LifeStraw Review [2024]: Decent water filter, or not really?

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LifeStraw Review [2024]: Decent water filter, or not really?
Whether you're about to jet-set off abroad or you're heading out for a hefty hike nearby, then simple tools like LifeStraw could make all the difference. But is it worth the cost?
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Thanks to technology, traveling has been made easier. Whether it's a new travel planner app, a spacious backpack, an ultralight suitcase, or something as simple as a LifeStraw, life on the road now comes with a lot less challenges. 

LifeStraw is a product that filters contaminated water, getting rid of unwanted bacteria, chemicals, microplastics, and parasites. The brand has evolved over the years, expanding its range from straws and stainless steel bottles to pitchers that you can even use at home. 

In this in-depth review, we'll take a look at whether investing in a product like LifeStraw is actually worth it for travelers.

Lifestraw logo
Image Courtesy of LifeStraw

What is LifeStraw? 

LifeStraw is an ultralight straw filter that can be used in both emergency and survival settings, as well as in outdoor sports activities. If you're heading off on a hike, a mountain-biking trip, a camp in the woods, or if you're backpacking through a new destination where the water is not safe to drink, then this could make things easier.  

LifeStraw is built to remove nasty chemicals, microplastics, and bacteria, amongst many other things from the water, making it safe to consume. Each straw is tested in a lab, ensuring its durability. 

This straw doesn't actually require any batteries or chemicals in order to work, and it lasts for up to 4,000 liters. If you're trying to save some money on your travels, LifeStraw could be a great alternative!

Lifestraw water bottle
Photo by Manny Moreno on Unsplash

How does LifeStraw work? 

When you suck on your LifeStraw water filter, the water that enters is jolted through hollow fibers. These fibers act as a microfiltration device, so any bacteria, parasites, or dirt gets stuck in the fibers. This allows you to drink the water, and then afterward, you simply blow air out of the straw in order to clear the filter. 

How does LifeStraw impact the planet? 

LifeStraw is making a positive impact on the planet, and recently, it's even been deemed a Climate Neutral Certified B Corp. The company is involved in various programs and action plans that align with an eco-friendly attitude. 

Unlike other supposedly "sustainable" brands, LifeStraw proves that they take environmental responsibility seriously. If you're a traveler that's environmentally conscious, then purchasing a LifeStraw product could align with your values and help out communities around the globe. 

lifestraw environmental impact
Photo by Alex Radelich on Unsplash

What is LifeStraw's "Give Back Program"? 

The Give Back Program is an initiative to provide school children with access to safe drinking water. 

For every 500 products that are sold, a LifeStraw product is given to a school in need. This means up to 100 school kids then get access to clean water for five years. 

What sets this company aside from the rest is that they don't simply drop off the products and leave. They are invested in fostering relationships with schools and their communities. LifeStraw is transparent in its objectives and involvement, and that's not really something you see a lot of these days.  

The LifeStraw Collection 

Straw Filters 

In the straw filter range, there are four different products to choose from. The original LifeStraw is backed by thousands of raving reviews. The only difference between this one and the Peak Series Straw is the design. 

If you're concerned about heavy metals, chlorine, and smell, then the LifeStraw Flex is probably the best option. There are also carry cases available for a standard price, which could be handy for traveling. 

Lifestraw personal water filter
Photo by Ryan Farid on Unsplash

Bottle Filters

The variety of bottle filters are more extensive than the straws. There are a few different sizes available, as well as shapes and types. The bottles are more expensive, so if you're trying to save some money, then this isn't the best budget-friendly option. 

Dispenser Filters 

With only two dispenser filter options, your choices are fairly limited. They do offer a subscription for home replacement filters, which comes with a new filter every two months. This subscription option saves you the hassle of having to get online and buy a new filter. 

Gravity Filters 

Out of all the products, the gravity filters are one of the best options for camping trips. You can filter and store up to 8L of water. This means if you're thirsty in the middle of the night, you can make use of the gravity filter instead of rolling outside of the comfort of your tent. 

Prices are actually pretty expensive, but if you're looking to invest in a product that will last for your long trips, then this could be useful. 

There's also a range of LifeStraw water pitchers, high volume filters, and other products available on their website. You can shop for more LifeStraw products in-store or on their website, as well as Amazon, Target, and other online websites. 

life straw for camping
Photo by Victor Larracuent on Unsplash

LifeStraw's Refund Policy 

If you buy your LifeStraw directly from their website or from a certified retailer, then you can return it as long as it's within 30 days. Items should be unused and in the original packaging.

The only downside to their refund policy is the fact that shipping is not covered, and you will have to cover the costs of return shipping charges. 

What are people saying about LifeStraw? 

Some have commented that while LifeStraw is a simple product, it's quite effective and useful for adventure travel and emergencies. 

Customers highlight that it's lightweight, which comes in handy when traveling long distances. The fact that it's so small is also a plus, meaning you've got extra room in your backpack. 

Environmentally-conscious customers talk about how they like purchasing from the brand because it's involved in programs that actually make a positive difference. So these people know they're contributing to a business that does good. 

lifestraw for hiking
Photo by Tobia Tullius on Unsplash

On the other hand, people tend to talk about the fact that LifeStraw is difficult to clean. It's also not an ideal option if you're traveling in a group because it serves only as a personal water filter. 

Customers also point out that it's hard to store the water once it's been filtered, meaning you can't stock yourself up. 

Lastly, people have claimed that it doesn't remove everything from the water – it can't process dissolved salts, heavy metals, minerals, and viruses. 

Benefits and Drawbacks of LifeStraw 

Lifestraw is a light product, making it easy to pack in your backpack or suitcase and not taking up too much space. It's been found useful for traveling and adventure activities, as well as survival or emergency situations. 

The major disadvantages of LifeStraw tend to circulate around the fact that it cannot be used in groups (as it's a personal filter straw), and it's not easy to store water. So, if you're thirsty at an inconvenient time, you'll have no choice but to get up and find a water source. 

Also, if you're unhappy with the product you ordered online and want to return it, you'll have to pay for shipping. 

Another drawback is the fact that it doesn't remove absolutely everything from contaminated water, so you're not 100% covered.

lifestraw camping
Photo by Josh Hild on Unsplash

Is LifeStraw worth it? 

If you're looking for a lightweight product that won't put a dent in your bank account, then LifeStraw is worth the money. If you're doing a solo outdoor activity, it's a great option. It's convenient for outdoor adventure, but it cannot be stored easily or shared in groups. If you're worried about getting rid of absolutely everything in the water, then it cannot do the job properly. 

Our Rating: 3.7/5


  • Very lightweight, easy to store 
  • Handy for hiking, camping, and other outdoor activities 
  • Ideal to have in case of an emergency or survival situation 


  • It's for personal use only 
  • Difficult to store water 
  • Doesn't remove all toxins from contaminated water 
  • Return shipping isn't included 

Plan with Pilot!

LifeStraw is a product that could take the hassle out of your next solo trip outdoors. Wherever you're headed get planning today with Pilot! 

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Disclosure: Pilot is supported by our community. We may earn a small commission fee with affiliate links on our website. All reviews and recommendations are independent and do not reflect the official view of Pilot.

Jessica Bergin Blogs
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Jessica Bergin
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