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HydroBlu Water Filter Review

Hydro Blu Water Filter Pin

HydroBlu Water Filters have you covered when it comes to outdoor adventure and travel abroad.  As a full-time adventurist, I love having HydroBlu’s Clear Flow Water Bottles or their Gravity Bag with Versa Filter with me when I step on a train or airplane.  

We’ve taken HydroBlu’s Water Filters with us all over the world and having these in my pack always provides me with peace of mind, plus, it allows me to not always have a plan and gives me the freedom to just “wing it” some days.

I tend to bite off more than I can chew and to push further than I am prepared to do (or, just me 🤷‍♀️).  

Thanks to HydroBlu’s Clear Flow Water Bottle and Filter Combo, I haven’t died of dehydration from my stubborn and overzealous personality…yet

It’s all too common for us to head out on what we think is going to be a quick 4 to 6 miler that 24 ounces of water could in theory easily get us by on, but then I see another trail or prettier peak and I change course, dragging my kids/teens on an all-day adventure in the wild.

Hydro blu review
Using our HydroBlu Clear Flow Water Bottle while tent camping in Hawaii.

Luckily, we always hike with our HydroBlu Clear Flow Water Bottle and Filter Combo and as long as there is a water source nearby, we’ve never had to worry about packing enough water. We also rarely hike in the desert and all of our travels tend to take us to mountains with streams and waterfalls flowing off of them.

Using the Clear Flow Water Bottles really is so easy. You just unscrew the lid, fill your water bottle from a water source (I prefer waterfalls), make sure the filter is attached to the lid, and then screw the lid back on. As you suck the water up through the straw it runs through the filter making sure it’s safe to drink.

Fun Adventures With Our Clear Flow Water Bottles

We carried these water bottles with us when we were tent camping in Hawaii as well as on our backpacking adventures in Abel Tasman and the Routeburn Track in New Zealand. It was great because there were plenty of water sources and this allowed us to pack light and never worry about the water quality.

Hydro blu review
Using our HydroBlu water filters to make coffee while backpacking the Routeburn Track, New Zealand
The only two negatives about these water bottles is that one, I don’t love drinking out of a straw (but for peace of mind and making my adventures easier I’ve learned to get over it) and two, they tend to spill if they are on their side in your backpack.

I just keep them on the outside and then it’s not a problem. If the straw thing bothers you, you could carry the Versa Flow Light-Weight Water Filter Package. It’s super lightweight and then you could filter directly into an open or wide mouth water bottle.

Hydro Blu Water Bottles in Descanso, Outdoorsy Holiday Gift Guide
Hydro Blu Water Bottles in Descanso

HydroBlu Water Filters Aren’t Just For Hiking

hydroblu water filters mountain biking
Mountain biking in Bend with our Clear Flow Water Filters

We don’t just use our HydroBlu Clear Flow Water Bottle and Filter Combo for hiking either. We often use it for mountain biking and rock climbing so that we don’t have to carry as much water as long as we know there is a water source nearby.

I love that the soft plastic water bottles fit easily into the mountain bike’s water bottle holder and I typically slip the black rubber piece off the bottom so that it sides in quickly and easily so I can grab water without slowing my pedal speed.

HydroBlu Water Filters Protects Us When We Travel Abroad

We’ve carried our HydroBlu Clear Flow Water Bottle and Filter Combo on many adventures abroad. I was very thankful to have them when we reached Bali where I was very worried about the water quality.

The Clear Flow filter system has been rigorously tested and surpasses EPA standards for removing E. Coli, Giardia and Cryptosporidium, and many other waterborne contaminants.

It’s particularly helpful for us here in San Diego, especially when we rely on tap water. Although I’m less concerned about bacteria in our water, I do worry about potentially elevated levels of heavy metals. Having Clear Flow filters in place reassures me because they effectively remove metals like iron and lead. Plus, it’s a relief to notice an improvement in both the taste and color of our water.

Hydro blu review
Using HydroBlu’s Clear Flow while hiking Mount Cook, New Zealand

HydroBlu has two different types of water filters: the Clear Flow and the Versa Flow.

It’s important to note that the Versa Flow water filter does not remove chemicals or viruses from water. Generally, viruses are not found in North America or municipal water supplies around the world. Check out the Clear Flow if you are concerned about heavy metals or chemicals in your water.

The Clear Flow water system is based on using activated charcoal to absorb chlorine, sediment, chemicals, iron, lead, odor, and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) while the Versa Flow system is based purely on using a Hollow Fiber membrane to block 99.9999% of harmful bacteria such as giardia, E. coli, protozoan cysts, and cryptosporidium.

The Versa Flow also removes dangerous viruses such as hepatitis A, polio, typhoid, enteroviruses, and more. Note that the Clear Flow also uses the hollow fiber membrane in addition to the activated charcoal system.

HydroBlu water filter on New Zealand's Abel Tasman hike
Using HydroBlu’s water filters on New Zealand’s Abel Tasman hike

How Long Do The Clear Flow Filters Last?

It’s fascinating how the hollow fiber membrane systems allow for simple backflushing, effectively removing harmful particles. This not only reduces waste but also amplifies the value gained from your investment.

After four years of use, although our plastic water bottles seem worn out and due for a replacement, our Clear Flow Filters are holding up well and primed for more adventures.

You’ll know when it is time to replace the Clear Flow Filter when it no longer allows water to pass through it.  But that will be many adventures later since it has the capacity to filter 400 gallons of water😱

Best HydroBlu Filter For Backpacking

We carried the HydroBlu Go Flow Water Gravity Bag with Versa Filter with us on our recent Tour du Mont Blanc backpacking trip.

I knew ahead of time that this 104-mile adventure went through many towns and past refugios so I wasn’t sure exactly how much water I’d need to carry. We opted to each just carry one regular 24-ounce water bottle each and bring along the HydroBlu Go Flow Water Gravity Bag with Versa Filter just in case we didn’t come across any towns or Refugios. It was a good call since one day we bit off way more than we should’ve and we found ourselves out of water and so thankful that we were carrying the HydroBlu Go Flow Water Gravity Bag with Versa Filter.

HydroBlu Gravity Bag Water Filter
Using our HydroBlu gravity bag water filter on the Tour Du Mont Blanc

After summiting the Fenettre d’Arpette, a grueling and hiking the painfully steep descent to Chalet du Glacier, we were so thirsty and it’s Europe so there’s almost always a cold beer or glass of wine available (yes, we did partake) but in this instance there was no potable water and we had another 1500 feet of elevation and 3 hours of hiking left before we’d be calling it a day.

So we busted out our HydroBlu Go Flow Water Gravity Bag with Versa Filter, kinda stoked to finally be testing it out, but also worried that I wouldn’t know how to use it. You’d think I would’ve read the instructions or looked up a YouTube before my first trip with the Gravity Bag, but I just don’t roll that way 🤷‍♀️. So when I first unpacked the gravity bag from my pack, I held my breath hoping my laziness wouldn’t come back to bite me in the bootie.

Fortunately, I had nothing to worry about!

Assembling & Using The Gravity Bag Is Super Easy

  • Open up the bag and fill the bag with water from a stream, waterfall, etc
  • Roll the top of the bag once and buckle it closed
  • Use the strap provided to hang the bag from a tree or bridge
  • Insert the grey end of the tube into the side of the filter that says IN
  • Insert the black end of the tube into the valve on the bag ONE CLICK
  • When you have your water bottle or hydration pack lined up and are ready to start filtering, push the black end into the valve a SECOND CLICK
  • Give it a few seconds and then the water will start running out of the filter
  • When you are finished filtering, push the black button on the side of the valve to pop the black end of the tube out and the water will stop flowing
HydroBlu Versa Water Filter
HydroBlu’s Gravity Bag is so easy to filter water with.

What If You Don’t Need To Filter Much Water?

It’s better to be safe than sorry, but in retrospect, we could’ve carried the Versa Flow Light-Weight Water Filter Package, which comes with two 64-ounce collapsible canteens, a bucket adaptor, a hose, and a hose clamp.

It’s versatility is pretty sweet considering that…

  • It can be screwed onto a plastic water bottle,
  • Just used to fill a regular water bottle or hydration bladder,
  • Can be used as a gravity system or bucket filter,
  • Or can be used as a straw so you can drink directly from the water source.

The water filter on this is only 2 ounces and each canteen is only 1 ounce so it technically is almost 5 ounces lighter than the Gravity Bag which weighs in at 8.8 ounces. But honestly, compared to the twenty pounds I was already carrying in my pack on the Tour du Mont Blanc, the 4 ounces wouldn’t have mattered much.

Which HydroBlu Water Filter Is Best For You

For my next multi-day backpacking trip in the States, I will be carrying a HydroBlu Go Flow Water Gravity Bag with Versa Filter since I’ve yet to find a restaurant serving up cold beer and five-course meals at the top of any peak here in the US.

Next summer, however, we are planning on doing parts of the Alta Via in the Dolomites and some rad hikes in Austria as a family and will probably opt to take the Versa Flow Light-Weight Water Filter Package or carry 1 Hydro Blu Clear Flow Water Bottle and Filter Combo for each person hiking.

Overall Review of HydroBlu Water Filters


  • It’s versatile for many adventures and great for travel.
  • All of HydroBlu’s products are BPA-free.
  • The plastic on the Clear Flow Water Bottle is super durable. I know. I have dropped my water bottle more times than I can count.
  • Between the durability of the plastic and the fact that you can backflush filters, you are saving money and creating way less plastic waste.
  • So many different sizes for different needs.
  • The gravity bag filters very fast.


My only real complaint with the Clear Flow water bottle is that it leaks. If I carry it on the outside of my day pack or backpack it’s usually fine and it’s also fine in my bike’s water holder. But if I throw it into my hiking day pack and it falls over or tilts in any way, it tends to leak.

Backpacking with HydroBlu Water Filter
Backpacking Maroon Bells with our HydroBlu Water Filters


If you hike near water sources, the HydroBlu Clear Flow Water Bottle and Filter Combo is the best water bottle to carry since it’s lightweight and so easy to fill. You’ll never have to worry about running out of water on a hike when you carry this. Or if you are traveling to third-world countries where you worry about water quality then the Clear Flow Water Bottle is also great for that.

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