Over the past couple of years I’ve bought different types of survival gear, but this is actually the first time I’m doing a review for such an item. I decided to write this review after spending two weeks in the mountains and my Lifestraw would not produce anymore clean filtered water.
My first encounter with Lifestraw happened two years ago when I received a Lifewstraw filter as a present from my prepper friends. They knew I frequently hike and camp in the backcountry and they thought it would make a fine gift.
I must admit that at first I was skeptical about the product as it looks pretty cheap at a first glance. It feels like you are holding a big plastic, blue pen. But after all, the design is less important when survival is at stake. Lifestraw is a portable water filter that can purify water from various sources. Using this filter, you can drink water from doubtful sources such as sewers, potholes, ponds, running waters and pretty much any source you can think of. It will allow you to filter as much as 264 gallons of water.
This water filter is ideal for a bug out bag or get home bag since it weighs just 2.7 ounces, making it one of the lightest water filters you can bring with you. Lifestraw is 9 inches long by 1 inch in diameter and it comes with a sturdy string so that you can attach it to your belt, to your backpack or you can just wear it around your neck if you prefer so. And the best part is that this water filter has a safety net that not many people are aware of. Once it can’t filter water anymore, it just stops letting you suck water through it.
When it comes to its key features, it is important to mention that Lifestraw is capable of removing 99.99999% of the waterborne bacteria (>LOG 7 reduction), and 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites (>LOG 3 reduction) down to 0.2 microns in size. It will remove Giardia, E. Coli and Cryptosporidium.
It important to mention that the Lifestraw personal water filter will not remove viruses or dissolved chemicals. Obviously, it will not desalinate water as well.
Here are a few tips, based on my experience after using this water filter:
- Once you remove the water filter from the package, you will need to take a few sucks to get the water through it. This is mandatory and you shouldn’t panic, your Lifestraw is not faulty. After you get it going, it will be easier to suck water through it.
- Depending on the water source (muddy waters) you are using, the straw may stop sucking up water. You will need to blow into it (using the mouth piece) in order to clear the filter. After a few blows, you will be able to suck water again.
- After each use, make sure you blow a breath of air into the filter to clear out the water remaining in the filter. You can also shake it, just to be sure. This is a mandatory step during the cold season since the water will freeze, expand and damage the filter.
- After each camping trip, I rinse my filter under the tap and let it dry with the caps off. Just to make sure it is clean for my next adventure.
- Rather than leaning down and getting dirty and wet, fill a container with water from the available water source and use the filter to drink from the container. You can fill a water bottle (cause you will most certainly get thirsty once you walk away from the river) to carry water with you and use the Lifestraw when needed.
- It is a good survival gear to carry with you, regardless where you are traveling. I’ve brought mine with me during my business travels and I’ve used it even for drinking bottled water (in India).
The value of the Lifestraw personal water filter is hard to beat at $17 if you take into account that most pumps cost around $100. It is not a bad buy, and you can get it even cheaper if you take advantage of the sales periods.
I’ve bought many filters since I’ve got my first one and I currently keep them just for bartering purposes, especially for when SHTF. I won’t stress again how important it is to have drinkable water during an emergency situation since this should be a no-brainer.
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