What if your bottle filtered water as you drank? That’s the idea behind the LifeStraw Go water bottle – so Andrew tested it for five months to find out.
What’s the LifeStraw Go?
The LifeStraw Go is a 650mL BPA-free water bottle that provides clean and safe drinking water from any source. The LifeStraw filtration system is designed to be used where water quality might be questionable and the risk of bacteria and dirt may be present. It’s particularly useful for travel, working in remote areas, and bushwalking or hiking.
How does a LifeStraw work?
LifeStraw originally came onto the scene in 2005 by developing a reusable straw-like product with a 0.2 micron internal filter. While the idea behind the product was fantastic, it lacked a little practicality as the straw could only be used when you were near a water supply, such as a drinking fountain, river or stream and was of little use otherwise. It’s a bit of a hassle to lean down over a puddle every time you want a drink!
In 2013 LifeStraw developed the LifeStraw Go which used the same technology as the original filter straw but added it to a water bottle. Game changer – you no longer needed to be near a water supply. Fill up when water’s available, drink whenever.
According to LifeStraw the filter membrane ‘protects against 99.999999% of bacteria (including E.coli, Salmonella), 99.999% of parasites (including Giardia and Cryptosporidium), 99.999% of microplastics, chlorine, organic chemical matter, dirt, and cloudiness; and improves taste.’
I know what you’re thinking, what about the other 0.001%, huh? But for all intents and purposes it gets everything, and they back it up with scientific research.
Read more: How To Purify Water in the Bush
How long does a LifeStraw filter last?
The 0.2 micron membrane filter is rated to treat up to 1000L of water and the carbon filter is rated to treat 100L before it’s recommended you replace it.
These numbers will of course be dependent on the quality of the water source available, in particular the amount of debris and silt in the water.
Life hack! To extend the life of the filter attach a filter paper to the base of the LifeStraw filter with a rubber band to catch the majority of the larger debris. Cheaper than replacing the LifeStraw part!
Field Testing The LifeStraw Go
What I Liked
The 650mL size bottle is perfect for nearly all activities; it’s easy to carry for short walks and fits well into drink bottle holders on bags and packs for travel.
I’m sure that most people agree that using a hydration bladder mouth piece can often taste a bit rubbery. To our surprise this wasn’t the case with the LifeStraw silicon mouth piece – the water tasted perfectly normal.
The bottle has a large opening, it’s very quick and easy to refill from any water source. Another big plus.
I’ve been using the LifeStraw Go for some time now and I’m very happy with its quality and longevity. I’ve read that the filter can become blocked with debris which can significantly restrict flow, but this obviously depends on where you’re sourcing your water.
My LifeStraw Go has seen daily use for about five months, at home, on hikes through tropical rainforest in North Queensland and along the Overland Track in Tasmania (at a rough guess, I’ve given it 500L of use).
I’ve filled up from taps, water tanks, lakes, creeks, and small streams of varying quality and can confidently say I haven’t experienced any problems with the filter blocking or the flow being restricted. In fact, I’ve only bothered to back flush the filter once in this time!
What I Didn’t Like (And Now I’m Being a Bit Picky)
The internal filter only reaches about 90% of the way to the bottom of the bottle, and without being able to squeeze the bottle, it’s basically impossible to drink the last 50mL of water.
What Could Make it Even Better
It would be great to be able to use the filtered water from the LifeStraw Go bottle to refill a bladder. However, since the bottle’s made of hard plastic, it can’t be squeezed, so it’s not possible to push water through the filter. LifeStraw do make a soft flask style as well, but this is not ideal for daily use or hiking. Decisions…
I’m very happy with my LifeStraw Go water bottle. I think the 650mL size is perfect for daily use, the large opening makes it quick and easy to fill, the silicone mouth piece has no plastic taste, and you can be confident that you’re getting clean and safe drinking water wherever you go.
And finally, every time you purchase a LifeStraw product, LifeStraw provide clean drinking water for an entire year to a child in need, through their give back program.