel destinations this is a must-have.
14# Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets with PA Plus
Purification tablets not only achieved trust among many experienced travellers and campers but are also known for being used in military and different emergency operations around the world. These tablets will perfectly disinfect water and make it drinkable in any possible situation. There is a set of 2 bottles with 50 tablets each. You only need two pieces of Purification tablets to remove all the harmful bacteria and Giardia lamblia and two tablets of PA Plus to get rid of the unpleasant smell and taste – a few simple actions and you have one litre of clean and safe water.
This an essential accessory for camping and hiking if you want to stay safe, and hydrated, and improve the taste of your drinking water. Just don’t forget to put these small and lightweight bottles in your backpack before leaving so you can be sure that nothing unpredictable will affect your trip.
15# MSR Miniworks Ex
The MSR is well known for its exceptional quality and performance. This purifier is not an exception. It is for sure well-built and constructed to last, you’ll be impressed by its toughness and strength. Get surprised by the fast flow, you’ll get a litre of clean water in about 30 seconds even from the dirty water. You can boldly purchase this and be sure to get a reliable companion for years – trust me, it won’t fail you. Unlike lots of purifiers on the market, this one works great even in low temperatures, and that is a pretty convenient feature for those who want to be sure that they have water supplies anywhere and anytime. The only feature that might upset you is that this filter is sadly not compact and somehow heavy.
How to Use 😏
|🟣 Selecting a Water Source||When in a survival situation without access to clean water, you first need to locate a water source to filter. Look for moving water from rivers, streams, or natural springs, avoiding stagnant sources like ponds which are more likely to harbour harmful bacteria. Clearwater is ideal, but discoloured water from plants or clay can be filtered safely. Avoid sources with chemical pollutants like heavy algae growth or oil slicks that can harm the filter.|
|🟣 Pre-Filtering Water||Before pouring water into the emergency filter, pre-filter any sediment, debris or large particles. Allow water to settle in a container, then strain through a cloth into your filter’s intake tube or bottle. This extends the filter lifespan by preventing clogs from grit and organic matter. If water is cloudy, let particles settle to the bottom first. Pre-filtering with a cloth also removes any floating debris.|
|🟣 Assembling Components||Most emergency filters have three main components – an intake tube and bottle, the filter unit itself, and an outflow tube to dispense clean water. Connect all tubes securely to the filter housing as indicated in the product manual. Make sure o-rings provide a tight seal to prevent leaking. Position intake and outflow tubes so water can flow continuously through the filter via gravity alone. Keep components off the ground to avoid contamination.|
|🟣 Activating the filter||Once fully assembled with tubes attached, activate the filter according to its instructions. Many models require priming the pump first to start water flowing through the filter media. Turn levers or pumps as needed to begin drawing water from the intake through the filter. Let water flow through for 30 seconds up to 2 minutes to fully saturate the filtration media before drinking.|
|🟣 Filtering Water||Place the intake tube directly in your water source, keeping it upright to fill the tube continuously. Most filters work via gravity, pulling water from the intake through the filtration media and into the outflow tube. Apply pressure or suction with built-in pumps as needed to keep water actively moving through the unit. Filter at the recommended rate for maximum contaminant removal.|
|🟣 Purifying and Drinking||Once properly filtered, your water is clean, potable and safe to drink! Dispense water from the outflow tube directly or into a container to drink, cook and rehydrate with. To further purify against viruses, add provided water treatment drops if included with your filter. Always backwash and clean the filter following the manual’s guidelines between uses.|
We believe this video can be helpful for you 📺
Having an emergency water filter is essential for ensuring that your family has access to safe drinking water during any crisis. It’s important to remember to replace the filter cartridge regularly and choose one that is compatible with your model, backflush it from time to time, and store it indoors when not in use. By following these simple maintenance steps you can ensure that the filter will be ready whenever disaster strikes. With a little bit of preparation, you can make sure that your family always has clean and safe drinking water on hand no matter what happens. 🛒
#best emergency water filter #best water filter for emergency preparedness #best survival water filter
Thanks to my intense childhood and a few decades of experience I can now choose the best equipment for any adventure waiting for me to dive in. And after all, I have been through, I want to share my knowledge so more people could join an enjoyable and breathtaking trip to discovering magical nature around us. Forget about five-star hotels and treat yourself with thousands more in a cozy camping trip!
Read more about our team of expert authors.
Affiliate Disclosure: Rotorm.com sometimes gets paid for listings, through sponsors or affiliate programs like Amazon, Optics Planet, Lucky Gunner, Brownells, Cabelas, Rainier Arms, 5.11 Tactical, Bass Pro Shop, etс. Clicking a link helps keep Rotorm.com free, at no extra cost to you!
About the author: Each article on our site is written by experts in survival and tactical equipment, gun enthusiasts, extreme travelers, military, law enforcement and desperate professionals, read about the author at the bottom of the article or visit "About Us" page.
Note: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any agency.