We recently won a LifeStraw water filter through an online contest. This isn't new, we get lots of stuff online. However, the LifeStraw is so cool it gets a post.
You can think of the LifeStraw as a lightweight tube you carry around that gives you clean water from whatever you find. Ordinarily, I wouldn't dream of letting the kids drink straight from our river. With the LifeStraw, go for it.
Each of the kids got a shot and each gave it a thumbs up for coolness and ease of use. (I expect they would each have given two thumbs up, but one hand was holding the filter.)
The only difficulty any of them reported was getting the flow started. There's a few moments of sucking without any water coming through. However, once it starts it's easy to continue.
Cleaning was also easy. Just reverse the flow. In other words: Blow.
As cool as the LifeStraw is, the cause your purchase supports is even better. For each LifeStraw sold in 2013 and 2014 a child in Kenya gets clean water for the entire school year. This is huge because it reduces illness, absenteeism, and allows girls to spend more time in school and less time doing chores.
You can support this cause by buying a LifeStraw for around $20.
Buy at REI.com.
Buy at REI.com and support moosefish.com through an affiliate program.
Obviously, this isn't going to replace our filters for camping, but the LifeStraw has earned a permanent place in my pack on all but the shortest of trips.