LifeStraw’s New Water Filter Looks Like a Travel EDC No-Brainer

In 2022, the company completely redesigned the now familiar LifeStraw and introduced the Peak series, which improved the base standard in several notable ways. But even though both were small – the peak measures 1.26″ round and 7.7″ long – they still look very much like dedicated water filtration devices.

The new LifeStraw Sip is 10″ long without the case, so still not exactly pocket-sized. However, it is much narrower and looks much more like a traditional stainless steel straw. This subtle aesthetic isn't particularly helpful in backcountry environments. Still, it should be useful in travel scenarios where devices that scream “I'm worried about your water” might cause offence.

Upon closer inspection, it becomes clear that the LifeStraw Sip is not exactly a standard-sized stainless steel straw. But it doesn't immediately give off the impression of a water filter system either. LifeStraw

Functionally, the LifeStraw Sip meets US EPA and NSF P231 drinking water standards, meaning it can remove 99.999999% of bacteria (including E. coli and Salmonella) and 99.999% of parasites (including Giardia and Cryptosporidia). And even if you're not in a place where you're particularly concerned about clean drinking water, it also removes microplastics, which unfortunately can now be found everywhere.

However, one thing the sip does not remove is viruses, which is why it is called a filter and not a water purifier. As the CDC points out, human and animal feces are the primary source of viruses in water. Therefore, any water sources that are likely to come into frequent contact with both should be avoided.

In terms of durability, the 0.2 micron pore size filter lasts up to 1,000 liters, which LifeStraw calculates is enough for over a year of daily use.

So what is this really for? At a high level, it seems ideally suited to adventurers traveling abroad who may have concerns about the quality of drinking water from the tap. It is also an excellent backup plan to consider storing in a car's glove compartment in case of an emergency. REI already sells straws individually or in packs of three.

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