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What is your hydration system using the Sawyer Mini filter?
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Rick Sutton
(rickcsutton) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
What is your hydration system using the Sawyer Mini filter? on 03/04/2014 00:20:54 MST Print View

I was wondering how everyone is using the Mini? Originally, I planned to store a 1L platy in the side pocket of my pack with the mini attached and use a hydration hose as a bladder and hose were always part of my hydration system in the past and now I wouldn't have to unpack my gear every time I had to re-fill. Now I want to eliminate the hose completely and I'm looking for some suggestions on how to use the Mini with just a water container. My goal is to to have the lightest functioning system, with only one container if possible, and I don't have any plans to use it as a gravity filter.

Thanks in advance.

P.S. - I forgot to state I typically hike in areas where water is pretty abundant so I don't have to carry to much to often or go 20 miles in between sources. If I did, I understand I would need more platy containers to carry the extra water. In most cases, carrying 1L will work for me especially if I drink some at the source.

Edited by rickcsutton on 03/04/2014 00:31:25 MST.

Tony Ronco
(tr-browsing) - MLife
Re: Sawyer Mini set-up with NO hose from your Platy on 03/04/2014 08:01:59 MST Print View

Platy --> Sawyer Mini --> Bite Valve --> Hydration to You

(It's simple enough to change the Mini's use from a "straw mode" to a "platy mode", by just by using a bite valve and screwing the mini w/ the bite valve directly onto your platy - no hoses needed - to drink you will need to elevate your platy as you normally would if you're drinking straight from your platy without a filter)



Edited by tr-browsing on 03/04/2014 09:45:43 MST.

Carsten Hofmann
(Norweger75) - MLife

Locale: Rhineland Palatinate
Sawyer Mini on Platy on 03/04/2014 13:45:56 MST Print View

I would even skip the bite-valve.

1l Platy => Sawyer Mini => done.

For dry camps I sometimes bring an additional 2l Platy.

rick .
(overheadview) - F

Locale: NYC
Platypus? on 03/04/2014 15:37:54 MST Print View

Lots of posts here and elsewhere about the platypus bags not threading correctly, either straight away, or worse, somewhere along the trail.

I'm surprised to see the first two posts do just that!? Are you connecting with a hose or straight onto the cap?

I haven't trail tested this yet but I'm counting on Sawyer's new bags to hold out a bit better, so use one of those for dirty and use a soda bottle for clean (which would become the backup dirty in case of a bag blowout).

That's while I keep an eye out for a better bladder (evernew is seemingly evergone).

I also have an old bladder, tubes and a carbon element assembled as a gravity setup for canoe trips (more camp time, cooking, washing dishes/fish etc. and weight is less critical)

Glenn S

Locale: Snowhere, MN
Re: Platypus? on 03/04/2014 16:04:00 MST Print View

The threads don't match, as you know, but the gasket on the mini makes up for it... Mostly.

I was originally going to do like you this season, but now my plans have simplified even further.

A Smartwater bottle in each side pocket of my pack, either the 700ml or the 1L. I plan on keeping the Mini attached to one of the bottles, a Smartwater flipcap (off the 700ml) on the other bottle, and a spare cap in my pack.

I can drink straight from the filter, or filter into the other bottle if I want to add the occasional drink mix (rinsed well afterward). I'm thinking that both will be 1L's, and I'll only carry both full if headed to a dry camp. The mini has a cap already on it, the flip cap fits on the mini backwards, for backflushing and I'll have a spare cap if the temps get too low. Squeezing out of the bottle is only a minor inconvenience, since I only have to crack the mini loose on the threads to let air back in the bottle 3-4 times for an entire liter. It's not like I have to completely remove it or anything.

This system packs and works excellent in the comfort of my home. Based on my practice with the full sized sawyer, and with smartwater bottles, I'm expecting this to work pretty well. Also, filling the bottle from a water source should be easier than fighting with a bag that wants to collapse. I carry a cup if I can't fit a bottle/bag mouth into a water source area.

Jeremy Rardin
(JearBear) - F

Locale: Cumberland Trail
Reply on 03/04/2014 23:31:04 MST Print View

Glen, I like your idea. Essentially, I carry the same thing for water. I am not big on keeping reservoirs in my pack for several reasons. My approach has typically been 2 water bottles. I have not tried using the mini as a cap throughout the day though, i perceive that it would make the bottle top heavy

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
re: Sawyer Mini filter hydration system on 03/05/2014 01:13:05 MST Print View

My system:

(1) the Sawyer Mini.

(2) two 700mL Smartwater bottles, one with a flip-top lid, one with a regular cap. I don't carry the Mini attached.

(3) a 2L bladder, carried empty (right now, an Evernew)

(4) a water scoop made from a cut-up old bladder (easier to fill than submerging a bottle and I get a small "sink" in camp).

When I am at a water source, I use the scoop to quickly + easily get water and pour into the bladder. I attach the Mini to the bladder, and squeeze/filter into the bottles. I usually drink one bottle and have another ready to go in an outside pocket of the pack.

There is some redundancy but bladders and bottles weigh so little empty that I don't mind. This gives me the ability to carry 1.5L of filtered water and another 2L of unfiltered water (ready to be filtered) if I was in a place where I needed to carry that much, but this is never the case in the PNW. In camp, I usually refill both bottles so I have water in the morning.

Glenn S

Locale: Snowhere, MN
Re: Reply on 03/05/2014 01:18:03 MST Print View

Yes, it's top-heavy if trying to stand up an empty bottle. I'll just put the little cap back on the mini and lay it down if I don't just filter it into the other bottle first. I guess it would depend on the specifics of a pack if it would be a problem carrying it empty that way. I'm setting it up in a Murmur and between deep enough pockets and shock cord side compressions holding it against the pack, it's not an issue.

I'm not a "sipper" though, nor am I agile enough to reach back into a side pocket. I tend to tank up more than sip while I go, so getting the bottle untangled from the compression cord isn't such a big deal that way. I've never found a way to use a bladder/inline filter/hoser that I was happy with.

Something I kind of want to experiment with though, is leaving the mini loose a quarter turn. There would still be a full turn of threads holding it on the bottle, but it would leak air. Then attaching either the supplied straw, or a longer piece of tubing, down into the bottle, I could attach a hose to the outflow, and possibly a bite valve and use it like a hoser then.

---Edit: I just did a little playing around with a couple hoses on this idea and I gotta say, I think I might be a hoser convert. Don't even need a quarter turn loose, anything short of locked-on-tight will do. Sure it may dribble a couple drops when it's filled to the brim and you sling on the pack, but no biggie. To fill the bottle, I didn't even need to unthread the hose from the pack, or take the filter out of the straps/cords. Just unscrew the round bottle and slip it out from under the filter and draw-hose.

A large reason why I'm incorporating the mini attached to the bottle, is for storage. I feel better having it there than just stuffed into a side pocket or mesh back, or opening my pack and digging it out of a baggie when I get water. Again, it comes down to the "system" philosophy. This way works with my pack "system" that has no hip pockets and limited storage. Just seems like a good fit for me.

I like the sink idea. I also love how these systems are so expandable. Headed to a dry area? Pack along a 2L bladder. Extended camping? Bring 2 bladders, hook up a gravity drip with a hose. Be creative :)

Edited by Glenn64 on 03/06/2014 02:55:01 MST.

Tony Ronco
(tr-browsing) - MLife
Re: Platypus Compatibility? on 03/05/2014 11:04:01 MST Print View

@Rick - Yes, I've also read some of those posts about the incompatibility (with the Squeeze model specifically) ... others have posted they didn't experience any incompatibility issues. My experience with Platys has been the later camp ... however ... for my Squeeze model on the inlet side I've used a Frontier Pro pre-filter as an intermediate fitting between the Platy and the filter itself, and on the outlet side I've used a Tornado Tube to back flush ... both without any issues.

Since the OP asked about a 1 Liter Platy & the Mini here is a picture of the set-up that I use without any issues. The dirty water Platy in the picture I originally used with a Frontier Pro (when the platy was new), then a Squeeze (with the Frontier Pro's pre-filter attached between the Squeeze & Platy), and now with the Mini directly attached to it as shown (= as the OP asked about). No observable leaks ... nor have I experienced any difficulty threading it on.

By the way, I don't know if this matters or not, but other than backflushing, I've never exclusively used a Sawyer in the "squeeze" mode to force drinking water through the filter, and instead have used it in the "suck water through" mode to drink directly (w/ some squeezing of the platy bottle) or in a gravity mode (w/ no squeezing of the bottle).
Sawyer with bottle

EDIT: I got very curious if the compatibility was "enjoying" was related to my dirty water Platy being an older model with earlier generation threads. Here is the set-up with a NEW platy ... I just tested it and it also worked fine. No leaks (Go figure).
New Sawyer with new bottle
OK, different approach: I then took the washer out of the Mini and tried both Platys. The old Platy had no leaks (and as a baseline, the Sawyer soft bottle also had no leaks without the washer being used), HOWEVER the new Platy HAD a small leak (albeit, a very slight leak that was small enough that I personally wouldn't be concerned with but others may). So, from that one data point, one can perhaps reasonably foresee that over longer term use, the flat washer will lose its elasticity and that small leak will develop if the unit is used with a new Platy (unless ... 1.) one carried a spare (?), or 2.) the flat washer was replaced with an o-ring type washer (?), or 3.) one simply didn't care about the leak because it is so slight & ignored it) ... YMMV!

EDIT #2: I forgot to mention it earlier, but a big +1 on using the Smartwater blue flip-top to back flush the Mini. The cap when pressed directly onto the Mini's output barb, does not leak when backflushing. It's a nice lightweight, compact alternative to Sawyer's syringe.

Edited by tr-browsing on 03/06/2014 14:35:44 MST.

michael levi
(M.L) - F

Locale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
mini on 03/05/2014 15:02:38 MST Print View

Sawyer mini
2 1L aquafina bottles, or one .5L
1 16oz durable sawyer bag, looking for a 1L bag

Rick Sutton
(rickcsutton) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re: Mini setup on 03/06/2014 20:46:07 MST Print View

Thanks to everyone who posted a reply. Originally, I was using a platy because I could drink the entire liter through the hydration tube without having to unscrew the filter once and letting air back in. When I tried regular water bottles with this same hose setup, this was not possible w/o having to loosen the filter every few drinks as the water bottle collapsed too much and this restricted the flow.

Now that I am eliminating the hose (and Mini straw on the bottom of the filter), I have either water container option, although, I really like how the 1L platy fits in the side pocket of my Zero with the filter on as the lower side bungie aligns nicely with the middle of the Mini and holds everything snugly in place.

I have older platy's which don't appear to leak at all when connected to the Mini. Seeing I can't reach the bottle with the pack on anyway, I can easily get the filter and platy combo out once the pack is on the ground. With a small container to help collect water in low flow areas, a second 1L platy, and some micro bottles of Aqua Mira as a backup, I should have a complete water & filtration system at around 4.5oz. which is quite a bit lighter than last year's setup.

James Byrnes
(backfeets1) - M

Locale: Midwest.... Missouri
Re: What is your hydration system using the Sawyer Mini filter? on 03/06/2014 23:54:43 MST Print View

Anyone have a guess of how long it would take to squeeze filter 1 liter of water?

Jeremy Rardin
(JearBear) - F

Locale: Cumberland Trail
Mini on 03/07/2014 09:40:15 MST Print View

I was talking to Chad from Sticks Blog about what he does and he said typically he will go with 2 20oz bottles and a 2 L sawyer squeeze bag. Unless you know you'll only need 2L at any time, its not bad to use the squeeze bag because it can also be used for camp water. Even the 16 oz bag, just fill it up at your last water source before setting camp and that is atleast your cooking water.

David Drake
(DavidDrake) - F

Locale: North Idaho
Time to filter 1L? on 03/07/2014 11:07:59 MST Print View

I'm also interested in time to squeeze-filter a liter. When I treat water, I've used Aquamira drops exclusively for a few years now, but the weight and cost of the Sawyer Mini makes switching look pretty attractive.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Time to filter 1L? on 03/07/2014 11:16:19 MST Print View

3 minutes to squeeze 1 liter? Something like that

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Time to filter 1L? on 03/07/2014 11:23:09 MST Print View

"Time to filter 1L?"

I usually calculate about five-ish minutes from start to finish filtering 1L of water (dropping to donning the pack). One thing I prefer to make the process more efficient, especially when I need to filter more water for someone else as well, is to leave my Sawyer bags at home and bring my 2L Evernew bag which is threaded the same as the filter. I like having the capacity to carry 3-4L of water in the PNW if I decide to dry camp and it's nice to just fill once when it's time to filter.

I guess the mini filters water slower than the regular one but I fail to perceive a difference but I didn't get the mini until the end of the season last year so its use has been limited.

There are Evernew water bladders on Ebay for $15 + $2 shipping if you're interested in going that route.

Edit: I see in the Gear Deals forum that The Gear House has these bladders at a better price including BPl discount

Edited by IDBLOOM on 03/07/2014 11:27:50 MST.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Time to filter 1L? on 03/07/2014 11:27:33 MST Print View

or use soda/water bottle

you can apply more pressure on it so it squeezes a little faster

and you don't have to baby it so much so it doesn't split open

rick .
(overheadview) - F

Locale: NYC
Re: Mini on 03/07/2014 11:34:39 MST Print View

>typically he will go with 2 20oz bottles and a 2 L sawyer squeeze bag.

exactly. The 2L bag I have weighs 1.3oz- less than a 1L smartwater.

3-liter capacity and filter can be had for the following:

Filter ~1.8oz
2L bag ~1.3oz
1L bot ~1.4oz = 4.5oz.

I'd consider that the most minimal you're going to get with a usable system.

I carry 6.5oz with some extra luxuries:
A cut-up square bottle (2"ish by 4" tall) to use as a scoop and a case for the kit, and half a tea-ball/nanoseum mesh pre-filter, 2" tubing (helps with fillup), a short cord to gravity hang, and ziploc.

My hiking partner carries no filter so this is technically half "community weight" haha

I'll often take another widemouth bottle to actually drink from too since I prefer that, for ~1.5oz penalty and 4L capacity (nice for an afternoon water grab to hold you til lunch the next day if need-be)

1L filters in about 60 seconds, haven't timed it, and it is highly variable on how hard you squeeze/roll. Gravity is much slower. There'll be a lot more posts about this filter once it warms up, but its plenty fast enough.

Rick Sutton
(rickcsutton) - MLife

Locale: Midwest
Re Platy bags vs Evernew on 03/07/2014 12:21:21 MST Print View

Ian - Thanks for the heads up on the discount containers and associated links.

Ian or anyone else - Are the Evernew 1L and 2L containers more durable than the Platy containers these days. I have several 7 year old 1L Platy's that does look the best, however, I have not had a single leak or issue with any of them. It appears the more recent reviews on the multi-colored Platy's are not so great with many burst or leaking container complaints. I don't plan to squeeze the bags much, if at all, rather, just drink from the attached filter or possibly a 2" straw extension.

Also, any suggestions on some SUL containers to use as a make shift water scoop if the water flow is too minimal to get it comfortably info the small mouth of a platy? I have a beer can cook pot yet, it is not easily accessible and I have used a 1L platy that was cut in half in the past and wondered if there are other options. I've also heard about using a ziplock, yet don't know how that might work.

Ian B.

Locale: PNW
Re: Re Platy bags vs Evernew on 03/07/2014 13:20:26 MST Print View

"Are the Evernew 1L and 2L containers more durable than the Platy containers these days"

Can't say. I've only owned my Evernew bladder for less than six months and it hasn't seen much use yet. My 2L Platy keeps trucking along and I haven't had a bad experience with one yet.

"Also, any suggestions on some SUL containers to use as a make shift water scoop if the water flow is too minimal to get it comfortably info the small mouth of a platy?"

Up to this point, I've been using the bottom half of a PET bottle. Doesn't weigh much but it's bulkier than I'd like. Someone who will go nameless but whose name rhymes with Mohn Mabela was kind enough to gift me an extra 16 oz Sawyer Bag at the GGG this gear. Plan is to cut the top off it it and use it as my scoop this summer. I suppose buying a cheapie water bladder from the dollar store would work equally well (in theory).