My first introduction to a LifeStraw product almost two years ago yielded a verdict that was unexpected and very positive. Their personal water filtration system was packed nicely in a little plastic “straw” that could be used pretty much anywhere there was water. As a trail runner, it seemed like a very natural fit to use the LifeStraw to supplement my H20 supply on longer runs and avoid carrying more water weight on my back in a hydropack.
It also was a situation in which I could picture LifeStraw building all sorts of new and amazing products around this technology. And that’s exactly what they did with the recent launches of the LifeStraw Go and Mission. Now, as a full disclaimer, LifeStraw did send me these products at no charge for review, and I never promised to give a positive review in exchange. That said, I did have very high expectations from both products; both did not disappoint.
In the Go, LifeStraw bolted their water filtration technology with a simple water bottle set up. It was a very clear next step in making LifeStraw more practical for your everyday camper or hiker, and the results are exactly what you would expect. Fill up the bottle, drink the water through the microscopic hollow fiber membrane filter and have it pass through a new activated carbon capsule to reduce bad taste. The end result is very clean, very crisp tasting water from pretty much any source.
This new two stage filtration is fantasticly effective in getting all health threats removed from the water, but according to LifeStraw the carbon capsules are only good for 26 gallons of water. For comparison, the hollow fiber membrane filtration system portion can clean up to 264 gallons, ten times as much.
Because of this LifeStraw offers two version of the Go: one with two stage filtration including the activated carbon capsule or a one stage bottle that just has the membrane filtration. With the two stage option priced at $49 and requiring more frequent swapping of the carbon capsules, my preference was the one stage Go. Ten times less maintenance and cheaper at just $29. If you can sacrifice a small change in taste quality the one-stage LifeStraw Go is a clever but extremely practical product for any outdoor activities around natural water sources. It essentially eliminates the need to pack in or out any external water supplies.
The Mission is just downright cool. Once again, we see the LifeStraw membrane filtration system but this time it’s paired with a very large wet bag styled reservoir for high capacity water filtering. Camping by a natural water source? The Mission is an unarguable necessity in those situations. Once tried, there’s just no going back.
LifeStraw claims the lifespan of the Mission is an almost laughable 4750 gallons. That’s a lot of water, no matter how you look at it. They also claim that the Mission is capable of filtering 9-12 liters (about 2.3-3 gallons) of water per hour. It’s no fire hose of flow, but that’s not the point. The idea is a constant source of water that can be filtering continuously, building up your H20 supplies over time. And when I say continuously, I’m not kidding. If you take the average per hour filter rate of the Mission, say 2.7 gallons, it would take you two and a half months of nonstop water running through the system to reach the 4750 gallon mark.
So, the lifespan is pretty great, but the Mission also earns points for practicality. Fill the bag with dirty water, snap in a connector hose to the bottom that leads down to the filter and twist a valve. In goes bad water, out comes clean water.
The only place where the Mission loses some points is on the rather unintuitive cleaning system in which the operator has to close the clean water flow value, open up the dirty water flow valve, and squeeze a big red air bladder to flush out the filter. It’s not incredible complex, but not the most straightforward process the first time a user tries it.
It should also be noted that the microscopic hollow fiber membrane filtration system should always been drained of stagnant water left in the system following use of any LifeStraw product that uses it. For the Mission, this involves using the dirty water drainage system, whereas with the Go, you’ll simply blow out all of the moisture out of the system.
The Mission retails for $119, and I cannot tell you enough that it truly is a product that will change the way you experience a camping or backpacking trip where natural water sources are available.