The Sawyer mini is a personal sized water filter that has a rating of up to 100,000 gallons. A buddy of mine told me about the one he bought, so I decided to buy one and try it out. As of April 20, 2017 the Sawyer mini retails for around $20.
Included in the package is a 16 ounce water pouch, filter, straw and syringe for back flushing.
The filter has a rating of 0.1 Micron. As such, it removes bacteria, cyst and protozoa, but will not affect viruses.
Before the Sawyer mini was taken on a camping trip or an all day hiking trip, I decided to take the mini on a short trip of just a few miles. The plan was to walk down an old country road until I arrived at a certain logging road. The logging road wrapped around the side of a hill and then over the top of the hill.
I know the area and figured this would be a good trip to take the Sawyer mini on a test run.
A logging road is a temporary road timber companies put in while harvesting trees. The road will be reclaimed by nature when the timber starts to grow back.
The TravTac Onyx was packed with some snacks, topo map, compass, GPS, water bottle and the Sawyer mini. The dogs were called and off we went.
Upon reaching the hilltop, the dogs and I paused for a few minutes to enjoy the view. It was getting close to noon, so I started looking for a place to eat. The dogs and I eased down the side of the hill to a low area where I hoped to find water. At the base of the hill was a shallow running stream.
My female dog Zoey loves the water. Upon reaching the stream, she found a spot and stretched out in the water to cool off.
Sawyer Mini First Try
The Sawyer mini works by filling the bag, attaching the bag to the filter, then squeezing the water through the filter and into your water bottle or canteen. This requires a water source deep enough to submerge the bag.
Since the stream was just a couple of inches deep, the bag could not be fully submerged. As a result, all I was able to filter were a couple of ounces at a time.
The water bottle I brought was one liter. It was an act of frustration to refill a one liter bottle with only a few ounces at a time.
For lunch, I brought the dogs some beef jerky while I had a peanut butter granola bar. We all had a bite to eat, cooled off, re-hydrated and then got back on the trail.
First impression were not very good. The flow rate was very slow and only being able to filter a few ounces of water at a time was an act of frustration.
If someone is hiking or camping in an area with deep water where the bag can be fully submerged, the filter would be ok.
The flow rate left a lot to be desired. I would have been better off with my Katadyn Vario.
I will be taking the Sawyer mini on another trip. That trip should be the deciding factor.