A review of the Sweetwater Microfilter Purifier System

I recently had the chance to use a Sweetwater Microfilter Purifier System.  At first glance I was a bit skeptical, but as I used it, I fell in love with it.  It is an impressive, easy to use filter.  It was simple and quick to assemble or disassemble.

When I first removed it from the box, I found the instructions easy to understand. The first step is to run a brush through the filter element to remove any debris left from the factory.  Next you assemble the unit and run a little clean water through it.  This removes anything you stirred loose with the brush. The unit comes with two different color silicone hoses, a black one for picking up the contaminated water, and a clear one for the clean water. The colors keep you from mixing them up. Attach the two hoses as directed and put the stainless steel prefilter on the black hose.

Drop the black hose in the contaminated water and start pumping.  The lever handle gives you a four to one advantage.  My wife has arthritis in her hands, but she was able to pump water easily (not true of all other filters).  Their rating that says the filter will pump one liter a minute is very conservative.

The specifications shown below are for the Sweetwater Microfilter, not the Sweetwater Microfilter Purifier system.  The only difference between the two units is the Purifier System comes with the Sweetwater Purifier solution.  This solution can be added to the water after it goes through the filter and is effective against viruses.

  • Effective against protozoa   Yes
  • Effective against bacteria  Yes
  • Effective against viruses  No
  • Effective against particulate  Yes
  • Effective against chemicals/toxins  Yes
  • Weight 11 oz / 320 g
  • Width 2 in / 5 cm
  • Length 7.5 in / 19 cm
  • Filter media Silica Depth
  • Filter pore size0.2 microns
  • Flow (L/min)1 liters per min
  • Flow (strokes per liter)75
  • Cartridge life750 liters
  • Field cleanable  Yes
  • Field maintainable  No
  • Country of Origin Made in Seattle, USA
  • Mechanical advantage  Yes
  • Water Bottle Adapter  Yes
  • Cartridge replacement indicator  Yes

The only disappointing thing was that the filter is only rated for 750 liters.  While you do have the ability to clean the filter with the brush that is provided, I have not yet determined how much this will extend the filter life.  Always try and use the cleanest possible water.  If the water is turbid fill a container with it and let the heavy particles settle to the bottom.

The water bottle adapter that comes with it is a nice feature.  It will adapt to different size and styles of bottles.

This is a filter that I would have no problem putting in my 72 hour kit or taking back packing, I would feel very comfortable with it.


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