I recently was introduced to the Lifestraw (price) and other Vestergaard products when talking about hiking or emergency water needs with colleagues. While doing my research I came across a good, quick article by Preparing for SHFT comparing the Lifestraw to the Sawyer Mini. I jumped in and reviewed the Sawyer Mini (price) and other Sawyer water filtration products.
I really like the specifications and flexibility of the Sawyer Mini. It is rated for filtration of up to 100,000 gallons of water at 0.1 microns. That is 378 times the 264 gallon, 0.2 micron Lifestraw. The Sawyer Mini should be thought of as a straw filter, requiring either gravity, manual pressure, or manual suction to force water through the filter. Keep in mind the Sawyer Mini is a 0.1 micron filter. This means the Sawyer Mini is much slower but has much greater filtration efficacy than other products on the market, such as Katadyn which sell 0.2 micron filters and can come with a pump.
When reviewing any potential add to my resources there are four factors to portable products: weight (how heavy is it), size (how much space is it going to consume), resource needs (what does it consume and how much – which has its own evaluations), time (how long to set it up, use, and store) and lifespan (how long before I need to conduct maintenance and replace it). As far as water filters go, the Sawyer Mini is clearly a pack leader in the market space based on these factors.