How to Choose the Best Portable Water Purifier

How to Choose the Best Portable Water Purifier

Choosing the best portable water purifier for your situation can be a tough decision. The range of products available is vast, both in the technology used and expense. To help you choose, we thought we would put together several questions that you should answer before making your final choice.

Water Filters vs Water Purifiers

To begin your research, you should know that a water purifier and a water filter are different categories of devices. 

A water filter removes contaminants and impurities by physically screening them out. It also removes the sediment, microplastics, or actual dirt you may be trying to remove from your drinking water. Some filter materials, such as carbon also absorb and reduce chemicals, such as chlorine, lead and VOCs. A water filter can improve the taste of water. Typical filter devices include hand pumps, gravity devices, and use carbon or hollow fiber filter material.

On the other hand, a water purifier disinfects the water, removing bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. This type of device removes the microbiological hazards you can’t see, but will make you sick. Typical purification methods include chemicals, UV, and some hollow fiber filters.

The recommendation from the Wilderness Medical Society is to use some form of both filtration and purification in a campground or backcountry setting. Filtration processes help optimize purification processes. And without purification, you can’t be sure that your water is safe from bacterial, protozoa, and viruses.

Additionally, it is important to address the palatability of drinking water, because if it doesn’t taste good, it discourages hydration, which can be dangerous.

Do most drinking water systems do both purifying and filtering?

No! Most water systems only filter water, or purify water. You might be removing extra chlorine or sand, but there might be bacteria left in your water when you’re done with the filtering process. On the flip side, something that hits the water with only UV light will disinfect your water, but won’t remove something like microplastics, or improve taste.

Do some do both?

Yes! Several Guzzle H2O systems act as both a portable water filter as well as a portable water purifier. The carbon block filter works in conjunction with the UV-C LED purifier to provide the cleanest water possible.

Important Questions to Ask Yourself When Choosing a Water Purifier

There are many other important factors to consider when choosing a water purifier or water filter for your needs. Important questions to answer have to do with group size, use, cost, and overall maintenance.

What is my group size?

While we believe that Guzzle H2O systems are appropriate for any group size, big or small, this is something to seriously consider when you’re looking to purchase the best water purifier for your needs. Big groups will be especially happy with the high volume output of a Guzzle H2O system. If your group is limited to one or two people, perhaps using a hand pump system or gravity filter is not as big of an issue, although the push button convenience of a Guzzle H2O is always appreciated.

How much water can the portable water purifier process per minute?

The flow rate of your water purifier is important because it reflects how much time it will take to fill up your water containers. For filling a single water bottle, this may not be a big consideration. But if you want to fill up a lot of water bottles, or tanks, it can take a lot of time unless you have a high flow water purifier. All of the Guzzle H2O systems treat water at .75 to 1.1 gallons per minute. 

What are my main activities for which I will use the portable water filter and purifier?

If backpacking is your main activity, then you will be looking for a lighter weight, individual use product. A Guzzle H2O system is perfect for just about every other situation, from overlanding and camping to survival and emergency preparedness.

How easy is the portable water filter and purifier to use?

Guzzle H2O water filtration and purification is as easy as pushing a button, or in the case of the Stealth, as easy as turning on your faucet. Other comparable systems often require pumping, pushing, waiting, or adding chemicals. A Guzzle H2O drinking water system can filter and purify up to 1.1 gallons or 4 liters of water per minute.

What are the full cost considerations of a portable water filter and purifier?

Not only is there the initial cost of the system to consider, but you must also take ongoing maintenance costs into account. A Guzzle H2O system might seem like a larger upfront expense, but the only ongoing maintenance costs are the replaceable carbon block filter, which lasts up to 1000 gallons per cartridge. If you’re using the system in a particularly silty or sandy area, then you may have to replace the cartridge more frequently, but at less than $20 each, they are a fairly minimal expense.

Additionally, you can provide clean drinking water for your entire group from a single system.

Other water purifiers widely available on the market may have a lower initial cost, but that is often per person for an individual bottle. And they might have filters that need to be replaced more often at a higher cost, which makes a more robust system like one from Guzzle H2O more economical in the long run.

What is the maintenance cost of the system?

The maintenance costs are mostly in the replaceable filter cartridges. For Guzzle H2O systems, that cost is about $18.00 per cartridge. Furthermore, there are replacement cartridges available worldwide. For many other purification systems, there are expensive replacement cartridges.


There are many options on the market to consider when choosing the best water filtration and purification system for you. We hope that using the criteria above has helped you decide what’s best for your situation.

Questions? Feel free to reach out to to get individualized advice for your needs.