Great Design, But Does The Lifestraw Go 2 Work?
With the release of the new Lifestraw Go 2 I decided to buy one and do a detailed review. The LifeStraw Go 2 water filter is a 22 oz bottle with an internal water filter (hollow fiber technology) and will remove organisms down to 0.2 microns, and reduce chlorine and organic chemical matter (Pesticides, Herbicides, VOC) with the new carbon capsule which fits inline on the filter tube inside the bottle.
The design and usage is simple – Remove the cap/filter combination (and make sure the cap does not get dirty water on it), fill bottle with water and put cap back on – then suck and consume clean water through the mouthpiece. To clean, remove cap/filter and blow through mouthpiece until no more water comes out of the filter tube base, let bottle and filter dry and reassemble. I’ll get into more detail on these particular features of the Lifestraw Go 2 water filter further on in this review.
Is it hard to suck water through the mouthpiece? The lifestraw Go 2 is very much like the Lifestraw Personal Water Filter (see my LifeStraw Personal Water Filter review here), you use it the same way. Very much like sucking up a McDonald’s milkshake through a straw (or any thick milkshake). Don’t expect it to be too easy and you won’t be disappointed. As you get closer to the end of the LifeStraw Go (1000 litres / 264 gallons) life expectancy it gets more difficult to suck water through and flow will eventually stop.
Watch This Video For a Quick Overview of The LifeStraw Go 2 Water Filter:
- Size: 9.25″ high x 3.14″ wide
- Weight: 5.9 oz
- Materials: Impact resistant Triton (said to be stronger than Lexan)
- Life Expectancy: Will filters up to 264 gallons (1000 liters) of water. Will vary subject to the quality of water.
- Shelf Life: 5+ years – unused and protected from freezing.
- Key Features: Two stage filtration, filters 264 gallons of water, carbon capsule filters 26 gallons, no chemicals or moving parts.
First, What Will The LifeStraw Go 2 Protect You From?
The LifeStraw Go 2 water filter removes virtually all the bacteria (99.9999%) and protozoa (99.9%). It reduces muddiness and cloudiness by filtering out sediment particles. The most common bacteria and protozoa it removes are listed below.
- Escherichia coli
- Pseudomonas aeruginosa
- Vibrio cholerae
- Giardia lamblia (“Beaver Fever”)
- Cryptosporidium Parvum
- Entamoeba histolytica
As you can see, it filters out the most common threats you are likely to face in many countries, but take note the Lifestraw Go 2 will not remove contminants or viruses smaller than 0.2 microns.
NEW in the Lifestraw Go 2 is the addition of carbon filters (capsules) that reduce bad taste and odour, chlorine and organice compounds. See the specifications below…
- Filters 100 liters (26 gallons) of water
- Food grade quality activated carbon
- 2 carbon capsule replacements per package
- Reduces chlorine
- Reduces bad odour and taste
- Reduces organic chemical matter (pesticides, herbicides, VOC)
Please take note of the word “REDUCES” in the above specs. It does not eliminate them completely nor have I been able to find out how much it reduces these items. I would assume it depends on how much of these are present in the water. In most areas of North America outside industrial areas, it might remove close to 100%, but in many areas of Asia or Africa it may be far less due to higher pollution levels and fewer clean water sources.
If your plans include trips to countries where there is a high probability that water will, or could contain viruses, or other contaminants under 0.2 microns, have a look at my Lifesaver Bottle review instead – it may be a better option.
How Do You Clean The LifeStraw Go?
To clean the lifestraw Go 2, remove from bottle and simply blow into the mouthpiece until no more water comes out of the filter. Ideally, if you have clean water available, suck through clean water and then blow out any remaining water.
After all water is blown out, if possible let the bottle and filter tube dry before putting the cap/filter back on the bottle.
Extending The Life of Lifestraw Go 2
The #1 thing you can do to extend the life of the Lifestraw Go is the blow out any remaining water in the filter and allow the unit (filter and bottle) to dry “every time” you are finished using it. See video above (top of page) which shows this process.
Flaws Others Have Found – Are They Valid?
When I buy and review a water filter, I like to read as many negative reviews as I can find on Amazon and see if any flaws are pointed out that I did not find. I will then see if I can duplicate (or find) these flaws in my own additional testing.
Issue #1: Bottle and/or cap leak
A number of Amazon reviews for the Lifestraw Go 2 have reported the cap leaking, or mouthpiece, and in some case the bottle leaking through tiny cracks.
What I Found: I dropped the Lifestraw Go 2 from a height of 6′ (about 2m) onto a concrete floor 12 times (bottle held upright). The bottle had a minor ding and some tiny scratches but otherwise was unharmed. I filled it with water and let it sit for 30 minutes and no leaks, turned it upside and let it sit another 30 minutes and there was no leaks from the cap seal or mouthpiece. The bottle is made from BPA free Tritan (stronger than Lexan) so I am not sure why others had a problem with leakage or broken bottles. I could not get this unit to leak.
Issue #2: Filter Stops Working Too Soon
Some reviews on Amazon have said the filter stops working within a month or so.
What I Suspect: It is very important to blow out the filter every time you use it. If you don’t and contaminated particles remain in the filter as it dries, it will plug up very fast. Blow out the filter each time you use it and this will help keep the filter clear and ready for the next use. This is also why you do no want keep dirty water in the bottle when not in use – it is important to keep the filter cleared between uses and the bottle empty and clean as possible. It is not a canteen, use it strictly when needed for clean drinking water, blow out the filter and let dry after each us when possible and it should not plug up. I have to assume that very dirty water will shorten the life of any of these types of filters too.
Issue #3: Bad Taste or Taste Like Plastic
What I Found: This seems to be a common flaw mentioned in negative reviews on Amazon. I am not sure what people define as a “plastic taste” but I did not find this to be the case. In fact I purposely did not try to clean out, or blow out the filter before a first use just to see if I could taste this plastic flavour mentioned by others. I found no plastic taste. That said, i have heard if you get about 1/2 quart/litre of clean water and suck up and blow out this water several times before first use – this will get rid of the so called plastic taste.
Issue #4: Mouthpiece is Not Protected From Contamination
This is a Very Good Observation: Only a few reviews pointed out that the mouthpiece on the cap is not protected from contamination. This is a “Very Valid Point” and mainly applies to use overseas in third world countries where airborne dust (that may contain feces particles from animals and humans) can carry bacteria and viruses. This dust can collect on the mouthpiece of the bottle and potentially make you sick. If you plan to use this bottle in these types of environments you should consider a good carrying case that will protect it from dust – or use a different water filter.
Lifestraw Go 2 Summary:
Overall, I found the quality of the Lifestraw Go 2 to be very good. All the parts fit together nicely and the cap unscrews and screws on smoothly. The filter is easily removed from the cap and the carbon capsule is easy to replace. The carabiner is good quality and held by a sturdy nylon strap connected to the cap.
As noted above, I did not really notice any plastic or chemical taste – I don’t think you will notice anything after sucking a few gallons of water through it. The suction required is about the same as drinking a thick milkshake through a straw.
Cleaning out the filter does require a fairly strong amount of blowing pressure – a lot! This is about the only flaw I found that is a little difficult. Other than this, I think the lifeStraw Go 2 is a well made, solid and unit that performs well. I cannot say how it will be after 500 litres of dirty water, but I think it will continue to work well.
Would I Use The Lifestraw Go 2 Water Filter Overseas? Taking all things into consideration, I do not think this is the best water filter bottle for use in Third World countries. I would opt for the 12 litre Lifestraw Mission for a group, and the Lifestraw Personal Water Filter for individual use – it is smaller and cheaper and you could easily keep 4 of these in the same space required for one Lifestraw Go bottle. For trips in any area of North America, I think the Lifestraw Go 2 bottle is a good choice!
P.S. Going Overseas or on a Long Trip?
If you plan to buy this unit for a long trip, I would recommend buying a Lifestraw Go 2 replacement filter as well as extra Lifestraw Go 2 carbon capsules to make sure you always have a functioning water filter in places where getting spare parts may not be easy, or possible… which may be the case in many third world countries. Don’t forget that each carbon capsule is only good for 100 litres of water – keep this in mind for long trips.