The Sawyer Mini Water Filter


‘Sawyer’, developers of point-of-use water filters including the ‘Sawyer Mini Water Filter’, have been developing products for the outdoor industry since 1984, and the Sawyer Mini Water Filter is their most popular filter product – and for good reason…

The Best Mini Water Filter

The ‘best’ is always subjective, however given its very reasonable price-point, I do believe this may be the best ‘mini’ style portable water filter for the money.

Here’s why…


Sawyer Mini Water Filter (Benefits)

1. Certified for 0.1 ABSOLUTE microns. That means there is NO pore size larger than 0.1.

2. Removes 7 log (99.99999%) of all bacteria (like salmonella) as well as other harmful bacteria which causes cholera, and E. coli.

3. Removes 6 log (99.9999%) of all protozoa such as giardia and cryptosporidium.

4. Weighs only 2 ounces!

5. Filters up to 100,000 gallons! It’s able to do this by way of a simple back-flushing process.

6. Versatility. Drink directly from the Mini, or attach it to Sawyer Squeeze Pouches, or attach it to the top of almost any bottled water container.

7. The price. Incredible value.



How The Sawyer Mini Water Filter Works

The water filtration uses technology adapted from kidney dialysis filters. The Sawyer Hollow Fiber Membrane Filters are composed of tiny “U” shaped micro tubes that allow water to enter into their core through tiny micro pores on the side walls of the tubes. The pores are so small that no bacteria such as E. Coli, cholera, or typhoid can pass through.


How To Back Flush The Sawyer Mini

To maximize the effectiveness and longevity of the Sawyer Mini filter, it is recommended to back flush your filter after each outing. The fibers are very robust so they say (Sawyer) to be FORCEFUL in your back flush process.

When using the syringe (the supplied cleaner-plunger) do not be gentle, it will only form paths of least resistance instead of blowing out the particulates that may be trapped in your filter.


Initial Wetting: Be sure to slowly squeeze the water through the filter, giving the filter fibers time to fully saturate. The initial flow rate may seem slow but will increase as fibers become wetted which usually takes approximately one Liter of water.

Flow rates vary depending on how clean the filter is and how well you cleaned the filter.


Related: LifeStraw Review – 10 Benefits – And The Newer ‘LifeStraw Go’

Any of you own the Sawyer Mini? Let us know what you think about it…


  1. I did my research, I have 3, 1 in the Get-Home-Bag, 1 in the Camping Trailer, and 1 in the oh-shit-bag.

    I have had absolutely no problems with them, and the $$ is right.
    I did have a LifeStraw, unfortunately it’s nowhere near the equipment the Sawyer is.


  2. For the money, these are great. I bought two, for me and my son’s “bags.” I also bought extra 64 ounce squeeze bags and some lengths of clear tubing which I rigged up as a gravity filter system to feed directly into our hydration bladders.

  3. I plan on getting one of the mini and one of the Sawyer squeeze. The squeeze has a greater flow rate, and is effective up to 1,000,000 gallons.

  4. I wasn’t sure of the squeeze bag’s utility. Seems like it would be hard to fill from a water source before using the filter. However the ability to screw onto an easily found plastic soft drink bottle takes care of that concern. That makes it much easier to fill from a water source such as a stream or rain barrel. Using a bandana as a prefilter I can can hold a 2 liter bottle under the surface of the water to fill and then screw on the filter and squeeze.

  5. I purchased 5 so far. One for each family member’s get home bag, and one for future SIL. I liked the Sawyer better than the Lifestraw mainly because of the size and different ways it can be used (as a straw or to fill a bottle).

  6. I dont have this filter, yet, but got a few others.
    A family member bought it online right after my recommendation during the lockdown (and snapped/shared a pic of that thing!). A bit jealous actually… Haha.. Good for her.

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