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The 5 Best Gravity Water Filters
Camping is a fun way to explore the great outdoors, and you should always bring the best gravity water filter with you. I like to camp far away from crowds. It is fun to explore remote areas remaining almost untouched. While camping, I need a source of safe water to drink, so I looked for the best gravity water filter. Take a look at the following reviews and ratings to find the best gravity water filter for your needs.
In This Article
Best Choice: Katadyn 10 Liter Base Camp Pro Water Filter Bag
The Katadyn 10 Liter Base Camp Pro Water Filter Bag is the best gravity water filter because it includes a hose and a carrying strap. It is a good size and is made from durable materials.
The Katadyn 10 Liter Base Camp Pro Water Filter Bag is a good size. It has a capacity of 10 liters, which is 2.65 U.S. gallons. This amount provides enough drinking water for one person, for an entire day, without the need for refilling it. There is a convenient, clear window to see the water level inside. This system is gravity fed so there is no hand-pumping required to use it. Just fill the bladder bag from a natural source and hang it from a tree. A four-foot-long hose attaches to the bottom to make it easy to use. The hose disconnects so it does not become contaminated when refilling the bag.
It has a 0.2 micron filtration system to remove sediment, bacteria, and protozoan cysts. As the water flows through the filter, it comes out at the rate of two liters per minute. A clever design feature is a sediment tap to help keep the filter from becoming clogged up. The filter is good for 1,500 liters (396.26 U.S. gallons) of pure, safe drinking water before it needs replacement. The filter, filter cover, and sediment trap are easy to remove for cleaning or replacement. The filter is made from fine spun glass fibers aligned in a pleated pattern. This increases the surface area of the filter, which improves its ability to remove particles from muddy water.
- Includes a 48-inch hose and the connectors needed for most portable water carry packs
- Made from durable materials
- Stores away compactly when not in use
- The filter may stop working if the water condition is challenging. Best to carry spare camping water filters
Premium Pick: Platypus GravityWorks 4 Liter Complete Water Filter Kit
The Platypus GravityWorks 4 Liter Complete Water Filter Kit is the best gravity water filter because it can filter 99.9% of bacteria. It is one of the smaller options, making it lightweight and convenient to carry.
The Platypus GravityWorks 4 Liter Complete Water Filter Kit comes with two bags. One bag holds the water to be filtered while the other collects the filtered water. Both bags have hanging/carry straps attached with a clip in the middle to allow the straps to be opened and then put around something to hang the bag on, like a tree limb. The system can be filled and then left to filter the water on it owns so there is always clean drinking water available when you return to camp. It has a capacity of four liters (1.06 U.S. gallon), which puts it in the smaller-size category of the choices for the best gravity water filter.
When the filter is working properly, and not clogged, it states it can filter up to 1.75 liters (0.46 U.S. gallon) per minute. My experience was it worked slower than this. It was easier just to leave it alone for a while to do its job than to stand there watching it. The filter comes in a convenient hard-shell cylinder, which is used as a connector in the middle of the hose between the two bags. This makes it easy to replace the filter. It removes 99.9% of bacteria and 99.9% of protozoa. This filter removes cryptosporidium, cholera, E. coli, giardia, and salmonella. It can filter 1,500 liters (396.26 U.S. gallons) before needing replacement.
- Includes hoses and a shut-off clamp
- When empty, it packs up easily to fit in the included carrying case
- Ultra-lightweight, weighing only 11.5 ounces
- The filter may clog easily if the water source is challenging
Best Value: Sawyer Products One-Gallon Gravity Water Filtration System
The Sawyer Products One-Gallon Gravity Water Filtration System is the best gravity water filter because it filters out 99.9% of bacteria and 100% of micro-plastic particles. It is lightweight and provides enough water for two people.
The Sawyer Products One-Gallon Gravity Water Filtration System is good for one or two people. It has the capacity of one U.S. gallon (3.8 liters). It uses a palm-sized, mini-filter with a 0.1 micron filtration screen, which is very effective. This smaller filtration size removes 99.9% of bacteria, 99.9% of the protozoa and cysts. It removes E. coli, giardia, cholera, and salmonella. It also filters out 100% of micro-plastic particles.
The Sawyer’s water filter is made with a fiber membrane, which includes tiny micro-pores to allow water to pass through. The filter is enclosed in a protective case to prevent any physical damage to the fiber membrane if it fails. The filter can be forcefully backwashed – this can be done repeatedly, thousands of times, to restore up to 98% of its function and original flow rate.
Sawyer filters are thoroughly tested three times for quality control during the manufacturing process. This makes sure no dangerous pathogens pass through the filter when it is in its sealed case and that the internal O-rings are intact.
- Ultra-compact and lightweight, weighing only 8.8 ounces when empty
- The filter is extremely long-lasting with a warranty of 100,000 gallons
- The screw-on filter directly connects to most water bottles and soda bottles
- Works slightly slower than comparative systems with a larger filter
Runner Up: LifeStraw Flex Advanced Water Filter with Gravity Bag
The LifeStraw Flex Advanced Water Filter with Gravity Bag is the best gravity water filter because it includes a hanging bag and hose. It also exceeds EPA and NSF safety standards.
The LifeStraw Flex Advanced Water Filter with Gravity Bag is a powerful filtration system with a capacity of one U.S. gallon (3.8 liters). This water filter system uses two gravity filters. The first one is a fiber membrane with a 0.2 micron filter size. It can remove 99.9% of any bacteria, 99.9% of any protozoa, and 99.9% of any micro-plastic particles. The second filter is a carbon-fiber filter, which improves the water’s taste and removes heavy metals such as lead and mercury. It also removes organic chemicals and chlorine, as well as herbicides and pesticides. The filtered water exceeds EPA and NSF safety standards for potable water.
The fiber membrane filters 2,000 liters (528 U.S. gallons). The carbon filter works for 100 liters (26 U.S. gallons).
- Multi-use configurations make it very versatile
- Can be used directly in a contaminated water source as a water filter straw
- Connects to most standard plastic water and soda bottles
- The carbon fiber filter needs to be replaced frequently
Honorable Mention: Katadyn Gravity Camp 6 Liter Water Filter Bag
The Katadyn Gravity Camp 6 Liter Water Filter Bag is the best gravity water filter because it provides enough water for more than one person. It is lightweight and compatible with most hydration bladders.
Summary: The Katadyn Gravity Camp 6 Liter Water Filter Bag is the best gravity water filter because it provides enough water for more than one person. It is lightweight and compatible with most hydration bladders.
The Katadyn Gravity Camp 6 Liter Water Filter Bag is medium-sized when compared to the other units I reviewed. It has a six-liter (1.6 U.S. gallons) capacity, which is a nice size for the best gravity water filter choice if you want to have water for more than one person. It has a flow rate of up to two liters per minute when the filter is not clogged.
Just like the 10-liter Katadyn water filter I reviewed, it has an optional shower head adaptor available. For taking a shower, you can hang the bladder bag in the sun to let the water warm up. Six liters of water is enough for a quick shower where you use water to get wet, turn it off, soap up, and turn it back on to rinse off.
- Lightweight, weighing 11 ounces when empty
- Includes a filter protector, which can be easily cleaned even during camping
- Compatible with most hydration bladders
- The filter clogs up easily, so you must clean it frequently and bring spare filters
Features to Consider for the Best Gravity Water Filter
When hunting for the best gravity water filter, here are the main things you may want to consider. Think about the price, including extra filters and then compare the features and benefits. Pay careful attention to the precautions. In this way, after you chose the best gravity water filter for your needs, you will have plenty of happy camping trips with pure water to drink.
Capacity is important, especially if you are going to be with many friends or family members. When everyone comes back to camp after a long hike, water filter bottles they carried with them might be empty. If so, they will probably be very thirsty. You want to have plenty of water ready to drink so everybody can stay hydrated while camping.
The flow rate to filter water is important as well if you need lots of water to satisfy everyone. Waiting a long time for a liter of water for purification or filtration while camping is torture when you are already thirsty.
The weight of the device, when empty, may be important if you have to carry other things to the campsite over a long distance by hiking. Ceramic filters and stainless steel filters will be heavier than fabric or plastic. Consider the cost of the replacement filters as part of the overall cost of using any system. If you’re using a lightweight water purifier like a UV water purifier to save space, a bulky water filter will take up undue space.
Benefits of Using Gravity Water Filters
To stay hydrated while camping, backpacking, or filtering water as a hiker, it is important to have plenty of cool, clean water to drink. Water weighs about 11 pounds per gallon. The average person needs at least a gallon per day for drinking and possibly more if it is hot outside. Carrying so much drinkable water to a campsite is impractical. Without a gravity-fed water filtration system or water purification systems like a camping water purifier, or even water purifying tablets, camping options are limited. Consider the best gravity water filter to expand your camping options.
Gravity water filters work anywhere there is water available. They do not require any power to operate or much effort. Just fill them up and let gravity do the work.
Precautions When Using Gravity Water Filters
There is a risk of contamination if the gravity filter system gets damaged. If the contaminated water can bypass the filtration, it is possible to get sick from drinking the impure river, lake, or tapwater with illnesses like crytosporidium or cysts caused by protozoa. Gravity water filters without adequate protection for the filter are more likely to have this problem. To be considered in the category of the best gravity water filter, the device must have a protective housing to keeps the filter from being damaged.
Filters get clogged. Rather than being stuck in a remote area without clean drinking water, it is better to take along extra filters just in case yours gets clogged while you are on the trip and the filter stops working properly. You can also minimize the risk of this happening by cleaning the spigot regularly.
Gravity water filters also have the disadvantage of not having a reservoir for water to go once it’s been filtered. Consider using a water filter pitcher instead for ready-to-pour filtered water.
It is worth the investment to take along the best gravity water filter to have pure water to drink and not risk getting ill. Even the cleanest-looking streams may contain invisible contaminants, which enter the water upstream and unseen.
I like to go camping with lots of friends, so my top pick for the best gravity water filter is the Katadyn 10 Liter Base Camp Pro Water Filter Bag. I like this filter because it is the largest of the ones I reviewed. It has a capacity of 10 liters (2.65 U.S. gallons of water) and only costs slightly more than the smaller six-liter capacity model.
When I go camping, I take along two of these Katadyn 10-liter filters so there is always one bag hung up to create pure drinking water at all times. I also got the optional shower head adaptor. The larger capacity of the bladder bag makes it easier to shower without running out of water. Even when camping, I still like to look great. See you on the next camping trip!