LifeStraw is a personal water filter perfectly suited for anyone that spends time in the great outdoors, or anywhere where your might question the quality of the local water source. The LifeStraw filters are designed by Swiss-based Vestergaard Frandsen for people living in developing nations and those in crisis. The LifeStraw already has a well-known reputation for its life saving qualities, receiving several notable awards such as “best invention of 2005″ by Time Magazine and the Saatchi & Saatchi Award for “world-changing ideas”. Now the LifeStraw is available to the general adventurer and outdoorsman, but how does it stack up against current offerings.
The LifeStraw is designed to filter enough water for one person for an entire year, about 1000 liters (264 gallons), and does so by removing over 99.9% of waterborne bacteria and protozoa with a .2 micron patented filter- exceeding the EPA guidelines for E. coli, Giardia, and Cryptosporidium oocysts. The entire device has no chemicals (ie chlorine/iodine), no moving parts, and requires no batteries. The LifeStraw is very compact at about 10 inches long and 1 inch in diameter and weights at a super lightweight of 2oz so it can easily be added to your existing fishing or camping gear without added baggage. For comparison, my MSR microworks EX is much larger and weights in at full pound!
Much like the moniker suggests the LifeStraw works like a normal straw. You suck up dirty water from your source and it delivers fresh clean drinking water to your mouth. In cases where the water may contain sediment and debris that can clog the filter it’s best to remove as much as possible, or allow the water to settle for a bit. There is a cross pattern over the suction end to prevent any large debris from entering, as well as a sponge like material behind it to stop smaller sediment particles. If too much sediment gets sucked in to the end and starts blocking the filter you just blow back into the straw to force the water out, the same as you’ll want to do before storing it. The LifeStraw has a very high flow rate so you won’t give yourself a headache sucking up water for very little return. It sure beats pumping water or waiting for it to boil when you’re very thirsty. I tested the LifeStraw on several fishing trips around Ontario and even on the Toronto Islands, in all test cases the water was cleaned of most debris and sediment.
The LifeStraw is world-renowned for being a life saving device in areas of the world where clean drinking water is scarce. It’s no surprise that it stands up to the test while fishing and camping, conditions far more favourable than it was designed for. The fact that it only costs $20 USD and can perform as well as filters that cost 5 times as much, not to mention in a smaller and lighter package, was a bombshell.
The best part is that Earth Easy has pledged that for every ten LifeStraws sold they will donate one to crisis-affected people in developing countries through Rotary International and will have a tree planted for every order through their partnership with Trees for the Future Foundation. Not only do you get a water filtration device that might one day save your life, but you’re helping people around the world who don’t have access to clean drinking water something I think we really take for granted here in North America.
LifeStraw is nothing short of a life saving device. When you need clean drinking water right now, LifeStraw delivers it worry free.