Since April I’ve been a total convert to treating my water with filters while hiking, specifically Sawyer’s Squeeze, which I think is as close to perfect as any backcountry water filter can be. With a relatively light weight, easy filtering, and no moving parts to clog, the Squeeze has totally replaced bleach and Aqua Mira in my pack. And I thought I wouldn’t find anything better. Sawyer has already proved me wrong.
Late this summer, Sawyer released the Mini Filter, which is almost identical to the Squeeze, just in a smaller package. In fact, in testing the Mini this month, I’ve found that aside from weighing half as much as the Squeeze and having a different mouthpiece, there’s really no difference. The price is another selling point, at just over half of the price of the original Squeeze. The weight of each (dry) on my scale is 3.6 ounces for the Squeeze, and 1.9 ounces for the Mini. Not bad!
I’ve found no difference in flow rates between the two filters (in fact, the Mini seems to be flowing much faster, but that’s probably because the filter is much cleaner at this point than my many-month old Squeeze). Normally, one product that’s so similar to another wouldn’t be of much interest, but since all of the minor changes are improvements, I have no problem recommending the Mini. For the rest of the review, see my review of the Squeeze from earlier this summer.
My only minor complaint with the Mini is that the included dirty-water bag is the half-liter size, where the bag for the standard Squeeze is one-liter. I guess this makes sense, because the Mini is smaller, but the weight savings of an empty bag are negligible and the full liter-sized bag can always be filled halfway if you want less water. I immediately replaced the small bag with a larger one.
Disclosure: Sawyer provided me with a free Mini Filter for purposes of this review. The prior review of the Squeeze was done with a filter purchased with my own funds, and was in no way influenced by the company.