When you’re hurting for water in the backcountry, the Sawyer MINI Water Filter can quickly and easily become your saving grace. 

Having clean water is essential to staying healthy and hydrated while out on the trail. There are so many different types of water filters, it can be difficult to pick which one is the best for your adventures. From gravity filters to pumps, there are some pretty hefty options. However, the Sawyer MINI Water Filter is an incredibly lightweight, simple, and easy water filter. It is great for personal use and can last for a long time. So, if this sounds like what you’re looking for, read on about why we love the  Sawyer MINI Water Filter. 

A Little About Sawyer

Founded in 1984, Sawyer Products has been dedicated to bringing the best and most reliable products for your protection in the outdoors. Through their technology and testing, they have cultivated their product line to bring easy and advanced solutions to safe drinking water, insect repellent, sun protection, and first aid. Sawyer Products has been critical in the usage of permethrin, the insect repellent that can treat fabric. They used their knowledge and expertise to partner with the World Health Organization to promote mosquito netting in places where they are most needed. This, in turn, has helped decrease the number of mosquito disease-related deaths. When you add that philanthropy to their spectacular line of water filters, you have a stellar company. We are confident that anything you get from Sawyer Products will be only the best of the best.

Sawyer MINI Water Filter Features & Benefits

Incredibly Lightweight

sawyer mini water filter - Incredibly Lightweight

When you’re backpacking or out adventuring, you don’t want to be weighed down by your water filter. Especially if you’re just using this as a safety precaution, extra weight will just slow you down. Thankfully, the Sawyer MINI Water Filter is one of the lightest on the market. The filter itself weights only two ounces. The provided pouch weighs a low .87 ounces, with the straw if desired weighing .22 ounces. The syringe that is used for cleaning the filter when it begins to slow down is 1.13 ounces. So, you can just bring along the two-ounce filter, or you can bring along everything for barely over four ounces. Either way, the Sawyer MINI Water Filter is so lightweight, you’ll want to bring it along on all your hikes, camping, travel adventures, and emergency preparedness.

Versatile, Multi-Option Usage

sawyer mini water filter - Multi-Option Usage

The Sawyer MINI Water Filter is ready to be used however you’d like. It comes with a drinking pouch that you can put the contaminated water in. Then, you simply put the filter and straw on top and drink away. When the filter is clean, there is practically no resistance when drinking from the straw. But, if you have a favorite water bottle, you can also squeeze the system and spray the water your specified water bottle. If you just need a little sip to refresh yourself, go ahead and lean on over your water source. You can drink through the filter and straw right from the river.

Lastly, you can fit the Sawyer MINI Water Filter into your hydration bladder. This will take a little work, but you can splice it into the water line. This will mean contaminating one side of your water bladder for good, but it might be well than worth it if you know this will help you stay hydrated. Overall, the versatility of the Sawyer MINI Water Filter is something we’ve come to appreciate in this day and age. 

Efficient Removal of Harmful Substances

sawyer mini water filter - Efficient Removal of Harmful Substances

The whole point of a great water filter is to filter out harmful bacteria. The Sawyer MINI Water Filter understands that. It removes 99.99999% of all bacteria like salmonella, E.coli, and Salmonella typhi. In addition, it takes out 99.9999% of all protozoa like cryptosporidium and giardia. How does it do this with such efficiency, you ask? Well, it uses the innovative 0.1 micron absolute hollow fiber membrane technology in its inline filter. This is composed of tiny ‘U’ shaped tubes that let water into their core. This is one of the fastest flow rates in the world. This, in turn, minimizes the potential for water contamination after or during the filtration process.

Take note, however, that this filter doesn’t remove chemicals, dissolved solids, or viruses. But, viruses are rarely found in North America or in popular foreign cities. If you are nervous about these things, perhaps pair the Sawyer MINI Water Filter with a chemical water purifying tablet.

Extensive Filter Life

sawyer mini water filter - Extensive Filter Life

If you’re investing in a great water filter, you obviously want it to last. The Sawyer MINI Water Filter is made to last for 100,000 gallons, which is an exorbitant number. When compared with other best water filter lifespans, the Sawyer MINI Water Filter takes the cake. To make sure your filter lasts this long, there are a few maintenance things to pay attention to. You’ll want to backwash and sanitize the filter after every adventure. The provided syringe helps with this. If you have exceptionally dirty water you are filtering, you should backwash it every five to ten gallons. We enjoy this lifespan and the fact that there are no expensive cartridges to replace every few months. All in all, the Sawyer MINI Water Filter provides you with a dependable, lightweight, and simple water filtration strategy.

What Travelers Are Saying About the Sawyer MINI Water Filter

With nearly five thousand reviewers on Amazon, it is easy to see that the Sawyer MINI Water Filter has widespread use. It has averaged a 4.6 out of 5 star rating, which is spectacular when you consider everyone who reviews products these days. The most loved feature of this filter is how lightweight it is. When thru-hikers and backpackers are counting every ounce, it is easy to understand why they are drawn to this filter. Competitors weigh easily double this, so two ounces seems like nothing when it comes to always having clean drinking water. In addition, it is so versatile. You can use it on its own or pair it with your favorite water hydration pack or bottle. While it is not as convenient for filling up water for the whole group, you can still do it by squirting it into additional bottles.

As with any product, there are a few things to be aware of. A few users have noticed that the O-ring which attaches the water filter to the reservoir breaks quickly. While this doesn’t happen to everyone, it may be worth bringing an extra O-ring along if you’re relying on this for your safety. The other potential downside of this filter is the syringe is not hefty. You can’t simply toss it in your pack and hope it stays in one piece. You’ll need to protect it as it is slightly flimsy. But, just keeping track of where you put it will avoid this issue. Overall, Sawyer Products has fit as many quality features into their tiny product as possible.

Alternative Portable Water Filters You May Like

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

LifeStraw Personal Water Filter

Credit: Lifestraw

This alternative to the Sawyer MINI Water Filter was the first of its kind on the market. You may have heard of the LifeStraw Water Filter before. It also removes 99.999999% of waterborne bacteria and parasites. In addition, it can remove microplastics down to one micron. Its lifespan is not quite as long as Sawyers. It can only filter one thousand gallons before needing to be changed. However, LifeStraw balances out their slight shortcoming through their humanitarian impact. For every LifeStraw product that is purchased, a school child receives safe drinking water for a whole school year somewhere. It only weighs two ounces, and that includes the straw and filter. So, this is a great lightweight option for your safety and water filtration needs. Also, it’s just about the same price as the Sawyer MINI Water Filter. 

GRAYL Ultralight Water Purifier & Filter Bottle

GRAYL Ultralight Water Purifier

The LifeStraw requires you to bend down to your water source and drink. That sounds like quite a hassle for some of us. That’s where the GRAYL Ultralight Water Purifier & Filter Bottle steps in. It is fast and easy to use. You simply fill up the bottle by dipping it your water source, put the cap on and press the water through the filter. Then, BAM. Your water is drinking without and straws, squeezing, pumping, or waiting needed. 

This filter does remove viruses, which is a step up from the Sawyer MINI Water filter. In addition, it also filters 99.9999% of bacteria and protozoan cysts. On top of that, it can filter particles, chemicals like chlorine and benzene, and heavy metals such as lead and arsenic. This water filter bottle does cost a few dollars more, but you can see why. It’s truly ready to be your go-to water filtration system for years to come.

LifeStraw Family 1.0 Portable Gravity Powered Water Purifier 

LifeStraw Family 1.0 Portable Water Filter

Are you looking for an alternative to the Sawyer MINI Water Filter that the whole family can use? Well, check out the LifeStraw Family 1.0 Portable Gravity Powered Water Purifier. Used by over 12,200,000 worldwide, you’ll see why it is so well loved. It removes 99.99% of viruses, 99.9999% of bacteria, and 99.9% of protozoan cysts to 0.02 microns. When you pair this with the 4755 gallon lifespan, you see that it can give a family of four clean drinking water for up to three years. In addition, it doesn’t need to be pumped or squeezed. The gravity filter design means you put the contaminated water in the top and clean water pops out the bottom. The filter can clean about nine to twelve liters per hour depending on the cleanliness. This is a great option for large water drinking needs.

From the versatility to its lightweight design, the Sawyer MINI Water Filter is a backpacker and travelers dream.

Sawyer Products has truly gone above and beyond with their water filtration line. They have innovated, tested, and redesigned their products over the years to only bring us, outdoor enthusiasts, the best of the best. We fell in love at the mere two-ounce weight but stayed in love with its 100,000 gallon filter capacity. So, no longer will you have to rig a water filter out of things from the woods. Invest in a great water filter that will keep you safe while camping, backpacking, or traveling, look no further than this. It is well worth it. If you’re still on the fence, just keep in mind it is under twenty dollars. This is the perfect starter filter without breaking the bank. 

Related Article: 7 Best Portable Water Filters for Your Outdoor Adventures