LifeStraw Personal Water Filter Review

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Review of the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

As of this writing, there are 7,250 customer comments and 707 answered questions for the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter.  I’ve read the customer feedback, and then condensed the results into this review.  I hope that this helps you when shopping for a portable water filter.

Best Features

  • check Lightweight
  • check Removes 99.999999% of waterborne bacteria
  • check Great price
  • check Each purchase helps a school child receive safe drinking water
  • check Will last five years and will filter 1,000 gallons

Item Specifics

The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter removes bacteria and parasites from the water you drink.  This water straw has a microfiltration membrane that removes 99.999999% of waterborne bacteria, including E. coli and salmonella, and 99.999% of waterborne parasites, including giardia and cryptosporidium.  The Lifestraw also removes the smallest microplastics found in the environment (down to 1 micron), and reduces turbidity down to 0.2 microns.  This survival drinking straw has a long lifetime.  The microbiological filter will provide 4,000 liters (1,000 gallons) of clean and safe drinking water when used and cared for properly.  For every LifeStraw product purchased, a school child in need receives safe drinking water for an entire school year.


This portable water filter only weighs 2 ounces.  Besides being lightweight, it is also very small.  It won’t take up too much room in a backpack or bag.  Here is one of the comments about its weight, “This is a great purchase! It is lightweight and easy to use. I carried this and an empty water bottle on my day hikes at Havasupai. This made my pack lighter and I was able to drink cool water all day long. It has a convenient neck strap but it isn’t very big and can fit anywhere.”

You Have to Kneel Down to the Water Source

A disadvantage the Lifestraw has is that you have to kneel down and get close to the water source in order for you to drink water.  Customers suggested that you bring a cup along with you so that you didn’t have to bend down so low.  This customer explained, “I would suggest however to BRING A CUP, or something else to drink out of with the water you scoop out of the river. It is very difficult to bend over the water and create enough suction to actually get water flowing. But if you have a small cup or container its a breeze! “

Each Straw Purchased Helps a Child in Need of Water

Customers liked that each straw they purchased helped a school child in need receive safe drinking water for an entire school year.  This customer explains why this is a great product to buy, “This is a product that has helped people around the world get better drinking water. The best reason to buy this product over other competitors is that it works and you can support children around the world who need it.”

Takes a Little While to Suck Water

This is not a quick water pump to use.  It can take a little while to suck out the water.  One customer explained, “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.”

Great for Emergencies

The Lifestraw Personal Water Filter is great for emergencies.  A lot of customers put it in their emergency kit and used it only for emergencies when they ran low on water and needed something to purify water.  Here, one customers explained what he uses his Lifestraw for, “It’s part of our emergency kit, and hopefully we’ll never have to use it. But to be able to safely filter 1000 liters of water in an emergency, and at this price vs. size, it’s an outstanding option for emergencies.”

Doesn’t Filter Out Everything

According to customers, this portable water filter doesn’t filter out everything.  Not many portable water filters do, so this shouldn’t be too big of a disappointment.  But still, some customers did not like that the water cannot be purified completely.  Here is what one customer had to say, “These do not filter everything. They filter only things that cause diarrhea and disease. They don’t filter out heavy metals, radiation, salt (ocean water), fluoride etc. In a life-threatening situation where you have little access to water save dirty pools, this could save your life. Dirty pools in warm areas are rich in microbe life. If you drink from them the effects of diarrhea and vomiting are worse off than simply going without water.”

Comes with Instructions

The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter comes with instructions so that you know how to use it.  Some customers said that there were a lot of instructions, while others said there were hardly any instructions and it is simple to use.  Here is what one customer commented, “I like it, and especially what it can do in a pinch, IF you’re careful to follow the instructions. Very good product for the money. It has a few limitations that just require you to keep your wits about you — like don’t use it in a mining drain stream, because it is not designed to filter out chemicals. I would imagine you can find the instructions online before you buy if you want to see more for yourself. I don’t think the limitations matter because at this price it is a lifesaving tool that should be extremely high on one’s survival prep list.”

Some Customers Experienced the Straw Not Working

For some customers, the straw would not work no matter how hard you sucked.  Because quite a few customers commented this, you should be aware that the straw may not work.  Here is one customer’s experience, “When I first got it, I tried it out. It worked, no problems. I put it away in my pack. A year later, I took my pack out and when I ran low of the water I brought, I pulled my Lifestraw out to use it. Try as I might, no amount of sucking or blowing would do anything. It was clogged. I soaked it in good water for an hour, but still clogged.”

Great Price

This portable water filter has a great price.  Some water filters can cost up to $100, so the price for this straw is pretty good.  Here is one of the comments from a customer who liked the low price (the price was actually more expensive when he bought it), “For the price ($20) you can’t beat having one of these in your backpack. Way better quality, filter quality and quantity, than the smaller ones available. I take it hunting, backpacking, etc.”

Blue Dye May Come off into Water

While this complaint wasn’t common, some customers commented that the blue dye came off and entered the water.  Someone who was drinking from a cup said that the water turned blue.  Here is one of the comments, “My only complaint is when using it with a glass/bottle the dye was coming off and turning the water blue.”

Lasts for Five Years

This portable water filter will filter water for five years, and can filter 1,000 gallons.  Keep in mind that a few customers said it only filtered 264 gallons, but no matter what it should work for five years of use.

You Won’t Know When It Reaches Its Lifespan

Customers were concerned about knowing when the lifespan of this water filter would be done. Unfortunately, you won’t be able to know until the day it stops working.  As soon as it stops, you have to replace it with a new one.  A customer explained, ” My only other concern was, how do you know when you’ve filtered the maximum amount of water. When the straw stops working, and you can’t get water through it, it’s time to replace it.”


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  • plus Great price
  • plus Excellent for emergencies
  • plus For every straw purchased, a child in need of water is helped


  • close Blue dye may come of into water
  • close Lifespan of the water filter is unknown
  • close Doesn’t filter everything out

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter Conclusion

The LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is a portable water filter that will remove bacteria and parasites from the water that you drink.  Featured is a microfiltration membrane that removes 99.99999% of waterborne bacteria including E. coli and salmonella, and 99.999% of waterborne parasites, including giardia and cryptosporidium.  In addition to removing waterborne bacteria, this straw also removes microplastics found in the environment (down to 1 micron), and reduces turbidity down to 0.2 microns.  The filter will provide 1,000 gallons of safe drinking water when used and cared for properly.  For every LifeStraw product purchased, a school child in need receives safe drinking water for an entire school year.  One drawback that customers mentioned is that you won’t know when you should replace it and buy a new one until the day that it stops working.  The price is hard to beat and it does work to filter your water.  This is a popular and very portable water filter.  

Common Questions

Here are some top questions that I found for people considering buying the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter.

  • chevron-circle-right Can I use this portable water filter for seawater?  No, it won’t filter out salt.
  • chevron-circle-right Where is this filter system manufactured?  It is manufactured in South Korea.
  • chevron-circle-right How long does this water filter last?  It will last for 5 years (five years of using it).  However, if you don’t use it, there is no shelf life.

Related Article: Best Portable Water Filter: The Top 10 Reviewed

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