Best filtered water bottles for 2021 to remove bacteria, sediment, and more to reduce waste in 2022

Best filtered water bottles for 2021 to remove bacteria, sediment, and more to reduce waste in 2022 ...

A clean drinking water bottle for clean water is an essential piece of adventuring gear, whether you're going for a short hike or completing an extensive wilderness backpacking trip. Gallons of purified bottled water can be heavy, expensive, and an environmental nightmare.

Frankly, it isn't even an option.

Even if a water source appears clean, it may be nonpotable contaminated water with viruses, harmful bacteria, protozoa, or other microorganisms invisible to the human eye. And despite the Safe Drinking Water Act, tap water can still contain contaminants such as lead, chlorine, arsenic, pesticides, and even particles from improper wastewater treatment. Why not try filtered water instead?

Six filtered water bottles were put to the test at a fresh groundwater source in Southern California.

Choosing a filtered water bottle may be the best option if you're retiring from plastic water bottles or disposable water containers and opting for bottled water.

  • You're unsure about your tap water
  • You travel to other states and countries where you don't know about water practices and it might contain harmful contaminants
  • You go hiking, backpacking or on other outdoor adventures
  • You prefer bottled water but want to reduce your plastic waste

To that end, I tested six filtered water bottles to find the best filtration water bottle you can trust to provide you with clean, safe water, indoors or outdoors.

The water hole where I tested the filtered bottles.

How I tested filtered water bottles?

Two friends and I decided to go to a freshwater source in the Santa Monica Mountains for safe drinking water after locating solitary droplets of pond water in 'Rizzo Sierra Vista/Satwiwa Wilderness', which spawned dozens of tiny pools of water. Of the four water holes, we settled on testing the bottles in one that looked the least stagnant (and had the smallest bugs and tadpoles).

I cleaned and prepped each water filtration bottle on my list the day before the hike according to their instructions. I filled each bottle from the same water hole and tasted the water from each on site. After that, I drank from them one by one and poured water out of each to see how clean it looked. If I needed more water, if I found the best reusable water bottle.

How did I rate filtered water bottles?

I considered five factors when buying a water purifier bottle: filtering and filter capacity, materials, taste, ease of use, and cleanup. These are all factors you should consider when shopping for bottled water -- you'll want one that's appropriate for the activity you intend to perform.

For example, if I were looking for a filter bottle to take backpacking, I wouldn't choose the Brita; I also wouldn"t buy the Grayl Geopress unless I had only tap water.

What filtering method was used and how well did the bottle remove harmful contaminants, bacteria, viruses, and other unpleasantries out of the presumably non-potable water? Did the water bottle filters leave any particles in the fluid after filter cleaning? Water "after filter" refers to the liquid that comes out from the drinking spout or filter straw. Are there replacement filters?

Material: Is the bottle made of stainless steel or plastic? If plastic, is it a BPA-free bottle? How long is the container?

Taste: This one's fairly obvious: How did the water taste? Were there any mineral odors or chemical tastes such as a chlorine taste visible?

Easy to use: Was the bottle easy to put together and prepare? Was it easy for water to get into the bag? How was the flow rate?

How easy is it to wash the bottle and make sure it's ready for your next adventure?

Best filtered water bottle for backpacking for packing water.

The natural water I tested the bottles in already looked relatively clear, but when I poured a little from the Geopress water purification bottle, I was surprised at how crystal-clear it looked. Although I shouldn't have been surprised, Grayl's heavy-duty filtering and water purity system is designed to filter out protozoa, chemicals, particulates (like dirt and sand), heavy metals, bacteria and viruses.

The Geopress water purifier is constructed of BPA-free polypropylene, a durable type of plastic, with resiliency that makes it extremely strong. The large base diameter of the water filter gives it sturdiness, and it's claimed to withstand 10-foot drops on concrete while it is full of water.

The Grayl filter bottle is also quite easy to clean, which is important if you're using natural water. I also liked that the opening is wide enough to fit ice cubes and my entire hand into it, allowing me to get to the bottom of the bottle with a sponge. If you store the water purifier while it's wet, the inner portion and outer portions suction together, making it difficult to separate the pieces.

Best filtered water bottle for tap water for best bottled water.

The Astrea One filtered water bottle filters out an impressive number of heavy metals and chemicals, including lead, benzene, mercury, copper, chlorine, and more. The website warns against using this filter bottle with water that is "microbiologically unsafe or of unknown quality," but I used it in natural freshwater and it worked well.

The body of the Astrea One filtered water bottle is made of stainless steel and the lid is constructed of thick BPA-free plastic. The water filter fits snugly into the bottom side of this lid and locks in, giving the bottle an overall solid feel.

The Astrea filter bottle's lid is wide enough to fit a standard dish scrubber inside, and the bottle opening is narrow enough for removing crumbs from crannies and nooks.

Astrea offers a subscription service so you don't have to replace your filter every two months if you drink 2 liters of water. That should give you plenty of gallons of fresh water before you need sanitizing.

Backpacking is a runner-up position.

The Sawyer Select filtered water bottle's "Foam Adsorption Technology" removes heavy metals, chemicals, pesticides and viruses, while the exterior micron water filter remove bacteria, protozoa, cysts, dirt, and sediment.

The Sawyer Select bottle is made of BPA-free, food-grade silicone, and the interior is foam. The various caps, as well as the external micron water filter, are made from B PA- free plastic.

One problem for backpackers looking for a convenient travel water bottle is that this filter bottle will never return to its dry weight while you're on foot, so expect to add some weight to your pack after the first use.

This Sawyer bottle requires an initial prep to remove any foam adsorption material that may have gotten knocked loose during packaging or shipping. Once you prep the bottle, the water filter process takes 10 seconds of squeezing the bottles to activate the foam absorption mechanism. To get all of the fluid out of this water filtration bottle from the bottom, you must press the container from its top like you would if you were to push tampons up.

Because the Sawyer Select filter water bottle has so many parts, it's rather difficult to clean. There' is no way to get your hand or brush inside the bottle, and the foam inside makes me worried that the inside won't be completely dry. However, the website states that it isn'T necessary to completely clean the filter bottle since the mousse is meant to prevent mold and bacteria growth.

Runner-up for tap water is Watermark.

Brita is known for its faucet and pitcher filters, but the firm also makes plastic and stainless steel filtered water bottles. According to Brite's website, these bottles aren't intended for outside use -- they're designed for bottled tap water, like the Astrea bottle -- but this bottle also sucked in natural fresh water perfectly.

Brita's filtered water bottles are available in plastic and stainless steel. It'' bp-free and fairly sturdy, but I wouldn't take this bottle filter bottle on a backpacking trip. If you filled it up with tap water first (use with natural water at your own risk), it'll be useful for day hikes.

The Brita filtered bottle is composed of three components: the bottle itself, the flip-top cap, and the filter, which neatly locks into place on the bottom side of the cap. Because the water bottle filter is made of only three parts, it's relatively easy to clean.

Not recommended.

Sediment remained in water for approximately 4 days.

The Lifestraw Go was the only bottle that produced water with particles after passing through the LifeStraw filter. That's not to say the lifestrawer go isn't safe to drink from -- the particles were probably sediment -- but it did produce a mild mineral taste compared to the other bottles on this list.

The Lifestraw Go is made of BPA-free plastic throughout, and it feels pretty sturdy. I prefer the strength of stainless steel, but it's lightweight and comes with a carabiner, making it stout for backpacking.

This self-filtering water bottle has three simple components (bottle, cap, and filter -- four if you count the carbon capsule inside the filter), and the prep is easy: Run clean water over the Carbon filter capsule and let the water sit for a few minutes to prime the hollow-fiber membrane filter.

Waterwell Ultrafiltration Travel Water Bottle Ultrafiltration Travel Bottle Water Well Ultrafilter Travel water bottle WaterWell Ultra Filtrification Travel Travelwater Bottle

I didn't feel or see any particles like I did with the Lifestraw Go, but the taste alone was enough to make me wary of bringing this bottle into the backcountry for clean water. Waterwell claims its double-stage filtration system eliminates 99.9% of waterborne pathogens, although I'm not entirely sure.

Even though I didn't want to, I took a couple more sips (and also spat those out) to make sure it tasted the way I imagined it would. The bottle and cap are made from BPA-free plastic and feel just as sturdy as if bottled plastic. A rubber tube attached to the filter is flimsy and may be the reason for the poor filtering.

The Waterwell does have some positive attributes, including its poor filter attachment and bitter taste, and it's easy to clean with the same setup as many other bottles on the list: bottle, cap, filter. The water bottle filter detaches easily and the bottle opening is large enough to fit a standard dish scrubber.

Originally published last year and updated regularly.

More green coverage at CNET

The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only, and is not intended as medical or health advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have about severities of health conditions or goals.

You may also like: