As a doctor, one of my prime concerns is helping travellers keep safe and healthy when they are abroad.
One of the biggest causes of travellers getting sick abroad is drinking water which is dirty and may contain bacteria, parasites, chemicals and viruses. Even brushing your teeth with tap water in some countries can pose a real risk to your health.
Of course, drinking water from pre-packaged plastic bottles helps to solve the health problem but it’s not very environmentally friendly.
This is a particular problem when travelling in certain countries where recycling is not a top priority. I’ve seen many a beach in South East Asia absolutely destroyed by plastic bottles floating in the otherwise pristine water. It’s incredibly sad. We are destroying our planet.
So I set about trying to find a solution for safe, clean drinking water which is also environmentally friendly and I discovered a great option I’m excited to tell you all about.
I may have found the best water bottle with a filter for travel.
But it’s not the ONLY option out there so I figured I’d give you the choice and tell you about water purification methods to keep you safe when you travel.
What you can expect from this article...
- 1 Things to Consider When Considering Which Water Purification Method to Use.
- 2 Water To Go Bottle – the Best Water Bottle With a Filter for Travel
- 2.1 It’s the best filtered water bottle for convenience
- 2.2 These water bottles filter bacteria, protozoa, parasites, viruses AND harmful chemicals
- 2.3 Water To Go Bottles are independently tested by organisations I trust
- 2.4 Water To Go Bottles are environmentally friendly
- 2.5 These water filtration bottles are cost effective for travel
- 3 Other water Purification Methods
Things to Consider When Considering Which Water Purification Method to Use.
- Is it safe? Is it tested? Is it reputable?
- Will it affect the taste?
- Is it environmentally friendly?
- Is it cost effective?
- Is it easy to carry when you travel?
With those things in mind let’s talk about the Water To Go Bottles…
Water To Go Bottle – the Best Water Bottle With a Filter for Travel
I came across the Water To Go bottles at World Travel Market and was instantly curious. Could this be the environmentally friendly solution for safe drinking water I was seeking?!
I had a long chat with the Water To Go team – I had a LOT of questions!
You may not already know that as well as being a travel blogger, I also work as a general practitioner doctor. Therefore, travel health is super important to me and I will only recommend products which have had thorough levels of testing and have approval from independent testing standard committees that I trust as a doctor.
Doctors are very evidence driven. I wouldn’t recommend a drug until I knew it was 100% safe. Water filters are no different. If you get it wrong you can get very sick.
And I’ve been sick myself from E Coli Food poisoning in Peru. It was awful. I could barely leave the hotel room to get more bottled water to keep hydrated. It lasted a week and I probably should have been in a hospital for intravenous fluids but I’m stubborn you see.
They do say doctors make the worst patients!
If I had a water bottle with a filter like the water to go bottles, I wouldn’t have needed to leave my hotel room at all. What a relief that would have been! That’s the last time I’ll travel without a reliable water purification method at my disposal!
So after my long discussion with water to go, I decided to investigate the bottles myself and was really excited with what I found out. I’ll tell you all about it in just a moment. I also managed to wangle you a 15% discount. So be sure to use the discount code GLOBETROTTERGP
So why do I recommend the Water To Go Bottles?
It’s the best filtered water bottle for convenience
Unlike other water purification methods, the Water To Go Bottles are super convenient to use. You simply pour water in through the filtration device and immediately, you have safe, clean drinking water.
Many other methods of purifying water involve waiting a period of time before the water is safe to drink. This may make it the most convenient filtered water bottle for travel!
They also come in two different sizes 500ml and 750ml depending on how much space you have in your backpack!
These water bottles filter bacteria, protozoa, parasites, viruses AND harmful chemicals
The Water To Go Bottles use a 3-in-1 filtration device which was actually originally developed to keep astronauts safe in space for the NASA space programme!
Water To Go boasts that they can remove over 99.9% of microbiological contaminants just be pouring the water through their clever filters.
They are also capable of removing chlorine and fluoride from tap water without removing the good, beneficial minerals such as sodium and magnesium.
These bottles are also BPA free. That means Bisphenol, a man made oestrogen which can be found in water in regular plastic bottles which are left in temperatures greater than 15ºC or 60ºF. These are carcinogenic so leaving a bottle in the car or in sunlight can be harmful in the long term. These bottles do not emit these harmful chemicals even if they are left in direct sunlight helping to keep you safe.
The filters do three things
- Acts as a mechanical filter to filter the big stuff.
- Uses electrical filtering methods – essentially it works as a magnet to attract the tiny particles that may otherwise leak through.
- Uses activated carbon within the filter which also helps to eliminate bad tastes and odours.
The result: safe clean drinking water which tastes great!
Water To Go Bottles are independently tested by organisations I trust
As I mentioned, us doctors are evidence driven. We like to see studies to prove a treatments efficacy. Not only that but we like to analyse the studies to make sure the testing was thorough enough. Only then will we advocate using a certain treatment.
Testing water purification systems is no different. The testing has to be incredible thorough to ensure no one will get sick using these bottles.
I’m glad to say that I am perfectly satisfied that thorough testing HAS been carried out on Water To Go Bottles.
This testing was done by independent companies and has been approved worldwide.
It has been approved by;
- London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, UK
- BCS Laboratories (accredited by the State of Florida Department of Health and registered with the US EPA Laboratory Compendium.)
- Bangalaore Test House (ISO accredited facility)
You can read more here about the rigorous testing these bottles have undergone;
Water To Go Bottles are environmentally friendly
Obviously a reusable water bottle is a lot more environmentally friendly that single use bottles which often find themselves floating in our oceans one day!
But Water To Go have taken this one step further. Their filtration membranes are fully biodegradable too. The bottle itself is easy to recycle. You can also buy replacement filters so it’s a great long term solution!
These water filtration bottles are cost effective for travel
The filters in these bottles will filter 130-200 litres of water (respective of which size bottle you get.)
This is the equivalent of an impressive 260-400 single use plastic bottles!
To put it into perspective, the recommended amount of water we consume each day is about 2 Litres, more if you are at risk of dehydration or at high altitude. On this basis, if you used your Water To Go bottle every day, each filter would last approximately 3 months.
This works out as a cost of 5p per litre filtered – a lot cheaper than a pre-packaged bottle of water even in cheap countries!
To make it EVEN more cost effective, use the discount code GLOBETROTTERGP to get 15% off when you purchase it via their website (not via Amazon.)
Other water Purification Methods
UV SteriPen Ultra
The UV Steri Pen is one of the best known and best rated UV sterilisation pens. Like the Water To Go Bottles, it also filters 99/9% of bacteria, protozoa and viruses. It is more expensive up front however works for 3000 Litres. So if you are travelling long term for longer than 3 months it may be a better option for you.
It takes about 48 seconds to work. It’s important to remember this doesn’t filtrate particles so the water may be safe but may not look clean so it is better when used with faster flowing river water or tap water.
Water purification tablets
Water purification tablets are probably the most cost effective way to sterilise water. At $7 for 100 tablets which equates to 1000 Litres it doesn’t get much cheaper. For this reason, they are a great option for people volunteering following natural disasters as they can be distributed to people when their usual clean water supply is disrupted.
The downside to these chlorine based tablets and the reason many travellers do not use them is that they can leave an unpleasant taste. Though many do describe this as subtle. Also it takes 30 minutes to be effective so if you are thirsty, you will have to wait!
One solution to the taste problem would be to take mini squeezy bottles of concentrated squash. You only need a few drops to flavour your water and I often carry these with me on my trips to stop me from getting bored of water which helps me drink enough and stay hydrated. They are in tiny bottles with 66ml so can be taken in your hand luggage. They make up about 20 drinks.
The Life Straw Water Filter
This straw filters 99.9% of bacteria as you drink. Each pen filters between 2000 and 4000 Litres of water making them cost effective long term. You can drink the water straight away with no wait time.
The main downside I can see if they don’t yet have a straw which filters bacteria, viruses, metals AND bad tastes.
The Lifestraw Flex removes everything except for viruses and the Lifestraw Mission (which is a lot more pricey) does remove viruses along with bacteria but doesn’t remove chlorine, heavy metals or bad tastes.
The Lifestraw does however, perform very well in reviews. There are a staggering 7635 reviews on Amazon and it scores 4.6/5 stars.
My other favourite water bottle
If you opt for the steripen ultra or chlorine purification tablets, then you’ll need a separate water bottle that you can also rely on.
I personally own this collapsible silicone water bottle which I love. It holds 750ml, is leak proof and it collapses and folds up to take up minimal space in your luggage which is great if you are short on space.
What do I use personally?
Going forward I will be using both the Water To Go 750ml bottle and my other trusty collapsible silicone bottle (also 750ml.)
I find them both useful in different ways. I found the collapsible bottle super useful in Iceland where I was restricted on luggage space but I knew the tap water was safe.
I would use the Water To Go bottle mainly in countries where the tap water is not safe and reliable OR if I knew I was going hiking and would need to top up my water from natural sources along the way.
With these two water bottles in my backpacking gear, I don’t feel the need for any other type of bottle or water purification system.
If you want to buy a Water To Go Bottle, remember to use my code GLOBETROTTERGP at the check out to get 15% off!
I hope you’ve found this article useful to help you decide on which water bottle to get for your travels!
For full disclosure, Water To Go gifted me with their bottles to try out so that I could make an informed decision if to promote this affiliate product. All opinions are and always will be my own.
I’d love top hear how you got on with the water to go bottle so please shoot me a message in the comments! As always, I really appreciate any social shares if you enjoyed reading this article and found it useful!