LifeStraw Review

Items to keep you alive in the event you must evacuate: discussions of basic Survival Kits commonly called "Bug Out Bags" or "Go Bags"

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Israel
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LifeStraw Review

Post by Israel » Sat Nov 05, 2011 9:20 am

I was recently asked to try out the LifeStraw personal water filter from GreenBeetleGear. Two days later my package came with a new toy to try out.

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Inside was the LifeStraw, a simple to understand manual and a break-away lanyard(quarter added for scale).
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Manual
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The manual explains the purpose and operation of the LifeStraw. It also says that it has a 3-year shelf life and on the straw is a sticker clearly showing the production date
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The manual is printed in English, French, Spanish, and Portuguese with simple to understand pictures. Since these filters were designed for the expressed purpose of being deployed to disaster areas and areas with little to no clean water around the world, they must be easy to use.
This thing is designed to remove a minimum of 99.9999% (0.2 microns) of all waterborne bacteria, including Escherichia coli, Campylobacter, Vibrio cholerae, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Shigella and Salmonella and removes minimum 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites, including Giardia lamblia, Cryptosporidium Parvum and Entamoeba histolytica. Simply put, all the nasty stuff that makes you shoot goo out both ends.
It does not remove salt, viruses, heavy metals, or chemicals.

You can find most of the detailed info here

To try this thing out I emptied out the filter from my Koi pond. :shock: Holy crap was this stuff gross!
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Not only did it look incredibly disgusting but it smelled fishy too. What better test subject. I pulled some water through it and filled part of a glass to see the difference between before and after.
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There was still a bit of color to the water but it didn't smell fishy, and no sediment passed through.
Next test was to take a drink. It tasted ok, it wasn't as good as mama used to make, but not bad. Drinking through the straw takes some suction, but considering how tight the filter is, it's no surprise.

The manual says that it will filter 1000 Liters (264 Gallons) of water and once it has reached it's limit it will stop water flow. Since there is no mechanical pump to force water through, it makes it easy to prevent over usage and contamination.

The manual also says that if you want to optimize shelf life, avoid rough handling (crushing or dropping) and keep stored between 50F(10C) and 77F(25C). Simply put, if you keep it in your GHB in your car you may need to replace it more often than expected. (Then again so should your MRE's and anything else with any shelf life.)

It's small size, ease of use, and the lanyard make it convenient to carry with you wherever you may need it. It doesn't take up much room or weigh much so you can keep it in some nook or cranny in your pack.
The filtration meets EPA standards and so far (2 days after test)I'm not sick.

The only down side I see to this method of filtering is the fact that you cannot use it to filter water into a container for cooking purposes. One way I would think of fixing this is if there was threading on the inlet to accept a standard water bottle. Then you could use it as a gravity filter. Other than that I have no complaints or critiques.

Bottom line is, this seems like a nice addition to my GHB. Especially for $20.

GreenBeetle also said that if you use the coupon code "ZS05034y" it will make it so that 10% of the purchase price goes to the ZS forum on each lifestraw.
6% of backpacks, 20% of Mission knives and 6% of first aid purchase price go to ZS with the same code.

Edit: for clarity and price
Last edited by Israel on Sat Nov 05, 2011 3:36 pm, edited 2 times in total.
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Griff wrote:Their are two kinds of people in the world; Those who have a plan prepared for when the zombies take over the Earth, and those who don't. We call those people "Dinner"
I got eaten alive by chiggers at Z-Con 2011

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majorhavoc
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Re: LifeStraw Review

Post by majorhavoc » Sat Nov 05, 2011 10:51 am

Outstanding review 1SR437. Very comprehensive and well written. And we appreciate you "taking one for the team" by testing it out as you did. Ugh! Koi water? Really? :? You should get some sort of special ZS banner for doing that! Something with the universal bio-hazard symbol.

I suggest editing to include the price: $19.95

One point I didn't quite follow.
1SR437 wrote:The only down side I see to this method of filtering is the fact that you cannot use it to filter out all the sediment for cooking purposes. One way I would think of fixing this is if there was threading on the inlet to accept a standard water bottle. Then you could use it as a gravity filter.
It's a straw that you have to suck on. And you talk about the desirability of a threaded fitting to a standard water bottle. I see that addressing the downside that you can't pass the filtered water directly to a second container, but I'm not following how that impacts its ability to filter all the sediment. Do you mean that with the water bottle fitting you could filter it in successive stages and let the sediment settle out in between stages?

I only ask because your review is otherwise so clearly written and full of useful information that you've really got me thinking about this product. Great job!

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Israel
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Re: LifeStraw Review

Post by Israel » Sat Nov 05, 2011 12:01 pm

What you would do is fill the bottle, screw it onto the inlet and flip the bottle upside down to let the water drain through the filter into your container of choice. Thus removing all the gunk out of the water without having to drink directly from the straw. This is not a design flaw just a possible improvement to the design, especially for the outdoorsy types. I just don't like sand in my ramen.

Thank you Havoc for pointing out the price... fixed OP to reflect your observation.
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Griff wrote:Their are two kinds of people in the world; Those who have a plan prepared for when the zombies take over the Earth, and those who don't. We call those people "Dinner"
I got eaten alive by chiggers at Z-Con 2011

LifeStraw Review
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Israel
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Re: LifeStraw Review

Post by Israel » Wed Nov 09, 2011 10:13 pm

I feel the need to mark something interesting about the straw. While attempting to dry out my LifeStraw for storage I tried to suck air through and caused some sort of lock down of the filter. I fixed it by sort of priming the filter by putting water into the mouth piece then drinking water out of it as normal. Lesson learned.
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Griff wrote:Their are two kinds of people in the world; Those who have a plan prepared for when the zombies take over the Earth, and those who don't. We call those people "Dinner"
I got eaten alive by chiggers at Z-Con 2011

LifeStraw Review
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Re: LifeStraw Review

Post by greenbeetle » Mon Nov 14, 2011 8:14 am

LifeStraws are used all over the world in disaster zones and for humanitarian relief efforts. For every straw sold, Green Beetle donates a portion of the proceeds to those efforts.

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Re: LifeStraw Review

Post by Redbad » Mon Nov 14, 2011 11:24 am

A necessary product and a great review. At $20 it is a bargain compared to the alternative of drinking contaminated water.

In reading the product FAQ, it would be helpful if they would recommend placing water to be filtered in a container where the particulates could settle over time prior to filtering. This is implied, but not stated, as a means of avoiding filter clogging.

It might also be a good idea to instruct the user to boil or chemically treat water where viruses are suspected. I am unaware of any filter that has the capacity to filter out viruses and the only means to purify water with viruses is by boiling or treating the water with Cl or I (or other chemicals).
KD8EIB

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Re: LifeStraw Review

Post by Tommy Tran » Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:02 pm

Wow you went above and beyond... I have an 18gal setup with 4 4inch goldies and bleeech there is now way in hell Im doing what you did!!!

mad titeprops yo!
phil_in_cs wrote:well, I can guarantee you it won't over penetrate. It has to penetrate before it can over penetrate....
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Re: LifeStraw Review

Post by Hellbound33 » Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:28 pm

You got more balls than me drinking Koi crap.

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Israel
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Re: LifeStraw Review

Post by Israel » Tue Nov 15, 2011 8:47 pm

As long as the point was made. The minor discoloration is most likely to do with the fact that oak leaves sometimes get in the pond and soak like tea leaves. So i was basically drinking oak leaf tea... kinda (oak apparently has no taste).

ETA: Drinking Koi shit... For Science!
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Griff wrote:Their are two kinds of people in the world; Those who have a plan prepared for when the zombies take over the Earth, and those who don't. We call those people "Dinner"
I got eaten alive by chiggers at Z-Con 2011

LifeStraw Review
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Re: LifeStraw Review

Post by Burncycle » Wed Nov 16, 2011 11:57 pm

Nice review! I may end up picking one up. As mentioned on the label this won't filter out viruses (too small) so ideally you will still need a chemical treatment to be used in conjunction with this straw.

Also, gross koi water... props for trying that

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