Description 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
Reviewed by: elguaposweater(Unregistered User)
Summary: I've used the miniworks on two or three occasions. works well, though it does pump slowly and i had to figure out an alternative way to clean the ceramic filter on a trip when i neglected to bring the little scrubby pad.
Summary: This filter is probably the best you can get. The marines use it so it must be very good. This filter can be easily cleaned in the field. Also the ceramic filter can be boiled. Even though this filter clogs a lot faster than other filters you atleast know its working. The part that it screws on a nalgene is what I like the best I dont have to bend down to hold the bottle. The carbon inside the filter removes a lot of nasty tasts and chemicals. If you are worried about viruses add sweetwater chlorine drops before filtering.
Customer Service: I accidently Melted the hose I called Msr and the sent me a new one for free.
Similar Products Used: First need, Pur, Water Purification tablets
Review Date September 26, 2007
Overall Rating 1 of 5
Value Rating 1 of 5
Visitors rate this review 2.40 of 5,
Reviewed by: Randy Blades(Unregistered User)
Summary: I have only had horrible experiences with this filter. While it is field serviceable- it starts out twice as slow as the katadyn hiker, and goes downhill from there. I had to take it apart and clean the filter after every two liters at most. While it is nice that it screws onto your nalgene, taking it apart and juggling the handle portion, the tube, and the filter cartridge along with your open nalgene is a difficult proposition. On a canyoneering trip in southern Utah, I had four miniworks filters completely breakdown due to silt and even though the cartridge was still supposedly the correct size, none of them worked until we replaced all of the filter cartridges. I dreaded using this filter and would constantly borrow my coworkers' filters or other purification means to avoid using mine- and I've never gotten sick from the water. I just returned my miniworks EX and good riddance.
Customer Service: REI is always good about returns, and after suffering with my filter for three months I realized I wasn't at all satisfied and exchanged it for a Katadyn Vario with no hassle whatsoever.
Similar Products Used: Pur Hiker, Pur Scout, Katadyn hiker, Steripen, drops and tablets of varying kinds, Katadyn Vario.
Summary: After using the Mini-Works for about 6 months now, I can pretty confidently recomend it to anyone. I've used it to filter anything from snowmelt trickling through rockfields to soupy brown pondwater, and it's handled it all. The filter will clog - water with alot of algae or similar muck will clog it up pretty frequently, but it actually does really well when filtering water with a lot of silt, like glacial runoff. I don't bother with "pre-filtering" by putting a coffee filter or panty hose over the inlet, so I may not be getting the best performance in soupy still water that I could. Popping out the filter element and scrubbing it with the little Scotchbrite pad is very quick and easy, very simple to clean this unit.
There are certainly filters out there that pump faster- but pumping is only one part of filtering water. Getting out your filter, setting it up, pumping, dealing with clogging or breaking, and putting it away can take a much longer time with some filters than the Mini-Works. Buying a filter that will make a liter of water in 6 less pumps might not really save you any time - the Mini-Works is just so much easier to use than other filters I've tried that I find I can get water faster than people using other, more akward designs. Anyone using a filter that won't screw onto a Nalgene (or MSR water bag, which is the same size and thread) seems to struggle so much.... Mini-Works is a great design.
Customer Service: I've had no problems with MSR so haven't had to use contact them... but purchasing through REI is sort of like getting an extended warranty, so I am not concerned about getting help if it breaks.
Similar Products Used: Several older Katadyn filters - hoses everywhere, flailing around pumping and finally knocking over your bottle... kind of akward.
Summary: Having planned a 4 day trip to the Adirondaks, I did not want to spend the entire trip sleeping next to my vehicle. Car camping is great, but my idea of the great outdoors is when I was in scouts so many years ago. There was many things I learned in scouts, and the main one was to always be prepared.
Since my girlfriend was my companion on this trip, I wanted to test her limits. We geared up for an overnight side trip where there would not be any other people remotely near us. After purchasing all the gear we'd need, I toyed around with the idea of only using my hydration pack with iodine tabs for water, since we wouldn't be gone for more than 24 hours and we wouldn't ingest too much of the stuff.
The purchase of the MSR Miniworks was of great relief to us when we arrived at our destination on a remote lake (Beaver Lake, in the Moose River Plains outside Inlet, NY and just up the road from Old Forge, NY). The lake wasn't equiped with a beach as I had expected, and in fact, the campsite was about 15 feet above the water, with a severe slope to the water's edge. The water in the lake was not murky and didn't have a high sediment content, but was a dark brown, almost like a tea of somesort. Not something that you'd want to just purify alone, as the color suggested to me that there was much decaying matter contained in the lake bottom. Visibility was about two feet.
The Miniworks II handled it perfectly. I cannot complain about this filter in any way. The attraction to this unit was based on the ability to field service the unit, and that the filter, although it clogs quickly, is just as quickly cleaned and placed back into action, and ease of use.
To understand how this filter works, there is only one hose, with a prefilter, metal inlet cage, and a floater on the hose. The lever is attached to the top of the filter and is operated by pulling away from the filter's body until it is approximately 45 degrees open, then pushing it back closed. The filtered water drains through the outlet of the filter at the bottom on the unit, which is threaded to accept Nalgene bottles or MSR dromidary bags.
The design of the lever provides good leverage for pumping water, and was a welcome feature on the precipitous slope I was standing on at water's edge. Both my petite girlfriend and I were able to comfortablely crouch down towards the water while standing with one foot on the slope and another foot on a partially submerged rock. Having used another filter where you pull up and push down I feel I wouldn't have been as stable. Pulling the lever sideways then pushing back towards the body of the unit in a 45 deg sweep motion rather than an up-and-down motion was very comforting.
In the body of the unit, a combination ceramic/caron element will remove bacteria, protozoa (including crypto and giardia), and sediment. Filtering this brown water into something totally clean, clear, and taste-free was actually enjoyable.
The design of the filter in unique in that it is field cleanable to recover full filtering capacity anytime it is reduced due to all the junk you do no want to ingest getting caught in the ceramic. To clean it, you unscrew the top of the unit, pop out the cartridge, and scour it with the included scour pad (4 in x 4 in). Basically a rougher Scotchbright pad than you'd use to clean dishes in your sink, a lot of effort isn't needed to scour off the clogged outer surface of the element. The water we filtered clogged the unit after about 5 liters were filtered, but literally 60 seconds of scouring (and a few more to rinse the filter) were all that was needed to return full operational capacity.
Bottom line- a great filter at a relatively cheap price point.
Customer Service: not used
Similar Products Used: Katydin Hiker, First Need something or other.