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If you’ve ever gone hiking or camping, you know the struggle of schlepping around multiple cases of water bottles. Heading to a campsite with cases in tow, or lugging around a backpack full of water on a hike can be a serious pain! Especially when all you want to do is run around freely, carrying as little weight as possible. And maybe I’m the only one, but I’ve definitely tried to cut back on my water supply for a hike for that express reason, only to be stuck without water halfway through. Dehydration is not fun!
True story: I once went on a 19 kilometer hike with only 2 liters of water on my person. You could say that I came to regret this. Thankfully, some angelic hikers were nice enough to share some of their extra water before I passed out! Now there was some life water! LifeStraw products are an amazing way to take advantage of natural rivers, lakes and streams (even puddles they say) by filtering their waters on the spot. What exactly is a LifeStraw, you ask? Just one of the most remarkable innovations of modern times! Want to learn more? Continue reading our LifeStraw Company and Products Review!
What is LifeStraw?
LifeStraw was just too damn cool and smart to not go viral. A family of products designed to effectively and conveniently filter water, LifeStraw is exactly what an increasingly clean water-conscious world needed. LifeStraw has embedded their filtration systems in a series of straws, bottles, and packs, all of which are designed to provide quick and easy clean water. A must-have for backpackers, hikers and survivalists, it's no surprise that the company has won multiple awards. The company has been honored by such distinctions as the IDEX International Design Award and the Saatchi & Saatchi award for World Changing Ideas. Different LifeStraw products service different water filtering needs, but they all utilize the same LifeStraw tech to get the job done.
How Does LifeStraw Work?
LifeStraw products filter out 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria, 99.99% of viruses and 99.9% of protozoa. They use a 0.2 micron hollow fiber membrane that filters without using chemicals (iodine is often used for water filtration) or electrical power. The LifeStraw works by blocking pathogens from passing through microscopic holes in the filter. In plain English, this means that they filter really well! The filtration process makes water taste better and reduces chemical levels, although it is not designed for chemically treated water like swimming pools. It also doesn’t filter salt, so don’t try to use it to drink ocean or other salty waters. They sell a few variations on the product for either private or group use, and to accommodate personal preferences such as durability vs. weight.
The LifeStraw itself is the headline product of the company. A LifeStraw weighs just 2 ounces and is quite small, so it won’t add bulk or weight to your pack. To keep the filter clear, just blow out through the straw after each use. The filter is built into the straw and is non-replaceable, so you’ll need to buy a new straw when it becomes worn down. It’s supposed to last through 1,000 liters of filtration, which is about a year’s worth if you rely on it as your primary water source, but it will last for a long while if you’re using it for occasional trips into the wilderness.
The LifeStraw is small, lightweight, and portable – great for backpackers! One downside is that unless you have a container or empty bottle on hand, you have to lie on your belly to drink, and as soon as you leave the body of water, you have cut off your water access. If you’ll be near a natural water source for a bulk of your trip, this is a great, compact accessory to bring along. If there’s a river somewhere nearby, the bottle is probably more ideal so that you can carry some water along with you.
— Lifestraw (@lifestraw) June 10, 2016
LifeStraw Steel Review
The stainless steel LifeStraw is a more durable alternative to the original plastic version. It works through a 2-step filtration system including the original, core filter which cleans the water of 99.9999% of bacteria and protozoa, as well as through an activated carbon filter. The carbon filter helps clean out chlorine, pesticides and other chemicals, and it makes your water taste better. It only filters 100 liters of water, but is replaceable. The straw has caps on both sides to keep your filters and straw tip clean, and stops the straw from leaking any leftover water into your pack. Like the original, keep the straw clean by blowing air to flush out the filter.
LifeStraw Mission Review
The LifeStraw Mission is a large filter, perfect for large groups or campsites. It comes in 5 or 12 liter size options and is very compact and lightweight. To use, fill up the bag with water and roll down the top like a lunch bag. Throw the included strap over a sturdy branch and clip it to the ends of the bag, suspending the Mission off the ground and letting gravity pull water through the filter. Open the valve and put a container underneath as water drips out in a slow stream. It can purify 18,000 liters of water before needing to be replaced.
The LifeStraw Family is a long lasting filter that holds enough water for a small group of people (about 5.) It is a hard plastic container that holds 2 liters of water and can purify 18,000 liters of water. Water passes through a standard filter to remove bigger impurities before it passes through the actual LifeStraw in a 2-step filtration process that extends the lifespan of the more nuanced filter.
There is a tap for dirty water which they recommend letting water pass through for about 10 seconds before opening the clean tap. At the end of the straw is a balloon-like red attachment that forces air through the filter when you squeeze it, effectively cleaning the filter. The water comes out in a pretty slow stream, so you have to be patient with it.
The LifeStraw Go uses the same materials and technology, but is built into a water bottle so that you can carry your newly filtered water around with you after you leave the water source. It carries 0.65 liters of water. LifeStraw Go has got a clip to hang off of your backpack, and has a flip-top that you bite down on to release water. The bottle is lightweight and BPA-free.
The LifeStraw water bottle is a variation on the LifeStraw that seems to be much more convenient and useful for the average person. It will take up more space than the original straw, but the ability to carry the water with you when you leave a water source is invaluable. Even if you are near a water source for the entirety of your trip, the LifeStraw Water Bottle can serve as a handy container so that you don’t have to contort your body every time you want a sip, and you can sit and relax while you drink. The bite-down mouth piece isn’t my favorite to drink out of, but it helps to prevent spilling. Think of this almost like a mini-Brita pitcher.
Just when you thought LifeStraw couldn’t get any cooler, they went and created a “Follow the Liters” program which gives a kid in a developing country clean, safe drinking water for a year for every product purchased! This product was created for adventure enthusiasts who can drive home to an abundance of drinking water at the end of their trip. Clean drinking water, however, remains a luxury that isn’t available to 660 million people worldwide. Buying a single LifeStraw won’t change the world, but it will change your adventure/camping game and help a child out in the process. I’m down.