Best Backpacking Water Filter

Many hikers are interested in finding the best backpacking water filter. At, I have reviewed several water microfilters and purifiers for different types of users. Since backpackers are one of the primary water microfilter users, I created this guide to the best backpacking water filter models. Be sure to compare the different models, as they come in different styles and may not all meet your needs.

Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter

Unquestionably, one of the best backpacking water filter is the Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter. It is the most highly regarded water microfilter on the market today, thanks in large part to its build quality, ceramic filter, and 20 year warranty. It is made by Katadyn, an 85-year-old Swiss company. While the Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter is slightly more expensive than other water microfilters, the quality and long life of the silver-impregnated ceramic filter more than make up for it. The Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter truly is one of the best water filters for backpacking. Do you really want to have problems when you are out backpacking? You can find it in outdoor shops, but the lowest price I’ve seen is at, where it is currently 27% off. Be sure to read my review as well.

Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter
Flow Rate:1 quart/minute (1 liter/minute)
Filter Capacity:13,000 gallons (ceramic filter lifetime)
Weight:20 oz.
Pore Size:0.2 microns (filters bacteria and protozoa)
Other Features:Aluminum/Metal body with silver-impregnated ceramic filter, 20 year warranty (!)
SALE PRICE:27% off

Katadyn Vario Multi Flow Water Microfilter

The Katadyn Vario Multi Flow Water Microfilter is also one of the best water filters for backpacking due to its simple construction, affordability, and relatively quick flow rate. Its flow rate is at about 2 quarts per minute (about 2 liters per minute), making quick work of filling up a water bottle. One of the most popular features is its ability to attach to a Nalgene bottle! I have tried this water purifier in the field and haven’t had any problems. The cheapest I’ve seen it is also at, where it is currently 20% off. I also wrote a more detailed summary, so be sure to check out the review.

Katadyn Vario Multi Flow Water Microfilter
Flow Rate:2 quarts/minute
Filter Capacity:Up to 500 gallons
Weight:15 oz.
Pore Size:0.2 microns (filters bacteria and protozoa)
Other Features:36 inch input hose, has Nalgene bottle attachment. Comes with prefilter, cleaning pad, and deluxe carry bag
SALE PRICE:20% off

MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter

The MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter is another affordable and durable water purifier and one of the best water purifiers for backpacking. It is one of the smallest water purifiers currently available and is fairly light compared to other models. One feature that a lot of backpackers enjoy is the ability to hook right up to their Nalgene bottle, making it easy to fill on the fly or transfer to a cooking pot. The cartridge is ceramic/carbon, with a pore size of 0.2 microns (thus filtering out bacteria and protozoa). While it will only process 500 gallons before needing to be replaced, it should be more than enough for several backpacking trips. Please see my review of the MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter as well.

MSR MiniWorks EX Microfilter
Flow Rate:1 quart/minute
Filter Capacity:530 gallons per cartridge
Weight:1 pound
Pore Size:0.2 microns
Other Features:Durable carbon/ceramic element in cartridge, Nalgene bottle attachment, small size: 2.75 by 7.5 inches