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This product review is entirely my own opinion based on my own experience.
This past week when we were in the Sierras, we got the chance to play with some new gear: Sawyer Mini Water Filter.* The boy purchased the Sawyer Mini Water Filter because of reviews we had read and it's weight. This filter weighs 2 ounces which is a huge plus when considering how much weight you need to carry when hiking and it is only $25.
The mini comes with a 16 oz bag that the filter screws on to. You fill the bag with water, screw on the filter, and then squeeze. Literally, that's it. You can squeeze the water and drink directly from the filter or you can squeeze the water into your water bottle or bladder. While filling a whole bladder or multiple water bottles might take time with the squeeze, the ease of using the squeeze and the weight of it make it an ideal water filter to carry for day hikes. Cleaning and maintaining is also easy and straight forward.
The one thing we had to make sure of with this filter is drying the exterior of the bag to avoid having unfiltered water drip into our bottles or bladders. We typically carry small towels with us anyway so this isn't an issue for us but for some it might be something to consider.
Overall, this is our new favorite piece of gear. On most trails, we can cut how much water we start with in half and reduce overall weight in our packs because we know where we can get more water along the trail.
Do you use a water filter you love? Tell me about it in the comments!