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Water to Go Review – The Best Filtered Water Bottle?

Hand holding the turquoise Water to Go Bottle with green hills in the background -The Best Filtered Water Bottle for Travel - Water to Go Bottle Review

Filtered water bottles are the must-have accessory for all sorts of activities.  There are various options on the market for filter water bottles for hiking, camping, sports, travel and for anywhere you can think of, so I wanted to share the details of the one that I use: the Water-to-Go filter bottle, which is certainly one of the best filtered water bottles out there.  This is my full Water to Go review so you can get more information about this potentially life-saving bottle!

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Why Use a Water Filter Bottle?

To Drink Safe Water

I first came across filter water bottles in 2015 when I was planning my epic trip backpacking around South America.
Drinking tap water is not recommended in most South American countries so I knew that a water filter bottle would be invaluable.  Since I first bought a filter bottle 5 years ago I must have saved thousands of water bottles from landfill, and thousands of pounds for my bank balance!

Not all filtered water bottles are created equal though, as some water filters only remove unpleasant tastes and odours, whereas others can remove dangerous chemicals, bacteria, viruses and other nasties to make water safe for you to drink. So, choosing the right filtered water bottle is really important as you may need to drink from dubious water sources.

I used the LifeStraw water bottle for my South and Central America trips, but after I wasn’t great at keeping the bottle clean it was definitely past its best by the time I came home.  I bought my Water-to-Go bottle a couple of years ago at a travel exhibition, and it has been all over Europe with me, and to Jordan too.

I was planning on taking it with me to Morocco this year, but we all know why my 2020 travel plans didn’t quite work out!  Wherever I do go next, my trusty Water-to-Go bottle will be coming too.

Water-to-Go
Water-to-Go
Water-to-Go
Water-to-Go

To Reduce Plastic

We all need to reduce our plastic use.  One of the easiest ways to do this is to get a reusable water bottle, and better still is to get a reusable water bottle with a filter.  Whether you are travelling around the world or on a staycation in your own country, using a filtered water bottle for hiking, the gym or day to day use will save you even more money and reduce even more plastic, as you can drink water from anywhere – a river, tap in a public toilet, and anywhere where it’s not recommended to drink the tap water.

YOU MAY ALSO LIKE: How to Reduce the Carbon Footprint of Your Flights

To Save Money

When you’re not buying bottled water, you can save yourself a lot of cash!  Weighing up the cost of a filtered water bottle versus buying bottled water is a no-brainer – I’ve done the maths for you further down the page but at a time when money is tight, you won’t need to buy another bottle of water again!

Water-to-Go Bottle in its packaging
Choosing the right filtered water bottle for travel is really important.

How does the Water to Go Filter Work?

Water to Go uses a unique 3-in-1 filter, created based on technology originally developed for NASA.  Using the three different filtration methods together in one filter removes up to 99.9999% of all microbiological contaminants in water.

The three technologies used in a Water-to-Go filter are:

1.       Mechanical filtration – meaning a very small pore size in the filter to stop contaminants passing through.

2.       Electrical filtration (by a positive charge) which reduces the pore size even further and attracts the contaminants like a magnet would, trapping them inside the filter.

3.       Activated Carbon filters are contained within the membrane, helping to reduce contaminants whilst eliminating bad tastes and odours.

You fill up the bottle, screw on the lid which has the filter inserted and drink through the filter, which acts like a straw.  You do need to suck through the filter but you get quite a lot of water in each mouthful.  

Filling up in the River - The Best Filtered Water Bottle for Travel
Filling up in the River – The Best Filtered Water Bottle for Travel

Where Can You Use the Water to Go Bottle Safely?

According to their website, the Water to Go filter water bottle removes over 99.9% of:

  • Metals and chemicals including Chlorine, Fluoride Chromium, Mercury, Nickel, Copper, Iron Lead, Gold, Silver and Aluminium
  • Volatile Organic Compounds including Formaldehyde
  • Water borne viruses including Norwalk, Hepatitis A, Tota Virus, Polio, Adenoviruses, Enteroviruses, Reoviruses
  • Bacteria including Coliform, E.Coli, Cholera, Typhus Dysentery, Botulism, Vibrio Disease, Campylobacteriosis Leptospirosis – Weil’s Disease Legionella (Legionnaires Disease and Pontiac Fever)
  • Water borne pathogens and oocystes (protozoa) including: Giardia lamblia Fasciolopsiasis Taeniasis – Tapeworm Echinococcosis Ascariasis Coenorosis Schistosomiasis Cryptosporidium Tryonosoma (Sleeping Sickness) Threadworm Guinea Worm Hookworm Roundworm Pinworm Onchiocerca Fasciola Hepatica/Liver fluke

All of this means that you can drink fresh water from any source and not worry about getting dysentery or a tapeworm!  You can drink tap water that’s not potable, you can drink from a river on a hike or even a stream at the side of the road.  Wherever you are that has some sort of fresh water, you can drink it.

All of this makes the Water-to-Go bottle one of, if not the best filtered water bottle out there – whether that is for hiking, travel, for the gym, backpacking, or even just using at home.  I had mine for going hiking in Scotland, bog-shoeing in Latvia and now I use it in the campervan as I prefer not to drink the water from the tank!  There is no need to buy bottled water ever again once you have one of these water filter bottles.

Where Can’t You Use the Water to Go Bottle?

The Water to Go filter won’t work with seawater – no filter will as far as I know.  It’s also not designed for use with cordials or juices etc, so if you like to add anything to your water it’s not going to work for you.

It’s also not recommended to filter urine for drinking – however if I happen to end up in a life or death situation where I have to drink my own wee to survive, I’d probably give it a try! 

How Many Plastic Bottles Will You Save?

GO! filters can be safely used to filter 130 litres of water in a Water-to-Go water bottle.  That equates to a whopping 260 500ml single-use plastic water bottles that you will save for each carbon filter you buy. 260 bottles per filter seem like a good deal to me!

The Water To Go Filter Bottle next to a river
The Water To Go Filter Bottle

How Much Money Will You Save?

Reusable water bottles will always save you money as you don’t have to buy bottled water every day.  Based on the calculations above, 260 500ml plastic bottles could cost anywhere from £240 to £500 plus, so that is quite a bit of cash you’ll save by buying just one Water to Go water bottle or a replacement filter.

You can save even more money as I have partnered with Water-to-Go to offer all Tales of a Backpacker readers a 15% discount on the purchase of a Water-to-Go bottle!  If you are based in the US or Canada, click here to order your bottle now, or if you are in Europe or Australia, click here.  Simply choose the water bottle you want to buy, and add in the code BYORB for a 15% discount on your purchase.

Why Use Water to Go

If the safe drinking water wasn’t enough, Water-to-Go is a company on a mission to give the whole World safe clean water that they can afford.  They work with Just a Drop, a charity that seeks to provide sustainable safe water, sanitation and hygiene projects to communities across the world.  You can buy one of their special Just a Drop water bottles, and Water-to-Go will donate £5 from every bottle sold to Just a Drop.  

Hand holding a Water-To-Go Bottle with a green field in the background
The New Lid Prevents Leakage – Water to Go Bottle Review

Disadvantages of the Water to Go Bottle

It Used to Leak (But Not Anymore)

One complaint with the old design was that it leaked, so I want to address that here.  The lid of the older Water to Go bottles did have a tendency to leak whenever it was tipped up, so it wasn’t ideal for carrying in a shoulder bag or handbag.  However, that has changed with the new design which includes a cover for the lid, and since replacing the lid at the beginning of this year I haven’t had any leakage problems at all.

If you have a bottle with the old lid, you can order a replacement lid without having to order a whole new bottle.  Or if you buy a new one from anywhere other than the official Water to Go website, just check it has the new style lid which is black and has a cover for the mouthpiece.

It is Still Plastic

If you are truly going for zero waste and not using any plastic at all then you may be disappointed that the Water to Go filter bottle is still made of plastic.

There are some beautiful metal water bottles out there, but if you are travelling somewhere without potable drinking water then you may not be able to refill your bottle as easily.

That’s why the Water to Go bottle with a filter is so useful, and ultimately will save you from using more single-use plastic, even though it is made of plastic. The filter membrane is biodegradable and the shroud cover and plastic end caps are recyclable though.

Hiking with the Water to Go Filtered Water Bottle
Hiking with the Water to Go Filtered Water Bottle

I love this water bottle, I literally take it everywhere with me – whether I need filtered water or not – it is always in my bag every time I go anywhere.  When I set out on a hike it fits snugly in my backpack pocket and is easy to grab and take a sip of water whenever I need it.  For me, it really is the best filtered water bottle for hiking!

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Last updated: October 22, 2020

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