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Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System

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Background

I travel a lot for work, into all sorts of places around the world.  One thing that is really important for me is being able to get clean water.  Bottled water can’t be relied on, it is usually the same as that which comes out of the taps and anyone who has watched them gluing the seal back together on Slumdog Millionaire will know why the seal can’t be trusted.  Also, you can’t make a cup of tea with fizzy water…

That is why I have always carried a water filtration kit.  Up until recently I have had a ceramic filter from Katadyn.  I’ve had it a good 15 years and it has served me well in all sorts of environments.  However, it’s safe to say that technology has moved forward in this time and I felt it was time to look for something more compact.

Caveat I was not looking for a filter that could remove dirt from water.  If that were a consideration I would stick with my Katadyn and a Millbank Bag.  The Sawyer is designed to filter out bacteria and protozoa only.  Therefore, you can only use it for water from clear sources.

Description

This really is a compact bit of kit.  It easily fits in the palm of your hand! It weighs a tiny 57 g, which means it’s not an arse ache to add to your day to day bag.

According to Sawyer,

The Sawyer Mini Water Filter is a second generation filter that is the lightest and most versatile personal filtration system from Sawyer. With a total field weight of 2 ounces it fits in the palm of your hand. This tiny filter does the same job that the Sawyer PointOne filter does but now in a more compact, personal size. The Sawyer Mini filter is perfect for everything from camping with the kids to traveling abroad where tap and bottle water cannot be trusted.

The filter removes 7 log (99.99999%) of all bacteria (like salmonella) as well as other harmful bacteria which causes cholera and E. coli and 6 log (99.9999%) of all protozoa such as giardia and cryptosporidium. These removal rates equal or exceed other filter options. Guidelines from the U.S. EPA allow ten times more protozoa left in the water than Sawyer PointOne filters allow.

What makes this so handy for me is the accessories you get with it and the way it can be used.

Firstly it is designed to be screwed directly onto the neck of a standard plastic bottle.

As you can see, not only is this useful, it is also hilarious (She’s probably remembering last time she was posed like that). This is great because I don’t have to bother with having a bottle of my own to put clean water into.

Secondly it comes with a squeezy water pouch.

I can fill this pouch from a drinking fountain or a clear running stream and take a drink safely.

Next it has a drinking straw.

This is handy if I just want to take a quick drink from a stream or other water bottle rather than faff with all the rest of the kit.

Finally you can use it as an inline filter from a water bladder.

Great if you want to be able to carry a larger amount of water.

The kit is rounded up by a big-ass syringe that you use to flush out the filter with clean water every so often.  That is all the cleaning you need to do.  My Katadyn needs to be disassembled and cleaned after a while of using it.  Usually when the filter gets too full of shit.

The filter comes with good instructions for deeper cleaning including using hot water and vinegar.

One thing to be very careful of is not to let the filter freeze.  This can really damage the guts of it and let all the nasties through.

Opinion

With the caveats I listed up front this is a really great bit of kit!  If you look at the amazon reviews it’s pretty clear that the 1 star reviews are from muppets who are trying to use this filter with water containing a ton of shite.

I found that it doesn’t require the oral strength to suck a golf ball through a hosepipe to get a drink out of like some similar filters.  In fact you hardly know it’s there.

As it is a sealed unit it has a finite life before it shits the bed.  Fortunately this is around 450,000 litres so it should see you ok as long as you look after it…

My only quibble is that I would have liked it to come with a segregated carry pouch to put all the bits in, “clean” separate from “dirty”.

Summary

A really great bit of kit that last and lasts.  Versatile and compact, it is a force multiplier for any traveller.

Ratings

Buy it here… Clickety Click

• Cost – ££: £23.40 and free delivery if you’re on Amazon Prime.  If you’re not on Amazon Prime you’re not a real KitPest!

• Value for money 1-5: 5. For less than 25 Sovs you get a great bit of kit that will last you for ever.   A LifeStraw filter is similarly priced, has no accessories and only treats 1000 litres of water…

• Ease of use 1-5: 5 just suck it, as the actress said to the bishop…

• Construction 1-5: 4, I would like to be able to break it down for a deep clean and sterilise every so often.

• Allyness 1-5: 1 it’s not ally.  But then, neither is shitting through the eye of a needle…

 

This Kit Pest Review was written by Ben O’Toole. Hopefully you enjoyed it and if you have any thoughts or comments related to this article then leave a comment!