Whether you’re hiking out in the woods and run dry or are caught in a natural disaster, an emergency water filter can potentially tip the scales in your favour. A water filter doesn’t have to be too large or bulky to carry. In fact, there are plenty of survival/emergency water filters on the market designed to fit comfortably in a pocket or small pouch. Over the next few weeks we’ll be taken a look at the pros and cons of a wide range of pretty awesome water filteration systems … so stay tuned!

The Sawyer Mini Water Filter

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Today we’re going to be taking a look at the Sawyer Mini Water Filter.  I’ve read many great things about this particular water filter and in my search for the Ultimate Personal Emergency Water Filter, I decided to take a look at the Sawyer Mini. Special thanks goes to the distributors in Australia, Sawyer Australia, for being willing to send us a sample for review and testing. There’s so many great things about this product its a task in itself to even find where to begin! Ok, so let’s start with the company. Sawyer (www.sawyer.com) is a world renowned international company based in Florida, USA that has been manufacturing water filters for the last couple of decades. Their filters are used by people in 3rd world countries to hikers and even combat personnel. Often a Sawyer filter means the difference between life and death, obviously because our bodies are composed of 70% water and we need water to increase our chances of survival. Sawyer’s water filters are all made in the USA and the Mini, their most popular product, is no exception.

The Sawyer Mini is one of the lightest, most compact water filters on the market today.

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In terms of colours, the Sawyer Mini is currently available in Blue, Green, Pink, Orange, Black and you can also get all four colours in a single pack. Included with the filter are:

  • 16 oz (475 mL) Reusable Squeeze Pouch
  • 1 – 7″ Drinking Straw
  • 1 – Cleaning Plunger (Syringe)
  • Cleaning and Maintenance Instructions
The Sawyer Mini is compatible with and attaches to the included 16 oz drinking pouch, standard disposable water bottles (28 mm thread), hydration packs (e.g. CamelBaks), or you can just use the straw to drink directly from your water source.
The portable Mylar squeeze pouch is 100% BPA free and is perfect for transporting a reasonable amount of water in a pinch. Its surprisingly durable and is certainly more than capable of being used several hundred times. So it was great that Sawyer thought of including it in with the filter.

Maximum Filtration

hollow fibre membraneThe Sawyer Mini exceeds EPA recommendations for water filters filtering to 0.1 absolute microns – making it one of the top mini water filters on the market. It removes 99.99999% of all harmful bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera and E.coli; and 99.9999% of all protozoa, such as giardia and cryptosporidium. This ensures that you can drink polluted/contaminated water with perfect peace of mind without having to worry about taking in all the nasties. The Mini filters up to a whopping 100,000 gallons or 378,540 L (30 times more than comparable filters) so you’ve got a lifetime of water at hand! Not only does the Sawyer Mini remove the nasties that come with polluted water but it also removes the putrid taste. No chemicals are used in the filter or the filtration process at all, which is a BIG plus. Instead, it uses amazing Hollow Fibre Membrane Technology, the same technology used in medical dialysis. Wondering how it works? Ok, so basically the filter uses a cluster of micro-fibrous tubes. Water is drawn through the side walls of those tubes into their hollow centres and out the end of the tubes leaving behind the harmful bacteria/protozoa which is trapped on the outer walls of the tubes. This technology is a lot more effective than using chemicals which may be just as harmful as the polluted water you’re filtering! To maintain the high flow rate and water purification quality of the filter, all you have to do is backwash the filter regularly using the syringe provided – so none of this having to buy expensive replacement cartridges, ever!

Freezing Temperatures

If you are in climate that has freezing temperatures, Sawyer recommends that you store your filter in your pocket or close to your person so that your body heat can prevent freezing. Freezing up of the filter renders it useless and you should purchase a replacement if you suspect it has become frozen.

Easy To Use

I was very impressed with the easy-to-use and safe design of the Sawyer Mini. Its so simple that even a young child could use it without any problems. To drink directly from a water source, simply undo the protective cap at the top of the filter, attach the straw, stick the other end in the water and there you go! You’ve got yourself clean water suitable for you to drink.

Our Rating

We rate the Sawyer Mini Water Filter at a solid 5 out of 5 stars hands down, for its ease-of-use, durability, effectiveness, high performance and affordability.
The Sawyer Mini Water Filter has received numerous awards from various independent organisations and is endorsed by expert survivor and ex-SAS trooper, Bear Grylls (also famous for his TV show Man vs Wild and Running Wild).

Who’s this water filter for?

We believe the Sawyer Mini will make a great emergency water filter for outdoor recreation, hiking, camping, scouting, domestic and international travel, and emergency preparedness (EDC, survival kits, Bug Out Bags). Weighing in at only 2 oz (57 g), the Sawyer Mini is both ultra light and compact and fits into a pocket easily. Get your Sawyer Mini Water Filter here.