LifeStraw Review: Water Filtering Made Easy

The LifeStraw was originally designed as an emergency water filter aid for Third World countries and to help out in disaster areas. Fast-forward a few years, and this inexpensive, easy to use solution to purifying water is a huge success all over the word.

It quickly became obvious that the LifeStraw was the perfect companion for lightweight backpackers, outdoors enthusiasts, preppers, and anyone who wants to travel light and source water while outdoors.

It’s literally as easy as dipping the straw into water, sucking the water through just as you would a straw, and you’re getting safe, purified water. Whether you think you need one, LifeStraws are essential items in any backpacking kit.LifeStraw Review

Design Features

Portable and lightweight – The straw only weighs 2 ounces, it’s super light. It couldn’t be any more portable, you can carry it in any backpack, even in a large pocket. This is the main selling point and what makes the LifeStraw a good choice for filtering water.

Purifies water against disease – Most importantly the LifeStraw removes 99.99% of waterborne bacteria, including salmonella and e.coli. Anyone who has had a bout of either of these will tell you how quickly they can ruin your day. It’s just not worth the risk drinking outdoors water without filtering it.

No chemical tastes – Other methods of purifying water, such as using tablets or some of the other filtering systems can cause a chemical-like taste to the water. There are no chemicals used in the filter system of the LifeStraw, so water tastes great.

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Long-lasting – You can filter up to 1,000 liters of water per the manufacturer’s recommendations. Even for an enthusiastic outdoors person who camps every other weekend it’s going to last you more than a year.

How to Use

If you’re thinking it looks like a huge straw, that’s because it basically is. All you need to do is dip the LifeStraw into the water, wait a few seconds, then use it like a straw to drink the water.

It can take a few seconds at first as the water works its way through the straw and is filtered. There is also a strange expectation of what you’re going to taste as you see the murky water going in. But it turns into purified, safe water to drink.

The main drawback is that it can be difficult to reach some water sources if you need to lean over a bank. You’re going to find yourself lying or bending down most of the time but for the convenience of just having a straw on you instead of a bottle of water, I’ll take it.

You can scoop a cup of water out first if it’s a huge problem reaching the water source. To clean after use, just backwash some water back through the membranes in the straw that filters water. Place the cap back on, slot in your backpack, and away you go.

The Pros

  • Lightweight and fits into backpacks and on your person easily
  • Easy to use, you literally just use it like a straw
  • One of the least expensive water filters

The Cons

  • You have to drink the water as you filter it

Insider TipsLifeStraw Review Drinking from River

When you’re using your LifeStraw for the first time, or if it’s completely dry because you haven’t used it in a while, take the caps off both ends and sit it in clean water for 20-30 seconds to prime the filter.

It’s also good practice to rinse the straw with clean water when you’re back from your trip. LifeStraws can pass up to 1,000 liters of contaminated and murky water through its filter before needing to be replaced. Keeping it clean will make sure you get this much use without any issues.


It’s no wonder this product hit the market and took off like crazy. It’s inexpensive, convenient, lightweight, and does exactly as advertised without a fault.

The recommended daily intake of water is around 2 liters. With the LifeStraw lasting for up to 1,000 liters, you can see that it’s going to last a long, long time.

It’s a shame you can’t filter the water and use it for cooking or something else. You have to drink the water as it’s filtering through the straw, but you can always boil water for cooking so it’s not a huge issue.

What do you currently have in your backpack in case of an emergency when you need some clean water? I bet it’s not as effective and convenient as the LifeStraw.

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