A few weeks ago, Lifestraw sent me their new Lifestraw GO. In a nutshell, it’s a water bottle with a Lifestraw filter built in. I’ve used this on a few hikes recently. I normally carry only my Sawyer mini filter with me and attach two 20 ounce Dasani bottles on my pack straps, refilling them when needed. This time, I left the 20’s at home and carried the GO. The bottle itself has around 28 ounces in capacity, but will only hold about 24 ounces of water with the filter in.
Quick and Easy
My first thoughts on the GO bottle were positive. The main thing I liked about the GO is that it’s fast to refill. If I’m in a hurry, I don’t really like having to stop and fish a filter out of my pack, fill up a squeeze bag and spend a couple of minutes refilling a water bottle. (I’m more willing to do that on a slow paced backpacking trip than when day hiking.) With the GO, I just unscrewed the top, scooped up some creek water and then kept walking. Took about 5 seconds. I think it’s pretty common for some people using a Lifestraw to carry a bottle with them so they can fill it with water and drop their Lifestraw down into it and drink that way, rather than get down on all fours and suck water out of a creek. I guess the Lifestraw folks just took that idea and built on it.
The GO comes with a carabiner attachment, which I used to clip to the shoulder strap on my pack shoulder strap. It did flop around a little, but since I was hiking in my Vibram FiveFingers, I was moving slower than normal so the movement was minimal and not too irritating. If I were moving faster, I’d want to have some way to secure it a little better.
0.2 Micron Filter
The flip-up drinking nozzle has a bite valve to help prevent spills. The 0.2 micron filter was new, so it didn’t take much effort to get water through it. As with the original Lifestraw, it becomes progressively harder to suck water through the filter as it gets closer to reaching the end of its lifespan, but I doubt that will happen anytime soon. The GO can filter up to 1,000 liters of water (264 gallons) before it needs to be replaced.
I didn’t notice any weird aftertaste with this filter, which was nice. I hate when my water has a hint of plastic or chemicals in the taste. The 0.2 micron filter removes 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites.
To help clean the filter, blow air back through it to flush the remaining water out, then give it a good shake. This will help clear out some of the crud. I contacted Lifestraw about the availability of replacement filters and was told that they will be available for the GO bottle later on in 2014.
Helping Kids get Clean Drinking Water
Another thing I like about the company that makes Lifestraw products, is that they help provide safe, clean drinking water to people in countries where clean water is hard to find. Lifestraw’s website says that ‘For each Lifestraw sold, one school child in the developing world receives clean water for an entire school year.’ Considering that more people die each year for lack of clean drinking water than are killed by war, that’s a big deal. I can feel good about giving my money to a company like that.
Guest Review by Keith Stone
Keith Stone is the creator of GearToons. He lives in Alabama with his wife, Crystal. When not hiking or making gear review cartoons, he draws comic books as a ministry tool for missionaries. Some of his favorite places to backpack are Bankhead Forest and the Smoky Mountains. You can see more gear infographics via Keith’s GearToons Blog and keep up to date on his craziness by following him on Twitter (@GearToons).