A Review of the Sawyer Mini Filter

Sawyer Mini Filter

A while back, I picked up a four pack of Sawyer Mini Filters.  Since then I have been playing with them and have grown to like them for use in a bug out or get home bag.  They are also good for use in your everyday carry.  With a weight of only 2 ounces and being very compact, they can easily fit in your pocket.

The Sawyer Mini Filter is rated to 0.1 micron absolute, weighs only 2 ounces, and filters up to 100,000 gallons.  Now personally I can’t see anyone ever running that much water through one, but it is nice to know that the capacity is there.

Sawyer Mini Filter
Drinking from a soda bottle.

This is not the filter that you want in your home or bug out location.  It is not going to filter large quantities of water in a short period of time.  But if you are out on the trail, it will filter enough water for your daily cooking and drinking.

The Sawyer Mini Filter Kit Includes:

  • 1 “ Sawyer Mini Filter with Tip Cap
  • 1 “ 16 oz Reusable Squeeze Pouch
  • 1 “ 7³ Drinking Straw
  • 1 “ Cleaning Plunger (Syringe)
  • Cleaning and Maintenance Instructions

The Sawyer Mini Filter remove 99.9999% of all bacteria and protozoa including salmonella, cholera and E.coli, giardia and cryptosporidium. They do not remove chemicals or viruses which are rarely found in natural sources in North America.

The Sawyer Mini Filter can be used in one of several ways.  It can be attached to the collapsible drinking pouch that is included or attached inline on a hydration pack.  It will also fit on a standard soda bottle, or simply use the included drinking straw to drink directly from the water source.

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You need to back flush it every few days when you are using it or when it starts to get tough to suck water through.  I always carry the  syringe with the filter. A proper backwashing can restore up to 98.5% of the filter’s flow rate.

A couple to things to understand, this is never going to be a high flow filter, it will be more like drinking from a straw and if not kept clean will get slower.  The 16 ounces bag that comes with it can rupture if used incorrectly.  People get in a hurry and squeeze the bag too hard in an attempt to force water through the filter faster.  This sometimes causes the bag to rupture, give the filter time to work.

Sawyer mini Filter
The bottle on the left works fine. The one on the right will not fit.

From reading the ads you can get the impression that all water bottle will screw onto the filter, but this is not the case.  All soda style bottles will, many of the new water bottles are made of a cheaper plastic with a slightly smaller threat.  So don’t count on them all fitting.

As long as you take care of this filter and keep it back flushed, it should be the only filter you ever need.  That being said get at least two.  At about $25, they are quite inexpensive.



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