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An Expert Puts It To The Ultimate Test

LifeStraw Size Comparison

Today, I’ve got something really vital to share…

My review considered one of the top personal water filters in the marketplace today:

The LifeStraw.

But does it live as much as the hype? Is it value an investment?

Today, I answer ALL these questions and more…

TOPICS IN THIS REVIEW…    ↓(click to leap)

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Importance of Filtering Water

Drinking With A LifeStraw

Access to wash water is considered one of the most important aspects in survival.

It’s often said;

One can survive for 3 weeks without food but only three days without water..

Now, there are HUNDREDS of private water filters in the marketplace today.

Each with different designs and capabilities.

Traditionally, these filters were bulky, heavy, and included mechanical parts.

More recently, UV sterilization systems have entered the market.

But these methods can fail unexpectedly when batteries run low.

And failures in survival could be the difference between life and death.

That’s why today I would like to check out a greater personal water filtration device…

The LifeStraw Water Filter Review

Over the past few weeks, we’ve had a likelihood to field-test the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter.

And truthfully, it’s considered one of probably the most user-friendly water filtration systems on the market.

With no moving parts, chemical additions, or batteries, the LifeStraw provides a light-weight, compact filter option.

It can treat as much as 4000L of drinking water at a really reasonably priced price tag.

It’s a cheap, single-use water filter that can treat for a wide range of dangerous pathogens.

Here’s a brief video from Jason K. (considered one of Skilled Survival’s gear experts) testing and reviewing the LifeStraw:

↓ LifeStraw Review and Field Test

The LifeStraw Filter Design

The one-piece design comprises an 8” long, 1.25” diameter plastic tube with a mouthpiece on one end and an intake screen on the opposite.

Both the mouthpiece and the intake include protective caps to maintain them clean and secure.

This ensures untreated dirty water doesn’t contaminate the system – or the inside of your pack.

Inside the tube is the working heart of the filter.

It’s a closely packed series of hollow-fiber membrane tubes.

The design allows water to pass while removing all particulates larger than 0.2 microns.

Filter media of this size is effective against nearly all common bacteria and protozoa.

As well as all suspended solids.

The LifeStraw has a listed weight of 2oz dry.

But the filter material will retain one other ounce of water after the primary use.

Despite this increase, it still ranks among the many lightest filters in the marketplace.

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Click here to immediately download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase crucial.

How To Use A LifeStraw Water Filter

Using your LifeStraw is simple.

You CAN drink directly from lakes, rivers, and even puddles…

But filling a wide-mouthed water bottle like a Nalgene bottle is commonly easier, as shown below.

Drinking From LifeStraw

This means that you can drink without crouching all the way down to the water’s surface.

It also means that you can carry some water along the trail between sources.

To use, uncap each ends of the LifeStraw.

Place the inlet end into your water source and begin sucking a small amount of water to wet the filter.

This will start the flow of fresh drinking water in mere seconds.

Straight from the package, a number of initial sips of water had a slight chemical taste.

However, that disappeared inside a minute.

The initial flow rates are impressive.

There was only a slight amount of resistance as water passed through the filter material.

Maintaining Your LifeStraw

Once you’re finished drinking, you must clear the LifeStraw of excess water.

Blow the water through the straw, shaking excess water, and recapping the ends.

Over time the flow rate will drop.

Or you may notice a major increase in the quantity of suction needed to provide water.

Once this happens, blowback through the straw to clear any clogging particulates.

As the filter ends its useful life, you’ll slowly lose the flexibility to clear this blockage.

4,000L isn’t a tough limit.

The manufacturer has tested the LifeStraw past the designed lifespan.

However, you’ll be able to expect to have more difficulty producing water beyond that time.

To extend the life even further, select the cleanest, most transparent water available to you to be used.

And if possible, “prefilter” before using your LifeStraw.

In our experience, any mechanical filter system can profit from a “pre-filter.”

This easy extra step will reduce the load in your LifeStraw filter, thus extending its useful life.

Survival Gear Checklist eBook Cover -with fire piston on a rock and campfire in the background

Click here to immediately download this Complete Checklist PDF. No purchase crucial.

Prefilter LifeStraw

Try wrapping a clean survival bandana or paper coffee filter across the inlet of the straw.

This will help remove the larger suspended materials (mud, sand, algae, etc.) from the water before entering your Life Straw.

Despite the apparent advantages of THE LifeStraw, there are some situations where it will not be the most effective solution.

The LifeStraw doesn’t filter:

  • Dissolved salts
  • Chemicals
  • Minerals
  • Viruses
  • Heavy metals
  • Or “tastes”

Many of these things are present within the water at a molecular level.

Far smaller than the 0.2-micron filter media is able to removing.

With these kind of contamination, you must consider other water purification options.

Dealing With Freezing Temps

If you reside in below-freezing temps, you’ll have to take the crucial precautions to guard your LifeStraw.

This isn’t a flaw of the LifeStraw, as all mechanical filters are prone to freezing.

Just know that any amount of water left within the filter media after use could damage the filter in freezing temps.

If you select to make use of a mechanical filter in winter conditions, take care to maintain it from freezing.

First, rigorously clear water contained in the media before storing it.

Keeping it inside your jacket, though chilly on the skin, will keep the filter from icing up.

Note: Running Water Is Safer

If possible, find running water to filter.

Fast moving water is frequently much cleaner (and safer to devour) than  stagnate water.

Fast moving water can have less particulates, less bacteria and contaminated.

So should you’re ever forced to drink water without having a way to filter it, running water is a greater gamble.

Final Thoughts

LifeStraw began as a humanitarian relief tool.

Since 2005, it has been widely distributed in relief efforts worldwide.

Beginning in 2011, the surplus supply has been available to the general public for purchase.

Since then, they’ve develop into popular for camping, hunting, backcountry, and survival situations.

The bottom line is:

The LifeStraw is a fantastic, lightweight tool for survival.

It’s inexpensive and has a 5-year shelf life.

They’re sufficiently small to hold in a pocket and can easily treat probably the most common contaminants.

This makes it a great alternative so as to add to your emergency water supplies.

A LifeStraw is a no brainer item so as to add to your bug out bag, get home bag, emergency preparedness kit, automobile, boat, etc.

Click here to choose up your LifeStraw today.

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  • Certified Member of a Mountain Search & Rescue Organization
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  • Countless Multiday Backpacking trips into Remote Wilderness
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And we’ll proceed to earn YOUR trust through our forthright and honest approach with each recent Blog Post, Guide & Product we create…

Jason K.

  • Born & Raised In The Remote Woods Of Michigan
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  • Avid Outdoorsman: Backpacking, Camping, Fishing
  • Years Researching & Writing About Survival & Gear
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