LifeStraw Filter: Get Safe Drinking Water Anytime, Anywhere!

by Destinations, Reviews & Top Lists, Travel Products & Services30 comments

Have you ever gone on a long hike or expedition, and you suddenly found yourself running out of water…? If you ever manage to find water along the way, you can absolutely drink it to quench your thirst; however, without proper caution and procedures, such can be a very dangerous act because the water could have been contaminated. (Lifestraw)

Given such situations, it is of course always best to bring along a water filter and/or purifier — no matter if you’re trekking out in the wild or simply venturing out in foreign cities.

When it comes to some of the ways that you could purify questionable water (such as that in your camping site, your hotel room, etc.), there are pumping filration items, iodine tablets, and the good ol’ boiling method. But my problem with these things is that they are respectively tedious, bad-tasting, and time-consuming.

So when I was given the chance to try out LifeStraw which could potentially answer all of my problems, I was more than willing to give it a try. And after months of trying it out on hikes and even on simple day trips to cities and towns that could possibly have dirty water, guess what…? I fell smitten with it.

Today, LifeStraw has truly become one of my travel essentials!

[box_title class=”” subtitle=”” subtitle_font_size=”15″ font_size=”23″ border_color=”#ed2665″ animation_delay=”0″ font_alignment=”center” border=”around” animate=”” ]LifeStraw[/box_title]

LifeStraw is manufactured by Vestergaard Frandsen, which is a Switzerland-based company specializing in disease control products for developing countries. They are shipped throughout the world to countries in need including Haiti, Pakistan, and Africa.

LifeStraw Filters

» Why I love LifeStraw

  • They have different varieties that are well-made. Not only are they very durable but they are also very easy to clean, store, and use! (It actually has no shelf life, so you can store it indefinitely!) Their main varieties are namely:
    • LifeStraw Personal Water Filter (basic): $19.95 ~ This is made of durable plastic that contains no chemicals, uses no batteries, and is BPA-free.
    • LifeStraw Steel Water Filter: $54.95 ~ Made of food-grade stainless steel that meets the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s regulations and standards. This is almost the same as the basic LifeStraw bit with a msleek steel exterior and 2-stage water filtration process.
      For this post though, I’ll focus mainly on LifeStraw basic and the Steel version since they’re the most ideal essentials for individual travelers — plus, I’ve already tried and tested both of these items. Nevertheless, below are some other variations that can fit your other kinds of adventures!
    • LifeStraw Go: $28.94 ~ This is basically a basic LifeStraw water filter that is incorporated into a sports bottle so that when you’re on a long hike, for example, and are not sure when you would find a water source again, you can then just easily store the fluids with this thing. (Of course you can just use your own water bottle partnered with the basic LifeStraw).
    • LifeStraw Family 1.0 and LifeStraw Community: $57.96 and $329.95 ~ this is more for large volume water purifications (for expeditions, camping, hiking in groups, communities, etc.with more stringent features like removing viruses.
  • They are affordable and well-priced with very advanced water filter systems. The most basic of the LifeStraw series can already give you the following benefits:
    • Filters up to 1,000 liters (264 gallons) of water
    • Removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria (>LOG 6 reduction), including E-Coli
    • Removes 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites (>LOG 3 reduction), including Giardia & Cryptosporidium
    • Reduces turbidity (cloudiness or muddiness of water) and particulates (dirt), filtering down to 0.2 microns
    • Does NOT use iodine or iodinized resin and has very high flow rate — this means that it will have no bad aftertaste like what you might normally get from iodine tablets

    Whereas the LifeStraw Steel will give you added features like the following.

    • Reduces chlorine
    • Reduces organic chemical matter (Pesticides, Herbicides, VOC)
    • Meets U.S. EPA drinking water standards
    • A 2-stage water filtration process
      • Hollow fiber membrane: with Lifetime of 1,000 liters (264 gallons) that can do the same functions as basic LifeStraw
      • Activated replaceable carbon capsule: with Lifetime of 100 liters (26 gallons) that reduces chemicals such as chlorine while also reducing organic compounds (including pesticides and herbicides), odor and bad taste.
  • Great for emergencies and preparedness.
    • For the outdoors: whenever you’re unsure of water safety while camping or hiking, LifeStraw has you covered. (May you be alone or with a big group!)
      NOTE: If you consume a recommended 3-4 liters of water per day while hiking, LifeStraw can last for 250-330 days!!!
    • For travels: there are always those places that can have very unreliable drinking water; so if you’re ever in doubt, use your LifeStraw!
    • For daily life: if ever disaster strikes and your city’s waters get contaminated, a light and easy-to-use water filter like LifeStraw will really come in handy for your grab bag.
  • Very light and compact for on-the-go adventurers! LifeStraw is smaller than most water filters out there WHILE still offering the same functions. For instance, below are some specifications:
    • The basic one: Length: 9 inches\ Width: 1 inch \ Weight: 2 ounces
    • The steel one: Length: 9 inches \ Width: 1 inch \ Weight: 4.4 ounces
  • Absolutely instant for use! Boiling water needs time and requires bulky items like a kettle, pan, electric gas, etc. Iodine tablets may be small but it takes time to purify the water. A pump filter works great but it also takes a while to complete its process. So how about LifeStraw? You can use it instantly and quickly! Perfect for when you’re in a rush since you can simply just sip on any water while you’re on the road — and that’s it!
  • Award-winning and has been used worldwide in harsh conditions since 2005. To streamline it better for you, LifeStraw has been:
    • Used in developing countries to assist the United Nations’ goal of providing clean drinking water to certain communities
    • Named as the ‘Best Invention of 2005’ by Time Magazine
    • Declared by Saatchi and Saatchi Award for winning “World Changing Ideas” in 2008
    • Called as the “Innovation of the Year” by Esquire
    • Mentioned by Forbes as “one of 10 things that will change the way we live”
  • They “give back”. Whenever you purchase any type of LifeStraw filters, the company uses part of the funds to donate LifeStraw Community items to schools in Africa. Since 2014, they have already provided 316,00 school childrens (or 631 schools) in rural Kenya with safe and drinkable water!

» The “cons”

LifeStraw is a really great travel product, but of course there are certain downsides to it and I currently see two main “cons”:

  • Even if it is very affordable than most water filters in the market (while still also performing the same function of cleaning out your water), if you purchase the basic LifeStraw, it helps to note that it does not filter chemicals, salt water and viruses. Rest assured, the LifeStraw Steel version can clean out the chemicals! And if you are looking for a high-capacity filter that can remove viruses, the LifeStraw Family 1.0 will be able to do that as it removes 99.999% of viruses in the water!
  • With this in mind, it helps to take note of where you’re going so that you’ll know what kind of LifeStraw filter that you’re going to bring. The way I see it…
    • If you’re going to hike, for instance, in places located in Northern America and Europe (which generally have bodies of water that have no chemicals or serious contamination), the basic Lifestraw is enough.
    • But for when you’re venturing out to 3rd world countries who have very questionable waters (with potential viruses, human waste, etc.), the Lifestraw Family would work best. When it comes to waters wih some chemicals like chlorine, pesticides and fertilizers, the LifeStraw Steel can already fit your needs too.

» How to use LifeStraw?

How to Use LifeStraw
It’s very easy! The basic and steel LifeStraw filters are constructed like small tubes and they have specialized filters inside of them. In order to drink safe water, simply place one end in the unfiltered liquid (this can be a river, a puddle, a water bottle, etc.) and then suck the water from the top.

As the name goes, it’s really just like a straw!


  • Before use, uncap the LifeStraw and hold it upright in the water for a minute because this would allow the water to creep up the filters. Do 5 quick ‘sucks’ and then the water should flow through easily. Take note that when you’re drinking from very muddy water, you may have to blow back into the straw from time to time in order to push out the turbidity (particles, mud, etc.) if you feel that the water flow is starting to slow or stops.
    NOTE: For the LifeStraw Steel, remember to change the carbon capsule every 3 months after first use to ensure that the 1st stage of filtration works well
  • After 1,000 liters of use, the LifeStraw will stop drawing in water through the filter. You will find out if it has reached this capacity when it’s no longer able to draw in water through the filter. (To extend its life, always follow the instructions on the manual to properly back flush it).
  • The shelf life: LifeStraw products use mechanical filters to remove contaminants from the water source so there are no chemicals or moving parts involved with the filtering process. This means then that NOTHING will expire.
  • After every use, just blow the water out of the LifeStraw to clean it. If you’re always drinking from very muddy waters, it’s possible that the LifeStraw will have a shortened lifespan; but if you consistently ensure that you blow out the water after every use, this issue should be mitigated.

[box_title class=”” subtitle=”” subtitle_font_size=”15″ font_size=”23″ border_color=”#ed2665″ animation_delay=”0″ font_alignment=”center” border=”around” animate=”” ]Overall[/box_title]

The LifeStraw range is truly a great invention and an essential gear (for reasons already mentioned above) — hence, I highly recommend this for your travels. It’s also such an affordable item especially on their most basic kind, so it’s clearly plain to see that it’s a product which is of great value and of which you SHOULD grab!

So what are you waiting for? Come and grab your own LifeStraw filter NOW!


DISCLAIMER: I received LifeStraw products for free from Eartheasy in return for an honest review. As always, I only recommend and write about brands that I personally use or believe in; therefore all views that are expressed here represent only those made by myself and NOT of any other entity in their favor. [Images from Eartheasy]

[special_font size=”22″ unit=”px” ]How about you?[/special_font]
[icon icon_size=”30″ color=”#ed2665″ spinning=”no” icon_type=”theme-icon” icon_theme=”question-circle” circle=”no” rotate=”normal” ]

  • What do you think about LifeStraw water filters?
  • Do you want to own one for your travels and adventures?
  • Why or why not?

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Hey there! I am Aileen Adalid.
At 21, I quit my corporate job in the Philippines to pursue my dreams. Today, I am a successful digital nomad (online entrepreneur, travel writer, & vlogger) living a sustainable travel lifestyle.

My mission? To show you how it is absolutely possible to create a life of travel no matter the odds — and I will help you achieve that through my detailed travel hacks, guides, resources, tips, and MORE!

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  1. Henry Gagne

    I would love to try the Life Straw Water Filters . I think it would be a good thing to carry in my back pack for when I’m out hiking and camping in the wilderness.

    • Aileen

      I’ve been using it on hikes and it’s extremely helpful! I bet it will be for you too!

  2. Kate

    This is a fascinating concept–what a great invention! Is it relatively easy to draw water through the LifeStraw to drink?

    • Aileen

      Yes, definitely! I’ve been using it and have had no problems at all.

  3. Cescily Quinn

    Can you use it on salt water like the ocean, does it filter salt water?

    • Aileen

      Oh, I thought I already answered your question somewhere — but anyhow, regrettably, no. This does not filter salt water. All carry-on water filters are unable to filter salt water since you really need special equipment for that (that can be quite big).

  4. Cathy

    LifeStraw is the best! We love the Go water bottle. Cold, fresh, safe water right from a waterfall on a hike is the best! A bonus that they give back too!

    • Aileen

      That’s true! It does give you the assurance too that you’ll have some water in store in case there’s no body of water next that’s in sight.

  5. Jennifer Melroy

    This seems really interesting but my main issue is that one must have a body of water to be able to use it. Also what about places where you have a lot of particles in the water. I have done a lot of hiking in places with glacier-fed stream. That water ruins filters so fast.

    • Aileen

      Hey Jennifer, particles are something that LifeStraw can deal with. I’ve tried this in muddy water and the muddy particles were even filtered. My LifeStraw was fine as long as I handled it well — blowing on it for example helps the filter get cleared out. Basically, after all those uses, it still works well and good for me :D


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