Outfitted: LifeStraw introduces new technology with Peak Series
Last month I read an article that said approximately 80% of us have microplastic polymers flowing through our blood. Apparently, those tiny particles latch onto our red blood cells and limit the transport of oxygen through out the body. Just what we mountain dwellers need, more oxygen troubles.
When plastic isn’t weighing us down, it seems bacteria and parasites are creeping in. One of my favorite podcasts, “This Podcast Will Kill You” dedicates each episode to the science, history and current state of common diseases, and it’s mind boggling how many are waterborne. Whether plastics, pesticides or wee beasties are plaguing our water sources, the need for safe drinking water is more essential than ever.
Camping, backpacking and travel are times when we should be on high alert in the water department. LifeStraw recently upgraded their classic LifeStraw filter after 17 years of user comments and implementing some new technology. Along with that update, they introduced their new Peak Series in March. Designed to be portable, affordable and safe, the series includes five products of varying size: the personal water filter straw ($20), a collapsible squeeze bottle filter in 650 ml or 1 liter size ($33-38) and gravity filter systems in 3 ($60) or 8 liter sizes ($80, available mid-May).
LifeStraw technology is centered around hollow fiber membranes that resemble bundles of straws with microscopic holes in them. Those holes are so small that organisms like bacteria, parasites, and even dirt and microplastics cannot pass through. In addition, extra combinations of filtration technology is to address viruses, lead, chemicals and taste.
A step up from the classic straw is the soft-sided squeeze bottle — an all-in-one storage and filtration device. This is my current fav for its light weight and collapsible portability. The BPA-free material is durable enough to endure the long haul without having to worry about rips, punctures and tears. A great feature is that the filter can be removed from the soft vessel to be used with another bottle.
For larger groups, the 3 or 8 liter gravity system is simple, lightweight and compatible. It focuses on a high flow rate and ability to remove sand and silt without clogging, and is also designed to take a beating. Fully leak-proof, it’s great for cutting down on those laps back to the river from base camp.
Perhaps one of LifeStraw’s best characteristics is their dedication to impacting safe water practices around the world. For every product purchased, they promise a child in need receives safe water for an entire school year. They also take part in humanitarian and emergency response work. Currently, LifeStraw is working to provide safe water to Ukrainian refugees and also has ongoing projects to benefit Haiti and North American indigenous communities.
LifeStraw products are carried at local gear shops such as Ute Mountaineer and Bristlecone Mountain Sports, but can also be purchased online at LifeStraw.com.
Meg Simon is an Aspen-based freelance writer, graphic designer and founder of Simon Finch Creative. She can be reached at email@example.com.