3 Reasons Why GRAYL Is The Best Portable Water Filter For Travel

For families who enjoy the outdoors and traveling the world like we do, having drinkable water on hand is by far one of the most important things to have. That's why we always have a portable water filter for travel on hand.

In the past, we used to buy bottled water from the store. But as we try to be more environmentally responsible during our travels, we decided to invest in something that will allow us to have clean, drinkable water all the time.

These days, we never go camping or traveling without our GRAYL bottles. They're one of our essential travel items. This portable water filter for travel helps us have drinkable water whenever we want. And they also help us to be more environmentally friendly!

This post was updated on May 7, 2020.

This post may contain affiliate links. That means I may receive a small commission if you click on the link and purchase something. But don't worry, this will not result in any extra costs to you.

GRAYL bottle, an example of family camping essentials, in front of Mexican ruins
Taking our GRAYL bottle to Mexico (November 2018)

Reducing our reliance on plastic water bottles

According to Forbes, one million plastic bottles are purchased each minute in the world, and only 9% of those bottles are recycled. Even for those plastic bottles that are recycled, the process of recycling isn’t as environmentally friendly as you would think, as it uses up valuable resources like water and electricity.

When we were thinking of what to pack for around the world travels, we wanted to be mindful of purchasing items that would have a small environmental impact, but still also do the job that it needed to do.

In the case of water bottles, we wanted something that would reduce our reliance on one time use plastic bottles, but also still provide us clean and safe drinking water.

That’s when we discovered GRAYL. It’s a portable water filter for travel that also has a water purifier.

Another traveling family recommended these bottles to us. They traveled for eight years as a family, and swear by GRAYL water bottles. I found out that they are based in Seattle. So I sent them a message, and they sent me back a few bottles to review.

Want to know what else we travel with? Read our other travel essentials posts.

A shelf of GRAYL water bottles, family camping essentials for clean water
GRAYL water bottles over the years (July 2018)

How does it work?

GRAYL water bottles uses a technology called electroadsorption, which filters out particles, pathogens, and heavy metals in water. This portable water filter for travel consists of an outer container and an inner container with a filter and purifier cartridge attached to the bottom. Water is filled into the outer container, and then you insert the inner container and press down on it to allow the water to pass through the cartridge and into the inner container.

The cartridges have activated carbon that attracts any material in the water and pulls it out, so that all you have left is clean water. The whole filtering and purifying process takes about 15 seconds, and even my 7 year old daughter can do it!

My daughter pressing the GRAYL to filter water (July 2018)

Taking the GRAYL water bottles camping

We first took our GRAYL portable water filter for travel for a test spin when we went camping in June 2018 at Seaquest State Park in Washington state, and we loved using them. These bottles have definitely become one of our favorite travel essentials.

Today, we travel everywhere with our GRAYL portable water filter for travel. They have been to Central America, Europe, and Asia, and we always love using them.

Here are three reasons why I think you'll love this portable water filter for travel too.

1. Easy to use portable water filter for travel

When we first took the Gray bottle, it was easy to fill up the bottles at the potable water faucets and filter the water on the spot. They really are a useful portable water filter for travel. The bottles are made of heavy duty plastic, and are lightweight, so carrying them around on our hikes wasn’t any different than carrying regular water bottles.

One drawback is that the bottles only hold about 16 ounces of water. If you’re a big water drinker like I am, that means frequent refilling of the bottles. GRAYL recommends having another clean bottle or water bladder on hand, which you can pour the filtered water into. In my case, I didn’t mind taking multiple trips to the potable water faucet, it was a good excuse to get more steps in!

Unfiltered water in the outer compartment (July 2018)

2. An easy to clean portable water filter for travel

Keeping your GRAYL portable water filter for travel clean and cared for is important to ensure longevity of use. Fortunately, the GRAYL water bottles are quite durable and long lasting.

Taking care of GRAYL water bottles is also relatively easy. All parts of the bottle, EXCEPT for the cartridge, are washable by hand with soap and warm water. I would avoid putting them in the dishwasher, in order to preserve the integrity and shape of the bottles. You can give the cartridge a rinse with water, but avoid using hot water, as it may damage the effectiveness of the carbon in the cartridges.

Two purifying filters for a GRAYL portable water filter for travel
Purifier cartridges attached to the inner compartment (July 2018)

3. A cost effective alternative to plastic water bottles

When it comes to choosing camping essentials, we always want to make sure that we are spending our money in a cost effective way. At $70 each, GRAYL water bottles are not cheap. The replacement cartridges are not cheap either. They run around $25 each, and need to be replaced approximately every three months, or after 300 uses. When you add it up, that means you're spending about $150 for your first year of using a GRAYL bottle, and $100 each subsequent year.

However, when you divide that in terms of daily use, that equals only $.28-$.41 per day (for approximately 48 ounces of water per day). Buying the plastic bottled water equivalent of that much water can run you upwards of $3 a day.  You can be saving almost $1,000 in the span of a year!

GRAYL now also has a much larger bottle, called the GeoPress. These bottles can hold up to 24 liters of water. The price is more expensive, at $90 a bottle. However, they are definitely still worth every penny!

Need ideas on how to travel responsibly? Read my responsible travel posts here.

An orange GRAYL portable water filter for travel next to a green GRAYL water bottle on a wooden table
GRAYL bottles, one of our favorite camping essentials (July 2018)

A must-have portable water filter for travel

We love our GRAYL water bottles. We plan to continue using them not only for camping, but also as we travel on our family gap year. The bottles have been so easy to use. The peace of mind of having access to clean drinking water no matter where we go makes GRAYL one of our most recommended family camping essentials. The added perk of reducing the number of plastic water bottles being used in the world is also a plus!

Are you ready to switch to a GRAYL bottle? You can buy them on the GRAYL website, or through the Amazon.

Disclosure: This is a sponsored post. I received two water purifier bottles from GRAYL in exchange for a product review. However, the opinions expressed in this post are my own.

Family Camping Essentials: GRAYL Bottles | The Wandering Daughter | Reasons why Grayl is the best portable water filter for travel.

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