Lifestraw VS Sawyer: Which one is best for Survival?

lifestraw vs sawyer

Camping with no water is a complete disaster. However, I can’t bring as much water as I want to if I need to travel light. As a backpacker, I take advantage of what nature has to offer and survive. That is why it’s a relief to discover that portable water filters exist.

I have two brands strongly recommended by seasoned campers. It’s up to me which of them I will pick. Lifestraw VS Sawyer: Which one is best for survival? 

It did not take me long to decide. I learned a lot in the process too!


Lifestraw VS Sawyer: A Closer Look

Deliberating which one is most helpful from the two was easier than I thought. It ends up that they’re pretty much different. With my needs, the winner is evident. Let me show you how I did my research.

Lifestraw Personal Water Filter

I found out that Lifestraw has various use as a water filter. Rigorously tested, the filter claims to clean 99.99% of the water that you intend to drink during camping. The hollow membrane inside keeps your water safe the entire outdoor adventure. And because it’s lightweight (2 oz.), it’s not surprising that any backpacker wants to have one.

If used correctly, this microbiological filter is capable of converting 1000 gallons of contaminated water into clean and safe drinking water. Hence, Lifestraw is necessary on your emergency supplies list.

In detail, it can do the following:

  • Eliminate waterborne bacteria and parasites (Even E. coli and salmonella)

  • Removes the tiniest (down to 1 micron) micro plastics you can find in the surroundings and decreases turbidity to .2 microns

  • Reduces chlorine and bad taste

Look how this water filter works:

Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System

With the same purpose as Lifestraw, I found Sawyer more convenient and useful when traveling. This high-performance filter is small that it fits well in my hand. Undergoing the highest testing level of filtration, the inline filter features a .1-micron absolute hollow fiber membrane, and the entire item only weighs 2 oz. 

I love the fact that the filter can easily attach to a water pouch, any standard disposable drinking bottles, and some hydration packs. Otherwise, you can use the straw directly to the water source. As expected, it also eliminates 99.9% of water bacteria and parasites and amazingly provides 100,000 gallons of clean water.

The different ways to use Sawyer:

  • Drinking straw used directly from the water source.

  • It can be attached to a pouch or water bottles and drink from there.

  • Squeeze out clean water from the filter right into the bottle.

  • Spliced into a water bladder hose.

The filter itself comes with a reusable 16 oz. squeezable water pouch, 7” drinking straw, and a cleaning plunger.


After every trip, I advise backwashing and sanitizing the filter before storage. 

Now look at this video to see how it works:

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My Personal Preference

Evidently, Sawyer Mini is the winner in this comparison. The difference is excessively huge that you can see it right away. Personally, there are three factors that I consider when searching for a portable water filter.

  • Reliability

  • Filter life

  • Convenience


Of course, the filter should be trusted to eliminate the bacteria, parasites and other impurities from the drinking water. Although Sawyer is far superior to Lifestraw regarding this, still they are both reliable in serving their purpose. However, it’s clear that Sawyer is an advantage in this category.

Filter Life

It’s astonishing to know the significant difference when it comes to the filter life. 1000 gallons VS 100000 gallons is a joke. In fairness, Lifestraw designs are focused on supporting the needs for an emergency, developing countries, and the like, wherein the filters are meant to be disposable.

Apparently, Sawyer Mini is far more than that. As a backpacker, Sawyer suits my need more.


Do you know that I call Sawyer Mini a “One pack has it all” filter? While I can use both Sawyer and Lifestraw in drinking directly from the water source, Sawyer serves more than that. I can attach its filter to any disposable water bottle there is. In fact, it comes with its own squeezable pouch. Any backpacker would appreciate the convenience.

The downsides of Lifestraw runs from the discomfort of squatting when drinking, too much effort of mouth-suction, and I can’t even bring with me extra water for later.

Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System is my personal pick. Need I say more?


Clearly, when it comes to Lifestraw VS Sawyer, as a backpacker, Sawyer is a practical choice for me. Although I acknowledge Lifestraw as a remarkable filter, it is not comparable to what Sawyer can offer. Besides, if I think about the advantage of cost savings, I will benefit a lot more with Sawyer than Lifestraw.

One thing is for sure. I won’t run out of drinking water anymore! If this product is something new to you, try to check its details and find out how helpful it can be when we are outdoors. If you like it, share it to all nature lovers out there.

About the Author

Lauren Reese

I'm Laura. I have a huge passion for hiking and camping. Lying under the star beside the tent and camping fire with my team is the ultimate nature getaway to me. I wish to share my experience during the adventure with you through this blog. Feel free to read my stories and leave some comments if you like.

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