sawyer mini water filtration system

Sawyer Mini Water Filtration System Review

Whether you are a backpacking enthusiast or love going on hunting or fishing trips, you know how important clean water is. Sure, there are many so-called portable water filtration systems out there but let’s face it- they all have their problems.

Most of them are too bulky, heavy and cumbersome to lug around in the woods. Besides, most of these systems have a huge problem of clogging up, and so, they often fail when you need them the most. Well, Sawyer seems to have found a perfect solution to these problems with the new Sawyer Mini.

It is a pump-type filtration system that is one of the lightest, fastest and most efficient on the market.

The Sawyer Mini has been quite popular amongst the hiker and backpacker community for quite some time now. If you were wondering whether it is worth your time and money, we have you covered.

What follows is a detailed, unbiased and an honest review of the Sawyer mini water filtration system. We put the system to test so you can make an informed choice. So, let’s begin.

What is it?

The Sawyer Mini is a portable water filtration unit that can be used in some ways. At its heart, the Sawyer Mini is a small tube that weighs a mere 2 ounce that contains a filtration mechanism.

The filtration device is designed to prevent any clogging even after months of usage. The unit can filter bacteria, protozoa and other microbes from fresh water with ease.

However, it is not able to get rid of any chemicals present in the water.

Let’s take a closer look at some of the features that make the Mini such a compelling buy.

Sawyer Products SP103 MINI Water Filtration System, Single, Orange
30,385 Reviews
Sawyer Products SP103 MINI Water Filtration System, Single, Orange
  • Ideal for outdoor recreation, hiking, camping, scouting, domestic and International travel, and emergency preparedness
  • High-performance 0.1 Micron absolute inline filter fits in the palm of your hand and weighs just 2 ounces; 100% of MINI units individually tested three times to performance standards by Sawyer
  • Attaches to included drinking pouch, standard disposable water bottles, hydration packs, or use the straw to drink directly from your water source
  • Removes 99.99999% of all bacteria (salmonella, cholera, and E. coli); removes 99.9999% of all protozoa (such as giardia and cryptosporidium); also removes 100% of microplastics
  • Filter rated up to 100,000 gallons; includes one Sawyer MINI filter, 16-ounce reusable squeeze pouch, 7-inch drinking straw, and cleaning plunger

High efficiency

One of the biggest problems with small and portable filters is efficiency. They are just not effective in filtering out all the microbes.

However, the Sawyer Mini has a different story to tell. The Hollow Fiber filter mechanism used in the Mini is rated 0.1-micron absolute, which is the highest rating possible for a filter membrane.

In simpler terms, the Mini can filter out anything that is larger than 0.1 microns with an efficiency of 99.99999%!

The Hollow Fiber technology allows the filtration system to be extremely light-weight as well. Weighing in at just about 2 ounces (59 grams), it is arguably the lightest unit on the market.

You can hold it in the palm of your hand.


Sawyer has done a remarkable job in designing the Mini.

According to the company, the unit can filter up to 100,000 gallons of water!

That is just insane capacity for such a tiny device. According to the company, if you clean the unit and maintain it properly, it can go even longer!

Another advantage of the system is that due to the unique Hollow Fiber design, the system is virtually clog-free.

There are several portable filtration systems out there that get clogged within the first few uses. Once a filtration system is clogged, you run the risk of breaching the filter membrane and contaminating the filtered water.

The genius of the Mini lies in the fact that as it is rarely clogged, the filtration system can maintain its integrity and you get safe, clean drinking water every single time.


Versatility is what makes the Mini a great filtration system. It can be used in many ways, and you get filtered water instantly. You can use the Sawyer Mini in the following manner.

Attach to the squeeze pouch

The Mini can be connected to the 16-ounce squeeze pouch that comes in the kit. Just fill the squeeze pouch with water and connect the Mini on the top and squeeze clean, filtered water directly into your mouth.

It is that simple.

Use it as a personal straw

The Sawyer Mini can be used as a personal straw to drink directly from the source.

Alternatively, you can fill a container with water and use the Mini as a straw to drink from it instantly.

Screw it right on the bottle

You can also screw the Mini directly on top of most mineral water bottles and soft drink bottles. Just fill the bottle with the water you wish to filter, attach the Mini on the top, and you are good to go!

You can even use the Mini to drink from a questionable water bottle if you are overseas.

Use it in hydration packs

In-line hydration packs are great, and now, you can attach the Mini directly to them to have a continuous hands-free hydration.

Easy to clean

The robust Hollow Tube filtration system can be cleaned with high-pressure clean water and can be used over and over without any breach in the integrity.

Cleaning the Mini is a breeze as well. The kit contains a plunger the can be used to flush the Mini with clean, filtered water to get rid of any accumulated gunk.

Just attach the plunger that is filled with clean water to the Mini opposite to the flow arrow and force the water through.

Doing it a couple of times will clean the Mini completely and you can use it again.


The Mini is easily one of the best portable filtration units on the market but what about the cost?

Well, you will be surprised to know that the insanely useful Sawyer Mini is also insanely affordable!

It will surely be one of the best investments you made on your outdoor gear.

What is in the box?

  • One Sawyer Mini filtration unit
  • One 16-ounce squeeze pouch
  • One 7-inch drinking straw
  • One cleaning plunger

Pros of the Sawyer Mini

  • Lightweight (2 ounces), small (1 inch X 5 inch) and extremely portable
  • 0.1-micron absolute rating
  • Can filter 99.99999% of bacteria, protozoa, and other microbes
  • Can be used in various ways including as a straw and in-like hydration packs
  • Surprisingly affordable
  • Incredibly easy to clean and has a lifespan of 100,000 gallons or more
  • Available in multiple colors, which is a plus as well

Cons of the Sawyer Mini

Although the Mini has many advantages, it does have some minor issues as well. Although none of these are deal breakers by any stretch of the imagination, they can be a bit bothersome for a few people.

  • You can’t let the unit freeze. The filtration membrane can get damaged if the unit is frozen and hence, use it with caution if you are hiking in extreme winters
  • You must be careful in screwing the Mini to the Squeeze pouch or on a bottle top. If the seal is not tight, you may end up contaminating your filtered water
  • You need to clean this unit often. Although it is incredibly easy to clean, you can’t ignore cleaning the Mini between your hikes

Final verdict

The Sawyer Mini is one of the best portable filtration systems on the market. It is a must have gear for any backpacker, hiker, hunter or well, almost anyone.

It combines portability with efficiency in a surprisingly affordable package.

You can find great deals on the Sawyer Mini Water Filtration system on Amazon as well.

Trust me; this is a piece of gear you need to get today!

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