If you are in a hurry and just want to find out the best filtered water bottle, I recommend the Sawyer bottle as the best choice.
In today’s world, we are dealing with pollutants of many kinds in our water supplies. We probably don’t even know about some of the harmful things in our groundwater. Finding the best filtered water bottle you can to eliminate these pollutants can help fight minor illnesses and significant health problems before they start.
Why You Need a Filtered Water Bottle: The Advantages of Ownership
We all know that there are some pollutants in water that we don’t want to make it in our bodies, but do you understand all of the potential threats to your health from unclean water? It seems like we are finding additional pollutants in our water supply every day.
In the past year or so, PFAS (polyfluoroalkyl substances) have become a hot button topic. Environmental agencies had primarily ignored these toxic chemicals until low infant birth weights, cancers, and other issues started cropping up in areas where major PFAS dumping occurred decades ago. Now we know that we need optimal water filtration to avoid their effects.
Microplastics are another pollutant that has only recently made headlines. They are everywhere thanks to popular face washes and skincare items, and now they are infiltrating our water at shocking rates. The best filtered water bottle and even some of the cheaper kinds will eliminate those plastics before you have your first drink.
Filtered Water During Travel
I’m sure you’ve had someone tell you that you can’t drink the water in Mexico. On a recent trip to the Dominican Republic, I was given the same advice by several friends before going and then by the locals when I arrived. Luckily, I carry my favorite filtered water bottle everywhere I go. It allowed me to drink that water with no issues, and you can have that luxury as well.
The primary reason that not drinking water in developing countries (and beyond) is the CDC’s recommendation is the potential of the water containing bacteria, protozoa, viruses, or chemical pollutants. Most good filtered water bottles will take all of those things out of the water before it gets to you.
Hiking and Camping
Carrying a filtered water bottle also helps on camping or hiking trips. Some bottles contain filters that are so good you can fill them from a lake or river and drink without fear. Even if your bottle isn’t quite that fancy, you can have peace of mind knowing you won’t have to worry about pollutants in the camp’s often rustic water system or an unfamiliar town’s supply.
What to Look For When You Buy a Filtered Water Bottle
There are plenty of attributes that differentiate filtered water bottles from one another. Not the least of which is what all they filter out. Let’s talk about some of the features you’ll want to make sure exist in your bottle before you take the plunge and spend your hard-earned cash on a dud.
Understand How Your Filter Works
Most filtered water bottles work with a combination of activated carbon filtration, physical filters, distillation, and ion exchange. Some bottles use additional filtration tactics, but these are the most common. Understanding how your bottle works precisely can help you narrow down whether or not it will work for your primary usage.
How Long Does Your Filter Last?
You’ll want to double-check that your filter won’t need to be replaced every month or after a certain number of fills. The standard replacement time is three months, but some bottles offer a longer use time. You should also check the cost of replacing your filter. Some filters are nearly as much as the whole bottle was originally.
How Large is Your Bottle?
It is vital to look at your water bottle’s capacity with the filter installed. Sure, the bottle might look huge, but a 32oz bottle quickly turns into a 22oz bottle once you add the filter. Understanding that not every manufacturer puts the capacity with the filter installed on their bottle will help you to avoid having to refill every 15 minutes on a three-hour hike.
The last thing you’ll want to consider before choosing the best bottle for you is its durability. You’re likely looking for a bottle to take traveling, hiking, camping, or to use every day, and all of those scenarios require durability.
Make sure your bottle is BPA-free plastic, stainless steel, or another durable and non-toxic material. Glass is great, but it is very breakable, and that’s not the best option for durability. I recommend stainless steel when possible. Not only does it help control water temperature better than plastic, but it’s also much less likely to break when dropped.
Top Five Filtered Water Bottles
Now that you know a little bit more about filtered water bottles let’s go over our top five picks for the best filtered water bottles you can buy.
Technology: Hollow Fiber Membrane and Activated Carbon
The LifeStraw Go features an award-winning filter that removes bacteria, protozoa, and other contaminants so effectively that you can use it in a river or stream while out on a hike or a rustic campsite. It is proven effective on water in other countries as well, which makes it an excellent choice for travelers.
This bottle utilizes a hollow fiber membrane to remove 99.999% of bacteria and protozoa in water. The filter also contains activated carbon in a separate capsule that needs to be replaced after 100 liters of water, while the larger filter can handle 1000 liters before you need to replace it.
- Lightweight at only 6.4oz
- Filters 1000 liters of water
- Fits 23oz when full
- Two-stage integrated filter straw
- BPA Free
- Comes with carrying clip
- Many colors available
- On the pricey side
- Slower flow rate, especially when unused for several days
- Filter requires cleaning after each trip or use in more extreme conditions
- Can leak it tilted sideways
- Best for use with water from natural sources doesn’t remove all chemical contaminants from tap water
Technology: Ionic Absorption Micro Filtration
The Seychelle water filtration water bottle filters down to .2 microns and can take care of everything from bacteria to radiological contaminants. The manufacturer doesn’t recommend it for saltwater use, but you can use it in freshwater sources and in developing countries to ensure clean and safe water.
Seychelle utilizes ionic absorption micro filtration (IAMF) technologies in their filters. This technology removes aesthetic, biological, chemical, and radiological contaminants as well as inorganic compounds. The Seychelle system is designed specifically for highly contaminated water sources, which is good news if you plan to take it to an underdeveloped country.
- Five zone water contamination removal
- Flexible for durability
- Holds 28oz
- Super lightweight at only 4.8oz
- Comes with carrying strap
- Made in the USA
- One of the most expensive bottles on our list
- You have to squeeze bottle to drink
- Bottle can leak when tilted
- Need to refill at halfway point (about 14oz)
- Difficult to get water out even when you squeeze and suck hard
- Can have a plastic taste that remains after several washes
Technology: Absolute microns hollow fiber membrane filtering
The Sawyer Products water bottle has a large capacity for a filtered bottle at 34oz. The filtration system eliminates 99.99999% of bacteria along with other harmful contaminants down to .1 Microns. The bottle comes with two replacement straws as well, so you don’t have to feel unsanitary drinking from the same one day in and day out during your travels.
This bottle weighs only .16oz when empty, which is insane compared to the other bottles on the market. That means it’s the most ideal for travel since it won’t even add weight to your carry on or weigh down your hiking pack. The bottle is also insulated to keep water temperatures stagnant for you over time.
- BPA free
- Inline filter with excellent filtration
- High flow rate
- Large capacity
- Filters up to 100,000 gallons of water
- Absolute microns, hollow fiber membrane filtering
- Plastic taste and smell out of box can last for a few washes
- Bottle can leak when tilted forward
- The bottle design is not as effective or sturdy as the filter
Technology: KDF, Far-Infrared Balls, and Maifan Stone
If you’re looking for a bottle that does more than just the standard filtration, you should check out the Invigorated Water pH Revive bottle. This thing not only gets rid of toxins with the best of them, but it also alkalizes the water which studies show can improve immunity and detoxify your bodily systems.
The filter within this bottle utilizes a blend of KDF, Far-Infrared Balls, and Maifan Stone. We are reviewing the BPA-free plastic version of this bottle, but it also comes in large and small glass bottles and a stainless steel bottle as well. The plastic bottle has the largest capacity, however, so we like it over some of the other options.
- Improves immunity, hydration, and energy levels
- Ergonomic design
- Carry case option available; strap always included
- Increases water pH
- Easy to clean
- Inexpensive compared to others on our list
- Can leak
- Easily breakable
- Restocking or shipping fee required to return bottle
- Need to shake to bring up the pH
- Bottles often come with defects, but filter works as advertised
- Filter only lasts about one month or 16 gallons
Technology: Gravity-fed filtration
The Tritan by Thermos is a highly tested and extremely cool water bottle. It uses a gravity-fed filtration method that ensures the bad stuff stays behind where it belongs. The bottle and lid are both dishwasher safe, which is excellent if you like to keep your bottle clean but don’t have the time to wash it out constantly.
One thing we don’t like about this bottle is how often you have to change the filter. Its capacity is only 20 gallons, which is comparatively low based on other bottles we’ve seen and reviewed. We do like that it has a higher flow rate than most bottles and doesn’t require any frustrating squeezing or excessive sucking to keep you hydrated.
- Hygienic cap
- Gravity-fed filtration
- NSF/ANSI 53 Certified
- Dishwasher safe bottle
- Neat aesthetic
- No plastic after taste
- On the heavier side at 12.8oz
- Filter change required often
- Does not state bottle is BPA-free
- Label is difficult to remove initially
All of the bottles on our list have their merits, but our favorite overall is the Sawyer bottle. Sure some users have had issues with the bottle leaking, but the excellent filtration and the customer service you get from the people at Sawyer more than make up for it. We love that this bottle is BPA-free, user-friendly, and can filter out contaminants of all kinds.
Our two favorite things about the Sawyer bottle are the high flow rate and the number of gallons it can filter without needing a change. This bottle is a bit of an investment, but compared to the other bottles we’ve discussed that need to have a new filter every month or two, Sawyer is out of this world cheaper. We can’t recommend this bottle enough.