Crankshaft Culture Gear Garage: LifeSaver Jerrycan


Even more important than carrying proper recovery gear and having ample food on hand when traveling remotely is having safe, clean drinking water. Filling up canteens and water containers from home or a gas station helps, but what happens if you run out of water or have an emergency and need more H2O? It could mean the difference between life and death, potentially.

Made in the UK, LifeSaver offers up a variety of portable water purification products. Our tester, the Jerrycan 100000UF, is the perfect size to cleanly filter up to five gallons of water (4.887183 gallons to be exact) at one time. It’s capable of filtering 10,000 liters or 2,641 US gallons of clean drinking water, taking out bacteria, parasites, cysts, and various viruses.

The LifeSaver Jerrycan is easy to set up and use.

This jerry can-styled container has a robust carrying handle and integrated depressions in a high-density casing to ratchet it down atop a rooftop rack. Two openings are featured at the top of this unit; one side is the built in hand pump and the other, the spigot (which is attached to the long, cylindrical water filter).

The critical part of this system is the water filter. Keep it hydrated at all times.

The LifeSaver Jerrycan comes just about ready to use. Upon receipt, we followed directions carefully in order to prime the unit before use. This is important as to mitigate any risk of bacteria forming on the output side of the ultra-filtration cartridge. Once primed, it’s important to keep at least one inch of water in this container at all times to keep the filter hydrated. If this step isn’t adhered to, you may run the risk of damaging the filter and the system will stop working. Just to be safe, I have been keeping about half of the canister full, and store it on its side (filter side down).

Although the UK-made LifeSaver Jerrycan is happy being transported inside your adventuremobile, it’s also content to ride atop or behind it. During our testing period, we carried it inside our 4x4s and also tried it out in our BajaRack double jerry can holder. Not only did the LifeSaver easily fit into one of the slots, it was designed perfectly to receive BajaRack’s metal sleeve to secure both jerry cans successfully. We were impressed. As with any jerry can, getting it down from the roof can be a challenge. But, Andy and I discovered using a strap with a hooked end to loop around the Jerrycan’s handle works great to lower it down.

Andy and I discovered the LifeSaver Jerrycan will fit just about any standard jerry can holder.

The LifeSaver Jerrycan boasts purification of bacteria to a minimum of 99.9999%, viruses to a minimum of 99.99% and cysts to a minimum of 99.9%. They showcase various test certificates on their website. We tested the filtration system during an excursion to the Florence Sand Dunes with Tana White and Judy Russell of Team Anyway from this year’s Rebelle Rally. Not only did we practice vehicle recovery in the soft sands of the Oregon Coast, we each took turns testing out the LifeSaver.

LifeSaver stats
Stats by LifeSaver, image pulled from their website.

“The filtered water tasted crisp and clean,” said Tana. “It was much easier to use with two people to keep the pressure up.” We hooked up the shower attachment after digging each other out in the sand all day. We pressurized the system, and depressed the showerhead’s handle for a quick hair wash.

The LifeSaver showerhead attachment

Although water did come out, this accessory is best used when the showerhead nozzle is facing down. “The shower, though appreciated after several days without one, was a bit lackluster.” Washing Tana’s hair was a bit of a chore, she didn’t have enough water pressure to rinse her hair, even with the help of her rally mate Judy. Even with Judy’s continual pumping it took a while to finish the job. But, in a pinch, it’s much better than dumping a bucket of water over your head.

Although the water filtration system worked great, the showerhead attachment left us scratching our heads.

We tested the LifeSaver Jerrycan with a multitude of waters (some more gross than others) and haven’t gotten sick yet. LifeSaver states they can purify waters from lakes, lagoons, rainwater, and even a mud hole. While we haven’t tested muddy waters yet, we’re gonna do so once the Pacific Northwest rains hit. There are plenty of opportunities to go trail running to find some.

The LifeSaver water filtration system is a cinch to use. It delivers clean water quickly.

While we haven’t given our review sample the ultimate test of filtering 2,641 US gallons of water, LifeSaver states they have an automatic indicator when the microbiological water filter cartridge needs replacing. Smart. We were wondering how you’d know it was time for replacing.

The sturdy bright turquoise water container weighs in at 9.59 pounds (or 4.35 kilograms) and measures 14.17 x 7.09 x 20.08 inches (or 36 x 18 x 51 cm). LifeSaver Jerrycan is $189.99, shower attachment is $21.99.

Photos by Andy and Mercedes Lilienthal.

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