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The Best Filtered Water Bottles For Travel: Drink Safe Water Anywhere In The World

***This post may contain affiliate links.***

In 2014, as a soon to be married couple, we (well, mostly Justin) planned the adventure honeymoon of a lifetime, 2 weeks exploring the mountains and ancient ruins of Peru. Over those two weeks we spent 5 days trekking to Machu Picchu, 1 day horseback riding around the Sacred Valley, and 3 days whitewater rafting on the Apurimac River.

And here’s what happened when we told people about our grand adventure. A resounding, “Have fun, but remember, don’t drink the water!”

At the time, we didn’t have a filtered water bottle and, unfortunately, we did both end up sick on the last day of our trek. Hilariously it was the one night that we stayed in a hotel and ate at a restaurant instead of camping that did us in. And that’s the thing. You just never know what’s going to make you sick on the road.

When you’re traveling, your body has an incredible amount of new germs to deal with. That combined with different foods and climates, sometimes your body just says no and you end up becoming very, very good friends with the closest toilet. But with a good filtered water bottle on your trip, you can limit your chances of sickness tenfold by guaranteeing you’ll have safe good tasting water to drink at all times.

Read More Travel Gear Posts

Why You Should Invest In A Filtered Water Bottle For Traveling

filtered-water-bottles-for-travel

I say “invest” because I truly believe that buying a filtered water bottle is more than just a purchase, it’s an investment. An investment in your health, and an investment in bettering the environment.

Without a filtered water bottle on your trip, your ONLY option for drinking truly safe, good tasting water is to buy bottled water. Sure, you can boil water, but that only kills the bacteria in the water, so yes, you most likely won’t get sick (unless there’s a pesky virus lurking around in there), but this does nothing to remove harmful chemicals and bad taste. In fact, boiling the water will actually increase the concentration of chemicals in the water!

Yuck, yuck, yuck! Plus, I don’t know about you, but I just straight up don’t want to drink water that tastes bad, and if you’re not drinking enough that’s a whole other set of problems. Dehydration is no joke my friend. Seriously, you can just as easily end up in the hospital from dehydration as from drinking contaminated water.

So please, let’s just avoid all of those nasty endings and travel with a filtered water bottle. The other major benefit of traveling with a filtered water bottle is that you never have to buy a bottle of water. This is not only better for the planet by reducing the amount of plastic waste, but it’s better for your wallet as well.

Water is one of the few resources that is still completely free for the taking (at the moment anyway). And there’s no better way to take advantage of that than to fill up from any stream or tap anywhere in the world with a filtered water bottle.

Types of Filtered Water Bottles

filtered-water-bottles-for-travel

Material

Filtered water bottles come in all sorts of different shapes, sizes, and materials. All of the water bottles on this list are made from BPA free plastic and the filters are made to last for hundreds of bottle refills. The best filtered water bottle construction are those made from BPA free plastic or stainless steel, as these are the most durable and safest materials to drink from.

Hard vs. Soft Construction

Another major difference in the types of filtered water bottles on the market is whether the bottle is made of a hard, stiff plastic or metal, or a soft squeezable plastic. Whether you buy a hard or soft bottle mostly comes down to your intended use for the bottle rather than any difference in durability.

Both hard and soft bottles are equally durable, although if you’re going for the ultimate test of a lifetime, a stainless steel bottle will always win. We tend to steer away from a stainless steel bottle though because we like see-through bottles the best as it’s easy to tell how much water is left rather than having to guess based on weight.

Straw vs. No Straw

Most filtered water bottles come with a built-in straw. The reason for this is that most water bottle filters require suction in order to force the water through them, and one of the simplest ways to achieve that is to have users suck the water through the filter with a straw.

One thing to keep in mind about any water bottle with a filter attached to a straw will be harder to drink from than a normal water bottle. This is because there’s resistance from the filter, so it takes stronger suction to get the water from the bottle into your mouth than if you were drinking from a normal water bottle with no filter.

Straws are also notoriously impossible to clean, and will inevitably become moldy and need to be replaced at some point. You’ll probably have to replace the straw in your water bottle once a year, or every few months depending on how much you use it.

Filtered water bottles without a straw are both easier to get water out of and easier to clean.

Types of Filters

There are 3 main types of water filters you can find on a filtered water bottle, a reverse osmosis filter, a carbon filter, or a UV filter.

How Do Water Bottle Filters Work?

filtered-water-bottles-for-travel
Photo Credit: Achieving Adventure

1. Reverse Osmosis Filter

Pretty much every filtered water bottle with a straw makes use of a reverse osmosis filter. This is because the way a reverse osmosis filter works is by forcing water through a very fine filter at pressure.

The filter catches all of the particles, bacteria, and (sometimes) viruses while allowing the smaller water molecules to pass through. The easiest way to create enough force to make the water go through the filter while you’re drinking it is by utilizing the suction of your mouth, hence the straw.

What Does A Reverse Osmosis Filter Remove?

Reverse osmosis filters are capable of removing bacteria, and sometimes viruses depending on how fine the filter is. The resulting water is both safe to drink, and tasty.

2. Carbon Filter

The most recognizable example of a water bottle that uses carbon filtration is the Brita water bottle/water pitcher. Any Brita product has a carbon filter inside to clean the water.

Carbon filters work through a process called adsorption, where water flows through the carbon filter and the carbon catches and soaks up any impurities dissolved in the water like a sponge. The chemicals become trapped inside of the carbon while the purified water flows out of the filter.

Carbon filters, while they have good flow rates, are not able to filter out bacteria or viruses. Most carbon water bottle filters are also unable to filter heavy metals such as lead. As a result, carbon water bottle filters should only be used to filter tap water from reliable sources.

What Does A Carbon Filter Remove?

The filter will remove chlorine, as well as most pesticides and industrial chemicals making the water taste and smell better.

3. UV Light

Some water bottles come equipped with a UV light at the top that you turn on for a few seconds to purify the water. This is one of the fastest, simplest, and safest filtration methods on the market.

But.

While UV filtration does kill bacteria and viruses in the water, it does NOTHING to remove harmful heavy metals and pesticides or improve taste. UV filtration also doesn’t remove particulates in the water such as dirt from a stream.

Water bottles with UV filters also require a battery to produce the UV light. This means if you rely on one of these bottles you’ll have to have a spare battery with you in case the one in the bottle happens to run out on your trip.

What Does A UV Filter Remove?

Bacteria and Viruses.

How To Decide Which Type of Filtered Water Bottle Is Right For You

filtered-water-bottles-for-travel

Place of Travel

Whether you’re taking your bottle out to the back-country for some trekking or simply using it to fill up from the nearest tap makes a huge difference in the type of filtered water bottle you should buy.

If you don’t intend on traveling to developing countries or camping in the woods, then a carbon filter water bottle is all you need. If you’re traveling around Nepal, on the other hand, you’ll definitely need a more hardcore filter to take out any bacteria that could make you sick.

Do a little research before you travel to find out if the tap water in the area is safe to drink. If it is, go carbon, if not, make sure you buy a bottle that specifically states it removes 99.99% of harmful bacteria.

Intended Use

For what will you be using your bottle? Camping, exercise, and everyday use are all best suited to different types of filtered water bottles.

Camping

If you’re camping, you’ll not only need a bottle that you can fill up from the stream or river but one that can filter the water without using the suction of your mouth so you can cook.

Exercise

If you’re exercising, you’ll need a squeezable bottle that you can drink from during exercise. If you’re cycling, you also need to make sure that the bottle can fit in the water bottle cages on your bike.

Everyday Use

If you just need a bottle of water to take with you while you’re out and about walking around the city or taking the bus, for example, any hard or soft bottle will do for you.

The Best Filtered Water Bottles For Travel

Filters Bacteria
Filters Viruses
Filters Heavy Metals
Filters Chemicals
Filters Sediment
Improves Taste
Reusable Filter
Water Flow
Price
Sawyerfast$$
Graylfast$$$
Lifestrawslow$$
OKOslow$$
WaterBasicsslow$$$
Aquamiraslow$$$
Britafast$
Bobblefast$
KORfast$$
Refresh2Gofast$

Water Bottles That Remove Bacteria/Viruses

1. Sawyer Products SP140 Personal Water Bottle Filter, 34 oz

Find the Sawyer Water Bottle Filter on Amazon here.

Why We Love This Bottle

  • The filter removes all bacteria (E.coli, salmonella, cholera), protozoa (giardia), and particulates (sediment).
  • It’s bigger than most filtered water bottles at 34 oz.
  • It’s a squeezable bottle, which is great for exercising.
  • It has a high flow rate and is easy to drink from, also good for exercising.
  • You can remove the filter and attach it to the tubing of a hydration pack to filter even more water at once.
  • It doesn’t require suction to filter the water, meaning you can use the bottle to fill up a pot for camping.
  • The water bottle cap is designed to fit standard 63mm wide-mouth water bottles such as Nalgene, so you can switch the cap to another compatible bottle.
  • The filter can be cleaned with an included syringe filter cleaner and reused almost indefinitely, which means it’s possible to NEVER have to buy a replacement filter for your bottle.
  • It comes with 2 replacement straws.

What We Don’t Love About This Bottle

  • It doesn’t filter out heavy metals, chemicals, or viruses.
  • It’s not super see-through, so it’s hard to tell how much water is left in the bottle.
  • You have to drink through a straw which is impossible to clean and will need to be replaced.

What It Works Best For

  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • Bike Touring
  • Exercising
  • Filling up from natural water sources (streams, rivers, etc.)
  • Filtering unsafe tap water.

Check out the Sawyer Water Bottle Filter on Amazon here.

2. Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier Bottle

Find the Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier Bottle on Amazon here.

Why We Love This Bottle

  • The filter removes all bacteria (E.coli, salmonella, cholera) and protozoa (giardia).
  • The filter removes all viruses including Hepatitis A and rotavirus.
  • The filter removes particulates (sediment), chemicals (chlorine), and heavy metals (lead, arsenic).
  • Fast press filter that doesn’t require any sucking or squeezing and filters the entire 16 oz bottle in 15 seconds.
  • The water is filtered BEFORE you drink it, so you can drink as fast as you want and use the bottle to fill up a larger bottle or water bag for water storage.
  • The water bottle filter purifies 40 gallons of water before needing to be replaced (2-3 months of drinking water).

What We Don’t Love About This Bottle

  • It’s small volume, at only 16 oz, which means you’ll have to refill the bottle a lot.
  • There’s no way to clean the filter.
  • Expensive replacement filters at $25 (US dollars) per filter.

What It Works Best For

  • Hiking
  • Camping
  • Filling up from natural water sources (streams, rivers, etc.)
  • Filtering unsafe tap water.

Check out the Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier Bottle on Amazon here.

3. LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle

Find the LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle on Amazon here.

Why We Love This Bottle

  • The filter removes all bacteria (E.coli, salmonella, cholera) and protozoa (giardia).
  • The filter removes particulates (sediment), chemicals (chlorine).
  • Filters 4000 liters of water per filter.
  • Replaceable filter.
  • You can remove the LifeStraw filter and simply use the straw without the bottle, or use the bottle as a normal water bottle without the filter in it when home.
  • LifeStraw donates their product to schools without access to safe drinking water. For every LifeStraw product sold a child receives safe drinking water for an entire school year.
  • The bottle is translucent so you can easily see how much water is left.

What We Don’t Love About This Bottle

  • It doesn’t remove heavy metals.
  • You can only filter the water by sucking it through the straw.
  • There’s no way to clean the filter.

What It Works Best For

  • Hiking
  • Filling up from natural water sources (streams, rivers, etc.)
  • Filtering unsafe tap water.

Check out the LifeStraw Go Water Filter Bottle on Amazon here.

4. OKO H2O Level 2 Advanced Filtration Water Bottle

Find the OKO H2O Level 2 Advanced Filtration Water Bottle on Amazon here.

Why We Love This Bottle

  • The filter removes all bacteria (E.coli, salmonella, cholera) and protozoa (giardia).
  • The filter removes all viruses including Hepatitis A and rotavirus.
  • The filter removes particulates (sediment), chemicals (chlorine), and heavy metals (lead, arsenic).
  • Large 1 Liter bottle (33.8 oz).
  • Filters 100 gallons of water per filter.
  • Replaceable filter.
  • Super lightweight bottle at only 5.2 oz.
  • The bottle is translucent so you can easily see how much water is left.
  • Squeezable bottle.

What We Don’t Love About This Bottle

  • You can only filter water by sucking through the filter.
  • There’s no way to clean the filter.

What It Works Best For

  • Hiking
  • Filling up from natural water sources (streams, rivers, etc.)
  • Filtering unsafe tap water.

Check out the OKO H2O Level 2 Advanced Filtration Water Bottle on Amazon here.

5. WaterBasics Filtered Water Bottle RED Line

Find the WaterBasics Filtered Water Bottle on Amazon here.

Why We Love This Bottle

  • The filter removes all bacteria (E.coli, salmonella, cholera) and protozoa (giardia).
  • The filter removes all viruses including Hepatitis A and rotavirus.
  • The filter removes particulates (sediment), chemicals (chlorine), and heavy metals (lead, arsenic).
  • Fast flow rate at 500 ml/min, so you can drink fast when you’re thirsty.
  • Filters 120 gallons (over 450 liters) per filter.
  • The bottle features a dust cap to keep the bite valve clean.
  • The bottle can fit any of WaterBasics line of filters.
  • It’s super lightweight at only 4 oz.

What We Don’t Love About This Bottle

  • You can only filter water by sucking through the filter.
  • The bottle can be a bit hard to get water out of.
  • There’s no way to clean the filter.
  • Replacement filters are expensive at $40 US dollars.

What It Works Best For

  • Hiking
  • Filling up from natural water sources (streams, rivers, etc.)
  • Filtering unsafe tap water.

Check out the WaterBasics Filtered Water Bottle on Amazon here.

6. Aquamira Frontier Filtered Water Bottle Red Filter

Find the Aquamira Frontier Filtered Water Bottle on Amazon here.

What We Love About This Bottle

  • The filter removes all bacteria (E.coli, salmonella, cholera) and protozoa (giardia).
  • The filter removes all viruses including Hepatitis A and rotavirus.
  • The filter removes particulates (sediment), chemicals (chlorine), and heavy metals (lead, arsenic).
  • Fast flow rate at 500 ml/min, so you can drink fast when you’re thirsty.
  • Squeezable water bottle.
  • Filters 120 gallons (over 450 liters) per filter.
  • The bottle features a dust cap to keep the bite valve clean.
  • The bottle has two different replaceable filter options.

What We Don’t Love About This Bottle

  • You can only filter water by sucking through the filter.
  • There’s no way to clean the filter.
  • Expensive replacement filters at $40 US dollars.

What It Works Best For

  • Hiking
  • Filling up from natural water sources (streams, rivers, etc.)
  • Filtering unsafe tap water.

Check out the Aquamira Frontier Filtered Water Bottle on Amazon here.

Water Bottles That Remove Chemicals and NOT Bacteria

7. Brita 20oz Sport Water Bottle With Filter

Find the Brita 20oz Sport Water Bottle on Amazon here.

Why We Love This Bottle

  • The filter removes chlorine and other water solvent chemicals.
  • Improves the taste of the water so you drink more.
  • Filters 40 gallons of water per filter.
  • Great price.
  • Cheap replacement filters.
  • Squeezable bottle.
  • It’s easy to drink from.
  • It’s super lightweight at just 4 oz.

What We Don’t Love About This Bottle

  • You have to replace the filter every 2 months.

What It Works Best For

  • Exercise
  • Everyday use
  • Filtering potable water to improve taste.

Check out the Brita 20oz Sport Water Bottle on Amazon here.

8. Bobble Classic Water Bottle

Find the Bobble Classic Water Bottle on Amazon here.

Why We Love This Bottle

  • The filter removes chlorine and other water solvent chemicals.
  • Improves the taste of the water so you drink more.
  • Filters 40 gallons of water per filter.
  • Great price.
  • It’s easy to drink from.
  • It’s super lightweight at just 4.6 oz.

What We Don’t Love About This Bottle

  • You have to replace the filter every two months.
  • It’s not a squeezable bottle.

What It Works Best For

  • Everyday use
  • Filtering potable water to improve taste.

Check out the Bobble Classic Water Bottle on Amazon here.

9. KOR Nava BPA Free 650ml Filter Water Bottle

Find the KOR Nava BPA Free Filter Water Bottle on Amazon here.

Why We Love This Bottle

  • The filter removes chlorine and other water solvent chemicals.
  • Improves the taste of the water so you drink more.
  • Filters 50 gallons of water per filter.
  • It’s easy to drink from.
  • It has a dust cap to keep the spout clean.

What We Don’t Love About This Bottle

  • You have to replace the filter every two months.
  • It’s not a squeezable bottle.
  • It’s heavier than the other bottles at 9.1 oz.
  • You have to drink through a straw which is hard to clean.

What It Works Best For

  • Everyday use
  • Filtering potable water to improve taste.

Check out the KOR Nava BPA Free Filter Water Bottle on Amazon here.

10. Refresh2Go 26oz Curve Filtered Water Bottle

Find the Refresh2Go Curve Filtered Water Bottle on Amazon here.

Why We Love This Bottle

  • The filter removes chlorine and other water solvent chemicals.
  • Improves the taste of the water so you drink more.
  • Filters 40 gallons of water per filter.
  • Great price.
  • It’s easy to drink from.
  • It’s super lightweight at just 4.8 oz.

What We Don’t Love About This Bottle

  • You have to replace the filter every two months.
  • It’s not a squeezable bottle.
  • You have to drink through a straw which is hard to clean.

What It Works Best For

  • Everyday use
  • Filtering potable water to improve taste.

Check out the Refresh2Go Curve Filtered Water Bottle on Amazon here.

phnom-kulen-waterfall

The Best Filtered Water Bottle For Traveling Abroad to Developing Countries

Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier Bottle

Why?

The Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier Bottle removes any and all nasties that could be lurking the tap water of developing countries including bacteria, viruses, heavy metals, and chemicals. The major advantage of traveling with the Grayl Water Bottle is that as a press filter you can use the Grayl to fill up other water bottles.

Simply filter the tap water in the Grayl bottle, then pour the purified water out into a normal water bottle, and repeat to fill up all of your bottles for the day. This way you can be out and about with more than just the 16oz of water that can fit in the Grayl bottle.

Find the Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier Bottle on Amazon here.

The Best Filtered Water Bottle For Traveling Abroad To Developed Countries

Brita 20oz Sport Water Bottle With Filter

Why?

While the tap water in developed countries is safe to drink, the Brita Sport Water Bottle will simply make your water taste so much better! The Brita filter takes out all the nasty chlorine taste from the water transforming the taste of ordinary treated tap water into that of spring water.

Find the Brita Sport Water Bottle With Filter on Amazon here.

The Best Filtered Water Bottle For Hiking/Camping

Sawyer Products SP140 Personal Water Bottle Filter

Why?

The Sawyer Personal Water Bottle Filter is great for filling up from natural water sources on the trail, such as streams or lakes, as it’s designed to remove all waterborne bacteria and sediment. At a giant 34oz size (1 liter) the Sawyer water bottle can keep you hydrated for a long time on the trail. Super convenient when you don’t know when you’ll find your next water source.

The Sawyer filter can also be removed from the bottle and attached to a water bag for water storage at camp and to filter large amounts of water for cooking at your campsite. The filter in the Sawyer bottle can also be cleaned and re-used almost indefinitely. Just another reason why the Sawyer Personal Water Bottle Filter is the best filtered water bottle for hiking and camping.

Find the Sawyer Personal Water Bottle Filter on Amazon here.

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Comments

  1. This is an extremely informative article 😍 I clicked it on Pinterest and I’m impressed how thorough you guys are 🙌🏻 pinning it for later – I’ll be getting a water bottle soon:)

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