If you believe that all good things come in small packages, then the Sawyer Mini Water Filter might be for you.
This tiny squeeze water filter from Sawyer gives you safe, drinkable water anywhere and allows you to travel carefree.
This Sawyer Mini Water Filter Review brings you the what, why, where, and how of this high-value-for-money hiking water filter.
Here you go…
Sawyer Mini Overview
As a wilderness enthusiast, if you’ve ever wished for an efficient backpacking filter that fits into the palm of your hand, then Sawyer Mini Water Filter makes that wish come true.
This small-size-big-value backpacking water filter is manufactured by US-based Sawyer Products.
Sawyer was established in 1984 and is a renowned manufacturer of solutions for protection against insects, sun, and water-borne contaminants.
Weighing all of 2 ounces, the Sawyer Mini comes with a 0.1 Micron absolute hollow fiber membrane inline filter.
The filter removes 99.99999% of all bacteria and 99.9999% of all protozoa that lurk in natural water sources in resource-rich countries.
A word of caution! Don’t be misled by the small size of the filter. The manufacturer claims that this small-size, high-efficiency filter needs no replacement if maintained well. The advertised capacity of the filter is up to 100,000 gallons of water in its lifetime.
And if that’s not enough, the filter is one of the most versatile in its price band. The filter attaches to a hydration bladder with the same ease as it fastens on to a disposable bottle, or to the 16-ounce pouch that comes with it.
We can rant about the product features of the Sawyer Mini backpacking filter forever.
But, it would be unfair if you base your purchase decision only on the positives. So, here is something more to give a thought to.
And, now for the benefits.
The Mini filter is a class in itself. As we said, we can rant about the positives forever. But, we will try to keep it short yet, detailed.
Ultra Lightweight and Compact
The Sawyer Mini weighs just 2 ounces, fits into any corner of your backpack, and yet never compromises the quality of water it serves.
This game-changing water filter combines the advantages of a tiny size and a powerful filtration system that is hard to find among its peers.
It is not without a reason that we classify Sawyer Mini into a class of its own.
The longevity of the filter sets it further apart. Promising 100,000 gallons of water without the need for replacement, this is one of the longest-running filter cartridges available in the market.
Just like its other cousin – the Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter, the Mini filter is a synonym for versatility.
Screw it on to the pouch, or to a disposable soda bottle, or to just about any hydration bladder, it works with equal ease and efficiency.
In fact, if filling the pouch is too demanding, just grab the straw that comes with the filter to take a sip from any puddle or stream. And rest assured of a mouthful of the clear water.
Resistant to Wear and Tear
This is another one of its USPs. Unless you are hell-bent on hammering the filter parts out, the Sawyer Mini will last through the regular jolts and jerks of a backpacking journey.
Some reviews have suggested that the pouch rips and breaks when squeezed hard. If not for Sawyer Mini’s wide compatibility, this could have been a deal-breaker.
But, the problem can be easily solved. Having a backup as basic and inexpensive as a disposable bottle, to which the filter attaches with ease, can make up for the lack of the pouch.
Ease of Use and Maintenance
With very few parts to assemble, the Sawyer Mini is one of the easiest to set up, use, and maintain. Water flows out instantly as you begin to use the filter. Thus, it can be used on-the-go. So, no more wasting precious day time on stopping by to filter water!
On the maintenance front, all that the filter demands of you is an occasional backflush. Use the syringe that comes with the filter to ensure that you get a clean filter to use the next time. It will also prevent a clogged membrane that compromises filtration.
This is not to put a damper on things, but even the best products have limitations.
The mini backpacking water filter has some drawbacks too. Though they can’t deter the product purchase, it is good to know them anyway.
- The flow rate of Sawyer Mini is one of its first and major drawbacks. The filter does not have a particularly fast rate of filtration which can be a challenge in the outdoors. This further worsens when the sediment load in the water source is high. I
- If you are out in the wilderness where the only water you have access to is cloudy with a huge sediment load, it’s best to move to a cleaner water stream than end up with a clogged Mini Filter.
- The Squeeze bag that comes with the filter can also be a bit of a problem. It has a small mouth. This coupled with the design of the bag makes it difficult to fill it. It takes a minimum of 8-10 scoops to completely fill the bag.
- The sturdiness of the bag is also questionable. It is known to be prone to wear and tear and cracks up after a few uses. So, it’s always advisable to have a backup for the bag to ensure a seamless supply of water.
While these imperfections can make you think again but, they can never be disheartening enough for a true backcountry enthusiast who values safe drinking water above all.
Pros and Cons
The list of benefits is endless. But to give you a wider perspective, and to add weight to this Sawyer Mini Water Filter Review, we thought we’ll give you some user reviews.
So, here are some pros and cons from those who used the filter.
+ Easy to use
+ Easy to maintain
– The flow rate is definitely slow. But, it’s the best of what you can expect at this price point.
– Ineffective against viruses and heavy metals.
And now for the technical specs of this small-size, big-value Sawyer Mini Water Filter.
- Weight: 2.0 ounces (approx. 56.69 g)
- Treatment Type: Straw
- Filter Material: Hollow fiber microfiltration membrane (0.1 microns)
- Product Dimensions: 7 inches x 4.6 inches x 2.4 inches
- 16 ounce Collapsible Pouch
- Backwashing Plunger (Syringe)
- Inline Adapters
- Drinking Straw or Gravity Tube
- Filters: Bacteria, protozoa, microplastics
Our Verdict: Recommended
Whether you are stocking up your emergency prep supplies, or are on a shopping spree for the upcoming outdoor trip in the wild, the Sawyer Mini is a thing you wouldn’t want to miss.
Clean and drinkable water is a basic necessity. And this backpacking filter ensures that you have just that, at all times.
Stop by an abundant stream or, sip water from a wet patch, the Sawyer Mini will never fail you. The reusable 0.1 absolute micron Mini water filter keeps your water clear of bacteria and protozoa for up to 100,000 gallons of water.
While the product has its faults, like the squeeze bag being susceptible to breakage and the inoperability of the filter at freezing temperatures, it is unmatched in terms of versatility and provides reliable performance for a long time.
And the best part is that you don’t have to break your bank for it.