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Review: How to Filter Water With a Lifestraw Mission

Avatar for Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: November 24, 2020
Review: How to Filter Water With a Lifestraw Mission

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We need water for drinking, cooking, bathing, cleaning, and overall hygiene. Without good water, we will suffer and could even die. That said, a struggle for many is not how to source water but rather how to make bad water good. After all, the last thing we want to find a source of water, use it, and end up married to the toilet god or worse.

Over the years, I have learned to trust Lifestraw products for their ease of use and portability.  It is for that reason I am thrilled to share my experience with the Lifestraw Mission plus, in my usual style, offer one to a lucky reader in a giveaway.

How to Filter Water LifeStraw Mission | Backdoor Survival

What is a Lifestraw Mission?

The official description of the LifeStraw Mission is that it is a gravity powered water purifier that uses an advanced ultrafiltration membrane with a 0.02 micron pore size, removing virtually all virus, bacteria, and protozoa.  I call it an easy peasy, lightweight tool for making bad water good while you are on your own following a disruptive event!

It works by gravity feed and there are no chemicals, batteries, or moving parts other than the water bag and the filter itself.  The best part is portability.  You can carry it anywhere.  My Lifestraw Mission is the 12-liter model and it weighs in at about 1.5 pounds.  I

The filtering capacity is 4,750 gallons over its life and from what I have learned, you will know that it is no longer viable as a filter because it will no longer work.

Note, however, that like the original LifeStraw, the LifeStraw Mission does not filter out chemicals, salt water, or heavy metals.

How Does it Work?

The way the LifeStraw Mission works is you first fill it with water from your source.  This could be a pond or stream or even tap water if you suspect it has been contaminated by something other than chemicals or heavy metals.  Once it is filled. you roll down the top and secure it with the integrated clamps.

If you have not already done so, hang the strap from a tall branch then attach the bag.  We had a bit of a tussle because Shelly, aka the Survival Husband, wanted to take over and hang the bag himself.  I fought back because I wanted to prove that a person could handle the entire process single-handedly.  I managed but if you are a smaller person, I would suggest the 5L LifeStraw Mission which will be less cumbersome, weight wise when filled.

After attaching the bag to the strap, you open the red dirty water valve to get the flow going. After 10 seconds, you close the tap and open the blue water tap.  Water coming out of the blue water tap has been purified.  Never drink the water from the red dirty water tap since it bypasses the filtration process.

For my testing, I did not have a tree branch so I used a fence post instead.  The downside of doing this is that the water hose did not hang straight down.  Still, the entire 12 liters (3.17 gallons) took one hour to filter, start to finish.

I tried to capture the process in pictures but this YouTube video does it even better.


What I Like About the LifeStraw Mission

There are a number of reasons I like this product.  First is portability. If I had to evacuate because it was not longer safe to stay in my home, I could grab the LifeStraw Mission and go.  It comes with a carry bag that can be clipped to a pack or tossed in a suitcase.

Lifestraw Mission Compact Size | Backdoor Survival
This photo will give you a sense of the compact size and portability of the LifeStraw Mission

Second is that it is completely intuitive. Other than understanding the difference between the blue valve and the red valve, there is not much to it.  Set the hose coming out of the blue valve into a clean bucket and you can walk away until the entire bag is empty.  The cliché set it and forget it applies.

Third is that the water can be used for a variety of purposes. As much as I like the standard LifeStraw (and own several), they are drinking devices.  The water cannot but collected in a vessel and used for cooking, cleaning, or other purposes.

Finally, using the LifeStraw Mission is easy. You do not have to remember any complicated instructions because they are printed both on the bag and in a label on the inside of the included carry bag. Plus, I could handle the entire process single-handedly without a second set of hands.

You might recall that I have written about and recommended the LifeStraw Family in the past.  One of the big differences between that feed bucket for the water.  It is still an excellent product, just not quite as portable as the LifeStraw Mission.

Lifestraw Mission Drinking Water | Backdoor Survival
At the end of the day, we all want safe drinking water.

The Giveaway

This giveaway is being sponsored by, a longtime sponsor, and friend of Backdoor Survival.  The winner will receive a 5 Liter (1.32 gallon)  LifeStraw Mission.

Entering is easy using the Rafflecopter below.  Although comments are not necessary to win, you do get five “entries” for answering the giveaway question.  Just remember that you must select the “I Commented” entry in the Rafflecopter to have your comment recorded in the random drawing.  The question for this drawing is:

“What is your current strategy for purifying water following a disruptive event?”

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline is 6:00 PM MST next Tuesday with the winner notified by email and announced on the Rafflecopter in the article.  Please note that the winner must claim their prize within 48 hours or an alternate will be selected.

Note:  Due to Customs requirements, this giveaway is only open to those with a mailing address in the United States.

UPDATE: The giveaway has ended, but you can still pick up the Lifestraw Mission for a great price at this listing.

Additional Resources

Whether you are new to prepping and just learning, or an experienced old hand in need of a refresher course. there are plenty of resources available to help educate and assist you.  You can start with these.

Survival Basics: Water and Water Storage
The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide
Emergency Water for Preppers: The Four Part Series
Hydration for the Apocalypse: How to Store Water for Long-Term Emergencies
How to Use Pool Shock to Purify Water
The Lifestraw Mission User Manual

The Final Word

Longtime readers know I have a thing about flashlights and emergency lighting in general.  Less well known is that I have multiple ways to ensure I will always have clean water for drinking and other purposes.

Products from LifeStraw, including the LifeStraw Mission, LifeStraw Family, LifeStraw Go, and personal LifeStraw are important to my overall water strategy.  These products are easy to use, durable, and affordable.


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Below you will find items mentioned in today’s article.

LifeStraw Mission: This is my number one pick due to its portability, affordability, and ability to filter water into a containment vessel so it can be used not only for drinking but for cooking, cleaning, hygiene and other purposes. It comes in two sizes: 5L and 12L.

LifeStraw Family 1.0 Water Purifier:  The Lifestraw Family contains no chemicals, no batteries, and no moving parts to wear out. It features a high flow rate and is the perfect solution to your portable water purification needs – whether bugging in or bugging out. Read my review here.

The Prepper’s Water Survival Guide:  You can survive up to three weeks without food, but only three days without water. When catastrophe strikes, having enough water can spell the difference between life and death. This book offers a step-by-step plan with straightforward information you can easily follow.  Written by my friend Daisy Luther, I recommended the book for everyone’s survival library!

No Rinse Cleansing & Deodorizing Bathing Wipes:  One wipe is more than enough for a complete “bath”.  These are a good backup when traditional showers are not available such as the week or weeks following a disaster.  Also good for the sick room as well as camping, boating, hiking and such.  Here is my review.

DryTec Calcium Hypochlorite, 1-Pound:  This is 68% Calcium Hypochlorite.  As of this writing, the price is with free shipping.  I purchased Ultima Pool Shock which is 73% Calcium Hypochlorite.  For more information, read How to Use Pool Shock to Purify Water.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter:  The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultralight personal water filter available. It contains no chemicals or iodinated resin, no batteries and no moving parts to break or wear out. It weighs only 2 oz. making it perfect for the prepper. For more information, see my LifeStraw review.


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125 Responses to “Review: How to Filter Water With a Lifestraw Mission”

  1. Big Berkey, Lifestraw, Seychelle filter, pool shock, water distiller, Shungit stones, purification tablets.

  2. I have purchased a variety of Lifestraw products for my grown kids for Christmas and birthdays. We live near a lake, so in the event of a ‘situation’ we will be able to use ours for drinking water, cooking and personal care. Am very grateful I found this product thru your website! 🙂

  3. We all take drinking water for granted. Another source is greatly appreciated! The Life Straw is the best idea.

  4. For purifying water post SHTF I have both a Big Berkey with a lot of black filters (and a few of the PF2 arsenic/flouride post filters) plus some bags of pool shock so I can make my own bleach for water purification or disinfecting.

    Also, all of my GHBs and office packs have the Sport Berkey bottles which have the same black element, just cut down to bottle size. I have spare filters for them in my LTS, in case I need to forage far enough from home to require hydration.

    As to water sources…I have a river just down the street and multiple 5 gallon jugs that I can refill via a bucket and then wheel them back home via a garden cart. But right now they are all filled with potable water. 😉

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