Best Hiking Water Filters For You & Your Dog (2018) – Pawtivity Picks


June 6, 2018

Hiking Water Filters

We love learning about the latest doggy stuff out there because we all want the best for our furry friends! Each week we cover the fun, novel, essential, and new products for dogs in our Pawtivity Picks Series.

This week we looked at water filters and bottles that you can use for your dog. These fit easily in their dog backpack or in yours. Water filters are great if you are going on a multi-day hike or backpacking with a lot of reliable water sources.

We cover three main hiking water filters and purification systems that we consider the best for hikers. Each system comes with a few additional options to consider that may be suitable for your particular needs. We think these systems suit our readers the best. They are easy to use, portable, and highly functional.

To learn more about travel water bowls and bottles that may complement your water filtration system, read our article Best Travel Water Bowls and Bottles For Dogs.

Need to know how much water to bring for your dog? Read our article, How Much Water Should I Bring For My Dog Hiking? to learn more.

Products Covered: Hiking Water Filter, Portable UV Water Purifier, Water Bottle

This article contains affiliate links. We may earn a small commission (at no cost to you) for our endorsement, recommendation, testimonial, and/or link to any products or services marked with an *. The main purpose of this article is to provide you with hiking and safety tips. We will only provide links to truly great products we think our visitors would appreciate learning more about.



Katadyn Befree Water Filtration System

The Ketadyn Befree 1.0L Water Filtration System* features a water filter inside a flexible and collapsible water bottle. It’s the perfect individual portable water filter for you and our dog. It can serve for a day hike or backup water supply source for a weekend backpacking trip. The whole thing is 2.3 ounces in weight, which is great if you just want to go out running, biking, or backpacking and weight is important to you. It’s also nice to take with you when traveling overseas.

Since the filter is already inside the bottle, all you need to do is fill up your bottle and drink as you normally would. There’s no need to wait for all the water to get filtered. This system has a wider mouth making it easier to fill. The flow rate on the system is 2 liters per minute which is one of the fastest on the market. The filter removes 99.9% of bacteria, giardia, and cryptosporidium exceeding EPA standards. Filters last for 1,000 liters of water. To clean the filter, just swish it in fresh, clean water.

This water filtration system also comes in two other sizes; a smaller 0.6L (20 oz)* and a larger 3.0L (101 oz)*. The small system can fit in any dog backpack. The larger system can be shared between you and your dog. The MSRP of each system are as follows: 1) 0.6L at $39.95 2) 1.0L at $44.95 and 3) 3.0L at $59.95.

If you don’t want to leave the filter on, you can cap it with a standard bottle cap which is useful if just storing water in your dog’s bag. When filled, you can see water through the bottle. A little water is all that is necessary to make the bottle stand up.


WHY WE LOVE: It’s just so portable and there is very little extra training or extra parts to carry. Everything is self-contained.

Take me to the Ketadyn Befree 1.0L Water Filtration System* now.
Or the 0.6L* or 3.0L* version.



Don’t like the slow process of filtering water or transferring to a bottle? Consider getting the SteriPen, an ultraviolet light water purifier. While pricier than standard water filter systems, the extra cost is well worth if you intend to use it a lot. It will last you through about 8,000 liters of water.

All SteriPens are backed by a three-year warranty. They work with a wide variety of bottle sizes so can be more versatile than water filter systems.

One of the best aspects of the SteriPen is that it’s just so easy to use! All you have to do is to fill up a small-mouth water bottle (like from a Smartwater bottle) and stick the SteriPen in the bottle. And it takes about 90 seconds to do so for 1 liter (or 32 ounces) of water! That’s pretty fast. Don’t worry, the SteriPen lets you know when your water is ready to drink so you don’t have to guess.

The UV-C light emitted by the SteriPen treats more than 99.9% of microorganisms, including Giardia, bacteria, viruses and protozoa Protozoa, bacteria, and viruses. In fact, the Water Quality Association awarded the SteriPen with a Gold Seal for water safety and effectiveness.

One downside is that the SteriPen only works with water that is already pretty clear and sediment free. It’s also possible to get contaminated water on the outside of your bottle, but you just need to wipe these down before you drink. For some models you do have to carry extra batteries or a power source. You don’t need these with water filters.

SteriPens are probably the best system to use in the winter. They are fast and can be used with wide mouth bottles that don’t freeze as easily as small mouth bottles. Just make sure you don’t use Alkaline batteries which contain liquid inside that can freeze.

There are a few varieties of the SteriPen. We think the SteriPen Adventurer Opti and SteriPen Classic 3 are the best options for frequent and multi-day hikers. We provide some more information on each model below. If you are looking for a USB rechargeable option consider the SteriPen Ultra or ultra-light SteriPen Freedom.

SteriPen Classic 3 with Pre-Filter

The SteriPen Classic 3* is the upgraded version of the original SteriPen. It treats water and comes with a removable twist-off lamp cover and prefilter to separate out debris from your water.

Their SteriPen Classic 3 can be used with 4 AA alkaline batteries, not included, to treat up to 50 liters of water. If you use a lithium battery it will treat up to 150 liters of water. A NiMH battery will treat up to 200 liters of water. According to SteriPen, each battery set will last about 80 treatments.

This model is only 2.9 ounces – that’s pretty light! The SteriPen Classic 3 also fits bottles with a minimum diameter of 22mm. The MSRP is $69.95. Remember, batteries are not included with this model and will actually bring the total weight to 6.3 ounces.

WHY WE LOVE: We think this model is suitable for most hikers. We also like the inclusion of the filter. It’s just so easy to use and you can continue to use your favorite bottle or use on multiple bottles with ease.

Take me to the SteriPen Classic 3 with Pre-Filter* now.

SteriPen Adventurer Opti

The SteriPen Adventurer Opti* is a higher end model of the SteriPen built specifically for use in mountain and river water sources. It won the several awards and can be used even if you are off the power grid for a few days. The SteriPen Adventurer Opti has a water sensor that can also be used as a flashlight. This model does not come with a prefilter.

The battery source on this SteriPen is different than other models. It actually uses CR123 rechargeable batteries which will last you up to 50 liters of water. According to SteriPen, each battery set will last about 30 treatments. While this is a shorter life than batteries of the SteriPen Classic 3, it’s still a long enough time for most people.

If you plan on doing a lot of mountain hiking or adventuring through remote areas of the world this is the best SteriPen for you. The low weight may appeal the most with backpackers. It weighs about 3.8 ounces with included batteries. The SteriPen Adventurer Opti works in bottles with a minimum opening of 35mm. The MSRP is $89.95.

WHY WE LOVE: This is a better option for the ultra-adventurer – those that love to travel and trek off the beaten path. Get peace of mind knowing you are drinking safe water anywhere.</em

Take me to the SteriPen Adventurer Opti* now.

The Sawyer Squeeze Water Filtration System

The Sawyer Squeeze Water Filtration System* has a Sawyer Point One water filter with a cap you can drink directly from or use with other bottles to clean water to 0.1 microns. The system comes with a reusable pouch bottle (up to 3) and a syringe for cleaning the filter. Total weight for the system is 3 ounces.

A great aspect of this system is its lower price point. You can purchase a a filter, syringe, and 3 pouch for $39.99 on That’s a great value and as a bonus, you don’t need to change the filter. Sawyer claims that the filter can last for up to 1 million gallons.

While this system isn’t as fast as the other two Ketadayn Befree Water Filtration System or the SteriPen, it’s still pretty fast with a flow rate of 1/2 liter per minute. It’s also a better system if you are trying to filter a large quantity of water for more than one person. You can use the Sawyer Squeeze with a variety of small mouth soda-sized bottles and hydration packs.


WHY WE LOVE: A great value! This is the filter to get if you are going backpacking with someone else. Share the load and bring one filter for all.

Take me to the Sawyer Squeeze Filtration System* now.



Stay safe out there on the trail and it’s always worse to bring too little water than too much!!

If you use a hydration bladder and purchase either the Sawyer Squeeze, Sawyer Mini, or Katadyn Water Filtration System, consider purchasing the Sawyer “Fast Fill Kit”* to help you fill up your water bladder. This is currently 50% off on Amazon as of May 2018! A great deal if you use the Ketadyn Befree Water Filtration System.


No matter what water filter and purification system you end up going with, always bring a backup. A great backup option is to carry water purification tablets. Aquatabs Water Purification Tablets*. These are so small that you’ll forget about these until you need it most. Keep them in your first aid kit so you always have them handy.

Do you have any other tips or experiences to share with others? Please include them in the comments below!

Leave a comment if there are any other products you think are worth letting everyone know about! Please let us know why you like it, how you use the product, and how long you have been using it for.

Is there a great dog-friendly activity or event missing from our list? Contact us so we can share it with the community!

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Activities: Shopping, Hiking, Camping, Backpacking, Great Outdoors, Running, Food, Biking, Sports – Water, Sports – Winter

Amazon Affiliate Disclosure: The owner of Pawtivity is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to and affiliated sites.  

About the Author

Life is an endless journey with a dog at your side. Find your next dog friendly adventure on Pawtivity!  We are a community that inspires and captures the stories of our dogs.

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