Water is one of the most critical necessities of life, whether you’re in an emergency or not. If you’re backpacking or bugging out, you’ll always need to have the ability to turn raw, contaminated water into clean, safe water.

Owning a lightweight, dependable device for water filtration is a key part to any respectable survival strategy; and one of the best filters to hit the market lately is the Aquamira Frontier Pro. This tough little water filter is a serious upgrade over those cheaper survival straws that people have been stuffing into survival kits for years.

The $25 Frontier Pro can be used as a drinking straw-type of water filter, but it is also designed to be an inline filter for hydration bladders and a gravity-fed drip filter to produce clean water in a basecamp setting. The good news is that the device is certified to remove up to 99.9% of giardia and cryptosporidium. But here’s the bad news: It is not certified to remove bacteria and viruses. This means that you would still need to boil the water or use a chemical disinfection method for completely clean water after running it through the filter.

To give it a fair shake, though, here’s what this filter will do. It will remove silt and sediment that would interfere with the action of chemical water disinfectants. It also contains an activated carbon filter element to clean up flavors and odors from the water. The Frontier Pro can also connect to the drain valve of a water heater to clean up the water you might find in a there after a disaster. It also fits a garden hose to filter the water running through it. But don’t expect it to filter out every single virus or bacteria that could be growing in there. Especially a warm garden hose full of water that’s been lying in the sun, or a warm water heater full of tepid water after a prolonged power outage.

At the end of the day, it’s similar to other straw filters on the market. It cannot guarantee 100-percent clean water by itself, but it sure makes mud puddles and ditch water look a lot more appetizing.

Do you have a go-to filter or water purification system? Let us know what works for you in the comments.