User Review: MSR MiniWorks EX
Price Paid: $90
After some research and recommendations from people I met in the woods, I bought an MSR Miniworks, thinking that I was set for the rest of my life. I was wrong. The bloody filter cracked the first time I pumped water from a clear, running stream in northern Minnesota, and the filter was useless for the rest of the trip.
I got that filter replaced, and attempted to use the new one on a BWCAW trip a few weeks ago, with middling results. It worked, but very slowly, and it required frequent cleaning to maintain a flow anything beyond a trickle, even from water I probably could have drunk safely without filtering.
This filter is VERY slow- it takes several minutes and many strokes to fill a single Nalgene. It requires frequent cleaning to maintain even somewhat acceptable performance. What really galls me is that I wasn't even asking the filter to work that hard- pumping from the middle of large, breezy, very clear lakes should NOT take several minutes to fill a standard Nalgene bottle.
What's more is that the ceramic filter can fracture very easily, which adds more work to the filtering process- if you drop this thing, the filter will probably crack, and you'll be boiling water for the rest of the trip.
Still, the water it pumped tasted great, and I nor anyone else got sick. Even so, we probably could have done like the dog did and drank right out of the lake and still have been fine. Overall, I whole-heartedly do NOT recommend this filter.