We Review the Best Survival Water Filtration Systems of 2019

While humans can survive for up to 3 weeks without food, most of us can only go 3 days without clean drinking water.  This makes water your number one priority in any survival or emergency situation.

In this article we’re showcasing the best survival water filtration systems.  Their primary function is to filter unprocessed and contaminated water into clean, drinkable water.

All of these filters are capable of providing you with clean, drinkable water.  Where they differ is in price, weight, size, and how much water they can clean over a given period of time.  Some are designed to be portable, while others are considered a long-term solution for your home should your city water source disappear.

Top 5 Rated Survival Water Filters

Name of ProductWeightGallons of water producedPrice
Acquapura Premium Camping Water Filter2.12 oz400$$
Katadyn Pocket Water Filter20 oz13000$$$
Lifestraw Family 1.0 Water Purifier1.15 lbs18000$$
Lifestraw Personal Water Filter2 oz265$$
Big Berkey BK4X2 Countertop Water Filter System8.8 lbs6000$$$

Best Survival Water Filter : EtekCity Review

Weighing in at just 2.12 ounces, this filter is small and portable. It fits conveniently into your pack (practically in your pocket) for a quick and easy carry.  This makes it suitable for camping, hiking, fishing and backpacking.  It’s also small enough to store in convenient locations (think glovebox) as an emergency kit and part of your survival gear.

It will quickly convert any non-saline water source to clean, drinkable water.  The EtekCity can filter up to 400 gallons of water at around 400 ml (14 oz) per minute.

It utilizes a triple filtration system in which the water is filtered through 3 stages to remove 99.9 % of the bacteria using silver ions as well as the ultimate anti-bacterial ‘dampening system’ that is able to accommodate up to 1500 liters of contaminated water.

The EtekCity comes equipped with an innovative dust-free design protecting the outer mouthpiece. This feature as well as the integrated cap work hand in hand to keep the mouthpiece clean at all times.

The package includes a straw, backwash device and a second filter to attach to the bottom of the straw. That being said, you are able to use this drinking straw filter with a recycled bottle to drink the clean end product conveniently. The straw on the other hand functions to filter organic matters, chloride and heavy metals from the contaminated source.

The filtration system covers all the bases.  It is simple to use, safe and efficient.  The instruction guide clearly explains its operation. The instructions describes brief yet simple details on how to clean and operate this filter with ease.

Ideal for :

  • Hiking and camping
  • Emergency preparedness
  • Single person

Best Water Filter for Camping: Katadyn Pocket

Our pick for the best camping water filter is the Pocket from Katadyn.  It offers a compact, lightweight, portable design that is ideally suited for outdoor enthusiasts, hikers, campers, and more.

Katadyn has been in the water filtration business for decades.  They bring Swiss ingenuity and quality of design into every product they make.  With a 20 year warranty the Pocket is no exception.

The Pocket is able to filter up to 13,000 gallons (50,000 liters) of water at a rate of 1 liter per minute. 

It weighs in at 20 ounces and has a height of 10 inches.   It’s small enough that it easily fits in a pack and can quickly process enough water for up to 3 people.

The silver-impregnated ceramic element in the Pocket provides effective protection against both bacteria and protozoa. It is able to filter all microorganisms larger than 0.2 microns to provide you with filtered, clean and drinkable water.  However, to remove and filter viruses, you should either boil or add chlorine to it as an extra step.

Notable features :

  • ideal for camping
  • durable construction
  • long lasting filter

Best Portable Filter for a Family:  Lifestraw Family 1.0 Water Purifier

Lifestraw’s filter comes in a sealed bag, which is portable and perfect for storing it during emergencies. The sealed bag also prevents dirt and dust from staining the filter which comes in handy because some users will buy this product only as a preparation without actually having the need to use it anytime soon.

Moreover, it comes with an easy to clean pre-filter system and purification cartridge designed for the user’s maximum convenience. Also, it comes with simple and easy to follow operation instructions so you can use them as guidance to work with this product. You can even watch some tutorial videos online for better visual instructions.

The pre-filter system on the other hand removes 99 % of viruses, bacteria and protozoa of sizes above 0.02 microns therefore providing you with safe water, free from all microorganisms. Thus, you don’t have to worry about catching any sickness from drinking the filtered end product.

It is able to purify 18000 liters (4755 gallons) of water without adding iodine, chlorine or other chemicals thus providing clean and safe drinking water to accommodate a family of 4 for 3 whole long years. The flow rate on the other hand is 9 to 12 liters per hour thus giving you a large amount of filtered water.

In addition to that, it comes with a gravity filter feature. You just have to pour the water in the top opening and the clean end product comes out at the bottom. It is as simple as that. However, it is a little cumbersome as you need to find a place to hang the filter.

Also, it might be a little tedious to pour from the top especially if it is a large amount however, it is for a good and important cause so that counts for something! All in all, this product produces clean and clear solvent as its end product therefore it has an excellent filtration system.

Suitable for :

  • Gravity filter feature
  • Remove 99% of microorganisms
  • Easy to clean

Best Emergency Water Filter: Lifestraw

This personal filter comes with a fiber membrane filter in which can be used to easily backflush the water to clean your filter. Overall, it filters up to 1000 liters of contaminated water without addition of iodine, chlorine and other chemicals. However, it does not filter chemical, salt, viruses, heavy metal or taste from the contaminated source.

The LifeStraw can be utilized for versatile applications such as hunting, hiking, camping, international travelling as well as survival. Its flow rate on the other hand is 1.7L (57 oz) per minute therefore able to supply you with clean drink for hours during SHTF.

It comes in a sealed bag which is suitable to store your product during emergencies. The bag also comes in handy as it is highly portable therefore you are able to transport the filter with ease.

In terms of operation, it is rather straightforward to use. You just have to open the caps, insert the end into the water source and sip filtered water through the mouthpiece. Also, you should blow back through it to expel dirty water as well as flush filter membranes after each drinking session.

In addition to that, this product takes roughly 3 to 5 seconds of sucking to start its flow of water. However, over multiple uses, it takes a longer time to start the flow of water. The filter capacity on the other hand is 1000 liters which is equivalent to 264 gallons of water intake.

It removes minimum of 99.999% of waterborne bacteria (> LOG 6 reduction) as well as minimum 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasite (> LOG 3 reduction) of sizes up to 0.2 microns so you are left with clean, well-filtered drinkable solvent. This feature is important so you don’t fall ill from consumption when disaster strikes.

Suitable for :

  • Uses hollow fiber membrane filter
  • Removes 99% of waterborne microorganisms
  • Filter capacity of 1000 liters

Best Survival Water Filtration System: Big Berkey BK4X2 Countertop Water Filter System Review

Big Berkey is hands down our favorite for the best survival water filtration system.

This kit comes with a stainless steel housing (upper and lower), lid and spigot.   It includes 2 Berkey filters, 2 fluoride elements, 2 hole plugs and, of course, instructions.

It can process 2.25 gallons of water at a time.  This is typically enough for anywhere from  4 to 16 people.   This makes it an ideal home water filtration system in the event of natural disasters such as earthquakes, flash floods or any event that cuts off your access to clean drinking water.

It is constructed from high grade 304 stainless steel and measures up to 8.5 inches x 21 inches when assembled, with height of 19.25 inches. Not only that, it purifies both treated and untreated water from any sources such as lake, river or stagnant stream.

Each purification element has a lifespan of 3000 gallons, for a total of 6000 gallons.  The fluoride filter attaches onto the stem of the product, acting as post filters. You should clean it once in a while to prevent rust on the filter. Follow the instructions provided to properly clean it.

The fluoride filter is effective on up to 1000 gallons (3785 liters) thereby reducing the amount of fluoride in the water up to 95%. However, the fluoride element is best used with treated water. Also, this product is able to purify 7 gallons (13.3 liters) per hour.

The Big Berkey is able to remove pathogenic bacteria, harmful chemicals, parasites, cysts as well as reduce nitrates and unhealthy minerals in the water. Also, the filter is powerful enough to remove food coloring without removing its good minerals.

Suitable for :

  • Home applications
  • Family use filtration (4-16 people)
  • Long term survival

Important Water Filtration System Features

Here are the important things to look at when choosing your water purification system.


The weight depends on the size of your filter where the larger filter are generally heavier. The size of the filter on the other hand is influenced by the usage of product. If you plan to use it for your personal use when traveling or for any outdoor activity, you can get the small and portable filter for your convenience.

However, if you plan to use the filter in your home as preparation when SHTF strikes, you should get a large one that is able to produce a large volume of filtered solvent to accommodate your family such as the Big Berkey water filter.

Gallons of Water Produced

The volume of filtered water produced depends on how big it is to accommodate the unfiltered water. The end product produced are filtered from all sorts of bacteria and protozoa using either silver ions in the filtration system or antibacterial system. For example, the Acquapura filter has triple filtration system to fully remove bacteria from the contaminated source.

However, not every product is able to remove virus, especially the cheaper ones. Therefore, you should either add chlorine or further boil it to remove the virus completely due to its tiny microscopic size.

More Survival Resources

The survival water filter is highly essential to provide you with clean and drinkable water at all times. You just have to put in the contaminated water and it will be transformed into clean water with the high-tech portable filtration system in it. Therefore, I hope my review assist you in choosing the top rated filter well-suited to you.