Water Treatment

The latest


Like the LifeStraw, MSR’s TrailShot lets you drink straight from the source, but it’s also good for filling a water bottle. Drop the long straw in the stream and squeeze the hand pump to get the magic started. It works fast, treating a liter of water in 30 seconds.

The Platypus GravityWorks 4.0 is the best filter of its kind

The Wide Mouth was selected by our readers—and by our editors—as one of their favorite water bottles. The Nalgene’s tough, BPA-free plastic can take a beating; we’ve slung ours around at crags, banged them against rocks, and generally abused them for years. Yet they still work just as intended—no…

Up-to-date guidelines on the pros and cons of filters, ultraviolet light, chemicals, and other options

Melting snow for drinking water isn't as easy as it sounds

The LifeStraw’s membrane removes 99.9 percent of bacteria and parasites. We like it so much we included a version of the filter in our 2018 roundup of the best men's thru-hiking gear.

Those tasty bivalves we can't get enough of are also great for filtering pollutants out of the water, but there's a balance that comes with building more oyster farms

We picked the Universal Filter in our 2019 Summer Buyer’s Guide as one of the best pieces of travel tech gear. The filter has a two-stage process with a microbiological filter and an activated carbon capsule so it protects against bacteria, parasites, microplastics, and chemicals.

Removing 99.99 percent of bacteria and protozoa, the Meta Bottle is a collapsible and BPA-free. Fill it with water, then shake for speedy filtration—up to two liters per minute. Plus, it’s dishwasher safe.

Made for kids, this water bottle filters out bacteria, parasites, and chemicals and improves the overall taste for your little one. It lasts for up to 1,000 gallons of filtering and only weighs 7.9 ounces.

Collect stream water in one of Sawyer’s 32-ounce pouches, then filter it through the hollow-fiber membrane to remove bacteria and protozoa. The pouches are collapsible (each weighs only three ounces) and reusable, and you can drink straight from the filter’s nozzle or pour the water into a bottle for later.

Katadyn took a handy one-liter water bottle, which rolls up small to save space in your pack, and put a 0.1-micron microfilter in its nozzle that removes 99.9 percent of nasties. The BeFree can purify up to 1,000 liters over its lifetime.

Instead of filtering water, these dissolving tablets purify it with EPA-approved sodium dichloroisocyanurate. Complicated name, but essentially it kills viruses, bacteria, and cysts in a quart of water in 30 minutes. The price ($10 for 30 individually wrapped tablets) and tiny size make Aquatabs the ideal backup on long trips.

Like its predecessors, the Sawyer Micro Squeeze removes 99.9 percent of bacteria, but through a much lighter and smaller package.

Boyan Slat, the 24-year-old founder and CEO of the Ocean Cleanup, has finally launched a system he says will rid the Great Pacific Garbage Patch of half its plastic trash in five years.

Here's what you can do to keep your filter in good shape and how to know when it's time to spring for a new one

Our favorite ultralight filter gets a welcome upgrade

And global warming could bring more of it to the surface

Sure, it's expensive, but hear me out

The $50 tool will save you from the runs caused by bacteria, protozoa, or particulates found in U.S. backcountry water sources

Stainless steel water bottles wrapped in cork.

This $45 tool will change the way you hydrate on the trail

This October, conservationists and brewers are teaming up to help restore America's damaged forests

A large Canadian gear retailer is working on a project to trace the microplastics that come off its apparel in the wash and prevent them from entering local waterways

With tips, hacks, and processes from the hydration pros

The annual Fjällräven Classic is a trek tradition that the gear manufacturer has brought to Colorado for the first time

Six tricks for better off-the-grid travel

6 easy steps to make old products work like new

The iconic shoes, now made to be worn in the rain and snow

Gear companies from around the world released their brand-new summer 2016 products this week at Outdoor Retailer in Salt Lake City. We pored over all of it, and these five products—from a brilliant new water filter to a totally reinvented waterproof jacket—were our top picks for Gear…

Tools to improve backcountry adventures.

Lightweight, durable, and comfy, this gear finds its way into Chris Solomon's pack every time he heads out the front door.

When it comes to staying hydrated, you need the right bottle for any activity.

There's a group of people who believe that in a world of extreme natural disasters, being ready for any catastrophe is more than just a precaution. It’s practical. 

When it comes to holiday giving, you should never have to choose. This year, our editors have pulled together 68 perfect ideas—priced from $4 to $50,000—guaranteed to make anyone on your list feel like a million bucks.

Is it safe to use one of those Brita pitchers to filter river and lake water while camping? -Eric Oakland, CA

I'm building an emergency kit into a small fanny pack for day hikes in Colorado. I don't have space for cookware so I was wondering if there's a titanium water bottle that could be used to boil water over a campfire if necessary. – Jerry Colorado Springs, CO

Hi, I want to purchase a water filter or water purifier to turn my day hikes into some overnight trips. I have been doing a lot of research but can't seem to figure out which one I need. I'll primarily be hiking in the Northeast and only in North erica, so is there a need for an actual water "purifier"? Thanks in advance. Kane Red Bank, NJ

I’m going backpacking in South Dakota’s Badlands, and everything I read says that you have to bring in your own water. For a four day trip, that could mean as much as five gallons. What type of water containers should I use to most effectively carry this much water? Junior Minneapolis, Minnesota

What’s your take on the MSR Miox pump-free purifier? It has been the subject of some debate, and I’d like your insight. Chris Helena, Montana

I know that you need to filter (or treat) water before drinking it, but what about the water I use to rinse my hands or clean my cookpot? How resilient are those nasty little giardia and cryptosporidia parasites? Do they die and go away when the water that carries them evaporates? Will an alcohol-based sanitizer kill the remains of them on my hands, or do I need to filter the water first? Bruce Cortland, New York

I'm looking for a lightweight system with the largest-capacity bladder. I'll use it primarily for ultralight hiking, and long trail runs. My primary concern is that it doesn't slosh around against my back and hips, as I'd rather not have underarm chaffing. Any suggestions or places I might find this info on the Web? Larry Santa Monica, California