5 Stars By AlumiGogo Customer on 2017-02-01
Exactly as amazing as people told you.
This thing is no joke! I took it backpacking on Maine's Bigelow range. When I ran out of the water I brought, I was A-ok with this. Just bring a wide mouth bottle to fill with water you find. On top of one of the lower peaks, I drank from the most disgusting looking crevice filled with brown scum (see photo). I thought, this is going to be safe, but taste horrid. WRONG. TASTED LIKE THE FRESHEST SPRING WATER. Better than any tap. I'm from Maine, and I've tasted plenty of water right from mountain springs, so take my word. One caution: it can be a little challenging to start. You have to prove it by soaking. If it still doesn't work, blow into it a bit.
Get one for your outdoor adventures, and one for your bug-out bag, which everyone should have in case of natural disaster (or apparently civil war, because the world seems to have gone mad).
5 Stars By Charlie on 2014-05-11
A must have for any outdoor excursion
I frequently hike and camp in the backcountry all over the United States. Carrying the amount of water that I need to survive during these trips is just not feasible due to the weight. In the past I always carried a General Ecology First Need XL water purifier and refilled nalgene bottles with it. Since getting a LifeStraw I most likely won't be doing that any longer since the LifeStraw is smaller and lighter than the First Need XL. I recently took a LifeStraw out for a test on a backcountry hike in the Rocky Mountains. Every stream, lake, or other water source that I came across I stopped for a drink. I was drinking fresh snow melt and also from lakes that are home to beavers and other wildlife. There was no added taste to the water and I didn't get sick during or after the trip.
The one draw back to the LifeStraw is that it does take a bit of suction to start and keep the water flowing. When you're at high altitudes in the mountains this leads to longer "drink breaks" since you can get winded pretty easy while trying to suck up water through the LifeStraw. However, its size and weight advantages when hiking mountainous terrain vastly out weigh this minor drawback.
Overall, the LifeStraw is awesome and I recommend it to every backcountry hiker that I know.
5 Stars By American Patriot on 2017-06-03
Combat proven, safe & extremely reliable filter!
I've used these both in Iraq & Afghanistan. Works as advertised. Extremely reliable and genuinely safe to use filtration system. We now use it as a SOP to have one in everyone's ruck when we deploy! Semper Fi.
5 Stars By nicholas marksberry on 2014-04-19
Stands up to dirty dish water
As soon as I got this thing in the mail I went straight to the nastiest, most contaminated thing I could find. There just happened to be a sink full of soaking dishes that worked just fine. Couldnt taste a thing. I even spit some of the water out and it was nice and clear. Im going hiking soon and going to test it on some stagnant water when we find it, and I've given instructions to lower this rating down to 1 star if I die.
5 Stars By David on 2017-08-16
Happy with this product already as I've used them in ...
Got what we ordered. Happy with this product already as I've used them in Afghanistan when I was last deployed there
5 Stars By PowderKeg on 2013-05-17
The Cheapest Life Saver you will ever own!
If you camp out a lot, or simply prepared to bug out.....then this is for you. I will be buying more, just for bartering, especially when SHTF.......!
One item you can add to this.....paper coffee filters (cone type) are inexpensive. Place one over the bottom of the water filter with a wide rubber band and it will protect the filter with a lot less cleaning. The Water Filter will last 2X as long and cleaner water to drink!
UPDATE - 4-25-2016
After more than 3-years of numerous weekend and 2-week excursions, my very first LifeStraw would not produce anymore clean filtered water. I reluctantly open a NEW LifeStraw to complete the weekend of camping. It is tough to imagine more than 3-years of clean water from streams, lakes and rivers. I really don't know how many liters of water that was used, but I can say this....with the coffee filter attached to this unit it out last my friends LifeStraw more than a year. That alone has gotten to expand the use of this tremendously. Thank you LifeStraw, camping has been simple and healthy. I bought 8 more as backups!
UPDATE - 2-13-2015....
I have now used this camping several times. Now, I use a Portable Siphon Hand Liquid Transfer Pump with this unit. I can now add water to my pots, pans or my 3L water pouch easily. The suction usually will draw water for about 20 seconds; 2 cups of water in about a minute with the Transfer Pump!
5 Stars By J. W. on 2014-09-05
I almost died of dehydration...
So I intentionally got lost in the wilderness with a couple friends with the LifeStraw in my pocket and nothing else. We came across a river and decided that we should get some hydration before venturing any deeper. I plopped it into the water and sucked... and sucked... and sucked and sucked and sucked, to no avail. I couldn't get a single drop through the straw. My friends tried their hands at it as well and still couldn't get that life affirming liquid to their lips. We were doomed. We were going to die of dehydration out in the redwood wilderness, huddled around a useless LifeStraw.
So we laugh it off and they make fun of me for the next several hours as we trek back to our car. I was a little downtrodden that I had wasted money on such a worthless product, even when everyone was saying how amazing and lifechanging it was! I was ready to just toss the piece of plastic off to the side and forget it among the trees. But I held on to it.
Once I got home, I looked through the directions - and I realized my mistake. You are supposed to SUBMERGE IT before trying to get the water through. The water has to soak into the fibers totally before you begin sucking. So I grab a cup of water and dunk the LifeStraw into it, letting it soak for a few minutes. After the time passes, I suck... and WATER! I drink the whole cup up with very little issue. Frantically I call my friends and tell them how it wasn't a piece of junk and how we were just stupid guys who didn't read the directions.
Ever since I learned the correct usage, I've used it on every hike I go on. It's an excellent piece of equipment to bring along and works well when you know how to use it. So trust what everyone else is saying - this thing works!
1 Stars By SB on 2017-12-08
Better alternatives on the market.
Get a Sawyer-Mini. Seriously, I have used Both on camping trips. You need jaws of steel to suck water through a Lifestraw. With a Sawyer or other filters with pump/squeeze action, you won't rip out your fillings trying to get water. Also, you have to lie on the ground, whereas other filters come with collapsible pouches AND a straw if the pouch breaks.
Before everyone down-votes this post, you Really need to watch actual videos of people who use these routinely. Everyone switches to a filter with a pump or squeeze method of filtration.
Lifestraws are fantastic concept, but unfortunately, it is just too dang hard to use.
5 Stars By Garret JV on 2017-05-25
Get if you want be hippie.
I drank out of a steam. I've become a hippie. Rejoice in my transformation.
3 Stars By TK on 2017-07-19
Its cool. Bit of hassle for primary use but handy for day trips and as backup.
This is not a terrible filter. I keep it at the bottom of my pack, and often will use it here in WA when I've run out of my primary water and need to fill up off a stream. I just fill my bottle and use the straw to drink out of it. Lots of photos of reviewers sticking their face up to the stream like a deer and sipping, hey, you can do that, get in touch with your wild-side, but not quite practical to stop at every minor stream and take a few sips. I need serious hydration when I hike.
The few issues I have with the filter:
(A) The neckband / string is poorly secured to the straw by tiny plastic clips -- whom can easily pop off. I don't recommend primarily wearing this around your neck, as if you travel this way, it'll fall off. It's better to use the string around your neck while you're sipping, and then put the entire thing away. Or, replace string with something of your own that is more secure (likely easily accomplished, I've just dealt with the faulty neck string for now).
(B) As other reviewers noted, you have to give a fair bit of suction to get the water to flow. I've found in a few scenarios my suction ceased entirely, by which I have to blow the water out of the filter and start again. This seems to occur when too much water gets into the filter, as I'm using clear water without any objects in my bottle when it has clogged up. Tiny sips are less likely to jam things up, like I've noticed.
(C) It has a 1000L life, and will simply stop working when it has reached its max capacity. Be sure to keep a rough log or estimate of how many liters you've drank using this little thing (another reason I prefer to fill up a bottle and filter out of the bottle than just drink from a stream). You don't want to have it in your pack when it has 1-2 L left and find out the hard way its not working.
Overall, I tend to like MSR's Gravity Filter much better (also a 1000L) -- granted is heavier but is such a solid and amazing system. I may swap out the life straw again in my system for my MSR gravity filter just for peace of mind and higher volume filtering / not having to constantly deal with the straw. This being said, it does work. It is light weight. At the bottom of my pack I don't even know it's there. It's cheap. It's a great entry point to have a filter in your pack. Is it going to meet everyone's functional needs, or is it going to be best used as a primary water filter? Probably not. But will this give you clean water if you need it? Yes. So I give it an A overall. But in my personal opinion this is best used not as a primary use filter but as a backup system / for day hiking. Long backpacking trips I know you'll prefer to pre-filter your water and have it clean in your bottle, rather than having to bust out your straw with every sip. Regardless, the sort of heavy usage I am describing is not likely its original intention anyhow -- overall, it is a cool product and worth having in your kit for more options. I would recommend others buy one, but with the understandings I've tried by best to highlight.