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You probably also want to carry a water filtration system with you when you plan on what to pack in your backpack for a longer hiking trip. In the past, I had a look at water filtration systems that looked more durable but were heavy and took a lot of space in my backpack. However, new solutions have appeared on the market for outdoor enthusiasts who prefer to travel light.

In this article, I am going to discuss shortly, if you should choose the Sawyer Mini*, MSR TrailShot* or the LifeStraw Personal water filter* as a possible ultralight water filter solution.

LifeStraw, MSR TrailShot vs. Sawyer Mini to filter water?

Sawyer Mini vs. LifeStraw Personal

LifeStraw Personal* Sawyer Mini* MSR TrailShot
filter size (micron) 0.2 0.1 0.2
weight (grams) 57 57 142
height (cm) 22.5 20.3 15.25
lifetime (liters) 1000 350000 2000
viruses no no no
carbon filter no no no

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

The Lifestraw Personal Water Filter* is a solution that does not need to be assembled like the LifeStraw water filter. It works (as you might have guessed) like a straw.

However, there are certain disadvantages with the LifeStraw compared to the Sawyer Mini*. First of all, it’s not a solution to filter water in a bottle. So if you are planning to hike in a dry area where you won’t find any rivers etc. you might have the wrong water filter with you.

Another disadvantage of the LifeStraw is that it is not able to clean as much water as the Sawyer. So for longer trips, I would rather take the Sawyer with me than the LifeStraw.

When would I pick the LifeStraw filter?

Probably, if I would like to have a backup solution with me or if I am planning to hike nearby a river where I don’t want to carry a heavy water bottle with me. I could just take the LifeStraw and take a sip out of the river.

Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System

The Sawyer Mini is currently the water filter that goes into my backpack. It’s small, light, and able to clean a huge amount of water. I found the Sawyer Mini a much better and versatile solution than the LifeStraw, even so, the filter needs a little bit of assembling work before you can use it. Usually, I filter water before I use it (to get small particles out), even so, I know that boiling water kills bacterias.

MSR TrailShot

The MSR TrailShot is the latest product in this list, and it’s probably going to replace my Sawyer Mini. The Inlet Hose and the pump might be quite useful and more convenient to get clean water compared to the Sawyer Mini filter. However, these additional features also come with a little bit more weight (which I don’t mind).


Choosing a water filter system is, of course, a personal choice. In my case I like to have a water filter that does the job, is lightweight, and has a long lifespan. Currently, I am using the Sawyer Mini* on my trips.