[pct-l] Sawyer mini water filter

Jay Bruins jbruins at gmail.com
Fri Jun 5 13:44:12 CDT 2015

I still like my mini. I blew through a set of bags with the full sized sawyer: the bags are terrible. I switched to Smart Water bottles and couldn't be happier. Their rigidity makes them much easier to fill and they tolerate squeezing really well. (The gasket on the mini + smart water bottles is also holding up. The gasket on the full size + bags was falling apart when I returned the whole thing to REI.)

I filter from a 1L if I want a lot of clean water or directly from a 20oz bottle hanging from my shoulder strap. I can usually fill a 1L bottle directly, but when I can't, the 20oz still works. If it doesn't, a bag would be insufficient and I'd need a scoop (and a traditional filter would be sucking half air and half muck). 

The trick is to carry dirty water with you, don't filter at the source. I don't care how awesome your filter is, I don't want to spend *any* time filtering near a mosquito infested water source. By amortizing the cost over each sip, you don't even notice (I'm not a guzzler). I only need to carry ~16oz of clean water at a time (enough to make Nuun). I actually carry mostly clean water now (using the filtering as a good opportunity to take a break), but that will change when the biting bugs show up.

The biggest change for me is that because of the Sawyer mini I filter more water sources than I used to. Sipping through a sawyer requires the same effort as not, so why wouldn't I filter every source?

I'd agree that even with the syringe the flow has slowed down, but that's 800+ miles (conservative) of use so far with no prefilter. Back-flushing every 100-200 miles isn't difficult. (I carry a syringe since it doubles as an irrigation syringe. Yes, my first aid kit is probably larger than yours.)


> On Jun 5, 2015, at 7:48 AM, Judson Brown <judsonwb at gmail.com> wrote:
> Gotta agree with Tartan. At first, I was like, "Sweet! It's so light and
> compact." But between bag issues and the ever-slowing filter, I began to
> dread filtering water. I'm back to a pump. It weighs more, but it's
> dependable and fast.
>> On Thu, Jun 4, 2015 at 7:47 PM, Brian Watt <bwatt at 1fifoto.com> wrote:
>> Brian,
>> Not to be a downer, but...
>> I started with the Sawyer mini and 16 oz. squeeze bottle [and syringe].
>> After a while (even with backflushing) it was taking 6-7 minutes to filter
>> 0.7L into a SmartWater bottle. Also the squeeze bottles tend to split open
>> near the top after about 400 miles of use and I was ever so careful with
>> it. After two squeeze bags failed I switched to a 1L Pepsi/Desani plastic
>> bottle in Belden (dug through the Braaten's garbage and pulled it out). I
>> really liked the rigid bottle much more than the squeeze bottle. By the
>> time I got to Sisters I was dreading using the mini, and was more and more
>> just drinking directly from sources (water roulette). In Timberline I got a
>> regular size Sawyer Squeeze sent from home, and a new 1L Desani plastic
>> bottle, which was great and I used that combo for the rest of the trail. If
>> I had to do it over again, I'd get a regular size Sawyer Squeeze filter
>> (accept the additional weight), toss the squeeze bottle, and use a 1L
>> plastic bottle as my dirty bottle.
>> Sincerely, Tartan PCT 2014
>> P.S. I'm a guzzler so I like to just drink and gulp water, especially
>> mixed with Crystal Light Lemonade - Yum!, so using the filter inline was
>> not an option for me.

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