Lifestraw water filter system

In my bug out bag, I have two Sport Berkey water bottles, these work great and besides filtering out waterborne pathogenic bacteria and heavy metals the bottles do double duty as a canteen of sorts. But, with clean water being second in importance only to oxygen for survival, I’ve been looking to add yet another water filtration system to my bug out bag.

For utility, I’ve divided my bug out bag into two separate bags, a full-sized backpack being the main bag and a smaller pack (US PeaceKeeper Rapid Deployment Pack) for essential items, you know the stuff you can not live without.

With the two bag system, it is easy to hide the larger bag, or leave it at camp while still allowing me to have those “must have survival items” on my person at all times without having to carry the weight and bulk of the full-sized bag.

But, while the Berkey bottles are great for a full-sized bug out bag they take up to much space in the smaller bag, so I’ve added the LifeStraw water filter system to my kit.

According to my research the LifeStraw removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria, 99.9% waterborne protozoan parasites, and will filter approximately 264 gallons of water.

When I received the LifeStraw in the mail, the first thing I noticed when I opened the package was its weight, or lack of it. At 9 inches long with a 1 inch width, it weighs about as much as a pack of cigarettes, but instead of killing you with toxins the LifeStraw could save your life by eliminating them.

When using the LifeStraw for the first time, it takes a bit of work to get the water flowing up through the filter but once you get the water moving through the straw it is easy to keep it going and to continue drinking. I could not detect any difference in taste (I used clean water for the test) when using the filter than when drinking straight from the cup.

My only complaints are that I would have liked to have had color options when purchasing, a nice olive drab would have been nice. But overall, I think the LifeStraw will be a great addition to my bug out bag and at a price of only $19.95, I think I’ll buy anther one for my car kit…

About M.D. Creekmore

M.D. Creekmore is the owner and editor of He is the author of four prepper related books and is regarded as one of the nations top survival and emergency preparedness experts. Read more about him here.


  1. MD, you could paint your filter. There is a kind of spray paint you can get that is just for plastic and I know it comes in olive drab because someone I know painted a TV olive drab with it. What I don’t know is how flexible the paint is. Another thing you could do is make a fabric sleeve for it, if the sleeve is stretchy or just the right size then it will stay on, or you can add an elastic or drawstring (or even a rubber band or hair elastic or piece of paracord) to the top if the fabric isn’t.

    • Pincher that paint is Krylon Fusion Camouflage. It comes in 4 cammo colors. They also make the “Fusion” paint in other colors. All of the fusion stuff is designed to paint plastics and it works pretty well. When I first saw it I went to Wal-Mart and bought some. I took a 2 liter pepsi bottle, pulled the label off and painted the bottle without preping it at all. I then threw it on the ground in my garden plot and let it stay there for over a year. The paint was still tightly adhered to it when I finally threw the thing away.

      • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

        Yikes, charlie, you must have a messy garden plot. 😉 I bought some of that paint the other day when it was on sale. I haven’t used it yet. Sure hope it works as well as your experiment because I like green, brown, tan, and black much better than blue.

        • No the garden plot isn’t messy. In fact it’s part of my yard. It was just a place where I could leave the “experiment” out in the weather for a period of time. I put it in the fringes near a hedgerow where it was out of the way. Kind of out of sight, out of mind. That’s not to say I don’t have some messy stuff around. 😉

    • Ron (on the Rio) says:

      Speead tape comes in many colors including camo.

  2. There is camo or OD tape available for wrapping shotguns (for Turkey season) and bows. Some is sticky, some is not, and still some is mildly sticky like a post it notes to allow easy application and removal.
    One other thing you could consider is a 32 oz or larger metal (preferably stainless) water bottle. Especially in a winter situation you can melt ice or snow, and boil water to make it potable.
    BTW, I think you just cost me $20 (unless I buy more than 1) – LOL.

  3. Nice find. I’ve long been disappointed with most backpack filters due to the high cost to filter water per gallon. At hundreds of gallons for $20, I’m sold.

  4. Chonte' in MD says:

    genius!!!!! and quite the bargain at that!. thanks for sharing 🙂

  5. blindshooter says:

    Slightly off topic, do you like the little pack? I want something that I could get a small med kit and some food and water into. The reviews were not helpful about the size of the main compartment. I do like the wide shoulder straps, that’s important to me with my messed up neck/spine.

  6. MD – thank you for the great review. I’m looking forward to reading more of your articles, as I can tell you put out high-quality, and timely, information.

  7. GT urban prepper says:

    A must have if you ask me. I sure wish I had one the last time I was on the AT.

  8. how does the berkey sport work? it just looks like a water bottle? is there some kind of berkey filter inside like the big units? is it the same filter as the others?

  9. I watched their website video, only bad thing is it only has a shelf life of 3yrs.

    • Lint Picker (Northern California) says:

      Yes, that is problematic. I would like to buy several, but if the shelf life is only 3 years then I can’t see doing that. Still, it’s better than one of those expensive things that requires a third hand to operate.

  10. j.r. guerra in s. tx. says:

    Check out the Frontier Pro Water System by Aquamira, priced the same and have more than a few good points as well. I’ll give this one a look too – Thanks for the review.

  11. It looks like a nice bag. Cool for adventures 🙂

  12. I need to slightly but not really hi-jack this thread to ask a question.
    I say not really hijack because the item I’m about mention talks about water filtration.

    Has anyone ordered or otherwise looked at the “Ultimate Food Shortage Survival Guide”. You know, it’s that thing you find on the internet where the guy says he has a 6 minute presentation that runs on for over 30 minutes. Anyway, I decided to waste the time and watch it and for the $27 bucks he’s asking, if it has all that he says it does it would be worthwhile but I think it’s just a scam so I thought I’d ask here first.


  13. I forgot to click the notify tab so that is why I am sending this.

  14. charlie: haven’t read it but googled it and found the site to download it (… according to the site itself:

    “So, is “The Ultimate Food Shortage Survival Guide – Survive Food Crisis” scam? Nope. It is NOT a scam. ”

    seems legit to me 😉

    but seriously, whenever I see something like: “Click here to download your copy of The Ultimate Food Shortage Survival Guide while it’s still available”… I move on. Personally I’d say spend the $27.00 on James Talmadge Steven’s book which has stood the test of time and been around for several decades with several recent updates.

  15. Does anyone have experience with the katadyn exstream or mybottle?

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