There are a lot of water filtering options for the outdoorsman and hiker. For high volume needs, such as a prolonged excursion into the outdoors or where water quality may be especially poor, we prefer the First Need XL. But when you are on a single day hike or looking for a minimalist approach to stay light and fast, bigger water filters may be cumbersome and take up too much pack space. That’s why we love the Lifestraw.
The amazingly small and light weight water filtering option weighs in at a mere 2 ounces and comes with a neck lanyard for easy access along your journey. That also frees up space in your backpack or allows you to use a smaller pack. It promises to filter 264 gallons of water through a .2-micron filter, meaning it removes 99.9999% of bacteria including Escherichia coli (e-coli), campylobacter, vibrio cholera, pseudomonas aeruginosa, shigella, and salmonella without using potentially harsh chemicals like chlorine or iodine. It also removes 99.9% of protozoa including giardia lamblia (beaver fever), cryptosporidium parvum, entamoeba histolytica. Most small water filters work by killing dangerous contaminants with chemicals, Lifestraw is actually removing them and storing them inside the body of the filter.
We previously tried a Aquamira Frontier charcoal-based filter straw that was ten bucks, which was a decent filter for the price, but it is only good for a few gallons of filtration and the water must be from a pretty decent source to start because it doesn't remove as much. The two piece design also means that if you lose either, then your out of luck. There isnt a neck lanyard with it either. That's a small detail, but we do find having one to be helpful. Lifestraw wins hands down.
We think the Lifestraw makes a perfect water filtering option for day hikes and light backpacking, and since it has no shelf life and can be stored virtually forever (even after use) it’s a valuable survival option. Keeping a few on hand in the house for worst case scenarios, in the car as an emergency option, or as part of a bug out bag is a great idea. In a desperate situation where water was unavailable or not fit to drink, this filter would allow you to down just about any water source you could find. It comes packaged in a sealed bag so could also be part of your disaster supplies. It’s worth having several for everyone in the family. Keep one in the car and in your hiking or bug out bag. It’s so light we promise you won’t even know it’s there. And if you do some research, on a cost per gallon of filtered water, Lifestraw is a pretty awesome value at under $15.
If you would like to pick one up, buy through our Amazon link below for the best available price.