Monday, 1 August 2011

Unboxing: Life Saver Water Purifier Review

Readers from way-back-when may remember I was rather taken with the idea of these water purifiers. Finally I've taken delivery of one, so an Unboxing is due. 

When inventor Michael Pritchard saw the asian tsunami on TV he wanted to do something to help people in the third world rebuild their lives, when he saw hurricane Katrina devastate a first world country he re-evaluated the scale of the problem, and developed Lifesaver as a solution. This truly is game changing technology, by carrying one instead of carrying water you save a massive amount of pack weight AND get far cleaner water than any other available system.

Up until now even the best filter has only removed bacteria 200 nanometers long from water. Viruses are typically only 25 nanometers long and would pass through the filter. Lifesaver filters right down to 15 nanometers means instant access to safe water whatever the circumstances.

The instructions said you have fill it with clean water and let it stand for 10 minutes
 Once you've got the lid off!
 Mockery: Andy says it's better to give than receive
Pump it up to prime the charcoal filtre
 Fill with water of questionable quality
You can also use the pre filter as a scavenging sponge

Make sure you've closed the waterproof cap to keep the drinking and filling ends separate

 OK perhaps the lid is a bit stiff

Pump it up to make the water flow,
if the water only trickles out give it a few more pumps.

“The ‘Lifesaver bottles’ were tested using micro organisms in far greater numbers than could ever be found in natural water sources. This is the worse-case scenario approach recommended by the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and their guidelines have been used to draw up our own protocols for testing of all Microbiological Water Purifiers. As well as using modified tap water for our tests we use samples taken from a pond or stream as our challenge test water to simulate ‘real-life’ situations as per EPA guidelines.”
Under the conditions of testing in our laboratory as shown in this report, our results show that the ‘Lifesaver Bottle’ removed all bacteria and viruses from a contaminated water source in excess of legal requirements and as such, complies with all British, US and European Drinking Water Regulations for Microbiological Reduction.
London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

For a full explanation here's the inventor Michael Pritchard giving a demonstration for TED Talks

I'm not as smart as Michael Pritchard but as ever, my blog my rules, so here's what I'd do differently:

In this size it takes up a bit of pack space, I'd like one half the size, half the weight wouldn't be a bad thing either even if, as it's for recreational use, it only had half the service life.

The strap is add-on design - by the time you've filled the thing with 'orrid water the strap has soaked some up and the risk of cross contamination is doubled. I'm going to make a replacement out of something non-absorbant.

In summation: wether you're hiking, camping, traveling in the third world, or preparing [see the Jerry Can size here] this is an excellent bit of kit.

Lifesaver also do a really cool purchase option, where you pay a little more for your bottle and another bottle goes to someone in a disaster zone. The link is HERE the USA site is HERE

A very cool product from a very cool company

More soon


Jordan said...

I love seeing what some people can come up with. This is truly a life saving gadget!

millenniumfly said...

Nice filter idea and a good review but a bit pricey for me right now. Thanks.

The Suburban Bushwacker said...


welcome to the campfire. they are getting cheaper, but I had to wait for an unused but secondhand one

maythinee said...

Regarding the PR news on Thai flood in the lifesaver website, the company use this cause as a cheap marketing PR. The service they provided is among the worst I experience. The company donate only 55 units to a person. I import 105 units plus extra catridge 55 units. Many errors and delay in assisting to get my shipment arrived in Thailand. Also, They are not transparent to how they work on the humanitarian support. I have all emails exchanged as evidence. I do not want others be fooled as me.

Customer service and data accuracy are the worst you can imagine! 

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

thanks for writing in I'm a bit troubled to hear your experience and I'll be offering the company a right to reply

The Suburban Bushwacker said...

A chap from Lifesaver has emailed this response
LIFESAVER SUPPORT TO THAILAND - Let me begin by saying, Lifesaver USA is truly sorry that Ms. Maythinee feels the way she does about our support to the people of Bangkok during the recent and ongoing flooding of their city. However, we felt it necessary, due to her disparaging words, to provide a little different perspective. As the flood waters began to rise in Bangkok we were contacted by several private entities wishing to procure systems for distribution to flood victims. In support of these requests we made a corporate decision to not only provide the units at a greatly reduced price reserved for humanitarian use, we also decided to add an additional discount which equaled the gross revenues percentage attributable to the units that our company gives back to the community each year. Due to the extensive level of flooding we also chose to provide an additional pallet (55 units) at no cost and with shipping paid for by Lifesaver USA. So, in all, Lifesaver USA provided over $31,500 in aide to flood victims. This is a considerable sum for a small veteran owned business, especially in this economic environment. So, the accusation of “Cheap PR” I don’t think holds water. That being said, Lifesaver USA is chartered as a Social Business whereby our members have committed to the focus of the company being that of giving back, giving back to our community, our country and our World.

Granted, there were certainly some added challenges encountered as we worked to get the units in to Thailand. It was frustrating as we attempted, for anticipated expediency, to have units ship direct from the factory floor in the UK to Bangkok while using our US based shipping partners and trying to overcome the language/written barrier as it related to Thai customs etc. Not to mention logistics issues that arose from one of Bangkok’s two major airports being closed due to flooding. The shipment took several extra days to get in-country and through customs. We were very sorry about this and no one was more frustrated than we. However, throughout the process we relayed daily updates to all involved as to the delays and the progress of the shipment and in some cases likely over communicated since on at least one occasion we passed on incorrect information from the shipping company, without verification, that the pallets were in Thailand when in fact they were not. Ms. Maythinee, however, refused to listen to reason and expected instantaneous results that anyone who has worked in the humanitarian field supporting international logistics during a time of crisis knows is not possible. She was further upset when we made aware our concerns several weeks later upon learning that units had not yet been fully distributed. This raised red flags as we are always wary of potential fraud resulting in units being entered in to the black market. As sad as it is, we have had instances in the past where individuals have posed as concerned humanitarians only to capture reduced prices and free systems solely for the purposes of black market sales. I explained to Ms. Maythinee that we had a similar issue in Pakistan last year and we only want to ensure the systems are getting into the hands of those that need them the most. Not being resold or handed out to friends or the privileged while the poor are left to fend for themselves in the streets. Apparently, Ms. Maythinee took our subtle questioning and concern as a threat and proclaimed that she would spread disparaging comments about us far and wide.

So, in closing, an old adage comes to mind, “No good deed goes unpunished.” And that’s OK. We know that because of the revolutionary technology of the Lifesaver Ultra Filter combined with our company focus on giving. We have much more “punishment” to endure.


Roy Fultz


Lifesaver USA