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Thread: Comparing the Sawyer Mini vs Katadyn BeFree

  1. #1

    Default Comparing the Sawyer Mini vs Katadyn BeFree

    He guys, I bought the Sawyer Squeeze water filter 5 years ago and then I bought the Sawyer Mini a couple of years ago and most recently got the Katadyn BeFree with my REI dividend. Believe it or not, they're all really different.

    Similarities:

    1) both lightweight
    2) both are simple to use
    3) .1 micron filter
    4) Excellent choices for day hikes, trail running, mountain biking


    Differences:
    1) BeFree's flow rate is a lot faster. 2 liters per minute
    2) Mini can filter 100,000 gallons vs BeFree's 264
    3) Clean up is easier with BeFree just rinse it out, Mini can backflush
    4) BeFree has a larger mouth (43mm) so filling it up is easier but is hard to find bag attachments. Hydropak makes a large one. Mini's mouth is smaller (28mm) but you can find lots of bottle attachments.
    5) Mini comes with a straw, so in case you lose the bag or it gets damaged you can drink from the stream directly
    6) Befree's filter fits inside the water reservoir, so you can pack it intact vs the Mini.

    Just in case you want to see a video review:


  2. #2
    Senior Member kyratshooter's Avatar
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    The differences between these two filters are the exact reason I have purchased several of the Sawyer mini filters in the past few years. They have been gifts to people I know who are going into 3rd world nations long term as missionaries.

    The long life and 100,000 gallon filtering capability means they can go into the zones they serve with a Sawyer and not worry about their filters lifespan being too short. They do not have to carry extra filters or be near a parts replacement source.

    The size of the "fitting" means they can attach any standard 16oz, 20oz or two liter bottle to the filter and it will work. No special reservoir is necessary anywhere in the world.

    Third, the Sawyer is half the price of the Katadyn. So for $20 I can buy a Sawyer Mini and give it as a present to my friends when they leave for Africa, knowing that they are going to leave the device with one of the "in-country student preachers" when they leave Africa, to assure the student's health while traveling.

    The first time I discovered that one of my missionary friends had passed my present to them on to another I felt I had made a wise decision, my friend had made a wise decision and I was glad to know my small contribution had been of use to several people. I might have had a slight twinge if I had paid the price of the Katadyn.

    The katadyn is probably best used just as all the other Katadyn filters are used, as expensive devices for backpacking, biking and hiking weekend adventures where you are going home by Sunday night and an REI with replacement filters is just around the corner.
    Last edited by kyratshooter; 10-07-2017 at 10:50 AM.
    Come to the dark side, we have pudding.

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by kyratshooter View Post
    The differences between these two filters are the exact reason I have purchased several of the Sawyer mini filters in the past few years. They have been gifts to people I know who are going into 3rd world nations long term as missionaries.

    The long life and 100,000 gallon filtering capability means they can go into the zones they serve with a Sawyer and not worry about their filters lifespan being too short. They do not have to carry extra filters or be near a parts replacement source.

    The size of the "fitting" means they can attach any standard 16oz, 20oz or two liter bottle to the filter and it will work. No special reservoir is necessary anywhere in the world.

    Third, the Sawyer is half the price of the Katadyn. So for $20 I can buy a Sawyer Mini and give it as a present to my friends when they leave for Africa, knowing that they are going to leave the device with one of the "in-country student preachers" when they leave Africa, to assure the student's health while traveling.

    The first time I discovered that one of my missionary friends had passed my present to them on to another I felt I had made a wise decision, my friend had made a wise decision and I was glad to know my small contribution had been of use to several people. I might have had a slight twinge if I had paid the price of the Katadyn.

    The katadyn is probably best used just as all the other Katadyn filters are used, as expensive devices for backpacking, biking and hiking weekend adventures where you are going home by Sunday night and an REI with replacement filters is just around the corner.
    Awesome story brother! You bring up some really good points about the Mini. A great solution for most applications at a great price.

    I think where the BeFree shines is for trail runners who just want to make a quick stop by a stream, fill up the water bladder and then keep going. It's easier to fill up do to the larger opening and has a faster flow rate, so you can drink on the go.

  4. #4
    Senior Member Graf's Avatar
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    I use the Sawyer as well. Recently been using Steri Pen I put a bandana around the opening of my Nalgene bottle to filter debri then insert the steri pen for 90 seconds light turns green, good to go, haven't had any ill effects at all price was around $60.00, still keep my Sawyers as back ups
    Semper Paratus

  5. #5

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    Good info! I've been using the Lifestraw but it looks like the Sawyer lasts longer and is perhaps more versatile. The fact that it's much smaller is also nice!

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