Whether you’re a hardcore back country hiker or a weekend warrior who enjoys jaunts through the local park, carrying water is a necessity. The problem is that water is heavy and carrying enough for a hike will weigh you down. This is why water filters have become so popular. They allow you to use water you find on your trail as a portable water source. In this article we take a look at the Sawyer MINI Water Filter and let you know if it's worth buying for your next trip to the wilderness.
- Ideal for outdoor recreation, hiking, camping, scouting, domestic and International travel, and emergency preparedness
- High-performance 0.1 Micron absolute inline filter fits in the palm of your hand and weighs just 2 ounces; 100% of MINI...
- Attaches to included drinking pouch, standard disposable water bottles, hydration packs, or use the straw to drink...
The Sawyer Mini is a personal water filtration system that fits in your pocket. It provides 0.1 micron absolute filtration to remove salmonella, E. coli, cholera, and other bacteria from your drinking water. It also removes protozoa such as cryptosporidium and giardia. You can attach it to a water bottle or reusable pouch or use the straw to drink directly from your water source.
How the Sawyer MINI Works
Hollow fiber micro-tubes trap contaminants, allowing clean water to flow through the filter freely. The 0.1 micron filtration means the pore sizes are small than 0.1 microns. Bacteria and protozoa are larger than this and therefore cannot pass through the filter.
Sawyer MINI Water Filter Specs
One of the nicest features of the Sawyer MINI is the inclusion of the pouch and straw. This gives you greater versatility. Other brands use one or the other, but not both. Also, the longevity of this filter is impressive. With competitors lasting for 1,000 liters, the Sawyer MINI's ability to filter 100,000 gallons sets a new bench mark.
How the Sawyer MINI Water Filter Compares
There are many personal water filters on the market. We will compare the Sawyer MINI to others that have similar features and functions to see how they stack up and determine which one delivers the biggest bang for the buck.
- Award-winning LifeStraw water filter is a must-carry tool for hiking, camping, travel, and emergencies; no disaster kit...
- Filters up to 1,000 gallons (4,000 liters) of contaminated water without iodine, chlorine, or other chemicals; does not...
- Removes minimum 99.9999% of waterborne bacteria, 99.9% of waterborne protozoan parasites, and filters to 0.2 microns;...
Lifestraw was an early entry in the personal water filtration market. It's been the darling of campers, backpackers, and doomsdayers for a few years. Its popularity has naturally brought on the competition. One of the biggest drawbacks is that you have to provide very strong suction with your mouth to pull the water through the straw, and this is difficult for some people. It's easier to pull the water through the Sawyer MINI filter. It also lacks the versatility of the MINI as it cannot attach to a bottle to filter water from a container.
- 0.1 micron water filter removes harmful organisms like bacteria 99.9999% and protozoa like Giardia & Cryptosporidium...
- Collapsible 1.0L hydrapak soft bottle flask packs down small to fit in tight spaces (jacket pockets, purses, backpack,...
- Ez-clean Membrane is simple and easy to clean by simply shaking or swishing the filter to clean debris, no backflushing...
The Katadyn filtration system consists of a hollow-fiber water filter and a collapsible bottle. Unlike the MINI, the Katadyn filter can only fit on specific bottles made by another company. They are not compatible with generic water bottles. The filter life is 1,000 liters, the same as the Lifestraw above. It has a very fast filtration rate, one of the fastest of all water filters at 1 liter per 30 seconds. However, its lack of versatility is a drawback if you're in the backcountry.
- Pocket-sized lightweight water filter cleans water on-the-go for hiking, camping, traveling, and emergency preparedness
- Drink directly from the source or fill a water bottle or hydration pack; easy one-handed operation filters one liter in...
- Ultralight (5 ounces) and compact (6x2.4 inches), it fits in a stash pocket for trail runners, hikers, and mountain...
Intended for trail runners, mountain bikers, and fast-packers who need to cover many miles in a hurry, the MST TrailShot is a very small, light water filter designed to fit in stash pockets. You can use it to drink directly from your water source or to fill water bottles. The convenience of the TrailShot lies in the squeeze bulb that draws water up the hose and allows you to kneel and drink from a pond or stream rather than having to lie down on the bank. It's comfortable and quick for that reason.
- Red Line Virus Filter with up to 500 ml/minute flow rate and Certified filtration for 120 gallons (over 450 L)
- Filter made in the USA andCertified lead free to NSF/ANSI 372
- Lightweight and compact 1 oz. (71 g) packable protection
This filter is more expensive than the Sawyer MINI, but it filters not only bacteria and protozoa but also viruses. If you need virus protection, this is a good product. It attaches to your bladder to provide filtered water on the go. It is a slow filter, partly due to the filter being small enough to block viruses. You need a lot of patience to get enough water from this system.
Weight: 2 ounces
Filter material: hollow fiber
Product Dimensions: 4 x 3 x 8 inches
Filters: 100,000 gallon
Weight: 2.08 ounces
Filter material: -
Product Dimensions: 7.9 x 0.8 x 0.8 inches
The microbiological filter will provide: 4,000 liters (1,000 gallons) of clean and safe drinking water
Weight: 2.24 ounces
Filter material: -
Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 3 x 10 inches
Filters: 1,000 liters
Weight: 5.4 ounces
Filter material: -
Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.4 x 2.4 inches
Filters: 2,000 liters of water
Shipping Weight: 5.9 ounces
Filter material: -
Product Dimensions: 7.5 x 1.8 x 9.5 inches
Filters: 120 gallons
Pros and Cons of the Sawyer MINI Water Filter
This water filter certainly has a lot of fans. Because it can be used as a straw, with a water bottle, or even spliced into another hydration system, it can be adapted to all kinds of outdoor activities and situations. There are many reviews and articles touting its strengths and shortcomings as it has been put through real-life trail test. Here are the findings.
The Final Verdict
When choosing a water filter, its crucial to know how you intend to use it. The first thing to consider is the amount of water you want to filter. Do you need to provide large quantities of filtered water, or is 16 ounces at a time enough? The Sawyer MINI is great at filtering small amounts. It is designed to be a personal system. If you are looking for filters that will provide gallons of water when you set up camp for the night, there are gravity filters that can do this for you.
Another important aspect of water filtration that must not be overlooked is where you will use your water filter. If you a hiking in North America, a Sawyer MINI is a great choice. The hollow fiber filter will prevent most water-borne diseases in this part of the world. However, if you are traveling to do humanitarian work in the heart of Africa or many other parts of the world, this filter will not protect you sufficiently. You will need a filter that blocks viruses, metals, and other contaminants to be truly safe.
Overall, the Sawyer MINI Water Filter is an excellent product that does what it is designed to do very well. It is affordable, durable, and important for health and safety while in the back country. It is also easier to use than many or its competitors.
Last update on 2021-03-08 at 22:05 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API