Review: LifeStraw Steel Personal Water Filter

Gaye Levy Gaye Levy  |  Updated: November 24, 2020
Review: LifeStraw Steel Personal Water Filter

When it comes to filtering water while on the go, the LifeStraw personal water filter rocks.  It is lightweight and easy to use, and, in sort of a perverse way, a lot of fun.  That said, I do not mean to poke fun at the very important task of ensuring that drinking water is safe, but it sure does help when the experience is pleasurable.

Do I love my LifeStraws?  You bet.  I own three of them, one for each of us and a spare.  So, when I learned that there was an all-new LifeStraw Steel, I became excited because the all-new LifeStraw Steel includes a 2-stage filtration process instead of just one.  How cool is that?

LifeStraw Steel Personal Water Filter Review | Backdoor Survival

Today I am thrilled to introduce you to the newest member of the LifeStraw family of water filtration products.  In addition, thanks to long term Backdoor Survival sponsor,, I am able to offer one LifeStraw Steel to a lucky reader in an exclusive giveaway.

But first, let me tell you about the LifeStraw Steel and how to use it.

How to Use the LifeStraw Steel

This is not your momma’s LifeStraw.  Setting aside what I felt was obnoxious and excessive packaging, the LifeStraw Steel was a cinch to use.  It comes with a little instruction booklet that does not take a PhD in reading manuals to figure out.

LifeStraw Steel Personal Water Filter Review | Backdoor Survival

Basically, you remove the caps at both ends, stand the LifeStraw in your cup, bucket, or other water source, give it 15 seconds and you are good to go.  It is as easy as that.

LifeStraw Steel Personal Water Filter Review | Backdoor Survival

Those of you that have been around for awhile might recall that learning to use the original LifeStraw was more of a challenge and that it took a few tries to get it right. This time, it was easy peasy.

I do have a couple of tips for you.  First of all, if the LifeStraw Steel has not been used in awhile, you are going to want to draw up some water then blow it right back out to clear out the filters.  Then, when you are done drinking, blow it out one more time to remove any residual water from the chamber.

An additional step, and something that I do, is spray the spout with my DIY AntiViral spray before and after drinking.  This is totally optional but something I like to do as a matter of course.

Remember when I mentioned the fun part of using the original LifeStraw?  With that unit, blowing things out at the end resulted in a stream of water coming out – kind of like a human squirt gun.  With the LifeStraw Steel, there was only a bit of water and a few bubbles so the stream was not so dramatic.  Still, you are not going to want to skip this step.

The caps covering the spout and the carbon filter are tight fitting, especially the cover to the sipping spout.  I found I had to line it up then firmly push it in, creating an airtight seal.  Don’t try to twist it closed; there are no threads and your efforts will be fruitless.

What Else Do You Need to Know?

Here are some facts about the LifeStraw Steel.  It will remove 99.9999% of bacteria (such as E. coli) and 99.9% of protozoa (such as Giardia and Cryptosporidium).  As with the original LifeStraw, it does not remove viruses nor does it desalinate.

On the other hand, it reduces organic matter of a chemical natures, as well as chlorine and foul odors and taste.  There is no aftertaste whatsoever.

The LifeStraw Steel is contracted from durable stainless steel and is designed to filter 264 gallons of water.  The replaceable activated carbon filter is replaceable and should be changed after 26 gallons.  One important consideration that it shares with the original LifeStraw is that it has no shelf-life.  There are no moving parts and nothing can go bad.  This means you can store your LifeStraws pretty much indefinitely.

LifeStraw Steel Personal Water Filter Review | Backdoor Survival

Given its light weight and compact form, the LifeStraw (both the original and the LifeStraw Sreel model) is perfect for bug-out-bags and emergency kits.  Not only that, for prepping purposes, it makes good sense to keep at least one for each family member in your car so that you have some way of filtering questionable drinking water while traveling or otherwise on the go in the course of your daily life.

Regardless of how you plan to use the LifeStraw, I recommend carrying a fold up cup, Nalgene water bottle or canteen.  You can then fill it with water but sip the water through a LifeStraw while drinking.

The Giveaway

Here is the part you have been waiting for.  To enter the giveaway, you need to utilize the Rafflecopter form below.  Select one or more of the options after signing in using your email account or Facebook, the choice is yours.  The best way to start is by clicking on “Free Entry for Everyone”.  After that, each option you select represents an additional entry.  There are a number of different options so pick and choose or select them all.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The deadline is 6:00 PM Pacific 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:  This giveaway is only open to residents of the United States.

The Final Word

The advantage of the LifeStraw Steel over the original LifeStraw is the two-step filtration process.  As I mentioned previously, in addition to the hollow fiber membrane (filtering out virtually all bacteria and protozoa), the LifeStraw Steel water filter has an activated carbon capsule which reduces chemicals such as chlorine while reducing organic compounds (including pesticides and herbicides), odor and bad taste.

In addition, it appeared sturdier and more impervious to damage due to its stainless steel construction.  Obviously, this is not something I tests.

Finally, I love that for every LifeStraw purchased, one school child in a developing community
receives safe drinking water for an entire school year.  Doing something good for someone more need it always a good thing.

I would like to thank EarthEasy for sponsoring this giveaway and hope you will take a few moments to enter.

Enjoy your next adventure through common sense and thoughtful preparation!

If you enjoyed this article, consider subscribing to email updates.  When you do, you will receive a free, downloadable copy of my e-Book, The Emergency Food Buyer’s Guide.

You can also vote for Backdoor Survival daily at Top Prepper Websites!

Below you will find the items related to today’s article.

LifeStraw Steel Personal Water Filter with Two-Stage Carbon Filtration:  The LifeStraw Steel includes the dual filtering action of both a hollow-fiber membrane and activated carbon capsule.  It removes virtually all water-borne bacteria, protozoa, and sediment plus some chemicals. I found the LifeStraw Steel to be a cinch to use.

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter:  FREE SHIPPING! The LifeStraw is considered the most advanced, compact, ultra light 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.

LifeStraw Family 1.0 Water Purifier:  The Lifestraw Family contains no chemicals, no batteries and no moving parts to wear out. It features a 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.

LifeStraw Go Water Bottle with Integrated 1000-Liter LifeStraw Filter:  The Lifestraw Go integrates the fantastic LifeStraw Personal Water Filter with a sippy-type bottle.  It is like getting two for the price of one.  The included carabiner hook makes it easy to attach the LifeStraw Go to your pack.

Nalgene Tritan Wide Mouth BPA-Free Water Bottle, 1-Quart:  I love my Nalgene bottle and have them stashed in all of my kits.  Where as the wide-mouth version is great for using outdoors, around the house I prefer the narrow-mouth version.

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!

Prepper's Water Survival Guide


Help support Backdoor Survival. Purchases earn a small commission and for that I thank you!


Which are the best oils for your survival kit?  This article describes my top picks.

9 Best Essential Oils for Your Survival Kit | Backdoor Survival

Aff | Emergency Survival Blanket

[DEAL] Emergency Survival Blanket

Pocket-size survival blanket could save a life - throw in your bag or car.

Get Cheap Security
Aff | Emergency Survival Blanket
[DEAL] Emergency Survival Blanket Get Cheap Security

109 Responses to “Review: LifeStraw Steel Personal Water Filter”

  1. Clean water is always a concern, especially if SHTF, and something I constantly work on. This new LifeStraw filter is something I have wanted to try. Thanks for the opportunity and the information you have shared.

  2. I have a Berkey filter for in the house, but nothing for “on the go”. Would love to try this and purchase several for family members after checking it out!
    Thank you.

  3. We LOVE our LifeStraws! We have 4…1 for each member of the family plus an extra. I would love to try these new ones, they have been added to my {long} wishlist!

  4. Nice to know there is a new version out. I would added the new one to my bug out bag and put my older version in one of my secrete storage spots.

  5. I have a couple of ways to “clean” water in my Storage. Liquid bleach(rotated regularly) Pool Shock and ways to strain and boil it and store it. This would be great to receive and put in the GHB/BOB
    Thank you

  6. I like the idea of stainless steel better than the plastic. I also like the clean look of these with those caps. Most definitely on my buy wish list. Thanks for finding these new updates Gaye. 🙂

  7. I have the original Lifestraws and are pleased. The new steel model looks great. And less worry about breaking it when stored in truck get home bag.

  8. The original Lifestraw was on my to-guy list but I think I’ll get the Steel instead. No one can ever have enough clean water.

  9. I plan on owning a Berky and keep original life straw in the car. A new steel one would take the worry away for bug out bag.

  10. I think SODIS is the cheapest and easiest way to go. I do have rain barrels that hold over 1400 gallon. Adding what I have and what my new wife has, we now have 3 big Berkeys. I have a large container of pool shock for the chlorine. OH. I didn’t mention the “life straw” for my BOB.

  11. Boiling and bleach are ready at home. I carry a Sawyer in my Bag but, would like to disperse some Lifestraws throughout the vehicles.

  12. Would love to try the Steel Lifestraw since the original is on my wish list to get. Currently I have filter pitchers at home and need a mobile option.

  13. We recently purchased a 5 acre homestead, and the first thing I did was refurbish the shallow well and put a pitcher pump on. Once I sanitize the well, that water, if necessary, can be used for any of our needs

  14. sounds nice but where do you get the filters? Changing every 26 gal can come up fast. Would like to have several on hand. Did not see them on Amazon.

  15. I have a Berkey (should have bought a larger size) for home that I bought after a wildfire compromised the watershed two years ago. I carry some bottled water in the car but the Lifestraw would make “on the go” simpler (and safer)

  16. I have the original life straw, also have a homemade water filter using a coffee urn. coffee filters and charcoal. Will boil water from a fast running stream near my home. Redundancy is key to water storage.

  17. Right now we have my husband’s hunting filter. It’s an individual deal for 5 of us…we’ve not had to actually use it. We also have 1 lifestraw in the camper

  18. I have one of the original Life Straws, one of the Sawyer minis, chlorine bleach, some disinfectant water purifier tablets, and there is always boiling and distilling. Would like to try the new version of thew Life Straw though. Plus many cases of bottled water from my tap which has such a chlorine smell that my cat won’t drink it.

  19. We live out in the country and have a deep well with a hand pump option, so we wouldn’t need to filter any water from that. However, if needed, there’s a pond a short distance away that we could use a lifestraw for, and I would like to have a Big Berkey someday too.

  20. We plan to use lifestraw for drinking water. in lieu of that, we plan to filter as best we can and boil the water.

  21. I absolutely can’t say enough good about the SteriPen we got last year. For camping and backpacking it blows away everything I’ve used in the past.

  22. I see with the improvements in filtration, it is closer in specs to the Sawyer. I think the steel tube is much better than the original plastic.

  23. We have an Aqua Rain water filter that we have used for a long time. I was going to get the old Lifestraw filter but will check out the new metal one.

  24. I am currently using a Survivor Filter Pro and have a Lifestraw as a back up. I am going to have to look into the new Lifestraw.

  25. we have several methods/filters we use, but I have kept at least 2 of the original life straws in my truck and backpack. they work well

  26. I have several filters, one Katadyn Pocket Filter and several Sawyer filters. All in our BOB’s. But with the Flint Michigan water issues I’m researching a water distilling water filter. The concern with Flint is that there’s so much lead in the water filters clog quickly. In looking at portable distilling equipment, the question is will this provide clean water? Need to do more research to insure the best solution for a similar situation to Flint.

    • Dave

      Most portable ‘survival’ filters have zero effect on heavy metals (they’re in solution and so untouched, unlike particulates), however, there was a test performed by Natural News a while ago which examined ‘jug’ water filter removal of heavy metals;


      They offer some options for an expedient filter in such situations (and there’s always reverse osmosis filters for water only lightly contaminated – maybe a combination if necessary?). The chemicals and processes used by ‘professional’ suppliers are beyond any expedient adaptation though.

      Remember a carbon pre-filter for organic chemicals, and a coffee-filter/sponge pre-pre-filter for particulates though (and virii are still going to get through).

      Hope this helps.

      (Me? I have Katadyn pocket, generally pre-filtered through a Millbank Bag, and an Expedition for larger amounts when mobile – depending on mode. I consider it’s small size, capacity, and ease of use – no lying prone at the waters edge – superior, but YMMV.

      For a ‘settled’ scenario I have a household ‘plumbed in’ multi-filter system, including a ‘resin’ ion exchange option for metal contamination, adapted to be filled and pressurised manually + chlorination as needed).

  27. I have a couple Seychelle water bottles. I know I need a bigger set up like a Berkey eventually. So glad the straw is a double filter now, looks a nice sturdy filter! Would love to have one:)

  28. We currently have a Lifestraw Bottle, a Lifestraw Family, a couple of Sawyer Mini filters and some bleach. Need to add more personal filters and maybe pool shock while saving up for a Berkey.

  29. An improved product on a design that was nearly perfect to begin with? What next, tech support people who actually can help at Windows support?

  30. To be honest, I don’t have any means and not much more of a plan. I keep thinking “I’ll get to it.” I’m new to your blog and am enjoying it! Thank you!

  31. I have a regular Lifestraw and I’m saving up for a Berkey. I definitely see the need to have more filtration items but my budget is so low.

  32. At the moment, all I have is a PUR water filter pitcher which I use for my family’s daily drinking water, and coffee filters put away for just in case. I am saving up for a Berkey, and also my next amazon purchase is going to be a lifestraw, so it would be great to win this!

  33. I’m not very well prepared. I have some bottled water and can boil water if necessary. That is it. 🙁 I need to work on this.

  34. The only method we currently have is to boil water; if water became unavailable and we could find a little bit somewhere to boil. I would love to have a Lifestraw.

  35. I have about 200 gallons stored in various 5 gallon and 15 gallon containers. We also have a shallow (70ft.) well that I’m devising a non-electric lift bucket / hose system for.
    As far as the (original) LifeStraw and an expiration date,you stated that there is no expiration date. You better double check, I have 3 and each one has an exp. date. It states in the instructions that each LifeStraw has a 5 year shelf life from date of mfg. The Mfg. date is on the small sticker on the straw itself. Mine being 5/2013 so expiration being 5/2018

    • Lifestraw has removed the expiration date from their product and the expiration date on older Lifestraws can be ignored. When I contacted LifeStraw about this in February 2014, here is what I was told:

      “The shelf life comment on LifeStraw products have actually been removed. The reason for this is because the filter has no chemicals or moving parts, meaning that there will be nothing that can expire. When the LifeStraw reaches capacity, you will be unable to draw water through the unit. To prolong the life, what you will need to do is to back flush the unit after every use. You can even hold the LifeStraw under the sink and use your faucet to back flush all the contaminates caught within the pores.

      To do that, you will need to hold the LifeStraw under the sink and use your hand to seal off the top, so that you get water pressure through the straw to back flush.”

      This information is on their website as well. It appears that you are in great shape with your 3 LifeStraws.

  36. I currently own one Life Straw for my emergency bag but nothing else. Looking at options for home for longer term use (think Flint).

  37. I have the original Lifestraw, stored water, water filtering and boiling. I also have bleach and pool shock to make bleach on hand.

  38. I currently own 2 Life Straw for our emergency bags – I lke the steel – it may fair better in my glove compartment

  39. I’m always looking to add new items to my preps. The Life Straw would be a great addition. Thank you for the giveaway!

  40. I currently have a Katadyn hiker filter with an extra cartridge and a Sawyer mini. Down the road I plan to get a Big Burkey to add to my collection.

  41. I have been reading your blog for ages but have never left a comment. First I would like to thank you for all the time you put into your research. I have learned allot from reading Backdoor Survival and have actually adapted some of your strategies, and bought some of the products you have recommended. My wife and I have adapted to our rural New York environment enjoying hunting fishing and a very large garden. Yes New York does have very rural areas. We have always boiled our water or used iodine tablets when out in the wilds. We would love to try Life Straw as a new tool in our survival repertoire. In passing I feel compelled to point out that actual air temperature this morning on our Grasse River survival hideout in Russell NY was -41*F. It would be very challenging to properly hydrate yourself in the outdoors today. Thanks again and keep up the great work!

  42. We use a bucket filter system and have numerous replacement filters. We also have various filter straws, although we do not have a LifeStraw – and would love to have one. We keep bleach on hand and have the means to distill water. I don’t think you can have too many water filtering/purification methods.

  43. I have not seen this particular Lifestraw, it looks so easy to use. I do believe in the adage that two is one and one is none – so I believe everyone should have at least two of these per person per family.

  44. I have a Lifestraw Go Bottle and a couple of mini Sawyers but you can never have to many ways to have clean water especially on the go.

  45. I have a Saychelle water filtration bottle, which I’ll be using. I’ve stocked water, but if & when I run out I’ll be collecting rain water & boiling water from outside sources. I also have water tablets to help with “disinfecting” the water I collect. I still have to get a Lifestraw, which I think is a necessary item to have but I can’t afford to purchase one.

  46. We too have stocked water (and ice), but if/when it runs out, we’ll have to boil, so needless to say, the Lifestraw (actually several) has been high on my wish list since I first read your original review.

  47. I hope I get lucky in the drawing for the life straw. I have bleach, purification tablets and Potassium Permanganate to treat water but the life straw will be the best from what you said… I look forward to your emails on new prepping equipment and information… I recently bought some Lavender oil and I think it will be very helpful in the medical kit…

  48. We have the smaller Berkey and I am planning on buying the bathtub bladder too. I would really like to have the lifestraw too!

  49. I currently do not have a water filter of any kind. Just starting my family prep! I would love to have several of these!

  50. I so need this! Was wanting something easy and long lasting to use with my stocked water supply- aka all those two liter bottles under the beds!

  51. Currently do not have a filter set up other than a reverse osmosis in the house. This would be a nice item to win/have. Thank you! 🙂

  52. I’ve been a LifeStraw fan for years but recently discovered the Survivor Filter which seems in all aspects to be superior. Its triple filtration system (.05 microns) is 400% better than LifeStraw. I’ve replaced my LifeStraws with Survivor Filters (only drawback it costs about $10 more). But don’t believe me. Check it out for yourselves by Googling it and reading some reviews like the one below. I’m keeping my LifeStraws as a backup but if TSHTF I’ll be using the Survivor Filters.

    Disclaimer: I am in no way associated with either of the products I’ve posted links on below except as a very satisfied customer.


    And when I’m at home I have an AquaRain 404 gravity fed water filtration and purification device (think Big Berkey but better). Here are a couple of links.



    You owe it to yourself and to your family to check them out.

Leave a Reply