LifeStraw Review – 10 Benefits – And The Newer ‘LifeStraw Go’


LifeStraw is a compact portable water filter. It enables you to drink straight from rivers and lakes, or from a container filled with water that you’ve scooped up from that water source.

The way it works is simple – just place the bottom of the LifeStraw in the water, and sip through the top end. It’s basically a straw with a built-in filter.

Note: A water filter is a preparedness “must have”.

(Check out the Lifestraw here)

Lifestraw in backpack

Here are 10 benefits and specifications of the LifeStraw drinking water filter:


LifeStraw Advantages & Specifications

1. Its’ easy to use! Just drink directly from a river, stream, lake, etc..

2. Contains no chemicals, and is BPA free.

3. Has no moving parts.

4. Portable and very light weight 2 ounces (57 grams), measuring 9″ long and 1″ diameter.

5. 1 year manufacturer’s warranty.

6. Filters 264 gallons (1,000 liters) to 0.2 microns.

7. Removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria, including E. coli (>LOG 6 reduction).

8. Removes 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites, including Giardia & Cryptosporidium (>LOG 3 reduction).

9. Has a proven history of being used in the harshest conditions and developing countries since 2005.

10. The Lifestraw has gained recognition and awards from: Time Magazine’s Invention Of The Year – 2005, Saatchi & Saatchi Award for World Changing Ideas – 2008, Well-Tech 2006 Innovation Technology Award, “Gadgets for Disaster Zones” BBC May – 2011.

TIP: Don’t let it freeze when wet, damp, or moist (having used it recently) or the filter membrane will likely crack.


How To Clean Your LifeStraw

After every use, backflush it by blowing a breath of air back into the mouthpiece to purge all remaining water trapped within the filter. If you have access to clean water, suck some into the filter and backflush it again. Give it a few shakes and leave both ends uncapped to air dry at room temperature.

There are a number of good small portable water filters out there. This brief LifeStraw review suggests that it’s affordable and small enough to keep in your bag during any hiking trip, a bug-out-bag, 72-hour emergency kit, or any backwoods adventure or outdoor recreation. I personally keep this water filter (and others) as part of my various kits.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter


‘LifeStraw Go’ water filter

There are two potential issues with the original Lifestraw:

1. You have to bend over (or lay down on the ground) to drink from a body of water.

2. When you leave that body of water, you have no water with you. Although you may choose to carry a water container for this purpose (dip the LifeStraw in it when you need a drink).

the ‘LifeStraw Go’ (CHECK IT OUT HERE)

It’s a LifeStraw inside of a water bottle. Problem solved!

Read more: Travel Berkey – Smallest Berkey Countertop Water Filter.

Read More: The Sawyer Mini Water Filter


  1. I looked into the Lifestraw many years ago and the only reason I did not buy several for our get home bags was because there was a “failure” rate that people were complaining about where they followed the directions but they were unable to get any water to pass through the straw. Hopefully, that issue has been remedied.
    Instead, we bought a few Katadyn filter bottles. One dips the bottle into the water, wipes the threads, screws the cap back on, then flip up the mouthpiece and suck the water up through the filter (like the life straw). They had an almost zero failure rate.
    Have you heard anything about the Lifestraw issue being corrected?

  2. Brad, I have read that the initial use of a new Life Straw takes a little more effort, since it is the first use when the filter media is becoming saturated. The article said that succeeding uses after the initial saturation are easier.

    1. I have heard that as well, and it was viewed as being normal. The “failure” rates I referred to were supposedly instances where no amount of water could be drawn up through the straw no matter how hard one tried.
      I’ve not used one, and obviously the amount of draw one would have to place on a Lifestraw is going to be greater than a normal straw in order to pull the water up and through the filter.
      The only reason I paid that much attention to the issue was because one of the relief agencies handing these out in Africa and Asia stated they were seeing up to a 10% failure rate on average where one simply could not get water through the straw. A failure rate that high caused me some concern.

      1. Asia and africa, in the same sentence with relief agency tells me everything i need to know about why they failed

  3. Ok, I’ll be the first to ask;
    Has the Life Straw also been banned in Cali-losseria? It’s made from Plastic and is essentially a “Straw”, correct? After all they have Banned Plastic Bags, Plastic Straws, Plastic Guns, Plastic Plates/Bowls….. so what’s next?

    1. NRP- I hear ya!

      We were working on “Concealed Carry Straws” for those of us who believe in our right to consume beverages via the delivery system of our own choosing, however I was recently contacted by the state of kalifornia with a list of demands we must meet in order for us to reach our target demographic. These demands included:

      1. Each Concealed Carry Straw must bear a unique serial number.

      2. Each subject of the state of kalifornia must apply for a permit to own and carry a CCS, and must demonstrate a legitimate need to do so.

      3. A Concealed Carry Straw Registry must be created and maintained (to be funded by a rider on upcoming public resolutions)

      4. The CCS’s must not be black in color, be collapsible, have pistol grips, or be able to be modified in any way or they will be classified as Assault Straws and be subject to seizure.

      5. The straws must be designed so that they will work ONLY up to 10 uses, as anything more than 10 is “over-kill”.

      There were other demands, but they were just ridiculous ;)

    2. Dang! I hope they don’t ban those little plastic cards the banks give you.

      1. I wish they would ban the ones the gubermint gives out like chicklets

      2. BBC
        Don’t worry they will be around for a while, at the price of $4B in commercials.

    3. NRP,

      I thought it was just single use plastics that are banned, correct? Don’t preppers prefer reusable stuff?

    4. Do they still have plastic on cars?? What about those wheel covers that once in a while seem to feel the need to go ” independent “. Any plumbers out there using PVC pipes? Any plastic water bottles out there?? Any plastic on computers 🤤

  4. Ken- what is your experience with them?
    Have you experienced any failures?
    I’d like to buy a few as a secondary or back up emergency filtering system.

    1. I have two Lifestraw’s. No failures. I also have Sawyer mini, a Katadyn hiker, a PUR hiker, and two Berkey’s (and spare filter candles). It’s good to diversify.

  5. Brad , are the relief agencies using the singular straw itself? There are agencies using the larger gravity fed family sized units for the larger capacity. If that’s the case, perhaps the failures are possibly due to inadequate pre-filtering of sediment?

    1. From what I remember it was the straws that had issues. Bear in mind that this was back around maybe 2008 to 2010 or so.

  6. After reading about problems with the life Straw we went with the Sawyer. I haven’t used it yet and after reading the negative reviews on Amazon I do have some concerns. It looks like there can be problems with the O-rings and the cleaning syringe can be easily broken. Although I didn’t read all of the over 4,000 reviews most people look to be very satisfied with it.

  7. When I bought my Big Berkey several years ago, they threw in two sports bottles with the small Berkey filter. It’s rated with the same filtration effectiveness of their famous gravity systems. They ride in my get home bags.

    1. Dennis I have the sport Berkey’s also. I tried one and it is ok. Now if a person is hurt, very tired or old it might be a exertion problem.

      1. Mrs. USMCBG,

        I’ve never tried mine or a lifestraw, so I wouldn’t know how they would compare. I no longer stray far from home and my homeplace water situation is good. Closest village/town is 28 miles distant and that’s where I do 99% of my shopping (around 2,000 population, but is largest town in the county, with most of needed services). If I’m unlucky enough to be farther away than that with no transportation if things go south, well, I guess I’ll become a casualty. (or not, I tend to figure things out when put to the test)

        1. Dennis can you ride a folding bike? I am older and overweight riding in hilly NH and I can cover 100 miles in a day. Oh I WILL be saddle sore and hating life tomorrow but I would be HOME.

          Also if you followed by discussion with minerjim about Miles Per Gallon of water the bicycle made a walking a bad idea in dry western states.

        2. NH Michael,

          Haven’t tried a bike in years. I did average 50,000 miles a year on motorcycles for some 30+ years (yep, I’m a million miler). Had complete left hip replacement a couple years ago, right hip in near future. I’m still mobile on foot for short distances. The terrain in my area means steep grades on the roads and even steeper off road. All the roads here basically follow ancient game trails.

          My side by side utility vehicle enables me to do my chores and maintenance around my 45 acres of ground. I’m not an invalid, but I know my limitations when it comes to long distance non-motorized travel. Saying that, I’m guessing a lot of younger folks would tire following me around on the average day. My UTV is a Polaris Ranger. I jokingly call it my Ranger Walker.

        3. Chuckle I hear you Dennis! My beloved it coming due for a total knee so my bicycling has been less than last year.

          But as I have learned in PT a bicycle is often recommended for hip patients as a fairly gentle exercise even compared to walking. If you have a bicycle shop they can advise you in frame size, Gear Set Selection for your area and seat selection (Very Important).

          Even a low geared bicycle is MILES ahead per hour of walking effort. Even with my low gear set folder I can go up some gnarly hills at 2-3 miles per hour, far faster than I can limp up them :-)

          Citizen Bikes 7 speed folders are often complained about FOR low gear set but they are great for hilly NH-VT and their comfort saddle is excellent. Price delivered sub 400.00 and good guarantee. If you walk or if you bicycle you will use nearly the same drinking water. BUT with a saddle bag I can carry easily 4 gallons of water, a tarp, a small EDC kit including a life straw, .22 Pb precious metals :-) and some granola bars.

          I tested this kit on a 70 mile trip two months ago. Got home from Vermont OK, just saddle sore. Overnight trip due to start time.

          Life Straw BTW works well With a #10 Can as I don’t do well the laying down to drink thing. Even REFILLED my onboard water with stream water for later Life Straw use. Just MARK It so you don’t mistake it for the clean carried water. Beaver Fever or Diarrhea is nasty. Yes even in clean NH there is E coli.

          Sad to say Murphy’s Law is often enforced when it is the worst time-place. Thus my thoughts about a folding bicycle.

  8. We have a couple of Lifestraws. Haven’t used them.
    Makes me worry when a product says-“new, improved”
    Ok so what was wrong with the previous product?

    1. I opted for the Sawyer Mini and bought several to place with various preps. A friend said I should read the reviews on Amazon so I did. I then broke one out and tried to actually use it per the instructions. I was less than impressed. TEST YOUR PREPS!

    2. The Lifestraw is still the Lifestraw. They have simply added a newer model which incorporates a container.

      1. Ken,
        My bad. Thought I had read that the filter was new with the new product??
        Anyway I was in Wally world (reluctantly) to fetch a few camping supplies. And there was the LifeStraw line. So I debated on what to get and decided to grab another Straw to throw in the camper.

        1. They’re inexpensive enough to do that (“to grab another Straw to throw in the camper”, et..). Good insurance for clean drinking water.

  9. I have 3 Berkey Sport bottles that were given to me. I tried one of them and it seems to work well.

    But my main portable filter is the Katadyn Pocket Filter, it filters 13,000 gallons on one cartridge. That is a LOT of water, if you filter one gallon a day, every day it will last for over 35-years.

    It’s also very well made, probably the toughest portable filter made. Yea it cost a bit more but if you factor in how much water it filters it’s price is very reasonable.

    I also have a Katadyn Hiker that I bought 25-years ago when I backpacked (before I knew about their Pocket filter) I keep it in my van with my get-home bag.

    And I bought 3 Sawyer filters ($20.00 at Wally-World) I want to make one into a gravity filter, I have the second one as a spare and the third one I gave to my Son.

    For a home filter I have a Doulton filter (just like a Berkey) for a counter-top filter. I have numerous replacement elements (the Black Berkey ones fit it) for it.

    I agree with Ken, it’s good to have lots of options as far as water filters.

    And we don’t have to have SHTF to need a filter. Flint Michigan has an ongoing lead problem in their water that so far has not been fixed.

    And I live in the Toledo Ohio area and Toledo had a algae problem a few years ago that made the water unsafe to drink. I live in a suburb that has it’s own water filter plant and my city (Oregon Oh) was never affected by the problem. But who says it can’t be a problem in the future?

    Water is important and water filters are not that expensive, no reason to not have good ones.

  10. One thing to make note of is that any filter will be destroyed if allowed to freeze. The water in it will freeze and break the ceramic or tear up the paper or membrane.

    If you live in a cold part of the country you need to make sure you take any filter you use into the house and open it up and let it dry out for a few days before you put it in your auto.

    And if you do use it in the winter and don’t dry it out you should keep it in your sleeping bag to keep it warm, once home dry it out.

  11. Thanks for the reminder to test your preps. I hadn’t tested my LifeStraw, now I have. Works great! I keep it in my GHB in a water bottle with a bandana and rubber band (for pre-filtering) and purification tabs. The water bottle is for water before filtering or purification ONLY. Purified water goes into the Camelback bladder after the requisite 30 minute waiting period. I bought the LifeStraw for redundancy and circumstances where I might not want to wait for the tabs to work.

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