One of the problems when we go backpacking is the scarcity of clean drinking water. Tap water wasn’t always the best option until we started using a Lifestraw Flex Multi-function water filter system. It’s a portable, mini water filter that has the same size as a water bottle so you can take it anywhere you go. It can filter out harmful bacteria and organisms from water sources.
But is it any good? Does LifeStraw Flex work? That’s what you’re going to find out in this Lifestraw flex review.
LifeStraw Flex Overview
LifeStraw was first invented by Vestergaard to solve the water issue faced by billions of people who couldn’t get access to clean drinking water. It makes several other products now that you can use as part of your emergency preparedness kit.
In this section of our LifeStraw Flex review, you’ll understand why many backpackers, like us, seriously love it.
Removes 99% of bacteria and parasite
It means that you no longer have to bring bottles of filtered water to your outdoor activities. This mini filtration system can eliminate bacteria and parasites, including Salmonella, E. coli, and Giardia, so you won’t get sick after your long-hours of hiking or days of camping.
Reduces Bad Taste and Odors
Although it can remove 99% of water contaminants, it won’t affect the taste. Through its carbon cartridge, it improves the taste of water. It also reduces odors, especially if the water source is a bit turbid or filthy.
In other words, it will taste like the clean water that you’re used to drinking at your house. It does a great job in filtering contaminants from turbid water and doesn’t clog easily.
Protects you from heavy metals
If you drink heavy-metal contaminated water, you’ll suffer from heavy metal poisoning. Even lakes and rivers can be contaminated with heavy metals, like lead. With LifeStraw flex, you can safely drink the water you get from streams, rivers, and groundwater without worrying about poisoning.
Eliminates organic chemical matter
A water source can also be contaminated with pesticides, herbicides, and other volatile organic chemicals (VOCs). These chemicals can cause a variety of health problems, including cancer and liver problems. By using LifeStraw Flex, you can be sure that what you’re drinking is safe from those chemicals.
Meets or Surpasses US EPA drinking water standards
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set legal limits to protect drinking water. And LifeStraw Flex limits contaminant levels in your water from any source.
Filter can last a long time
Its microbiological filter can last 500 gallons. That’s nearly 2 years of drinking water. And its replaceable carbon filter can give you 25 gallons of clean, safe drinking water. In other words, this water filtration system is good for 1000-day hiking.
As the term “Flex” suggests, this filtration product offers functional flexibility. You can use it as a standard “straw” if you wish. That is, you can drink directly from a water source, like a river or lake.
Another way is to use the collapsible bottle that comes with the kit. It makes an instant filtered water bottle. The bottle is squeezable so you can squeeze it as you suck through the straw. If you have a hydration bladder, you can fit it to the end of the bladder hose.
Reasonable regular maintenance
Although the manual states that LifeStraw Flex cleaning must be daily, it may be overkill, unless you’re sucking up filthy water. In that case, you may only need to clean the filter using the LifeStraw Flex syringe after every hike.
It’s an on-the-go system. Thus, you can filter water instantly whether you use it on its own or insert it in a soft bottle.
The soft bottle that comes with the kit is easily collapsible. But, again, you can use the filter on its own. That is without the use of a bottle. With its slim profile, you can easily fit it into your hiking backpack as it only weighs around 3.6 ounces.
If you love spending most of your time outdoors — camping, backpacking, or hiking — then water purification is a must-have on your list of things to bring. It’s not practical to carry liters of tap water on your adventure, especially if you’re carrying other heavy things like your camera equipment to capture your adventure. It is where LifeStraw Flex becomes useful.
This water filtration system is for you if you’re not going to drink from a wastewater source. You may need a more complicated system for it or use a water treatment drop.
But overall, it’s great for everyday use, emergency preparedness, and if you travel to third-world countries where clean water is hard to find.
Pros and Cons
Although many backpackers consider LifeStraw Flex as an ideal option for a mini filtration system, it’s not for everyone. As we scoured the net, we found some positive and negative reviews about this product.
Here are some of the pros and cons that can help you make a final decision.
- Weight: 0.11 pounds
- Product Dimension: 1-inch long x 1-inch wide x 4.7 inches tall
- Purification method: Hollow fiber membrane, activated carbon
- Filters: Bacteria, protozoa, heavy metals, microplastics
- BPA Free
- Storage volume: 650 ml
Our Verdict: Recommended!
Finding clean water is a common issue that many backpackers face when they are out in the wilderness. But with this Lifestraw Flex, you can safely drink water from lakes, rivers, and streams. Plus, you don’t need to carry liters of water from your house.
That’s why in this LifeStraw Flex review, we consider it a great buy, therefore, we can highly recommend it.