Home Essentials Water Best Portable & Home Water Filter Products for Preppers

Best Portable & Home Water Filter Products for Preppers

2/3s of the Earth is covered with water. Once you locate life saving water, do you have the means to make it drinkable? Time to discuss Water Filter Systems for Preppers!

Water Filter Systems for Preppers

I like to prioritize survival, in tough situations, against the Law of Three. No matter how confused, lost or hungry I am, I can use this simple list to take care of my priorities in the order that makes sense.

The Law of Three states that:

  • Survival is only possible for three minutes without air.
  • Survival is only possible for three hours without warmth.
  • Survival is only possible for only three days without replenishing water in your body.
  • Survival is only possible for three weeks without food.

When we look at the Law of Three, we can see that water is listed. This means that Water is essential to your survival. We’ve covered posts in finding water, now lets figure out how we can make it drinkable.

Let’s first figure out what microorganisms may be encountered in water and what size they are so we can determine the correct Water Filter Systems for Preppers.

Common microorganisms and the filter size needed:

  • Protozoa (Giardia, Cryptosporidium)
    • General Size: 5 microns or larger
    • Filter Type: Water filter
    • Particle Size Rating: 1.0–4.0 microns
  • Bacteria (Cholera, E. coli, Salmonella)
    • General Size: 0.2–0.5 microns
    • Filter Type: Microfilter
    • Particle Size Rating: 0.2–1.0 microns
  • Viruses (Hepatitis A, rotavirus, Norwalk virus)
    • General Size: 0.004 microns
    • Filter Type: Water purifier
    • Particle Size Rating: to 0.004 microns

Data from https://www.princeton.edu/~oa/manual/water.shtml

Water Filter Systems

Home Filters (bug in, shelter in place, large camp sites, etc)

  • Big Berkey Filtration System
    • Removes pathogenic bacteria, cysts and parasites entirely
    • Extracts harmful chemicals such as herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, organic solvents, radon 222 and trihalomethanes.
    • Reduces nitrates, nitrites and unhealthy minerals such as lead and mercury
    • Purifies up to 3.5 gallons per hour
    • Filter Life: Up to 3,000 gallons per filter element
    • Used by The Royal household in England, Relief Organizations such as UNICEF, the Peace Corps, Missionary organizations and Red Cross Societies Internationally.
  • Sawyer PointTwo Purifier
    • Removes 99.997% of viruses, 99.99999% of bacteria, and 99.9999% of Protozoa/Cysts
    • Did we mention that it removes 99.997% of viruses?!?!
    • .02 Micron absolute hollow fiber membrane purifier
    • 1 million gallon guarantee
    • Filter output is 1-liter per minute with gravity, and with faucet water full faucet pressure
    • Bucket Adapter Kit with Faucet Adapter

We covered the Do It Yourself Bucket Filter (aka: the poor man’s Big Berkey) on this post: DIY Home Water Filter

Portable Filters (backpacking, camping, bug out, etc)

  • Sawyer SP121 Just Drink Inline Water Filter (0.1 Micron)
    • Biological Filtration: Sawyer Water Filters offer the highest level of biological filtration
    • Removal rates: (7 Log Bacteria 99.99999-percent, 6 Log Protozoa & Cysts 99.9999-percent)
    • 1 Million Gallons Guaranteed
    • 0.1 Micron absolute hollow fiber membrane inline filter
    • Use with a pump to prefilter, on a faucet adapter or inline in a hydration pack
  • Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter (0.2 microns)
    • Capacity: 13,000 gallons / 50,000 liters
    • Dimensions: 24 by 6 centimeters / 10 by 2.4 inches
    • Output: 1 quart/liter per minute
    • Technology: 0.2 micron ceramic depth filter (cleanable)
    • Weight: 550 grams / 20 ounces
    • 20 year warranty
  • Katadyn Mini Microfilter (0.2 microns)
    • Exclusive silver impregnated ceramic filter removes bacteria and protozoa
    • 0.2 micron ceramic depth cleanable filter
    • Equipped with Prefilter and carry bag
    • Materials: Silver-impregnated ceramic filter, plastic
    • Small enough to fit in your pocket, the Katadyn Mini Microfilter is perfect for light solo use during travel and day-hiking
    •  Katadyn’s lightest, most compact filter (about 10oz whey dry)
  • Katadyn Vario Multi Flow Water Microfilter (0.3 microns)
    • Output: Up to 2 quarts (2 liters) per minute
    • Cartridge Capacity: Up to 500 gallons (1875 liters)
    • Weight: 15 ounces
    • Height: 6.5 inches
    • Hose Length: 36 inches
    • Includes prefilter, cleaning pad, and deluxe carry bag
    • Attaches directly to Nalgene bottles!
  • Katadyn Hiker Pro Microfilter Water Filter (0.3 microns)
    • Removable filter protector extends cartridge life
    • Quick connect fittings make installation and removal of input and output hoses easy
    • Connects directly to hydration packs with 1/4″ drink tubes
    • 129 square inches of pleated 0.3 micron glassfiber media with activated carbon core
    • 1 Quart (1 Liter) per minute, 300 gallon (1150 Liters) cartridge capacity

Straw Filters and Water Bottle Filters (backpacking, camping, bug out, emergency use, etc)

  • Sawyer Mini
    • Attaches to included drinking pouch, standard disposable water bottles, hydration packs, or use the straw to drink directly from your water source
    • Removes 7 log (99.99999%) of all bacteria and 6 log (99.9999%) of all protozoa
    •  Weighs only 2 ounces
    • Filters up to 100,000 gallons (30 times more than comparable filters)
  • Sawyer Personal Water Bottle Filter  (0.1 microns)
    • 0.1 Micron absolute hollow fiber membrane inline filter
    • Removes 99.99999% bacteria and 99.9999% Protozoa
    • Polypropylene and polyethylene material is easily field maintainable
    • No residual chemical tastes
    • Comes with manufacture’s 1 million gallon guarantee
  • LifeStraw Personal Water Filter – (0.2 microns) We have one of these in each of our bug out bags and in each vehicle!
    • Removes a minimum of 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria per manufacturer.(>LOG 6 reduction)
    • LifeStraw® offers easy access to clean and safe drinking water away from home!
    • Filters up to 1000L of contaminated water per the manufacturer.
    • Removes a minimum of 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites per manufacturer.
    • Reduces water turbidity by filtering particles of approximately 0.2 microns.
    • $29.88 on Amazon.com
  • Pure Water Straw-Advanced (2 microns, NOT .2 or .02 microns, but 2 microns)
    • Up to 25-gallon filter life
    • Now with BIOSAFE, removes up to 99.99% of bacteria, virus, contaminants and pollutants found in drinking water
    • Non-toxic BPA free materials.
    • Tested by Independent laboratories using EPA /ANSI protocols and NSF Standards 42 and 53.
    • ideal for everyday use; put in your pocket, purse, briefcase or car glove compartment.
    • Advanced filter removes virus and bacteria to six logs (99.9999%).
    • Waterproof carrying case.
    • Use in conjunction with treatment drops or tablets for best results
  • Aquamira Frontier Emergency Water Filter System (3 microns, NOT .3 or .03 microns, but 3 microns)
    • Emergency water filter system ideal for hiking, traveling, and emergencies
    • Particle blend removes more than 99.9 percent of cryptosporidium and Giardia
    • Compact body slips easily into a daypack, shirt pocket, or travel bag
    • Single unit filters up to 30 gallons of water; improves tastes and eliminates odors
    • Weighs less than 1 ounce;
    • Use in conjunction with treatment drops or tablets for best results
  • Berkey Sport Bottle
    • Eliminates or Reduces up to 99.9% of: Unpleasant taste and odors, cloudiness, silt, sediment and chlorine.
    • Toxic chemicals: Trihalomethanes, VOCs, detergents, pesticides, etc
    • Harmful microscopic pathogens: Cryptosporidium, Giardia, E-coli >99.99999% and other pathogenic bacteria
    • Heavy metals: Aluminum, Cadmium, Chromium, Copper, Lead, and Mercury

You should also carry water treatment drops or tablets with you to provide redundancy in the even of equipment loss or failure of your water filter systems.

Water weighs about 8lbs per gallon. Each person requires about 1 gallon of water per day for drinking an hygiene uses. This makes it hard to carry enough water to survive, and this is what makes Water Filter Systems for Preppers so important!


  1. Don’t miss Sawyer filters. 0.1 microns (vs. 0.2 for Katadyns), million gallons (vs. 13,000), weigh 3 ounces (vs. 20 ounces) and costs $45 (vs. $275). They also sell a 0.02 micron filter for viruses. They are not without flaws but there are workarounds; Search Google for ultralight forums where they discuss this handy little booger. Added the 0.1 micron filter to my BoB.

    • I can’t believe that I left the Sawyer filters off my list. We use those all the time too. Good old memory fog 😉

      Thanks for reminding me about those 1 million gallon guaranteed, 0.1 micron filters.

  2. Out of all of the water filters on the market, I am glad to see that there is finally one that will remove most of the contaminants and is very compact!

  3. One thing you may want to put is Sawyers Point Zero Two Filters- it’s the only filter that does take out virus particles. More expensive, but well worth it if dealing with post-collapse/contaminated water.

  4. Filters are great. I have a few of them, and am interested in the Sawyer filters.
    Another option is the SteriPEN handheld water purifier, which uses UV light to purify 1L of water in 90 seconds. It will kill virtually all organic organisms, 99.9999% of bacteria, 99.99% of viruses, and 99.9% of protozoa.
    I recommend the SteriPEN model that uses AA batteries, and I use rechargeables.
    The unit is small, lightweight, and has a bulb life of up to 8000 liters.

  5. Thanks for putting together such great info, John! Love the Sawyer… cheap, compact, lightweight, and affordable.

    Sharing this stuff!

  6. Hello,
    We are a distributor of the Clean Sip water filter straw we can no longer support selling the straws due to our other business
    So we would like to offer them at a discounted price if you are interested
    Along with marketing materials and trade show items
    Thank you

  7. You really should have a Purifier capable of filtering everything mentioned PLUS chemicals from farm runoff that me occur in the area you intend to bug out to.


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