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MiniWorks Filter
Gear Review

MiniWorks Filter


Page Type: Gear Review

Object Title: MiniWorks Filter

Manufacturer: MSR

Your Opinion: 
 - 16 Votes


Page By: John

Created/Edited: Jan 2, 2002 / Jan 2, 2002

Object ID: 109

Hits: 3948 


This compact, easy to use water filter removes harmful elements from water. It's field serviceable design provides reliability trip after trip!
  • Cleanable ceramic/carbon-core element has a long life and adsorbs many chemicals and foul tastes
  • Effectively removes bacteria and protozoa including giardia and cryptosporidia
  • Also removes chemicals including pesticides, industrial pollutants, iodine and chlorine, and taste and odor compounds
  • Bottom screws onto an MSR Dromedary┬« Bag or Nalgene┬« water bottle for easy 2-hand operation (both sold separately)
  • Easy disassembly lets you troubleshoot and maintain in the field



Viewing: 1-13 of 13

JohnUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

The number #1 beneficial characteristic of this pump is the ability to service it in the field, especially in remote areas with dirty water. When filtering dirty water in remote areas, you don't want to have to replace the filter element if it gets clogged. With the ceramic filter design, you can just pop out the ceramic core, file off a layer, reassemble and you are good to go - just like new.

The number #1 downside of this design is that it takes twice as long to pump as some other designs. While you are pumping away at 78 strokes per liter, you may notice others using the PUR Hiker finishing in half the time at 40 strokes per liter.

Some other notes:

  • This is a filter only so if you are travelling to some parts of the world and need purification, you will typically need to use chemical treatment separately.
  • The bottom of this filter can attach to a Nalgene bottle or MSR Dromedary bag which shouldn't be overlooked as a benefit.
Conclusion: This is your pump if you need a field-service capabilities or like a good workout, otherwise in many clear water situations, you will be better off with a faster action filter. If I could do this over again, I would probably get something like the PUR Hiker but for warmer weather, I'm all set with iodine these days. I've also used a friend's SweetWater Guardian Filter once - it felt a bit fragile compared to the MiniWorks and Hiker Filters - both of which can take some abuse.
Posted Jan 3, 2002 11:47 pm

IlanESMiniworks gets Grand Canyon approval

Hasn't voted

We did a 6-day trip in the Royal Arch Route in the grand canyon and voted the MSR miniworks the best.

In the canyon, you need something that can handle a lot of silt, be able to clean off silt/dirt in the field, and be generally tough.

MSR was one of the few (katahdin as well) that survived that trip.
Posted Jul 17, 2007 7:58 pm

TacoSmugglerUntitled Review

Voted 5/5

The MiniWorks filter has always been very reliable for me. The best feature about this filter is its ease of use. The fact that Nalgene bottle screw directly onto the bottom eliminates cross contamination as well as making it easy to hold and pump. It is a little slow compared to other filters, but it's reliablility and easy field maintanence make it the smart choice for extended backpack trips.

Silty water...no problem. You just unscrew the top, pop the carbon filter out, give it a little scrub, and it's like you are pumping with a new filter! Field maintanence takes about 4 minutes from breakdown to continued filtering. I usually just buy 1 new carbon filter a year( about 45 days in use).

I've been on backpacking trips with other filters(PUR Hiker) and had the misfortune of having it clog the second day into our trip. The solution was to resort to iodine but I cant stand the taste. I have never had a problem with MSR Miniworks however and sometimes I dont even bring Iodine!
Posted Sep 17, 2002 10:44 am

Martin CashUntitled Review

Voted 5/5

Great water filter. It's such a nice feature to be able to attach it to the top of your water bottles. It makes refilling at the stream much easier. I have noticed that it pumps a little slower than my old Pur filter, but you can fix it when it clogs. Ceramic filters have been proven to eliminate more creepy crawlies than glass fiber based filters like my old Pur had. Also, this filter works the same after you clean it, whereas my Pur lost about 25% of its speed each time it needed to be cleaned. Ceramic based filters just last longer and are a better value.
Posted Nov 13, 2002 3:05 pm

JoeyrooUntitled Review

Voted 4/5

I like the fact that it is field cleanable and the ceramic filter element lasts a long time when compared to fiber-type filters. Although it does clog easily that the water flow begins to decrease to the point where the pump makes an annoying weasing sound; time to clean. Other than that, I like its ability to screw onto a 1L wide-mouth Nalgene bottle so it makes it easier for one-man operation. Now you wouldn't want your water bottle to tip over when you're almost done filling now would you?
Posted Feb 12, 2003 4:57 pm

grandwazooUntitled Review

Voted 3/5

Extremly slow, no problem it you're the only one using it, but if you got four people standing around in the cold it really sucks. The ceramic filter element is the only thing that brings it to three stars.
Posted Oct 28, 2003 7:29 pm

WildMan21Untitled Review

Voted 5/5

The MSR MiniWorks water filter has proved to be very durable and efficient at filtering water from all kinds of water sources. After backpacking extensively through Wyoming and Colorado, the solid parts have held up remarkably well for other water filters. The lack of small parts makes it a lot harder to break in the field when you need it the most. I highly recommend this for anyone needing a water filter for backpacking or even foreign travel in remote areas.
Posted Jan 3, 2005 4:14 pm

The Defiant OneUntitled Review

Voted 5/5

I don't often give 5 star reviews, but I love this filter so much. i go out solo a lot and iodine is ok, but i get tired of it after a week, this filter is easy to use alone screwing onto a nalgene or MSR bladder. Mine pumps pretty fast, i love that it's easily maintainable in the field. THat pushes it over the top for me, compared to other filters i've used.

I think i have a new version that pumps faster, but i could be wrong about that. anyway it pumps as fast as other filters i've used
Posted Mar 24, 2005 4:46 am

tothesummit2Untitled Review

Voted 4/5

I like this water filter . I fly solo alot so having a dependable water filter is wonderful. Very easy to break down and clean, has few small parts. at seventy bucks it is definitly one of the more affordable filters and it is worth every penny. Could be a little faster but in the end its a good piece of equipment

Posted Aug 2, 2005 5:44 pm

Mark DoironClogs Too Easily

Voted 3/5

During a 10-day trek at Philmont Scout Ranch, this filter clogged much more quickly than I cared for. Seemed we were cleaning it all of the time. Water was quite clear to the sight--enough so that I opted for MicroPure for the remainder of the trip. The only time I really needed a filter because the water was so dirty I wouldn't drink it with just chemical treatment (on Wilson Mesa), this filter clogged within a half dozen pumps, despite having a pre-filter attached. --mark d.
Posted Feb 1, 2007 11:22 pm

TadberryReliable filter

Voted 5/5

This filter proved reliable even under heavy use on extended treks. The unit is field maintainable which is my favorite attribute. There has never been an issue with clogging , although I have always been lucky to pump clear water. I recommend packing the maintenance kit on long trips just in case of a malfunction. I have used several others but keep going back to the MSR.
Posted Feb 14, 2007 12:46 am

2skinnersGood filter

Hasn't voted

I must say the first time I used this filter it got clogged up. Of course I was filtering water that was very full of tannen. The nice thing is a quick scrub will get you back on track with this filter. Very easy to do maintenance on. Just as I said with the iodine tablets, I have not gotten a raging case of diarrhea, or any diarrhea for that matter when using this filter. I reccommend it.
Posted Jun 30, 2007 4:12 am


Hasn't voted

I've quite a bit of experience with this filter now including doing total rebuilds and fixes. If you learn to maintain it properly it bangs the water out fast. Dirty, sediment filled or "rich" water does clog it. And you can clean the filter in the same dirty water. If you get a problem that is not solved by the standard repair kit the factory is very quick and helpful. They sent me a new umbrella valve for free.
Posted Jun 15, 2009 10:27 pm

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