View Full Version : MSR Water filters

10-21-2005, 10:19
Anyone use the MSR Sweetwater Filter?

I'm going back and forth between that and the Miniworks Ex. But the Sweetwater seems like it would do the job without being overly heavy.

I'm planning on using AquaMira to treat following filtering.

10-21-2005, 12:36
I used the MSR Sweetwater as it is a bit smaller in diameter and fits my hand better. It has done a great job. I also use Aqua Mira following filtering.

the goat
10-21-2005, 12:52
never used the sweetwater, but in '01 i sobo'ed with some dudes that cursed 'em every time they had to get water. they would have to pump for like a half hour to fill a 2 liter bladder. there was also a drought that year, which was hard on filters, but still, this was in NH & i wasn't having any trouble w/ my pur at that point.

10-21-2005, 18:02
I've had multiple sweetwaters break with normal usage on a trail, and only once had an miniworks break on me, but that was quickly fixed by REI. I personally do not like sweetwaters becasue you can rely on them breaking, while other pumps will keep on going. Me and my family have put a lot of miles on our working miniworks and have been very pleased with it. Personally, i've done away with pumps because of the fact they can break, and when i am out for ten days, i just dont feel like risking it. I use PolarPur but the decision is a personal one.


10-21-2005, 19:23
I used a sweetwater from the smokies up the Sheffield, MA and soon learned to use it as little as possible. Mostly I used my hiking buddy's PUR Scout, a FAR better unit in all respects. I still have the bugger tucked away in the gear pile (though no filter element for it). My primary filter is a PUR Scout/Guide. I also have an old Explorer but you cannot get filter units for it anymore.

Of the two you are looking at I'd jump on the Miniworks EX. It's a MUCH better filter. The ceramic filter unit is easier to clean, lasts a hell of a lot longer and the rest of the pump is dirt simple to use and maintain.

I HATE sweetwater filters.

10-21-2005, 20:30
how does the PUR filter compare to the Miniworks EX? Is it comparable?

10-21-2005, 20:47
The MSR Miniworks is a good bit slower than the PUR Guide, but it is a more rugged design in many respects and screws right to your nalgene bottles or similar wide mouthed bottles or bags. The ceramic filter element cleans with a nylon scrubby pad...when it needs it, and lasts for a long damned time. The Miniworks is smaller than the guide but not significantly lighter. All water filters benefit greatly by wrapping a paper coffee filter around the intake strainer. This dramatically lengthens the lifespan of the filter between cleanings though it does slow the pump rate down a touch. Doing this was a lifesaver with my sweetwater as the cleaning procedure for the sweetwater is positively filthy, spraying bits of highly contaminated matter all over creation, so the less I had to do it the better.

I've got an MSR waterworks or miniworks on my to acquire list simply because of the longevity of the system. A good piece of kit for emergency uses.

Another option to consider is the Pur/now Katadyn Hiker. The Hiker pumps fast, is small and light and best of all, can be rigged for siphon feed so you can filter water from your bag to your bottle while you are busy doing something else. Same pleated filter as the Guide, but in a smaller and only marginally slower package. Probably a bit less robust as well, but suitable if not mistreated.

All that said, I keep a bottle of potable aqua tablets in my first aid kit as a back up. I've had filters go south on me before.

the goat
10-21-2005, 21:35
i should have added that i used my pur hiker all the way south through the drought of '01 with no problems (and i was pumping from mud puddles too). i used three elements. in '03, i made it from katahdin to central VA before i changed the element (good rain!).

10-21-2005, 21:50
Anyone use the MSR Sweetwater Filter?

I'm going back and forth between that and the Miniworks Ex. But the Sweetwater seems like it would do the job without being overly heavy.

I'm planning on using AquaMira to treat following filtering.
why both treatment AND filtering? if it's an coloration/aesthetics thing, most of us drink colored water all the time... tea, coffee, milk, soda, etc. if it's a texture thing (ie, you don't like crunchy or chewy water), then a bandana or coffee filter works great for cleaning it up... i don't know... i'm not real fussy. wet is wet when i'm thirsty. a few odd floaters in my drinking water don't bother me much...heck, the bottled stuff we got in somalia, from the United Arab Emirates, had lots of little specks in it... i just hate to think of anyone carrying both filter and AM drops when the AM works just fine alone... 'cept for color and texture... but i guess everyone has their own tolerance level.

i've got an MRS filter (i think it's the miniworks) that i quit using... i used it for one long trip in the smokies back in 2003 for about a week, i guess... weighs about a pound including bag. like Iceman said, it's pretty reliable and cleans easily... fits on the nalgene bottle too, but then i quit using them in favor of aqua fina bottles. i think it cost me $70... PM me if you'd like to give me something for it. bought it brand new from Campmor or Moosejaw, and like i said, i only used it the one trip... wife keeps telling me to get rid of it at a garage sale, but then i'd only get a couple bucks.