Monday, September 23, 2013

Sawyer Mini Water Filter Initial Review

The new Sawyer mini water filter is here!  I was given a free filter in exchange for writing a product review. 

Here is a very rough video of my MSR filter compared to the Sawyer Squeeze, I might make another one comparing my MSR with the new Sawyer squeeze mini.  I've been told that my MSR filter might have something wrong with it and that it really is supposed to work better than it does in this video:

Remember this video shows the standard sized Sawyer Squeeze but I am reviewing the new lighter Mini Squeeze in this blog post.

Sawyer has come out with an entirely new type of filter technology.  The MSR uses a heavy ceramic filter.  Sawyer uses a proprietary hollow fiber membrane filter.  The hollow membrane filter works really fast and I understand that it does not clog as fast.   I'll find out for sure when I get this filter out into the field tomorrow

I've only tested the Sawyer Mini Squeeze it with my tap water for now.  I will start testing in the field tomorrow. 

For fun  I performed a blind test on both my daughter and her father and they were both able to immediately distinguish and ID the filtered water from our foul tasting tap water.  Wow!   They said the filtered water tasted much better than our tap water.   So.... I had my housemate perform the blind test on me and....... I failed..  LOL.. I said that the nasty tap water tasted better.. oh well.

The mini filter comes with the filter element, a straw, a bag for holding water and a syringe for back flushing the filter.  The filter element when dry weighed 1.3 ounces on my scale, when wet it weighed 1.8 ounces.  I let the water drip out of it but did not shake it very hard or blow on it.  It might be possible to get a slightly lower wet weight, but who cares?

Dry Weight
Wet Weight

When wet, the entire set up with bag, filter straw and syringe weighed just 4 ounces on my scale!

Wet Weight

That is one light filter and it works very fast with my tap water.  If it works almost as fast with river water I just might take it on all my hikes.   Since this filter weighs so little, and cost so little,  why not bring it along? 

There was one time this summer that I had to drank water that I to funneled into my bottle with my she pee YUCK!  Well urine is sterile they say, but I'd have been much happier if I had this filter with me.

There have also been a few times when I drank from tiny little trickles of water that might have been questionable.  And now I've been told that in the winter there are huge piles of elk poo everywhere on the snow at Sundown pass..  YUCK, that's the head waters of the Skokomish river!

Then there are the times that Patches has beat me to the water and I had to move on and find another water source because I don't care to drink water that my dog has bathed in.  Well with this filter I guess even dog bath water will be safe to drink.

But anyway, I digress.  This filter works either by squeezing the water bag or bottle or by gravity or by sucking water through a straw that connects to the filter.  The filter can also be connected in line with a hydration bag like the the platypus or camel back.    All these options make this a very versatile filter.

I know that some people have had trouble with the Sawyer bag breaking but I am confident that I won't have that problem since I take very good care of my gear and I know not to squeeze the bag too hard.  Also I understand the bags have been upgraded a bit.

I am impressed with this filter and I'm pretty sure I would have bought one if I had not been given one.  That's saying a lot when you consider that I don't normally filter my water.

I intend to do like most hikers do and find a water bottle that I can screw this filter on to, I doubt I will use the bag or the straw.  Then at most my water filtration will only cost me 2 ounces.

  I'll give this a good test in the field and let you all know how well I like it in a couple of weeks.

What Others Are Saying:
Here are what a few other hikers have had to say about the Sawyer Mini:

John Abela-
Will Rietveld -
Erin “Wired” Saver -
CoolBreeze -
SticksBlog -
MossWalks -


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Gator Ray said...

" filter out 0.10 microns or smaller" ? You must mean "or larger" no? Smaller would imply any small particle would be filtered which is not reasonable.

Gator Ray said...

" filter out 0.10 microns or smaller" ? You must mean "or larger" no? Smaller would imply any small particle would be filtered which is not reasonable.

Jim Stout said...

It would be really cool to get one of these as a water filter for home.

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