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on May 11, 2014
I frequently hike and camp in the backcountry all over the United States. Carrying the amount of water that I need to survive during these trips is just not feasible due to the weight. In the past I always carried a General Ecology First Need XL water purifier and refilled nalgene bottles with it. Since getting a LifeStraw I most likely won't be doing that any longer since the LifeStraw is smaller and lighter than the First Need XL. I recently took a LifeStraw out for a test on a backcountry hike in the Rocky Mountains. Every stream, lake, or other water source that I came across I stopped for a drink. I was drinking fresh snow melt and also from lakes that are home to beavers and other wildlife. There was no added taste to the water and I didn't get sick during or after the trip.

The one draw back to the LifeStraw is that it does take a bit of suction to start and keep the water flowing. When you're at high altitudes in the mountains this leads to longer "drink breaks" since you can get winded pretty easy while trying to suck up water through the LifeStraw. However, its size and weight advantages when hiking mountainous terrain vastly out weigh this minor drawback.

Overall, the LifeStraw is awesome and I recommend it to every backcountry hiker that I know.
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on May 17, 2013
If you camp out a lot, or simply prepared to bug out.....then this is for you. I will be buying more, just for bartering, especially when SHTF.......!

One item you can add to this.....paper coffee filters (cone type) are inexpensive. Place one over the bottom of the water filter with a wide rubber band and it will protect the filter with a lot less cleaning. The Water Filter will last 2X as long and cleaner water to drink!

UPDATE - 4-25-2016

After more than 3-years of numerous weekend and 2-week excursions, my very first LifeStraw would not produce anymore clean filtered water. I reluctantly open a NEW LifeStraw to complete the weekend of camping. It is tough to imagine more than 3-years of clean water from streams, lakes and rivers. I really don't know how many liters of water that was used, but I can say this....with the coffee filter attached to this unit it out last my friends LifeStraw more than a year. That alone has gotten to expand the use of this tremendously. Thank you LifeStraw, camping has been simple and healthy. I bought 8 more as backups!

UPDATE - 2-13-2015....

I have now used this camping several times. Now, I use a Portable Siphon Hand Liquid Transfer Pump with this unit. I can now add water to my pots, pans or my 3L water pouch easily. The suction usually will draw water for about 20 seconds; 2 cups of water in about a minute with the Transfer Pump!
2525 comments| 1,314 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on September 10, 2013
I was heading out to Grand Teton National Park for a week and was looking to buy a water filter. I was surprised at how expensive many of them were! Seeing as how I am a casual hiker, I did not need a $100+ water filter. I just needed something for long day hikes where I would likely drink all of the water I had brought along. This water filter was perfect for that.

I filled up two nalgene bottles and once I drank the first, if I needed more water I filled the empty at the nearest water source and the life straw worked perfectly for sipping along the trail.

One word of caution, if you have a nalgene with a narrow mouth opening, the life straw WILL NOT fit so make sure you have a wide enough opening. The description shows a 1 inch diameter but there is a plastic cover on the bottom to protect the filter that is attached by a thin piece of plastic. I uploaded a photo showing the LifeStraw trying to fit in a narrow mouth nalgene. As you can see it does not fit and even if you cut off the plastic piece it is still too thick, at least for the nalgene in the photo.
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on April 19, 2014
As soon as I got this thing in the mail I went straight to the nastiest, most contaminated thing I could find. There just happened to be a sink full of soaking dishes that worked just fine. Couldnt taste a thing. I even spit some of the water out and it was nice and clear. Im going hiking soon and going to test it on some stagnant water when we find it, and I've given instructions to lower this rating down to 1 star if I die.
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on January 10, 2012
For the weight, I believe there is no better backcountry water treatment available. The LifeStraw imparts no strange flavors like its chemical brethren, its flow rate is perfectly acceptable for active pursuits, it has no moving parts to break or filters that need replacing every couple of days, and it does all this at a fraction of the cost and weight of other Filter and UV water treatment options. Besides, what other water treatment system has been tested successfully by people on a daily basis in the most contaminated parts of our planet?
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on July 18, 2012
Just got back from a trip to Nepal and Cambodia. I used life straw dozens of times. Most notably while I was in the jungles of Cambodia I found myself dangerously dehydrated and my two water bottles were already empty. There was NO SAFE WATER for me to drink. I did eventually stumble onto a well used by some monks. After figuring out how to prime and pump up the water I used the life straw to drink my fill. I was so relieved, I was miles from the nearest bottle of water and I managed to get my drink on. I didn't have to take a risk that would have put me in an awful situation (severe diarrhea) , and it only cost me $25 and the weight of the straw is negligible.

In fact, I've decided that whenever I'm leaving the country to take this guy with me. Why not?
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on August 20, 2012
This product is hands-down the best filter out there!

I bought mine at Bass Pro Shops for $19.99, but it happened to be one of the older 3 year shelf life straws, which could explain the price difference(Was manufactured in May).

It takes a second to get the water flowing, and its not easy to "blow out" the water as it recommends, but this thing works great!

My favorite feature is that, when it can't filter water anymore, it just STOPS LETTING YOU SUCK WATER THROUGH IT. Amazing, right? No guesswork...just get a new one ever 3/5 years, and use it till it stops working.

Note: Its a little hard to blow water out, but not impossible. If you find yourself blowing and not getting ANY air out, its cause it sealed itself(however that works) and isn't gonna let any more air pass through, you've gotten enough out already. Don't waste your effort trying to get the last few drops out, it won't happen.
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on September 5, 2014
So I intentionally got lost in the wilderness with a couple friends with the LifeStraw in my pocket and nothing else. We came across a river and decided that we should get some hydration before venturing any deeper. I plopped it into the water and sucked... and sucked... and sucked and sucked and sucked, to no avail. I couldn't get a single drop through the straw. My friends tried their hands at it as well and still couldn't get that life affirming liquid to their lips. We were doomed. We were going to die of dehydration out in the redwood wilderness, huddled around a useless LifeStraw.

So we laugh it off and they make fun of me for the next several hours as we trek back to our car. I was a little downtrodden that I had wasted money on such a worthless product, even when everyone was saying how amazing and lifechanging it was! I was ready to just toss the piece of plastic off to the side and forget it among the trees. But I held on to it.

Once I got home, I looked through the directions - and I realized my mistake. You are supposed to SUBMERGE IT before trying to get the water through. The water has to soak into the fibers totally before you begin sucking. So I grab a cup of water and dunk the LifeStraw into it, letting it soak for a few minutes. After the time passes, I suck... and WATER! I drink the whole cup up with very little issue. Frantically I call my friends and tell them how it wasn't a piece of junk and how we were just stupid guys who didn't read the directions.

Ever since I learned the correct usage, I've used it on every hike I go on. It's an excellent piece of equipment to bring along and works well when you know how to use it. So trust what everyone else is saying - this thing works!
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on October 27, 2013
See update 2/10/15. I've Done My Homework. Few have explained why they think it is so good or why it isn't. The idea is great and I have one, but I also have the Sawyer Mini Filter, from Amazon, for the same price. It is half the length, same 2oz weight, but also requires a supplied syringe to back flush. It filters more contaminates (safer) and filters 100,000 gallons vs 264 gallons for LifeStraw. Filtration is .1 microns vs .2 microns LifeStraw and protozoan parasites (>LOG 6 reduction) -vs- (>LOG 3 reduction) protozoan parasites.
COMPARISONS BELOW:

-LifeStraw-

*Removes minimum 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria (>LOG 6 reduction) and surpasses EPA standards for water filters
*Removes minimum 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites (>LOG 3 reduction) and filters to an amazing 0.2 microns
*Filters up to 1000 liters (or 264 gallons) of contaminated water.

-Sawyer Mini Filter-

*High performance filter fits in the palm of your hand, weighs 2 ounces and filters up to 100,000 gallons (30 times more than comparable filters)
*Attaches to included drinking pouch, standard disposable water bottles, hydration packs, or use the straw to drink directly from your water source
*Removes 7 log (99.99999%) of all bacteria and 6 log (99.9999%) of all protozoa
*Sawyer's certified 0.1 micron absolute filter removes bacteria and protozoa at a higher rate than accepted EPA guidelines

UPDATE: 2/10/15 When I purchased the Sawyer filters on 10/31/2013, Amazon was selling a pair of these for $21.35. Yes, I said two for $21.35! This, I thought was a great deal. So with all of the negative comments of my review, I would still recommend a pair of these for that price. As I said in the title.... you can buy better for the same price. The Life Straw was at $19.95 at the time. If there were any doubt of a Sawyer filter after extended use, I would just pitch it. Now they are $40.42 for a pair. I would have a different opinion, at that price. Typical, of Amazon's swing pricing.
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on October 16, 2015
Great product for hiking/hunting/fishing! Has worked great for me in some small streams high in the Rockies. Also (had) to try it in some standing somewhat funky puddles of a dried up stream, and the water tasted fine.

One nag: the outside diameter at the end of the straw is actually ~1.27" (not the listed 1"), which is just a bit too big to fit into a gatorade bottle mouth. I had hoped to dip my gatorade bottle into the stream and then drink from that. Instead I filled the gatorade bottle from the stream and poured that into a cheap (light!) water bottle which I cut the mouth off of. I imagine this solution is lighter and cheaper than the LifeStraw Go bottle (and I was carrying the gatorade and bottled water anyway).
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