Blogpackinglight gear of the year award: Sawyer mini water filter

There’s been lots of “jolly” fun with awards recently, so I thought I’d join in. Instead of a gazillion categories, I’m just going to have one: Gear of the Year. I’m not going to bother with an Oscars style list of candidates, I’m going to get straight to the winner: the Sawyer Mini Water Filter.


I bought the Sawyer Mini Filter about a year ago and it’s been brilliant. The actual filter itself weighs a measly 38g and fits onto bladders like Source and Platypus as well as many disposable drinks bottles.

In the past, I’ve used the Travel Tap and the Super Delios filters. What I like about the Sawyer Mini is it’s very light and compact. It has the best flow rate of any filter I’ve used and works well with the Source Liquitainer bladders I use for water storage.

I know many people still don’t filter water, especially in Scotland. However, you never know when water might be contaminated and I’d rather be safe than suffer from an upset stomach due to bad water. The Sawyer makes it so simple that I can’t see the point in not filtering.

It should last virtually forever as it will filter 100,000 gallons. It’s also backwashable with a syringe, so maintainance is easy. It’s so simple, I can’t really find fault with it. It’s been a constant companion on all my trips since I bought it.

Disclosure: the Sawyer Mini Filter was purchased with my own funds. I have no relationship with Sawyer.


16 thoughts on “Blogpackinglight gear of the year award: Sawyer mini water filter”

  1. We always filter water. I think people sometimes assume we’re making it up, but Geoff did pick Giardia up some years ago (tested +ve for it) drinking water which many would have assumed was ‘clean’ in the Yorkshire Dales, and I can tell you he was very poorly! You wouldn’t want to get it, believe me!

  2. I agree it is simple & reliable and I too have used one for past year. In my view the Sawyer squeezable pouch is not as good quality as Platypus bottles. Unfortunately the threads on my Platypus bottles are not compatible with the thread on the filter. I have 1 and 2 Litre Platypus bottles that I bought last year and although they almost fit they do not seal and they leak at the connection when used.

  3. I agree Robin, for the weight of a filter why take a chance with any water. For the amount of time it takes to do its far better than getting am upset stomach.

  4. Robin I entirely agree. Great bit of kit and much less effort to use than Travel Tap. The only thing that the Travel Tap has over the Sawyer is that you get a good workout squeezing the TT bottleπŸ˜ƒ

  5. I was really impressed with this filter and took it with me on my recent hiking in Scotland. Sadly, I also got lazy and complacent and didn’t use it most of the time . . . and did get sick, presumably from the water, with 5 days of walking to go! Unpleasant, but didn’t completely ruin the trip and after some heavy duty antiobiotics I don’t seem to have any lasting ill-effects. I have mostly learnt my lesson now and am much more diligent at filtering water!

  6. That filter looks like it could save a lot of time. I normally fill my platypus 1 late bottles from the travel tap when I make camp. That procedure can take a fair bit of time for two bottles. With this device, I could fill the bottles up directly and filter the water when needed. Going to have to look into one of these πŸ™‚

  7. I took my Sawyer mini filter to Wales with me over New Year and filtered most of the water I drank. I, too, have a Travel Tap but never liked it. The Sawyer mini filter is easy to use and so small that I carried the filter in one trouser pocket and the rolled up Sawyer bladder in the other so that I could easily catch, filter and drink clean water without removing my pack. I did find it a little slow to fill my pan for dinner but the pros far outweigh the cons compared with my previous filter.

    1. The original Sawyer Filter has a better flow rate, but is now overkill for backpackers and heavier (although still light). I now filter all water on a trip. I saw a comment somewhere that even in Sarek, you can have a problem. I guess part of the problem is that we are not used to poor quality water and have no resistance.

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