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EarthEasy LifeStraw Portable Water Filter REVIEW

Travis Gneiting Reviews

Time to ditch your water canteens and water bottles, the LifeStraw water filter works in lakes, streams, Eartheasypuddles and street gutters. Even better, for every LifeStraw® water filter sold, the company provides a child in Africa with clean water for an entire school year. If you love to hike, but hate hiking extra water around – you could save a kid in Africa from salmonella, giardia or worse. For only $20 and 260 gallons – check it out.  This bad boy has been the top selling water filter on Amazon.com for over 6 months for a reason, it is simply unbeatable – and we all tested and can see why.  Filters over 260 gallons.  You don’t have to pour contaminated water into another container and worry about getting bacteria on a mouthpiece or other component that will end up getting bacteria into your or the filtering system.  It is fool proof.   If you are looking for a portable water filter, this is the one.

Time Magazine gave Lifestraw Personal Water Filter the “Best Invention of the Year” award in 2005.  For $20, we have found the EarthEasy LifeStraw to be the top portable water filter on the market – and here is why. (Find it online at Cabela’s or MooseJaw)

If you love the outdoors, and find yourself in a sleeping bag more than a hotel room – then having a portable waterfilter is an essential.   The number 1 item to pack when you head out on the trail is WATER – yet when you have a water filter, you don’t have to carry around the weight.  Don’t waste space lugging around heavy water jugs when you don’t have to.  During an emergency, a compact, efficient water filter  is a critical survival kit necessity.

When heading out on a hike or a trek, third world country, or even a trail a few hours from your car – the life straw is perfect for you.  You can stick the LifeStraw into any lake, stream, river, pond or even swamp and know for a certainty that you are drinking pure water clean of any bacteria or parasites.  If you are sick of carrying that water bottle to work, it even works in puddles or gutters.

Any seasoned hiker or backpacker knows the importance of having a water filter, and the only question is which water filter is the right choice for a hiker on the go. The important features when it comes to a water filter whether it is light weight, fast, efficient and is it going to last/be worth it’s money? Out of all the portable filters, the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter has beat out the competition on all the key factors essential for an effective water filter

How does it work?  The LifeStraw is a smart design, and aptly named after it’s Straw-like design.  You stick the straw into a water source, and it’s nice and long enough so you can use it directly in a stream or lake without feeling like you are getting your face too close (if you are too lazy to put it in another container before drinking it).  People have literally drank water directly from a swamp with this baby, just slipped a straw in an drank it up like hot apple cider – minus the salmonella.

A better design than some of the competition, it doesn’t have the separate straw to fall out and get lost, like the other products that brag about being small and compact. Another benefit, a lot of portable water filters you have to pour water INTO the filters, which creates the risk of contaminating the mouthpiece with the unfiltered water.  WIth the lifestraw – just one end goes into the unfiltered water.  No worrying about pouring water into a filter…..just drink out of a straw. A two year old can do that.  It comes in a sealed bag so it can remain dry and clean until you need to use it.

Specs Weighing in at only 2 ounces and filtering up to 260 gallons of water.  Not a single filter on the market can hold a candle to that. You’d have to go out and buy 3 filters to compete with that volume.  An adult should drink 64 ounces of water a day.  That means if you had a LifeStraw personal water filter as part of a survival kit with access to a water source, you would have safe drinking water for almost 1.5 years.  The LifeStraw is compact, throw it in your cargo pant pocket or stash it in your backpack – smarter yet, put it in your 72 hour kit or in the glove compartment of you car in the event you get stranded somewhere.

While it did take a little bit of time for the water to start flowing through the LifeStraw, it was a steady flow once the pressure started building.  One of the best features of the LifeStraw (hence the name Straw) is just how intuitive it is.  When it can’t filter water any more (for whatever reason),  STOPS LETTING YOU SUCK WATER THROUGH IT.  Genius, right?  No guesswork. No digital readings, no lights with batteries to replace…. none of the other filters hold a candle.

On all of these points, we have found the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter to be unsurpassed.  In the past two years the market has been flooded with portable water filters.  As anyone who has gotten a headache while on a hike, or if you’ve had swollen hands in the outback – these are just the initial signs of dehydration. Experts and travel guides are reminding hikers more and more to pack enough water for their trips, advising at least 1 liter per hour – even more for hot temperatures.  Yet the wonderful thing about a portable water filter, is that you don’t have to lug around gallons with you, as long as you know where the natural water resources are where you will be headed.
Tips and Tricks:
-Try putting an extra layer of protection on the filter to keep it cleaner and last longer. Try using an cheap cone paper coffee filter. Tighten it with a rubber band and viola, easy cleaning – plus the filter will last longer.   Rubber band keeps it secure, plus the rubber band, and even the coffee filter have multiple uses in the backcountry. Use the filter to start a fire – or maybe a not so ultra soft Charmin tissue paper.

-When filtering really dirty water, pour it through a T shirt (if you don’t have our aforementioned coffee filter), to remove dirt and debris before using the filter.  Aka, don’t make the filter work harder than it has to.  Protect it from getting clogged from larger objects the best you can, and left the LifeStraw do it’s magic in filtering out the harmful killers like e-coli, giardia, salmonella and  cryptosporidium.

-Headed out to a foreign country, maybe it’s not just the water in the lakes and streams you don’t trust.  That water coming out of the tap in the Hostel might look a little questionable too.  Pull out the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter just to feel a little safer, and have it taste a little better too.

DOWNSIDE: The (only) downside you can complain about – you have to SUCK. Yes, it is a straw. Instead of waiting on a drip filter, you have to suck it. So if that bothers you, well then you can suck it up and wait half an hour and watch your filtered water drip down into a little bottle instead of just sucking it down.

CHARITY
For only $20 – it is the best portable water filter out there  Check it out at amazon.   Yet the best reason to buy an Earth Easy LifeStraw is not just for yourself, but for someone who needs it more than you but can’t afford it.

(Buy it online at Cabela’s or MooseJaw)

For every LifeStraw® water filter sold, the company provides a child in Africa with clean water for an entire school year.  Clean water isn’t just quality of life, lack of clean water often takes a life. Purchase any type of LifeStraw® filter, part of the funds are used to donate LifeStraw® Community institutional water purifiers to schools in Africa. LifeStraw® Community is specifically designed to deliver clean, safe water to school children by removing waterborne pathogens and dirt commonly found in source water.

Eartheasy’s goal is to provide clean water to 500 schools in Kenya in 2014. Thank you for supporting this mission!

You can check out all of the EarthEasy products here

Update 1/24/2016:

So you have seen the life straw, you have read the reviews, you may even own one.  Well things just keep getting better.  Life straw now has a couple new features.  We got to check out the new Lifestraw Go bottle

Go Bottle is a convenient way to fill up quickly at the river and take it with you.  It’s likely that you are not going to be around a river, stream, or puddle constantly.  The LifeStraw Go allows you to fill up and take the convenience of the LifeStraw filtration with you.  It’s recommended not to let the Go bottle freeze, or the filter ever freeze as it can damage it.  Also, don’t try to dish wash the bottle or filter.

It’s worth noting that the LifeStraw Go will not filter out Chemicals, salt water, heavy metals and viruses.  Some of the other LifeStraw products like the LifeStraw Mission and LifeStraw Family will remove viruses.

Keep in mind the LifeStraw Go bottle has the old version of the Straw.  Check out below for more information about the new LifeStraw

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The LifeStraw Steel is the new two stage filter that removes bacteria and protozoa from water.  It also helps to reduce chemical matter and chlorine.  We were a little worried about the amount of effort it might take to suck through the two stage filter, but there was no issue at all.  It was very easy to get a mouthful as fast as you can swallow.

LifeStraw-Steel-Go-Water-Bottle-Package-Vestergaard-GearChase-ReviewThe obvious downsides to the new Steel LifeStraw filter is that you need to be near a water source, or be carrying contaminated water with you.  Also, you need to be aware that this filter is only filtering out bacterial and protozoa and some chemicals.  It will not make salt water drinkable, and will not remove viruses.  As far as convenience of a filter goes, it’s right up there as number one.  So easy to throw in a pack, no hoses, bottles, etc. to worry about.  That’s where the LifeStraw steel really shines.  It has a protective cap for the filter and straw end, and that’s about your only moving parts.  Maintenance is very easy, and at a price that most can afford, it’s great to always have one with you in the case of an emergency.

 

Now we are getting into the AntiVirus filters.  If you are family camping or away from clean water for extended time.  The LifeStraw Mission is a water filtration system you can count on to do more than just make water taste better and remove bacteria. The Mission also removes virus from the water.

As you can see it’s a little more complicated to use than the LifeStraw or the Go bottle, but it’s also got a lot more capability.  Here is a great article on Wikipedia about virus in water and how they can effect humans.  If you read that article now you are scared to ever touch water that has not been purified or filtered for both Bacteria and Virus’.

The Mission removes virtually all bacteria (99.9999%), protozoa (99.99%), and viruses (99.999%) that can contaminate water.  It’s self containing with it’s water bag.  The flow rate isn’t bad at 2.4 to 3.2 gallons per hour.  The filter is a little tricky to get figured out. Just remember that red is bad, and not to ever get water out of the red valve.  The complete instructions are printed on the bag, so you can remember how to use it.

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The filter and bag are all able to disconnect and clean when needed.  Also, the red valve at the bottom allows for easy flushing and backwashing.  The red bulb when squeezed will back clean and flush the filter, it’s then drained out the red end.  It’s so easy to use, we wish that everyone had one of these.  It’s great for emergency preparedness as well as camping convenience.

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