By Gideon, Staff Reviewer
Having access to clean water is absolutely critical for your survival and that of your loved ones. Therefore having the right equipment and knowledge is paramount to increasing your chances of survival be it in a WCS scenario or your next mountain hiking trip. So join us as we take a look at a wide range of different survival water filters and purifiers to find the Ultimate Survival Water Filter appropriate for personal use and emergency preparedness kits (Get Me Home Bags, BOB’s and INCH bags).

Weighing just 2 ounces and only 22.8 cm long and 2.5 cm wide, the LifeStraw Personal is ideal for hiking, backpacking, camping, travel, and emergency preparedness. Carrying the LifeStraw Personal is made simple with the included detachable neck lanyard. The small size of the LifeStraw Personal ensures that it will easily fit in your Bug Out Bag/emergency preparedness kit and even your pocket provided you have deep pockets.

lifestraw in use cropped

The straw-style filter design lets you turn up to 1,000 litres of contaminated water into safe drinking water, filtering out protozoa and bacteria. The LifeStraw Personal uses advanced hollow fibre technology and filters down to 0.2 microns. This highly efficient method of filtration requires no chemicals, but still removes 99.9999% of bacteria, and 99.9% of protozoa and turbidity. Once the Lifestraw Personal water filter’s 1,000 litre lifespan has been exceeded, the filter must be discarded and a new filter purchased.

Like other portable water filters though, it has its limits – a LifeStraw can’t filter salt (to filter salt water you’ll have to distil it) or heavy metals, chemicals or viruses. In a survival situation or urban disaster you’ll have to use your head. Avoid drinking from ground water sources in a populated area following severe flooding or a massive earthquake. This ground water can be contaminated with chemicals and sewage. You’ll want to move further out of the area to a water source that is less likely to be contaminated with chemicals and sewage before using your LifeStraw water filter.

lifestraw bottle

To use the LifeStraw Personal, “simply” remove the protective caps on each end of the filter. Next place the wider end of the LifeStraw Personal tube into unfiltered water (lake, river, or puddle) and suck clean water through the mouthpiece on the top of the straw. Sucking water through the LifeStraw Personal is quite easy and takes little effort, so you certainly won’t pass out after using it. Follow the instructions provided for your first use. Although it is quite simple to use this straw to drink directly from a water source such as a lake, drinking from a water bottle is a totally different story. Provided that your water bottle’s mouth is wide enough to even fit the LifeStraw Personal, you will have to…

  1. Open the bottle
  2. Open the LifeStraw’s top cap
  3. Open the LifeStraw’s bottom cap
  4. Stick the LifeStraw inside
  5. Drink
  6. Take it out
  7. Expel the remaining water
  8. Close the top cap
  9. Close the bottom cap
  10. Close the bottle.

This is not as straight forward as it seems. Also, even if you plan to only use it to drink from an open water source, just think about whether you want to have to lie on your stomach every time you want to drink!

lifestraw drinking water

lifestraw hiking

All plastic components of the LifeStraw Personal water filter are BPA free, require no electrical power, batteries or replacement parts, and meet US Food and Drug Administration regulations and standards which is a huge plus for LifeStraw.

There are so many 5 star reviews of the LifeStraw Personal floating around on the Internet, and why it gets such a high rating leaves me somewhat perplexed. I am not saying this filter is not good, it certainly is, but there are better filters out there on the market than this one. I think the reason why everyone rates this filter so high is because after buying it, they rush off to the kitchen, grab a glass and fill it up from the tap, drink it and claim how good it is. This is not the proper way to test a water filter. Others go to huge extremes such as mixing cow faeces into the water and drinking it. This is a big risk you should not take. The LifeStraw Personal only filters down to 0.2 microns, which means that it does not filter viruses. Cow faeces have a high chance of containing some kind of virus and drinking water contaminated with this is taking a risk you should not take, because, remember, this filter does not filter out viruses.

Our rating…

Taking all this into account, we rate the LifeStraw Personal water filter straw at 4 out of 5 stars. We like the fact that its a great filter at a great, affordable price. But, we took off a star because this filters down to only 0.2 microns and the water, has a very slight plastic taste after being filtered, although this disappears after several uses. So reinforcing this again, the LifeStraw Personal does not filter viruses. If you want a filter that will remove viruses, the LifeStraw Family which filters down to 0.02 microns may be a good choice. And, if you don’t want to have to lie on your stomach each time you want to drink, or go through 10 steps just to drink from a bottle, then you might want to consider the LifeStraw Go, which is basically a LifeStraw Personal that screws into a bottle of its own. Click here for our review of the LifeStraw Go.

UPDATE: One great thing about purchasing a LifeStraw is that from each purchase, one school child in Africa will receive safe drinking water for an entire school year – something we Westerners REALLY take for granted. So your purchase will definitely make a MASSIVE difference in the lives of these children. Click here to order your LifeStraw Personal Water Filter now. Thanks guys!

lifestraw buy one give one 2

Ok so, we’ve just taken a look at the Lifestraw Personal Water Filter. If you enjoyed this review, please like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and subscribe to our YouTube channel for the latest gear reviews and survival tips! Thanks for stopping by! Until next time, remember: “Be Prepared. Stay Alive.