LifeStraw vs. Sawyer Water Filter | A Comparison of the two Survival Water Filters

LifeStraw vs Sawyer Survival Water Filter
Looking for a Survival Water Filter? We compare two of the best on the market and share our choice pick.

Survival Water Filter Face Off | LifeStraw vs. Sawyer

In the arena of survival water filters two of the most prominent names out there are LifeStraw and Sawyer. I’ll lead with the statement that in my opinion you can’t really go wrong with either. I’ve used and maintain stock of both in my preps and various load out kits. From personal experience they’ve both been excellent at what they do, and the only problem I’ve ever had with either was a one time ‘bad’ LifeStraw. Not sure what was wrong with it, but it was seemingly clogged. Unfortunately, I didn’t contact the company with the issue, and wish I had, but it was during a busy event and I lost track of it. More than likely they would have replaced it for free, but just as much as the money lost I would like to have known what the problem was with it in the first place, and if there was a potential to remedy it at the user level. No use in crying over spilled milk, it’s gone and I’ve moved on. Other than that one off I’ve never had any problems with either and like both. You can see my personal choice of the two in the comparison chart below. 

LifeStraw Features and Specs

About this item

  • Removes bacteria & parasites: The microfiltration membrane removes 99.999999% of waterborne bacteria (including E. coli and salmonella), and 99.999% of waterborne parasites (including giardia and cryptosporidium)
  • Removes microplastics: Removes the smallest microplastics found in the environment (down to 1 micron), and reduces turbidity down to 0.2 microns
  • Rigorous Testing: All claims are verified with laboratories using standard testing protocols set by the US EPA, NSF, ASTM for water purifiers
  • Long Lifetime: The microbiological filter will provide 4,000 liters (1,000 gallons) of clean and safe drinking water with proper use and maintenance
  • Make an Impact: For every LifeStraw product purchased, a school child in need receives safe drinking water for an entire school year.BPA Free materials

Sawyer Features and Specs

About this item

  • Ideal for outdoor recreation, hiking, camping, scouting, domestic and International travel, and emergency preparedness
  • High-performance 0.1 Micron absolute inline filter fits in the palm of your hand and weighs just 2 ounces; 100% of MINI units individually tested three times to performance standards by Sawyer
  • Attaches to included drinking pouch, standard disposable water bottles, hydration packs, or use the straw to drink directly from your water source
  • Removes 99.99999% of all bacteria (salmonella, cholera, and E. coli); removes 99.9999% of all protozoa (such as giardia and cryptosporidium); also removes 100% of microplastics
  • Filter rated up to 100,000 gallons; Includes one Sawyer MINI filter, 16-ounce reusable squeeze pouch, 7-inch drinking straw, and cleaning plunger

LifeStraw Best and Worst Reviews

BEST

It keeps you from dying, unless a bear or pack of wolves eat you. If that happens, it’s not Sawyer’s fault. But hey, at least you can feel good about not passing any harmful bacteria or parasites to the critter that’s gnawing on your bones.

A simple hack to replace or substitute the bag that comes with it. This filter screws onto either a 700 ML or 1 Liter SmartWater bottle. The sports cap on the 700 ML is the perfect size to push the outflow end of the filter into and is tight enough to support the weight of a full, 1 L bottle. Just squeeze the air out of the bottle on the outflow side and lean it against a tree or rock to gravity feed or you can squeeze the inflow bottle to speed things along. Make sure you cover the washer with your finger when shaking out the filter so it doesn’t fly off and get lost. A 5/16″ ID x 1/2″ Yellow Plastic Screw Protector (made by Hillman and available at Lowe’s for $0.92 for a 3 pack – Model # 881039, hardware section where the metal bolts, washers, etc are in the steel drawers. They will be marked with Hillman on them.) will fit over the inflow nipple of the Sawyer Mini Filter to prevent leakage and keep dirt out of the filter when it’s stored in your pack.

First Pic is a 1 L bottle that is full, being held by the filter pushed into the sports cap. The second pic (sorry for the blur) is filling a 1L bottle with the air squeezed out of it. The third pic shows my finger over the washer when shaking out the filter so it doesn’t get lost. Last pic is of the Hillman cap and package.

WORST

This product has everything needed to simplify hiking and carrying water. As a nurse, the dialysis system of water filtration made perfect sense. I bought it for my son, with a platypus 2 liter bag, to hike the PCT in Oregon. I thought it was brilliant. And it is. Except that on day two of his hike the O ring to create a seal transferring water into the reservoir- broke. Other PCT hikers were familiar with the problem on the mini. Apparently the regular size Sawyer filter does not have the same problem.
Sawyer company- fix your O rings on the mini and you go from a 1 star to a 5!

Sawyer Best and Worst Reviews

BEST

It keeps you from dying, unless a bear or pack of wolves eat you. If that happens, it’s not Sawyer’s fault. But hey, at least you can feel good about not passing any harmful bacteria or parasites to the critter that’s gnawing on your bones.

A simple hack to replace or substitute the bag that comes with it. This filter screws onto either a 700 ML or 1 Liter SmartWater bottle. The sports cap on the 700 ML is the perfect size to push the outflow end of the filter into and is tight enough to support the weight of a full, 1 L bottle. Just squeeze the air out of the bottle on the outflow side and lean it against a tree or rock to gravity feed or you can squeeze the inflow bottle to speed things along. Make sure you cover the washer with your finger when shaking out the filter so it doesn’t fly off and get lost. A 5/16″ ID x 1/2″ Yellow Plastic Screw Protector (made by Hillman and available at Lowe’s for $0.92 for a 3 pack – Model # 881039, hardware section where the metal bolts, washers, etc are in the steel drawers. They will be marked with Hillman on them.) will fit over the inflow nipple of the Sawyer Mini Filter to prevent leakage and keep dirt out of the filter when it’s stored in your pack.

First Pic is a 1 L bottle that is full, being held by the filter pushed into the sports cap. The second pic (sorry for the blur) is filling a 1L bottle with the air squeezed out of it. The third pic shows my finger over the washer when shaking out the filter so it doesn’t get lost. Last pic is of the Hillman cap and package.

WORST

This product has everything needed to simplify hiking and carrying water. As a nurse, the dialysis system of water filtration made perfect sense. I bought it for my son, with a platypus 2 liter bag, to hike the PCT in Oregon. I thought it was brilliant. And it is. Except that on day two of his hike the O ring to create a seal transferring water into the reservoir- broke. Other PCT hikers were familiar with the problem on the mini. Apparently the regular size Sawyer filter does not have the same problem.
Sawyer company- fix your O rings on the mini and you go from a 1 star to a 5!

Conclussion on LifeStraw vs. Sawyer Survival Water Filters

As you can see they are both very comparable and good quality water filters. I personally lean a little towards the Sawyer because it has the extra features of the Squeeze Bag and the Back flushing capability, but all in all they are both going to serve you well if needed. 

Do you have a preference for one of these two filters? Do you have a preferred one that is different than those here? We’d love to hear you thoughts, comments, and questions below!

DISCLAIMER We provide Amazon Affiliate links in our reviews. This allows us to (potentially) make a small commission off of any items purchased through our links. Our acceptance into the affiliate program in now way influences our reviews, or recommendations of a product. Nor would we accept such a condition as that. 

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Last update on 2022-05-20 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

DISCLAIMER We provide Amazon Affiliate links in our reviews. This allows us to (potentially) make a small commission off of any items purchased through our links. Our acceptance into the affiliate program in now way influences our reviews, or recommendations of a product. Nor would we accept such a condition as that. 

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