Water filters aren’t only for backpacking or developing countries. Any time you purchase a single-use water bottle on your travels, it’s an opportunity to use a water filter instead.


I know what you’re thinking: Water filters are hard to use. That may have been true in the early days of consumer water filters, but times have changed. The LifeStraw Peak Series Straw is a pocket-sized (1.26 inches x 7.7 inches) filter that you can use just like a straw—whether your source is a cup, bottle, lake, river, or stream.


The brand took its original LifeStraw and reimagined it with an enhanced flow rate for optimal sipping, an easy-grip design, a re-engineered filter to reduce clogging, and extreme durability. The result is a filter so versatile that you can pack it in your backpack or purse, and use it on the trail or in your hotel room.


The lightweight (2.3 ounces) personal filter straw is just once piece, with no extra parts to keep track of. When you pack it in your bag, it takes up less room than a rolled T-shirt. Tested to meet drinking water protocols established by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and NSF International/ANSI, the straw protects against 99.999999% of bacteria; 99.999% of parasites; and 99.999% of microplastics, silt, sand, and cloudiness.


The straw is BPA free, and extremely durable and leak-proof. There’s a built-in gravity hose attachment and universal threading for attaching to squeeze bottles.


The straw’s membrane microfilter lasts up to 1,000 gallons (which translates to about 5 years of use), and will stop allowing water to flow through once it’s reached the end of its lifetime, so you don’t have to log your water use in anticipation of that moment.


The Peak Series Straw comes in mountain blue or mountain gray, and lists for $19.95 on the LifeStraw site. Get one for yourself and one for a friend.