Rudolf Abraham Travel Hiking Outdoor Writer Photographer Gear Reviews

LifeStraw Peak Series Collapsible Squeeze Filter Review by Rudolf Abraham

An essential piece of outdoor kit for any outdoor adventures where access to safe drinking water isn’t a given, is an effective, dependable water filter. LifeStraw makes some very good filters, including the Go (which I’ve also reviewed previously), and the excellent Peak Series Collapsible Squeeze Filter – a versatile and hard-wearing, lightweight wonder of a piece of kit which goes with me on any extended mountain trip.

The Peak Series Collapsible Squeeze Filter, as the name implies, works on a ‘squeeze’ principle – fill the pouch with water, screw on the mouthpiece which is attached to the cylindrical filter… and simply squeeze, either straight into your mouth, or into another bottle (useful if carrying larger amounts of water). The large mouth of the pouch makes it easy to collect water from a stream, waterfall or pool, and the screwcap over the mouthpiece is attached, so that someone like me can’t lose it. There’s no ‘waiting time’ as with some other water purifying methods, and there’s little resistance as the water passes through the filter stages, meaning you don’t have to squeeze particularly hard.

This is now my go-to water filter for multi-day hiking trips. Like other LifeStraw filters it uses a two-part filter system: a membrane microfilter with a pore size of 0.2 microns, which removes 99.999999% of bacteria (including E. coli), 99.999% of parasites (including Giardia and Cryptosporidium), and 99.999% of microplastics; and an activated carbon filter which reduces chlorine, organic chemical matter, pesticides, silt, sand and cloudiness, which also translates into an improved taste. The membrane microfilter (which is smaller and less bulky than the one in the Go) lasts up to 2,000l (this equates to several thousand fewer 0.5l single use plastic water bottles), and the activated carbon filter lasts up to 100l. Both the carbon filter and membrane microfilter can easily be replaced once they’ve reached the end of their lifespan (you’ll know when they have when you can’t squeeze water through the filter). The Peak Series Squeeze is available in 650ml and 1l sizes, weighing in at 102g and 110g respectively – I have the 1l size (if you need to go even lighter, there’s the more minimalist Straw, which weighs just 65g).

Photo: At a spring on the High Scardus Trail, before crossing the border from Kosovo back into North Macedonia

I’ll admit the pouch had me a little undecided at first – I wasn’t entirely convinced it would hold up that well in extended use, and would end up either getting burst, torn or punctured. However, nearly 18 months later and I’ve been proved very, very wrong! I’ve used it on extended hiking trips in the Balkans as well as in the Swiss Alps and the Vercors in France, to name a few. It’s always carried in one of the side pockets on the outside of my pack, usually along with a (non-filtering) metal flask, which I fill (with filtered water) from the Squeeze, before refilling the pouch and carrying the Squeeze full. The High Scardus Trail in particular included plenty of steep, trackless terrain which resulted in several slips and falls, and occasionally ploughing through some gnarly bushes. I dropped the Squeeze a couple of times when full, and accidentally dropped my (rather heavy) pack on top of it in the Vercors – and it has survived just fine, without getting punctured or springing a leak. Pretty impressive actually.

The Squeeze comes in dark grey and mountain blue, is BPA-free, and is supplied with a syringe to backwash the filter with if required.

LifeStraw filters began their journey in 2005, having been developed from a filter system introduced in 1999 to eradicate Guinea worm disease, by LifeStraw’s parent company Vestergaard. Their Give Back program means that for every LifeStraw filter purchased, a school child in need receives safe water for an entire school year, through the distribution of community purifiers – and the company always commits to work with a school for a minimum period of five years, providing training and employing local staff.

For more information on the LifeStraw Peak Series Collapsible Squeeze water filter click here.

Review date: October 2023 | Back to reviews

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