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Sawyer Mini Water Filter (Gear of the Year 2013)

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Trail Runner Gear of the Year: Best Water Filter | $25 | 2 ounces | www.sawyer.com

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We previewed this one at the Summer Outdoor Retailer show in Salt Lake City, and knew it was going to be a home run. We’ve long been fans of Sawyer’s water filters as they’re extremely small/packable (perfect for tucking into hydration packs on long backcountry runs), reliable, fast and easy to use. This year, they released a ‘mini’ 2-oz version of the original 3.5-oz filter that can be used in a variety of ways–to drink directly from streams, attached to a bottle’s mouth, embedded inline in your hydration reservoir tube, or with the 16 fl. oz reusable Sawyer pack it comes with. Its hollow-fiber membrane offers a high flow rate, so filtering only takes a matter of seconds. Unlike other water filtration systems, they’re infinitely backwashable (no need to purchase cartridges over time) with the provided syringe and they don’t require batteries. At $25 for 0.1-micron filter that removes 99.99999% of bacteria, the Sawyer Mini is an absolute steal.