Quick and Dirty
Gear Type: Water Filter
Trail weight: 2 ozs
Link: Sawyer Mini Water Filter
Pros: Ultralight, Reliable, Compact, 0.1 microns, modular.
Cons: Fragile bags, slow gravity filtration.
When Sawyer released the Squeeze Point One Filter (Squeeze), it immediately became a hit. At 3-4 ozs for 0.1 microns, it was light enough for non-filter users and iodine tablet users to make the switch. We have been using the Squeeze filter over the past few months and love the weight savings.
Sawyer recently released the Mini Water Filter (Mini), a smaller sized Squeeze filter. At 2 ozs dry, it provides the same filtration capabilities of the Squeeze filter at 2/3rds of the price.
The Mini kit comes with the filter, 16 oz bag, straw, and back washing syringe. The Mini filter has nipples at each end of the filter and is threaded at the dirty side. The added features to the filter allow in-line filtration, use of different bags for gravity filtration, or to be used as a straw – making it an extremely modular filter.
By far the best thing about the Mini is the price. We purchased our filter at Gossamer Gear for $19.99. That is 2/3rds the price of what the Squeeze costs and almost 1/5th the cost of other filters (and the other filters don’t filter nearly as well).
However, there are drawbacks. The smaller size reduces the life of the filter and requires back washing more often than the Squeeze unit. Sawyer also did not bother to update the bags. The bags may still lose lamination and eventually leak – a minor flaw if you already own multiple bags or use the unit as a gravity filter. If used as a gravity filter, it is excruciatingly slow (which is the set up we use for our Squeeze and Mini), much slower than our old Platypus Gravity Works or Katadyn gravity filters.
Overall a highly recommended piece of equipment, especially for those on a budget or looking to lighten their load. I think Sawyer has really hit the mark with the Mini. It has everything the Squeeze has to offer, but at a cheaper price point and compact size. Good luck finding one, as they have been flying off the shelves!