Gear Review: Survivor Filter PRO - Alta Outdoors


Backcountry adventures via kayaking and backpacking


Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Gear Review: Survivor Filter PRO

No doubt, water supply is the number one priority on any backcountry trip. Among all different ways of water purification, filtration is our preferred choice for three-season trips as being the most convenient, safe, and suitable for both backpacking and paddling trips.

Survivor Filter PRO is a pump water filtration system that achieves the industry highest level of filtration via three-step process that includes 0.1 micron pre-filter, activated carbon middle filter and the 0.01 micron main filter. All three filters are replaceable on demand, but the 0.1 micron pre-filter and 0.01 micron final filter are also washable and reusable for very long term.

The highest level of filtration is not the only attractive quality of the Survivor PRO. It is also compact, lightweight and relatively fast, which makes it a great choice especially for backpacking trips when size and weight may be critical.

  • Highest level of filtration 0.01 micron
  • Lightweight and compact
  • Fast pumping action
  • Three-step filtration with replaceable filters
  • Ergonomics is not ideal
  • Not compatible with Camelbak standards


Survivor PRO is a pump action and normally you'd be able to do about one full action per second and require between 60 to 80 actions to filter about 32 ounces or 1 L of water. This is about 1.5 -2 minutes per a liter and comparing to a Sawyer Mini is quite fast.


The manufacturer rates the main filter capacity at 1,000 liters before replacing filter elements, which is quite a lot considering that on a regular overnight trip I would filter about 10 liters of water for two people. So about a 100 overnight trips per single filter replacement cycle? Not bad at all. Besides the filter is completely washable so this usage could be even longer.

Important to notice that if filter gets clogged quickly it becomes less and less usable. And that is precisely what I like about Survivor PRO vs Sawyer Mini: Survivor does not get clogged as easily as the Sawyer Mini. In fact, during our last backpacking season it did not get clogged at all. But I do wash it after the trip the same way I do the Sawyer Mini.

Ease of use

Very easy: I keep the filter in a zip lock bag fully assembled and I just grab it from my backpack with a water container, walk to the water and pump how much I need. Walk back and I am ready to go.


  • Can be easily disassembled for cleaning
  • Three-step filtration with individually replaceable filters is the safest
  • Back washable both pre- and main filters
  • Compatible with Sawyer washing syringe

Construction and durability

It's made from lightweight, hard, and seemingly strong plastic. After a year of use in different conditions it holds up well. Filters are individually replaceable and easy to buy on Amazon, which makes maintenance simple and inexpensive. In the entire construction there is nothing that seem to be breakable or require any repair. It's made in China but is distributed and covered by a U.S. company that also has an office in Canada that is very responsive.

Final conclusion


Survivor PRO setup is lightweight, has much better filtration level and faster and easier to use than a Sawyer Mini filter.


  1. Thank you for writing this review, and for the one at!

    I have a question: I read your review on Trailspace
    (, and you have a photo there showing that you attached a blue clamp to the filter's output hose, and then that blue clamp could attach to the water bottle to keep the hose in the same place during filter-pumping.

    I'm wondering, where could I find a clamp like that, and how did you attach it to the hose?

    - Allie
    Boston, MA

    1. Hi Allie. The blue clamp is a regular household clothes pin that can be bought in any hardware store. I attached it to a water hose by a short length of electrical tape. A length of a duct tape will work as well. Hope that helps.