Sep 16, 2023

Lifestraw Go Series Review: The Simplest Way to Drink Tap Water Anywhere

By Hannah Singleton

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Most days, you’ll find me with my trusty water bottle in tow, whether I’m at home, at the gym, or running errands. But when I’m traveling, staying hydrating becomes trickier. Destinations like Mexico and Thailand are known to have questionable drinking water, so in the past when I was abroad, I’d purchase bottled water to mitigate the risk. As of this summer, I have officially ditched the plastic, thanks to the LifeStraw Go Series filtered water bottle.

In June, I spent four days in San Pancho, Mexico, on a press trip with LifeStraw putting this water bottle to the test. I carried it with me everywhere: It was on the table at dinner, next to my beach towel while I dove under the waves, and tucked away in my sling bag on a birdwatching tour. I’d fill up in the sink in my hotel room or at a tap in a public restroom without thinking about whether or not the water was potable. Once I returned to my home in Utah, I started using it on short day hikes and other outdoor excursions, filling it up right from a stream.

My favorite features are the soft mouthpiece and screw-on lid to keep it free of debris, but the mouthpiece can take a few days to adjust to. Unlike a standard water bottle, it’s a bit harder to drink out of (the water does have to go through a filter, after all). This has helped me take smaller, more frequent sips rather than chugging it down when I’m already dehydrated.

The LifeStraw Go Series bottle's handle on the lid makes it easy to carry, and it comes in both BPA-free plastic (22 ounce or one liter sizes) and stainless steel (24 ounce or one liter sizes). I went big for this water bottle and chose the whopping one liter version because I know the only way I’ll adequately hydrate is by keeping water on hand at all times. While it’s a bit big for everyday use—it’s wider than comfortable for my small hands—I loved the extra capacity while traveling, when you never know when you can fill up next. I also opted for the heavier, stainless steel version (what can I say, I love ice cold water); at 1.3 pounds, I’ve avoided bringing it on long hikes. If you want a more versatile bottle, the large plastic one only weighs half a pound.

But what really sets this reusable water bottle apart from others is the two-part filter system: The main filter gets rid of contaminants like parasites, bacteria, microplastics, and silt, while the activated charcoal filter purifies the taste and smell. The main filter will last you 1,000 gallons. But you don’t need to keep track of how much water you’re drinking to know when it’s time for a change: When the filter is no longer effective, it won’t allow any water to pass through. The charcoal filter doesn’t last quite as long—26 gallons, or approximately two months of daily use, according to LifeStraw. You can purchase replacement filters on the brand’s website.

To increase the lifespan, you can take out the filter when you’re not worried about the safety of your drinking water. But if you’ve ever used the bottle with potentially contaminated water, just be sure to give it a good cleaning beforehand to ensure all the components are free of bacteria. Also worth noting: When you have the filter installed, you shouldn’t use electrolyte mix or other powders.