To understand the appeal of pure water bottles, consider this: What travel-rich guy doesn’t have a story about tangoing with local water or ice abroad? Not every tap in every country has America’s reliable, clean drinking water. For tourists, the dangers posed by tap water are often much higher: Pathogens to which locals have developed immunity can rush to ruin a traveler’s vacation.
The usual treatment is to rely on bottled water. This works, but has some obvious drawbacks: It’s inconvenient to carry all the water you need, especially if you’re planning a hike or other long-distance adventure. And it’s hard to get rid of the feeling that all this plastic ends up suffocating the turtles.
The good news is that these days, purifying water on the go is as easy as filling a water bottle. Where once the only options were boiling water, dripping in chemical pills or relying on UV light, modern versions let you get water from almost any source – from rivers to hotel sinks. (Fresh water, i.e. removing salt, is much more complicated.) The purifier cleans the water in the bottle as you sip, straw, or squeeze out the creek.
To find out which ones are worth packing, I tested a bunch on a recent international trip. There’s peace of mind knowing that any municipal water we have at the airport, hotel, beach or restaurant won’t affect the vacation, and the bottle makes it almost seamless.
Clean Water 101: Filters & Purifiers
Before we dive into specific models, it’s helpful to understand the difference between filtered and purified water. Side-by-side, filtered or purified water bottles look the same, function the same, and, confusingly, some manufacturers offer both and use the terms interchangeably. So what’s the difference? It depends on how small the container the water bottle pulls from the water.
Filters can capture larger things like silt, protozoan cysts, and bacteria like E. coli and Salmonella. If you’re traveling domestically, this may be all your protection from municipal water or even cleaning lakes and streams. Purifiers go a step further and capture smaller pollutants like viruses (think: hepatitis A, rotavirus, and norovirus) that you might encounter in less developed parts of the world, where humans or Animal feces may enter the human body. water supply. In short, purifiers can catch things that filters can’t, and that’s what we’re focusing on here.
So you should always bring only one purifier, right? maybe. Compared to filters, purifiers cost more, typically don’t clean as many gallons before a new filter element is needed, and often have slower flow rates – anyone who has waited for an old Brita tank to clean tap water knows how annoying slow flow rates can be . In some areas, this is an unnecessary level of protection. However, if you’re traveling in remote areas or where your travel guide tells you not to drink tap water, then you need a purifier.
Best Purified Water Bottle: Grayl “UltraPress”
This unique purifier is almost pleasure.You don’t need to wash the water when you drink, but fill the removable outer sleeve about 17 oz with water and place the inner sleeve with the cartridge on top. Then, use both hands to press down on the inner sleeve, which will force all the water through the cartridge. It’s a bit like making French press coffee. After a few seconds of pressing, the system bottoms out and you have nearly 17 ounces of clean water in an ordinary-looking bottle that’s easy to carry, throw in a bag, or stash in a pocket.