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Best Filtered Water Bottles: From Everyday Adventures to Extreme Excursions

Best Filtered Water Bottle
Bradley Page
Written by Bradley Page

The filtered water bottle is an essential product to carry with you in order to have peace of mind that fresh, delicious drinking water will always be available to you.  Modern technology has made it possible to carry some pretty powerful filters that will not weigh you down or take up much space at all.

Some of the top choices for filtered water bottles are capable of handling everything from minerals in tap water all the way to microbiologically from unsound sources of water and other water of unknown quality from lakes, streams, and rivers around the world.

Whatever your filtering water needs may be, there is a product available to suit your needs and it is worth the time investment to learn more about them in order to choose the best filtered water bottle for you.

Those in the market to purchase a filtered water bottle will be glad to know that they do not have to sacrifice style or convenience in order to find a great solution to meet their unique needs. There is no shortage of options available, and you are certain to find one to meet your personal preferences, needs, and budget.

As is the case with most products, all filtered water bottles are not created equal, and you could pay as little as a few dollars all the way up to fifty dollars or more.

packed filtered water bottle

Spending more does not necessarily mean better quality if you are paying for features you do not need.  For that reason, it pays to educate yourself on the main features filtered water bottles offer so that you can make an educated decision.

Follow along below as we help you navigate the world of filtered water bottles and clue you in on the most important features to consider.  We will also review our top seven choices to give you an idea of the range of quality and options available.

Important Features to Consider When Selecting A Filtered Water Bottle

Contaminant Filtering Ability

Basically, all types of water bottle filters are designed to filter out contaminants.  There are three main types of contaminants, and the most advanced water bottles feature the ability to filter out the greatest number and type of contaminants.

contaminant filtering ability

The types of contaminants include:

  • Chemical Contaminants: these are what you can expect to find in your tap water occurring naturally, as well as things that seep into water supply such as medicines and other chemical products.
  • Bacteria and Parasitic Contaminants: believe it or not, even the most highly filtered water has some of these things present, but many of them are not harmful and can be tolerated by us with no problem. However, there are several that can provide harmful health consequences.
  • Viruses: not to be confused with bacteria, these are much smaller and more difficult to filter out. Only the best and most expensive filters are likely to be capable to their small size.

Filtering Ability Pertaining to Water Source

The most expensive water bottle filters might be all wrong for you if you choose on that is ill-equipped to meet the needs of the source where you generally plan to collect your water.  If you are simply looking to make your tap water more palatable and better for you, the most basic of filter bottles should meet your needs just fine.

However, when you get into the really obscure water sources is when you really need to take a careful look at what your water bottle filter needs to be able to handle.

filtered water bottles filtering ability

You would never want to use a lower end, lower cost water bottle filter on water from a source you are unsure of.  It might make the water taste slightly better, but your health is at stake and you do not want to take the chance of getting sick from bacteria or viruses.

In this case, you will really need to read up on the options available to you and purchase the best your money can buy in order to keep you safe and hydrated in extreme conditions.

It is generally not difficult to confuse those bottles which are designed for tap water with those designed for more varied sources.  Those designed for tap water will generally mention “sport,” on the go,” or “everyday” type of uses.  They may be able to handle those situations beautifully, but you would never want to risk using them for filtering water from a river or stream.

Filter Style

There are a lot of terms used in marketing filters, but when it comes down to it, there are two main types you can expect to find in a water bottle: carbon and UV.

  • Carbon: these filters are popular and used frequently because carbon is able to remove a wide range of contaminants as water passes through it. You will generally need to replace these types of filters often, and you generally see their filtering ability reported in microns (how fine of a particle it is able to filter).
  • UV: these are more expensive and use UV light to kill both bacteria and even viruses. However, they are not capable of removing chemical compounds. In some cases, you may even find a filter which features both carbon and UV in order to filter out all of the above.

Convenience Accessories

Thought not important with regards to the quality of the filtered water, convenience accessories such as easy-carry straps, quick-open and on-hand open lids, and other such accessories can actually be very important in terms of whether or not you will actually be equipped with your bottle when you need it.

Although they may seem like silly details, these kind of things can make all the difference in the world if they make it easier for you to carry the bottle among your gear or on your person.  You can also find a wide array of colors and designs to personalize your bottle to match your other accessories.

drinking from filtered water bottle

As mentioned above, you can see why it makes sense not to just purchase the most expensive filtering water bottle available and assume it will meet all your needs.  You would be throwing away your money if all you needed was a simple tap water filter but the one you ended up with also capable of filtering viruses and bacteria.

Now that we have shown you what to look for, we will go over some of our favorite choices available on the market today.

Our Top Seven Picks for Filtered Water Bottles

LIFESTRAW Go Water Bottle, 22 oz.

LIFESTRAW Go Water Bottle, 22 oz.

Weight: 7.8 ounce (221 grams)

Dimensions: 9 x 3 x 3 inches

Capacity: 23 ounces (filters up to 264 gallons)

Specific features: BPA and phthalate free, leak-proof, detachable and replaceable filter, hollow fiber membrane removes 99.99% (.2 micron filter size) of waterborne bacteria and protozoan parasites, removable silicone mouthpiece, integrated filter straw design. This bottle is a part of the “Follow the Liters” program, and for every one bottle sold, the company will provide a year of clean drinking water at school for a child in Africa.

Best use: Travel, Backpacking

Description: After winning awards for their water filter design, LIFESTRAW Go Water Bottle, 22 oz. has integrated into a sports bottle so users can have means to produce safe drinking water even if there is no source nearby.  Water can be collected from any pond, stream, or river and the filter will work its magic, which makes it ideal for outdoor adventures or travels to areas without clean drinking water.

Many people appreciate the fact that the filter is replaceable, so the durable sport bottle itself can be reused many times and there is no need to be concerned about when to stop using the filter, as it will stop taking in water once it has reached capacity.

The silicone mouthpiece is made of food grade silicone, which makes it flexible and durable and can be removed for easy cleaning. Owners of this bottle seem to really love it for the fact that it enables them to always know that they will have access to clean drinking water, wherever their travels may take them.

However, although the filtration system filters water without the use of chemicals, some users report that the water does in fact have a slight chemical taste.  All in all, this is an amazing product for a small price tag and it is also a really cool added bonus that with the purchase of every bottle, LifeStraw provides a year of clean drinking water at school to a child in Africa.

KOR Sport Water Bottle

KOR Sport Water Bottle

Weight: .55 pounds

Capacity: 24 ounces

Specific features: Opens with one hand and one click, protective germ-guard cap, flip-top unscrews for easy cleaning or inserting ice, soft rubber base, BPA and toxin free, medical grade silicone mouthpiece.

Best use: Active Sports (Yoga, Running, Soccer, Boot Camp, Spin Class)

Description: KOR has designed the KOR Sport Water Bottle to help aid in rapid hydration during exercise. Its ergonomic design opens easily with the push of a button, using only one hand so it doesn’t slow you down.

The spout was designed to flow easily into the mouth with no biting or tilting, and it stays sanitary and safe from germs with the integrated germ guard, and it is also designed not to leak or shatter.

Although this bottle can work in conjunction with filters, also designed by KOR, it may also be used without a filter and does not in fact come with the filter, which is a top complaint by those who purchased it for use as a filtration system. For an everyday water bottle with filtration ability, this is a great option. It was made to fit in easily with an active lifestyle and is built to last.

Grayl Quest with Travel Purifier

Grayl Quest with Travel Purifier

Weight: 0.99 pounds

Dimensions: 2.95 x 2.95 x 9.84 inches

Capacity: 16 fluid ounces

Specific features: Removes 99.99 percent of viruses, bacteria, and protozoan cysts, as well as chemicals and heavy metals. Made of stainless steel, BPA free plastic, and food grade silicone, 10-year manufacturer’s warranty. Includes: outer cup, inner cup, flip lid, and replaceable purifier. Replaceable purifier lasts 300 uses (40 gal / 150 liters).

Best use: International travel, worldwide outdoor use

Description: With a filtration system powerful enough to handle water from any body of water around the world, the Grayl Quest with Travel Purifier is also versatile enough for less rigorous uses as well.  Unlike other mechanical filters that filter water by pressing it through a fine screen, this style of filter works without any pumping, sucking, or other effort.

One uses it by simply filling the outer cup with water as indicated, and then carefully pressing the stainless steel inner cup down with even pressure until the orange purifier is on the bottom of the cup, and then the water is clean and suitable for drinking.

Although it is designed to only require gentle pressure, some users have found that it quickly becomes difficult to press after heavy use, and that filters do not last as long as indicated by the manufacturer.  The filters are replaceable, and the manufacturer suggests replacing once they become too difficult to press.  However, owners of this product rave about the water that comes out clean with no odor, color, or taste.

Clearly Filtered Hydro Flask Insulated SS Filtered Water Bottle

Clearly Filtered Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Steel Filtered Water Bottle

Capacity: 21 ounces

Specific features: Double walled, vacuum insulated, stainless steel, filter is rated for up to 99.99% of contaminants, filter made of activated coconut carbon and lasts up to 100 gallons, water is filtered through the straw as the user drinks, keeps water hot up to six hours and cold for up to 24 hours.

Best use: International travel, worldwide outdoor use

Description: People who use the Clearly Filtered Hydro Flask Insulated Stainless Steel Filtered Water Bottle love the sleek aesthetics and durable design, not to mention all that this amazing little bottle can do.

It was a collaboration by Clearly Filtered and Hydro Flask and not only can it remove harmful biological and other contaminants from the lakes, rivers, and streams of the world, but it is also insulated to keep the clean water hot or cold.  The filter is also all-natural and made from coconut fibers.

The bottle is designed to be leak proof and is insulated so it does not sweat.  However, the lid is not insulated and it does have a tendency to get built up with condensation which can leak.  This is a common complaint of users who otherwise love this bottle.  All in all, this bottle is a solid and reliable option for providing clean, cold, drinking water no matter where you find yourself.

BRITA Fill&Go Filtered Water Bottle Blue

BRITA Fill&Go Filtered Water Bottle Blue

Weight: .39 pounds

Capacity: 23.7 ounces

Specific features: BPA free, reusable, carbon filtration, integrated filter, reduces the taste and odor of chlorine, built-in loop for easy carrying, replaceable filters (includes four).

Best use: Everyday filtering of tap water.

Description: This BRITA Fill&Go Filtered Water Bottle Blue from BRITA filters the water as you drink it, and turns water straight out of the tap into better tasting fresh water. It has a carbon filter that needs to be replaced ever two months for optimal performance, and a built in easy-carry loop that makes it even simpler to always have it with you.

People who love this bottle appreciate the fact that it is also dishwasher safe for easy cleaning (filter must be removed before doing so). Owners of this bottle also appreciate that the water it filters tastes great with no odor or aftertaste.  Like other products from BRITA, this bottle is a great one that is well designed and durable to fit in with your lifestyle.

Bobble Water Bottle with Carry Tether Cap

Bobble Water Bottle with Carry Tether Cap

Weight: 4.6 ounces

Dimensions: 3 x 3 x 9.5 inches

Specific features: Handle built-in to cap for easy carrying, replaceable carbon filter, and clear bottle with colored filter, filter lasts for 40 gallons/150 liters, not for microbiologically unsafe water or water of unknown quality.

Best use: Every day and on the go water-drinking.

Description: This Bobble Water Bottle with Carry Tether Cap comes with and easy to carry handle built right into its cap, making it super easy to carry it with you everywhere you go.

It can be looped through a belt loop, purse strap, or other bag so that you never find yourself without it.  Bobble lovers appreciate its smaller size and clear bottle, with choices for colored filter so that the color can be changed up as often as the filter is changed (the recommended change frequency is every two months).

This is a great choice for those on the go who need to filter tap water for better taste and reduced odor, but this is not the right choice for those with more advanced filtering needs, such as microbiologically unsafe water. Users of this bottle seem to love the mouthpiece and find it to be easy to drink fro and easy to carry.

Overall, this is an affordable choice that looks great and get the job done simply and with style.

ZeroWater ZT-026i Portable Water Filtration Tumbler

ZeroWater ZT-026i Portable Water Filtration Tumbler

Weight: 11.2 ounces

Dimensions: 3.4 x 3.4 x 8.9 inches

Capacity: 26 ounces

Specific features: BPA free, dishwasher safe, 26 ounce capacity, color changing filter technology, portable 5 stage Ion Exchange Filter, made of hard plastic, includes tumbler, water filter, and instruction manual.

Best use: Travel, everyday use such as around the house, office, or gym

Description: This ZeroWater ZT-026i Portable Water Filtration Tumbler allows you to have fresh tasting water on the go.  It has a sleek design that is easy to carry around the house, or at the office or the gym.  It filters water by way of a five stage ion exchange, and similar type bottles have only two stages of filtration.  It removes 99.6% of total dissolved solids from tap water to provide fresh tasting drinking water with no odor.

The filter is replaceable, and ZeroWater has taken the guess work out of when to replace it by designing the filter to change colors when it is time to replace it. Many people love this bottle for the solid water filtering it does and for its stylish and durable good looks.

Some of the most frequent criticisms of this bottle include that it doesn’t hold enough water, and that it can be top heavy, but in terms of performance and reliability, criticism is hard to find for this great water bottle.

Conclusion

As you can see from the information above, choosing a filtered water bottle is not a decision to be taken lightly. Although it may seem like a simple product, there are as many different features and options available as there are prices.

Above we have highlighted our top seven choices, and others may recommend their favorites to you as well, but keep in mind that the best one for you will be exclusively dependent upon your lifestyle and how you plan to use it.

filtered water bottles in nature

Have you ever used a filtered water bottle? Which of the features mattered most to you?

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Bradley Page
Bradley Page

With several decades of experience as a backpacker and outdoor adventurer, Bradley is an open encyclopedia when it comes to gear, clothes, and other items that matter on the trail. He tested hundreds of shoes, pants, jackets, and backpacks in his long career and is always up to date with the new appearances in the niche. His experience makes him one of the authority figures in backpacking and he can help anyone to get prepared for a great adventure!

  • Mark Lee

    Wow! all are great recommendations encompassing various kinds of lifestyle. I would like to add the Sawyer Mini, though not a top choice, but may still be a good mention. The Sawyer Mini Water Filter, on filtering, equals or does better than others with a .1 micron size. However, Sawyer was previously warned for its questionable claims for the product. Nonetheless, it is still a top choice for some filter water bottle users.

    • Bradley Page

      I think it’s better to stick to tried and trusted brands. Although Sawyer may be a good product, false advertising is troublesome. Remember that this is our health we are talking about so it’s good to be on the safe side. Stick to brands that are also truthful in their claims to avoid being sorry in the future.

  • Wendy Fortin

    I plan to travel internationally soon and the Grayl Quest with Travel Purifier may be a good recommendation. It is like a water bottle you can take with you literally anywhere in the world. But I’m wondering if there might be a product which equals the quality of this product but can produce more than 16 ounces of water. It may not be the best option for people who need to consume water very frequently.

    • Bradley Page

      The LifeStraw Go Water Bottle is a good choice. I think it has all the qualities you are looking for in a travel purifier. In addition, this brand has been around for quite some time and has won many awards. The Brita Fill & Go Filtered Water Bottle is another great choice. There are other products that you can look into. The important thing is that you should a product that meets your needs and budget. I’m proud to say that the list above are all top-notch brands.

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