Water, water everywhere and plentiful to drink.
This could become a reality if you had the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter at your disposal on all your outdoor trips.
But before you set out to test this backpacking water filter, we thought we would bring you a LifeStraw Personal Water Filter Review to let you know all there is to it.
So, here you go…
Lifestraw Personal Overview
True to its name, the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is as personal as a backpacking filter can get.
Made for a single-person use, the filter is fitted inside a straw that measures 9 inches in length and 1 inch in diameter. As can be guessed, water is filtered as it is sucked up through the straw.
This backpacking water filter is manufactured by LifeStraw. In 2020, the company grew out of the Switzerland-based mother company Vestergaard, which takes pride in making innovative products that solve problems of the developing nations.
With a 0.2-micron hollow fiber filtration cartridge, the straw Filter is effective in keeping bacteria and protozoa out of every sip of water you draw through it.
Further, the extremely compact size ensures that the straw can dangle around your neck like a necklace or, can be strapped to your arm without any inconvenience.
Of course, like all other water filters, it has its negatives that you need to be aware of before making a beeline for it.
The next section discusses these negatives and allows you to make a sound choice.
But, don’t lose hope as yet. The LifeStraw Personal Filter has some positives as well that you can look forward to with the purchase.
Take a look…
Nothing can be more frustrating than having to cut short a trip in the backcountry due to water-borne illnesses.
But, with LifeStraw Personal’s 0.2-micron filter, the risk of contracting water-borne illnesses caused by bacteria and protozoa is as low as 0%.
Lifestraw’s hollow-membrane filter removes 99.999999% of bacteria and 99.999% of parasites, besides effectively filtering out 99.999% of microplastics.
It thus keeps you hydrated in the backcountry minus the hassles of microbial infections that come with the water.
This is one of the USPs of the filter. It is sturdy and can last a long time.
As per the manufacturer’s claims, LifeStraw Personal has an unlimited shelf life. It can serve safe drinking water to an individual for more than five years.
This means that if you camp for a month, every year, it will last you many years before you need to buy a new one.
Except for that first time when you use the LifeStraw backpacking filter, the water flows in immediately with the first draw of water.
The flow rate can be as high as 3 liters per minute which means that it is fast enough to quench your thirst even during the most treacherously demanding treks.
Oh, wondering what happens at the first time? Nothing much that can be a cause of worry. You just need to take five strong sips to get the water flowing for the first time and after that, it works gracefully forever.
Portability has a new meaning in backpacking filters with the advent of the LifeStraw Personal water filter on the scene.
At 1.62 oz, it is probably the lightest backpacking filter you will ever find.
Needless to mention then, that it fits not only anywhere in your backpack, but in your pocket or, adorns your neck with hardly any weight.
Ease of Set-up
With no parts to plug or attach, this is the simplest backpacking water filter that you will ever find in the market.
I mean, how difficult can it be to figure out how a straw works? It is intuitive!
Value for Money
Remember that LifeStraw Personal was made for the developing countries. So, it is priced nominally.
At that price level, it is a buy that you won’t entirely regret.
While there are armies of reviewers and fans of LifeStraw Personal who present it as the best choice for an outdoor filtration system, we believe in putting forth a holistic view.
The backpacking water filter has some drawbacks that are hard to ignore.
- The water filter was originally developed as a cost-efficient water filtration solution for developing nations that have little access to drinkable water. However, it fails to address the very basic problem that it was intended to solve.
- It is ineffective against viruses that pervade the water sources in developing nations.
- It also offers no protection against heavy metals or chemicals.
- It has been advertised as being effective against parasites but, many reviewers have suggested otherwise. Call it a batch failure or, just plain inefficiency in delivering on promises but, the backpacking straw filter does not seem to be keeping parasites out at all times.
- It does not allow for any storage. Asking for storage at this price point is like expecting a lot but, the fact is that the filter works best only when you are near a water source. Long journeys without access to water sources could mean that you go thirsty for long periods. This is definitely challenging in desert areas devoid of plentiful water sources.
- The Straw scores abysmally low on usability. Wondering how? Well, imagine a shallow puddle of water that you want to take a sip from. To get your LifeStraw in there and draw water through it, you will be lying flat on your belly. Doesn’t sound like an attractive proposition. Does it?
- On other occasions, the water needs to be at least knee-deep for you to comfortably draw a sip of water without getting yourself wet or having to squat in a stream of water. Or, have a bottle that you can collect the water in.
- And, that brings us to the last point. Once used, the LifeStraw filter is wet and unless wiped dry, putting it back in the backpack or elsewhere can be a bit cumbersome.
Pros and Cons
But just like we always say, you don’t have to take our word for it.
While we have collated information from all sources to bring you a sufficiently detailed view, it is incomplete nevertheless, without the voices and opinions of those who have used the LifeStraw.
So here are some pros and cons listed by users across the web.
And now for the technical specs of the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter.
- Weight: 1.62 ounces (approx. 45.9 g)
- Treatment Type: Straw
- Filter Material: Hollow fiber microfiltration membrane (0.2 microns)
- Product Dimensions: 9 inches x 1.20 inches
- Filters: Bacteria, protozoa, microplastics
- BPA Free
Our Verdict: Recommended
The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter falls in the category of backpacking water filters that will see you through an emergency. It helps you survive in the wilderness.
It’s better than having nothing at all. With an ability to draw water from shallow puddles and free-flowing streams with equal ease, it sure offers some protection from water-borne infections.
However, there is no denying that to make the straw reach the water surface, you will have to be lying on your belly. And that’s anything but comfortable.
The plastic straw filter is light in weight but needs more strength. Amidst sparkling reviews, some users have reported the water filter breaking just after a fall, thus leaving them stranded in the wilderness with no option for safe water.
Overall, the LifeStraw Personal is a great buy considering the price it comes at. But, our recommendation would be to have a backup just in case you come across highly muddy rivers or experience a breakage.