LifeStraw Review

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The LifeStraw was invented about eight years ago for use in underdeveloped countries to help residents obtain clean drinking water. The Lifestraw is a compact water filter only weighing 20z and measuring 9 inches long with a 1-inch diameter. It was voted Time Magazine’s best invention of 2005 and won the Saatchi and Saatchi award. This little gizmo also helped the victims of the earthquake in Haiti a couple of years back. Needless to say, it’s proven it’s worth in the short time it’s been around.

As with all water filters I review let’s start with some science, after all, you want to understand exactly what you are filtering out and any limitations when considering which water filter to buy. Not all water filters are created equal!  In order to assess any water filter,  it’s necessary to understand the difference between bacteria, viruses, and pathogens. These terms get thrown around a lot and are sometimes interchanged. Bacteria is a single-celled organism. There are both good bacteria and bad bacteria. Bad bacteria or Pathogenic Bacteria (commonly known as germs) are responsible for strep throat, salmonella, e-coli, crypto, giardia, and many other illnesses. Viruses are tiny particles that enter cells, take over and then reproduce themselves, such as the flu virus or a cold virus. The reason I point out the differences here is that these organisms have different sizes. There are no water filters that will filter out something as small as a virus. The LifeStraw will filter out 99.99999% of pathogenic bacteria. It will not filter out heavy metals (aluminum, copper, and lead), toxic chemicals (pesticides), or chlorine. It will help with turbidity (cloudiness) but it is recommended that you drink from the top of the water where fewer particles exist because larger particles will clog the filter. The LifeStraw comes with a full set of instructions.


The directions provided explain how the LifeStraw works and what it will filter out and what it won’t filter out.

 Here Is How It Works:


Take off the top of the straw.


 Take off the bottom cap.


Put it in the water you want to drink and suck on the mouthpiece like you would a normal straw. It’s that easy! When you are done you blow out the water, shake off the excess and replace the caps. Then it’s ready to store. It will store up to five years. Some LifeStraw packaging says three years but after doing some research the company that makes the LifeStraw plans to change the information on the packaging soon.

The LifeStraw is durable, has no moving parts, is BPA free and will filter about 264 gallons of water. It is great for any bug out bag. I guess I could have filled up the water bottle with colored water, sucked on the straw then spit the water back out in a clear glass for you to see but well, I’m a girl and thought that would be rather disgusting. The thing I like the best about the LifeStraw is how compact and lightweight it is. You can drink directly from the water source or fill up a container of water and be on your way. The container does not need to be a water bottle. You can see the LifeStraw fits nicely into my husband’s JetBoil Stove.


The benefit to this is you have clean water and can use the container for other things like for cooking.

If you’ve been following my blog for any length of time you probably have noticed that I don’t have very many ads. (I just put up my first one for a product I designed and use. Check out The Preparedness Planner and my Color Coded Homeschool Planner). This is by choice! I will not endorse any product that I have not used myself and recommend.  In addition, I will not endorse any company that I have not used and dealt with personally. I have had the pleasure of working with Discount Mylar Bags (they sell other things besides Mylar bags) on more than one occasion. When I received my last order I wrote them a thank you note (the order came so fast) and mentioned I had a blog and would love to give them a shout out. They responded with sending me a LifeStraw to review! Oh yeah, and I did order Mylar bags from them after doing extensive research: they do have the most reasonable price out there.

  • Joyce Pierce says:

    So glad you did this. I recently carried mine with me on a trip to the Caribbean. It’s so lightweight and easy to use, but I’m glad you covered the scientific stuff like what it will and won’t do!

    • Phee says:

      How many YEARS can the lifestraw use?I hope you can answer my question.Thank You.

      • Bill Osuch says:

        If it’s unused and kept sealed, it should be ready to use for many years. If it’s in use, the manufacturer says it will last for 264 gallons, so it would just depend on how much water per day was going through it.

  • Marsha Nelson says:

    This is a good product for filtering commonly encountered bacteria. Small and great for camping and trips to countries where the water is sketchy. One point- Giardia are not bacteria; they are protozoan parasites.

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