The LifeSaver Liberty Water Bottle is a complete water purifier system in one. A bottle that will act as a bulk filter system in emergency or disaster relief situations, provide safe, clean water to whole groups of people in the wilderness when there is no clean water source, and provides the perfect refillable water bottle for every traveller who wants clean water when exploring new cities or hiking into jungles and deserts on epic gap year adventures. Check out this review of the LifeSaver Liberty Water Bottle and see why it should be an essential part of any gap year packing list.
All in all the LifeSaver Liberty water filter bottle is a complete water filtration system that is suitable for any situation and is used by aid agencies and military personnel around the world for that exact reason. For travellers like myself who believe in being prepared for any situation no matter where you are, and for travellers who want the best gear to keep themselves safe and healthy and reduce risk as much as possible when travelling, the LifeSaver filter bottle is an absolute must have.
Designed for emergencies, made for travel.
Make no mistake the LifeSaver Liberty bottle is the S.A.S of water filter bottles, the Ford Raptor, the Swiss Army Knife, the Hob Nob biscuit! Think of something tough and able to survive almost anything and you can add that comparison to this list too. Built to keep people alive and provide safe drinking water in the toughest of situations, the LifeSaver Liberty bottle is the perfect companion for any traveller or backpacker.
Let’s get the technology and the specs behind the bottle out of the way first of all. The Lifesaver Liberty water bottle is the world’s first portable water filter bottle with an inline pump combined, and uses a pressurised built in hand pump to filter unsafe, contaminated water and turn it into clean, safe and healthy drinking water.
The air pressure provided by the pump forces the unclean water through the ultra filtration cartridge. This cartridge has 15 nanometre hollow fibre membrane pores that essentially act as a physical barrier against any microbiological contamination.
Basically speaking this filtration cartridge protects against 99.999% of all viruses, 99.9999% of bacteria and 99.99% cysts that can cause a wide variety of diseases from gastrointestinal problems and diarrhoea to dysentery and cholera and more, all without the use of any chemicals.
The filter also has a FailSafe technology that means that if the filter has reached the maximum filtration level and is no longer filtering water it simply won’t allow water to pass through which means that you can’t drink contaminated water by mistake.
You can use the Lifesaver Liberty Water Bottle on almost any water source except sea or salt water. Lakes, rivers, streams, even muddy puddles and dripping drains, the filter will provide you with up to 2000 litres of water before it needs changing, and that is a significant amount more than many other bottles I know of on the market at the moment.
Where I used it.
As any regular reader will know I always carry a refillable water bottle with me on any trip and am a passionate advocate for refillable water bottles to reduce single use plastic waste, so I always have a water bottle with me wherever I go. The LifeSaver Liberty Water Bottle did not disappoint and has been one of the best bottles I have ever carried!
After carrying it every day on my adventures through India I can honestly say that I absolutely loved this purifier bottle overall. It is a sturdy, dependable and reliable piece of kit. After using it extensively in a variety of situations it has genuinely become my preferred bottle of choice, and that is saying a lot!
I used this bottle every single day on my trip through India, from transiting through airports and exploring the congested cities of Delhi and Ahmedabad to exploring the wild Rann of Kutch by safari and the unspoiled mountain wilderness of Himachal. I really put this little powerhouse through its paces and did not find it wanting.
The Lifesaver Liberty did come in really useful in the cities, and even turned a few admiring heads as I did so! I basically used it as a refillable water bottle, asking cafes and restaurants to fill her up with tap water (which is not advisable to drink in India) or even using the occasional public water fountain, relying on the filter to render the water safe to drink.
But it was when I went really off the beaten path on an extended expedition through the Himalayas, trekking through the mountains and the vast open countryside that the LifeSaver Liberty really came into its own. It saved me the trouble of carrying a lot of extra water and allowing me to just refill at any stream or lake I came across, not to mention refilling everyone else’s water bladders and bottles with clean filtered water too thanks to all the connection accessories!
Let’s get the downsides out of the way first of all. One downside to the bottle is that it does have a slight learning curve, this isn’t a simple fill up and go filter bottle. It actually comes with an instruction manual with three separate modes to learn how to use. I mean don’t get me wrong this isn’t a huge problem by all means, one of the strengths of the bottle is its versatility but this does come at a small price of having to learn how to use it.
It is also important to remember that this is a pressure vessel too. That means there are specific ways of using it if you don’t want to cause damage, and the specific rules around keeping some water in at all times to keep the filter wet can be an expensive mistake if you forget or accidentally empty the bottle and leave it too long before refilling as you will basically need a new filter if it dries out.
But saying this the process is pretty simple once you have done it a few times and get used to it, so this isn’t a huge problem at all. I’d say it is not really any different from learning how to use any decent piece of kit properly.
The only real constructive criticism I have for the LifeSaver bottle is the spout itself, and more specifically the flow valve. The spout is not the most elegant or easy to drink from and the flow valve is not the easiest to use when your fingers are freezing from ice cold mountain water. Saying this with a bit of practice it does get better and I eventually managed to get decent mouthfuls of water without wasting or spilling any.
Another slight downside is that although it is light and portable in and of itself the LifeSaver Liberty bottle is slightly heavier than many other bottles on the market. This can be an issue when travelling carry on only where every little pound and ounce counts.
Furthermore, given that this is one of the larger sized bottles on the market, it surprisingly doesn’t hold quite as much water at any one time as some do, holding around 400 ml at once. When using it this isn’t really a problem at all as you can refill it at any time but in a completely objective review it does suffer a little by comparison.
The trade of for this of course is pure, solid dependency and strength, and to be fair at this level of quality I would expect a much larger and heavier peace of kit, and I mean the type of kit that would be lugged around by military personel to use in large scale operations! The LifeSaver Liberty is an absolutely tough piece of kit and can withstand some pretty decent punishment, which is the reason LifeSaver is a trusted brand with the military and numerous aid agencies.
This dependable reliability and rugged strength also goes a long way to offset the final negative about the LifeSaver Liberty bottle, the cost.
Let’s make no bones about it, the LifeSaver Liberty is an expensive outlay. There is just no getting round that. At almost £90 it is an expensive consideration and you really do have to look at it as an investment, because that is exactly what it is. Put bluntly, this level of quality does not come cheap and you really do get what you pay for.
And let’s look at this another way as well, even in a relatively cheap country like India where I put the LifeSaver through its paces, the cost of numerous plastic water bottles soon adds up. Let’s assume a relatively conservative price of 50 pence per small bottle of water. I can go through 4 of these small bottles a day easily. So at a conservative £2 a day for water minimum, in just one single month of travel I have made two thirds of the price back in savings alone. Given that this bottle will last me for many years, I’d say that is the definition of investment!
Now for the positives about the LifeSaver Liberty bottle, and there are a lot!
First of all it is an impressive looking bottle, elegantly designed with a rugged appearance and it really did turn a few heads when I was using it, with more than one person asking about it on my travels. The clear side windows are an attractive feature too, but are also infinitely practical by giving you – literally – a window to see exactly how much water you have left.
One of the first big questions everyone always asks about filtered water is the taste, I think they may have low expectations thanks to many years of those God awful chlorine tablets, but honestly the water you get out of most filter bottles now tastes pretty good (just in the interests of fair impartiality) and the LifeSaver Liberty is perfect in this regard too. Frankly, the water tastes great.
This is because the LifeSaver bottle has an activated carbon filter which removes chlorine, taste, smell and odour, and that meant the water I drank tasted as pure and sweet as any bottled mineral water.
Another plus point is that once you have read the instructions a few times and gotten over that initial learning curve I mentioned earlier, the LifeSaver Liberty water bottle is actually really easy to use. It really isn’t as daunting as it first appears! You simply unscrew the top, dip it into the water source (or allow it to drip in or use the scavenger hose, dependent on how you want to collect the water), pump the lever a few times, and then flick the valve so the clean water flows out. Simple. Once you get used to the flow rate and don’t spill any at least!
The pump action itself is smooth and very light, I could actually do it with one finger it is that easy, and I absolutely loved that. I have used other pump filter bottles in the past where I would have to put a little force behind it and I didn’t like that one bit so stopped using them. I’m really glad to say this wasn’t the case with the Lifesaver Liberty.
And as I mentioned previously it is a little larger and heavier than most bottles I have used, but really not so much that you would notice and it fitted snugly in my day pack pouch when out hiking without being too cumbersome, certainly less so than a full water bladder system and a few extra bottles on a larger trek. I always find this to be a major breaking point with some bottles, if it doesn’t fit into the side pouch of my day pack, then it kind of renders it impractical, but I’m glad to say that even though the LifeSaver bottle was on the larger side it was still practical enough to be carried comfortably.
Another really useful feature of the bottle is that it is designed to screw onto standard Nalgene shaped bottles, which is just about the majority of the non filter refillable bottles out there, and be used as a mass filter machine as well as a bottle in its own right. As far as I am aware there is no other water filter bottle that does this at the moment and that means that if any of your travel companions have a normal Nalgene sized refillable bottle but don’t have a filter you can filter the water directly into their bottle too so everyone benefits!
One thing that really surprised me was that I really liked using the scavenger hose and found it really useful. The LifeSaver Liberty bottle is to my knowledge the only bottle that comes with one of these and I admit at first I thought it would be cumbersome and well, to be honest, pointless, but it really wasn’t. If you are filling up from a river, a lake or any type of natural water source then sometimes it can be a bit of a pain to crouch down at the water’s edge without getting wet or muddy, not ideal in cold situations. With the five foot long hose you just drop one end into the water, start pumping away and the bottle fills up without the need for you to crouch and get too close to the waters edge.
And the best thing is it really just rolls up and can be stashed alongside the bottle. It even comes in its own handy little stuff sack! No real extra weight or space taken up at all.
I have never seen so many optional accessories for a water bottle than what you can get for the LifeSaver Liberty, from the nice to have extras like the comfortable silicone sleeve and hard carry case to absolute essentials like replacement cartridges and bladder connectors. All of these add up in price of course but you can purchase them in starter or advanced packs which net you a fair amount of savings.
The important health stuff.
So why is having a water filter bottle important? Well to put it bluntly it is to stop you becoming ill from drinking contaminated water, it is that simple.
There are many countries around the world where poor sanitation means that travellers should not under any circumstances drink water that has not been filtered, bottled, boiled or chemically treated unless they want to risk becoming seriously ill, and many more still where the tap water may be relatively safe for locals but can still be risky for travellers. This is why filter bottles are so important as it eliminates the need for those other methods entirely.
As a qualified nurse myself I have had many people contact my online travel clinic with issues related to contaminated water. Apart from the general stomach upsets caused by normal everyday bacteria that your own stomach may not be used to, contaminants in local water can cause Diarrhoea, Dysentery, Hepatitis A, Cholera and more. Safe water is essential, and knowing you can get that any time is not just a physical life saver but a source of peace of mind too.
Suitable for any situation.
I think it is safe to say that the LifeSaver Liberty water filter bottle is ideal for any outdoor adventure when you are far away from any reliable water source.
I don’t think many backpackers will find themselves in the active combat or disaster relief situations that the Lifesaver filter system is actually designed for, but any type of wild camping in the wilderness, any jungle trek or desert excursion, even any type of mountain hiking adventure is something most adventurous backpackers will end up doing at some point on their gap year or round the world trip, and this is where the LifeSaver Liberty water bottle comes into its own.
There is no need to carry extra clean water with you on your adventures. Just fill up your bottle before you go and then refill any time you are near any type of non saltwater water source without the need for any nasty tasting iodine or chlorine tablets or starting a camp fire to get some water boiling. Just fill up, pump, and go.
But it isn’t just the great outdoors that the LifeSaver Liberty water bottle is useful for. Most travellers will spend the vast majority of their time doing just that, travelling, and that means exploring a wide variety of different locations as well as spending significant amounts of time transiting through airports or on any number of planes, trains and automobiles, and the LifeSaver Liberty water bottle is useful in all of them.
Exploring a new city and need to stay hydrated but don’t want to buy endless single use plastic bottles? Then just use the LifeSaver as you would any normal everyday refillable bottle and fill up at any tap, fountain or even a dripping drain and carry on with your day, with the added advantage of knowing that what you are drinking is as good as any filtered bottle water.
Transiting through airports and need a refillable bottle once security has made you throw away that overpriced bottle of water you have just paid for? Well you have one!
On a plane or train and can’t wait for the snack trolley to come round? Just head to the loo and use the tap water! And please, whatever you do ONLY do that if you have one of these bottles to make the water safe and drinkable! You really do not want to know what contaminants are in those water sources!
Prepared for anything.
The point of the LifeSaver is that it there for any situation, from full blown emergencies and disaster relief to making sure you stay hydrated on those awesome gap year adventures or ensuring you don’t get Delhi belly or Montezuma’s revenge from the tap water in whatever destination you find yourself in.
For most travellers, it is the kit equivalent of asking for someone to accompany you to keep yourself safe on the walk back to the car, and a fully armed S.A.S soldier standing up to volunteer!
And that is the exact piece of kit you want having your back.
Saving you, and saving the planet too.
The importance of carrying any refillable water bottle goes far beyond saving just your health and your money. As I mentioned earlier, carrying a refillable water bottle means that you are seriously reducing your use of single use plastics as well which has obvious benefits for the entire planet!
So regardless of what you do, carrying a refillable bottle is just a good idea, and carrying a refillable bottle with a filter in it like the LifeSaver Liberty is just a ton of common sense on top of that good idea, so go out and get one!
And helping others in the process.
But quite apart from all the selfish little things like having an awesome looking bottle everyone will be jealous of, and you know, being able to drink water without the fear of getting dysentery, there is one more reason I really do like LifeSaver as a company, and that is their mission.
LifeSaver provide safe, clean drinking water to those around the world who simply do not have access to it. They work with military and aid agencies in the critical moments after natural or human led disasters to provide water purifiers on the ground for initial deployment where they are needed most, and by providing large scale, long term solutions for humanitarian staff and locals who need a source of safe, filtered water.
That goes far beyond having an awesome product I can use on my own travels and adventures, that is a brand you can be proud of supporting.
Ready to buy? You can get your own LifeSaver Liberty Water Bottle here.
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This is a paid article written in partnership with LifeSaver with products or services supplied by them. Full editorial integrity is maintained at all times. The views and opinions expressed are entirely the authors own based on personal experiences when travelling and are honest and factual without any bias.