WHAT IT IS It's a simple concept, a tube, 25 centimeters tall, 29 millimeters in diameter. Since the product's beginning in 2005, the LifeStraw has provided safe drinking for countless of people in need, and only entered the North America consumer market in 2011. There are several versions of Lifestraw, a personal edition, filtering more than 500 liters of contaminated water, and the family version that can filter through 18,000 thousands liters of water. This innovation is efficient, and not to mention inexpensive. Reports have it that the cost of making the LifeStraw range from $2-3 only. The LifeStraw does not have harmful chemicals that purify its water.
HOW IT WORKS From an outsider's perspective, it may be hard to understand how the straw exactly works. It can be explained simply; as you drink the water it is purified. But there's also the question of how? The LifeStraw uses the idea of suction to function. It's simple to use, too - directions are listed on the product description. Open the cap, and drink the water through it. It may take a few seconds to work, but after a while you're set. It's tied into the idea that the LifeStraw should be simple for anyone to use, whether it's a boy in West Africa or a middle-aged man in Wisconsin. The straw, sold at retail price, is about $20. Scrolling through reviews, it's obvious that the LifeStraw has proved its self good. Some customer reviews have outstanding comment about the LifeStraw.
HERE ARE SOME REVIEW BY REAL PEOPLE LISTED BELOW - (courtesy of amazon.com)
FIVE STAR REVIEW By attaboyBrad on January 10, 2012 Verified Purchase. For the weight, I believe there is no better backcountry water treatment available. The LifeStraw imparts no strange flavors like its chemical brethren, its flow rate is perfectly acceptable for active pursuits, it has no moving parts to break or filters that need replacing every couple of days, and it does all this at a fraction of the cost and weight of other Filter and UV water treatment options. Besides, what other water treatment system has been tested successfully by people on a daily basis in the most contaminated parts of our planet?
FIVE STAR REVIEW By Charlie on May 11, 2014 Verified Purchased. I frequently hike and camp in the backcountry all over the United States. Carrying the amount of water that I need to survive during these trips is just not feasible due to the weight. In the past I always carried a General Ecology First Need XL water purifier and refilled nalgene bottles with it. Since getting a LifeStraw I most likely won't be doing that any longer since the LifeStraw is smaller and lighter than the First Need XL. I recently took a LifeStraw out for a test on a backcountry hike in the Rocky Mountains. Every stream, lake, or other water source that I came across I stopped for a drink. I was drinking fresh snow melt and also from lakes that are home to beavers and other wildlife. There was no added taste to the water and I didn't get sick during or after the trip.
The one draw back to the LifeStraw is that it does take a bit of suction to start and keep the water flowing. When you're at high altitudes in the mountains this leads to longer "drink breaks" since you can get winded pretty easy while trying to suck up water through the LifeStraw. However, its size and weight advantages when hiking mountainous terrain vastly out weigh this minor drawback.
Overall, the LifeStraw is awesome and I recommend it to every backcountry hiker that I know.
THE AFFECT But while this innovation has been effective for the paying consumers, the charity aspect of the product is even better. While LifeSraw is a striving product now, it started as a project to aid people in need. In Africa, water is scarce. The LifeStraw uses some of it's profits to provide filtration to communities that lack clean water. When it first started the company distributed it to communities thathad been struck with disasters or other crises. The straw holds the same traits of helping people, as other methods of purifying water have, but the LifeStraw is safer (having no chemicals), and helped what seems to be a countless number of people. The website of LifeStraw provides a special element, a link to view how much the money has been donated to help purify water in Kenya. The project is titled, "Follow the Liters," as stated on the website. The project is still striving today, people are still buying and donating. The LifeStraw has not only given us a way to purify water that is better than it was in the past, meaning no chemicals or harmful toxins have been added to the product, it has taken a simple item and turned it into helping thousands of people.