This is the Lifestraw, you’ve almost certainly seen one before, but the for the uninitiated it’s a straw with a hefty built-in filter that removes 99.999999% of waterborne bacteria and 99.999% of parasites.
This ability to clean otherwise undrinkable water has made it a must-have addition to the survival kit for countless overlanders, adventurers, hikers, cross-country runners, and campers.
The concept behind LifeStraw can be traced back to the early 2000s – it was initially developed by a Swiss company named Vestergaard as part of an effort to combat the issue of unsafe drinking water in less-developed regions of the world, particularly in Africa where waterborne diseases like cholera and typhoid are rampant.
The original design of LifeStraw was intended to filter out the guinea worm larvae from drinking water. The Guinea worm disease had been a major issue in many parts of Africa. Vestergaard’s early efforts helped in significantly reducing cases of this disease and saved countless lives in the process.
As the technology improved, the filtration capabilities of the LifeStraw were significantly increased. It was soon able to filter out not just guinea worm larvae but also, as mentioned above, 99.999999% of waterborne bacteria and 99.999% of parasites, as well as 99,999% of microplastics.
This made it a vital tool in combating various waterborne diseases in developing nations where access to clean drinking water remains a major problem.
The Lifestraw entered the public consciousness in 2005 when it was recognized by TIME magazine as one of the “Best Inventions of the Year.”
The company now provides two main product lines, one for people in developing nations which are provided for free, and a separate line for outdoor enthusiasts as well as military and search and rescue operators.
The Lifestraw you see here is the latest generation of the design, it’s 100% BPA-free and it’s described as “ultra leakproof.” Each one is made from sustainable materials and is capable of filtering up to 1,000 gallons of water before it needs to be replaced and at the end of its life the filter stops allowing water to pass through – so you don’t need to keep track.
Each Lifestraw weighs just 2.3 oz and measures in at 1.26” x 7.7”, is they’re easy to pack away and carry until you need them. Usefully, it can also be attached to most water bottles and standard gravity hoses thanks to its removable threaded bottom cap.
This new Lifestraw design is retailing for $25 USD apiece and they’re being sold by the experienced outfitters over at Huckberry with free US returns and a best price guarantee.
Articles that Ben has written have been covered on CNN, Popular Mechanics, Smithsonian Magazine, Road & Track Magazine, the official Pinterest blog, the official eBay Motors blog, BuzzFeed, Autoweek Magazine, Wired Magazine, Autoblog, Gear Patrol, Jalopnik, The Verge, and many more.
Silodrome was founded by Ben back in 2010, in the years since the site has grown to become a world leader in the alternative and vintage motoring sector, with well over a million monthly readers from around the world and many hundreds of thousands of followers on social media.