There are few things worse than running out of water on a hike. In my experience, that feeling gets more dread-inducing the farther away you are from the nearest town, campsite, or car.
Thankfully, whenever I go hiking or backpacking, I don’t have to worry about that anymore, because of this LifeStraw bottle. It has an integrated filter that traps bacteria, dirt, and microplastics — basically all of the nasty stuff you don’t want in drinking water. That means I can head to any stream or source of running water, fill up this bottle directly, and start sipping — something I’ve done many times, including one time on a backpacking trip in Patagonia, and it’s in my checklist of things that I take while hiking.
I think it’s one of the most efficient ways to filter drinkable water in the backcountry. There are other options, like gravity filters, which are bulky and take too long; iodine pills that you can pop in your bottle, which are lightweight, but don’t filter out debris or gritty things. There’s also the original LifeStraw, which is just the filter (the “straw”) itself, but it requires you to stick it directly in the water source. This filter-integrated bottle is my favorite version of the LifeStraw. I’ve also used it for drinking water while traveling internationally.
Right now, the one-liter version is 40 percent off, and the 22-ounce version is on sale too, at 35 percent off. While it’s not the cheapest we’ve ever seen it — it was $24 in November — we still think it’s a really handy piece of gear worth snagging on sale. You’ll thank yourself when you’re refilling at a stream on your next backpacking trip.
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