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Sawyer Mini vs Squeeze

How to Choose between the Sawyer Squeeze and the Sawyer Mini

If you're trying to decide between the Sawyer Squeeze and the Sawyer mini, you need to choose the Squeeze.  The Sawyer Squeeze is superior to the Mini in almost every way, take a look:

Sawyer Mini vs Sawyer Squeeze Specifications

Sawyer Squeeze

Sawyer Mini

Filter Material

Hollow Fiber

Hollow Fiber


3 ounces

2 ounces

Flow Rate

2.0 Liters/minute

1.1 Liters/minute

User Ratings

Check Lowest Prices

Yep that's right, double the flow rate and basically the same price.

If you've decided on a Sawyer filter then you have to choose between the Squeeze and the Mini.  These filters both have 0.1 micron holes that filter out 99.99999% of the junk which for backpacking purposes is close enough to 100% that you won't need to worry about getting sick.

The main difference between the two is the weight and flow rate.  The Sawyer Squeeze is an ounce heavier and slightly more bulky, but it can filter water twice as fast.

Here's a breakdown of the specs:

Which One Should You Buy?

Based on the testing of each Sawyer filter and the performance difference, the Sawyer Squeeze is our winner.

The cost difference between the two is pretty small and the difference in weight is unnoticeable in the real world (just a 1 oz difference when both are dry).

The flow rate on the Squeeze is almost double the flow rate of the Mini.  Coming in at 2.0 liters per minute on the Squeeze and just 1.1 liters per minute on the Mini, it's an easy choice.

Why a Small Flow Difference is So Important

The difference between 2.0 liters per minute and 1.1 liters per minute may not sound like a lot, but the Sawyer filters require you to squeeze the pouch with the water in it (hence the name) and when you're filling up your water bladder that's 4 liters or 6 liters, you don't want to be squeezing constantly for 3 minutes to get the job done.

All water filtration systems get plugged up the more they get used.  For gravity filters like the Platypus, it's not a huge deal because gravity is doing the work for you.

But in a squeeze filter like both of the Sawyers, you'll be doing all of the work and the more they get clogged, the more work you'll be doing.

How to Increase the Flow Rate in Your Sawyer Mini or Sawyer Squeeze

After the first few times of using a Sawyer filter, you'll notice the flow rate slow down.  Every time you filter water, the flow rate will get worse and worse until it stops.

When your flow rate slows down or you have to put too much pressure on the bag to filter the same volume of water, it's time to backflush your filter.

All Sawyer filters come with a plastic syringe that connects to the outlet of the filter and is used to backflush the filter.  Simply fill the syringe with water, push it into the outlet of the filter, and push the plunger of the filter down.

This will flush water backwards through the filter and clear out any debris or particles that are clogging the filter.  The Youtube video below is a visual demo of how to backflush your Sawyer filter.  It's the same process for both the Squeeze and the Mini.

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By |2018-02-22T02:01:52+00:00January 26th, 2018|Categories: Other Gear, Reviews|2 Comments

About the Author:

My name's Jim and I love to get outside. Hiking, backpacking, camping, whatever. I started GearSignal because I wasted too much money on horrible gear that I ended up throwing out. I want to help you avoid making the same mistakes as me. Never buy another piece of crappy backpacking gear!


  1. Matt November 5, 2018 at 11:24 pm - Reply

    Hi Jim,

    I dont’ think this advice is for everyone: you are basically advising us to buy the more expensive and 50% heavier version, just to save maybe a couple of minutes a day of squeezing/sucking work.


    • Jim November 14, 2018 at 2:18 am - Reply

      Hey Matt, I used to have the Sawyer Mini but I got rid of it after a trip to Manitou Island. It failed within 24 hours from taking in some sand and ended up ruining the gasket because I had to squeeze it so hard. The Squeeze is only 1 ounce heavier and has double the flow rate. After going to the Platypus gravity filter I don’t think I could go back to something that filters as slowly as the Mini. The Squeeze is a nice step up and totally worth the slightly higher price IMO.

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