LifeStraw – Review

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This post is by Bernie Carr, I’d love it if you can help support Apartment Prepper on Patreon to help keep this site free. But it’s all up to you, I’ll still post articles as normal whether you do or not 🙂

I received some samples of the LifeStraw for review.

What is the LifeStraw? 

The LifeStraw is a portable method to filter and purify water.  It uses a hollow-fiber membrane to remove bacteria and turbidity. There are no chemicals, iodine, or moving parts. It’s ultralight and inexpensive enough to keep in your backpack for hiking, backpacking, camping or in case of emergencies. Each LifeStraw will purify up to 1,000 liters or 264 gallons. Once it reaches this limit, you can no longer use it. The flow will stop as the membrane pores will have become plugged with debris.

I decided to test my sample while rafting along the Guadalupe River.  When we visited the river, the water was on the low side, due to the current drought.  In some areas, the water was not even moving much:  the stagnant water was starting to form scum, and there were lots of mosquitoes.  That is the reason I preferred not to get on all fours and drink the water directly from the water source.

LifeStrawReview - Copy

Instead, I decided to collect the water with a bottle from the river, then drink said water with a LifeStraw.  Being a bit squeamish about drinking scummy water, we avoided the stagnant areas and took water where it was flowing better.

How to use

  1. Before using, uncap and let it stand up in a tall glass of water for one minute. That allows the water to seep into the membrane. (I did this step before rafting)
  2. Take 5 quick strong sips and the water will flow up through the mouthpiece.
  3. If it plugs while drinking dirty water, blow back into it to clear the membrane.

My impression

I did the above steps and drank the river water.  I wasn’t sure how it would turn out, but the water tasted good, like normal drinking water should taste.  I had no ill effects from drinking it either.

The LifeStraw is lightweight and portable which makes it ideal for camping or backpacking, as well as a backup water for emergency home use.

At $17.47 each, the LifeStraw is reasonably priced.  It’s available on Amazon and other retailers.

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  1. I’ve never used a lifestraw but I’d love one for my kit! I have some water purification tabs but the lifestraw is just cool and convenient!

  2. I need lifestraw because my husband is a disabled veteran, so I am responsible for most of the prepping. We live in a small apartment. so it’s difficult to store large amounts of water. Would love to try before I buy. Thank you.

  3. I have used other purification straws in the past and do not own a life straw myself but would be a great add on to my BOB. As for the dirtiest water I had to drink one year in my scout troop we where working on a badge called wilderness survival, we took some nice brown Oklahoma lake water and made a fire and boiled it then strained it through a bandanna folded over a bunch of times into our canteens. And all in all didn’t taste that bad but would have much rather had a life straw then a bandanna

  4. Nice review of this great innovation.

    In reference to your comment about the lifespan of the LifeStraw, you can extend the life by pre-filtering/running the water through a bandana or other fabric you have in your bug out bag to remove the larger sediments and floating debris.

    We recommend keeping 2-3 of these units in our bug out bags just in case we were to lose one or come across someone who could use a helping hand.

  5. any experience regarding the dirtiest water you have had to drink OR
    why you need the LifeStraw

    I attended several survival courses and training events in the course of my Air Force Career. In one of the exercises (Escape and Evasion for us, Search training for Army National Guard) I was reduced to drinking less than optimal water.
    How bad was it?
    I filtered it through my t-shirt twice and it was still the same chocolate as a Starbucks Latte. Iodine pills made it safe to drink but the flavor………

    {{{{ Shudder }}}}
    I still remember it and that is why I need a Life Straw !

  6. Once I got a 4×4 truck stuck in the woods with no supplies. I got extremely thirsty, I would not drink the water out of the hole my truck was in. It began to rain and I licked the rain off of the topper to hopefully end my thirst. It helped but I was still thirsty.

    I need a way to be able to get water when I have no way to purify water. That is why I need this.

  7. I’m a member of a bicycling club and from time to time we go on long-distance rides. There were a few times where I really could have used a LifeStraw when I was out in the middle of nowhere and went through my water (I can only carry a couple of 24oz water bottles on my bicycle and not gallons jugs like in a car). I don’t tolerate heat and humidity very well. The nearby pond or creek just has to do in some situations. The LifeStraw is certainly small enough to fit in my bike bags so it would very convenient.

  8. This is interesting and could be quite useful. With the trash and chemicals in todays waterways this straw could work as a temporary water purifier. I would be willing to try this in the creeks and see how it does.

  9. It would be a be a necessary and versatile addition. It is small enough to keep in my briefcase or my car box. Everyone knows you need clean water to survive. This seems like a good tool.

  10. I think having this item would be helpful in my car kit and in my home bug out kit.
    This would give an advantage if moving out quickly and not having time boiling water or using chemicals to filter water.

  11. Hey there!!! Hailing from south Texas here!! This isn’t a comment left for the current article. Just stopping by to take a look because like most of us here I am also an apartment prepper!!! Looking forward to conversation input!

  12. Once I got lost in the woods. I was near a stream, and sure could have used one of your LifeStraws! Seeing that the water was safe or not, would be a breeze, with the LifeStraw… Thanz so much.

  13. I have never used the Life Straw but I would love to have one for my Bug-Out-Bag. On July 4th, 2013 my car was broken into any my Bug-Out-Bag was stolen from my car. So now I am completely starting over. Being on a fixed budget it is really hard to replace my most prized possession (my Bug-Out-Bag). Living in LA, Ca and NOT having a Bug-Out-Bag at the ready is really playing on my nerves. The most questionable water I had to drink was on a 2 day survival outing. Each person could only take a few items, and we had to get by with the least amount of gear. The water was bad, we boiled it first, and then we added water purification tablets to the boiled water. Even with those steps 2 of us still got sick.

    1. Why is it I do my best proof reading AFTER I hit send…

      Original sentence…
      On July 4th, 2013 my car was broken into any my Bug-Out-Bag was stolen from my car.

      Should be…
      On July 4th, 2013 my car was broken into and my Bug-Out-Bag was stolen from my car.

  14. I live in a 1horse town where the city water is so bad, (its also on boil alert about 2 weeks out of the month), we have to boil it to cook with it or drink it….this would really be handy so we didn’t have to spend extra money on expensive bottled water. My husband loves water, and if he drinks from the faucet, he gets sick each time….yet, city hall deems the water is safe =/ I’ve heard of this along time ago, checked it out on the website, & being from 1 income (mine, which is disability), I can’t afford to buy a new one, even though I’d love 4 for my entire family!

  15. Sounds like just the ticket for a small BOB! Water is an essential in an emergency, and you don’t know where you’ll have to get a safe supply from. This would give some assurances for safety.

  16. We could really use this. I have just started assembling bug-out bags for our family and we really need a water filtration system of some kind. Right now we simply have bottled water.

  17. Water is essential for survival.. 3-3-3-3. Water is in 3 days camp.. A must for a BOB.
    Dirtiest water ever drank – deep water well in Russia… from a rusted bucket..

  18. My dirtiest water experience. I was doing a solo muskox hunt and had been dropped off in the middle of an island. I had to pack lite and had planned to filter water with a hand pump. Well, there I was on the tundra, hot and sweaty and out of water. I found a very unappealing collection of water in a low spot. One of those covered in green furry growth and pumped my nalgene bottle full. It tasted fine, and I was very hot and thirsty, which may have also made it taste better. No illness, no problems, just mind over matter on taking the first drink.

  19. During a hiking trek where I was filming footage to use in a college Spanish course I was unprepared for the jaunt and was out for much longer than I had expected. After a while I could tell I was beginning to get dehydrated but because I had planned to be there only a short while I did not have any water with me. On my march around navigating I came upon a small stream that I had noticed earlier was a source of water for some deer and well you can guess what I did next. I bent way down cupping my hands as best I could to get a drink but because I was so embarrassed that someone or a whole family of people would find me I didn’t end up getting to drink that much. If I had a lifestraw I probably would have been more proud and even chatted up the nature enthusiast about the awesome prouduct!

  20. I have just received a Lifestraw to test it. I´m very glad right now, don´t know where to start testing it but it will be some. I have a “Festival Guide” site here in Denmark and that is why I got it from after I contacted them to see if they would let me test it for other festival participants 🙂 So cool.

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