I was, and still ma a big fan on the Sawyer Squeeze Filter. In my opinion it revolutionized water filtration for the backpacker, by providing a lightweight alternative to chemical treatment and heavy pump filters. When Sawyer released their Mini Filter, I switched to it and have been very satisfied with it.
Here you see the Sawyer Mini next to the original Sawyer Squeeze Filter. The Mini weighs just 2oz. For those of you who are not familiar with it, both of the above filters function by screwing on top of a bladder filled with the dirty water. You then squeeze the bag, or let gravity do the work, and the water which passes through the filter is filtered down to 0.1 microns.
My big worry with filters like these however, which use fibers as a filtration medium rather than a ceramic component, is that they can easily get clogged when you are using poor quality water, which I often do. Because of that, I always try to use a pre-filter to eliminate the sediment which contributes most of the clogging.
When I got the Mini, I encountered a problem; mainly that unlike the original Sawyer Squeeze Filter, the Mini had a protrusion from the back, designed to connect it to a water bladder system. That unfortunately made it impossible to use the screw-on pre-filter I was previously using.
My pre-filter of choice is one from a Aquamira Frontier Pro filter. The Frontier Pro is not a filter I would recommend, but its screw-on pre-filter is excellent. To fix the problem, I decided to remove the hose connector on the back of the Sawyer Mini Squeeze Filter. The task is not as easy as it looks. I finally managed to do it with the use of a small gouge.
With the gouge it was fairly easy: I just made a few push cuts at the base of the connector, and it came off.
With the rear hose connector removed, the Frontier Pro pre-filter could be screwed on just like with the original Sawyer Squeeze Filter.
The pre-filter has a cloth element which removes most of the sediment and larger particles, prolonging the life of the filter. I know there is nothing particularly exciting about it, but if you had been wondering how to do it, this is the way I managed it with mine.