Who knows where that water came from. Photo: Tim Wenger

This Stainless Steel Straw Allows Me To Drink Tap Water Anywhere in the World

Technology + Gear Sustainability
by Tim Wenger May 21, 2024

I added something to my well-established travel setup this month – the LifeStraw Sip, the newest product from water filtration brand LifeStraw, available now for $34.95. As a travel editor, I’ve long been a fan of the brand’s filtration straws and bottles, formerly carrying a Go Series water bottle with me to filter water on the move. I now carry the Sip with me instead for two reasons: it allows me to carry a larger water bottle, and it’s even more effective at filtering. I’m now confident I can drink the water anywhere in the world without having to buy bottled water, simply because I carry this one straw with me at all times.

Buy Now

We hope you love the LifeStraw Sip! Just so you know, Matador may collect a small commission from the links on this page if you decide to make a purchase. Listed prices are accurate as of the time of publication.

What sets the LifeStraw Sip apart

Who knows where that water came from. Photo: Tim Wenger
Artsy. Photo: Tim Wenger
The LifeStraw Sip and carrying case. Photo: Tim Wenger

LifeStraw started as a public health organizaton in 1994 working to bring drinkable water to remote parts of Africa. In the years since it has launched products aimed at outdoors and international travelers, giving them an alternative to bulky wager filtration kits and excessive use of plastic bottles. It’s become a Certified B Corp in the process, recognized for its work in water equity and responsible product sourcing and business practices.
“We started as a humanitarian organization with a collective effort to eradicate Guinea worm disease in partnership with the Carter Center in 1994 and today, our powerful water filtration technology prevents many of the most harmful waterborne diseases,” LifeStraw CEO Alison HIll said in a press release. “The LifeStraw Sip is our latest innovation designed to empower individuals to enjoy clean, safe water wherever their adventures take them while their purchase directly supports our work to bring equitable access to safe drinking water across North America and globally.”

I trusted the LifeStaw Sip immediately not only because of my prior experience with the brand’s products, but also because Hill gave quite the demonstration on a media call prior to the Sip’s release. In it, she drank water that, prior to moving through the Sip filtration system, looked as though it had been scooped straight from a swamp – it was brown, murky, and with visible floaties. Hill drank the water through the straw without incident and seemingly without so much as a questionable taste. I’ve since tried the Sip in some murky water myself, and lived to tell about it.

That’s because of the Sip meets US EPA & NSF P231 drinking water standards for the removal of bacteria and parasites, removing up to 99.9 percent of microplastics, toxins, bacteria even including E. coli and Salmonella, and also parasites including Giardia and Cryptosporidium. Each straw’s filter is built to clean over 400 gallons (1,000 liters) of water. That means I could spend a year on the road drinking all of my water through this straw and it should still work.

LifeStraw Sip specs

The bottom. Photo: Tim Wenger
The top. Photo: Tim Wenger

The LifeStraw Sip straw is made of stainless steel that’s easy to clean. The filtration work is done on the inside by the membrane filter, which traps the bacteria and microplastics before the water gets to your mouth. The Sip is topped with a reusable silicone mouthpiece. This adds a final layer of protection by keeping the filtration circuit closed-loop and keeping any germs from entering the water after it’s filtered. It weighs less than three ounces and is 10 inches long (slightly longer when in the carrying case).

All you have to do is stick the straw into the dirty water, suck as you would with any straw, and within two seconds you’re drinking clean, filtered water. The Sip comes in five color schemes, including two shades of blue, purple, teal, and pink. The brand claims that all silt, and, and cloudiness greater than .2 microns will be filtered.

A portable and effective way to avoid plastic bottles when traveling

You'd never know it, but the water I consumed was crystal clear.
Photo: Tim Wenger
Photo: Tim Wenger

As someone who spends ample time abroad each year, I’ve developed a few strategies for avoiding plastic bottles of water as much as possible. The two most effective work hand in hand. I always have a Hydro Flask water bottle with me and I fill it up with filtered water at every opportunity – be that at an airport, a hotel, a restaurant, or anywhere else with a filling station. Second, I keep a LifeStraw with me for when I’m at places where filtered water won’t be available or when I know I’ll be drinking a lot of water, like on a hike or bike ride. I’ve found this to be particularly helpful when staying at a hotel or an Airbnb without filtered water, or with only bottled water provided.

The other major use case for the LifeStraw Sip is in the backcountry. I’m an avid hiker, mountain biker, and splitboarder who sometimes travels abroad to pursue these sports, and long days on the trail – no matter the season or activity – necessitate a lot of water. Carryinig a water bottle is key, but the Sip allows me to fill up from a stream or other moving body of water and feel confident I won’t get sick from drinking it.

The brand’s eco-friendly stance is full-circle. The company achieved Climate Neutral Certification in recognition of its work to offset emissions and continually reduce the environmental impact of its business operations. As a traveler who strives to minimize the impacts of my travels, I feel good about supporting this brand and advocating for its efforts.

“At LifeStraw, we believe in the power of innovation to drive positive change and are inspired by the challenge of bringing together design, powerful technology and social impact in a tangible and meaningful way,” Hill says.

Buy Now

Discover Matador

Save Bookmark

We use cookies for analytics tracking and advertising from our partners.

For more information read our privacy policy.