With what is easily the most popular hollow fiber filter on the trail, Sawyer has again pushed the bar and released the new Micro Squeeze hollow fiber filter. Now, we first got a look at the Micro when the Select series of filters were released from Sawyer, but now you can purchase the Micro as a single piece from Sawyer that includes a new style 32oz water bag, coupler, backflush syringe and straw. Not a bad kit for about $30.
Why the Micro? How does it compare to the Squeeze and Mini?
There’s no doubt that a common question will be how the Micro compares to the other two offerings from Sawyer. The Squeeze being the bread and butter of the filter line up, giving great flow rates, but can honestly be a little bulky. Then insert the Mini that achieves a super low weight, but lacks in the flow rate game. That’s where I feel the Micro really shines. It sits are right about 2 oz which is the same weight as the Mini, but flow rates are much better than the Mini. Add the male threaded end on the outlet of the Micro and you’ve set yourself up for a simple, but awesome gravity filter system when you thread two bags to the filter using the included coupler.
With my use of the Micro so far, mostly in the desert of Utah, i’ve enjoyed great performance from the filter. Filling bags from silty pot holes and sandy washes, I haven’t experienced issues with premature clogging of the filter. However, for some as I’ve poked around and asked around in various forums, the Micro has been a struggle for some. One person who took the Micro on the AZT said that after just a few liters the Micro totally clogged up, and went back to the Squeeze. This being a fairly new filter and limited field use from a large amount of people makes it difficult to say how in the true long term it will perform and compare to the other two offerings.
All I can say from my experience is the Micro is a wonderful addition to my filter system and has been more than reliable. I see it being a great option for many with how versatile it is, particularly compared to the Mini. Many may opt to carry the extra ounce and stick with the Squeeze. All I can say is for the low cost, it’s worth a try to see how it works for you.