There are many designs for water filters, some work, some don’t.

Whatever style of filter you use, you want it to be as foolproof as possible. For myself, I use a water filter nearly every time I need to refill, be it a pristine creek, murky river water or questionable town water. As a result, any water filters I use have to be compact, efficient, and easy to clean.

For the last two years I have been using the Sawyer Mini, so let’s talk about it.

Design & Durability (Rating: 90%)

The Sawyer Mini is the little brother of the Sawyer Squeeze. The Mini is smaller and slightly lighter than the Squeeze but, as a result, has a rated lifespan of 100,000 gallons compared to the Squeeze 1-million-gallon lifespan.

The Sawyer Mini uses the same hollow fibre filter as the other Sawyer Filters, just a smaller quantity of fibres. I have been using an older model of the Mini, which has one threaded end, the newer models have both ends threaded. It has barbed connections for splicing the Mini into a hydration line, allowing you to drink filtered water on demand.

It is quite durable. No moving parts eliminate any possibility of breakage and the follow fibres are tough. However, if this filter is used in snow temperatures (not applicable in North Queensland) the freezing water can break the hollow fibres.

Functionality & Ease of Use (Rating: 90%)

The hollow fibre filter has gaps no larger than 0.1 microns, which means it’ll filter out bacteria and protozoa. With the Mini having a thread that matches a common soft drink bottle, refilling from lakes, streams, troughs, and taps is a breeze. Simply fill up a bottle with water, then screw on the Mini.

The Mini has simple instructions on the filter itself, with cleaning instructions on the included water pouch. Filtering the water is the same for the Mini as it is the Squeeze, by squeezing the bottle, forcing water through.

Cleaning the Mini is a breeze as well, using the supplied 50mL syringe, simply force clean water back through the filter until the water coming out of the ‘dirty’ end is clear.

What I Like

  • The Sawyer Mini is simple to use.
  • It’s compact, smaller that the Lifestraw.
  • Easy to Clean in the Field.
  • No moving parts to fail.
  • Cheap compared to other filters.

What I Don’t Like

  • The flow rate is slow, making it difficult to use in a hydration pack.
  • During use it would sometimes clog easily, requiring constant back flushing.

Get One

The Sawyer Mini Water Filter is available online from Cotswold Outdoor for AUD$55 or from Amazon for USD$19.99.

Disclaimer: The Amazon and Cotswold Outdoor links above are affiliate links, meaning I get a small percentage of the profits from any sales (and you don’t pay a cent more). None of this has any influence on the opinions presented in my review.

Have you tried the Sawyer Mini Water Filter? Got any questions or comments? Let us know by commenting below.