The Sawyer Mini Filtration System is in most people’s opinion the best lightweight filter system on the market. It’s one of the lightest at just 1.4 oz, you can filter up to 100,000 gallons, and it’s so small you’ll forget it’s in your backpack until you need it.
The feature that gives the Mini an edge over some of the other water filters is that not only can you use it as a straw directly into water like most portable filters. But, you can also attach it to the top of a bottle so you can filter on the move.
Attaches to a pouch/bottle – The problem with a lot of the small, lightweight filters is that you can only use them directly into a water source and not carry water with you.
The Sawyer solves this issue, you can fill the pouch that comes with it with water and drink it whenever you want. You can also use it with bottles and hydration bladders so it covers all the bases for anyone needing a filter.
Filters out 99.99% of bacteria -There is no point filtering water unless it’s going to do a really thorough job. The Sawyer filters out 99.99% of all bacteria and makes waters as safe as it’s going to get.
High performance – The Mini filters through a massive 100,000 gallons before needing to be replaced. This is a huge volume of water and means it’s going to last a long, long time.
Dimensions – The Mini is just 5.5” long, and 4” in diameter. It weighs just 1.6oz, it’s incredibly light and easy to carry with you.
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The other popular water filter that’s around the same price is the LifeStraw. The LifeStraw is a great product, and looking at these side by side there are some pro points to each of them but I think they offer different uses and you will fall onto one side or the other.
A big difference that may be a deal breaker is that the Sawyer filters a lot more than the LifeStraw. At 100,000 gallons vs just the 264 gallons the LifeStraw can handle it’s the difference between a heavy, regular user, and someone who casually uses a water filter or just wants an emergency option.
There is more in the kit to use with the Sawyer too. You get an attachment so you can reach deeper when using it as a straw which addresses the issue of not being able to reach water.
You also get a pouch so you can carry some water on your person and drink as needed. As well as a syringe to push fresh water through the filter to clean it before and after use, or to clear some debris hindering its use.
The Mini is only a few bucks more so cost isn’t going to be a factor in your choice. In my opinion, it just comes down to how often you want to filter water. Heavier users are better suited with the Sawyer, while having a LifeStraw in your backpack incase of emergencies is a great idea.
How to Use
Using the Sawyer Mini couldn’t be any easier. If you want to drink directly from a water source then you can use it as a straw. It even comes with an attachment to make it easier if you’re leaning over a verge.
It also comes with a pouch that acts as a bladder for you to fill with water and drink from as your hiking. This is what gives the Sawyer the edge over filtration systems that can only be used as a straw.
Cleaning the Mini is also straightforward. There is a syringe in the kit that you can use to backflush the filter when it starts to become harder to filter the water. This means the filter is filling up with debris, a quick flush will sort it out.
- Lightweight and portable
- Versatile and can be used in different ways
- Inexpensive and easy to use
- Not ideal for large volumes of water
You don’t have to take the pouch, syringe, and attachment with you all the time. If you want to save on space and weight and know you will just be using the Mini as a straw on occasion as an emergency, just take the main unit with you.
I have the Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System as the frontrunner of water purifying filters. It’s by far the best value for money which puts it on pedestal of its own. Combined with being easy to use, reliable, and effective, it’s a must have item in any survival kit or backpack.
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