The 6 Best Water Filters for Every Type of Adventure

On short trips or epic expeditions, clean water is a must. Here’s how to pick the right filter or purifier for you.

When it comes to choosing a water-cleansing method, there are seemingly endless options. But what works for your favorite local overnight may not stand up to the challenge of an overseas adventure. Choosing the right one can be the difference between a memorable trip and a trip to the hospital.

Before you pick, it’s helpful to recognize that there are two primary ways to clean water, filtration and purification. Water filtration removes dirt, chemicals, protozoa, and some larger bacteria from water via a porous medium, i.e. a hollow-fiber filter. However, filters don’t catch some of the smaller bugs (such as viruses and smaller bacteria) that can squeeze between through their pores. Purifiers get rid of everything through the use of UV light, chemicals, or a charged medium. While filters can handle most of the dirty work in the backcountry of the United States and Canada, you’ll probably want a purifier if you’re traveling abroad.

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