Sawyer Mini vs Sawyer 3-Way vs Sawyer Mini

After linking to to this post  on r/ultralight about ditching my Sawyer Mini for my Sawyer 3-way I got some feedback that maybe I had a bunk filter.  Luckily I have another Sawyer mini that my gf uses so I set up a little observation.

I decided I would fill up my 3-liter Platypus Big Zip and hang to test how quickly each of the three filters would do.  To clarify, I’ll be testing my Sawyer 3-Way and two separate Sawyer Mini’s.  One is suspected of having an issue.

After this I will refill the Bip Zip and test each on the squeeze capability.  This would be me squeezing the bag hard and seeing how quickly each filter can handle it.

Each filter was back flushed beforehand.  The 3-Way has a hookup to a faucet that works well to back flush.  For the two Sawyer Mini’s, I back flushed each with 3 syringes full of water.

Here’s the results:

Hard to tell, but a nice steady flow

Sawyer 3-Way:

3 Liter Gravity Test: 10′ 13″

3 Liter Squeeze Test: 3′

I can see the flow sucks, and it got really drippy towards the end.

Sawyer Mini (the one I have been using for 18 months):

3 Liter Gravity Test: 38′

3 Liter Squeeze Test: 6′

Nice even flow, and the results show that it kicks the other Sawyer Mini’s ass.

Sawyer Mini (light, occasional use)

3 Liter Gravity Test: 13′ 16″

3 Liter Squeeze Test: 4′ 24″


Clearly, the Sawyer 3-Way wins, especially against my well-used Sawyer Mini.  However, up against my gf’s Sawyer Mini, which hasn’t gotten as much use, the competition was a little closer.

I agree now that something may be wrong with my Sawyer Mini, but I’ve always back flushed it so I don’t know what it would be.  If you have a guess let me know.  It will be going in the trash.  The other is fine and I’m sure my gf will continue to use it.   Looks like my switch back to the 3-way will be permanent.





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