Best Gravity Water Filters of 2021 Reviewed
Travel Berkey Gravity Water Filter
Miniwell Gravity Water Filter
Aquapail Gravity Water Filter
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A gravity water filter is an amazing piece of technological ingenuity. It allows you to filter contaminated or polluted water using gravity. It doesn’t need electricity or plumbing to run. Simply pour in your unpurified water in the top chamber of the unit, and it transforms it into clean, filtered water by the time it exits the second chamber below.
Now, you’re likely thinking – Where on earth would I use a gravity filter? For starters, if you’re going to be off-grid for a while, you’re certainly going to need an efficient water filtration system that doesn’t rely on electricity. If you plan to go cruising on the open waters in your boat, you’ll want to have pure, fresh water to drink.
With so many options for purifiers on the market right now, how do you pick the best one? In our quest to find the best gravity water filter, we’ve tried, tested, and ranked the top 12 brands. We’ve also put together a comprehensive guide to help you choose the right one for your needs.
What Is a Gravity Water Filter?
A gravity filter is a water purification system whose process relies on the force of gravity to push down the water through a filter, effectively removing any impurities, contaminants, pollutants, particles, and sediments.
Once this is done, the crystal-clear water then flows into a holding chamber. Some brands have a pitcher-style faucet, while others like the countertop ones have a spigot you can use to tune the water on or off. Some versions are made of flexible, fabric-like material that you can fold and pack inside your bag. These are ideal for outdoor use, like camping, fishing, or backpacking through the woods.
How Does It Work?
What makes the gravity water filter so popular is just how easy it is to use. It has two chambers and a filtration medium, which might vary depending on the specific product you use. Nonetheless, they all work the same way.
First, you’ll need to add water to the upper chamber. This is where the filter medium is. As the water passes through the element, the filter’s microscopic pores act as a barrier to trap larger sediments and particles. This prevents them from moving to the next chamber.
The ready-to-drink, clean, filtered water then passes to the lower chamber where it remains before it is accessed.
What Are the Different Types of Gravity Water Filters?
Gravity water filters come in various sizes, styles, and shapes. Here are the different types of water purification systems you might come across.
Ceramic Gravity Water Filters
These are one of the several home versions of water purification systems. As their name suggests, they are made of ceramic, making them a top choice among individuals that are allergic or sensitive to certain chemicals. On the downside, however, they require significantly more care and maintenance compared to standard filtration systems.
Stainless Steel Gravity Water Filters
These are the most common types of gravity water filters on the market. They tend to be quite large and bulky and can hold a considerable amount of water in their chambers. Since they usually have stainless steel housing, they are more durable than their ceramic counterparts. It means you don’t have to worry about them breaking, cracking, or chipping at the surface.
Gravity Bag Water Filters
These versions of gravity water purifiers are a lot more lightweight, compact, and portable compared to the two previous versions we’ve seen so far. As such, you’ll commonly find them among people who love fishing, camping, backpacking, and the great outdoors in general.
They typically use ceramic and activated carbon as the filter medium to clean the water in the first chamber before it flows into a second compartment in the lower chamber. You do need to handle them carefully, though; otherwise, the water in the first chamber will simply contaminate the one in the compartment below.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Using a Gravity Water Filter
As is the case with all filtration systems, gravity water filters also have their own unique set of pros and cons. If you’re thinking of getting one, you need to weigh these carefully to determine if a particular product is right for you.
This one is a no-brainer. Gravity water filters act as a barrier to remove pathogens, contaminants, particles, sediments, and any other kind of impurity that’s bigger than the size of the microscopic pores on the filtration cartridge. That way, you get crystal-clear water that’s fit for human consumption.
You don’t have to rely on bottled water with a filtration system when you’re at home, out fishing, camping, or hiking in the woods. It reduces the amount of plastic pollution in the environment.
Produces Great-Tasting Water
Aside from filtering the bacterial pathogens and pollutants that may be present, gravity filters also remove chemical contaminants and mineral sediments that may interfere with the water’s taste and smell.
Long Filtration Times
Just like you would expect with any filtration system, the process is not instant. It takes a while for the water to pass through the first chamber before you can get clean drinking water. Periodically having to refill it might also be a bit of a hassle for some.
Limited Water Output
Gravity systems are also limited in the amount of water they can filter. On average, most standard units can only sift between 10 and 16 cups a day since they have a relatively slow flow rate.
Filtration Medium Limitations
For the filter to remove a wide variety of impurities, contaminants, and pollutants, you may need to get one that has a combination of different filtration mediums to confront a broader range of impurities.
Buying Guide – How to Choose the Best Gravity Water Filter
With so many different filtration systems on the market right now, choosing the best one can be a daunting task. We’ve put together a list of factors you need to consider before settling for a particular gravity water filter.
This refers to the amount of water in gallons that the water filter can purify before you have to replace it. In other words, it’s the lifespan of the filter medium. The sweet spot for most units is around 6,000 gallons of water. The efficiency of a filter cartridge continues to dwindle the longer you keep using it past its useful shelf life.
The filter medium of your gravity purifier determines the range of impurities it is capable of treating. Most of the units you’ll come across typically have ceramic or activated carbon filters. Others even come with a fluoride filter. The point is – you want to pick a unit with a combination of two or more elements to increase the range of impurities it can effectively treat.
Size of the Filter
Water filters come in different shapes and sizes suited to a host of different applications and individual preferences. If you intend to use yours at home, on your cabin cruiser, or center console boat, a pitcher-style countertop filter would be ideal.
If, on the other hand, you intend to go camping, kayaking, or spearfishing, you want to get something a little more lightweight and compact, like a bag filter. The size you buy all depends on the number of people who’ll be using it at any given time.
The construction of the water filter you get will determine how long it is likely to last. Stainless steel gravity water filters are a top choice for many since they’re lightweight, durable, rust-resistant, weather-resistant, easy-to-clean, and built for rugged performance.
Keep in mind that they tend to have a higher price point than other types of filtration systems. However, in the long run, they’ll save you a ton of money on replacement parts and other associated costs.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What is the best gravity-fed water filter?
Berkey has some of the best gravity water filters we’ve come across. The performance of the Travel Berkey, in particular, is pretty impressive. Other top brands that we recommend include Ginkin, Joypur, Purewell, and LifeStraw.
How much does a gravity water filter cost?
It all depends on the type you get. Stainless steel systems tend to cost more than bag filtration systems. Nonetheless, they are more durable than other types of filters, so their initial cost pays off in the long run. The price of gravity water filters ranges anywhere between $50 and $470.
Which water filter removes the most contaminants?
When choosing a filtration system, the rule of thumb is to pick a unit with a combination of two or more filter elements. The higher the number of filters it has, the wider the range of contaminants it can treat.
The Joypur water filter, for instance, has three purification filters. These remove bacteria and other disease-causing pathogens, heavy metals like lead, chromium, and mercury, as well as pesticides, herbicides, and other organic chemical matter.
While choosing the best gravity water filter can be challenging, knowing what to look for in one will save you from the headache and heartache that comes with picking the wrong one. Any of the units we’ve reviewed in this guide would be an excellent choice.