First Look @ the Sawyer Mini Water Filter

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A few days ago, I received an email from Patrick at Sawyer, asking me if I would be interested in checking out one of the new Sawyer Mini water filters. Being a huge fan of my Sawyer Squeeze (like so many other backpackers that I know are), I immediately said sure! Then today, when I got home from work, I found a little brown box sitting on my doorstep…

At first I wondered what it could be (since I did not expect the filter to arrive so quickly), but after a quick inspection of the box, I realized that it was indeed my new Sawyer Mini! So, I did like normal: threw it on my table, grabbed my camera, and then made this video…

So, to cut right to it, in comparison to the already super-awesome Sawyer Squeeze water filter, the Sawyer Mini is:

  1. Smaller
  2. Lighter
  3. More versatile
  4. And yet, still retains the trusty 0.1 micron ABSOLUTE hollow fiber membrane filter.

One difference between the Mini and the Squeeze is that they removed some of the black, plastic, body around the filter. The Mini’s end-caps are now all that is made from that same black, plastic. The middle of the filter is now slimmer, and has a clear, hard plastic body, which their product sticker is placed around. When I first saw photos of the Mini, this was my area of concern, but now that I have handled it, the clear plastic feels tougher than I had imagined. Anyway, this alone trims down the size of the filter from that of the Squeeze, and I would also assume, this is where some of the weight has been dropped.

Sawyer has also decided to integrate the inflow/outflow nipples right into the Mini filter, which means no additional parts need to be purchased to use this as an inline filter. But not only for inline use, this also allows a (provided) straw to be attached to the inflow nipple, which can then be placed right into a water source to drink from. Or, fill a glass/bottle with “dirty” water, then stick the straw in and start sipping (as seen directly below). Easy.

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The inflow port side still has the threaded hub so that the filter can screw right onto the Sawyer Squeeze bags, or on other bottles that have the same thread pitch. And just as with the Squeeze, there is a rubber washer inside the end-cap that forms a seal to keep the contaminated water from leaking out around the threads. And if you would prefer, you can attach the straw to the inflow nipple, then screw the filter onto the 16 oz bag. This will allow you to be able to sip from the bag easily in an upright manner, rather than throwing your head back and squirting the water into your mouth (like in my photo above).

Another interesting, yet simple, feature is the addition of the nipple cap for the outflow (clean) side. It is a simple cap that is attached to the outflow nipple and is just big enough to cover the tip. This should make it very easy to keep up with, as well as keep the outflow port from becoming contaminated. (And while it may not matter, I think it would be nice if this little cap was a bright color, just in case it did manage to come loose and fall off.)

And probably the best part about this filter is that they still kept the 0.1 micron ABSOLUTE filter inside. This is not a “nominal” water filter… it does not filter out “up to…” The Mini filter ABSOLUTELY filters out anything larger than 0.1 microns, which is small enough for anything that we should encounter here in the US. In my opinion, if you want water that is cleaner than what this filter will offer, then you need to step up to a purifier, or at least chemicals…

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(I will admit, water treatment methods are a huge debate in the backpacker circles… there are lots of different methods, and we all have our reason for liking our own method. I do not intend on getting into them in this post. For me though, I was a huge fan of chemicals for quite a while, but decided to give the Squeeze a try, and once I did, I have been hooked. Now, the Squeeze is my method of choice when it comes to water treatment, however, it looks like the Squeeze has been knocked out of its place in exchange for the Mini!)

So, what came in the box?

  • 1 Sawyer Mini water filter
  • 1 60 cc Syringe for backflushing
  • 1 Straw
  • 1 16 oz Sawyer Soft Bottle

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And maybe even more important… weights? Here is what I got on my personal scales:

  • Sawyer Mini Filter (w/ outflow nipple cap): 1.4 oz or 39 g  (**DRY WEIGHT**)
  • 60 cc Syringe: 1.1 oz or 32 g
  • 16 oz Soft Bottle w/ Cap: 0.7 oz or 21 g
  • Straw: 0.2 oz or 6 g

I feel that it is worth noting that the 1.4 oz weight listed above for the filter is for a clean, brand new, dry filter. However, the truth of the matter is, after the first time we use it, it will be wet, so while it does only weigh 1.4 oz, in my opinion, that is not a true “trail-weight.” So, I took the filter outside and filtered some water through it, then shook it like a madman trying to remove as much water as possible (as I also do with the Squeeze). After doing this, I carried the filter back inside and re-weighed it. This time, I got 1.8 oz, or 50 g. In my opinion, this is the weight that matters since this is what it will weigh when I am carrying it around.

Considering this, I can get my Squeeze down to around 2.7 – 2.8 oz when wet, so, for me, the Mini is approximately 0.9 – 1 oz lighter than the Squeeze. Considering we are only talking about less than 3 oz total, this to me is a substantial amount of weight loss. As well, considering that I am hearing that the price on the Mini’s may be as low as only $20 (I do not know the actual prices, only rumors), I still find that weight loss to be a substantial difference, and in my opinion, is a great reason to upgrade.

So, as I said before, it’s lighter, smaller, more versatile than the Squeeze, and still has the 0.1 micron ABSOLUTE filter; plus it looks like it may have a pretty light price tag on it to boot. Sawyer has stated this the life of the Mini water filter is only 100,000 gallons, which is a big difference from the Squeeze’s claimed “million gallon” guarantee, but let’s face it… 100,000 gallons is a lot of water…

I obviously have not used the filter in the field, but off the bat, it looks to me like Sawyer has another winner on their hands. Based on my own personal experience with my Sawyer Squeeze, and now with playing around with the new Mini, I feel quite confident with it. However, only time will tell, so I am looking forward to getting it out and getting it wet… Until then, I would like to say thanks to Patrick, as well as Sawyer, for giving me the opportunity to check their newest filter out!

9-19-13 UPDATE:

The Mini filters are already showing up for sale around the web! Here are a few sources that are already listing them:

Thanks for stopping by!

~Stick~

Disclaimer: Sawyer has provided me with this Sawyer Mini water filter free of charge, and in exchange for personal feedback, as well as an online review. The comments in this post (written & spoken) are of my own opinion, which I formed after personally handling the Sawyer Mini water filter. 

I feel that it is also worth noting that I am not sure when these filters will be made available to the public, nor what the actual prices will be. I have heard rumors on both of these topics, but I have not heard anything to actually confirm any of it.

About Stick

My blog is essentially a record of my hiking career. Through it, I, and others, can see how I have evolved from a heavy weight backpacker, to a smarter, more efficient, lightweight backpacker. Through the use of video, still photos, and of course writing, one can see my progression, as well as check out some of the places I hike, and not to mention some cool, lightweight gear options. For me, my blog is a journal, but for others, I hope that it is an interactive learning tool to aid them in their own progression towards lightweight backpacking.
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47 Responses to First Look @ the Sawyer Mini Water Filter

  1. Pingback: PHGT: October 2016 Mt Roger’s/Grayson Highland Hike | Stick's Blog

  2. vince says:

    Interesting that there are such different experiences with the sawyer mini vs. sawyer squeeze. Maybe my mini got jacked up in Arizona such that I couldn’t ever fully back-flush it, but I recently bought the Sawyer Squeeze and have found that it’s relatively effortless… sort of like the difference between drinking a milkshake through a standard soda straw and drinking it through a boba milk tea/smoothie straw. One is a steady stream with fists and forearms clenched, and the other is a strong jet stream when the same effort. Hope its flow rate doesn’t diminish too much over time.

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    • Stick says:

      Vince,

      Unfortunately, I think with the Sawyer’s it is pretty much hit or miss… with either the Mini or the Squeeze. I have seen both old and new, Mini’s and Squeeze’s, fail. That is kind of a bummer, but at least for me, I am happy that both of them that I have had have been good filters…

      ~Stick~

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  3. Michael says:

    How does the FLOW RATE of the new Mini compare to that of the original and bigger Squeeze?
    Of course, let’s assume we are comparing either two brand new filters or two freshly back-washed filters. Thanks!

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    • Stick says:

      Michael,

      Of course the Squeeze is going to be slightly faster than the Mini since it is larger (the filters are the same though). IMHO though, the Mini is still fast. Much faster than most other filters, as well as easier to use… I really don’t notice any difference in the time to filter the same amount of water whether it’s with the Squeeze or the Mini though. I personally choose to use the Mini.

      Hope this helps.

      ~Stick~

      Like

  4. Pingback: Prepper News Watch for June 11, 2014 | The Preparedness Podcast

  5. André says:

    Great review, saw this just now but I ordered mine yesterday.

    By the way you’re picture could be sent to this tumblr page 😉
    I have a few friends listed there.
    http://menstrugglingtodrinkwater.tumblr.com

    Great blog too, put it in my reading list!

    /André

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  6. Brad says:

    Great write-up. We are very interested in the Mini to go along with or maybe even replace our Steripen Classic. One word about durability and efficacy: How long is the washer supposed to last before allowing dirty water through to the outflow side? Is this cause for great concern, in your opinion? Thanks!

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    • Stick says:

      Brad,

      I have never used the Steripen and probably never will… to many things to go wrong with it. Although, I know 1 or 2 people that use them and like them, and there are a few more online that also seem to like them… As for the Mini, I don’t know how long the washer is supposed to last. It seems like some folks have had issues with them on the Squeezes, however, if you are worried about it, I would suggest to just throw a rubber washer from a water hose in your ditty bag, just in case.

      ~Stick~

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  7. craig says:

    why don’t sawyer provide a syring. that connects directly to the filter for backflush. in all my sets, the syringe is too small to directly screw onto the back end of the filter to backflush. As it is, the syringe does NOT connect to the filter, and you need to either cut a one inch piece of the tube or take similar to allow connection of the syringe to backflush. another bit of gear. disappointed at the added complexity.

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    • Stick says:

      Craig,

      I know others have made this same comment, however, I don’t find it to be hard at all to use the provided luer lock syringe with the nipple on the outfliow side. Here is how I do it, and it works great:

      1. Fill the syringe with clean water
      2. Grab the filter with my left hand (I am right-handed)
      3. Grab the syringe by the plunger with my right hand
      4. Guide the opening of the syringe into the opening of the nipple on the filter
      5. Push down on the plunger

      The force from pushing down on the plunger will easily keep the syringe tip inside the nipple, and will allow the water to easily and quickly be forced through the filter. I usually flush it out 3 to 4 times, unless I meet some resistance, then I will flush it out more, however, I have not met any resistance with the Mini yet.

      I agree, it could be easier if the syringe screwed directly onto the filter, but I have got to admit, even as it is, it has been a very simple task for me to complete. Even my kids can do it without cutting hoses up or adding additional “adapters.”

      Hope this helps some!

      ~Stick~

      Like

  8. Zpacks lists dry weight as 1.3, you list 1.4… I wonder who is right?

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    • Stick says:

      Michael,

      We are both right. There will be variances amongst them… I have heard some say that thier’s weigh 1.2 oz… Mine weighed 1.4 oz right out of the box as seen in my video. Obviously, the one that ZPacks weighed was 1.3 oz.

      However, as I also mentioned in the video, the dry weights don’t really matter. It is the wet weight that matters. Once you get the filter wet, you will not get it dry for a very long time, and you will be carrying a wet filter. Considering this, I list a wet weight when making out my spreadsheets, which is actually 1.71 oz the last time I measured.

      Hope this helps.

      ~Stick~

      Like

  9. Jim says:

    So am I correct that you could fill a one liter soda bottle with dirty water, screw the Mini onto the bottle, attach an outlet tube to the Mini leading to a clean empty bottle, find some way to hang the full dirty bottle upside down, and so create a gravity filter? Or do you have to squeeze the water though the Mini?

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    • Stick says:

      Jim,

      Yes, that is correct. Of course the flow is not as fast using it in gravity mode as it would be if you were forcing the water through, but it is not what I would describe as terribly slow. IIRC, 2L of water filtered through in about 8 minutes or so for me…

      Also, if you do this, I would suggest to not have the entire system completely sealed. If you do though, I would suggest squeezing out all of the air in the container that you are filling. There needs to be a way for the air to escape, or burp, or there will end up being too much pressure inside the clean bottle and the flow will drastically slow, or even stop.

      Hope this helps!

      ~Stick~

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  10. David says:

    Chad,

    Have tried the Sawyer / Platy adapter from Mini Bull Designs?
    https://www.minibulldesign.com/ProductCart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=208&idcategory=

    This would allow you to use a regular 2 L Platy bag as your “squeeze” bag.

    I also noticed that they recently added this to their website for the mini:
    https://www.minibulldesign.com/ProductCart/pc/viewPrd.asp?idproduct=222&idcategory=

    I think you should order these and report back with weights to the nearest 0.01 g. 😉

    I’m trying to figure out how I can
    (i) use my regular 2L Platy bag as my squeeze / gravity bag

    and

    (ii) attach the clean output end to my Hoser hydration system in the most efficient way possible.

    This nifty quick detach accessory from Sawyer looks promising, too

    http://www.rei.com/product/858765/sawyer-fast-fill-hydration-pack-adapter-kit

    Like

    • Stick says:

      David,

      John Abela has posted about the first adapter that you linked to, I can;t remember if it was on his HikeLighter.Com FaceBook page, or on his blog though. For me though, I was not interested. With the Squeeze, I simply filled the dirty bag, screwed the Squeeze on and then filtered it though. I did have the push/pull cap on the output/clean side, and it fit well into the opening of a 20 oz Gatorade bottle. This made it easy for me without needing additional pieces. Also, since Sawyer has updated their bags, I am fine using them. I will admit, it would be nice if I could see through the bag, but it is not super important… just a nicety…

      As for the second adapter, it is really unnecessary for my needs too. I use the Mini in the same manner as my Squeeze…

      However, for less money, you could pick up one of the Sawyer Inline Adapters ($5) and just cut a piece of tubing about 3 – 4 inches long and have the same thing. I did this a while back because people were complaining that the output end of the Mini is not threaded. I doubt I will use it though…

      As for your questions, I would suggest just using the Sawyer bag for your dirty bag. IIRC, you can get 2 of them for about $10. This is the simpliest way to go about it…

      I am not sure if you have the Mini or the Squeeze. If you have the Squeeze, buying the inline adapter kit (linked above) will help you attach the output end to the hose on the hydration system. I would just bring the blue adapter. When you are ready to use it, just screw it to the top of the Squeeze, then plug the nipple into the end of the hose. If you are using the Mini, you can just plug the nipple on the output end into the hose.

      Of course though, using the quick detach would work to…

      Hope this helps some!

      ~Stick~

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  11. David says:

    Stick,

    Just to clarify, are you using the 2L Sawyer bags as a gravity filtration setup where you hole-punched holes in the bag and attached some cord? I’m thinking using it inline would be too much trouble, since it would “suck” to have to constantly suck through the filter. (This was the conclusion Will Rietveld drew in his water filtration review on BPL). I guess I didn’t think hard about the cookpot idea to fill your Sawyer bag–admittedly this should work well, although it would add the inconvenience of having to haul out your cook gear every time you get water.

    I’m kind of spoiled with my Platypus CleanStream (now gravityworks?) dirty bag, because it has a big opening on the top, and the quick disconnect hose allows you to turn off the water flow much as you would do at home in your kitchen. The bag weighs in at 2.96 oz (4 L capacity), and the hose I use to connect from the dirty bag to the Sawyer filter (to increase pressure and help with flow rate) weighs 1 oz. So that’s about 4 oz total for the dirty bag/hose. It takes me about 4 minutes to filter 1 L of water with this setup–this is with the older all-black Sawyer filter. I’m wondering what your flow rate is with the new Sawyer mini in gravity mode (without any additional tubing between the dirty bag and filter to increase pressure). Also, how much does your Sawyer 2L bag weigh?

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    • Stick says:

      David,

      No, I am not using the 2L Sawyer bag for the sole purpose of gravity filtration. I attached the cord on the Sawyer bag so that I can use it as a gravity filter if I want to, but more so, so that I can hang it from a branch, or a nail or something, and use it as a shower, or to wash my feet, or dishes or something similar.

      As far as using it inline, I have not done this with the Mini yet (although, I may try sometime… I dunno though, I am not a fan of this method of water delivery), however, I have tried using my Squeeze inline. It worked fine until I got to about the bottom third of the bag and then the suction in the bag made it difficult to continue to drink from. Also, I carried the bag in an upright manner… it may have done better if it had been pointed down? Also worth noting, Liz Thomas used her Squeeze inline in the same manner on our recent hike, and I believe has done so many times before… It seemed to work well for her, at least she liked it…

      As for scooping water with the cook pot, how convenient it is depends on how you pack your pack. For me personally, it is not ideal, however, I know a lot of others do this and it is… Another option though is to cut down a small water bottle and carry the bottom to scoop up water with. I just cut the top of a 16 oz Great Value water bottle off and it only weighs 0.2 oz.

      My 2L Sawyer bag with the lid, the cord and a rubber band to secure it closed weighs 1.4 oz. Comparing that to your 4L bag would still be lighter, as well, you would have 2 bags instead of 1, just in case something were to happen to one… Just a thought.

      I also filled that same 2L Sawyer bag and screwed my Mini filter directly onto it (no hoses), then hung it from a hook on my front porch. It took 9 minutes and 30 seconds for both liters of water to completely filter through the Mini, so it is about the same time as your set up. However, I do wonder if this time would be increased had I used a hose between the bag and the filter. Either way though, I like the gravity flow rate. As I mentioned, I can hand it from a branch and open it up and use it as a shower… about a 9 minute shower!

      Hope this helps some…

      ~Stick~

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  12. Adrian says:

    Quick comment. I’m pretty sure something has changed because I’ve read a lot of comments about the Platy bags being incompatible with the Sawyers but this is simply not the case anymore. I have a squeeze filter and a Platy bag and they work perfectly together. Got both at Amazon about two months ago before my trip to Denali.

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Adrian,

      I spoke with the rep from Sawyer, and here is what he had to say about the threads on the new Mini vs the slightly older Squeeze:

      “The threads on the Mini and the Squeeze are exactly the same; however, our threads only fit some Platy bags. We do not know for sure but believe that Platy may have changed threads over the years. So some bags may fit and others will not. I bought a brand new Platy bag this year and it screwed on no problem and no leaking.”

      The threads on the bags and on the Mini do look the exact same as what is on the Squeeze. So, the best I can say is to try it out with your own bags, if they work, then they work, however, I wouldn’t recommend that they will work with all bags. My Mini does not fit correctly on my Platy bags, which also does not fit correctly on my Squeeze filter.

      Hope this clears things up some.

      ~Stick~

      Like

  13. David Poston says:

    Chad,

    Would you personally take the Sawyer bags or the Evernew ones? I myself have always used a Sawyer filter (the old black ones, circa 2009, before the Squeeze) in conjunction with a Platypus CleanStream system bag that has a big zip opening on the top. Basically, it’s a gravity filtration setup. I also added Platy tubing between the “dirty” bag and the filter to increase flow rate.

    Do you feel that the Sawyer/Evernew bags fill easily enough, or is it a pain to fill them, especially if you don’t have running water? Just trying to decide if I should ditch my gravity setup in favor of the Squeeze concept. The big deciding factors for me would be (i) flow rate and minimal effort to use and (ii) ease in filling the dirty bag.

    Like

    • Stick says:

      David,

      Being that I only have the 1.5L Evernew, I usually find myself carrying the updated 2L Sawyer bag. I generally just use this to collect water in throughout the day to filter into a bottle, and then to collect water at camp, which is why the 2L is appealing to me. The Sayer bags are just fine by me, and considering how hard it is to get the Evernew bags, I will likely just stick with the Sawyer bags…

      As for filling them, depending on the source, it can be a bit difficult. One option is to use your cook pot, to dip and pour. I have used Ziploc bags, but a cook pot is easier to deal with. Another option is to cut down a water bottle and use it. If not using your cook pot or mug, this is likely the best option.

      Probably the easiest way to use the Mini or the Squeeze though is to find a bottle that has the same threads (Sprite bottles, SmartWater bottles, etc…) Use the bottle to dip, then screw the filter to the top and drink straight from the filter. It will be easier to fill those bottles than the soft bottles, and you can reserve the soft bottles to camp water, or if you need to fill it and carry it, you can still use the bottle to dip and pour…

      Hope this helps some!

      ~Stick~

      Like

  14. Sunny Waller says:

    NUTS..this has messed up my system 🙂 With the Squeeze I just fill up my 2 Liter Platy and go using the Squeeze as an inline filter in my hydration hose. I use the quick disconnect adapters to remove it for backflushing the filter and drying out my hose. Simple and sweet. The MINI does not have quick disconnect adapters (back to the old days) I can see leaving a hose attached on the platy side of the filter but not on the other end bacause you cannot back flush through a length of hose. I am not wrestling a hose on and off everytime I need to do that. I guess I could just make the platy end of the hose longer and sip straight from the filter end..hmm that would eliminate the weight of the platy bite valve so I would save 0.25 oz

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Sunny,

      I am a bit confused with your set up…. With the Squeeze, to use it inline you need the inline adapters, which are simply nipples that screw onto each end of the Squeeze. The Squeeze then becomes the same thing as the Mini, a filter with a nipple on each end.

      So, with either filter, you can still use some quick connects to work a way to backflush while inline. Just use a quick connect above the outflow side of the filter. Grab another quick connect, one of the inline adapters for the Squeeze and a short piece of tube. Connect the inline adapter that screws onto a bottle to one side of the short piece of hose, and the appropriate side of the quick connect to the other end. So, you end up with a short hose with the inline adapter on one end, and the quick connect on the other.

      When you are ready to backflush, just disconnect the end of the drinking hose and attach the short piece of hose. Then fill a bladder/bottle with clean water, screw it to the inline adapter on the short hose and squeeze that water backwards through the filter. This will work, however, the quick burst of water that the syringe allows is what is ultimately recommend to keep tracking from happening. However, to do that, you would need to completely remove the filter, which means you wouldn’t need all the other stuff, no matter which filter you are using…

      Hope this helps some.

      ~Stick~

      Like

  15. Craig Gulley says:

    Just got my new mini’s today. very quick shipping from Mountain Laurel Designs. the first thing I noticed and the biggest for me is that the mini appears to have universal threads, meaning it will fit any of the bladders as well as standard water bottles with out the need for an adapter like the original squeeze. I was using the pre-filter from a Frontier Pro and this worked great as it threaded on the original squeeze and accepted any of the threaded bladders and water bottles. I have tried this with the new mini without the adapter and so far no leaks when you squeeze the bladders or bottles. this is great news as now you don’t have to only use the sawyer bags.

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Craig,

      I don’t know. The thread pitch on the bags are still the same, and they look the same in the Mini. There is still a clear difference in the threads on the Sawyers and the Platy’s, which are the bottles everyone would love for them to mate with.

      I will have to see if I can find out anything about that, but I feel like the thread pitch on the Squeeze & the Mini’s may still be the same, in which case, they do not match perfectly with the Platy’s.

      At this point, I don’t think I could recommend carrying only a Platy with the Sawyers either. On a previous hike a friend carried a Platy bag and his Squeeze since he felt like they worked when at home, but once he got in the field, well, he realized it didn’t. So, we had to share my bag for the rest of the hike…

      If I find out anything different I will update the post. Thanks for bringing this to my attention though.

      ~Stick~

      Like

  16. John says:

    Great post! I’m now just getting back into hiking.. and buying a bunch of new gear; I think the sawyer mini is the way to go.

    Now I have tons of nalgenes… but looks like water pouches are the lighter and smarter way to go. Really like how the Sawyer original can fill a water pouch without taking it out of the pack using the sawyer fast fill hydration pack adapter…. but any idea of how that male/female adapter would work with the sawyer mini?

    I haven’t even purchased a water pouch yet… so suggestions welcomed =)

    Like

    • Stick says:

      John,

      I think the Mini would be a great option simply due to how easy it is to use. There are no moving parts, nothing that really needs to be maintained, although, periodical backflushing is recommended. I generally only do this after returning home from a hike though…

      If you pick up the new Mini, a 16 oz pouch comes with it. As well, you can pick up the 1L & the 2L Sawyer bags/pouches to give yourself some other options. Personally, I carry a 2L bag. I use this bag to collect dirty water in, then screw the filter to the top of the bag and filter clean water into two 20 oz Gatorade bottles. This is what I drink from. I then roll the 2L Sawyer bag back up and store it back in my pack. At camp I will top off my Gatorade bottles, then fill the 2L bag with water to cook dinner & breakfast with. There are a number of other options, but this is what works for me.

      As well, if you can find the Evernew soft bags, the thread pitch on those will match the thread pitch on the Sawyer filters. Beware though, the Platypus bags have a slightly different thread pitch (which really is a bummer…)

      As for the fast fill, if you wanted, you could still use that, but you wouldn’t need the screw on adapter that connects to the outflow/clean side of the filter. Instead, just slip the tube over the nipple on the Mini filter. There are lots of options here as well.

      Anyway, hope this helps some, and good luck with figuring out your kit!

      ~Stick~

      Like

  17. Jeremy says:

    This looks great! How confident are you in the durability of these Sawyer filters? Are you carrying a back-up method of treatment these days? My dilemma with filters has always been if I have to carry chemicals as a back-up anyway why not just use them as my main method of treatment and save the weight of the filter altogether?

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Jeremy,

      My use with the Mini is limited, however, I have used my Squeeze extensively and have not experienced any problems with it. No cracks, bruises, scrapes…anything. I will say to that while I do not “baby” my gear, I do not treat it any rougher than I need to. I realize that some others are just naturally rougher on gear. Even considering this though, I would have no concerns with recommending the Squeeze to anyone.

      Saying that, the Mini appears to be a tough little filter, and so long that some degree of care is taken when using/carrying it, I would feel very confident in it. I personally have no worries about it.

      Let me also add though, as with many filters, if the filter takes a hard hit, say, smashing into a rock, or something similar, there is a chance that the filter could be damaged internally, and it is suggested to replace the filter. Now, we need to use our head on this a little though. I have dropped my Squeeze at least once from about waist high onto a rocky ground, however, I am not worried about it. This is kind of a fine line though with filters… and I think it really comes down to a personal choice.

      As for back-up, to be quite honest, I haven’t carried it since I started using the Squeeze. Although, I probably should. If I do though, it will be the MP1 tabs that I have. Like you though, I also thought the same thing about carrying both, and is what ultimately got me to move to chemicals completely a couple of years back. However, since I tried the Squeeze, I have just found it to be too simple. It is only 3 oz (which is heavier than tabs) when wet, but is so simple, and no waiting is required. It removes everything I am concerned about.

      Let me also say, I don’t agree with the argument that many filter users try to make against chemical users, which is that one must carry more water when using chemicals, which means chemicals actually weigh more. I say bull. I have found that no matter whether I am using chemicals or filters, I always carry the same amount. The only time this changes is if water is scarce, and then I still carry the same amount, whether I plan to treat is via chemicals or a filter…

      Anyway, sorry about going off a bit there… but I hope this helps some.

      And one more word for the new Mini… it is 1.8 oz when wet, which is pretty dang light. For me, at this weight, and at the price point of the Mini, plus how instant and easy it is to use, it is a winner in my book…

      ~Stick~

      Like

  18. JT says:

    . I’ve been dying to get a look at one of these. I’m using Aqua Mira drops right now and have been considering switching when the mini becomes available. A few questions – Will blowing air through the filter help dry it out? Why do you prefer it over Aqua Mira drops? Any sense of when these might hit the market?
    Great vid Chad, thanks again!

    Like

    • Stick says:

      JT,

      I also used AM drops for quite a while, and then actually went to the MP1 tabs as they were even easier. Personally though, I do not have an issue with using chemicals.

      As for your questions, I can’t blow air through the Mini from the outflow side. However, I don’t ever try to dry it out. I have heard others that said when their Squeeze completely dried out, it was a bit harder to get it to flow again. After I get back from a hike, I just backflush mine with the syringe a few times, then run some bleach through it. I let it sit for about an hour, then just shake as much of the water as I can out of it, them put it up. It has always been good to go when doing this.

      I like using my Squeeze (or now my Mini) over AM simply because there is no wait time, although, even with the AM I would only wait 15 minutes except for when it was really cold, and then I have waited as long as 30 minutes. However, I don’t buy the line that folks say about having to carry more water when using chemicals. I carry the same amount of water whether I’m using chemicals or a filter. However, for me, now I prefer the filter if the temps are above freezing, or just hoovering at it, and use chemicals if the temps will consistently be below freezing. I do this simply so I don’t have to worry about my filter freezing up.

      And the Mini’s are already available at MLD for $24!

      Thanks for stopping by!

      ~Stick~

      Like

  19. Doug Layne says:

    Looks like it will be time for another equipment upgrade at a decent price, heard some talk that it maybe mid $20’s range. Nice review and has me excited.

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Doug,

      It looks like MLD has them listed already for $24! I figure this may be the norm, however, I know that Grant from Gossamer Gear said he will be offering them for 20% off for a bit… not sure how long that will last though…

      As for the filter, I am excited about it, and it looks promising…

      ~Stick~

      Like

  20. Eeyore says:

    Thanks for the review. I have enjoyed the original squeeze.

    http://eeyorehikes.blogspot.com/

    Like

  21. jason says:

    Nice!
    If you want some quick real world testing you could send it out my way for 4 or 5 days on the lost coast trail next week! 😉

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Haha… thanks for the offer Jason! I think I will hang onto it for now though! Hope you enjoy your hike though! Sounds fun! 🙂

      Happy hiking,

      ~Stick~

      Like

  22. Been eyeing the new version so thanks for doing the post. Is it correct to assume the Sawyer Mini has the same restriction on not letting it freeze? Wondering how it would work in colder temps when it’s connected inline with a hydration bladder.

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Andy,

      Yes, that is a correct assumption. The actual filters inside are the same filter, it is just the body that has changed, and of course the nipples. This filter would need to be kept somewhere warm so it did not freeze at night.

      ~Stick~

      Like

  23. Mike says:

    Is the outflow (clean) end also threaded?

    Like

  24. Doug Beagrie says:

    Thanks Stick. Will I still be able to screw a Sawyer Mini Filter to a Pepsi or Smart Water bottle? I don’t always use the bag as I find a bottle handier.

    Like

    • Stick says:

      Doug,

      Yep, if it fit the Squeeze, it will fit the Mini. They both have the same thread pitch.

      ~Stick~

      Like

    • HillbillyHanger says:

      Hey,
      What’s your latest thoughts about the mini? Is it still something you carry or have you gone back to chemical treatment?

      Like

    • Stick says:

      Mike,

      I am still using the Mini, and still love it. I will actually be carrying it again this weekend to use for me, and my 2 kids. It’s still going great!

      Saying that, I was on a recent hike in which another hiker carried one, and she didn’t have such good luck with it… the flow rate was very slow… and IIRC, it was still a new filter… I think she swapped it in towards another Squeeze. For me though, I will continue to use the Mini as long as it keeps working, and at this point, if it does stop, I will likely replace it with another Mini…

      Hope this helps.

      ~Stick~

      Like

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