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GRAYL Water Bottle Filter Review! | What’s the BEST Backpacking Water Purifier

What does it take to get clean water when you’re out in the woods?

I’ve recently enlisted the help of my husband Kris to review a filtered water bottle. He was supposed to go on a big backpacking trip this summer, so I thought that would be the perfect opportunity to test out a GRAYL water bottle purifier

Unfortunately, Kris’s trip was postponed due to a huge, once in a hundred years snowstorm in Montana at the end of May. We’re talking feet and feet of snow!

However, there’s weird tasting water all sorts of places! So instead, we took our GRAYL water purifier up to a cabin where the well water has a very, very, very high iron content, and you can really taste it. We also filtered water directly from the lake.

I’ll be back with an update at the end of the summer after Kris goes on his postponed backpacking trip. In the meantime though, here is our GRAYL water filter review after our trip to the lake!

GRAYL Water Bottle Purifier Review

Can’t see the video? Watch our full review of the GRAYL water bottle here on YouTube!

Is the GRAYL Water Purifier Easy to Use?

Yes, it’s pretty easy. It does take a decent amount of strength to get the water filtered, but it’s pretty quick, about eight seconds.

You fill the outer bottle and then you press the filter down on a really hard surface. Kris found that the more you could use your body weight pushing down instead of your muscles the easier it is

Does the GRAYL Water Bottle Work to Filter Out Impurities?

From taste alone, we can say that the pond water tasted just like regular normal clean water.

I think the even better test is the well water though. Kris will practically dehydrate himself when we visit this cabin at the lake because he does not like the water. It’s got a pretty strong taste.

We’ve taken our Berkey filter up there in the past, and it worked great. No weird taste.

This time we were able to do a Berkey vs. GRAYL side by side test.

RELATED: Our review of the Berkey water filter.

GRAYL water filter being used in a waterfall

The two glasses of water were indistinguishable from each other and way, way better than the unfiltered well water.

The GRAYL water purifier has been tested to remove 99.9+% of rotavirus, norovirus, hepatitis A, e. Coli, salmonella, dysentery, giardia, cryptosporidium, amoebae, microplastics, sediment, soil, chlorine, benzene, chloroform, lead, arsenic, and chromium, as well as improving taste, smell, and clarity. 

GRAYL Water Bottle Filter Pros and Cons

There are some definite pros and cons to this kind of filter. We’ll start with some of the cons.

GRAYL Water Filter CONS

It does take a little bit of strength to push down, and it also takes a decent amount of strength to pull the filter out to refill. Of course, if you’re backpacking, you should have some strength already. 🙂

Something to watch out for is that the GRAYL sometimes squirts water up when you first set the filter in. It’s well-positioned to hit you in the face. Just keep an eye out and don’t test it over the carpet!

using the GRAYL water purifier

If you wanted to do a lot of water, I can imagine you’re gonna be pretty sore after pressing the filter down 4-5 times in a row.

Why would you need to do that? When backpacking, you can carry a water reservoir and fill it up one bottle of filtered water at a time and then carry around the full reservoir and stop less frequently for water. This leads us to the first pro…

GRAYL Water Filter PROS

We travel as a family and stay in AirBnBs a lot. Sometimes they have funky tasting water, but now we can bring this with us.

The GRAYL can just be Kris’s normal travel water bottle, and then we can filter the water, pour it off into a pitcher, and into the family’s bottles throughout the day.

So that’s a huge benefit. For some other bottles, it is the act of drinking that filters the water so you have to use it as a water bottle and actually suck the water out in order to filter it.

GRAYL water bottle filter

What about hiking with the weight? The GRAYL filter has got some heft to it, and when you’re trying to backpack super light, that can be a negative. However, this is a two-in-one deal, it’s both a water bottle and a filter, which I think is advantageous here.

We actually weighed another pump-style filter Kris was planning on getting which meant he would need to carry another water bottle. The pump plus the extra water bottle actually came out a little bit heavier than the GRAYL. We think the fact that it’s two-in-one makes up for the fact that it’s a little bit heavier.

Paleovalley Meat Sticks

It can be hard to find healthy snacks that you can take with you on the go. When I want the convenience of a jerky stick, but want a healthy, protein packed snack option, I grab Paleovalley meat sticks. Paleovalley ingredients have these high standards that you can feel good about:

100% grass fed beef sticks, pasture raised beef sticks
  • 100% Grass Fed Beef & 100% Pasture Raised Turkey
  • Never given antibiotics or hormones
  • Gluten free, soy free, dairy free
  • 0 grams of sugar*
  • Contains no artificial nitrates or nitrites
  • Non-GMO
  • Naturally fermented and contain gut-friendly probiotics!

*With the exception of Teriyaki, which contains 2 grams of sugar from Organic Honey.

These beef sticks and turkey sticks taste delicious! My favorite is the Jalapeño but my kids love Summer Sausage.

Use this link to get 15% off your order at Paleovalley. Read my Paleovalley Review to learn more!

If you know anything about Kitchen Stewardship®, you know I don’t like single-use items, whether it’s disposable plastic or just something that you buy for one thing like a yogurt maker. Something that’s 2-for-1 is great in my book!

The GRAYL water purifier is an affordable price for what it does. It was right in the same cost zone as that other pump filter Kris was thinking of getting, plus it doubles as the water bottle.

GRAYL Filter Unboxing

You can watch us unbox the GRAYL filter if you want to see how it’s set up!

Can’t see the video? Watch our GRAYL water bottle unboxing here on YouTube!

Would We Recommend the GRAYL Water Filter?

YES! Judging by the taste, the test data that shows its effectiveness in purifying the water, and how it is a two-in-one filter/water bottle I think it is really neat.

I’m really looking forward to traveling as a family and having this with us. It will be great to not worry about whether the water is filtered or has a weird taste. We have a very sensitive child who will not drink water they don’t like. Huge fans!

So what does it take to have good tasting, clean, safe, filtered water when you’re out in the woods? Take the GRAYL filter and water bottle which also doubles for hotels, AirBnBs, and family members who have gross-tasting well water

When you order, make sure you use this link and save 10% on your first order!


How would you use the GRAYL water purifier?
Unless otherwise credited, photos are owned by the author or used with a license from Canva or Deposit Photos.
Category: The Reviews

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