In another article, we went over the pros and cons of the Sawyer Squeeze and the Sawyer Mini. But there's another competitor with a similar style of filter named Lifestraw. The Lifestraw filter works in the same way as the Sawyer, acting as a straw that filters out contaminants in an on demand fashion.
The on demand part is very important here. The Lifestraw is not intended for filtering large quantities of water into a bladder or storage pack. It's meant only for filtering water as needed.
Side by Side - LifeStraw vs Sawyer
Visually, the Sawyer and Lifestraw filters are pretty similar. They both have long, hollow tube filters with an inlet and an outlet. The main advantage of the Sawyer filter is that it can easily connect to a water bottle or storage bag so you can filter larger quantities of water and store them for the later.
The Lifestraw is very limited because it can only filter on demand and is not meant for storing water for later.
In addition to the usability advantages of the Sawyer, it's also a better filter from a technical standpoint. Here's a comparison of the Sawyer and Lifestraw filters, clearly showing why the Sawyer is the better water filter.
Sawyer Squeeze vs LifeStraw
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Two of the most important things about your water filter are the flow rate and the life span. How fast can it filter water and how long will it last?
In these 2 categories, the Sawyer destroys the Lifestraw. Not only is the flow rate 10x higher at 2.0 liters per minute vs just 0.2 liters per minute on the Lifestraw; but the lifespan of the Sawyer is 100,000 gallons vs just 264 gallons on the Lifestraw.
If you go hiking a couple of times per year and assume about 3 gallon per day of filtration needs, the Lifestraw will probably last you about 5 years. But for the same price and size, you can get a filter that will last 40x as long which is basically a lifetime guarantee. You just won't get that with the Lifestraw.
There's no reason to choose the Lifestraw over the Sawyer Squeeze. The Sawyer can do everything the Lifestraw does and more. This comparison is an easy one. The Sawyer is the hands down winner in every category and is our top recommendation.
If you're trying to decide between different Sawyer filters, check out this comparison of the Sawyer Squeeze vs the Sawyer Mini.