Hydration is a huge concern for outdoor adventurers. When heading out even on a short day hike, we weigh down our backpacks with liters of water because running out of water during a trip can quickly turn into a worst-case scenario. Packing a water filtration system is an option, but they are often bulky, taking up room in your back. Iodine tablets, though small and easy to pack, make your water taste funky, not to mention you need to wait 30 minutes before drinking water you’ve treated with iodine, and it doesn’t remove little particles or floaties.
Enter the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, developed by Vestergaard. The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is a lightweight (almost no weight – 2 ounces!) filter you can tuck in your backpack or wear around your neck during your outdoor adventures. The design is a self-contained plastic, BPA and chemical-free unit with caps on both ends. To use it, you just pop off the two caps, dip the filter end into water, and suck through the straw top.
According to Vestegaard, The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter:
- Filters at least 1,000 liters of water (264 gallons)
- Removes up to 99.99999 percent of waterborne bacteria
- Removes up to 99.9 percent of waterborne protozoan cysts
- Reduces turbidity by filtering particles of approx 0.2 microns
Intrigued by the product, Addie and I both tested it out during our hiking trips this summer.
Addie had a hard time getting the water flowing through the LifeStraw. I had to get it started for her each time, as it requires a lot of suction to get the water flowing through the filter. However, once primed, it was easy for her to use the LifeStraw.
What We Liked
Weight & Portability: The LifeStraw is much lighter to carry than water – Addie was happy to tote it the length of our hike. She used the convenient lanyard and wore it around her neck. Since I often carry her water, I was happy to ditch the extra weight. Which brings me to…
Motivates Kids to Stay Hydrated: It’s novel, and therefore fun! When wearing the LifeStraw, Addie was always on the lookout for a place to use it, which helped keep her hydrated!
Ease of Use: There’s no worrying if the filter is still good (if it’s not, the LifeStraw won’t allow you to drink), that you have all the parts (it’s a solid piece with no moving parts), or your batteries still have juice (no batteries!).
Speed of Filtration: It’s immediate, which is great. Hand pump filters take a bit more time, and iodine tablets take 30 minutes. With the LifeStraw, you can drink right away.
Affordability: At only $19.95 per unit, the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is an inexpensive addition to your gear.
Humanitarian Aid: For every LifeStraw purchased, a school child in the developing world receives clean water for an entire school year. How awesome is that? Vestegaard is committed to making innovative products geared toward social and humanitarian efforts.
The drawbacks are few, and fairly easily remedied!
Getting Muddy and Wet: The straw is not that long, so sometimes getting to a source of water results in a muddy or wet body. I found it awkward to get low enough to drink from water sources without getting my knees soaked. Addie had a much easier time. One solution – fill up a Nalgene and drink from it with the LifeStraw.
You Need a Source of Water: This one is rather obvious. You can’t filter water if there is no source, which makes the LifeStraw impractical if you are heading into an area without any water supply. However, you can always quickly fill up a water bottle or two at a water source, then use the LifeStraw to drink the water later on during your adventure. This eliminates the time you’d normally spend filtering water as you filled your water bottle.
We love our LifeStraw, and bet you’d dig one too! Make sure to enter our giveaway – one lucky winner will receive a LifeStraw Personal Water Filter!
Though Vestergaard provided us with a LifeStraw Personal Water Filter, our review of the product is based on our own opinions.