Filter water bottles enable you to drink the safest, cleanest water possible in any environment. A portable water filtration system lets you drink water from taps, rivers or streams while removing bacteria, chemicals and unsafe elements from it. Whether you’re looking for a water bottle with filter for travel, a hiking water bottle or simply a reusable water bottle to take to the gym, this guide to the best filter water bottles will outline the best available.
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Quick Comparison of the Top Filter Water Bottles
|Bottle Brand||Weight||Capacity||Filter Life||Image||Rating||More Info & Prices|
|Grayl Ultralight||309 grams|
40 US gallons
|Good but expensive||Get Grayl Ultralight Prices & More Reviews|
|DrinkSafe Systems Travel Tap||165 grams|
422 US gallons
|BEST UK, & EU BUY!||Get More Travel Tap Reviews & Prices|
|Lifestraw Go||168 grams|
1000 US gallons
|BEST CANADA, USA & AUSTRALIA BUY||Get Lifestraw Go Prices & More Reviews|
What is a Water Filter Bottle?
A water bottle filter is a durable reusable container that contains a filter to remove bacteria, microorganisms, chemicals and bad tastes from your water. All of the top water bottles with filters on the market have replaceable filters. Whether you’re hiking, camping or backpacking, a travel water botttle with filter will let you drink water from any “fresh” source.
There are two types of water filter bottles..
- Those which will allow you to drink any source of “fresh” water. You cannot drink saltwater through a filter without a special desalination device. These filter water bottles generally do NOT support salt water.
- The second type of filter water bottle is that which has a simple filter designed for further filtering drinkable tap water.
This guide covers the best water filter bottles for travel that can be used for any source of “fresh” water.
How to choose the right water filter bottle
Selecting the right filter water bottle for you depends on how you’ll be using it. We’ve split our filtered water bottle reviews of filter water bottles and our water bottle filter comparison by those that simply provide an additional filter, primarily for taste on drinkable tap water and those water filter bottles that you can put any source of fresh (as opposed to salt) water through. Here are our recommendations for the best filtered water bottles for all types of water – not just tap water filters.
Our Key Requirements for The Best Filter Bottle
- It must be leak proof, even when stored on its side. Or upside down.
- It must be free from BPA
- It should have a replaceable filter
- The filter should failsafe – i.e. when the filter is no longer working it should not allow you to drink through it.
- It must be easy to clean.
- It should have the ability to be attached to a backpack
We use our water filter bottles primarily to avoid buying bottled water in countries where tap water is not potable. We use them in countries where tap water is potable without the filter attached. It is our aim to not buy bottled water at all.
Top Filter Water Bottle Reviews
Lifestraw Go Water Filter Bottle Review
In this Lifestraw Go water bottle review we aim to cover the main features of the Lifestraw water filter bottle. The Lifestraw Go water filter bottle filters out parasites and bacteria, making it suitable for drinking water from all sources.
The Lifestraw bottles filter is straw based. So if you want to drink from any water source, simply use the straw. The filter is attached to the top of the bottle so you can unscrew it easily, filter changing is similarly simple. The mouthpiece on the straw is made from food grade silicon and is easily removed for cleaning. It’s necessary to suck on the straw to pull water through.
When it comes to Lifestraw vs Grayl the primary decisions to be made are about whether you want to suck the water with the Lifestraw filter bottle or push the water through the filter with the Grayl Ultralight water purifier bottle.
One of the most popular questions we get asked is does the Lifestraw filter saltwater? The lifestraw will filter saltwater (as will all the filter water bottles in this comparison), but the filter will clog VERY quickly and will cease to function. For that reason, the answer to the question does the lifestraw work on salt water is no.
Lifestraw filters use a 2-stage system. A hollow fibre membrane combines with a carbon capsule to remove bad tastes and 99.9999% of bacteria. Each filter can process up to 4000 litres ( 1000 US gallons) of water. It filters down to 0.2 microns. The Lifestraw bottle is made from BPA-free Tritan. The bottle is claimed to be leak proof – but older models do leak when not upright.
A fabric loop with a metal ring and a carabiner clip allow you to attach the Lifestraw water bottle filter to any backpack. The straw clips and locks back down into place when not in use.
FAQs about the Lifestraw Go Filter Bottle
- What is the Lifestraw Go made from? – BPA-free Tritan.
- Does Lifestraw filter fluoride? – yes the Lifestraw removes fluoride
- Does Lifestraw work with saltwater? – yes, but the salt will clog and ruin the filter quickly. you can use the Lifestraw for saltwater, but it means your filter will fail quickly.
- Can you buy Lifestraw replacement filters – yes – check out this option here
Lifestraw Go Replacement Filter Options
There are several Lifestraw Go Filter replacement options – plan ahead and take a spare with you.
Technical Details of the LifeStraw Go Filter Water Bottle
- Weight: 168 grams (5.9 oz)
- Capacity: 650 ml (22 oz)
- Filter Life: 4000 litres (1000 US gallons)
Pros and Cons of Lifestraw Water Bottle
Here are the Lifestraw pros and cons that we’ve identified from personal experience and third party reviews. Read more Lifestraw reviews here.
Pros of the Lifestraw Go Water Filter Bottle
- Filters water from any fresh water source
- Filters bad taste and bacteria
- Easy to clean > confirm this by reading the lifestraw bottle review here
Cons of the Lifestraw Go Water Filter Bottle
- The filter must be replaced every 1,000 litres (260 gallons)
Grayl Ultralight Water Bottle Review
The Grayl Ultralight water filter bottle is a hard wearing ergonomic BPA free bottle. our Grayl water bottle review shows that the bottle filters up to 99.99% of bacteria and viruses including e-Coli and hepatitis A in 15 seconds. It can also filter silt and chemicals such as chlorine that might impact the taste of the water.
It has a press to filter design, so there’s no sucking or squeezing required to filter water. There is pushing, however, required. Fill the external part of the bottle, then press the part with the filter element down into the water. The pressure applied forces the water through the filter. Filtering in this Grayl Water Bottle is threefold. Firstly there’s a patented electro absorptive filter which traps viruses and bacteria. While the water is being pushed through the filter I through an activated carbon filter, which removes heavy metals and chemicals. Finally, there’s a silver treated element which helps keep the bottle clean by inhibiting microbial growth.
FAQs about the Grayl Ultralight Water Filter Bottle
- Does the Grayl Filter Water bottle filter fluoride? – yes the Grayl water filter removes fluoride
- Does the Grayl Filter water bottle remove salt from water – yes, but the salt will clog and ruin the filter quickly.
- Can you buy Grayl water bottle replacement filters – yes – check out this option here
When it comes to Grayl vs Lifestraw – its a matter of personal choice as to whether you prefer to press the filter in (Grayl Ultralight Water Purifier) or to suck the water out of your bottle (Lifestraw Filtered Water Bottle).
The downside to this is that the filter needs replacing every 40 gallons. That’s why we’ve marked it down in our Grayl water filter review – the cost. You can buy a Grayl tap water only filter for the water bottle which is about half the cost of the full filter. (see details of that here – Gray tap water only filter ) in part based on the length of time that the Grayl purifier cartridge (filter) lasts.
Grayl Ultralight Replacement Filter Options
There are several Grayl Ultralight filter replacement options – plan ahead and take a spare with you.
Technical Details of the Grayl Ultralight Filter Water Bottle
Here are the Grayl Travel Purifier pros and cons that we’ve identified from personal experience and third party reviews.
- Weight: 309 grams (10.9 oz)
- Capacity: 473 ml (16 oz)
- Filter Life: 150 litres (40 US gallons)
Pros and Cons of Grayl Water Bottle
Pros of the Grayl Ultralight Filter Water Bottle
- No having to suck the water through a straw
- Any freshwater source
Cons of the Grayl Ultralight Filter Water Bottle
- Expensive – and time-consuming replacing filters every 40 gallons
- Small capacity bottle
Grayl Replacement Filter Options
There are several Grayl filter replacement options – plan ahead and take a spare with you.
Click here for more reviews and prices on the Grayl Ultralight Filter Water Bottle
DrinkSafe Travel Tap Water Filter Bottle Review
DrinkSafe Systems Travel Tap has a built-in filter that can be used with all freshwater sources. [Note if this is not available in your territory we recommend the Lifestraw Go] While you can drink brackish water using this portable filtration system, it will clog your filter quickly. The system has been tested by British Marines and is approved by the Environmental protection Agency, and the FDA. Our Drinksafe Travel Tap reviews have taken place over the past 6 years as we’ve been carrying these bottles around the world.
You can read a whole lot more about why we picked this bottle in our full review here.
The downside of the Travel Tap is that its only available in the UK and Europe (buy here), but the design is the same as the
The Travel Tap bottle has a triple action system that removes the threat from pathogens, viruses, cryptosporidium, E -Coli, Cholera, Salmonella and protozoa. It also reduces chemicals and compounds like fluoride and chlorine and sediment.
FAQs about the DrinkSafe Travel Tap Filter Water Bottle
- Does the Travel Tap filter fluoride? – yes the Travel Tap removes fluoride
- Does the Travel Tap remove salt from water – yes, but the salt will clog and ruin the Travel Tap filter quickly.
- Can you buy Travel Tap replacement filters – yes – check out this option here
As well as the activated carbon filter, a biosafe antimicrobial media is also present in the Travel Tap filters. It’s safe, non-toxic and non-leaching. It works by bonding the molecules of waterborne micro-organisms to the filter. This biosafe media has an indefinite shelf life. Check out the Travel Tap Prices and Reviews.
It’s extremely easy to use. The filter is attached to the lid and straw system. You can filter dodgy tap water, river and stream water. Simply unscrew the lid, fill up the durable BPA free bottle and screw the lid back on. There’s no waiting and there’s no need to tip the bottle up to drink, simply flip the spout and either suck or squeeze the bottle or do both at the same time. The spout is removable for cleaning.
The filter simply screws in and out when it needs replacing, or if you’re in an area where the tap water is potable, then simply remove the filter and use the provided additional tube and you can drink tap water through it without a filter too.
The Travel Tap filters up to 1600 litres of water before the filter requires replacing and has a fail-safe mechanism. When the filter is full of bad stuff you can’t drink through it anymore. But 1600 litres will get you 400 days for 2 people at 2 litres a day!
The Travel Tap is robust but lightweight. It doesn’t leak when it tips over. It’s got a strap that I attach to my backpack.
Drinksafe Systems Travel Tap Replacement Filter Options
There is a single Travel Tap filter replacement – plan ahead and take a spare with you.
Technical Details of the Travel Tap Water Filter Bottle
- Weight: 165 grams (5.8 oz)
- Capacity: 800 ml (28 oz)
- Filter Life: 1600 litres (422 US gallons)
Pros and Cons of Drinksafe Travel Tap Filter Bottle
Here are the Travel Tap pros and cons that we’ve identified from personal experience and third party reviews.
Pros of the Drink safe Travel Tap Filter Water Bottle
- Filter last 1600 litres
- Can we used when squeezing to wash wounds or add water to other
- Remove filter when water is safe, and still use water
Cons of the Drinksafe Systems Travel Tap Pull Top Filter Water Bottle
- Flip spout occasionally clips out (but easy to clip back in again)
Why use a filter water bottle.
There are 4 primary reasons for using a filter water bottle, but you should ensure that you use one of the top filtered water bottles. Sure you can buy bottled water in most parts of the world that you travel to. If this is your MO be sure to check the seal before you buy it and certainly before you drink it. But before you head down that route, consider the cost and environmental issues a little further.
Using a filter water bottle to save money
We’ve written at length about the cost of bottled water. We identified that over a 14 month period we saved US$1000 by drinking tap water using a filter water bottle. You can read more about that in our article on drinking tap water. You can also find out about the cost of drinking bottle water at Numbeo.
Using a water filter bottle for taste
Even drinkable tap water has a taste to it. Sometimes it tastes like it has chlorine in it and that is usually because it has). Sometimes it tastes metallic. Filter water bottles remove these tastes (in varying degrees). All the bottles we cover in these reviews remove bad tastes. These are the best water bottle filters on the market.
Using a filter water bottle for safety
Water is required by our bodies for us and many other organisms to function. Unfortunately bacteria, viruses and parasites make it their home. Dirty, unsafe water is one of the leading causes of death worldwide.
Giardia and Cryptosporidium in untreated or contaminated water can cause nasty gastrointestinal diseases. Lead may be present in some older pipework systems and leach into the water flowing through them. Chlorine and fluoride, which are often added to treated water sources are claimed by some experts to provide an increased risk of cancers.
We also use a Steripen when we’re travelling – its a great option and addition to your travel bag.
We can’t help you find a good or great source of water, but the filter water bottles that we’ve chosen can make it as safe as possible for you to drink. We’ve gone for water filtration systems that we use ourselves, that have long-lasting filters, a great reputation and that remove bacteria, chemicals and bad tastes from the water you’ll be drinking.
Using a filter water bottle for environmental reasons
Between 8 and 12 million tons of plastic are dumped into the oceans on an annual basis. Travel just a little distance away from home and you’ll see the problems that plastic causes in waterways and in rural land. Watch the BBC’s Blue Planet if that doesn’t convince you. Even those countries with recycling facilities fail to recycle even close to 100% of plastic bottles purchased.
Aren’t Water Filter Bottles Made of Plastic Too?
Filter water bottles are made of safe, hard wearing material. You can also buy glass water bottles, however, we haven’t reviewed and wouldn’t use these as our water bottle for safety reasons. The majority of folks use a filter water bottle for travel, as do we. While most filter water bottles are made of some form of plastic, and they may not last you a lifetime you are still helping by reducing the daily landfill of plastic bottles.
Bisphenol-A – BPA and Water Filter Bottles
Bisphenol A or BPA is a resin that increases the durability of chemicals, including plastic. However, tests have shown the BPA can seep out of the plastic and be absorbed into water and then your body. When BPA breaks down it mimics oestrogen and binds to oestrogen receptors. This can impact foetal development, the repair of our cells and energy levels. Thyroid problems have been found to be connected to BPA.
Many countries around the world, including China, Canada and the European Union have restricted the use of BPA in plastics (and other materials). All of the bottles that covered in this guide are BPA free.
Don’t forget to check out our guide to the best travel towels
What can’t you use a filter water bottle for?
- You can’t filter salt water through it. Well, you can, of course, however, your filter will clog extremely quickly.
- You can’t drink liquids other than water through it. Again, of course, you can, your filter just will clog extremely quickly.
- You can’t filter your own urine. Well, again, you can. In an emergency situation, this was tested by the British Army in our number 1 water filter bottle.
Water Filter Bottle Use
We use our filter water bottles constantly. When we’re in a country that has treated, potable tap water we remove the filter and simply drink tap water. We take our bottles (empty) through airport security and fill them at a tap or restaurant airside. We use them when hiking, camping and city sightseeing. They’re a great, small investment!
Water Filter Bottle Cleaning & Maintenance
You will have to clean both your water bottle and sometimes your filter. The straw will require cleansing on a regular basis. Dirt and grime build up. Your bottle will likely roll around your bag or the floor in a car.
Clean your water filter bottle by following the manufacturer’s instructions, or in the absence of those, the same way you’d clean anything that you put in your mouth on a regular basis.
Whether your requirement for a water filter bottle is for hiking, camping, long-term travelling or simply for ecological reasons we hope we’ve provided you with the ability to make an informed decision as to which one to buy.
Did we miss your favourite water filter bottle? Or is there a technique that you use that we don’t know about to make drinking water safer?
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