msr gear trail shot water filter

Best Water Filter For The Outdoors – MSR Gear TrailShot Pocket-Sized Water Filter

Table of Contents

I remember last year when my dad and I went on our backpacking trip to South Cumberland State Park he had brought a water filter for us. I found it to be so convenient to have a small one that I started to look for one of my very own. After thorough research and comparing various products, I decided to test out the TrailShot Pocket Sized Water Filter by MSR Gear.

msr gear trail shot water filter


Before I start to tell you about the TrailShot Pocket-Sized Water Filter, let me tell you why I chose the brand MSR Gear.

In 1969, Larry Penberthy created Mountain Safety Research in hopes to create better quality and longer lasting climbing gear. His passion has grown and so has his dreams. Larry believed that the key to unlocking greater adventures was better, safer, and more reliable equipment. I highly believe in this dream as well. As adventurists in the outdoors we want to make sure our gear is always functioning right and reliable. The MSR team till this day works very hard on continuing to create innovative, durable, and quality gear. I know I can put my trust on every piece of equipment that I use from MSR Gear.


MSR Gear has also extended their efforts in sustainability and reducing their carbon footprint. To me this is a very important part of why I choose to use certain products. Being an outdoor enthusiasts and living a conscious lifestyle, I want to make sure that the brands that I use are aligned with my motives to help keep our planet clean and beautiful. MSR Gear actually allows you to send your broken or defective gear to them for repair helping you save money and allowing less trash to go in to our world. They also have a warranty for their products.

You can learn more about Warranties and Repairs here.


MSR Gear is also conscious about those who live in our world. They have decided to launch Global Health to produce what they call Global Health Products. These products help give access to clean water to people living in developing countries or places where natural disasters have occured.

You can learn more about their Manufacturing and Sustainability Efforts here.

msr gear trail shot water filter


I firmly believe that hydration is an essential part of everyday life especially if you are being active. When outdoors, whether you are camping, hiking, backpacking, or even rock-climbing, staying hydrated can mean a world of difference for you. Not staying hydrated can lead to various issues including dehydration, fainting, weakness, and even more serious health issues. Having a water filter with you such as the TrailShot can make a world of a difference.


Having clean water to drink is even more crucial in the outdoors. You don’t know what was hazards passed through that water before it reached you. When choosing to drink water that you have collected from streams or rivers, you need to make sure it is safe to drink. The TrailShot Pocket-Sized Water Filter does just that.

While there are several different ways to drink clean water in the outdoors, knowing what water filter to use is also very important. You want to make sure that the water filter you use meets all of the requirements needed for safe drinking water. The TrailShot Water Filter meets U.S. EPA drinking water standards and NSF protocol for removal of bacteria (99.99%), protozoa (99.99%), and particulates. It has been tested in various elements and locations alongside their labs to bring you safe drinking water to all of your outdoor adventures.

I tested my TrailShot Water Filter at a nearby stream in Clarksville, Tennessee. The water tasted great, I had no health issues afterwards or any stomach pains. After testing it I can rest assure that I can use this water filter for many future trips especially in the backcountry where water sources can be limited.


The advantage of the TrailShot Pocket-Sized Water Filter is that it is lightweight weighing at 5 ounces. It also has a TrailShot Microfilter which provides clean water all day long. It’s small compact size makes it easy to carry with you on any hike. This water filter measures at 2.4 inches by 6 inches and with the hose can reach up to 6 inches in length making it the perfect length to fill any of your water vessels.

msr gear trail shot water filter


The TrailShot Water Filter is very easy to use. Just stick the hose end in to the water, squeeze the pump, and allow the clean flowing water to enter your water bottle or water pack. It is an easy one-handed operation that filters one liter of clean water in about 60 seconds. This quick filtration system allows you to get back on the trail quickly and moving again. It is recommended to hold your hose at a 45 degree angle while pumping your water through the filter.


Cleaning your TrailShot water filter is very simple. Just a few shakes of the filter will help restore flow rate in the field. You don’t need any tools to clean it. They have a video here on how to properly clean your TrailShot water filter.


It is fairly easy maintenance. As long as you make sure it stays clean and you change the water filter you should be good to go. The water filter lasts up to 2,000 liters depending on the water conditions you filter. You can always change the water filter before you reach the 2,000 liters to play it safe. To change it you can purchase the TrailShot Filter Cartridge and Maintenance Kit here and replace it according to the instructions given. It is fairly easy to do.


For everyone! It is the ultimate filter for fast-paced adventurers like trail runners, hikers, or even mountain bikers. Great for rock climbers, families, or even slow day hikers. It is great for any adventurists or even for emergency use such as natural disasters.

msr gear trail shot water filter


I currently use two different water storage options when hiking. To me it all depends on the type of trip I will be doing. If it is a short day hike I usually take my Hydroflask with me or a small CamelBak backpack with snacks for my kids. The only downfall to the CamelBak is a very convenient way to carry your water.

For longer trips I recommend water storage bags. MSR Gear has the Dromedary Bags and the DromLite Bags that can be very handy when you want to store enough water in your pack for longer trips. These are good for camping and backpacking. I would use the DromLite Bags for backpacking trips cause they are lighter in weight versus the Dromedary Bags. They also have a Trail Base Water Filter Kit that comes with the TrailShot water filter and a gravity filtration system as well which is good for camping.

Well I really hope you enjoyed this review. I hope that you can find it useful for your outdoor adventures. You can view more of our product reviews and outdoor guides here to get better guidance on your future adventures. If you enjoyed this article, feel free to sign up for our newsletter here so you can stay up to date on upcoming travel adventures, tips, and more. Don’t forget to share or pin to save it. Thank you for reading.

Hi, I'm Jessica!

I am a wife and mother to three amazing kids. A coffee addict and wine lover. I also have a huge love for the mountains and the the ocean. Through my blog I hope to inspire families to spend more time outdoors. 


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