Water filters come in different shapes and sizes. They are also differentiated based on the working mechanism. Some make use of electricity, others use water pressure, and some make use of the natural force of gravity. In this review, we will be looking at gravity-based water filters. We will highlight the basic working mechanism, why do you need a gravity water filter and the best filters along with a buying guide.
What is Gravity Water Filter?
A gravity filter makes use of gravitational force to provide you with filtered drinking water. When the water is added in the upper chamber of the filter, it is attracted by gravity towards the lower chamber. On its way, it passes through a filter or a set of filters. The filters capture the unwanted particles and contaminants in your filter and provide you with pure water. The filters need to backwashed after some time.
The Need and the Problem
Gravitational water filters are best for outdoor use. Some models are also suitable for countertop purposes. For avid campers and people who make frequent trips around the world, buying bottled water can be a bit costly. Using methods like purification tablets come with hassles of adding the tablets and making sure that you are adding the appropriate water volume according to the tablets. Purification pills also impart smells to your water. If someone is allergic to such odors, it will create more problems for you.
There are a lot of gravity-based filters available for you to buy on the market. The problem is effectiveness. You may end up buying a flashy water filter without a proper working mechanism. In order to solve this problem for you, we have done considerable research on all the gravity filled water filters. Our list includes the top of the line water filters. We have also included a buying guide so you can make a well-informed purchase decision and select the best product from our list.
Best Gravity Water Filter Systems Reviews
|Best Gravity Water Filter Systems (Comparison)|
|Editor's ChoiceBig Berkey BK4X2 Countertop Water Filter System||LATEST PRICE →|
|Platypus GravityWorks High-Capacity Water Filter System||LATEST PRICE →|
|Travel Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter||LATEST PRICE →|
|Sawyer Products One-Gallon Gravity Water Filtration System||LATEST PRICE →|
|Miniwell Gravity Water Filter Straw Ultralight Versatile||LATEST PRICE →|
1. Big Berkey BK4X2 Countertop Water Filter System with 2 Black Berkey Elements and 2 Fluoride Filters – Perfect for Outdoor Purposes for a Large Group
Filtration Capabilities: It is a powerful model and is capable of removing a large range of contaminants from water. We can say that it is a fluoride specialist and can remove up to 95% of fluoride from water. It is also effective against pathogens, bacteria, cysts, and parasites. Big Berkey can remove suspended particles, herbicides, pesticides, VOCs, and other organic solvents. Your Big Berkey is also able to remove nitrates, harmful metals like lead and mercury. It has one of the most comprehensive filtration capabilities, and that is why we have placed this filter at the top of our list.
Filtration Capacity and Filter Lifespan: One-time filtration capacity of this filter is 2.25 gallons. You can use this water to feed a medium-large family. It is best to be used during large outdoor parties and camping trips. When it is working at its full capacity, with 4 Berkey filters, it can filter up to 7 gallons of water. The unit comes with 2 black Berkey and 2 fluoride filter elements. Each black purification filter element is good for 3000 gallons of water, and fluoride filters can last for around 1000 gallons of water. It means that it will go a long way with you before you need to replace the filter. Filtration time instead of the flow rate is the primary concern while buying gravity water. Big Berkey can provide you with a full load of filtered water in 15-20 minutes.
Construction Material: It is made from high grade and high-quality 301 stainless steel. It has a solid design and rugged construction. Big Berkey’s construction makes it ideal for indoor and outdoor use at the same time. The spigot is also made from high-quality material. You do not need to worry about its structural integrity.
Our Opinion and Verdict:
2. Platypus GravityWorks High-Capacity Water Filter System for Group Camping and Emergency Preparedness – Super Fast Flow Rate
Filtration Capabilities: Platypus brings an excellent camping partner for individuals and group campers. It has the capability to remove bacteria, viruses, protozoa from the source water. Please keep in mind that it has no mechanism to remove suspended particles from water. One way to deal with such suspended particles is to let them settle down in the water before using it.
Filtration Capacity and Filter Lifespan: One-time filtration capacity is 4 litre of water. It means that you can fill in 4 litres of impure water in the dirty bag and hang it somewhere. The water will start to flow through the system, and pure water will gather in the clean bag. The filtration cartridge has a maximum filtration capacity of 1500 gallons. The total amount of filtered water depends upon the quality of water you are filtering from it.
Filtration Rate: The filter claims a super-fast flow rate of 1.75 litres in 1 minute. It means that a bag of 4 litres will fill up in less than 5 minutes. It is a fantastic filtration speed and is rarely matched by any competitor.
Assembly: Assembling the system is easy, as you like. You get everything needed to set up the system, and with just 5 minutes, you will start filtering water.
Construction Material: It is made of high-quality BPA free plastic. The plastic allows you to fold the bags and store them easily in your luggage.
Our opinion and Verdict:
3. Travel Berkey Gravity-Fed Water Filter with 2 Black Berkey Purification Elements – Best Stainless Steel Outdoor Filter
Filtration Capabilities: Just Like the Big Berkey listed above, Travel Berkey has the capability to remove a lot of contaminants from the water. As it is missing the fluoride filters, it is not that excellent in removing fluoride. However, it has the same defense against bacteria, protozoa, heavy metals like arsenic, lead, mercury, and chromium. Do not worry about VOCs, herbicides, insecticides, and other harmful contaminants in water after buying the Travel Berkey.
Filtration Capacity and Filter Life: Travel Berkey has a one-time filtration capacity of 1.5 gallons, and the 2 filter components can be used for filtering 6000 gallons of water. One thing which caught our attention while reviewing this filter is the sleek design and large filtration capacity. Other filters with 1.5 gallons filtration capacity are much big. Its long filter life will amaze you, and you will forget buying bottled water ever again.
Construction Material: The color, finish, and material used in the making is stainless steel. Berkey gets all of its products tested from third-party independent labs to deliver the best to its customers.
Warranty: It comes with a 6-months warranty for defects and workmanship. Warranty on water filters gives you peace of mind while you are traveling or using it for outdoor purposes.
Our Opinion and Verdict:
4. Sawyer Products One-Gallon Gravity Water Filtration System – Perfect for Hikers
Filtration Capabilities: The system comes with a dual-threaded 0.1-micron filter and can remove bacteria, protozoa, and other harmful contaminants from your water. It is not built to remove the suspended particles from your water, and you may notice them at the end of the dirty water bag. The filter does not have a clean water bag, and you have the freedom to fill a water bottle or hydration packs.
Filtration Capacity and Filter Life: The size of the bag is one gallon for one-time filtering. The life of the filter is around 100,000 gallons. It is the claimed filter life. However, users have reported that the filter does not last this long and gives up on you around half of its life. It is still quite impressive.
Construction Material: The pouch is made of high-quality plastic with beautiful scenery and a carry handle. You can hang this bag anywhere on the go and fill your water bottle. It has been built to increase its versatility and usability.
Our Opinion and Verdict:
5. Miniwell Gravity Water Filter Straw Ultralight Versatile Hiker Water Filter Optional Accessories – TUV Proven Emergency Kit Hurricane Storm Supplies
Filtration Capability: The filter comes with a powerful 0.1 micron, which can filter bacteria, protozoa, and other harmful contaminants from the water. It is so powerful that you can put in any source of water and get excellent results from it. It has been touted as a filter that can even work with puddle water, and from what user experience and our research have to say, it is true.
Filtration Capacity and Filter Lifespan: It comes with 2 water bags. The dirty reservoir has a capacity of 3 litres, and the pure water reservoir can hold up to 1 litre. It means that the one-time filtration capacity is only 1 litre, which is less compared to the filters discussed above. Hence it is only good for an individual’s use. The water filter has a life of 2000 litres, which is fine and in range with other filters.
Warranty: It surpasses the other filters in the list by offering you a lifetime guarantee.
Construction Material: It has been made using high-quality, BPA free plastic. The clear bags shows the difference between the impure and pure water. All the components needed to assemble the system are included in the package.
Our Opinion and Verdict:
The basic purpose of getting a water filter, either gravity-based or operating on some other mechanism, is to obtain pure water. However, some factors should be considered while buying a gravity water filter. If you keep all the pre-requisites in mind, you won’t have to spend on filters anytime soon. You can consider the following factors while purchasing a gravity water filter.
Basic Use: Indoor or Outdoor
One should always consider the basic purpose of buying a gravity water filter. If you are planning to use indoor, you must go for a filter that offers the maximum chamber size and has a solid, ergonomic, and user-friendly design. For outdoor purposes, we recommend you buy a lightweight, easy to carry around water filter. Filters that come with plastic bags are excellent for navigating long and tough hikes.
The most important factor to consider before buying a water filter is the filtration capability. You must make sure that the water filter can remove the contaminants from water in the areas you visit frequently. For example, if your favorite getaway is a hiking site or any other country, search about the water quality there and then buy a filter that can remove all the contaminants. Information about water quality is easily available online. Some filters come with simple sediment filters, while others have more advanced filtration methods to remove toxic chemicals, heavy metals, improve odor and taste of water.
We don’t want you to end up with a filter that needs replacement after a few days. Select the filter which will last for a good period of time. Changing the filter is not a tiresome and difficult thing to do, but we don’t want you to spend extra money on buying replacement filters. Makes sure you calculate your usage and then compare it with the filtration capacity of the filter you are planning to buy.
Another thing to look forward to is a one-time filtration capacity. If you travel alone or in a couple, a small or medium filtration capacity will be good for you. For large groups or countertop use, we recommend that you get a filter with a large filtration capacity. Please keep in mind that gravity filters have a very low filtration capacity as compared to under sink filters. They will not work for large families. Gravity water filters are more suited for outdoor and small families.
Gravity water filters come in either plastic or stainless steel. Both have some advantages and disadvantages. Stainless steel is more durable, rugged, and can be used in different environments. It is more costly as compared to plastic filters. The plastic bag filters are lightweight; do not occupy much space in your luggage. They are also heat-sensitive, and plastic can dissolve in the water if exposed to high temperatures for a long time.
What’s the point of having a filter when you have to wait for 15-20 minutes and still get only half a liter of water? Your filter should be quick and must produce water in 15 minutes for a whole group. Similarly, personal use filters must produce a bottle of water in less time.
Weight and Portability
If you are planning to take your filter on a backpacking trip, you should make sure that the filter must be lightweight, occupy less space, and be easy to use. For countertop use and large camping groups, we advise you to buy a large filter. When you are moving in large groups, you have a lot of luggage space in your vehicles to adjust a relatively large filter. Similarly, the weight of the filter also affects its portability. Lightweight filters are easy to carry on tough and long hikes.
Your filter must be user friendly. If it’s difficult to use and complicated, you will spend a lot of time operating it. If it has a complex working mechanism, you will be stuck in getting water out of the filter during the time of thirst.
When you are backpacking, a versatile filter helps in a lot of ways. If your filter comes with a drinking straw, can be shaped into a water bottle, can be hung in different ways, and can be refilled easily, you will enjoy using it. We recommend that you look out for such features and compare them with your intended use. These features increase your filter value during the action.
Gravity Water Filters vs. Water Filter Pitchers
Water filter pitchers and gravity water filters make use of the same principle to filter water. Pitchers are totally made for indoor and refrigerator use. They are not as robust and rugged as gravity water filters designed for outdoor use. It is not a good idea to rely on your water filter pitcher on outdoor trips.