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Sawyer Mini Filter Review

By: Craig Smith
Last Updated:
Sawyer Mini Filter Review

As you are searching for a new portable water filter, you will probably have noticed that they come in all different types and sizes and are made for a wide variety of uses.

Here is one that was designed with adventurists and survivalists in mind and comes highly rated by many that have purchased and used it.

That has me intrigued enough with it to take the time to do a very thorough Sawyer Mini Filter Review.

In this review, I will go over such things as the pros and cons associated with this product, what I feel are its very best features, and even discuss what users have said in reviews.

This should give you a great idea as to whether you feel this product will or will not meet your portable water filtration needs.

Overview of Sawyer Mini

Sawyer Mini

There are times when all of us can use a good portable water filter. It may be the case that you are a tent camper, backpacker, or trekker, or just want to be prepared for some type of natural disaster or another event where you will need enhanced water to survive.

Here is a product that will nicely fit each one of those needs and do it in a very lightweight and portable way.

It’s made by Sawyer which is a company that specializes in useful outdoor merchandise such as water filters, insect repellents, sunscreens, and first aid products.

It’s very simple to use and for such a small water filtration device, it has very good filtration. This is especially true when it comes to filtering out harmful pathogens. It also has a filter that is so durable that it will last most users a lifetime.

Everything that you need to use it except for a container is included right in the package too. That includes a decent size syringe that will push water through it to keep it clean.

The manufacturer recommends that this water filtration device be backwashed and sanitized after each use, so it’s not entirely maintenance-free.

Package Contents: 

1 – Sawyer Mini Water Filter (Cap attached)

1 – 16 oz Reusable Squeeze Pouch 

(Replacement squeeze pouches available)

1 – Cleaning Syringe

1 – Drinking Straw (7”)

Pros:

  • Works with most freshwater sources
  • Extensive testing before packaging
  • Never requires filter replacement
  • Comes in many different colors
  • 1-micron hollow fiber membrane filtration
  • Extremely portable and easy to store
  • Affordable price
  • Easy to clean
  • Lifetime warranty 

Cons:

  • No 3rd-party certifications
  • Does not fit wide-mouth bottles
  • It’s not very impactful against soluble liquid contaminants
  • Slow flow rate unless water is squeezed through it
  • Not maintenance-free

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What to Consider Before Buying a Portable Filter

Shopping for a portable water filter should not be something that you go online or into a store and purchase the first one that you come across.

Here are some of the top considerations when purchasing a portable water filter:

  1. Size of the unit
  2. Weight of the device
  3. Ease of carrying
  4. Ease of use
  5. How much does it cost?
  6. Filtration flow rate
  7. Intended use
  8. Water storage capacity of the unit
  9. Does it use replacement filters?
  10. Filter useful life
  11. Are there any 3rd party certifications (ANSI, WQA, NSF) attached to it?

Main Features and Benefits of the Sawyer Mini Filter

Here are the highlight features of this portable water filter model:

1-Micron Hollow Fiber Membrane Filtration

1-Micron Hollow Fiber Membrane Filtration

The hollow fiber membrane filtration that’s used in this compact water filter was actually derived from the same type of filtration that’s used during kidney dialysis.

This type of filtration not only filters out extremely small particles (1-micron or greater) but also contributes to it being a durable water filter that can withstand the repeated backwashing needed to keep it clean.

It’s also a filter that can remove up to 99.99% of all bacteria. This includes such harmful bacteria as salmonella, E. coli, Leptospirosis, and cholera.

The Sawyer Mini Filter will also remove 99.99% of giardia, cryptosporidium, and other harmful protozoa along with 100% of the microplastics that pass through its filter media.

This product’s filtration ability is also said to be tested at 3 different phases of production and although there are no certifications to back it up, the manufacturer claims that it meets or exceeds the filtration standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Extremely Portable and Easy to Store

For what it does, the Sawyer Mini Filter is very easy to pack up and take with you when you are heading into the woods or putting together a survival kid. Part of this is that this product and its support pieces only total a scant 4.8 oz.

It also is very compact. This portable water filtration device only measures 5.91” x 1.57” x 1.57”. That means it can easily fit in an oversize pant pocket or small backpack compartment.

Lifetime Warranty and Use

Here are two traits of this unique portable water filtration device that I am very impressed with for a unit in its price range.

The first is that some 100,000 gallons of freshwater can pass through it before it needs to be discarded. That’s more enhanced water than several people will need in their lifetimes.

As if lifetime use is not a good enough trait by itself, the manufacturer also backs it up with a full lifetime replacement warranty.

Social Proof & Review Consensus

Let’s find out what those that have purchased this portable water filter think about it?

Those that rate it very highly love how portable it is and that it’s very affordable for what it does. Others also mentioned how easy the Sawyer Mini Filter is to keep clean and working efficiently.

As far as negative comments go, some feel that the included squeeze bag is not really reusable as it’s made using poor-quality materials. It also takes a little force to get water through the device when using it as a straw.

Also mentioned a little too often for my liking is that the O-ring used to seal it tight to a bottle is very hard to position so it does not leak during use.

My Final Opinion of the Sawyer Mini Filter

As far as portable water filters go, this one has a lot to offer if you are away from a clean water source or out in the wilderness.

It will not eliminate most H2O soluble contaminants that are found in water, but you can expect it to filter out almost 100% of harmful protozoa, bacteria, and microplastics.

You also will not find a more lightweight and portable water filtration device. The fact that it never needs filter replacement and is guaranteed to last a lifetime should not be easily overlooked.

This would be an acceptable portable water filter purchase if you are an avid outdoors person or putting together a survival kit.

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AUTHOR
Craig Smith
Craig got his start in water working in the swimming pool and spa industry. Water treatment would grow into his main career but he ended up working in the pool industry for over 26 years where much of his time was spent balancing the water in customer's swimming pools and installing water filtration equipment. Craig offers an abundance of water treatment knowledge after helping homeowners get pure water for 26 years.

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