water filter reviews

Backpackers on the South Kaibab Trail in the Grand Canyon.

The Best Backpacking Gear of 2021

By Michael Lanza

The Maze District of Canyonlands National Park. The Wonderland Trail. The Teton Crest Trail. Yosemite. The Grand Canyon. Glacier National Park. The Ruby Crest Trail. Yellowstone. The Wind River Range. The North Cascades. Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains. The High Uintas Wilderness. The Tour du Mont Blanc. These are just some of the numerous places where I’ve tested the backpacking gear you see reviewed at The Big Outside. I treat gear roughly in places that are hard on outdoor gear and apparel so that I can give you brutally honest and thorough, field-tested opinions that help you make the best gear choices for your adventures.

And that’s exactly how I came up with these picks for today’s best backpacking gear.

Read on

A backpacker on the Fisher Creek Trail in North Cascades National Park.

Review: 24 Essential Backpacking Gear Accessories of 2021

By Michael Lanza Sure, your backpack, boots, tent, sleeping bag, air mattress, and other backpacking gear matter a lot, and you should put serious thought into your choices when buying any of them. But little things matter, too. Various necessary accessories, convenience items, and small comforts accompany me on backcountry trips. A quarter-century of field-testing gear—as the lead gear reviewer …

Read on

Gear Review: LifeStraw Go Water Bottle With 2-Stage Filtration

LifeStraw Go Water Bottle With 2-Stage Filtration.
LifeStraw Go bottle with 2-stage filtration, Great Smoky Mountains National Park.

Water Filter Bottle
LifeStraw Go Water Bottle With 2-Stage Filtration
$45, 8 oz.
22 ounces/650ml bottle capacity
moosejaw.com

On an 80-mile, five-day backpacking trip in the North Cascades National Park Complex in September, I stopped filling my pack’s bladder by the second day. I didn’t need it—I could just top off my LifeStraw Go bottle every time we passed one of the frequent creeks along our route, and continue hiking with hardly a pause. Rare is the piece of gear whose convenience and utility actually change the way I behave, but the LifeStraw Go does exactly that.

Read on

Gear Review: Aquamira and LifeStraw Water Filter Bottles

Lifestraw Go and Aquamira Frontier Flow Filtered Water Bottle
Lifestraw Go and Aquamira Frontier Flow Filtered Water Bottle.

Water Filter Bottles
Aquamira Frontier Flow Filtered Water Bottle
$50, 7 oz.
20 oz./0.6L bottle capacity (with filter)
mcnett.com/aquamira

LifeStraw Go
$35, 8 oz.
22 oz./0.65L bottle capacity (with filter)
buylifestraw.com

Treating water in the backcountry has always been time-consuming—until now. From long dayhikes on and off-trail in Idaho’s Sawtooth Mountains and Frank Church-River of No Return Wilderness to a four-day, 34-mile backpacking trip on the Rockwall Trail in Kootenay National Park in the Canadian Rockies, I used both of these bottles to obtain treated, drinkable water by simply bending down, filling the bottle in a creek, screwing the cap back on, and then immediately sipping from a straw—that’s it.

Read on

Gear Review: Katadyn Base Camp Pro 10L Gravity Filter

Katadyn Base Camp Pro 10L Gravity Filter
Katadyn Base Camp Pro 10L Gravity Filter

Water Filter
Katadyn Base Camp Pro 10L Gravity Filter
$100, 12 oz.
Moosejaw.com

Treating water in the backcountry is usually a time-consuming chore—unless you use a gravity filter, which, once assembled, does most of the work for you. On a four-day, 86-mile, ultralight backpacking trip in northern Yosemite National Park in early September, a friend and I found the Katadyn Base Camp Pro 10L gravity filter simple to use and speedy, and it has the capacity to quickly treat water for a larger group or a family.

Read on