LifeStraw Family Water Filter Review

by Erich

A few weeks ago I did a review on the LifeStraw personal water filter.

I found it to be a fantastic addition to my bug-out bag and highly recommend it.

This week I had the chance to test the latest product from the makers of the LifeStraw — the LifeStraw Family 1.0 filter.

When I first saw pictures of the LifeStraw Family water filter, I thought it was just the original lifestraw with an added hose and container. Since the personal LifeStraw is only around $20 on Amazon, I was a bit taken aback when I saw the Family version selling for around $75.

“$50 more for the same filter, a bucket, and a straw!?”

However, when I got it in the mail and actually unboxed the thing, I realized it’s quite a bit more filter than I originally thought.

Here’s my review:

LifeStraw Family Filter 1.0 Form and Function


The LifeStraw Family water filter is actually considerably larger than the personal LifeStraw that I reviewed not too long ago. You can see in the picture below, it is about 1 1/2 times longer and noticeably thicker than the personal one:

As you’ll read in the “Performance” section, the larger size is not just for looks. It accounts for an exponential increase in both capacity AND effectiveness compared to the LifeStraw personal filter (and that’s saying a lot since I think the personal LifeStraw is a great performing filter).


The design of the filter is, well…unique. Most gravity fed filters out there that I’m used to are similar in design to the Big-Berkey and Propur style filters — basically an upper reservoir that contains the filter element(s) sitting atop a lower reservoir that collects the filtered water.

The LifeStraw Family filter on the other hand is quite a bit different looking. It comes with a container (capable of holding around 2 liters) that feeds the filter via an attached rubber tube. In the container is a removable/cleanable “pre-filter” that I particularly like since it filters out all the bigger elements like leaf litter, dirt, mud and other nasties. This happens before they can contact the main filter which can do a number on shortening a water filter’s lifespan:

I also appreciate the color-coded taps. The blue tap is where the filtered water is drawn from and on the bottom, you’ll find a red tap for purging and cleaning. The bright red color is a reminder not to drink from that tap.

Finally, you’ll find a squeezable red bulb that’s used to help clean and purge the filter. This last component I really don’t like. Although it’s made from sturdy rubber, it seems like it could split over the years (especially if left outside in the sun).

To their credit, the LifeStraw manufacturers have put the bulb and other components through durability testing by simulation of its lifetime use. Still, it would be great if they offered replacement parts of the bulb and tube to stock up on just in case (perhaps they do, I just didn’t see any listed on their site).

Filter Use

This filter is not as easy or straightforward to use as other gravity-fed filters like the Big Berkey — especially for the initial use. Personally it was a bit of a pain to get it going the first time (I had to go through the troubleshooting guide in the manual) and I consider myself to be rather mechanically inclined.

Basically, the process involves closing the taps, filling the container, opening one of the taps for a few seconds, closing it, opening the other tap and sometimes waiting a bit until the water comes out so you can finally fill your drinking container. Then the cleaning process is a whole other set of procedures.

Fortunately they do show simple-to-follow pictures in their manual and on the packaging that you can reference.

I’m sure if you were using this on a regular basis, this whole process would become second nature. However, if you (like me) will be storing this for future use, you want to MAKE SURE you attach the manual or some other instruction sheet to the filter before storing it away

If you’re the visual type, here’s a quick video overview of me putting the filter to use: LifeStraw Family Review

LifeStraw Family 1.0 Filter Performance

Filter Capacity

I thought for such a small filter, the personal LifeStraw was amazing in that it could filter almost 400 gallons (~1500 liters). This filter — although slightly larger — can filter far more at 18,000 liters. In fact, independent testers have even tested it to 20,000 liters. That’s around 5300 gallons!

For a family of four, each drinking/using the recommended one gallon a day, 5300 gallons would last close to 4 years! Not bad at all.

Filter Effectiveness

Similar to the personal LifeStraw, the LifeStraw Family filter has gone through extensive testing to ensure it meets (and in many cases exceeds) expectations outlined by the EPA.

Here are the test results as reported by the Department of Soil, Water and Environmental Science of the University of Arizona:

  • BACTERIA (i.e. Escherichia coli): Removes 99.9999% of bacteria. It was measured at an average of LOG 7.3 (this is higher than the required EPA standard of LOG 6)
  • VIRUSES: The LifeStraw removes a minimum >LOG 4 (99.99%) of viruses. This meets EPA standards.
  • PROTOZOA (tested against *Cryptosporidium oocysts): Removal of LOG 3.9 (99.9%) of protozoan parasites. This is higher than the U.S. EPA requirement of LOG 3.

*Note: Keep in mind that Cryptosporidium oocysts are much smaller than Giardia cysts (8-12µm vs 3-5µm) so if it’s able to remove Crypto it will have no issues with Giardia. (many testers by the way will test against Giardia and not Cryptosporidium).

From the above studies, we can see that the LifeStraw easily meets or exceeds filtration expectations from the EPA. Also, it’s worthwhile to note that the LifeStraw Family DOES filter out viruses (unlike the personal LifeStraw).


The LifeStraw Family water filter can currently be purchased from many distributors (including Amazon) for around $75. Here’s a link to Amazon.

$75, while not cheap, is not a bad deal when you look at it in terms of performance and capacity. As a quick comparison, the personal LifeStraw at $25 will filter around 400 gallons, while the Family model at 3 times the price filters around 5300 gallons — more than 13 times the capacity!…and, it filters out viruses.

The only other filter out there that competes would be the British Berkefield ones (which I also own and recommend). However, comparing these again in terms of gallons filtered vs price you get the following:

Big Berkey LifeStraw Family 1.0
Price: $258 $75
Capacity: 6000 gal 5300 gal
Cost/Gal: .04 .01

From a pure price perspective, the LifeStraw is around 4 times cheaper than the Berkey. Of course there are other things besides price that people look for so it’s not a complete comparison, but if price is a major factor for you, you’re not going to get much better than the LifeStraw Family. It’s a great deal when you’re looking at the price to performance ratio.

Final Thoughts

For the most part, I really like the LifeStraw Family 1.0 filter and have no qualms about recommending it. It’s very effective, the price is right, it can filter a lot of water before needing replacement, and it’s a whole lot more mobile than lugging along a Big Berkey or other similar performing gravity-fed filters if you needed to take it on the road.

If they do decide to make a 2.0 version someday, there are a few things I’d like to see different:

  • A better string hanger: I know this is a minor flaw, but the string they provide to hang the filter quickly came apart and unwound, making it useless. I know. Not a big deal. I just replaced it with some paracord, but if that’s all I had, it would have been an added headache.
  • Make it simpler: Their personal LifeStraw filter is so easy to operate. Suck the dirty water in when you want to drink. Blow it out, to clean it. I get that with the Family filter gravity is doing the “sucking” and that silly red bulb is doing the cleaning but having two different taps, and a somewhat complicated procedure to get the whole thing going could be problematic if the manual was lost.
  • Make parts available: As a prepper, having ways of fixing/replacing things that wear out is a normal part of life for me. Since I worry a bit about the hose and bulb on the Family filter, that’s something I’d normally buy replacement parts for — just in case. Sure, I could buy a second filter, but why spend another $75 when I could just spend $10 for a few extra parts ya know? Again, not a huge deal but a nice to have.

A Chance to Win Your Own!

If you liked this review and specifically the LifeStraw Family, I have a LifeStraw Family filter that I would love to give away to one lucky winner this month.

To enter the drawing here are the requirements:

  1. Leave a meaningful comment here about anything related to water filtration, or your struggles with water preparations, your experiences with this or another filter, or even why you’d like to have the filter.
  2. In the email field (it’s not displayed to anyone but me), leave your best email so that I can contact you if you win.

Using a random number generator (, I’ll choose one commenter to win a LifeStraw Famly filter ($90 value). More than one comment will not improve your chances.

This Saturday, November 2nd I’ll then contact the winner through that email from #2 above to get the address you’d like me to send it to.

That’s it!

UPDATE: Congrats to “John” (comment #62) for winning the LifeStraw Family!

Be sure to subscribe to my email list (upper right corner) to get instant announcements of future drawings!

Click here to subscribe

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Comment by Aaron
2013-10-30 19:43:13

For the price vs me Berkeley, I figured it would be a great backup… I managed to grab one from amazon, and was quite please with it. I also had a hard time getting it going, but the provided instructions made it do-able. Overall, I’m please with it and easily recommend it to like minded friends. Of course, one is none, so I’ll happily add another to the stock in he future.

I’m in agreement that we need to be able to source replacement parts though.

Comment by Jean-Michel FITAMANT
2013-10-30 20:11:32

I like this water filter. It’s one of the most affordable filter available.
I currently use water purifier by acids synergist, but it’s not convenient at all.


Comment by mark johnson
2013-10-30 20:11:41

LifeStraw offers outstanding ease quality and value.

Comment by Paul rubery
2013-10-30 20:16:53

I could use one of these so my daughter has one of her own for her bob which iv really had to think about making it as light as possible due to her having jdm which is a rare disease and can leave her tired so any piece of equipment like this that is compact lightweight is a big plus

Comment by Darlene Couch
2013-10-30 20:19:54

Thank you for posting this review…..I have water purification tabs in my kit but this straw is amazing…..I would love to have one! My backpack has enough room left for this for sure!
Thanks again…
Darlene Couch

Comment by Karen
2013-10-30 20:20:50

I’ve been hearing a LOT about this filter! I’ve recently discovered just how POISONED the water here on Long Island REALLY is and it scared the devil out of me. I’m now a single mother of 5, so my budget is EXTREMELY tight, yet I have made it a point to “prep” for whatever may be. After last year’s storm, Sandy, I went into full gear; I have b.o.b.s for everyone in the household at the ready, and have amassed quite a pantry, lol. The one thing missing though is one of these! I would love to win one so as to familiarize myself with it before buying additional ones for the entire family. Thank you for the review and opportunity.

Comment by eric
2013-10-30 20:22:50

hi,i just an other guy from belgium,europ,all filters are great but a little bit expensif,i use the sawyer filter,its made inn the usa and verrry cheap and it works.
it maid a helpfull tip mayby for lots of people out there.



Comment by Chris
2013-10-30 20:23:26

After your review on the LifeStraw last time, I told my wife about it and since I had no filter at all and was about to take a trip on the AT through TN mountains, she bought me one. I never ran out of drinkable water and knew I would be fine for even an extended trip. I think the family LifeStraw would make a very good backup for the home made filter I am making with buckets and a ceramic filter. I’m adding an extra layer of protection to the bucket filter. I’ll be adding layers of stone, gravel, sand, and activated carbon to a pre-filter before the water reaches the ceramic filter bucket. I think this will help with the swamp water we have. Even well water has a funkey smell and flavor in my area. I would feel much better about the water if I had a back up in case of emergency. With the size of the family lifestraw, it can be taken with us in a bug out situation where the bucket filter would be bulky taking up room in our small car. Keep the great reviews coming.

Comment by Sandy
2013-10-30 20:26:00

Every survival and BOB should have a LifeStraw in it.

Comment by Henry Alvarido
2013-10-30 20:30:15

Like how much water it can handle, the LifeStraw Family is priced right too. I do think that they do need to make the parts for replacements since it will be used for a longer time and parts do come apart.

Will look into purchasing.

Comment by Al
2013-10-30 20:31:34

The Family Life Straw sounds like an amazing addition to a preparedness kit – that which we should all be working on but seemingly – few are.

Comment by Liz Booth
2013-10-30 20:33:07

My husband and I have the LifeStraw filters. The price for the family LifeStraw is good so am considering purchasing one of these for us.
Your review was great.

Comment by Louise Price
2013-10-30 20:33:55

Read your review and appreciate your candid remarks regarding the design and use of the filter. I am responsible for most of our preps as my husband had a stroke a few years ago and I am always on the hunt for reliable products with reviews so that I can know what I am getting when I order it. Thank you.

Comment by Denise
2013-10-30 20:35:36

Have a bunch of personal life straws and have been very pleased with them on backpacking trips. Excited to see the family life straw, and will be adding to our preps in the future.

Comment by Melissa
2013-10-30 20:39:09

This is a great addition to a bug out bag, outdoor adventures and hikes. I have been stranded before having to drink from a stagnate slow running stream on a hike! So knowing first hand, never leave home without a way to filter water. I would use this product! Thank you for sharing about it.

Comment by Gary Pomraning
2013-10-30 20:41:51

Great review. Thanks!
I agree that the bulb might “dry rot” or something (like my blood pressure device’s bulb). These LifeStraw people seem so brilliant, that I’ll bet version 2.0 will be more user friendly and have a different idea in place of the bulb.
Thanks again,


Comment by Paul
2013-10-30 20:46:46

I own a Sawyer PointTwo Purifier that you attach to a bucket (comes with a faucet adapter too), but as they say, 2 is 1, 1 is none. It’d be wonderful to have something like this as a backup, or to leave at the in-laws house down the road. It would be my backup though. The Sawyer, although a little pricier, has perhaps better stats for anyone looking:
.02 Micron absolute hollow fiber membrane purifier
Removes 99.997% of viruses, 99.99999% of bacteria, and 99.9999% of Protozoa/Cysts
Filter output is 1-liter per minute with gravity, and with faucet water full faucet pressure
Comes with a manufacturer’s guarantee of 1 million gallons

Comment by laurie wyngaard
2013-10-30 20:48:32

I have prepped for myself and decided to bring my 78yard year old mother to my bugout location. There is a river there but we need a proper way to filter it for drinking. Water and heat are my biggest concerns and your reviews are excellant.

Comment by Deloris
2013-10-30 20:51:04

I have looked at these before but I don’t have the money to actually buy one. Your review is very good/informative and I’m glad you did it and I got to read it. I do hope the “manufacturers” will take your suggestions and USE them!! Especially about the “spare parts”!! I HOPE to buy one, someday, when money isn’t so tight around here. I do have the “LifeStraw”, but haven’t actually used it yet. It’s in my car for emergencies. It would be great if I could win one of these family sized ones. That would save me having to buy it. Ha. Thanks again for the review.

Comment by A
2013-10-30 20:52:47

This would fill a gap in our preps and be most helpful since there is water here. Thanks for the opportunity to win it.

Comment by Richard
2013-10-30 20:52:58

Great review. I am just getting started on my bob and would love to include one of these filters

Comment by Dave
2013-10-30 20:55:36

I have had the personal Life Straw in my Amazon wish list for some time but with a family of four was hesitant about getting it because of the capacity.. The Berkey and Propur were too bulky for a BOB so seeing this review definitely makes me want to include this in our gear!

I have also been wanting to find something for the house to filter out the fluoride. Do you know if this product does that?

Thanks for the great reviews…!

Comment by sue beaty
2013-10-30 20:56:49

heres my deal. had enormous problem, i bought a house, and after, the well went dry. so had to drill new well. well… had probs for about 2 months getting a good test. over and over, not passing. driller obviously didnt properly sanitize the well after drill. it finally passed.BUT sig. other doesnt trust that it is a total good read. just way he is… and really, who knows, but he will not have anything to do with h20 from faucet. consequently, with drilling new well, im tapped out. may be more expensive in long run, but i have to buy water, so YES I NEED A FILTER!!!!!! HORRIBLY!!!!

Comment by Ditchdog
2013-10-30 20:58:14

This is a butt ugly filter but if it’s anything like the regular life straw then it will be a winner. I especially like the “pre-filter” aspect to remove the gunk before the real filter process and I’ll be pleased to add this to my prep kit.

Thanks for all you do.

Comment by sue beaty
2013-10-30 20:58:54

it didnt let me finish. it would be a great b/day gift/ 11/02. thanks for lettingme at least kind of vent about subject…..

Comment by Handyman
2013-10-30 21:00:34

I have been thinking about getting this for several weeks. I will be buying one now after your review and knowing all the pros and cons. I never go anywhere without the life straw. I also hope they make spare parts for it.

Comment by Teri
2013-10-30 21:04:53

I saw the Family Lifestraw and the personal Lifestraw at the last NPS expo. My concern is with the personal one as there is filtration but no chance for purification. With the family size version, One could purify the water after filtering it. I hope to win one of those! Thanks!

Comment by Cindy Kohlmaier
2013-10-30 21:06:36

I would like to have this filter in my bug out bag

Comment by Henry Alvarido
2013-10-30 21:07:53

The LifeStraw Family Version 2 is being tested in Bangladesh, Uganda and other parts of Africa. Link to is

This is the next one you should test. It does 30,000 liters which is about 7,950 gallions and looks like an easier unit to use.

Comment by Frank M.
2013-10-30 21:09:07

Few months ago my town was placed under a boil water advisory for 4 days before it was lifted then we had to run our water all because stagnation caused a fecal coliform bacteria (e. Coli) to grow in the storage tank. The water we drink already had it in the water, but with the water not moving it grew more abundant! If I had a life straw I’d of not gone thirsty since my electric was off while the electric company updated the apartments and the stoves are all electric. I survived on canned peach juice. This product would of made life easier and more then helpful beyond the bug out bag. That is why I want one, next time there might not be canned fruits in my cubbard.

Comment by josh
2013-10-30 21:15:29

I am from SE Kentucky where some people have to use wells for water. Being a very poor place the well water is not tested, so when I went back home with my new knowledge of water filtration I set up a system for a family I know. This did wonders for thier water, improved taste of the sulfer water and most importantly filtered out the bad stuff. I really like the lifestraw and the family 1.0 looks pretty good. Thanks.

Comment by Angel
2013-10-30 21:16:24

I have finally made the decision to start being more prepared. With the strange weather conditions, our economy, and the general state of our country I believe it is time to start
building up supplies. After reading your reviews on the LifeStraw and LifeStraw Family
filters, I feel these would be a good start for my water storage. I depend on reviews, and
incites from folks that have been working with products before making decisions on what may work best for my family. Thanks for all the helpful info on your site.

Comment by tim
2013-10-30 21:16:56

I like the simplicity and quality of the personal, I can’t wait the check our the family. I like the idea of the added capacity.

Comment by Paul Frederick Herzog
2013-10-30 21:17:07

We know personal Life Straw works, so I figure this is kind of a no brainer…

Price is not exorbitant.

Looks like I’ll be getting one for my family.

Comment by Dorothy A. Schultz
2013-10-30 21:17:50

In reading about the Lifestraw. I think $75 is way to high. I am wondering about how long it
takes to filter. I think trying this out on others like in Bangaldesh is not a good idea. There
needs to be more studies to make sure this works. I would like to throw it open for all
your readers for them to investigate. Then you can choose what Lifestraw is the best.

Comment by Paul
2013-10-30 21:18:32

Thanks for the review! as an avid outdoorsman, camper and kayaker I have used everything from the larger Berkey filters to the smaller pump types. I am always looking for a more affordable , high quality, easily portable water filter that will also be easy for the kids to use. Since a few weeks have passed since the review and that you are still alive : ) It makes me feel better about trusting the product.

Comment by Steve
2013-10-30 21:23:01

I’ve been looking at larger capacity filters for a while. There are few that are reasonably priced that come anywhere close to the capabilities you’ve covered in this article. I think I’ve finally found the filter I’ve been looking for.

Comment by Eric
2013-10-30 21:27:04

Purchased a LifeStraw several weeks ago for my BOB but have not had a chance to use it. Water is the single most important part of our families survival plan (We will rely on water from our hot tub and several 55 gal storage containers). There is a lake within two blocks of our location which the LifeStraw Family would come in very handy. Hope parts will become more readily available.

Comment by Simon
2013-10-30 21:29:43

Having the LIFESTRAW gives me piece of mind, now there is this family size version that can deliver 5300 US Gallons for a family thats got to be a serious consideration/addition at under $100!
Please be aware there is a so called “LIFESTRAW” available which is not the one we’re discussing here, its body is darker blue and there are no instructions printed on its surface, I tried to obtain details of this look alike, I was unable to do so, but the supplier on eBay was honest enough to state it was not thee ‘LIFESTRAW’. Having a LIFESTRAW means that it would allow in your own time to consider building a Bio Sand water filter for the time(?) when the straws are reaching the end of their service time, who knows what the future holds, how far do we take our survival/prepping 1, 2 3 or even 4 years ahead?
I’d like to be ready when the SHTF, and as the future unfolds I would still want to be as self sufficient as I possibly can for the rest of my life and help prepare/pretect those whom I love.

Comment by Victoria
2013-10-30 21:38:29

Water is so important yet taken for granted. My daughter and I live in an apartment in the Bronx, so we don’t have a whole lot of room for storing water. Last year when Hurricane Sandy hit I took every available container on hand and filled them with water in case we lost water. I considered just filling our bathtub, but after thinking about the tiny stuff that could get in our water… Pass. Luckily we didn’t lose water, but a filter like this would have made it so much less stressful if we had.

Comment by Art Vino
2013-10-30 21:38:56

Excellent item for my 72 hour bob. Thanks for the review.

Comment by Cody
2013-10-30 21:42:36

I’d love to have a Lifestraw Family Filter because of the large amount of filtration offered in a small package!

Comment by Chester
2013-10-30 21:49:21

This looks like a great product. I don’t have much experience with water filtration, but I would like to get one of these for when SHTF.

Comment by Jeff
2013-10-30 21:49:23

I love the Life Straw. I have 2 ( one for myself and one for my son ) when we camp and hike with the Scouts. I also took one on a mission trip to Nicaragua last summer. We were camping in the mountains far away from any main community of people. I felt comfortable that I would have clean water to drink, no matter where we ended up camping.
Over all, I have been VERY satisfied with my Life Straw, I would love to try out the Family version for disaster situations.

Comment by Darin
2013-10-30 21:51:03

I would love to win this family water filter. I am not currently able to store a large amount of potable water, and this filter would certainly fill the gap. Great review! Even If I dont win, the information on this site is un-parelled to Pre-disaster know how.

Comment by Lou
2013-10-30 21:57:35

Having a compact and effective water filter is a must. The Sawyer mini as well as other Sawyer products provide more and cleaner water for less money. They can be used as a straw, inline filter or gravity feed. These units can simply be cleaned and provide many years of use. I have three of these units and will buy the mini for my bug out bag. The Lifestraw of which I own is good but the Sawyer is better.

Comment by Andy
2013-10-30 22:06:56

I like the price versus the “Big” filters.

Comment by Roger Parness
2013-10-30 22:08:33

The straw is such a simple and effective idea. Something to take backpacking and camping and a great survivalist’s tool if the SHTF and the water goes off with the power.

Comment by Ray
2013-10-30 22:11:18

Have a Sawyer zero-point-two with the bucket adapters for ‘safe haven’ use. Have modified a Platypus 3L for using the Sawyer while camping or in a BoB. Depending on your water source, you can always rig a coffee filter or Kotex pad or bandana as a pre-filter.

The Sawyer uses a ‘standard’ hypodermic syringe (no-needle) for backflushing and cleaning. The syringe is multi-use as part of FAK (for wound irrigation, etc.) and is easy to get new/replacement if needed.

However, backups and alternates are always a good idea, so I wouldn’t mind winning a LifeStraw Family to augment my options.

Thanks for your reviews.

Comment by Michael G Marriam
2013-10-30 22:17:40

My filter is a Pur that I’ve had for a long time. I camp mostly in Northern NY. Drink water with beaver and never had a problem. Water is tannen stained and growing up drinking it I’ve come to enjoy the slight flavor in parted to the water.

Comment by gisela
2013-10-30 22:19:47

Affordable and efficient is what everyone needs. Really appreciate you taking the time to review this filter. After your demo, it doesnt seem so bad. I want one!

Comment by Dave
2013-10-30 22:21:05

My family owns 80 acres of wild land more than a mile from the nearest power line. My father and brother built a log cabin there some years ago which we use as a retreat and which is ready to serve as a long-term retreat if need be. The only thing missing at the moment is a good well. We had a shallow (driven sandpoint) well for several years, but it ran dry. When we pulled the pipe, we discovered that the pipe had cracked when the well was driven and that we’d been drinking ground water all along. No one had ever gotten sick, but we’ve been very careful about water there even since and, when visiting, have always taken a couple of large jugs of pure water.

We will be having a deeper well drilled in the spring. Meanwhile, we dug out one corner of a swamp near the cabin, sank rectangular drain tile into the hole to a depth of about three feet, and dug out the inside of the drain tile. It fills with water, though it is “swamp water”, hardly palatable, brown in color, and probably unsafe to drink as is.

Thus far I, at least, have been collecting water there, straining it through cloth into a “poor man’s Berkey” (two filter candles set into the bottom of a five gallon pail which is set on top of another. with a tap fitted). It produces clear and drinkable water, but of course is rather slow. My usual practice is to fill the upper pail when I arrive at the place and by the following morning I’ll have several gallons of pure water. Plenty for one or two people. But if more are there before we get the well drilled….the supply will be stretched pretty thin.

The Life Straw sounds as if it could be a major answer to the current water limitations. It sounds as if it will produce pure water at least as quickly as any other drip-type system, and appears to last a very long time. Very portable and it won’t take up as much storage or counter space as two five gallon pails. Cost seems more than reasonable. I paid $60 for the two filter candles I am presently using….almost the cost of the entire Life Straw unit. Not sure if replacement filters are available for the Life Straw, but it might well be worth investing in several units for possible long term use as a self-contained alternative to rather fragile “candles” that cost nearly as much as this entire unit.

Comment by Spence
2013-10-30 22:22:28

I had always planned to boil my water in a stainless steel canteen as demonstrated by Dave Canterbury. Problem is, there is a lot more than just germs that can make you sick. In my part of the country, there is a lot of runoff in the rivers from the tailings of mines. I need something that will filter out those chemicals. Lifestraw is the best general purpose filter I’ve found, and I purchased one after reading the last review. Problem is, I need to find a base-camp solution that will remove other chemicals and minerals, something with activated carbon perhaps. I would also expect to be able to buy replacement parts, filters especially. Lifestraw is the best solution for my Tier III BOB, but this is not good enough for a base camp.

Comment by J Simon
2013-10-30 22:24:24

I hike and backpack the mountains in northern Arizona, spring-fed creeks, small lakes. Just bought the Straw as it made sense versus pumping water every hour or two. First trip/test coming up in 3 weeks.

The LifeStraw Family would be nice for the group on the longer treks. Nice concept and application.

Keep up the good work!

Comment by Jeff
2013-10-30 22:32:15

I have been trying to decide what filter to include in my bug-out bag. Your review sure
makes my decision a whole lot easier, thanks a bunch.

Comment by Ole Gunderson
2013-10-30 22:42:06

My wife and I are struggling to put together a sane water storage plan and having a filter like this one would go a long way towards helping us with that plan. Great review by the way.

Comment by Tom
2013-10-30 22:50:53

I have never owned a life straw but this past weekend, my family and I attended a Boy Scout Camporee where the Scout Reservation had already shut down for the season to regular activities. That meant that all the fresh water supplies were turned off and all we had to use for water was pumped straight from the Lake there. A scout leader had a life straw and he was gracious enough to share it. I was sold within seconds of tasting the filtered water.

Later in the same day we were on a multi mile hike and had crossed several streams that were murky and not necessarily appealing. However another Scout Leader had a Life Straw as well and as I approached him, he noticed that I was pale and not doing well. I am recovering from a massive Heart attack and even though my Doc had cleared me to go on this hike, I was badly dehydrated.

The Scout Leader filled my Canteen from one of the streams and being rather anxious about the look of the water prior to being filtered through the Life Straw however, after a couple minutes of cooling down, I took a nervous swig of water. Was I ever shocked at the quality. The stream even had an odor of decomposing plant material in it but the Life Straw completely eliminated the odor and the taste was superb.

Comment by Tom
2013-10-30 22:54:31

I forgot to mention that I must have seen about 200 life straw owners that weekend and to a person, they all said that that being prepared with the Life Straw was critical. Not one said they would be comfortable on even a short hike without having the Life Straw with them. That to me speaks volumes and volumes about the product.

Comment by allen muir
2013-10-30 22:54:39

I liked your review and it would appear that the Life Straw Family Filter would be a great item to add to your prepping supplies. It appears to be simple to use and will provide a good amount of purified water. Obviously, drinking water in an emergency is very important and a necessity to continue life. I have been trying to prepare for a major problem for about four years. I do the best I can on a law enforcement salary and will probably be better off than most. The Life Straw Family Filter added to my prepping supplies would be an added piece of mind and go along way to keep my family of six safe and healthy.
Thank you for your review.

Comment by Farmer Brown
2013-10-30 22:55:21

After Hurricanes Rita and Ike just about ruined me I decided I had to harvest water so I got 3 big water collection tanks. They have been a blessing and I have water for the livestock in an emergency. I would still need to filter water for my personal use and this filter looks very promising.

Thanks for the review.

Comment by Michael King
2013-10-30 22:58:43

I have the pocket Life Straw right now and really like it! I think this one would be absolutely fantastic to have on hand!

Comment by John
2013-10-30 23:02:20

I think this may be what I’ve been looking for. All I’m prepared for now is to boil the water after filtering it through a coffee filter, certainly not “state of the art” process!

Comment by VinceW
2013-10-30 23:17:27

Thank you for bringing this product to my attention. I love my life straw and I want every member of my family to have one. Adding a family one to my collection would be very exciting.

Comment by Zach
2013-10-30 23:20:57

I have one of those ceramic dome filters between two 5 gallon buckets for bugging in use, but I need to get some Lifestraws for our get home bags, and a Lifestraw family for the bob.

Comment by Carroll
2013-10-30 23:22:38

The bottom line is if it does what it says it will do then “it’s a keeper” Hopefully they have received similar suggestions along with Tactical Intelligence and will make the changes to improve the product. Family first oh yeah.

Comment by MikeG
2013-10-30 23:22:50

I’m somewhat new to the whole preparedness thing (I have Sandy to thank for that, although we had it relatively easy where we are). Until recently, stocking up on a few store bought cases of water was my idea of being prepared. I realize now that more long term solutions are needed. This filter system will go a long way toward that. And it’s affordable compared to some others I have seen. Thanks for the review!!

Comment by Daphne Atkins
2013-10-30 23:31:16

I have gotten a personal Lifestraw after reading the review. Although it looks like there may be some inconvenience in using this filter, I am in need of a filter to deal with larger amounts of water right away. I have been planning to move to a rural area with more land and a water source. My plans were to build shelter and put in a well before the move but it looks like I am going to have to move and then work on shelter and water so could really use this item now.

Comment by Stephanie
2013-10-30 23:36:21

My husband & son went on a weekend hiking trip but would not let me spend the money for a filter as they would be next to a river & took several bottles of water. By the second day of their trip they would have paid anything to have safe water, not sure how safe the river water was, they tried boiling but that did not work well or very fast. We will now be investing in several of these straws 🙂

Comment by Dennis Brown
2013-10-30 23:45:05

I went to Haiti the last two years and took a Sawyer filter with me. It was a filter in a water bottle with a rubber drinking tube attached to it. We were in the highlands. There was no well and they had shipped in bottled water for us. We were warned NOT to even use the local water for brushing our teeth and even the Haitians we were working with would use the local water. I decided I needed to take the risk and use the filter. If it didn’t work there then I didn’t want it here. I used it without telling anyone what I was doing. I didn’t want to deal with the hassle of convincing the others with me as to why I was doing it. We were there a week the first year and 17 days this year. No issues – period!! It was clear water that I was using but I back flushed it regularly anyway.
The Haitians we were working with were amazed when I shared with them what I had done and had zero side effects from organisms in the water.
I WAS HAPPY! Cost was $65 and worth every penny.
BTW – I left the filter with them to use instead of having to buy bottled water. Saves them money and keeps them from having to burn all of that plastic.

Comment by Michael Shelton
2013-10-30 23:53:26

My wife and I have two Life Straws for personal use and it is part of our bug out bags. It would be nice to have the Family size if we stay in rather than bug Out!

Comment by Big Al 3
2013-10-30 23:55:00

Great review. I also like the ceramic filters for easy cleaning, like the ones from MSR.

Comment by Mark
2013-10-31 00:01:46

Seems like a good filter for the price, and a family size.

Comment by Aletha
2013-10-31 00:02:32

Thank you so much for the review! Besides being a great birthday present for me (11/1) 🙂 … it would be great to add this to the much needed supplies as I am prepping for a total of 7 people, some with severe disabilities, and do not have much help doing it. I do have a big berkey… but 1 set won’t last too long with 7 people and its not so great with being portable.

Comment by Scott
2013-10-31 00:13:32

Love my life straw. A family model would be great also!!!

Comment by Dawna
2013-10-31 00:17:45

I’m seriously impressed by the filtering capacity of this! We have LifeStraws for the immediate family, but in an emergency situation, my older daughter and her family would probably be with us, and we don’t have Straws for them. Does it come with a carrying pouch that you would be able to clip to a backpack for easy accessibility? Love my Berkey, but to have this to travel with would be priceless!

Comment by Debra P
2013-10-31 00:43:59

This sounds like a great addition to our families needed items. Thank you for breaking down the information on the 1 liter filter. While I can see the concern over the bulb over time I think with care and minor proactive maintenance it will last for years. I will be looking for this one. Thank for the review.

Comment by Randy
2013-10-31 01:03:36

I think these things are great! At present, I have one of the one gallon pots on top of a one gallon pot. These certainly aren’t bug out portable. In my bug out/outting bag, I have one of the older pump backpack models, but really it is to space consuming and a little on the heavy side to carry along for hiking, and takes up critical space for bugging out. If I win one or buy one, it’ll certainly be put to us a an outing water backup system which is my bug out bag rearranged.

Comment by John R
2013-10-31 01:06:52

I’m old and I came from the hills of West Virginia. We didn’t have city water, and many of our neighbors didn’t have wells. They had cisterns. They collected water runoff from their roofs, and collected it in big holes in the ground lined with concrete blocks. They drank it and as far as I know, no one died from it. I have 275 gallon IBC totes catching down spout water on each corner of my house and out buildings. I keep telling myself that the rain water is safe, but all the survival web sites say no. When the crap hits. It would be nice to have one of these filters to run my rain water through, before drinking.
Thanks for the review…

Comment by Nicole L
2013-10-31 01:25:49

This looks like an amazing option for a longer-term filtration situation. I myself would love one of each – the original lifestraw And the family-size. Everyone should think about these things – do you really believe that county and city water treatment is reliable and/or always going to be available? Thank you for your detailed review. Makes this look doable for anybody – And it’s affordable!

Comment by Bryan
2013-10-31 01:25:51

I would like to have a lifestraw filter for camping use.

Comment by john
2013-10-31 02:04:54

This is an addition to my gear i have been wanting for some time with a wife and three kids i need to be able to safely filter a large amount of water this would work great. I already have the personal life straw and it works great.

Comment by Susie
2013-10-31 02:19:13

My husband and I both have the ‘personal’ size life straws. I would love to have one of these family ones. My only question is. . . “How do you know when it stops working”?
Cool review and giveaway,

Comment by Josh
2013-10-31 02:22:38

Simply put… FLORIDE! If you don’t already know it is low dose poison…. Check out if you really want to learn more or do a simple google search. The company that has created life straw are real heros! oh and I HOPE I WIN!

Comment by dohams
2013-10-31 02:27:35

I am a military trained public health tech. I find that the ability of this filter to consistently remove these dangerous parasites eliminates the need to create and maintain 36 inch sand column filters, making this a number one in my book. Bacterial and viral elimination to such a small size will create excellent quality water. The portability of this unit is outstanding. Replacement parts may be a problem…but at the low unit cost…purchase three units, use one with two in reserve.

Comment by Rick Watts
2013-10-31 02:54:37

Just getting water here at 5800 ft would be good in high desert. Rain will not be pure by the time I gather it either so a filter that works a long time is a big plus.

2013-10-31 03:16:43

Lifestraw has made great water filters indeed, and your review if very indepth.

Comment by Victor Gunn
2013-10-31 03:23:35

I have LifeStraw filters in each of my BOB’s. I was considering a Berkey for in home use, but, based on your rating I will consider the family LifeStraw filter, too. Or, a Berkey and a LifeStraw family filter, “two is one, one is none”. Thanks for all you do.

Comment by Vicki
2013-10-31 03:52:33

I really need this! I have some water storage, but the local water sources once my clean water runs out would not be suitable without some filtration method. We are older and on a very limited budget, so this would be a great addition! Thank you for the opportunity to win a great addition to our water supplies!!

Comment by Angel B
2013-10-31 04:02:14

We have enough water stored to last us about 2 weeks if needed, but haven’t yet been able to afford a water filtration unit of any kind. I spend quite a bit of time shopping around online, reading reviews, etc. This filter has been on my radar for a little while now, because of its capacity and price. But, even a low price is too high right now, so we wait. I would very much enjoy winning a prize such as this. All the Lifestraw products seem to have overwhelmingly wonderful reviews. Thank you for your comprehensive review of this product.

Comment by PatriciaD
2013-10-31 04:14:34

With a tight budget it’s not always super easy to buy the things one would like for either bug out bags or the like but both of these water filters look like great additions when finances permit…nice of you to give one away, too.

I am going to be making a coal filter that I saw on a video and see how that works but worried it might not do as good a job as I’d like. Would probably feel better if I could get the water tested before and after to see how it did. Anyway, living in Alaska I’ve gone through a couple of times when the water was not potable and it HAD to be filtered/boiled or something as I’m sure most of us have no matter where we live.

Comment by bob
2013-10-31 04:56:15

I sure would like to win this. If I don’t win,I guess I’ll have to buy one. After reading your review,I think it would help a lot in my preps. I have a pond on my place and I would be able to have drinking and cooking water for us. Us being myself (69 yrs old handicapped vet),my wife and challenged daughter (49 yrs old), divorced daughter(47) who is physically handicapped. Also have 2 grandkids with 3 great grandchildren I am trying to support.
They all live with us. I thought these was supposed to be our golden years,turned out to be our tin foil years.


Comment by wolf_fire
2013-10-31 05:58:09

In a real survival situation, one should know how to make a water filter. Get a container (a 2L bottle works great, but it really can be any container with a small opening at one end) and fill it up 1/3 way with straw or dried grass. Then take some charcoal from your fire (you do have a fire already in your survival situation, right?) and fill the container up another 1/3 of the way. Be sure to compress the contents. Then place some more dried grass/straw on top of the charcoal. Pour your water into the container so it goes through the straw/charcoal/straw levels and slowly drips out the small opening end.

Those who are following will realize that you would have had to cut the bottom off the 2L bottle.

This is my $0.02 worth. Hope it helps a fellow survivor.

Comment by Bill Speer
2013-10-31 06:47:50

Owning 2 Berkey’s already for when TSHTF, I would like to have the Life Straw for bug out scenarios due to its smaller size.

Comment by Ree
2013-10-31 07:05:06


i live in NYC. The water here is so bad a normal everyday filter last 2 weeks. They are supposed to last 2 months. Have grands living with me and we boil water every day, more than once and yet the water still doesn’t make me feel secure about them drinking it. Been thinking of buying one of these myself, but the money only goes so far. Having one would be a god send, no joke. I’ve learned a lot from your videos, and win or lose I thank you, and appreciate all the help you give.

Comment by Stephen Davis, TSgt, USAF, Ret
2013-10-31 07:15:02

I have over 100 gallons of water I store at my home, the problem is should I have to bug out where would I place it. The Life Straw family product you went over gives me a new out when it comes to being mobile. I already have a 250 gallon storage tank in my back yard for rain run off and also have the tub bladder which holds 100 gallons of water in the tub but these force me to stay in my house and we all know if it hits the fan we will most likely have to evacuate and all that water woulb be lost. Thank you for taking time out of your day to help us make better decisions.

Comment by ValerieP
2013-10-31 07:28:33

We have a well system. I would like to install a hand pump of some kind to access this water if need be. There is also a lake about 1/4 mile from us. We live in a forested area in Wisconsin. So far I have not started to save water in any vast amounts. I have a severe limited space problem. I would really love to win this filter for my family.

Comment by John D.
2013-10-31 07:35:34

This looks like another pretty good gravity fed system, although I agree with your final thoughts on it. It would still work well for me, as I don’t have much space to store water but I do have an excellent source of natural flowing water nearby.

Comment by Cliff
2013-10-31 07:59:29

awesome review

Comment by Mary Jane
2013-10-31 08:14:51

I would love to have one of these for my B.O.B. Right now I only have tablets in it for water purification. The LifeStraw sounds awesome. Thanks for all the great info you give.

Comment by andrew kenyon
2013-10-31 08:19:15

This is a great addition to a bug out bag, outdoor adventures and hikes. I have been stranded before having to drink from a stagnate slow running stream on a hike! So knowing first hand, never leave home without a way to filter water. I would use this product! I would rather win one as opposed to buying one, but either way its a must have BOB essential….. Thank you for sharing about it.

Comment by andrew kenyon
2013-10-31 08:19:33

i want to win one

Comment by Frank Mc
2013-10-31 08:35:29

I will be purchasing one or two of these filters. Your review was very helpful, thorough, and well thought out. I appreciate that and will probably post a link to this blog post on my blog, if you don’t mind. You often have very helpful reviews of products Keep up the good work, bro!

One thought that comes to mind is that relying on gravity alone to push water through a filter can get old, or if you’re in a big hurry, just forget it. it seems to me that including some sort of pump to pressurize the holding tank would be a great improvement. A simple system like that found on a grease gun is able to generate a huge amount of force/pressure. I’m thinking that a stainless steel grease gun attachment would be a very good idea to add to the big burkey or other gravity filter… Just a thought.

Comment by Dobbs Family
2013-10-31 08:47:10

Thanks for the great review. We’ve been searching for a reasonably priced solution and this filter would fit the bill so saving up for one.

Comment by Terri Ford
2013-10-31 08:49:53

I live in South Florida where most of our ‘fresh’ water can be slightly brackish. Does this (or any filter for that matter) remove some salt from water? I am concerned that we’d have to boil all collected water and harvest the steam because of the possibility of salt in it. I’d appreciate any comments or ideas from others who may live in areas where salt can ‘invade’ fresh water. Thank you in advance.

Comment by Bob
2013-10-31 08:50:30

I lived on a small farm in NE Missouri several decades back. No well, I had 2 cisterns for my house, boiled all the water I drank. The other 2 households on the farm got their water from our farm pond via a traditional in ground water filter made up of a trench with gravel, then sand, then charcoal that the water went through and it collected in our pump pit. All looked and sounded good, till we found out critters could get in the pump pit, and after we pulled some decaying drowned rats and snakes out of the pump pit the other households bought their water to drink. I used cistern water I boiled successfully for 12 years, but a good water filter would have been a real plus!

Comment by Tyler
2013-10-31 09:17:29

This looks a great product to have in my family bug out gear that we keep in the car. It would serve the entire family well. I have the life straw in my bag and my wifes. With kids they don’t like sharing things like straws, this would make a good way to purify water for the entire family and others if needed.

Comment by Cheryl
2013-10-31 09:31:16

I have several Life Straws. I travel alot for work so I always take one with me in my suitcase. I have the insane idea, that as long as I have this, I can walk home from anywhere… Crazy, right?

Comment by Tony
2013-10-31 09:47:54

Very informative review – It made my decision for me, as I’ve been considering this filter for a while. I LOVE how you referenced the need for parts; that’s SO important yet SUCH an overlooked aspect of prepping. Keep up the great work with the reviews!!

Comment by olly
2013-10-31 09:55:45

Just read your post on this and in the personal lifestraw. They sound miles better than my current method which is a British Army Milbanks bag and then boiling/puritabs.

Comment by LightSeeker
2013-10-31 10:09:24

I just purchase the personal life straw for myself, my wife, and an friend at the NPS expo in Atlanta; however Water is the area where we are lacking preparation the most. Something like this would surely add an extra measure of assurance that we would have water- with our 1 acre pond to draw from. Hope I win.

Comment by goat haunt
2013-10-31 10:16:52

I personally have been very impressed with the personal Lifestraw, and have added a couple for home backup use. With small children around the idea of a gravity fed, fill it and leave it is appealing. Price has kept me from getting a home unit like the Berkey. This less expensive option is well received. Thanks for the reviews and helpful knowledge.

Comment by Dotti
2013-10-31 10:31:23

I am having a hard time getting the money together to buy a big berkey but if I buy this I will not be totally unprepared for when the SHTF.

Comment by Gdawg
2013-10-31 10:31:24

This would be a great addition to the water filter systems I already have. The old saying “Two is one, one is none”.

Comment by Amber bourland
2013-10-31 10:32:07

While I am fairly new to emergency prepping, I have been doing research for awhile. Water (next to air) is the most urgent requirement for survival, and in this, my family falls short. Odds are, in a severe disaster, we will be displaced. When that happens we need portable water filtration and the LifeStraw family filter seems to offer the best filtration for the size and price. I would love to win one for my family, and will be buying the personal LifeStraw for each of us as soon as possible.

Comment by Chad
2013-10-31 10:41:08

WOW, as a father and someone who is worried about the current state of affairs in the world this sure looks like a product that I should look into. Thanks for the review and starting my research on this potentially wonderful product.

Comment by John Abernathy
2013-10-31 10:55:14

I have two of the personal straws and they work great. I’ve been looking at the Berkey but the cost/ return just isn’t there. I like your evaluation of this Family filter and the cost is right up my alley unless I win your freebie! Thanks for the info……
I did not know what “URI” was so I left it blank.

Comment by JD
2013-10-31 10:55:28

Glad to see a more affordable family size filter on the market.

Comment by DebR
2013-10-31 11:07:30

You seem to have thoroughly reviewed this product. With a large family (>7), I have wondered what we would use that could still be affordable and effective. THIS product might be the ticket. I am excited about this possibility. We are NOT the typical rough-it kind of family, but I dabble in emergency preparedness a bit and as a single mom, have had some anxiety about the need for water for my large family in an emergency AND an affordable way to accomplish this. Thanks for the opportunity to enter this contest!

Comment by Wints
2013-10-31 11:10:50

Filtration is a must in the back country. Believe me you don’t want to catch giardia. yuck!

Comment by Julie
2013-10-31 11:13:00

I’m just getting into prepping and I have found your site invaluable. There is so much information out there and to have your insight on various products has been a huge help to me in deciding what products I should be including in my BOB’s for our family. Thanks so much for your input.

Comment by Capt Dan
2013-10-31 11:27:16

i live in hurricane country we have boil orders all the time filtration is essential

Comment by Brent
2013-10-31 11:29:11

I have been a fan of your reviews for the past couple years. I have a son that recently started Boy Scouts who moved up from Cub Scouts. Being Prepared is strongly encouraged within our scout troop and in regards to survival, water is at the top. Typically water is marginally above the surface of soil, and in order to safely consume the water that has been in contact with any contaminants contained within the soil, the water need to be filtered. An example would be if a person has a sprained/broken ankle and the nearest body of water is a mud puddle 100 feet away – it would be difficult to know what animal has defecated in or near the water let alone any other debris that may have come into contact with the water, and after going without water for a day or two, this person may very much want what water is available and this filter system would do the trick – assuming he/she has their bob in tow.

Comment by Rick Fox
2013-10-31 11:41:25

I have been curious about the size of Crypto vs. Giardia. The extras protection is a big deal. I have small in my Families bobs, but I need one in my Bug Out vehicle to handle the family needs.

Comment by Christina Deeds
2013-10-31 11:53:14

We live in an almost rural area outside Washington DC. It could have been considered rural a few years ago, but farms have been plowed under to make way for subdivisions. We live near the Potomac River and many of its tributaries, so water is available around us. We still have a lot of wildlife and Hubby and I both have our fish and hunting licenses. That said, neither one of us would willingly drink or use water straight from the river. We are both kitted out with the LifeStraws, but never thought about a family use filter with just the two of us and dogs. Now I realize we overlooked an important item to our long term survival. We have the storage containers, but I guess we weren’t thinking past being able to drink it. Never thought about needed to purify it before cooking or washing. Thanks for bringing that to our attention – and thanks for the opportunity to correct it through this giveaway!

Comment by Annie D
2013-10-31 11:56:08

I really appreciate your review of this product. I have been actively prepping for about 2 years now and the Personal Waterstraw is now my purchase for this month. I like the theory of the Family Water Straw, but I think I will put off purchasing this one and wait for the version 2.0.

Comment by Cindy Green
2013-10-31 12:00:28

I don’t have anything for water filtration so this would be great!

Comment by Murphy
2013-10-31 12:22:31

I’m going to have to get one of these. I have a life straw in each of our get home bags in the cars and at work plus several redundant filters in our bug out bag, but this seems small and handy enough to merrit addiing it to the mix.

Comment by tim
2013-10-31 12:50:20

this seems like a great product, not sure if it is portable enough though. I like the straw filter better…i use them regularly

Comment by Bill K.
2013-10-31 12:52:41

I think everyone should have both a portable and a home water purification system on hand. This looks ideal and the price is right, especially compared to the “Big” brand. Hope I win.

Comment by C. Raven
2013-10-31 13:30:04

I’ve heard a lot of good things about lifestraw products. The great thing about this one is the fact that the family can share it, so WTSHTF your not fumbling around making sure everyone has an individual filter. KISS!! Thanks for the review!

Comment by Lantz
2013-10-31 13:36:47

Thanks for the review. I always respect the TIN opinions and reviews to be honest and trustworthy. I am currently in the process of getting a filter of some type and this review has helped. I hear a SAWYER bottle filter will filter 1000000 gallons! so I am looking into reviews on that filter also.

thanks again

Comment by Gary
2013-10-31 13:36:57

Your review was helpful and informative. I’ve been thinking of getting a personal LifeStraw for my BOB, but the “Family” unit sounds like it would serve well for longer term use. Would love to have one! Thanks for the great write up!

Comment by Dianne
2013-10-31 13:48:46

This is a great review and very appreciated. I have been looking for an affordable water filter that was easy to carry and really would do the job. This definitely does all of that and more with a longevity of use that I was concerned about when reviewing any filter but particularly a small filter. Thank you for the great information.

Comment by Jim B
2013-10-31 13:50:31

Thank you for the review, I really appreciate this information. I’m new to prepping and I am glad that I found your website. I own a Katadyn water filter system but haven’t tried it out yet. If I win, cool! but if I don’t, I will be buying one of these and the personal water straw for sure!
Thanks again.

Comment by Michael
2013-10-31 14:15:18

I appreciate you honest feed back! I have been going back and forth on a water filtration system for on the go. My wife and I don’t always see eye to eye on “prepping”. If I call it “just in case stuff” it usually helps. I’m Happily married with 2 girls (5&1) I want to be able to do whatever I can as a husband and a dad to protect them! Thank you for your honest feed back!


Comment by Timbrely pearsley
2013-10-31 14:56:01

I’ve been wanting to add a LifeStraw to my B.O.B. but have not been in a financial position to invest in one. The family LifeStraw appears to be a perfect choice since I’m not usually alone. I don’t recall where I first learned of these but your review really clarifies the details. This makes me even more inclined to invest (or win hehe) one. Your resources have always been helpful. I appreciate all you do.

Comment by Michael
2013-10-31 15:09:10

Hi Erich, Nice work on the review of the “new and improved” Lifestraw product. I’ve been looking at the original version for some time, especially for a BOB. Now that it is geared-up for the family, so much the better. Several years ago I went backpacking and borrowed a Katadyn pocket filter for dayhikes from a base camp where we had a Katadyn drip system. Both worked well but the drip process does take time. Of course, the pocket system was much faster but when I got back home, I was thankful that I got to borrow it because of the cost. That said, Lifestraw has a nice niche in the speed and cost categories. Keep up the great work in your reviews and instruction. Stay safe.

Comment by SurfRunner (Expat Prepper)
2013-10-31 15:36:15

Hi Erich and Fellow Preppers,

To this day, though I’m a prepper, I’ve never used an emergency filter – I’ve been good about storing water for a SIP (shelter in place) at home. But even hiking, I’ve always toted my water in. I carry water purification tablets in my car and in my camping/mountain hiking bag (I live in Germany and we have numerous natural springs to drink from as well).

I am skilled in spring water sources and I freak people out by drinking from the springs, but those are people who never grew up with them and don’t understand the safest way to determine the source and place from which to gather water from the springs. The caveat is that springs won’t always be available in varying geographic locations.

I need to up my program with filters – for my SIP, BOV, BOB and GHBs –all of which require different size/types of filters.

Thanks for posting this Erich – it’s a great starting point for me and my family!

Comment by Joann Sullivan
2013-10-31 15:45:24

Thanks for the demonstration. I have only just started looking for water filters for if/when the SHTF, and I like this one. We have a creek behind the house, and so this would come in very handy.

Comment by Jeffster
2013-10-31 15:49:28

This is one of the most significant advances I’ve ever seen in water purification technology.

The ~5.3K gallon filtering capacity is nothing short of phenomenal!

Comment by Rick
2013-10-31 16:56:44

Growing up on a small west coast island, water collection and purification have always been a concern. We had a relatively shallow well, too deep may allow ocean water to seep in, and no filter system that was capable of removing all of the impurities. This was good enough at the time. As the community grew, trees were removed (causing groundwater to run off) , septic systems installed closer to our water supply, and new wells drilled.
Growing concern of contamination and dwindling supply from our source we have, over the years, added cisterns for gradual collection, inline filters to remove any contaminates, ultra violet filters to kill micro bacteria, and roof collection.
I hope you pick my comment to win, as I would love to own and use one of these water filter systems that you are offering.

Comment by Paula Neroni
2013-10-31 17:29:03

I agree with your concerns and found your recommendations positive. I bought 5 life straws and always wondered why they hadn’t designed a pump. Speaking of pump, that is what I would recommend, of course it would have to be a complete redesign instead of gravity fed. Maybe something looking and working like a small bike tire pump, or a handle that draws the water through. I also love the LifeStraw family and will purchase one for each of my sons families and myself.

Comment by Ed
2013-10-31 18:23:19

As some have said, one is none, and two is one…. But when it comes to the need for means for clean water, there is never enough, whether it be storage, filtration, or access. Multiple means would even be cutting it close, so plan ahead for all situations imaginable. Another way of filtering is always welcome, and continues to build the chain of sufficiency. Plan well friends, good luck.

Comment by Kirk Duvall
2013-10-31 20:37:44

Living in the de desert for the past eight years has given me a whole new perspective on survial. Whereas, I moved from the hills of Tennessee. We had sweet well water all the time. The closest I’ve found to that here, is by a creation in which I built with inexpensive materials. First I purchased my items: 5-55 gallon barrels, 5-16×16 foot plastic sheeting and 50 masonry bricks. Then I built several Underground Stills.
The pleasure I receive from the water gathered is “Well” worth the wait!

Comment by Scoutmaster Al
2013-10-31 21:18:14

As a Scoutmaster, I am always on the lookout for a reliable and durable water filtration system for my Scouts. Over time we have used a variety of filters, including the individual life straw. I have not as yet tried the family 1.0, but it seems that it would fulfill the needs of my troop for a group use filter and I hope to try one out in the near future. The 5,300 gallon durability makes it especially attractive to cost conscious camping gear, and the relatively small size for the capacity seems like a good fit for backpacking.

Comment by kathryn t
2013-10-31 23:49:02

One nice thing about living where I do is the great out of doors activities you can get involved in, including camping. But let’s face it- it’s a lot more fun when you have the proper equipment and this looks like a real good “find”.
Also, I have a well with plenty of water but you would not want to drink it w/o the conditioner and filter we have. Even with that I haul water from the store for drinking so this looks pretty good to me (water weighs about 8# per gallon)!
Thank you for the review- I plan on looking into this soon.

Comment by Carla
2013-11-01 00:30:42

I’m soooo glad to read about this filter! Until now, I’d never heard of them, & have long been contemplating just how many packs of purifier tablets to get. With 4 adult-sized purple in this tiny, just our normal ‘stuff’ (ahem – 2 teenage girls who both roll their eyes at anything ‘just in case’ – we just don’t have any place to store one of those big s.s. filters. Now, I know we can get each of us a small one for our own bag, in case we get separated, & the big one for regular ‘together’ use.

Talk Abbott relief – those tablets (though having some still isn’t a bad idea) are just too chemical for my comfort.
Thanks for the heads up!

Comment by Jan Howard
2013-11-01 00:56:03

With water a precious commodity where I live, a good filtration system would go a long way toward maintaining a healthy lifestyle if it became necessary to use less-than-desirable water for survival. My most frustrating experience with water filtering was an inline unit on a hose that was delivering water from a hillside spring’s pool. I like the idea of the pre-filter on this unit to avoid what turned into a daily ritual of having to shut everything down and backflush that filter of its collection of debris picked up on the way to our tap. If supply is an issue, that process causes too much water waste.

Comment by Kevin Hilpert
2013-11-01 01:53:07

Prices of water filtration systems are too high. Since so many filtration systems are out on the market no, you would think prices would start to drop due to competition. Tree branch from a conifer (cone baring), bark removed, tightly fit in a plastic tube. Filter dirty water naturally. May take some time but it will be clean when it comes through. M.I.T. students just tested this and worked very well. I would like to see the scientific results though.

Comment by snb
2013-11-01 08:33:32

This would be a fantastic alternative until I can afford a Berkey style water filtration system. As a single person this would last for quite a while. And I too find the idea of pre filtering the water being built in to be an excellent idea.

Comment by Charles
2013-11-01 08:35:05

I’m just beginning to get myself organized and prepared (I know, I’m way late to the party here), so this would be a really great thing to have for my family.

Comment by Gunbear
2013-11-01 09:41:29

I have a couple of life straws in me and my wife’s bob but was
Looking for something that would last longer and filter a lot more water just in case. This really fits the bill and is affordable too. Great review by the way.

Comment by Kay Peddie
2013-11-01 11:11:46

I currently have tablets used by Israeli army which leave a “taste” in the mouth. Our emergency bags (in the vehicles) have Tang and Stur to help mask the taste. I’ve priced the individual but the cost is up there. I will take a good look at this new item for purchase should I not be the lucky winner,

Comment by Meagan
2013-11-01 11:48:04

Water filtration is one area of preparation that I am sorely lacking in. For one, I just don’t have the money to buy a really expensive filter and am unable to decide which lower budget model I should buy. Your review has been very helpful in my decision making process. With any luck I will win the one you are giving away, but if not I think I will be buying one of these lifestraw family filters in the near future. 🙂 Thanks!

Comment by Susan Pigott
2013-11-01 16:46:21

There are a few items that I don’t have in my BOB, this being one of them. I would like to win one for my grand-daughter, who, at 9 years old is more knowledge on prepping than some adults I know. And as it is my job to prepare her and to keep her safe, this filter would be very useful. Thank you for the opportunity!

Comment by Kay Davis
2013-11-01 16:48:46

I like the product and your video of its’ use was good. I have always believed in being prepared, but am convinced that it is getting to be more important than ever. my husband and I are on a very small income and having one of these would be a great addition to our emergency kit. Thank you for offering to give one away.

Comment by David
2013-11-01 19:48:33

Having a filtration system like that would be great, for no other reason than it would reduce the amount of safe water I’d feel like I needed to store. Once I had sixteen gallons of water “disappear” from my pantry because the containers were weak, and I stacked too much stuff on top of them, and one morning I discovered the containers flattened!

Comment by Melissa
2013-11-01 21:59:57

As a family of 8 (soon to be 9!) and three generations, I try to take into account the many needs of all the members of my family. Having a family water filter like the LifeStraw Family 1.0 would be ideal for us, whether used for camping or in an emergency situation. Having clean water to drink is vital and is especially important if you have folks who need clean water to take with medicine or for an infant to mix with formula. The long life of this product sounds like it could last all of us about 2 years! We would be honored to win this product and be able to test it out in person. Thanks so much!

Comment by Timothy
2013-11-01 22:54:52

Having more than one system for water (and cooking, lighting, hunting, etc.) is a good idea, as is having more than one of each system. Depth of option is as important as redundancy. Being able to scavenge parts in a long-term crisis may depend on having several options from which to scavenge. This looks like a good and cost effective system multiplier.

Comment by Seath S
2013-11-01 23:02:27

This appears to be a good value. And could use a couple for my family. I have 3 boys and one on the way. We are planning for a new self reliant live style before the tome comes. Thanks for the review it really does help with the planning of purchases.

Comment by Kathy T
2013-11-02 02:21:14

I’m a visual person so the video is just what I needed. I’m thinking that this would be great in the travel trailer that we will soon be living in. We need something that doesn’t take up too much space.

Comment by Eric
2013-11-02 11:24:56

I currently store water and do not have a filtration system, although it has been on my list. I have never been able to decide between the Berkey, Propur, Katadyn, etc. Most of them are clunky and not easy to move if you are on the go. The lifestraw appears to be exactly what I have been looking for.

Comment by Robert
2013-11-02 12:37:00

We used a smaller filter on a canoe trip with about 17 boys and 2 adult leaders. It worked ok for getting water from the Brazos river. After reading about the Lifestraw, it seems this may be a better option for longer trips or grab – n – go bags. Better value than others we have seen.

Comment by Floyd Sherwood
2013-11-02 20:06:36

We have a lot of water supplies fairly close to where I live so water won’t be a problem just not very clean and this review was very helpful in narrowing down one more on the selections for a emergency water supply for my family. Thanks for a great review as always.

Comment by Simon
2013-11-03 00:06:33

The one thing that the LIFESTRAW does not filter out is any chemical contamination, find an alternative source of water, however if you cannot then the real solution would be to use activated charcoal, (in conjunction with the straw) If chemical contamination is suspected then I would filter the water with coffee filters or fabric layers in a funnel, use moss, pour the water back through slowly, do whatever it takes until the water is clear then use the charcoal (slow gentle long flow with as much contact time that your willing to give it, Put the charcoal in a narrow long pipe, I used a leg from a pair of tights (pantyhose?) to hold my charcoal in the tube, this way I did not need to crush the pellets, and then use the LIFESTRAW. Incidentally the charcoal can be reactivated by applying lots of heat, if you only have an open fire then you will need to seal your wet used charcoal in an airtight container, (Coffee tins are good) well almost airtight, just a pin hole is needed to allow gases to escape, and don’t just place on the fire build the fire around and under your container then light the fire, you want nice hot coals/ glowing embers to surround the tin remember you have to drive off the water as steam and the chemicals that have been absorbed too, so putting it onto an already lit fire will just blow the lid off of your tin, (if the tin you use is durable enough you can use it to make your own charcoal, its easy, pack your tin with thin sticks, willow is good for this, really pack it tight, it will shrink in the process and use the following method but your not looking for steam coming out it will be smoke, as soon as the smoke stops coming out stick a pin into the pin hole leave in fire, wait till cold. Now back to reactivating, build the heat up slowly and keep an eye on that pin hole, and refuel until the jobs done, (no more steam) put pin in the pin hole then let the fire die down till cool, if you have an oven then put it in an open oven proof container, Pyrex is ideal or a very clean (no food debris) baking tin / tray on 200 deg C (390 Deg F) until all water has been driven out, give it a few stirs if using the oven method, and when there is no more steam give it an extra half hour longer, in all methods allow to cool completely and then use as normal. If water is contaminated with any petroleum products find a cleaner source, one way is to dig down to water keeping a distance of several feet from the contaminated source and the soil / bank should adequately filter the petroleum products out, your nose will tell you. just so you know I used aquarium charcoal pellets, over and over and over again and again for at least 5 years when I kept my Red Bellied Piranha’s, they lived for a decade as opposed to the ones in the wild that get 3 years if their lucky. 1 liter volume of charcoal pellets was all I used and I purchased an extra amount just to top up and maintain the volume of charcoal, I got 10 years use doing this, and being gentle when handling the pellets extends their service, but the more you have the better. Consider building a large sand Bio filter.

Comment by Clay Roberts
2013-12-10 09:35:41

I will definitely add this to my survival kit. This is a life saver!

Comment by faucets bathroom
2013-12-10 17:38:05

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please shoot me an email if interested.

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