Backpacking & Camping

Best Gravity Water Filter: The Most Effective Water Filtration/Purification Kits

Best Gravity Water Filter

Investing in the best gravity water filter system is very important when backpacking. These filtration systems are designed to get rid of bacteria, protozoa, and viruses that are usually found in unfiltered water sources, such as mountain streams and lakes.

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These kits depend on gravity flow. Therefore, they require a high degree of maintenance with regular cleaning of the filter. They are simple to operate. All you have to do is fill the reservoir, and then allow gravity to do the rest. The list of product reviews provides you with important and reliable buying information.

Important Features to Consider

Effective Filtering Membrane

You need to go for a gravity filter that uses technologically advanced membrane, such as PointOne hollow filter membrane. The most recent PointOne filter consists of micro tubes that allow unfiltered water to penetrate tiny micro pores, which trap sediments, protozoa, and bacteria.

Effective Filtering Membrane

Filters using this technology have a faster flow rate because of the high number of tiny tubes. Therefore, you do not have to store a lot of water, since you can easily and quickly clean a considerable number of liters in less than five minutes. The most effective flow rates are 0.1 and 0.2 micron, which delivers up to two liters of water a minute. Do check on our DIY water filter which will come in handy in any survival situation.


One of the most important considerations for any backpacker is weight. Hiking, trekking, and mountaineering involve a lot of walking, ascending, and descending. Therefore, you must ensure that the kit you choose is easy to carry around.

The most popular gravity filters have a radical difference in weight that ranges from a few ounces to around 20 ounces. A camper, a hiker or a hunter should buy a gravity filter that does not exceed 20 ounces.

The products reviewed in this post are ultra-lightweight and highly convenient for backpacking, hiking, camping, fishing, paddling, and emergency preparedness.


You need a water filtration system/kit that is sufficient to address your water requirements. Most gravity filters are designed to screen at least 6 liters of water in less than five minutes. Therefore, choose a system that will meet your daily usage.


Make sure the model comes with a number of accessories, such as carbon element replacement, filter cartridge replacement, universal bottle adapter, and replacement hose kits.

Top 6 Gravity Water Filter Reviews

Sawyer Complete Water Treatment System

Sawyer Complete Water Treatment System

Weight: 16 ounces

Product Dimension:  13.75 by 3 by 9.25 inches

Design Features: Limited lifetime warranty; dispenses two liters of water in 1½ minutes; no residual chemical taste; food grade ABS plastic housing material; gets rid of 99.9999% of bacteria (cholera & salmonella) and protozoa; 0.1 micron hollow fiber membrane inline filter; and 2 two-liter reservoirs for a total capacity of four liters.

Best Use: Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Emergency Preparedness, & Paddling

Description: Sawyer water filtration system is one of the most unique products in the market. It offers you a safe and efficient way of filtering water in the wild with the bag-to-bag gravity flow system. Basically, there is no chemicals, no waiting, no pumping, and no worries.

This product is available in two versions. The first one is SP161-2L single bag system that provides you with: instructions for use; quick-release hose adapter; drink tube; faucet adapter; sawyer PointOne hollow fiber membrane filter; and two-liter gray reservoir.

The second one is SP162-2L dual bag complete system that provides you with: instructions for use; quick-release hose adapter; drink tube; faucet adapter; sawyer PointOne hollow fiber membrane filter; two-liter blue reservoir labeled CLEAN; and two-liter gray reservoir labeled DIRTY.

The setup is not only simple but also convenient. With a packable mass at just 16 ounces, the system packs conveniently and easily. Operating is easy; all you have to do is fill the gray reservoir with unclean water.

Then fasten the filter along with hose and allow gravity to fill the blue reservoir with filtered water. The system’s fast flow hollow fiber membrane is designed to strain bacteria, cysts, protozoa, and sediments among other impurities.

The membrane ensures your water is completely clean by removing 99.99999% bacteria and 99.9999% protozoa. Basically, it surpasses EPA guiding principles for removal rates. You certainly need Sawyer water filtration system for backpacking, camping, hiking, emergency preparedness, and paddling.

Platypus Gravityworks 4.0L Filter System

Platypus Gravityworks 4.0L Filter System

Weight: 11.5 ounce

Product Dimension: 3.25 by 9.5 inches

Design Features: High-capacity system; hollow fiber / 1500 liters cartridge media/life; 1.75 liters per minute flow; field cleanable design; corner mounted valve; clip webbing strap; clean storage reservoir fitted with shutoff clamp; EPA & NSF certified.

Best Use: Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, & Emergency Preparedness

Description: You must be fully prepared when engaging any outdoor activity. One of the most resourceful gears that you must backpack is the Platypus GravityWorks 4-liter filter system. This is the easiest method of cleaning contaminated water.

Operating the gear is simple; all you have to do is fill the reservoir with water, and then allow gravity to do the rest. This filter delivers clean water in a faster rate when compared to most pump systems in the market. The system includes a GravityWorks carbon element, a GravityWorks filter cartridge, a universal bottle adapter, and replacement hose kits.

The GravityWorks carbon element continues the clean up after the hollow fiber element does its work. This helps to eliminate odors, flavors, along with any other organic compound from the cleaned water providing you with the best taste.

The filter cartridge cleans the contaminated water down to two microns in order to meet EPA guidelines as far as the removal of protozoa and bacteria are concerned. The cartridge is highly resourceful and long-lasting with a 1500-liter filter life. The cartridge is sold separately and the filter life depends entirely on the quality of the water filtered.

On the other hand, the universal bottle adapter is very effective. It allows you to use the system to filter unswervingly into an array of hard bottles as well as hydration systems. This cuts down on the excess weight of a steadfast clean reservoir.

It has an amazing design, which allows you to take the essential chunks that you need for your preferred vessel. The replacement hose kits for both two-liter and four-liter GravityWorks system comprises of dirty and clean hoses. There is also a shutoff clamp, and a replacement quick-connect fitting.

MSR Autoflow Gravity Filter

MSR Autoflow Gravity Filter

Weight: 10.5 ounces

Product Dimension: 3.94 by 5.91 inches

Design Features: Lightweight; 1.75 liters per minute flow rate; gravity filter; field maintainable; hollow fiber technology; 0.2 microns filter size; effective against protozoa, bacteria, particulate, and viruses; polyurethane-coated Cordura collapsible reservoir; and ABS plastic housing material.

Best Use: Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, & Emergency Preparedness

Description: MSR AutoFlow gravity filter is a lightweight water cleaning system with a flow rate of 1.7 liters per minute. Its operation is based on gravity; therefore, no pumping is required. The collapsible reservoir is engineered from polyurethane-coated Cordura.

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It is incorporated with a roll-top closure along with a clear viewing port stepped up to four liters. It uses hollow fiber tech, which utilizes polymer fibers to develop a heavy-duty surface area mesh that lets water flow effectively across a 0.2 microns pores. When compared to other designs, this particular one is lighter.

Operating the system is simple. All you have to do is fill the reservoir with water, and then raise it and allow gravity to do the rest. It has a filter life of 1500 liters when used to screen clear water. However, the life is significantly reduced to 1000 liters when used to screen unclear water.

It comes with a universal bottle adapter along with a clean-side cover that lets you filter up to 63 mm standard bottles, reservoirs, and containers. Filling and filtering is easy because of the quick-connect adapter fitted on the reservoir.

The clip-style shutoff valve situated on the output hose offers quick as well as easy change of output vessels. You can use this device during your backpacking trip. Its performance is phenomenal, given the fact that you can use it with a four-liter MSR Dromlite bag incorporated with a bite-tube.

It is exceptionally lightweight, allowing you to go downstream and filter four liters in less than five minutes. Based on Amazon reviews, MSR AutoFlow system is highly recognized as an effective backpacking filter. Generally, it is the best gravity filter you can find in the market.

Katadyn Gravity Camp 6L

Katadyn Gravity Camp 6L

Weight: 11 ounces

Product Dimension: 9.84 by 5.91 inches

Design Features: 1500L filter life; quick-connect adaptor links to most hydration bladders; 6L bag w/ water level indicator display; convert to shower w/ adaptor; 0.2 micron ultra-flow filter tech; strap for carrying; outlet hose detaches with an auto shutoff valve; cleanable sediment trap; and carbon core minimizes undesired odors/taste.

Best Use: Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, & Emergency Preparedness

Description: Katadyn Gravity Camp 6L r is easy to use and provides you with ultra-fast flow. It resembles a drybag fitted with a hosepipe that extends outwards. It has 0.2 ultra-flow filter tech that supplies an output of up to two liters per minute.

This is a convenient flow rate when compared to other gravity filtering systems in the market. It has an integrated sediment trap that removes backflushing by capturing dirt prior to entering the filter. There is a filter protector screen provides field cleaning. The system is easy to operate when you compare it to other models.

Remove the system from its package, set it up, and then fill the 6L bag with unfiltered water. Clip the buckle to close, and then hang the bag over your water vessel. The ultra-flow filter rate of 0.2 microns is highly reliable and effective because it gets rid of sediments, cysts, protozoa, and bacteria.

It has a water level indicator display, which shows you exactly when you need to refill the vessel. Like most gravity filters, it has a 1500L filter life. However, the 1500 liters stand for clear water, but the life considerably goes down when used with unclear water.

It comes with a Katadyn ultra flow replacement filter, which is compatible with the 6L system. Cartridge life is further extended by the removable filter protector and integrated sediment trap. There is no need for you to carry lots of water when you have the Katadyn hiker pro micro-filter and an adequate water source in the proximity.

The micro-filter is an effective field-cleanable filter protector screen that does successfully extends the cartridge’s life. With that said, this is an outstanding product, which you can use to clean water from lakes and streams.

Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter Plus

Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter Plus

Weight: 9.6 ounces

Product Dimension: 9.5 by 3.5 inches

Design Features: Limited lifetime warranty; Lightweight design; easily portable; built-in & removable push/pull cap; 3 BPA-free collapsible pouches; 0.1 micron hollow fiber membrane; eliminates 99.9999% protozoa & 99.99999% bacteria.

Best Use: Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, Travelling, & Fishing

Description: Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter Plus is another great water filtration system fitted with 3 pouch sizes from Sawyer.

It is the best backpacking water cleaning gear for hiking, traveling, fishing, hunting, and camping. As long as you are carrying this piece in your bag, you will always have reliable supply of clean water in the wild or backcountry.

The whole system collapses into a three-ounce package that fits conveniently in your backpack. The 0.1 micron water filter membrane gets rid of 99.9999% protozoa and 99.99999% bacteria as proved by Independent Testing Laboratory Hydreion.

When compared to other gravity filters, this one is the easiest to operate. Start by filling up the pouch with clear water a lake, water faucet or mountain stream. Once it’s filled with water, have the PointOne filter fastened onto a pouch.

Go ahead and squash the water bag to sieve water into your drinking bottle. You can also make good use of a threaded bottle by attaching the PointOne filter onto it, and then drink directly from the bottle. The PointOne filter eliminates protozoa and bacteria ensuring that you always have a constant supply of clean water as long as you have access to a clear water source.

The science behind the PointOne hollow fiber membrane is astounding. The membrane is made up of U-shaped micro tubes that let water through the core and tiny micropores, while capturing protozoa and bacteria on the outside. The kit works flawlessly as long as you operate it correctly. All the parts fit perfectly together.

Sawyer All-in-one Water Filter

Sawyer All-in-one Water Filter

Weight: 10 ounces

Product Dimension: 3.50 by 6.13 inches

Design Features: 1 million gallons filter life; PointOne filter; PointOne flow rate; one filter hanger; one filter cleaner; one faucet adapter; one bucket adapter kit; two pop-up drinking spouts; a 32 fl. oz. pouch; and installation/cleaning/maintenance.

Best Use: Backpacking, Camping, Hiking, & Emergency Preparedness

Description: Sawyer Point One All-In-One is the best portable water filter for the money. It is fitted with a 0.1 micron hollow fiber membrane. The filtering skin operation is based on medical technology engineered from kidney analysis.

The operation is quite simple; the water goes through the sifter. The membrane traps cysts, protozoa, bacteria, and sediments.

The kit has one million gallon guarantee filter life. The 0.1 micron filter eliminates all protozoa and bacteria from the water ensuring that you do not suffer from cholera, salmonella, cryptosporidium, and giardia.

The all-in-one filter kit comprises of the following: 2 pop-up drinking spouts; O-ring for bucket adapter; screw cap for 1L pouch; drill for bucket; faucet adapter; filter hangar; bucket adapter & hose; filter cleaner; 0.1 micron absolute screw on/off filter; 1L durable pouch; and a detailed instruction sheet. Operating it is easy.

Once you have filled the vessel with water, go ahead and squeeze the pouch, allowing the water to stream into a container. Then you can drink conveniently from the filter’s cap. The kit has a lifetime warranty; therefore, you can filter both clear and unclear water, and the filter life will still be the same.

In Conclusion

Gravity filters are new inventions that are seeing widespread adoption by backpackers, including campers and hikers among other outdoorsmen. They offer clean water at a fast rate when compared to regular pump systems. They also make it stress-free to store, transport, as well as dispense all the clean water you need.

See also: Water Purification Tablets: How Do They Work + Best Products Reviews

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These filtration systems provide emergency preparedness for camping, flooding, earthquake, and hurricane.  They ensure you have access to clean water.

Choose your Gravity Water Filter

Your money does not go to waste when you buy a gravity filter because most models come with a 1500L filter life for clear water, 1000L – 1200L filter life for unclear water, and others have one million gallons lifetime warranty. Do you think we have missed any great kits? If so, let us know in comments.

Check out our piece on basic survival skills to give you further knowledge.

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. This means that if you click on one of these links and make a purchase, I earn a small commission at no extra cost to you. Also, as an Amazon Affiliate, I earn from qualifying purchases. If the information in this post has been helpful, please consider purchasing through one of the links in this article. Thank you.

About the author

Ellie Thomas

Survival-Mastery reflects my love of the outdoors and having the skills to take care of myself in the wilderness and in worst-case scenarios. I grew up in the southeast backpacking, camping, and fishing, and I have hiked and backpacked over 15,000 miles in the US. My background and career for the past 30 years has been in operations and construction and I enjoy learning and DIY projects.


  • I have been using the Sawyer PointOne squeeze water filter whilst hiking and backpacking for around 2-years now and still cannot speak highly enough about it.

    The Sawyer squeeze is light, durable, and an absolutely essential piece of kit for hikers, backpackers, campers, and survivalists.

    Taking the Sawyer with you means you only have to carry a small amount of water with on your trip, as you are able to turn lakes, ponds, and other natural water sources into your own personal supply of water, saving considerable pounds in weight in your pack. What’s more, you have the added reassurance, that should you ever run out of water, you don’t have to make your way back to civilization just to find something safe to drink.

    An amazing, life-saving product and I highly recommend it.

  • I used a gravity water filter, the Platypus GravityWorks, for the first time on a recent remote camping trip and I was pleasantly surprised. It was simple to set up, easy to use and provided an efficient way refilling station for our camp.

    As intended, the gravity filter allowed us to filter water from a nearby well of questionable water into clean drinking water with no discoloration, chemical taste or visible dirt.

    One small piece of advice I would offer to anyone who plans to buy the Platypus is to set it up and filter a few liters of clean water before you leave home. I didn’t do this and the first 2-3 liters had a plastic taste, though this did eventually pass.

    Overall, I found this to be a fantastic piece of kit and I’m confident it will become a regular addition to my pack.

  • Consider the following when shopping for a gravity water filter: ultra-compact, meets EPA & NSF standards, pump-free filtering, and ultra-lightweight.

  • The Sawyer Mini is a high performing filter that fits remarkably in the palm, it only weighs 2 ounces, and it removes a great deal of bacteria. This is such a reliable water filter for scouting, camping, and hiking.

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