Katadyn Vs Sawyer Water Filter

As a hiker, backpacker, or camper, you need to stay hydrated to perform optimally in outdoor settings. However, access to safe drinking water can be a daunting task, leaving you to settle for water from contaminated sites.

Luckily, thanks to portable water filters, it allows you to drink water from the same sources without getting ill and the need to carry water bottles. They use different filtration methods such as hollow filtration to remove harmful contaminants.

In this article, we compare the Katadyn with the Sawyer Squeeze filter. Through the article, we will see how they stack up and, in the end, you’ll make an informed purchasing decision.

Katadyn vs sawyer

DISCLOSURE: We may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.



Katadyn Befree

The Katadyn is a premium filter packed with Swiss water filtration technology.  It is effective, stylish, portable, and ideal for everyday backpackers or hikers. This filter is better than the Sawyer since it offers better filtration results.

Katadyn and Swayer at a Glance

Katadyn is a Switzerland-based company that deals with the production of safe and high-quality hydration and nutrition products.

Most of their products are geared for marine, tactical, outdoor, and emergency preparedness activities.

In its 90+ years of business, it has acquired some of the notable companies in a bid to offer sustainable yet straightforward solutions.

Sawyer, on the other hand, is a United States-based company.

It deals with manufacturing products that offer a solution to water, sun, and bug challenges. In short, its products are geared towards the outdoor environment.

The company has been in business since 1984 and become one of the leading producers of filters.

The brand is known for its compact, portable, and lightweight filters synonymous with hikers and campers.

So why do many people prefer their filters?

Well, they are of high quality, independently tested, and are portable. Besides, their pricing is fair, ensuring you get value for your money.

In this article, we will look at the Sawyer Squeeze and the Katadyn. We will look at their features, design, compare their lifespans, and more.

Let’s dive in!

Katadyn Befree and Sawyer Comparison Table

In this section, we look at the brands’ specifications.

Image PRODUCT/ Features Rating  
WinnerNinja BL610 Katadyn BefreeFilter Quality: removes 99.99% of bacteria and protozoa
Filter lifespan:
1,000 liters (approximately 2 months)
Annual Replacement Cost:
Flow Rate:
2 liters per minute
Customer Review:
Number of Reviews:
2 years
Special features:
collapsible hydration pack
Sawyer Squeeze Sawyer SqueezeFilter Quality: removes 99.99% of bacteria, protozoa, 100% microplastics
Filter lifespan:
Annual Replacement Cost:
nil/ $13.99+ for water bladders
Flow Rate:
1.7 liters per minute
Customer Review:
Number of Reviews:
Warranty: lifetime
Special features:
inline adapter, mesh pouch, backwash syringe, drinking

Filter Quality (What Does It Remove?)

The two brands are equipped with hollow filtration technology.

The Katadyn can remove 99.99% of protozoa such as Cryptosporidium and 99.99% of bacteria. On the other hand, the Sawyer removes 99.99% of bacteria and protozoa and 100% of microplastics.

As such, the brands are well-suited for outdoor activities such as hiking and camping. However, they are not equipped to remove chemicals and viruses. Fortunately, such contaminants are not prevalent in most water sources.

They comprise a 0.1-micron absolute filter system that ensures anything greater than 0.1 microns is removed.As such, you don’t have to worry about some bacteria like cholera slipping through the hollow membrane.

When it comes to cleaning the filter, Katadyn allows you to clean by shaking or swishing through the water source to remove dirt.

For Sawyer, you need to use a backwash plunger to remove any residual. However, a plastic casing protects the Sawyer hollow membrane from pathogens.

While it is easier to clean Katadyn membrane, it is more prone to pathogens and other contaminants. Where as, Sawyer takes the day since it can remove more contaminants. It also has its hollow fiber membrane enclosed in a plastic casing.

Designs and Models

Well, the brands come in impressive designs. For one, they are portable and lightweight, just the design any outdoor enthusiast wants. Secondly, they are minimalistic meaning they require a small space in your bag or carrying pouch.

When it comes to Katadyn, the filter features a collapsible synthetic water bladder almost resembling a water bottle with a filter. It can hold up to 1 liter of water. As such, you can fold it in your bag, back pocket, or any other space without taking much space. Besides, you don’t need to buy a hydration pack common with other brands. It allows you to carry the main filter separately meaning, it is less prone to contamination.

For Sawyer, it comes in a rigid yet robust plastic construction that does not allow you to fold and squeeze it in small spaces. However, its design ensures that it does not break easily or get pierced by sharp objects. Besides, it is BPA-free meaning it is free from cancer-causing compounds.

You’ll need to purchase a water reservoir if you go with the Sawyer. It further increases the number of accessories you need to carry with you.

The Sawyer however makes installing and removing accessories easy thanks the screw element. When it comes to installation, Katadyn only requires you to fill the hydration pack with water and then screw it in place.

When it comes to their aesthetic aspect, the two brands have done an exquisite job. Sawyer comes in a blend of black, white, and blue colors that are common when it comes to filtration systems.

Likewise, the Katadyn comes in a blend of dark and sky-blue colors pleasing to the eye. Furthermore, the lettering and brand name placement in the two is exceptional, almost statement-making.

The Katadyn is lighter than the Squeeze since it weighs 63.50 grams compared to 91 grams. Well, from the design and model standpoint, Katadyn makes the cut. It is collapsible, colorful, and comes in a durable make.

A man drinking fom Katadyn BeFree water filter

Flow rate/Capacity

The rate of flow of water in both is fast. This is an ideal feature for people on the go such as mountain bikers.

The Sawyer has a flow rate of 1.7 liters per minute. This allows you to drink the water as the filtration takes place. This means you don’t have to wait for minutes to have your water filtered as you hike or camp.

On the other hand, Katadyn has a faster flow rate of 2 liters per minute. This is proportional to the filter’s type and size of its filter membrane. The Sawyer Squeeze has a longer hollow filter membrane compared to Katadyn.

While the rate of flow is high, they live up to their name of removing 99.99% of contaminants.

However, avoid using them in water sites that are heavily contaminated since you’ll only ruin their efficiency.

If you find that the flow of water is reducing, perform a backwash on the Sawyer or swish the Katadyn through a water site. This should restore up to 98% of the flow rate, as explained in the Katadyn befree review.

In this section, we can see that Katadyn offers a better flow rate and as such, it takes the day.


As global brands, they have their filters certified by relevant bodies. Besides getting conventional certifications such as ISO, they meet or rather exceed the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) requirements.

The Sawyer undergoes independent laboratory testing in some of the most -trusted labs in the industry. This includes Laboratory Hydreion and Aquadiagnostiics laboratories in the United States.

Filter Lifespan & Annual Maintenance Cost

These brands come with different lifespans. The Squeeze presents you with a lifetime lifespan meaning you can use it for many years without replacing it.

As you can see, it is more cost-effective since you don’t have to replace it after every few months of use. On the other hand, the Katadyn Befree filter has a 1000 liters lifespan. This is approximately two months of use.

So, what’s its annual maintenance cost? Well, it will depend on the number of accessories you want to buy.

If you use the squeeze with the hydration pack only, then your annual cost will be the price of a few water bladders. It is anywhere from $13.99.

For the Katadyn Befree, you’ll shell out quite a lot since a single filter sells at $60.76. You’ll be spending upwards of $364.00 per year.

But this price is reasonable given the filtering features that it affords you. Besides, its design and construction are well-suited for outdoor activities.

In this section, the Sawyer wins since its lifespan is way better than Katadyn, and the annual maintenance is close to none.

A backpacker sipping water from his Sawyer Squeeze fiter conveniently during camping


As expected, premium water brands come with comprehensive warranties, and this is what the two brands offer you.

The Sawyer has a lifetime warranty, meaning if there’s a manufacturer defect two years after buying it, you can get a new one for free.

On the other hand, the Katadyn befree comes with a two-year warranty. However, you need to purchase them from an authorized dealer or online store such as Amazon for the warranty to be effective.

Stand out features

  • Collapsible hydration pack: The Katadyn Befree comes with an integrated collapsible hydration pack. As such, you can fit in your pocket, bag, or even in tight spaces without damaging the filter.
  • Inline adapters: The Sawyer Squeeze comes with inline adapters that link directly to the water bladder. This means you can store the water in your bag and still drink it as you go.
  • Drinking straw: The tubes in the Sawyer, which can come in different lengths, enable you to drink water from your storage area. This can be your backpack or mesh carrying pouch.
  • Drink nozzle: The Katadyn Befree comes with a drink nozzle for added hygiene.

Which Water Filter Is Better? Katadyn or Sawyer Squeeze?

As we have seen, the brands live up to their names thanks to the exceptional water filtering results. However, either is suited for a specific situation. Let’s look at them.

Use Katadyn if
+ You want one that you can store in tight spaces. The water pouch is collapsible allowing you to fold and place it in your pocket.
+ You often go hiking and backpacking. Since you can replace it after two months, you’ll be assured of exceptional water filtering results.
+ You want one with a faster water flow.
+ You want a premium water filter that fetches a higher price.
Use Sawyer Squeeze if
+ You don’t want to replace your filter after every few months. It comes with a lifetime lifespan.
+ You want to access safe drinking water without visiting a water source often. You can store the water in other provided hydration packs.
+ You are looking for a lifetime guarantee product as we saw in the Sawyer Squeeze review.
+ You are on a budget. It is way cheaper than the Katadyn.

Share The Love

If you find this useful, please let others know by sharing it. 

Share on facebook
Share It
Share on twitter
Tweet Us
Share on pinterest
Pin This