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We have been using older water filter bottles with charcoal filters. These are easy to drink from a combination of squeeze the bottle and suck will quickly fill your mouth with a swallow of water.

We are planning to upgrade to sub-micron pore filter bottles. After much research it seems like the two midrange dominate products are the Sawyer (0.1 micron) & Lifestraw (0.2 micron), both have a product that incorporates their filter into their purpose build bottle.

Depending on who you ask and what you believe they both have either vastly different or nearly the same, life expectancy and filtering ability. Leaving that aside and just focusing on getting the water from the bottle, through the filter and into your mouth; are there significant differences?

The difference between 0.1 microns and 0.2 microns is double (or half) what impact does it have on being able to get the water through?

P.S. In most cases we have pre-filtered the water with a Camco 20 micron filter, into the fresh water tank of the camper. Or we are using tap water from our local municipality.

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Leaving that aside and just focusing on getting the water from the bottle, through the filter and into your mouth; are there significant differences?

No.

Water flow as I have experienced myself between Sawyer (0.1) and MSR (0.2) fibrous filters wasn't significantly different. I have seen a big difference between ceramic and fibrous filters though, ceramic having poorer flow.

Keep in mind that unless it is actually the filter material and not just a chemical trap, activated charcoal by itself doesn't do much.

On pore size, the abilities of 0.1 and 0.2 micron filters are almost exactly the same. Cysts and bacteria won't go through both, and viruses will go through both. The only advantage you get from 0.1 micron filters is a reduced chance of the odd bacteria going through. Here's some additional info. Then again, that's in ideal conditions, out of the box. With use, the pores could get slightly bigger and more bacteria might get through. So starting from 0.1 micron makes that process longer and less problematic. If viruses are a problem where you visit, make sure to use a chemical treatment in addition to mechanical filtering.

Just never let your filter cartridge freeze. Remaining water expanding could potentially widen the gaps and make the filter unsafe.

  • Thank you, ultimately we purchased the 0.2 micron product, it is currently more popular and available. It is not difficult to suck water through when new. Have not used it much yet. – James Jenkins Jul 11 '18 at 15:32

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