The Lifesaver Bottle is a relative newcomer and by the looks of it, may become one of the most popular portable water filters/purifiers. Lifesaver claims that is can remove all bacteria, viruses, cysts, parasites, fungi and all other microbiological waterborne pathogens to .015 microns – without the aid of any foul tasting chemicals like iodine. According to the many people who have tested it in extreme conditions, it does produce safe, clean drinking water. I have not been able to test it on water I would consider dangerous so I have to go with the word of those that have.
I have no doubt that the Lifesaver Bottle can do what it claims, the technology looks good and there are enough people to back it up with their experiences using the Lifesaver Bottle in third world countries. What you should take into consideration, is some of the negative feedback in regards to the overall quality and construction of the Lifesaver Bottle.
IN REGARDS TO THE 2015 HALT ON THE LIFESAVER 6000 BOTTLE SALES:
Icon Technologies recently purchased Lifesaver Systems and all it’s Assets. The Lifesaver 6000 Bottle has been updated and now appears to be available. The most recent test results (January 2016) can be downloaded here. If the link for some reason is not working, please go to the Lifesaver 6000 Bottle page and view the recent LIFESAVER Bottle Testing Certificate.
But first have a look at the demo videos, and then the design and technology diagram below these – this will give you an idea of what has gone into the Lifesaver Bottle and how it works.
How The Lifesaver Bottle Works – Demo Videos:
In this video, the inventor Michael Pritchard shows off the Lifesaver Bottle. You might notice the pre-filter sponge is not being used – not sure why, I think he just overlooked it.
This Next video, shows the Lifesaver Bottle being used in the field…
Lifesaver Bottle Cut-Away View:
Benefits and Function of the Lifesaver Bottle:
As you can see in the diagram above, the Lifesaver Bottle is packed with the latest filtration technology. Below lets have a look at the actual performance and technical specifications.
As you can see, the specifications look very impressive. The Lifesaver Bottle will filter virtually anything. However, if you look at the specs closely you will notice that it is not 100% for all contaminates, in fact, for chemical reduction it only reduces chemical residues and it does not specify by how much – so avoid water that is downstream to industrial outflow and any water with signs of oil or gas contamination..
After Hurricane Sandy, I contacted Lifesaver Systems directly and asked them if the Lifesaver system (Bottle and Jerrycan) filters out gasoline, oil and chlorine. The answer was quick and to the point – “NO”. This means that any water contaminated by these contaminants, and many Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC), cannot be completely filtered and purified. In a disaster situation, it is likely that these will be present in many sources of water so choose your source wisely.
Lifesaver Bottles are only suitable for dirty water that has not been contaminated by industrial waste and chemicals. Even if it can reduce or remove many of the compounds, you cannot be sure if it will remove all dangerous chemicals – this is important to know when buying this product, and the location you intend to use it.
That said, very few, if any, portable water filters, or purifiers, can filter out these compounds. What concerns me, is in the marketing of the Lifesaver Bottle, the company makes it sound like it will filter anything. So, that said, just remember that it does have limitations in what it can filter out.
What The Lifesaver Bottle Can Do:
It will remove all bacteria, viruses, cysts, parasites, fungi and all other microbiological waterborne pathogens from dirty water, including that contaminated with sewage. This makes it ideal for use in Third World Countries or any area where water quality is very questionable. This is where the Lifesaver Bottle works well and has little competition.
It will filter out any particle over .015 microns which is virtually all bacteria, viruses, cysts, parasites, fungi and all other microbiological waterborne pathogens
It will produce clean water very quickly compared to other water filters and comes in two models, the 4000 (4000 liter capacity) and the 6000 (6000 liter capacity). The actual life span will be reduced by the quality of the water being filtered.
What You Should Know Before Buying The Lifesaver Bottle:
The technology is sound and it works, but it does have some weaknesses and these are as follows:
- Plastic Taste – Many people report a plastic taste in the filtered water that will not go away – this is not isolated, but reported by quite a few people discussing the Lifesaver Bottle. I didn’t notice a strong plastic taste (something, but I cannot say “Strong Plastic” – more like earthy, and who knows, for some people maybe the taste it is associated with the source water?
- Weak Seal on Base – Many people have reported that the design of the base is poor and will likely leak after a few uses. This can be a problem if you store the Lifesaver Bottle in a backpack or place that should not get wet. It can also be irritating. The unit I tested did not have this problem so I do have to question if leakage is due to user error.
- Weak Outer Shell – The clear outer shell is made from plastic that can crack if dropped or hit. For a product that is intended for use in Third World Countries, this almost seems unacceptable. The reality is that you must protect it in storage and handle with care when being used.
- Water Entry Point – To fill the bottle, you have to turn it upside down, any spillage flows down the side and over the drinking nipple cap. This leaves potential for cross contamination – any leaks in this area will allow contaminants to enter the area where clean water is to be consumed (even via a stream under pressure). You have to be careful and make sure you do not get this area wet with dirty water (dry it off before dispensing clean water).
- To Much Pressure – Many people report that it is to easy to build up to much pressure and if not careful, the base cap can come off if not properly secured. While not really dangerous, it can be a real irritant. Again, I think this is likely user error.
- Protect from Freezing – As with most portable water filters, you cannot use the Lifesaver Bottle in freezing temperatures and it must protected from freezing to prevent internal damage which will render the bottle useless.
As you can see, you have to be careful using the Lifesaver Bottle. More so than other products, but then again, few other products can filter water as well as the Lifesaver Bottle.
Additional Information – The Lifesaver Bottle Manual:
To view the complete Lifesaver Bottle manual, download it here > Lifesaver Bottle Manual
I gave the Lifesaver Bottle 4 stars due to the weakness of the unit itself. If this had not been an issue, I would easily give it 5 stars. The design/quality issues prevent me from recommending the Lifesaver Bottle as a 5 star product. The biggest complaint over all others, is the taste of plastic that does not go away and the weakness of the outer shell. The taste factor is an issue, but, when sterile water is a must I think most of us can overlook the less than perfect taste.
As far as what it can do? 5 stars all the way, there is no question that the Lifesaver Bottle will filter virtually all bacteria, viruses, cysts, parasites, fungi and all other microbiological waterborne pathogens. I think I would still use my SteriPEN before consuming any water if I was using this near a city or in third world countries.
The size of the Lifesaver Bottle is almost the same as a 2 liter bottle of pop, it does not look like it in the videos, but it is, so keep that in mind if you are planning to use it in a back pack, suit case or any type of travel where space is at a premium.
If durability is a must you may need to look at other alternatives. The combination I prefer myself, and one I would recommend buying is the Katadyn Pocket Water Filter for cleaning the water, and then using the SteriPEN Defender UV Purifier to kill any potential remaining viruses and other contaminants. Both of these are very high quality and widely praised for their durable design and function.
If you do not need the portability of the Lifesaver Bottle or the Katadyn Pocket Water Filter, Lifesaver Systems makes a product called the Lifesaver Jerrycan. It does not have any of the design or construction weaknesses of the bottle, and there are few mentions of a plastic taste. Check out my Lifesaver Jerrycan Review here.
Best Places To Buy:
Lifesaver Bottles at Amazon.com
Thanks for the comprehensive review. I’ve used the Lifesaver 4000 to filter scummy water from a retention pond near an expressway and it worked fine. I saw you reported that Lifesaver Systems was purchased by Icon Technologies; that answered my question about if the Lifesaver bottle was still being manufactured, and I saw the information about the Lifesaver 6000. Is the Lifesaver 4000 still being manufactured?