The Best Camping Water Filter


The best camping water filters have simple designs and require little maintenance.  For car camping, I like gravity fed water filters made by Berkey and Sawyer.  It’s hard to beat systems that filter thousands of gallons of water without replacing the filters.

The Big Berkey Is The Best Camping Water Filter

You can dip into most water sources and produce clean tasting purified water.  It works best if the water source is clean and free of debris or dirt.

We fill the Big Berkey in lakes, rivers, streams, and public water sources.   It produces up to 3.5 gallons of purified drinking water in 1 hour.

I like the 2.25 gallon stainless steel water dispenser that’s integrated into the system.  

I purchased our Big Berkley from GetBerkey.   The Big Berkey holds up to 4 separate filters and filters up to 12,000 gallons of water.  It removes parasites, giardia, heavy metals, fertilizers, and just about any nasty compound that man dumps into our fresh water supply.

Benefits Of Big Berkey Water Purifiers

  • Up 6000 gallons of water can be filtered and purified.
  • Dispenser 2.25 gallons of purified water from a stainless steel reservoir.
  • Does not require electricity
  • Leave in the healthful and beneficial minerals that your body needs.
  • Does not have to be connected to your home plumbing system.
  • Berkey water filters have a water dispenser built into the unit.
  • Berekey’s are light and portable.
  • Reduce fluoride by 95%
  • You can filter water from a stream, lake, garden hose, etc.

Alex Jones from is endorsing the ProPur water purification system.  It’s similar to Berkey water filters.  ProPur claims to be as good as Berkey.  At least they are saying great things about their competition.  Amazon carries both Berkey and Propur water purifiers.  Alex Jones used to endorse Berkey water filters.

Lightweight Sawyer Camping Water Filters For Camping

If you are looking for a compact lightweight water purifier for back packing or car camping, the Sawyer 2 or 4 liter water filtration system offers superior water filtration and is lightweith.  It’s not all shiny like the Berkey, but it will do everything that a Big or Travel Berkey will do and more.  The filtration specs are much tighter.  Sawyer derived the technology for their water treatment systems from kidney dialysis technology. 

Additionally, harmful bacteria, protozoa, or cysts like E. coli, Giradia, Vibrio cholerae and Salmonella typhi (which cause Cholera and Typhoid) cannot pass through the Sawyer PointONEâ„¢ biological filter.  

When our family goes camping, our concern is having clean water available at all times.  We carry 2 camping water filtration systems-A Sawyer 4 liter water filtration system and the Big Berkey.   I like the Sawyer because I get 4 liters of clean drinking water in under 2minutes without pumping!  We store store 1 gravity fed water filter in our car emergency kit.


Sawyer Water Filter Cons

The first Sawyer water filtration system that I purchased came with a “kangaroo” style pouch located on the side to store the filter in when not in use.  Sawyer stopped including this feature.  You need to keep all the pieces together or you may end up loosing some pieces. .

The Sawyer water filter is breakable.  I dropped my filter on a concrete floor and broke the nipple that connects to the water hose.  REI replaced the unit for free.  

Outside of these minor inconveniences, there is nothing else to complain about.

Where To Buy Sawyer Water Filters For Less Money

When you decide to buy the Sawyer 4 Liter water treatment system, I recommend buying it at REI  or Amazon because of their guarantees.   Amazon sells the the Sawyer Complete for approximately about $30 less than REI.  REI has never let me down when it comes to oudoor gear.  REI has experienced sales associates and offers free phones calls for advice and help with buying outdoor equipment.  Amazon has some of the lowest prices on the planet, awesome user reviews, and zero expert help.

Ultra Light Weight Back Packing Camping Water Filter

If you are looking for a lightweight option for solo back packing trips, or for a back up water filter, then look at the Sawyer Mini sold by REI or Amazon for about $20.  It weighs only a few ounces and filters as many gallons of water as the Berkey.

sawyer mini water filter

The Sawyer filters extremely fast. As advertised, you can easily filter 1 liter of water in 1 minute.

With a Sawyer water filtration system you can just drink without pumping, adding chemicals, waiting, changing the batteries, or worrying! 


  1. Thanks for the great information on water filters. I like the sound of the Sawyer one for camping or hiking. The drawbacks don’t seem too bad and overall it looks convenient and light.


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