Safe drinking water is the number one survival concern in most emergency situations. For different emergency situations different water filtration products will work better. For a short term mobile type emergency situation having a straw type of water filter could be a very important option. They work well when you don’t have the ability to carry water with you and you are safely able to get close to a water source.
I think water filter straws are an invaluable must have emergency item, especially for a bug out bag and a 72 hour emergency kit. They are not designed to be a long term water filtration system. You will need other systems better suited for that purpose anyways. But still if you are in a situation where you have to hike or survive for a short period of time, a water filter straw will be a life saver.
Below I have links to each of the water filter straws that I highlight in this article. I will tell you what I like about them and what their limitations are. When you click on of the links, if you wish to get back to this list, all you have to do is to hit your browser back button. Okay here we go! Let’s get started!
In my opinion the best emergency water filter straws are:
- HydroBlu Sidekick Straw
- Survivor Filter Straw
- Alexapure Survival Spring Filter Straw
- Seychelle Outdoor Water Filter Straw
- Life Defender Water Filter Straw
- Sagan XStream Straw
- Survival Hax Water Filter Straw
- Final Thoughts
HydroBlu Sidekick Straw
The HydroBlu Sidekick Straw is definitely one of my favorite water filter straws. First, it is extremely small in size. It easily fits in a purse or pocket. It is great for backpacking because it literally weighs just less than an ounce! It is only about six inches long, and is shaped kind of like a pen or magic marker.
Another reason why I like the the HydroBlu Sidekick Straw is that they have a three part filter system. The first part is an “Activated Charcoal” filter which absorbs chemicals chlorine, sediment, chemicals, iron, lead, odor and volatile organic compounds. The second part is called its “Hollow Fiber Membrane” which uses hollow fiber tubes that have thousands of tiny holes (0.1 microns in size). This part blocks 99.9999% of harmful bacteria, Giardia, E. coli, protozoan cysts, Cryptosporidium and more. These harmful living organisms are to large to go through the holes, but the water itself can go through freely.
The last part of the three part filter system is called the “Ion-Exchange” portion of the filter. This part acts as a polymer or medium inside a filter which exchanges harmful ions for better ions. As contaminated water flows through the micro-beads, they capture poisonous and heavy metals ions such as copper, lead, and cadmium and replace them with sodium and potassium. This filtering process improves the taste of the water while removing harmful contaminates and metals.
What amazes me the most about this straw is that as small as it is, it has one of the most complete water filtration systems of them all. Since it is so small it does not last as long as many of the other ones but you can buy replacement filters for it to keep on hand as well.
Survivor Filter Straw
The Survivor Filter Straw is also one of my favorites of this bunch of straws. It also has a three stage filtration system. The water goes first through a cotton filter, then through a 0.05 Micron UF Membrane Filter and then finally through a carbon filter. And the Survivor Filter Straw is BPA free.
According to their website they say that the straw is “tested at multiple USA labs to show log 5 removal 99.999% of protozoa (cryptosporidium, giardia and parasites) log 5 removal 99.999% of tested virus (Phi X-174), staph and bacteria. 99.5% mercury and 93% lead removal which matches or exceeds most home systems”.
The Survivor Filter Straw is quite a bit heavier than the HydroBlu. It weighs in at 3.5 ounces and is 7.1 inches long. The straw will filter 200 ml or 7 ounces of water per minute. It will filter up to 1,000 liters or 260 gallons. This is one if to use if you are really concerned about tiny contaminants or bacteria in your water source. It screws onto standard water bottles. It can be difficult to suck water through, but is much easier when it is attached to a water bag.
Alexapure Survival Spring Filter Straw
The Alexapure Survival Spring Filter Straw is one of the very first water filter straws that I heard about. It was originally referred to me by a friend whom I trusted who explained to me that there are home water filters that will even filter out things like fluoride, bacteria and even viruses. At the time I was just learning for the first time how many harmful chemicals our government allows or in many cases actually puts in our drinking water.
The Alexapure Survival Spring Filter Straw also has a three stage filter process, but it is more like a strainer and then a two stage filter process. But in saying that I am not knocking the filter straw. It still does a decent job of filtering the water. It filters down to a .2 micron particle size which is basically the same as the LifeStraw, which is a popular filter straw that is super well known today.
The first stage of the Alexapure filtering process is a pre-filter at the end of the straw with the purpose of filtering out large sediment. Stage 2 is the .2 micron membrane filter which is designed to filter out dangerous pathogens and remove them from the water. Stage 3 is a carbon filter which removes sediment, chlorine, foul tastes, volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and foul odors.
Even though both the Alexapure Filter Straw and the LifeStraw are good, and I would drink the water through them in an emergency situation, they do not filter as small of particles or have as comprehensive of filtering processes as the HydroBlu or the Surviver Filter Straws.
Seychelle Outdoor Water Filter Straw
The Seychelle Outdoor Water Filter Straw is not your normal water filter straw. I include it in this list for only one very important reason. If in your emergency preparations one of the things that you are preparing for is a possible EMP and nuclear strike, be it terrorist or major war, this filter will actually filter out nuclear fallout.
It is not the only filter straw you will want because as a filter straw it is very limited. It will only filter up to 25 gallons of water which will get one person through the two weeks that you need to protect from nuclear fallout in most situations. After that you will want to have another water filtration solution.
The website for the manufacturer says that it will also filter out 99.99% of radiological and other contaminants. It is made out of non-toxic and BPA free materials. It also removes only up to 90% of Fluoride. However it must be used with a chlorinated or disinfected water source because it does not remove harmful bacteria. So in a nuclear emergency you would want to use this filter and one that will also filter out harmful bacteria and viruses.
Life Defender Water Filter Straw
The Life Defender Water Filter Straw is one that for some reason I could not find out how many stages their filtering process is, and what that consists of. It does say that it filters down to .01 microns which is really good. It comes in both a light and dark blue combination as shown in the picture on the left, as well as in a camo design. Like most of the other brands this life straw will screw onto the lid of an average water bottle which makes it a bit more versatile in how it can be used.
The manufacturer of this straw says that the filter is good for up to 396 gallons or 1,500 liters. It says it will remove up to 99.9% of all harmful contaminants including waterborne bacteria and protozoan parasites down to the .01 micron size we spoke about above.
The manufacturer does also say that this life straw is “BPA Free and Chemical free hollow-fiber UF membrane with industry leading edge coconut activated carbon for superior filtration and reduction of heavy metals and chlorine”. So based on the micron size and the fact that it is also designed to remove heavy metals and chlorine, this sounds to me like a pretty decent filtration system. I just wish they would have given more specific information.
Sagan XStream Straw
The Sagan XStream Straw looks to me like a clever enough of a design that you will probably want to have one of these in addition to any of the other filter straws that you decide on. The immediate benefits of the design that seem apparent to me are the fact that you have a filter attached to a long tube. This means that you don’t have to get your face right down in the water which sometimes may not be practical or possible.
You can either suck the water up into your mouth, or they have a hand pump that fits on the end of the hose and allows you to fill up water bottles and jugs. This is a light and portable filter system that has some real advantages depending on the situation you are in. The manufacturer says on their website that this filter straw “removes 99.9999% bacteria, such as E.coli; 99.99% of protozoan, such as cryptosporidium and giardia; 99.99% of virus – making it safe to drink from ANY non-salt water source – even in 3rd world countries”.
This filter straw will filter up to 250 gallons or 945 liters. It only filters down to 2.0 micron filter size, but the manufacturer says that it uses a special mesh tech with larger pores and that it is lab tested to remove the things that they say it will remove.
Survival Hax Water Filter Straw
The Survival Hax Water Filter Straw is one with some nice features that some of the other filter straws don’t offer, as well as most of the same. For example if you look in the picture to the left you will notice that it has a compass on the bottom of the filter straw. Also you cannot see it in this picture, but the cap for the mouth piece comes off and is a bear whistle. Kind of clever.
Also when you take off the compass cap at the bottom you can either stick the end right into the water source, or it has a nub that will allow you to attach a plastic hose on to it so that you can suck the water from farther away from the water source, which is a feature that I really like. It also has a built in small mirror built into the inside of the compass cap. The filter straw will also screw on to an average water bottle without leaking, which is also a nice feature.
The Survival Hax Water Filter Straw will filter up to 395 gallons of water (or 1,500 liters). It is a bit bigger and heavier than most of the other filter straws weighing in at 3.5 ounces and measuring 7.5 inches long. The manufacturer says that it will filter down to .1 microns and that it “removes 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites”.
Like some of the other filter straws mentioned above, I wish this one gave more details on its filtration process. But since the manufacturer says that it’s “membrane” will filter down to the .1 micron, it sounds like a decent filtration process. I did also find that its system includes a “carbon filter”. So all in all this sounds like a pretty great model. It is easy to use, which is something I very much like.
Okay I hope that this article has been helpful to anyone looking for the best filter straw on the market. I tried to include all of the information that was not only important to me, but that would be important to most people wanting to select the best water filter straw. To me a water filter should not be the only emergency preparedness water solution, but they should definitely be one of them. There are situations that come up where having a straw could save your life.
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