Today I want to introduce you to a water filtration system I find to be durable, lightweight and perfect for the environment I live in, the Sawyer Squeeze Mini™.
When it comes to water filtration there is a lot of misinformation ‘floating around’ out there. This is definitely one area where I highly suggest folks do their research before deciding on a system. Most water filters are only built to handle some of the many waterborne threats and so you need to be aware of what’s in your area and whether or not your filter is doing everything you were led to believe.
I won’t go into a full article here but there are 5 main areas you need to be aware of when choosing a water filter.
- Turbidity: This simply refers to the amount of particles in the water. A muddy puddle would be high turbidity while a fresh mountain spring would be very low turbidity.
- Bacteria: A large group of single-cell organisms including e-coli, cholera and salmonella among many others.
- Parasites: Including both single and multi cell organisms such as worms and protozoa parasites are typically much smaller than bacteria. The most common types of protozoa include Giardia (Beaver Fever) and Cryptosporidium which both can cause vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain and more.
- Viruses: Waterborne viruses such as Hepatitis A aren’t common in North America and Europe but can be found in many other parts of the world.
- Chemicals: Common chemicals such as herbicides and pesticides can leak into water sources from farmers fields or close to roads and highways
The Sawyer Squeeze Mini™ removes all turbidity, bacteria and parasites from the water but will not deal with viruses or chemicals. I live in North America where viruses are not a concern and most of my trips are done deep into the wilderness where chemicals are unlikely to be a problem. However, if you live or travel in an area where these are an issue I would NOT recommend the Sawyer Squeeze.
So now that’s out of the way lets get to the specs. Weighing in at just 2 ounces this tiny workhorse can fit almost anywhere in your pack. I tend to keep mine underneath my backpack lid so I can easily access it when stopping to collect water while on the move. In addition to being extremely lightweight it can filter up to 100,000 gallons of water which means if properly taken care of can last almost anyone a lifetime.
Finally I like the fact that it’s extremely versatile. With the filter and straw you can drink directly from most water sources. With the bladder you can transport dirty water and drink straight from it or you can use it to fill up a canteen. The filter will also screw on to any standard water bottle meaning multiple ways to collect, store and filter water.
The only downside I’ve found so far is that because of it’s small size you won’t be filtering water as fast as some of the pump filters or the full size Sawyer Squeeze. It’s best suited for a single person with moderate water needs.
At around $20 this water filter is the best I’ve found for price, durability and portability. If you live in a similar area to me I’d highly recommend checking one out for your water filtration needs.