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The Charlie Mike Blog

Sawyer Mini Water Filter Review

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I’ve been conducting a long term test of the Sawyer Mini Water Filter for over six months now.There are several reasons why I went with the Sawyer Mini.For one thing, this filter is light at only 2 ounces.When you’re counting every ounce in your pack, a heavy ceramic filter doesn’t usually make the cut.Another great aspect of this filter is that it can be used in several different ways.It comes with a squeeze bag that can be filled with water and then threaded onto the filter.As you squeeze the bag, the dirty water is filtered and the clean water comes out the other side of the filter.However, if the bag is damaged or lost, you can still utilize this method.The screw pattern that Sawyer used on the filter also matches a standard 2 Liter soft drink bottle and most standard disposable water bottles.So you can pick up nearly any old plastic bottle and still have a way to push water through the filter.

This filter can also be used as an inline filter for your water bladder.You can cut your drinking tube and put it in the middle if you still want to use your regular bite valve.This gives you a great option for filtering on the go.You have to pull harder through the drink tube, but it’s great to have this additional option.

The Mini also comes with a straw to give you an additional way to use the filter.You simply push the straw on the filter input and then you can drink directly from the unfiltered water source.This method is great if you’re in a hurry or just need a quick drink.

Also, this filter is rated to 100,000 gallons of water!This is possible because of the included cleaning syringe.You fill the syringe (no needles) with clean water and back wash the filter, clearing any accumulated particles and you’re back in business.

I’ve experimented with using the filter as a gravity filter as well.I took a two liter plastic Coke bottle and cut the bottom off of it.Then I threaded the filter onto the bottle.After that, I poked a couple of holes in the sides of the bottle and put a string in it to make a hanger.Then, with the filter pointed toward the ground, I poured unfiltered water into the open bottom of the Coke bottle.After a minute or so, the water started coming out of the filter.I just kept pouring unfiltered water into the open end of the Coke bottle.As long as I kept water in the bottle, the clean, filtered water kept flowing out of the filter into my clean water container.To be fair, this is not the way this filter was designed to be used.Sawyer has a filter that’s specifically designed for this (the Sawyer All-In-One, which is rated to one million gallons!).However, since the Mini is rated for 100,000 gallons, it is not a stretch to think that you could use this method to supply clean water for a group of people using a single campsite.

The bottom line is this:The Sawyer Mini is a great option for filtering water in an emergency or back country situation.It’s light, durable and easy to use.I include my Sawyer Mini in my kit every time I go into the woods.I have different levels of kit that I carry depending on the situation, but my Sawyer Mini is always included.

Be safe,

Charlie Mike

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