Over the last year or so, water purification devices such as bottles, inline filters and portable filter straws have grown in popularity, with many travellers now opting to buy a water purification device instead of chemical treatments such as Chlorine tablets and Chlorine Dioxide drops.
It can be easy to dismiss water purification devices because of their higher price tag, and you may prefer to pay £4.99 for a pack of chlorine tablets to save yourself some money…but there are a number of reasons to buy a water filter device for travelling, so make sure you take these things into account before you make a decision about how you’ll treat your water when travelling. In the table below, we compare the cost per litre of water for each of our water purification products.
**Treats up to
1) Convenience & Practicality
“Add 1 tablet to 1 litre of water, wait for 30 minutes..etc, etc” – Do you really have the time for this? You’ll find with many water treatment tablets on the market, you’ll have to wait at least 30 minutes before the water is safe to drink, then there’s the added concern of whether or not it really is ready to drink, water purification devices don’t rely on tablets or drops, and have special in-built filters to filter out bacteria, viruses, cysts and other contaminants found in water. Each one has different capabilities in terms of what they can filter out of your water, so always check the product description before making your choice.
So you’re heading off travelling for a year, you need to drink approximately 2 litres of water a day. Some Chlorine tablets will only treat up to 30 litres of water. which would last you for up to 2 weeks, possibly less if you’re drinking more than 2 litres of water a day. If the cost of Chlorine tablets is £4.99, a fiver for clean water every two weeks for a year is really going to add up…and who wants to carry masses of water treatment tablets around with them and waste space in their backpack?! Of course you could just buy bottled water, but this is neither good for your travel fund or the environment, and in remote areas you may struggle to even find bottled water. Here are some stats on some water purification devices and their filter capabilities…
Each filter will treat up to 200 litres of water, so will last approximately 3 months (based on a consumption of 2 litres per day)*
Water-to-Go Bottle cost (includes 1 x filter): £24.99*
Replacement Filter cost (twin pack): £19.99* A bottle with a pack of two replacement filters would cost £43.98, and this could last approximately 9 months if you were to drink 2 litres of water a day.*
Sawyer Mini Filter
The Sawyer Mini Filter has a 100,000 gallon guarantee, which is the best rating of any water purification filter on the market. It will last your lifetime, so there’s no need to buy replacement cartridges.
Sawyer Mini Filter cost: £26.99*
The Lifestraw will treat up to 1,000 litres of water, so should last up to a year (possibly longer) based on a consumption of 2 litres of water per day.*
Lifestraw Cost: £19.99*
3) Environmental Impact
If you would normally consider buying bottled water on a daily basis, just think about the amount of waste this can result in once you’re done with the bottle. If travellers were to use a more environmentally friendly option such as a water filter bottle or other type of water filter device, they can significantly reduce the amount of waste plastic produced.
4) Easy to Use
Water treatment bottles and devices are much easier to use compared to tablets and drops. As mentioned in our first point, with most water treatment tablets and drops, you will have to wait anywhere between 30 minutes – 1 hour (depending on the treatment you’re using and how heavily contaminated the water is) before you can consume it.
With products such as the water to go bottle, you simply fill up the bottle and screw on the lid, then drink from the drinking straw on the lid. The Lifestraw is used just like a normal straw, just place the bottom end into the water source and use the drinking end to drink the water. The Sawyer Mini Filter can be used in a number of ways, including with a hydration bladder, with a water bottle & with the included drinking straw.*
5) Lightweight & Easy to Transport
As most water purification devices can be used in streams and many other water sources, they make a great addition to any adventure traveller’s kit. So if you’re trekking during your gap year or simply heading off the beaten track, it’s well worth having a water purification device in your backpack. Nobody wants to carry litres of water around with them, and these devices offer a lightweight alternative.
*all prices correct at time of publishing. Please refer to manufacturers instructions & specification for more information on product lifetime and instructions for use.