You cannot always rely on carrying enough water for your hiking or backpacking. In our article on portable water filters, we looked at different types of filters that help remove bad taste and impurities such as sediments, bacteria, and protozoa from water sources and make it suitable for consumption.
When it comes to hiking, backpacking or survival camping, straw water filters are an excellent option because of their light weight, compact size and ease of usage. Etekcity is a popular brand for outdoor gear and well known for its lanterns and canister stove, but in this article, we focus on the Etekcity Straw water filter and put it to the test in the field to share our findings.
As the name suggests, the Etekcity water filtration straw is a straw-type portable water filter. Once you get used to them, you would find them convenient to carry around on backpacking trips or survival camping.
The key specifications of the Etekcity water filtration straw are listed below:
- Compliance: EPA compliant water filter tested by the TüV SüD Institute for quality. Filter Tube/Straw is BPA free.
- Two-stage primary filtration: Antibacterial activated carbon filter and 0.01 Micron UF membrane inline filter. A pre-filter also included for three-stage filtration of turbid water.
- Filtration Performance: Removes dissolved impurities and 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria and protozoa.
- Filter Life: Can filter up to 1500 liters (396 gallons) of water.
- Flow Rate: Approximately 1-1.1 liter per minute.
- Accessories Included: Foldable water pouch for collecting water, a Longer Straw to attach to the filter, and a Syringe for cleaning. All plastic parts are FDA compliant.
- Filter Weight: 2.1 ounces; around 4 ounces with accessories.
In the field
We decided to field test the filter on one of our open-air trips and see how it performs in comparison to the other straw filters such as the Lifestraw.
The Etekcity Water Filtration System comes nicely packed with a BPA-free filter straw, pre-filters with cap, a longer pipe/straw, a 16-ounce (480 ml.) foldable pouch and a syringe for back flushing. The foldable pouch also has a carabiner for easy portability.
The package also has an instructional manual to know more about how to use the filter.
When it comes to the filtration quality, we found the Etekcity Filter superior to other filtration straws. The 0.01-micron hollow-fiber UF membrane is superior to the filtration membranes (generally 0.2 microns) found in other such filters. Moreover, the filter can last a full 1500 liters (396 gallons) as opposed to 1000 liters for a Lifestraw. That is full 50% more life for a filter.
The flow rate through the filter is around 1.0-1.2 liters per minute, which is less than the flow rate of 1.7 liters per min. supported by the Lifestraw. This means you would have to suck through the straw a little harder to get a steady flow of water.
The filtration process removes 99.9999% of bacteria and contaminants such as E-coli, Salmonella, chlorine, VOC, organic and insect contaminant. And there is a pre-filter also available to provide a three-stage filtration if you are dealing with a turbid water source with a lot of sediments.
It is worth stating that, like all other filters, the straw does not remove any viruses from the water. For viruses, you would have to opt for a water purifier.
Another key design advantage is the straw diameter/cap. It is designed to fit most standard water bottles, so you can even collect water in the bottle and drink through the straw.
The accessories that come with the straw are pretty useful and make the Etekcity Filtration System an attractive buy. The longer pipe straw can be used to draw water out of difficult places.
The pouch can both be used to collect water and also as a storage for filtered water. The water bladder has a hole with a carabiner for easy portability. The pouch is made from food-grade plastic but is not as durable as the Platypus soft bottle or other such bladders. And it would be better if the size of the pouch was a little bigger for long trips.
The plastic syringe that comes with the filter can be used to clean up the filter after use. Simply back-flush the filter by pushing the syringe pump and you would have a clean filter for next time use.
When it comes to portability, the Etekcity filter straw is as portable as, if not more, other water filters. The straw weighs as little as 60 grams (2.1 ounces), which 3 grams more than the Lifestraw. And even with the accessories, the whole package is still around 4 ounces, making it extremely easy to carry on ultralight backpacking trips.
Our verdict on the Etekcity Water Filtration Straw
We found the Etekcity Water Filtration Straw an excellent value-for-money buy for people who are looking for a personal water filter for outdoor trips and emergency situations.
While the filtration system is not free from small drawbacks, it is still pretty well-designed, efficient and portable. And for the price tag it carries, it is a great choice.
Final thoughts about the Etekcity Water Filtration Straw
In this article, we reviewed another quality yet affordable product by Etekcity – the Etekcity Water Filtration Straw. If you are looking for a water filter that works well in the field, is easy to carry and can provide drinkable water for a long time, you can consider getting one for your next trip.
For any more questions or comments, feel free to share them through the comments section below and we would be happy to answer them.