The LifeStraw® Personal Water Filter filters at least 1,000 liters of water (about 264 gallons), weighs only 2 ounces, removes up to 99.99999 percent of waterborne bacteria and 99.9 percent of waterborne protozoan cysts, so why wouldn't you bring it with you on your next camping or backpacking trip? Since it uses no batteries or moving parts, no worries about keeping it charged or having it jam on you at an inopportune time. In fact, this is probably something that would be a good thing to have in your car's emergency kit (you do have an emergency kit, right?).
If you can use a drinking straw, you can use a LifeStraw®. LifeStraw® uses hollow fiber microfiltration technology - simply place end in water, suck and drink. You are the engine! It's lightweight and simplicity of use are definite pros.
What about cons? Well, you can't use it if you don't have the energy to suck the water in, due to illness or injury. Also, you have to place the straw's end into the water, which means your face is half a foot away from the water source; could be iffy if you're trying to drink from fast-flowing water. There's also the comfort aspect - being only 8 inches or so, you have to lie down or maneuver yourself into an awkward position to utilize this. Since it was originally developed as an emergency solution, the negatives are easily explained as necessities of design. Those negatives, in my opinion, are far outweighed by its otherwise simple usage and ease of transport.
As an added incentive, for each LifeStraw® sold, one school child in the developing world receives clean water for an entire school year. That's a very generous bonus of purchasing this filter!
As I mentioned, this would be a very handy item to bring along on your next camping or hiking trip. Beyond that, it definitely has a place in an emergency kit as well. Use it as a backup for your full-sized filter, as an ultralight accessory, or for that one time when things go awry.
This product was provided for review purposes - all opinions are my own.
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