backpackers drinking water

You've done all you can to make sure that you have clean safe drinking water at home. But what about when you're away from home?


Bottled water is one option, but it's wasteful, expensive and inconvenient.

The better choice is some sort of portable water filter. You won't have to worry about drinking bad tasting (or maybe even dangerous) water if you have a filter with you.

In this post, you'll find recommendations for the best types of water filters to use in different travel scenarios. And I'll tell you the specific brands I think are best.

So, whether you're going on vacation or traveling for business, you'll be able to find a filter to meet your needs. 

Best Travel Water Filters

LifeStraw Go

Clearly Filtered Stainless Steel Bottle

Clearly Filtered Pitcher

ProOne Traveler+

LifeStraw Go
Clearly Filtered water bottle
Clearly FIltered water filter pitcher
Propur Traveler water filter

air travel


air travel

hotel room

vacation rental

vacation rental


Best Water Filters for Hotel Rooms

You never know how the water is going to taste at a hotel. I've been in some hotels where it's great, and others where it's horrible.

You don't want to be stuck drinking water straight from the bathroom faucet. Plus, you have no idea what's lurking in that water.

Why take a chance?

My favorite way to filter the water in a hotel room is with a water filter pitcher.

Of course, that assumes that I drove my car. I wouldn't want to take it on a plane.

Here's why I like it:

It takes up almost no space in the car.

And, it filters quickly - much faster than a gravity filter. Just fill up the pitcher when you first get to the room, and you'll be drinking great tasting water in no time.

The only drawback is that you probably won't be able to put it in the fridge. Those hotel refrigerators are pretty small.

I prefer to use a pitcher that I know removes fluoride, just in case the local water has fluoride in it.

My first choice is Clearly Filtered because it removes fluoride, lead, chlorine, and many other contaminants. Plus, it's made of medical grade Tritan plastic. 

This pitcher filter holds 2 quarts of water, and the filter is good for about 100 gallons.

(You can read my review of Clearly Filtered for all the details.)

Clearly Filtered water filter pitcher

Shop for the Clearly Filtered water filter pitcher at Amazon.

Shop for Clearly Filtered pitcher at ClearlyFiltered.comUse code WELCOME10 for a 10% discount, only at Applies only to the purchase of a new filtration system.

If you're flying to your destination and staying in a hotel, then your best option is to take along a water bottle with a built-in filter. (Scroll down a bit to see my bottle filter recommendations.)

A filtered water bottle is handy because you can use it at the airport, on the plane, and in your hotel room. 

You just won't have the luxury of pouring yourself a glass of filtered water.

Best Water Filter Bottles for Air Travel

I'm sure you know that taking liquids through airport security is not allowed these days.

So that means you're stuck either drinking from the water fountains or buying overpriced (and eco-unfriendly) bottled water in the airport.

A better idea is to pack a small portable water filtration device in your carry-on. Then you can just fill it up after you get through the security checkpoint.

Not only that, but you'll have a filter you can use once you get to your destination.

Your best bet for a convenient and effective way to filter water when you're traveling by air is a filtered water bottle.

In this category, my top recommendation is the LifeStraw Go water filter bottle. It holds 23 ounces and is made from BPA free plastic. And, you can choose from several different colors.

LifeStraw Go

LifeStraw Go uses two stages of filtration

  • a hollow fiber membrane for bacteria, parasites and microplastics
  • an activated carbon filter for chemicals like chlorine.

You'll get 1,000 gallons of use from the microbiological filter, but the carbon filter is only good for 25 gallons. It's unfortunate that the carbon filter has such a short life.

The good thing is that you can buy replacements for each type separately. And, the carbon filters don't cost much.

Another drawback is that the LifeStraw does not filter out fluoride.

What if you do want a bottle that filters out fluoride?

In that case, you could consider the Insulated Stainless Steel Filtered Water Bottle from Clearly Filtered. This  water bottle filter removes 99% of fluoride, along with heavy metals, VOC, pesticides, lead, chlorine, and more.

Although it's shown in black below, it also comes in white, blue, Tiffany blue, and pink.

Clearly Filtered water bottle

It'll last for about 25 gallons or six months, whichever comes first.

Best Water Filters for Vacation Rentals

The most beautiful vacation homes can sometimes have nasty tasting water. It seems like it's especially bad at the beach. I always think it tastes like swamp water. Yuck!

You don't want to be forced to drink that, and you don't want to have to keep going out to buy bottled water all week long.

So what are your best options?

One is to take along a water filter pitcher. You might even want to take more than one, depending on how big your group is.

There are several good pitcher filters to choose from besides Clearly Filtered, which I highlighted above. You can read all about them in my review of this year's best water filter pitchers.

Another solution - especially if you want maximum protection - would be a countertop gravity filter. In particular, I'd recommend one made by ProOne.

Why ProOne?

First, because it removes all kinds of contaminants, including bacteria, parasites and viruses. So, it can do double duty for you as an emergency survival filter.

And second, because it's simple to use. It doesn't require additional filters for fluoride, and the filters don't need to be primed. They last a long time, too - 700 to 1200 gallons.

ProOne is available in two sizes. The ProOne Traveler+ holds 2.25 gallons and the ProOne Big+ holds 3 gallons. They're both easy to transport and provide an adequate amount of filtered water for a small group.

ProOne gravity filter with stand

ProOne gravity filter

The only drawback is that it filters slowly, so you'll have to be sure to keep up with refilling it so you don't run out.

You can read my detailed review of ProOne gravity filters here. Or take a look at Countertop Gravity Water Filters: Which is Best? to see how it compares to other popular gravity filters.

Best Water Filters for Camping

Whether you're camping in a tent or in an RV, at a campground or in the wilderness, you need clean drinking water. How you choose to camp will determine what kind of water filtration will work best for you.

Will you set up a camp site and basically stay put?

In that case, I'd recommend a gravity filter like the ProOne or Berkey (pictured below) that you only have to fill occasionally. Use water provided by the campground or a natural water source in these filters. They'll provide you with safe water that tastes great!

person filling Berkey Filter outdoors

Will you be on the move most of the time?

If so, you'd be better off with a personal device that you can carry with you, like one of the filtered water bottles I mentioned above.

Or maybe you'd like to combine the two. You could set up a gravity filter at your campsite, and use a water bottle filter while you're out for a hike.

Whatever method you choose, you'll be able to relax and enjoy your camping trip without worrying if the water is going to make you sick.

Conclusion: No matter how or where you travel, you've got options

I hope now you have a clear picture of ways you can enjoy great tasting and safe drinking water when you're away on your next adventure.

You don't have to spend a lot of money on a travel water filter, and it doesn't have to be complicated.

But it can make a huge impact on your health and give you peace of mind when you travel.

Have you found one particular method or brand helpful in your travels? If so, let us hear about it in the comments!

Last Updated on June 7, 2023

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