We’ve all heard of LifeStraw, but Sawyer’s competing travel water filtration system offers a lot more flexibility.
The PointOne squeeze water filtration kit, which typically costs around $25-$30, includes a filtration straw, a 32 ounce water bladder, and a cleaning syringe to occasionally backwash the filter and speed up your filtration rate. You can fill the bladder from a stream, pond, or questionable spigot, screw on the straw, and then squeeze safe drinking water into the vessel of your choice.
Alternatively, the filter straw is compatible with most standard threaded water bottles and hydration packs, so if you forget the bladder at home, you’re not out of luck.
Like most of these types of products, the PointOne filters out essentially all bacteria (think salmonella and E.coli), as well as protozoa (giardia and cryptosporidium), but it won’t filter out heavy metals like lead. Basically, water in nature should be fine, but questionable water pipes are still a no-go.
Sawyer gave me a PointOne to try at Outpost last weekend, and I promptly (and perhaps hubristically, given the fact that I had a long flight coming up) filtered and drank a glass of cold stream water. It tasted just like tap water, it was crystal clear, and I suffered no ill effects. If you’re going camping and know that you’ll have access to a pond or river, this sure beats lugging gallon jugs into the woods.