• Apr 26, 2017
  • by April Muir

So glad warmer weather is ahead for most of us! Time to get outdoors and do some fishin’, camping, hiking and backpacking. So, thought now was a good time to fill you in on something to make all your outdoor adventures much more enjoyable.

Ever stop to think what your most valuable asset is out there? I think my favorite piece of outdoor gear these days has got to be my straw water filter. It alleviates the need to pack heavy water and gives you the freedom to get out in 'them thar' hills knowing you can safely slurp up as much stream water as you need to keep hydrated. 

Most Effective Straw Filter

If you’re a bit confused as to what products are out there, what they do, and which is best, you're not alone. Since, unfortunately, many water filter manufacturers are making false claims (sad, but true) together with way too many choices of water filters  - I am going to try to explain in lay terms what’s what.

I’m gonna be bold and tell you the best water filter straw out there is the XStream™ Straw Filter by Sagan. Bar none. Here’s why:

The XStream™ is by far the most effective water filter straw you can buy. Sagan Industries, the company which makes them has done exhaustive research and had numerous tests done by water filter labs which are not affiliated with them. The test results are pretty amazing and posted on their website.  The water filter used with this filter straw is called the Journey™ Filter. So, check out the water filter test page for the Journey™ Filter tests. There are two – one for microbial tests and one for heavy metals, fluoride, lead, arsenic, etc.

What the XStream™ Filter Straw Removes

Here's how the tests are done. Starting with contaminated water – the equivalent of sewage water – the lab runs 25 gallons of this turbid cocktail through the filter; then tests the water. All clear? Then they do it again - they run another 25 gallons of contaminated sewage water through the same filter and test again. They continue doing this drill until the filter is no longer effective – hence, at its “End of Life”.

So, they can tell you exactly how much water the XStream™ Straw Filter will effectively filter. It works for up to 250 gallons. Probably a lot more considering they test the grossest water possible. But if your water filter straw is making claims that it filters 100,000 gallons or even 1,000 gallons – think about it. The only way that is accurate, is if they have contaminated and tested the water for that many gallons -  ‘til its “END OF LIFE”.  There is a website now for consumers to refer to regarding accurate claims of water filters called AquaVeritas.org. It gives water filter manufacturers the opportunity to post their tests so you know what the best water filters are for your family.

The XStream Filter Straw removes: 

99.9999 % of Bacteria (this includes E.coli)

99.99 % of Virus

99.99 % of Giardia and Cryptosporidium

Garrett Cooper using the XStream Filter Straw in Cambodia

Water Straw Filter removes virus. Using the XStream Straw Filter in Cambodia.


If you check out the test results you’ll see the other toxins it removes, as well. If you’re asking “does it really remove virus from water – the answer is absolutely yes. This is why one of our XStream™ Filter Straw users says he is comfortable using this straw filter in places like Cambodia and Peru where virus may be present in the water.











Easiest Straw Filter to Use

Now we don't want you to take this laying down! If you’ve been using one of the most common straw filters on the market – you’ll be glad to find that with the XStream™ straw you can stand up and drink. You can also drop the straw filter over the side of a boat, or be 3-4 feet above the water and use it! It’s a beautiful thing to get clean, great tasting water without getting muddy or getting hit in the face with rushing water while trying to drink.

The XStream Provides Pretty Tasty Water  

Since I have used this awesome little gadget to drink lake and pond water - I can speak from experience. The water tasted awesome through the straw filter. Feel free to watch the video of me drinking water at Cuyamaca Lake in Southern CA. I was actually gob smacked it was so good. I mean, I knew it would be good, but crisp, clean and refreshing? Um yea, if I do say so myself. I couldn't get enough! 

Water Filter Straw extends to 4' long - stand up and drink with this Filter Straw

Pros and Cons of a Hollow Fiber Filter Straw

Many popular water filter straws on the market today are hollow fiber straws. Hollow fiber technology is successful to a point, but a lot can happen making the straw filter ineffective – and you won’t even know it.

Here’s how hollow fiber straws work:

Hollow fiber technology: Inside the filter cartridge is a bundle of tiny straws, the walls of which are full microscopic pores. These pores allow water to flow through, but block the harmful pathogens and dirt. Because the contaminants are physically being removed from your water, hollow fiber technology is very reliable in many real-world water conditions. Hollow fibers offer very high flow rates - but some can be damaged by drops or freezing temps.

Down Fall of the Hollow Fiber Straw: If your hollow fiber straw has been dropped or frozen it may no longer be effective. Even on the LifeStraw® website it states:

If your LifeStraw® has been used, and is then exposed to freezing temperatures, water inside can freeze and crack the filter. You may not see these cracks, so we recommend never letting it freeze once it’s been used. When camping at high elevations or freezing temperatures, be extra careful not to let it freeze.


Pros & Pros of the The XStream™ Straw

  • The XStream™ can be frozen with no damage to the filter
  • The XStream can be dropped with no damage to the filter.
  • In between uses, simply let it dry out and use it again and again.
  • We have yet to find any cons. 😉


The XStream™ Filter Straw is Considered a Microfilter and Water Purifier

People are often confused between the differences of a microfilter and a purifier. Microfilters are typically designed to focus on removing protozoan parasites such as cryptosporidium and giardia, as well as bacteria. For backcountry travelers in the U.S. and Canada, a microfilter is generally considered sufficient in terms of protection level.

A purifier, by definition, removes the threat of bacteria, protozoa and the tiniest class of waterborne pathogens, virus. International travelers and those stocking emergency kits should seek out a purifier, as the risk of viral infection is greater in areas where human waste can contaminate water sources.

Since the XStream™ Filter Straw removes bacteria, protozoan and virus, we feel it meets criteria for both a micro filter and water purifier.


Still Have Questions About Choosing the Right Straw Filter?  

Our helpful team of water filtration specialists is happy to answer your questions, offer tips and solutions to keep you in clean, safe water. We won’t give you any spin; just facts. Give us a call or shoot us an email.

We take pride in Making the Unthinkable Drinkable – for you!