Hydroviv Water Filter Review for 2023: Survival Gear Hands-On

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By Joel Jefferson •  9 min read

One of the key pillars to being prepared is having a good water plan. Water is key to life and clean water is key to good health. I have a lot of experience with water filters and have been experimenting with different water filtration methods for years both at my house and in the field. 

I am not a big fan of granular activated carbon filters (GAC). I know that this is the worst way to filter water and over time, water will create pathways around the granular media no matter how tight it is packed. 

You know if your filter uses granular media if you can shake the cartridge and it feels like there’s sand in it, as is the case with the most popular water filter pitchers.  

The efficacy, per NSF/ANSI Standards, of a carbon filter is also based upon the flow rate regulation. When the water is allowed to flow through the filter at a slower rate, the contaminants are exposed to the filter media for a longer amount of time.

So, generally speaking, the longer it takes for the water to pass by the carbon, the better the level of filtration (Your 10-second Brita filter time is too high of a flow rate and is not removing anything, sorry to let you in on this little secret.)

TDS meters…you know the $1.25 ones from China that ZeroWater gives you with their water pitcher, are not a good way to determine water quality. TDS measures trace minerals & salts in the water. TDS does not measure other contaminants like fluoride, pharmaceuticals, heavy metals (lead), chemicals (chlorine), pesticides (RoundUp), herbicides, hormones, & more.

That is why if you have really read ZeroWater’s marketing material, they never really say that TDS is bad or a health concern. They just say that will get it down to zero. I am much more concerned about chemicals & metals than I am about trace minerals ( healthy minerals I want in my water) which might cause a little bit higher TDS reading.

Hydroviv reviews

If you really want to test your water quality, you need to send it to a lab and have it checked out. It will cost between $100 to $200, which is cheaper than cancer. Don’t rely on a Chinese TDS meter, they are a joke.

In my search for higher-end filtration, I decided to look into a water filter made by a company called Hydroviv and compare it to other filters that are commercially available on the market.  I saw these guys on Shark Tank and Mark Cuban had good things to say about them (he put his money where his mouth is and made a deal with them), so I wanted to check out the hydroviv water filters for myself.

Hydroviv Water Filter Review

  • NSF Certifications (Standards 42, 53)
  • DIY install
  • Hand built and Made in USA
Check Latest Price

3rd Party Testing/Certifications

The hydroviv filtration system carries NSF certifications to Standards 42 (aesthetic effects/aesthetic impurities) and 53 (health effects) and is independently tested to remove hundreds of contaminants including lead, VOCs, Arsenic, and PFOA/PFOS. This is a link to their NSF certification listing.

My house and neighborhood have old pipes that are leaching lead into my water, so lead filtration is very important to me. The best bet to make sure that a water filter has reliable performance numbers and doesn’t leach harmful chemicals into the water is to buy something that is NSF Certified. 

Hydroviv’s filters are NSF Certified for lead removal, which means that the filters are independently tested to remove 150 ppb lead throughout the 600-gallon lifetime. The same thing is true for harmful chemicals like VOCs and PFOA/PFOS, as well as chlorine taste and odor.

In addition to the NSF certifications, Hydroviv’s filters have been involved in a number of University trials for PFC/PFAS removal. You can view the NC State study here and a breakdown of the NC State study on their website here. The results show Hydroviv removes PFAS chemicals to non-detectable levels in homes with contaminated water.


I’m more handy than most, but even I appreciated how easy to install this was. It took me less than 5 minutes to connect it to the cold water line on my faucet, and it was nice that all the necessary hardware came with the product. 

Water Pressure

One of the things that keep people from using effective water filters is the negative impact on water pressure. One of the things that impressed me most about Hydroviv was that they figured out how to make an NSF-certified filter that doesn’t kill water pressure. Their product is rated for 1 gallon per minute, while other NSF-certified products are typically between ½ and 3/4 gallons per minute.

Build Quality

I figured that this product was well built when I watched the episode on Shark Tank because Lori Grenier’s immediate response to holding it was “Wow, it’s heavy.” Sure enough, when I received my order, I was surprised at how thick & sturdy the cartridge housing’s walls were. 

One thing that may not be obvious to people that I really appreciated is that the product is actually serviceable. There’s only one gasket in the product, and it’s easily replaceable. Other manufacturers use embedded seals, which means that once the gasket wears out or starts leaking, you need to buy a whole new system.


Hydroviv is NSF-certified and does a great job removing legacy contaminants like Lead/VOCs, as well as emerging contaminants like PFAS. The filter was also really easy to install.  It was a little more expensive than I would have liked ($170), but they do manufacture in the US, so I was willing to pay a little more for quality and better water pressure.

  • NSF Certifications (Standards 42, 53)
  • DIY install
  • Hand built and Made in USA
Check Latest Price

Hydroviv vs Epic vs Woder Water Filter Review

We will be covering the three following water filters:

  • Eliminates 99% of contaminates. Made in USA. Recommended by SurvivalCache!
  • DIY install with 100% money back guarantee
  • Certified to NSF/ANSI STANDARDS 42, 53, 401
Check Latest Price
  • NSF/ANSI 42 for Chlorine, taste, odor and NSF/ANSI 372 for lead free compliance
  • Lasts for 3 years
  • Made in USA
Check Price on

Woder 10k-DC Water Filter Review

Woder, a company that sells a lot of water filters on Amazon makes some pretty outrageous claims about their product lasts to 10,000 gallons.

Sink water filter system

I recently purchased one of their products just to see what kind of special sauce was in their filter that could last all the way out to 10,000 gallons. I mean, that is a crazy claim and it had to be some new space-age material that no one had ever heard of to do this type of massive filtration all the way to 10,000 gallons!!!

I was extremely disappointed to find out that the Woder was just using loose-packed granular activated carbon (GAC) filters like the cheap style filter that Brita uses. I always tell people, if you shake your water filter and you can hear it move around like it has sand inside, you have a cheap water filter.

As you can see from this picture (I took the saw out & opened up a Woder filter to see that magic stuff) it is all Bull Sh*t. I also tried to dig into their testing because as a prepper, I want a water filter that removes a ton of contaminants and I need to know when I have to change the filter to protect my family.

Woder’s testing…well good luck finding it on their website. It does not exist. Between Hydroviv and Woder, at least Hydroviv is trying to do the right thing. Woder is just out there making crazy claims with no science or proof behind them.

Epic Smart Shield Review

Epic Water Filters is a company that I have reviewed several of their products and like other water filtration companies that I like (Berkey, MSR) they use solid carbon block filters.

Everything that I have read, all of the testing that I done, all of the data that I have reviewed says that carbon blocks are superior to GAC filters. It is not even close.

So when I look at the Epic Smart Shield vs Hydroviv vs Woder, it is not even close. Yes, the Epic Smart Shield is a few bucks more but when you dive into the details of the products the Smart Shield is worth every penny.

Avoid negative health effects by using a good filtration system which will remove contaminants

Also, the Epic Smart Shield is an American made carbon block filter that has been tested and certified to 3 different NSF/ANSI drinking water standards by an independent laboratory. As you can see from this picture, I cut open both the Woder and the Epic Smart Shield and put them side by side. Think about trying to get water through that thick carbon block filter vs the loose-packed carbon sand. You can shake the Epic Smart Shield all day along and you will not hear it make any noise. 🙂 It is a solid brick of carbon.

  • Eliminates 99% of contaminates. Made in USA. Recommended by SurvivalCache!
  • DIY install with 100% money back guarantee
  • Certified to NSF/ANSI STANDARDS 42, 53, 401
Check Latest Price

Woder 10k-DC vs Hydroviv vs Epic Smart Shield


  • Eliminates 99% of contaminates. Made in USA. Recommended by SurvivalCache!
  • DIY install with 100% money back guarantee
  • Certified to NSF/ANSI STANDARDS 42, 53, 401
Check Latest Price

Made from solid carbon block?

Independently Certified to NSF/ANSI 42 Standard (Chlorine, Taste, Odor):

Independently Certified to NSF/ANSI 53 Standard (Health Effects like Lead & Metals):

Independently Certified to NSF/ANSI 401 Standard (Trace Pharmaceuticals & Emerging Contaminants):

Tested to Remove Bacteria?

Tested to Remove PFOA/PFOS?

Tested to Remove Glysophate (RoundUp)?

Tested to Remove Cryptosporidium?

Tested to Remove Giardia?

Comes with a dedicated faucet version?


Do your research on a company or product before you buy a water filtration product. There is a lot of junk out there, especially all of the Chinese junk on Amazon. Dive into their data or lack of data. Look for companies that show third-party testing & certifications.  Read their reviews and customer service experience.

  • Eliminates 99% of contaminates. Made in USA. Recommended by SurvivalCache!
  • DIY install with 100% money back guarantee
  • Certified to NSF/ANSI STANDARDS 42, 53, 401
Check Latest Price

Joel Jefferson

Joel is one of the original founders of SurvivalCache.com. After college, he joined the USMC where he served as an (0302) Marine Infantry Officer. Joel is an avid outdoorsman and spends much of his free time in the mountains. Joel’s hobby is researching survival gear & weapons as well as prepping. Read his full interview here.