LifeSaver (20,000UF) Water Filter Jerrycan – Full Review, Overview & Field Test of LifeSaver’s Outdoor Travel Water Filtration & Purification System
The Chinese say, “Flowing water never gets dirty.” No… that’s not it. It’s “In shallow waters, shrimps make fools of dragons.” Wait… no. I’m not even sure what that means. Oh yeah, “Water can do without fishes, fishes cannot do without water.” That’s it! The same is true for us. We need water. Period. It doesn’t matter what your plan is. If you are heading off to some unpopulated area, even if only for a day, you need water. If you’re heading out for longer, you’ll need even more.
The National Park Service recommends you drink a minimum of 2 liters a day (or more) if you’re in a hot climate. That doesn’t count the water you may use for other things like cooking, or cleaning. Most overlanders recommend 2 gallons per person per day. That’s 7.6 liters per person.
Now you could just go to the store and pick up a few gallon jugs of water to use on your camping trip or trail run, but there are a lot of downsides to buying your water every time you head out. It gets expensive after a while and it’s not very environmentally friendly (all those plastic bottles add up). What if you run out? You can’t just get more water in the middle of nowhere – or can you? I mean, you could get water from a creek or lake. But is it drinkable? Probably not. It needs to be filtered.
There are many systems available that filter water for you. You can have a water storage tank hooked up to a pump and a filter so you can suck water out of anywhere. But that gets complicated quickly. I have no problem working on my truck myself. But I’m not a plumber, and I don’t want to be. Then on the other side of the spectrum is the more simple Life Straw. But this is a survival thing. It’s literally a straw that filters water. Good to have just in case, but not the answer to our problem.
There are also water purification tablets. Drop one in a liter of water and boom. It’s “safe”. I don’t know how that works but I’m sure they work well enough for a survival situation. Yet, I’m still looking for something that can filter all the water I need, when I need it. That’s why I ended up with the LifeSaver Jerrycan.
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- LifeSaver Jerrycan: Check Price
The LifeSaver is everything you need. Large capacity (18.5 liters or 4.88 Gallons), and with the built-in filter, you can get your water from anywhere. But it gets so much better.
The filter can clean up to 20,000 liters. YES. You read that right. 20,000 liters, or 5,300 Gallons of beautiful, clear, great-tasting water from any stream, lake, spring, or even water from a drinking fountain at a rest stop. Yeah, I’ve done that, and you can do it for however long it takes you to go through 20,000 liters of water.
Don’t worry, you don’t have to keep track of how much water you’ve filtered. When the filter has filtered all the water it can, it’ll stop letting water through. So, you’re not blindly drinking dirty water – then you just replace it. I’ll break down how long a filter that can clean 20,000 liters of water can last you.
My favorite feature is that the LifeSaver Jerrycan is that it is pressurized. Just use the hand pump to build up pressure, and that will force the water up through the filter and out the spigot. And even more useful with the available shower attachment, which you can use to wash dishes at camp, or even give yourself a quick rinse. Super nice if you’re out for a few days.
How Does It Work?
It’s pretty simple. Ingenious really. Water in the can isn’t filtered yet. The filter is attached to the spigot, so the water passes through the filter on its way out. This is great for a couple of reasons.
The first being that it’s quick to fill, no need to wait for the water to run through the filter like the Brita water filter many of you have at home. Second, because you don’t have to worry about making the inside of your LifeSaver Jerrycan sterile, just make sure you don’t have any debris inside and let the filter worry about the water that comes out.
The LifeSaver sends water through two filters. The first one is the big one. Depending on the one you get, it’ll either has a lifespan of 20,000 liters or 10,000 liters. It’s long, almost the length of the jerrycan itself. This does the majority of the filtration. It filters out 99.99% of bacteria, 99.99% of viruses, and 99.99% of cysts. This makes your water very drinkable. The second is an activated charcoal filter that removes chlorine and helps out with the flavor and odor of your water. These need to be replaced more often. Each one is good for 500 liters.
Finally, pumping air into the LifeSaver Jerrycan with the hand pump will pressurize the jerrycan, forcing water up through the filters and out the spigot – at an impressive flow rate of up to 4 liters a minute when it’s filled up.
Using the LifeSaver Jerrycan can be broken down into three easy steps: fill, pump, drink.
It’s that simple. Just unscrew the pump, dip it in a stream or fill from your tap at home. The water source doesn’t matter because it’s going to be clean drinkable water when it comes out.
Then replace the pump and give it 5-7 pumps.
Now, the jerrycan is pressurized and you will be all set to get your water from the other side.
The spigot has two settings, constant flow or on-demand flow. But when it’s in the off position you can get water by pushing it down. It’ll let water flow as long as you’re pushing on it. Remove your hand and the flow stops. Push it in and turn it and it’ll lock in the on position, letting you have a constant flow. This frees your hands for other things like filling up a camp sink to do dishes.
You can add even more versatility with the optional shower attachment. Just push it onto the spigot and set it to constant flow. Now you can spray water anywhere you want without having to move the Jerrycan. It’s great for dishes, rinsing dirt or sand off yourself, the kids, or even the dog. You can even use it to shower.
The many uses of the LifeSaver Jerrycan are what sold me on it. I use it for everything. I take it to the park, on trail runs, road trips, and of course, camping. But it’s also good to have around the house for emergency preparedness. If prepping is what you’re looking for, look no further. This thing can clean so much water it’s kind of ridiculous.
Lifesaver does not recommend storing filtered water. Instead, fill all your storage containers with dirty water and then fill the Jerrycan as needed. This will prevent contamination of clean water. I do this with the LifeSaver when I go on long trips. Having a few more liters of water can expand your capabilities. And let’s face it, you never know what might happen.
After a long search and trying out a lot of water systems, I finally found the one that makes the most sense for me. The capacity is good for two people for a full day or just me for two days. Double that if I’m using an extra water container. I can hop into any stream and fill it back up! So as long as I’m near some water, I’m fine.
The lifespan of the filters is amazing, and the failsafe replacement feature saves you from drinking past your filter’s usefulness. You just need to make sure you have an extra filter handy when that time comes. But let’s think about this. If one person needs an average of two gallons a day and the filter can purify up to 5,300 gallons, that’s over 2,600 days of clean drinking water for one person. So I’ll just say I’m covered for whatever comes my way.