Seeing the world outside of your own country can be a great experience. While most of us have a certain kind of love for the familiar, there is also something to be said for the unknown, the exotic.
Unfortunately, some of these exotic places don’t have the highest standards in water quality and treatment. In some places, the water can be flat-out dangerous, especially to outsiders who are not accustomed to water contaminants. That’s why it’s good to carry a filtration pitcher when traveling in such places.
Let’s look at some examples and try to determine the best water filter pitcher for traveling abroad.
Brita Rapids Stream Pitcher
This seems to be the most popular and highly-rated model on Brita’s website. They are one of the more established and respected manufacturers of water filters, so this is a good place to start.
- The Brita Rapids Stream Pitcher has a relatively slim profile (about 4 inches), but its height (about ten inches) allows it to hold up to ten cups of water.
- This thing is made of transparent plastic, which is both good and bad. On the one hand, plastic keeps it light (about 1.3 pounds) and allows to look inside. It also allows you to get a clear view of the water. On the other hand, we are worried that the plastic may not be durable enough. Still, a metal/glass pitcher of this size would weigh a lot more.
- The best thing about this product is the placement of the filter itself. Instead of filtering the water as it’s added to the pitcher, it filters at the spout. This ensures that you don’t get any unfiltered water in there at all. It also means you don’t need to wait.
- Of course, you will need to pack a replacement filter or two.
Lifestraw Home Filtration Pitcher (7-Cup Version)
This one is a little bulkier, but the smaller version still makes a good travel pitcher. We don’t really like the chemistry-flask shape of this model, but we like everything else.
- It’s made of thick but transparent plastic and offers a high level of effectiveness.
- Lifestraw is particularly suited for filtering out bacteria and other microorganisms. That’s very important because not all filters can do this.
- To be honest, you should always boil water if you think it’s contaminated with microorganisms. Still, it never hurts to have an extra layer of protection, as some of these organisms can be pretty harmful; some can even be deadly.
- This one suffers a little bit in the portability department, but it isn’t hard to tie a loop to the handle. You can then hang it from your bag or belt with no trouble. Just make sure you use a steel D-clip for maximum retention. Because of the shape of this pitcher, the “lanyard” method will be more convenient than stuffing it into a bag.
ZeroWater Ready-Pour Round Pitcher (10-Cup Version)
The 10-cup version of the ZeroWater Ready-Pour Pount Pitcher is an excellent choice to consider when you are visiting an area with really bad water. Don’t get cocky and try to put sewage or swamp water through this product, though. That being said, it does offer a very effective level of filtration.
- The advertising touts the 5-stage filtration and it’s a legitimate benefit. Multiple stages of filtration are always better. It ensures that no solid particles get through the filter process, no matter how small they are.
- This also isn’t one of the pitchers that have the potential to mix filtered with unfiltered water. Everything is properly isolated, as it should be.
- The replacement filters are a little expensive due to their complex design. However, they do at least have a good service lifespan. Unless you’re taking an extended trip, you will only need one.
- Altogether, we find this to be a high-quality solution.
Quality & Features
Our three filter pitcher examples above were chosen randomly, so please understand them as such. We aren’t really trying to recommend specific products here (although all of these are high-quality options). We are simply trying to show you what a “good” choice may look like. To elaborate further, let’s consider the quality and features of water filter pitchers for traveling.
You definitely want to go with something that features effective filtration. This means it has the ability to remove a large number of contaminants and a wide variety of them.
Filtration effectiveness allows you to measure the “power” of a water filter device. This page on NSF lists the different standards that apply to the different types of water filters. On that same page, you can click a tab in the top-right corner to look up a specific device. Any good filter should have its NSF information on the package (or in the advertising). Anything that is not listed or which barely meets standards should be regarded with suspicion. Anything that offers only a single stage of filtration should likewise be avoided.
Travel pitchers don’t need to be that big. Filtration power is more important than water capacity.
Since you will be carrying your pitcher around with you, it needs to be reasonably strong and durable.
It’s also a good idea to get something that is at least partially transparent so that customs agents will not be inclined to think you’re smuggling illicit goods in there!
There are all kinds of travel water filter pitcher options out there. Of course, the 3 models above cannot reflect them all. However, we hope that we have provided you a good overview of what you need to know when shopping.
Keep in mind that selecting water pitchers doesn’t need to be complicated. You just want to make sure that you are choosing the right one depending on what kind of water you plan to purify.
Lastly, it’s always better to go overkill on these things – better safe than sorry. But if you decide to go that route, you will need to spend more money. So it depends on the size of your budget you are working with and how much of that budget you want to spend on a water filter.
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