The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

LifeStraw Go Review

The LifeStraw Go is designed for a specific use. It provides filtered water on the go, but this also restricts its overall versatility.
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Price:  $45 List | $33.69 at REI
Compare prices at 4 resellers
Pros:  Replaceable filter, unique purpose, well-made, durable
Cons:  Expensive, small capacity, can only be used with water (no other liquids)
Manufacturer:   LifeStraw
By Jane Jackson ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 8, 2018
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69
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#11 of 21
  • Ease of Use - 35% 6
  • Durability - 20% 7
  • Ease of Cleaning - 20% 7
  • Weight - 15% 8
  • Taste - 10% 8

The Skinny

The LifeStaw Go is a bottle designed for a very specific use. The bottle has a straw and integrated filtration system, which takes up a large part of the overall volume of the bottle. We found it fairly difficult to drink out of the straw since water is being drawn through the system as you drink. All that aside, the LifeStraw bottle is unique in that it provides you with quality drinking water no matter where you are. The manufacturer claims that the bottle can filter water from any source safely.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

The LifeStraw Go is a small volume bottle with an integrated filter. We had a hard time figuring out the best use for this bottle, as it is too small and cumbersome to use backpacking, and lacks the ability to filter large quantities of water. For short hikes near a water source, the LifeStraw is useful because it can be refilled anywhere. This means you can carry less water, and thus have a lighter load. The bottle is also useful in an urban setting where you may not have access to filtered water all the time.

We found it difficult to suck water through the straw  since it is attached to a heavy-duty filter inside the bottle.
We found it difficult to suck water through the straw, since it is attached to a heavy-duty filter inside the bottle.

Performance Comparison


Ease of Use


The underwhelming score that the LifeStraw received in this metric is due to the difficulties we had drinking out of the filter-straw. The filter also takes up a ton of volume in the bottle itself, which reduces the overall capacity of the bottle drastically. You have to suck on the straw pretty hard to get water through the filter, which can get tiring after a while. When we had the bottle full of drinkable water (which we usually did), we often took the lid off and skipped the straw and filter altogether. We found the Camelbak Eddy to be much more effective as a comparable straw-style bottle. Of course, the Eddy does not have the filter component that the LifeStraw does.

Durability


In terms of durability, we found the Lifestraw to be in general a very durable bottle. the hard-sided, BPA-free plastic bottle saw no real damage throughout our testing period. We did not run into any issues with the filter either. According to their website, LifeStraw recommends replacing the filter after 100 liters (or 3 months of continuous use). Filter aside, the LifeStraw compares in durability to the Nalgene Wide-Mouth or the Camelbak Eddy. All of these bottles are strong and do not dent or crack easily. The filter is the weakest point of this bottle and it can be easily replaced.

Drinking filtered water from the LifeStraw. The filter is a nice feature for road trips when you are filling up water without having the option of filtered water out of the tap. The LifeStraw eliminates this issue.
Drinking filtered water from the LifeStraw. The filter is a nice feature for road trips when you are filling up water without having the option of filtered water out of the tap. The LifeStraw eliminates this issue.

Ease of Cleaning


The LifeStraw Go is made up of three different components, making it easy to take apart and clean. The straw and lid have many nooks and crannies that can collect dirt and grime, as does the filter. Both of these factors reduced the overall score for the LifeStraw in this metric. Bottles with similar scores in the cleaning metric are the Klean Kanteen Wide Mouth and the Contigo Thermalock Glacier. All three of these bottles have similar dimensions, which means it is difficult to get inside the bottle to thoroughly clean it out. This is a downside to a smaller volume bottle. The Yeti Rambler 26 has a very wide mouth that makes it easy to clean.

Weight


The LifeStraw is on the heavier side of the plastic bottles in this review in terms of weight. This high tech bottle weighs in at 10 ounces, which places it in the middle of the fleet, similar to the Soma Bottle, the Klean Kanteen Vacuum Insulated, and the Contigo Thermalock Glacier. The extra weight of course comes from the integrated filter, which weighs a bit on its own. This is a bit of a detraction because it also takes up a fair amount of space in the bottle, reducing the capacity. If you are set on filtering your water, then the weight is less of a concern, but it is something to be noted.

The filter takes up a lot of space inside the bottle  reducing the overall versatility of the LifeStraw.
The filter takes up a lot of space inside the bottle, reducing the overall versatility of the LifeStraw.

Taste


Because it has a built-in filter, it is no surprise that the LifeStraw Go gets a relatively high score regarding taste. The hollow fiber membrane and integrated activated carbon capsule filters bacteria and reduces chlorine and bad taste. Obviously, this bottle makes water taste good! The downside is that the bottle is only made for water, meaning you cannot put any other liquids in it. The straw can collect a bit of flavor, and if you are constantly filling the bottle with bad tasting water, a slight smell can develop. The filter itself also traps flavor, which is another reason to only use water in this bottle. The Camelbak Eddy has a straw feature which we found also held onto flavors. The highest-ranking bottles in this metric were glass bottles, like the Soma Bottleand the LifeFactory Glass Flip Cap.

Here  the LifeStraw is shown next to the Thermos Intak. They are comparable in size  but the Intak has a larger capacity since it lacks LifeStraw's filter.
Here, the LifeStraw is shown next to the Thermos Intak. They are comparable in size, but the Intak has a larger capacity since it lacks LifeStraw's filter.

Best Applications


If filtered water is something that is important to you, this bottle could be a great one to use every day. You can fill it anywhere and not be concerned about chlorinated or bad-tasting water. The LifeStraw could also be a great bottle to take on international trips. Instead of buying bottled water in places where you want to avoid drinking the tap water, you could use the LifeStraw and be worry-free! Yet another use for this bottle is on short hikes where filling the LifeStraw along the way is an option. That way, you can carry less weight and fill up as you go. This bottle is a bit of a novelty but also has some very acceptable applications.

Value


Sold for $45 online, the LifeStraw is a bit more expensive than similar-sized plastic bottles. Of course, the bottle comes with a fairly high-tech filtration system, so it makes sense that you have to pay a bit more for this setup. The price of the LifeStraw is comparable to some of the stainless steel, insulated options out there, such as the Yeti Rambler 26 or the Hydro Flask.

Conclusion


The LifeStraw Go is a unique bottle with a number of positive features and a few downsides. If you are looking for a bottle with an integrated filtration system, this bottle is a great option, and it is not insanely expensive. If you need a bottle that will be more versatile, the LifeStraw may not be the best option. It is difficult to drink out of, has a fairly small volume, and can only be used to hold water. It also filters water and makes it taste great! So it's up to you to decide whether filtered water is a priority or not.


Jane Jackson