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Is this the greatest water filter ever made?

Is this the greatest water filter ever made?

(Dan Probst)

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Estimated read time: 3-4 minutes

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SALT LAKE CITY — Fifteen nanometers. That’s how small the LIFESAVER® bottle 4000UF filters down to. What exactly does that mean? Well, the smallest known virus (Polio) is 25 nanometers. With this super-efficient filter, you can drink in peace knowing that it’s screened out all bacteria, viruses, cysts, parasites, fungi and microbiological waterborne pathogens known to man.

There’s even an infamous TED Talk video where the inventor of the LIFESAVER drinks water filled with dung and other nasty stuff.

No other portable water filter on the market can screen down to 15 nanometers without the aid of chemicals or UV light. So that makes the LIFESAVER one of the world’s best filters, right? Perhaps. Let’s look at some of the pros and cons of this popular device.

The Good

The LIFESAVER is self-contained and easy to use. There are no hoses or extra pieces, like with a lot of other filtration systems. To get your water, you just remove the base, fill the bottle and pump three times.

The secret to the LIFESAVER’s efficiency is its activated carbon filter. Not only does it screen out all the bad things that can make you sick, but it also improves the quality and taste of your water by reducing contaminates such as pesticides, medical residues, chlorine and sulphur.

Another benefit of the LIFESAVER is that its replaceable filtration cartridge comes with “Failsafe” technology. When the filter has lost its ability to clean your water, you can no longer pump water through it. There’s no second-guessing whether it’s time to replace the filter, like with a lot of other filtration systems. When it’s time to get a new filtration cartridge, you’ll know.

The Bad

There’s a lot of technology packed into a LIFESAVER bottle. In order to keep it lightweight, the designers used some components that lack ruggedness. You’ll love how light it is if you take it on a backpacking trip, but you might curse its lack of durability if you drop it on a rock. The bottle is definitely breakable and some users have even gone so far as to call it flimsy.

Another criticism of the LIFESAVER is that the seal on the bottle sometimes leaks. While it’s true that the seal may not be top of the line, if you’re careful to keep it clean and always keep the bottle snuggly attached to the pump, you should be fine.


The LIFESAVER is definitely in a league of its own. It’s lightweight and portable, while boasting advanced filtration power. Though it’s not as durable as some other filters on the market, if you don't drop it and keep the seal in good condition, you should get years of high performance from it. Whether for camping, traveling or emergency kits, the LIFESAVER is a top-notch water filtration option.

About the Author: Grant Olsen -----------------------------

Grant Olsen joined the contributor team in 2012. He covers outdoor adventures, travel, product reviews and other interesting things. You can contact him at


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