The Top 5 Water Filtration Systems on the Market

Top 5 Water Filtration System

With five main water filtration devices, the technology is unique for each, but all have passed the MSR water lab test in their Seattle, Washington headquarters. All five are designed to filter out the three pathogens that most often occur and that are the most threatening to humans; protozoa, viruses, and bacteria. The biggest, but easiest to filter out of water, are the protozoa. However, they are the toughest to kill using chemicals. Bacteria are smaller in size than protozoa, with most devices being able to filter them out, while the smallest of the bunch, viruses, can sneak through filters. The good thing is that if you doing any international travel, viruses are less of a concern. For those that are traveling abroad, we will review the Ultrapurifier which is great for filtering out viruses.

There is a science to water filtration, and we break it down to layman terms to help you make the best decision. However, keep in mind that most of the decision lies in the type of water that you will be drinking, and what type of contamination/pollution might be affecting it.

It’s kind of confusing because I’m a bigger girl, Dalbesio says. I’m not the biggest girl on the market but I’m definitely bigger than all the girls [Calvin Klein] has ever worked with, so that is really intimidating. She wasn’t sure, she said of the shoot, what was expected from her in terms of her size or shape.

Now onto our list of our top five filtration systems.

Potable Aqua Iodine, AquaMira Chlorine Dioxide, and MSR Aquatabs Chlorine

How They Work:
These chemicals are tested and also controlled strictly by the EPA. They kill viruses, as well as bacteria, and sometimes they can kill protozoa.

East of use

Used Up Quickly

Chemicals can get used up quickly due to attacking everything in the water, including pine needles, leaves, or debris. This may not leave enough chemical to kill the actual bugs, so you have to make sure to use enough.

  • Cause Illness

Chemicals can also make you ill when you use too much and if used over a longer period of time.

  • Resistant Pathogens

Cryptosporidium, a form of protozoa, is highly resistant to some chemicals, and for other chemicals, such as Potable Aqua Chlorine Dioxie, it can take more than four hours to work versus the 30 minutes that it takes to kill bacteria or viruses.

Bottom Line:

  • Chemical pills are great as a back up or when used with other devices.
  • They are good for domestic travel.
  • And they are good for filtering out viruses.


CamelBak All Clear, Ultra, and SteriPen Classic 3
How They Work:
All these devices kill bugs with ultraviolet rays.

Ultraviolet Light kills all three pathogens; protozoa, bacteria, and viruses
This method is very powerful when used correctly

Silty water may prevent ulraviolet rays form hitting pathogens head on, which is necessary to be effective.
Human error comes into play because you need to ensure the rays are hitting the whole sample by agitating the water, which can be difficult in some devices.

Bottom Line:

  • Prefilter the water or use clear water
  • Follow directions



Grayl, First Need XLE, Frontier Flow Red Line

How They Work:
Acting as tiny magnets, they attract and then capture pathogens, leaving your water clean.

They can remove the tiniest bugs from your water
In addition to filtering out pathogens, they remove chemicals, such as fertilizers and pesticides, that other devices miss because they are so tiny.

The magnets get full after a certain amount of time and there’s no way to know when it has reached that point.
Particulates are attracted to the magnets instead of bugs in Silty water.
The magnet won’t catch all the bugs if you move it too quickly through the water.

Bottom Line:

  • Gets rid of bad odors and tastes by removing chemicals.
  • It should be used with another devices, because you never know when the magnet has stopped working because it is full.



Types: Katadyn Hiker, MSR MiniWorks, Platypus GravityWorks, and Sawyer Squeeze

How They Work:
Microfilters strain out bacteria and protozoa like a colander strains pasta.

The whole are tiny enough to catch protozoa and bacteria.
You can tell when the filter is clogged and when you need to get a new one.

Virsues can get through the holes, so you need to use chemicals or some other device as back up if you know you are somewhere where viruses are in the water.

Bottom Line:

  • Great for domestic travel in the US.
  • Great for backpacking locally.



MSR Guardian

How It Works:
Just like the Microfilter, it acts as a colander to strain the pathogens from the water, but the holes are tinier, and can filter out viruses.

It filters out all three pathogens; bacteria, viruses, and protozoa.
Great for international travel
When filter needs replacing you receive an alert.

It doesn’t filter out fertilizers or chemicals because they are too small and get through the holes.
It costs $350 and can be too expensive for some.

Bottom Line:

  • It costs three times as much as other filters.
  • It costs thirty times more than chemical treatments.
  • It’s the safest and the most foolproof.
  • It’s highly effective.



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