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Best standalone filter for travel
The Sawyer Squeeze stands tall above other water filters suited for travel. Let's compare it to the two other popular options: its smaller sibling the Sawyer Mini and the Lifestraw.
The Squeeze may be a bit heavier and heavier than the Mini (3 oz vs. 2 oz), but in exchange for that 1 oz you get a lot: 10x longer lifespan (1 million gallons vs. 100K gallons), a 3x faster flow rate, and less clogging. The faster flow rate is a big deal: it's the difference between sucking a thick milkshake vs. sucking water through a straw. Doing that dozens of times a day gets tiring.
Compared to the Lifestraw, the Squeeze's lifespan is comically longer: 14,388x. Yes, that's the right number (1 million gallons vs. 264 gallons). The Squeeze also filters out more gunk (0.1 microns vs. 0.2).
However, you do have to regularly backflush and clean the Squeeze, but it's not hard with the included syringe.
Best integrated bottle filter
Having a filter integrated into a bottle can be more convenient on the go, and could mean the difference between actually using it and forgetting about it.
The GRAYL is the best integrated option because it can filter more organisms (viruses, bacteria, etc) compared to other popular integrated filters like the LifeStraw. They purposely omitted a straw so you don't have to worry about any mouthpiece harboring bacteria or a slow flow rate.
The only downside is that it's a bit more expensive, and you'll eventually have to replace the filter. You're paying for the convenience basically.
Note: GRAYL doesn't use a micron rating for its filter because it uses electroadhesion and ion exchange instead of a physical filter.
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Bring a compact umbrella when traveling to weather unexpected elements and block out the sun.
Use the wisdom of the crowds to figure out the best places to eat, drink, or check out. Some effort required.
If you travel often, a backpack with travel specific features like luggage pass through and clamshell opening help a lot.