Berkey water filters are an excellent gravity water filtration system that requires no power or plumbing to run.

There are several variations of the Berkey to choose from which can get confusing. These systems are not cheap so you want to make the right decision before purchasing.

In this article, I compare the Go Berkey VS Travel Berkey so you know exactly which system to buy for your water filtration needs.

Let’s dive right in!

Go Berkey VS Travel Berkey Product Comparison Chart

Comparing the Go Berkey and the Travel Berkey

Although there are similarities to these two products, there are several big variations you will want to consider before making your final purchase.

Portability and Application

The Go Berkey and the Travel Berkey are built for different applications.

Although the Travel Berkey is small, it’s not quite small enough for hiking and backpacking. It is still portable enough to take with you on vacations, road trips, and camping trips.

The Go Berkey is meant to be portable enough for all of the above applications and also is small enough for hiking and backpacking trips. When backpacking, you need a reliable, yet small enough, water filtration and purification system. This Berkey system fits the bill.

Water Capacity and Gallons Per Hour

The Travel Berkey works well to provide clean drinking water for 1 to 3 people a day. Note that the storage capacity is 1.5 gallons yet the gallons per hour is 2 gallons. So you will need to empty the storage capacity in 45 minutes to get that optimal gallons per hour.

You can set up your Travel Berkey at your basecamp and everyone can fill up their water bottles and bladders within an hour or two.

The Go Berkey is good for an individual, possibly two people if you plan out your water filtration timing.

The Go Berkey storage capacity is one quart; there are 4 quarts to a gallon. The Go Berkey will filter at one gallon per hour. Therefore, you will need to empty the storage capacity every fifteen minutes to get the optimal one gallon per hour flow rate.

This could compensate for two people’s drinking water’s needs within 2 hours so long as you empty the storage capacity in fifteen-minute increments.

Height and Diameter

The Travel Berkey stands at 19 inches by 7.5 inches which is just a little shorter than the standard 40L backpacking pack. It is too big to reasonably fit into a pack.

However, the Travel Berkey does nest into itself which brings it down to 12 inches. Even if you break it down, it’s still too wide to work in a 40L pack when considering all the other items you will be packing.

The Go Berkey stands at 14 inches and is much slimmer at 4 inches. It could reasonably fit into a 40L backpacking pack. There are other options for water filtration that are smaller than the Go Berkey which I cover in my emergency water filtration article.

Filter Longevity

Since the Travel Berkey is larger, it will filter more water and can hold the fluoride filters. Therefore, you will get cleaner water and more of it over the lifespan of the filters.

The Travel Berkey will give you 6,000 gallons of water before having to replace the filters.

The Go Berkey only uses one filter element and does not have room for any fluoride filters. The Go Berkey will give you 3,000 gallons of water before having to replace the filter.

Price Comparison

Although the prices fluctuate, the average difference is that the Travel Berkey is about 40-50% more expensive than the Go Berkey. You also need to consider the price of the filter changes. The Travel Berkey has 4 filters if you choose to utilize the fluoride filters. The Go Berkey only has 1 filter to replace.

Product Overview:

Travel Berkey Water Filter with 2 Black Berkey Filters and 2 Fluoride Filters

Travel Berkey with 2 Black Berkey Filters and 2 Fluoride Filters

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  • Complete Filtration and Purification System
  • No moving parts so no breaking down
  • Additional Fluoride Filters remove Impurities


  • Difficult to assemble
  • Can drain slowly
  • Rubber washers and stoppers should be replaced

Berkey water filter systems are known among homesteaders as being an excellent solution to clean drinking water without having to use plumbing or electricity.

The Travel Berkey is a perfect size for one to two people per day and doesn’t take up much counter space. This makes for a great water drinking solution in small spaces or to travel with.

This particular system comes with four filtration elements – 2 Black Berkey filters and 2 Fluoride filters. This will give you 6,000 gallons of clean drinking water, just note that the fluoride filters need to be changed more frequently.

The Travel Berkey is not the easiest to set up. Figuring out the washers, stoppers, and configuration of the filters is not explained very well by the manufacturer. I suggest watching this video on how to set up your Berkey system:

Users also have experienced cloudy water. This could be due to the filters not being primed properly before use. Please make sure to prime your filters correctly!

You can watch this video on how to prime the Berkey filters:

You may also notice a funny taste to your water, this could be from the rubber stoppers and washers. You can easily change these out if you have this problem.

If you have slow drainage, you may need to flush your filters out. You do not want to run heavily sedimented or cloudy dirty water through the Berkey. You can use a prefilter to clean up your water before running through the system.

Overall, the Berkey isn’t perfect, but it’s a great fit for having an autonomous clean drinking water system that you can use in your home or take with you on the road.

Product Overview:

Go Berkey Kit Includes Sport Berkey Water Bottle, Filter, and Carrying Case

Go Berkey Kit Includes Sport Berkey Water Bottle, Filter, and Carrying Case

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  • Lightweight portable purification system
  • Fits into compact carrying case
  • Breaks down to 10″ in height


  • Some users report of leaks
  • Can drain slowly
  • Slow customer support

The Go Berkey Kit is great for hiking and backpacking trips that require an ongoing source of filtered and purified water but needs to be compact and light enough to fit into a pack.

The top chamber collapses into the bottom chamber, breaking down the unit to only 10″ which fits nicely into a backpack. It comes with a BPA free water bottle that all fits nicely into an included vinyl bag.

Do note that the unit can be overfilled which makes some people believe it is leaking from the top. Leave a good half inch from the top to avoid side leakage.

Just like any other Berkey, people report very slow drainage. This can be due to not priming the carbon filters properly, not maintaining the carbon filters, or using water that is too dirty. Luckily, these filters can be cleaned if they get too clogged up.

This system is too small to fit in a fluoride filter, so be mindful that if you filter tapwater this contaminant will still be in the water.

Berkey ceramic filter priming tool

Product Link

This particular kit comes with a priming tool which is a great item to have, making filter priming much easier than without one.

Overall, most users are very happy with the quality and convenience of their Go Berkey.

You can find the Go Berkey instruction manual here.

Go Berkey VS Travel Berkey: The Bottom Line

The Travel Berkey is meant for using in the home, road trips, and camping trips. It works great for setting up at camp for several people to fetch water from. It works well for a few people yet is still small and light enough for portability.

The Go Berkey is meant for camping, backpacking, and hiking. The filtration system will fit into a large backpacking pack, although there are more compact filtration systems out there meant for backpacking.

Overall, each system is excellent. Depending on how much money you want to spend and what you are using it for will dictate your final purchasing decision.

A Special Note on Water Filtration and Purification

When you are traveling, especially abroad, you need to have a filtration system that both filters and purifies water. Very few travel systems on the market will remove both bacteria and viruses.

You do not need to be as concerned about viruses in the water in countries with good sewage systems, but when traveling to third world countries, viruses in the water are a major concern.

The Berkey system is one of the few traveling autonomous systems that will remove both viruses and bacteria from drinking water.

I have written a comprehensive guide to filtering and purifying water off grid. I suggest you check it out so you are informed of how to be safe while drinking non-municipal water sources.

I hope you have enjoyed this article on Go Berkey VS Travel Berkey! I work hard to compile all this information so you can make a better informed decision on your purchases.

If you are interested, I have created an in-depth article on gravity fed water systems which will give you more information about how these systems work and so forth.

If you have any questions or comments, do not hesitate to leave below!

Regina, owner of Maximum off Grid

Hi, I am Regina, the creator of Maximum Off Grid.

My goal is to teach you how to become more self-sufficient, no matter how small the change.

Please feel free to reach out to me with any questions or comments.

Have a great day!

Regina Ferrari


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