RV Tips

Portable water purification for RVers

These gadgets allow RVers to have clean drinking water wherever they go

person drinking through a Lifestraw
The LifeStraw allows users to drink directly from lakes and streams without fear of illness. — Photo courtesy LifeStraw.com

When you're heading out for a camping adventure, clean drinking water is a must. There are some innovative products on the market to help RVers who need portable water purification.

- Photo courtesy Badri Seshadri/Flickr Creative Commons

The LifeStraw

Perhaps the most popular and trusted device for this purpose is the LifeStraw. As the name suggests, this is a personal filter you can directly drink water through, just like you would a regular straw. You can bring it on a hike and drink straight from a stream or lake, without the worry of getting ill. 

The LifeStraw has received several awards and is lightweight enough to please any traveller. While the basic model won't eliminate viruses, it does protect the user from bacteria, parasites and microplastics. Best of all, it lasts for a long time - you could get five years or more out of it before needing to replace your LifeStraw. The company makes several different related products, some with additional protection (for example, the LifeStraw Family will also remove viruses, and has a larger capacity - it can provide a family of five with clean drinking water for three years).

- Photo courtesy Potable Aqua/Val in Real Life

The Potable Aqua PURE Electrolytic Water Purifier

Potable Aqua came out with this petite, cost-effective device that uses a salt water solution to produce a powerful mixed oxidant disinfectant.

It can eradicate harmful bacteria and will even deactivate viruses, all without pre-filtering or pumping, according to the company website.

- Photo courtesy Katadyn.com

The Steripen® Ultra™ UV water purifier

The Steripen offers an advanced interface with a user-friendly OLED display, and it can eliminate bacteria, protozoa and viruses. It can treat between .5 and 1 litre of water in 48 - 90 seconds.
It's powered by an internal, USB rechargeable, lithium-ion battery. 
While it does a great job of cleaning up, only clear water should be run through this device, as sediment or other matter can make it less effective. It comes with a USB cable and a neoprene carrying case.

- Photo courtesy Sawyer.com

Sawyer’s 1-Gallon Gravity Water Filtration System

This product is also portable, but it processes a larger amount of water than some of the smaller units. It works in under seven minutes, and it's lightweight and durable.

In terms of performance, the dual-threaded MINI filter (included with this system) is rated to 0.1 micron absolute filtration. According to the company website, it can remove 99.99999% of all bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera and E.coli, 99.9999% of all protozoa (such as giardia and cryptosporidium), and 100% of microplastics.
The one-gallon bladder has a wide-mouth cap for faster filling, and a convenient carrying handle.

- Photo courtesy Platy.com

Platypus filtration products

Choose from a selection of designs by Platypus, and find exactly the right portable filter for your needs. 

They have individual filters such as the Meta Bottle microfilter, which is ideal for a solo camper on the go.

Platypus also makes two- and four-litre GravityWorks water filtration kits. This is well-suited to RVing families (choose the high-capacity four-litre kit and you will have pump-free water access to accommodate a larger group).

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