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Sawyer Mini Filtration System

Updated: May 16, 2020

Why Every Outdoorsman's Should Have Compact Water Filtration Device.

Whether you are traveling to another country or taking a long backpacking trip, you may want to invest in a personal water filtration system. A personal water filtration system makes it so you can drink from any source of water, including streams and lakes, and not get sick. Once you start using a filter you won’t have to carry a lot of water with you at any given time. Which means you will dramatically reduce your load weight when hiking or backpacking. Plus a water purification system can be a real life saver in an emergency situation. You can only go about three days without water. Also, threre are a lot of nasty things floating in are waters these days. There are a number of things to consider when buying a filter including size, convenience, lifespan, pore size, flow rate, and price. If you are going to be primarily using a filter around your home in times of crisis, size may not be an issue. If you have a family that will be relying on the filter, lifespan and flow rate are going to be important. Pore size needs will differ depending on your water source and local environment.


The lightest and most versatile personal water filtration system, the Sawyer MINI weighs just 2 ounces. Fits in the palm of your hand, and provides 0.1 micron absolute filtration (LifeStraw being a little less effective at 0.2 micron filtration.), removing 99.99999% of all bacteria, such as salmonella, cholera and E.coli, removing 99.9999% of all protozoa (such as giardia and cryptosporidium), and removing 100% of microplastics. One of the things we liked about this model is that it comes with a great adapter. The adapter is small and versatile, and you can attach it to water bottles, water pouches, water bladders, or even to faucets to improve the quality of your drinking water.

Attach the easy-to-use MINI to the included drinking pouch, use the included straw to drink directly from a water source, connect it to hydration pack tubing, or screw it onto standard disposable water and soda bottles

0.1 Micron Absolute Filtration

Sawyer filters contain a high number of tiny ‘U’ shaped hollow fiber micro-tubes that trap contaminants while allowing decontaminated water to freely pass through at a high flow rate — eliminating the need to store water and reducing the possibility of water contamination after the filtration process. All Sawyer water filters meet or exceed Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recommended removal rates. The lifespan of squeeze filters is frankly astounding with the Mini offering around 100,000 gallons and the Squeeze close to a million. The prices are very affordable being around $20.00 for the Mini and not much more for the Squeeze.

When it comes down to personal filtration systems for outdoor enthusiasts, there are two popular options: the Sawyer Mini and the LifeStraw personal water filter. Both have proven to be top quality products and each has their own avid following. While both filters are obviously excellent products, they have some differences that could mean the difference between you having a great experience or disappointing one!

There isn’t really a lot to say about the Lifestraw, simply because it’s a fairly basic product. It is a disposable design, meaning there is no field cleaning possible. You simply use it until you reach it’s lifespan then throw it away, replacing with a brand new one. As mentioned before the LifeStraw offers a 0.2 micron pore size while the Sawyer has a 0.1 micron pore size. The LifeStraw will filter up to 1000 gallons while the Sawyer Mini can filter up to 100,000 gallons! One of the downsides pf the LifeStraw is how you have to use it. Laying on your stomach to get a drink of water isn't really comfortable and sometimes impractical. Also, there is no way to filter water for storage in a reservoir or fill a bottle. Don't get us wrong LifeStaw is a very respectable product. They are helping to do amazing things providing clean drinking water solutions to parts of the world that are very much lacking sanitary drinking water.

The Winner

Both the Mini and the LifeStraw filtration systems are great and deliver safe drinking water from most sources, but there is a difference in pore size. The Sawyer Mini is a slightly better filter since it has a smaller pore size. As mentioned earlier, the Mini has a 0.1 micron filter whereas the LifeStraw has a 0.2 micron filter.

The Sawyer Mini is specifically designed for hikers, backpackers and campers, so naturally it is a superior option for these activities. When it comes to versatility it blows the LifeStraw out of the water.

Rated to filter up to 100,000 gallons, the MINI’s filtering membranes are sturdy enough to withstand backwashing using the included syringe, restoring up to 98.5% of the filter’s flow rate.

The MINI can be cleaned and reused almost indefinitely with no expensive cartridges to replace… ever.

With a total field weight of only 2 ounces, the compact MINI rolls up into its included collapsible mylar pouch to take up minimal space in your pack and won’t weigh you down.

We recommend backwashing and sanitizing the filter after every outing for optimized use. Bottom Line: With all that being said, the LifeStraw is still a good option for some applications. If all you want is the simplest device possible to drink directly from natural water sources, the LifeStraw may be a good fit. But if you want the option of filling your bottle or reservoir with clean water and if you know you’ll be using the device often, go with the Mini. All in all, the Mini does everything the LifeStraw can do but better.

Sawyer Products MINI Water Filtration System

by Sawyer

List Price:$24.95 Price:$19.95 & FREE Shipping You Save:$4.96 (20%)



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