As many of you know I’ve advocated for people to have the LifeStraw in their 72 Hour Bags for a long time. They are incredible products because they are so light weight and effective in removing dangerous materials from water you find in the field. There has always been a problem with the original model however.
With the original model unless you have a vessel to carry water there really isn’t a way of storing water for later use. This was originally designed as a device for people in Africa to allow them to have access to clean water. In an area where people die from water born illness all the time there is a huge need for people to carry a device which can filter water and they have access to watering holes quite often. But in an area such as the South West you will need to forage for water and collect what you find when you find it because you may not find more when you need it.
I use a hydration bladder in my backpack when I hike with a purification filter in line with the hose leading to the mouthpiece. It’s a pretty good setup because you can carry a large amount of water, some bladders can carry up to 3 liters of water, but I still struggle with this application because there are two problems with using a hydration bladder. One is where to put it. Backpacks are designed to carry the bladder close to your back vertically along your spine close to your shoulder blades. But when the bladder is full and in the sleeve it is designed to fit in it severely depletes the cargo capacity of your pack. When pack manufacturers calculate the liter capacity of the pack they include that area, so with every cubic inch of water you carry, you loose that much cargo capacity. The other issue with a hydration bladder is that when it is in that sleeve and you are under way a person becomes less willing to stop, unpack a portion of the backpack, pull it out and refill it. In areas where there is abundant water this isn’t so much a problem because when you run dry you can fill it immediately. But here in the South West when you see water you need to take advantage of it, even when you’re hot, tired and probably a little dehydrated from the get go. I have been in situations where either I or my hiking buddy hasn’t filled up when they should have and we’ve suffered for it.
Below is the next evolution to the LifeStraw. I call it the LifeStraw 2.0, not it’s real name just what I’m affectionately calling it. I think this bridges the gap between the two worlds. It’s lightweight at 7.8 oz and carries 22 fl oz. At barely over half a liter I’m waiting for LifeStraw to come out with a bottle which has a larger volume. However, with so many water bottles on the market these days I bet you could find a bottle with the same thread pattern which has a larger capacity. If you were to find a bottle allowing you to switch the top it would allow you to either carry one bottle with a larger capacity or have two bottles and one filter which could be moved from one bottle to the other. In a pinch you could always have a cheap Gatorade bottle with a large mouth to collect water and then pour it into the LifeStraw bottle. I’ve always been a fan of the Gatorade bottle because they are repurposed, lightweight and hold a pretty good quantity of liquid.
In any event at roughly $35 this bottle is a great deal. Here are the specs:
- Hollow-fiber filter membrane offers a high flow rate; sip on the straw and it filters the water while it’s on the way to your mouth
- 0.2-micron filter physically removes 99.9999% of all bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera and E.coli; removes 99.9% of all protozoa such as giardia and cryptosporidium
- Detachable filter is effective for cleaning up to 264 gallons before needing replacement; bottle can be used indefinitely
- BPA-free Tritan® plastic bottle is lightweight and durable; leakproof lid and durable, flexible mouthpiece detaches for easy cleaning
- 22 fl. oz. LifeStraw Go Filter Bottle includes a carabiner for easy carrying