best water filter bottle for travel

Best Water Filter Bottle for travel, hiking and bagpacking

Looking for the best filter water filter bottle for your next adventure? Going to places that lack safe drinking water? Hiking, backpacking or traveling through Asia, Africa, Latin America or other parts of the world that may not offer clean drinking water? How do you ensure that you always have access to tasty clean tap water?

In this article we look at the best water bottles for travel whether you are going hiking in your home country or for a long trip to India or South Africa. We look at the quality of the water where you plan to travel, if you need a filter, types of filters, materials size and certifications. Finally you will get our recommendation on the best water filter bottle for travel.

But let’s look at the key attributes and questions first.

Is the water safe to drink where you are traveling?


We’ve been writing about tap water quality across the world for many years now. Generally tap water quality has vastly improved across Europe and North America in the past 30 years but perception has gone down. In most other parts of the world it’s not recommended to drink tap water if you are a visitor. Read more in our blog “Is the tap water safe to drink in…

Do you need a water filter bottle?

Do you need a water bottle with a filter? This table will help you make the right choice.

Live in a country/region without safe tap water
Travel to a country/region without safe tap water
Are going outdoor hiking and need to be able to drink water from rivers, lakes and other unknown water sources
Water filter bottle with bacteria & virus removal, like BottlePro Adventure
Live in a country/region with safe but poor tasting tap water
Travel to a country/region with safe but poor tasting tap water
Water filter bottle for great taste, like BottlePro Microfiltration

If you are planning to travel to countries/areas of the world or your home country without access to safe public tap water then BottlePro Adventure (Ahlstrom) will always be a great solution for you.

What kind of water filter bottle is best for you?

There are 4 common types of water filter bottles:

What Description
Pump Filters Requires high pressure to squeeze the water through a membrane. Typically filters bacteria & viruses. Good for camping and outdoor but inconvenient for everyday use.
UV Filters Kills bacteria and viruses with ultraviolet light. Doesn’t filter other contaminants such as chlorine, pesticides, herbicides, heavy metals, dirt, etc.
Activated carbon filters (e.g. BottlePro Microfiltration) High quality activated carbon fiber filters remove 80+ contaminants through adsorption and mechanical filtration. Great for a water bottle where you suck the water to drink.
Ultrafiltration filters (e.g. BottlePro Adventure) High quality ultrafiltration filters can remove 80+ contaminants as well as bacteria and viruses. Great for a water bottle where you suck the water to drink but with a bit more effort than Microfiltration.

There is no right or wrong when it comes to material. The choice is yours based on your needs.

Material of bottles for travel, hiking and bagpacking?

What material is best for a water bottles for travel?

The most common water bottle materials are stainless steel, aluminum, plastic and glass.

Each one has pros and cons. Here's an overview:

Material Pros Cons
Stainless steel Keeps water cold and warm for a long time
Long lasting
High quality stainless steel doesn’t leech any chemicals
More expensive
Aluminium Light weight
High quality aluminum doesn’t leech any chemicals
Easily gets dented
Doesn’t maintain temperature
Can impact the taste of the water negatively
Plastic Light weight
Cheap to manufacturer
Easy to customize print and colors
Typically dishwasher friendly
Most plastic bottles leech BPA, hormone disrupters and other chemicals despite stating BPA free
Generally plastic bottles cannot be recycled
Silicon Can be used to produce foldable bottles Can be difficult to clean properly
Glass The most sustainable material for reusable bottles
Minimal risk of chemicals
Dishwasher friendly
Fragile / easily breaks if dropped

There is no right or wrong when it comes to material. The choice is yours based on your needs.

Size of water filter bottle

Out and about all day, going for a long hike or spending the day at work? The best thing with water filter bottles is that you can refill them whenever you have access to a water source. Therefore the size may not matter that much. It needs to be sufficient for your needs between water access points. Most refillable water bottles are between 0.3 L (kids size) and 1 L (adult size that is long lasting).

In surveys we found 0.5-0.75 L to be the perfect size for adults in terms of weight and amount but it’s a personal choice. Note that filter bottles usually have less capacity than the bottle due to the fitler.

The best water filter bottles have independent certifications

Don’t trust the marketing claims.

Many water bottle manufacturers make all kinds of unsupported claims in terms of water filtration. Always make sure that all claims are independently certified. Serious brands will share the certifications and lab tests. If this is not the case then it’s probably better not to trust them.

Also note that the difference between 99.9% bacteria filtration and 99.999% is huge. In a typical water sample from a stream or river you may find 10,000 eColi bacteria per ml. With 99.9% it means you still have 10 whereas with 99.999% it will be <1.

Summary about the best filter water bottle for travel

In conclusion this is what you should consider when picking the best water bottle for travel:

  • Decide if you need a filter water bottle or just a normal water bottle
  • Choose the right filter for your needs depending on where you are traveling and the quality of the water there
  • Select the right type of water bottle material according to your preferences and needs
  • The ideal size is typically between 0.5-1 L but depends on how frequently you have access to a water source
  • Make sure your filter water bottle is independently tested and certified for what you expect it to do
Bottlepro best water filter bottle

The best water bottle for travel according to us is BottlePro by TAPP Water. It ticks the boxes for most people in terms of filtration, material, size options and has all the certifications. Learn more on our website.

Read about how BottlePro compares to other water bottles.

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