Filtered water bottles put the power of modern water filtration systems right in your hand. Immensely portable, these water bottles include small filter elements which are incorporated directly into the bottle itself. Powerful filter elements can purify water from the nastiest sources, removing particulates, bacteria and other harmful microorganisms, while at the same time improving the taste, odor, and clarity of your drinking water. Not only do the best filtered water bottles make your water more delicious and enjoyable to drink, they can actually be a lifesaving tool should you find yourself in an emergency situation.
In this guide, we’ll help you sort out which is the best filtered water bottle for your needs by dividing them into two categories. The first section will look at heavy-duty filtered water bottles which include filters capable of making almost any source drinkable. The second section will look at simpler filters which just provide a final step of filtration meant to improve the taste and quality of already potable tap water.
Finding the Filtered Water Bottle For Your Needs
- 1. I want a water bottle with a filter that will let me drink from untreated sources like lakes, puddles, streams, or purify contaminated water. Solution: You need a water bottle with a heavy-duty filter such as a GRAYL Bottle. These filters are equipped to remove disease-causing microorganisms and make even the foulest water drinkable. [Jump To Bottle Comparison]
- 2. I want a water bottle with a filter that can make my tap water (or water from another treated source) more enjoyable or healthier to drink. Solution: You need a simple filter bottle like a KOR Nava or refresh2go which will remove undesirable tastes like chlorine as well as particulates. [Jump To Bottle Comparison]
The main difference boils down to one question: has your water already been treated or not? If your water has already been treated, it is water which is already safe to drink before you use the filter in your water bottle. This is like city tap water, or water run through your home’s purification system. While already safe to drink, your water bottle’s filter can help improve the taste by removing contaminants and getting rid of the taste and odor of chemicals used to disinfect the water such as chlorine.
For those who want to filter from untreated sources you will need a more advanced filter element. These types of filters have microscopic pores which the water is passed through, trapping microorganisms which can do serious harm if ingested. As amazing as modern portable water filters are, these filters still aren’t fine enough to remove chemical contamination. In an emergency where you expect your water source to be contaminated with toxic chemicals, do not rely on these types of filters.
Importantly, a bottle designed to filter from any source can be used to improve the taste of tap water, but never use anything but water which is already drinkable in your tap-water only filter. Not only will you ruin the filter, you could put your health at serious risk.
Best Water Filter Bottles That Let You Drink From Any Source
Best Water Filter Bottle 2018: GRAYL Ultralight Water Purifier and Filter Bottle
Simply efficient is probably the best way to sum up the very unique design of the GRAYL Water Purifier Bottle. Yet while remarkably simple to use, hidden in the GRAYL is one of the most advanced portable filters available on the market. Capable of removing viruses, bacteria, protozoa, heavy metals like lead and arsenic, particulates, and even certain chemicals such as chlorine and iodine.
The design of the GRAYL is quite clever. Unlike many other filter bottles which rely on gravity or suction to pass water through the filter, the GRAYL relies on moving water through the filter with a bit of help from your muscles. You do this by filling up the exterior part of the GRAYL bottle, then pressing the bottle with the filter element down into the water by pushing the bottle against the ground. As you push down, the pressure forces water through the filter element, trapping all of the nastiness you don’t want to drink.
Need a little visual aid? Watch this short video from the manufacturer to see how the GRAYL filter bottle works in action.
Super Advanced Filtration
As much as we like the design of the GRAYL and the innovative way they’ve designed to pass water through the filter, there is more to the story. GRAYL is capable of filtering microorganisms such as viruses which are substantially smaller than most portable filters are capable of removing. This opens up the ability to use the GRAYL filter bottle virtually anywhere you can find some water and it’s all thanks to some seriously high-tech engineering.
GRAYL bottle’s filter elements are equipped with a trifecta of water-purifying technologies. The first uses their patented electroadsorptive media which creates a trap for bacteria and viruses, doing the heavy lifting of taking out the potentially disease-causing microbes as the water is squeezed through. Along the way the water is also passed through a powdered activated carbon filter which removes certain chemicals, heavy metals, and other contaminants. Topping it off, the element is treated with silver, an all-natural antimicrobial, helping to keep the bottle clean by inhibiting microbial growth.
This is, hands-down, the best filter we’ve come across in a filter bottle. But unfortunately, it pays for its power with a short lifespan. The GRAYL’s purifier element needs to be replaced every 300 uses, or about 40 gallons worth of water. A replacement cartridge costs about $25, so you are certainly paying a premium for the high quality of filtration.
GRAYL Water Filter Bottle Review Summary
There is a lot to like from the GRAYL, and we certainly became enamored with it in our testing. It’s very easy and even fun to use. The design of pushing down the filter into the water is, in our opinion, much superior to most water filter bottles which require suction. With the GRAYL you can purify water not only for drinking for yourself (as you’re limited to with something like a LifeStraw,) but also for sharing with others, cooking, or other uses.
The only real drawback to the GRAYL is its relatively short filter lifetime and the somewhat expensive cost of replacing the filter element. GRAYL also offers a tap-water only filter, which is only about half the price of the full-fledged filter and can help save some money if you want to use your GRAYL more frequently. However, the filter lifetime is not a deal breaker. In a true emergency, 40 gallons of clean water is a fortune!
We give the GRAYL Water Purifier Bottle high marks. We’ve named it the Best Filtered Water Bottle of 2018!
Learn lots more in our complete review of the GRAYL filter bottle!
The Frontier Filtered Water Bottle offers a high-quality filter at an affordable price. The bottle itself is a soft, semi-squeezable BPA-free plastic equipped with a bite valve to prevent leakage. The filter is capable of removing >99.9% of bacteria and protozoan cysts, preventing potentially life-threatening diseases from entering the body. At the same time it also removes particulates like silt and sediment, as well as improving the taste and odor of the water.
Though it can’t tackle viruses like the GRAYL, the Frontier filter bottle is still capable of making the vast majority of water safe to drink. Rivers, lakes, even standing ponds and stagnant puddles can be filtered into something not only safe to drink but even tasty by the Frontier’s filter. If you expect to be using the bottle in an area particularly prone to waterborne viruses, Aquamira also offers the Redline Virus Filter, which can be used in place of the included Green Line Filter. The Green Line Filter has a filter lifetime of around 50 gallons.
The design of the Frontier’s filter requires water to be drawn through the filter with suction or by squeezing the bottle. However, since the Frontier has a bite valve, you can only squeeze water out of the bottle when you’re biting down. It is possible to squeeze the bite valve with the fingers while squeezing the bottle with the other hand to force some water out which could be used for sharing, but this is a bit tricky. In an emergency it is definitely possible, but overall we’d say the bite valve makes the Frontier a personal use bottle – or at least one you only want to share with someone whose germs you don’t mind!
Aquamira Frontier Filtered Water Bottle Review Summary
The Aquamira Frontier provides an exceptional filter bottle for its price-tag, which is usually less than $25. The filters are high quality and do a great job of removing harmful contamination as well as making the water actually tasty to drink. Very lightweight and easily portable, it’s an awesome budget option to add to your camping gear or incorporate as part of an emergency kit for your home or vehicle. Filter lifetime is not bad at around 50 gallons for the included Green Line Filter. Considering the replacement filters only cost a bit over $10, the Frontier is actually quite an economical selection even over the long-term.
For a simple, reliable, highly affordable option that doesn’t have any frills but gets the job done, check out the Frontier Filtered Water Bottle.
Seychelle is a renown name in water filters. We have covered them previously when we highlighted their radiological water filter pitcher in our Best Water Filter Pitchers guide. This water bottle is equipped with a similar filter, designed to tackle not only common contaminants and get rid of bacteria, but also remove potentially harmful radiation and nuclear contaminants.
While for most, hopefully, radioactive contamination is not something you worry about on a day-to-day basis, it is nonetheless a threat on an increasingly irradiated planet. For disaster preppers or those who live or plan to visit near somewhere like Fukushima or Chernobyl, irradiated water is already a serious everyday concern. But you don’t have to be doing anything extreme to appreciate the Seychelle. It has a truly outstanding filter which is ready to tackle water from virtually every source, removing not only radiological contaminants like radium, uranium, and cesium, but also removing more traditional contaminants like heavy metals, arsenic, and chlorine.
The Seychelle Extreme Filters are even capable of removing 99.9999% of bacteria and viruses! One of very few filter bottles capable of doing so in its price range, the Seychelle is ready for just about anything that comes your way. It is an ideal part of any emergency kit, but could also be easily used on a trip to an exotic land or even as part of your hiking or camping gear.
Seychelle Radiological Water Filter Bottle Review Summary
On the whole, the real strength of the Seychelle water filter bottle is almost entirely in the filter. As exceptional as the filter is, the bottle itself doesn’t leave a whole lot to celebrate. It is as simple a bottle as could be. Despite its simplicity, our testing models have held up well enough through various excursions. The simplicity of the bottle contributes to one of the Seychelle’s greatest factors: it’s bargain price.
At about $30 for the bottle, it is clear the price is almost entirely for the filter element. Replacements for the “Extreme Radiologcial Filter” run about $25. This might seem a bit pricey, but the Seychelle Extreme Filters last around 100 gallons before they need to be replaced. Compared to the other filter bottle’s we’ve looked at on this list, this is a pretty exceptional filter lifetime.
If you’re looking for a truly capable filter at a great price, the Seychelle Water Filter Bottle should be a serious contender.
Best Tap Water Only Water Filter Bottles
The KOR Nava is a simple bottle made from a BPA-free Triton polyester. This plastic is approved for health and safety by the FDA and provides an easy-to-clean, durable, and lightweight container. Inside is a simple tap-water-only filter made from 100% coconut shell.
The coconut shell filter acts as a simple activated carbon filter, trapping common tap water contaminants and reducing the taste and odor of chlorine. The KOR Nava’s filter does a great job of taking strange-tasting tap water and making it much more pleasant to drink. It won’t save your life in an emergency like some of the bottles we listed above, but it will save your mouth from nasty tap water taste and encourage you to stay properly hydrated.
KOR Nava Water Filter Bottle Review Summary
The KOR Nava has a decent filter which gets its job done. The bottle itself has an appealing look, and the straw works very well and is extremely comfortable to drink from. In terms of the bottle itself, it is a very sturdy plastic and quite durable. All of this quality is good, because for what it is, the KOR Nava has something of hefty price-tag at over $20.
We think the initial investment is a little high, but at least the filters are quite affordable. A two-pack costs $12, with each filter capable of filtering about 40 gallons of tap water.
If you want a stylish and functional bottle to sweeten the taste of your tap-water day in and day out, give the KOR Nava a good look.
One of the most recognizable names in outdoors equipment of all sorts, its not surprising to find Camelbak with a worthy filtered water bottle. The Camelbak Groove incorporates a simply tap-water-only filter straw into a classic Camelbak water bottle. High-quality BPA-free plastic, the bottle is rugged and ready to face the world. It has a tried and true Camelbak design, so if you’ve ever owned another one of their water bottles you know more or less what to expect.
The filter is a simple carbon filter which does a great job of cleaning up the taste of tap water. It more or less eliminates the taste of chlorine entirely, while also trapping a variety of common contaminants. Compared to other tap-water-only filter bottles we’ve tested, it definitely does a good job of cleaning up the taste, at a very reasonable price.
Camelbak Groove Filtered Water Bottle Review Summary
With a price range of around $25+ the Camelbak Groove is for those with a mid-range budget. Replacement filters are required around every 30 gallons – a fairly low filter lifetime – but they are quite affordable at about $9 for a two-pack.
If you want a familiar water bottle with a simple filter that will improve the taste of your tap, the Camelbak Groove is a filter bottle worthy of a closer look.
More Of The Best Filtered Water Bottles
We’ve been blogging about filtered water bottles for years now and come across all sorts of great options! While the bottles we’ve selected here are, in our humble opinions, the very best filtered bottles of 2018, that doesn’t mean our past selections are any less worthy of investigation. Check out 2017’s Best Water Bottles Guide with its section on Filtered Water Bottles to find three great picks we highlighted in 2017.
UPDATE: Also have a look through the best water bottles of 2019 for a few more great options.
And don’t forget to check out our original Filtered Water Bottle Buyer’s Guide for some more information on filtered water bottles and some classic selections of bottles.
Good luck and may your water always be delicious!
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Our comprehensive reviews and comparisons of the best filtered water bottles for 2018.
Jacob Hatch is the author and founder of Hydration Anywhere. He has been actively writing about drinking water since 2013. These days Jacob spends most of his time investigating water related news, studying environmental issues, reading health studies, and reviewing products like water bottles and water filters.