User Review: MSR MiniWorks EX
Price Paid: CND$79 about 12 years ago
The MiniWorks EX is lightweight, easily maintained in the field and pumps about a litre a minute if the water you are treating is reasonably clear. The clean water outlet has a large fitting that screws onto a standard Nalgene bottle allowing for easy two handed pumping.
The 0.5 micron ceramic depth filter is easily cleaned with a scrub pad that comes with it and the filter’s thickness can be checked with a gauge and the filter element replaced when it has been abraded beyond its recommended thickness. To prolong the intervals between cleaning, put a fine cloth or coffee filter over the intake hose and secure it with a rubber band if the water you are treating has a lot of silt in it.
The ceramic filter element can be boiled to disinfect it and then air-dried if you are going to store it for long periods such as over winter. The filter elements are quite fragile when removed from the housing so you need to be very careful when cleaning them.
I’ve used this sort of filter for over a decade and only replaced the ceramic element once because I broke it while cleaning. The filter itself is great value and because it is amongst the most widely used in the world, the replacement elements are easily available.
The filter pore size of 0.5 microns is small enough to filter out all parasitic worm eggs, protozoa [giardia, cryptosporidium, amoebas] and most pathogenic bacteria [some pathogenic bacteria are as small as 0.2 microns]. If I suspect that water is going to be contaminated with viruses I pre-treat the water with Polar Pure iodine and then pump it through the MiniWorks. The iodine inactivates viruses and kills bacteria and the ceramic element removes the larger bacteria, protozoa and any worm eggs. The granular activated carbon element inside the ceramic filter then removes the iodine so the water tastes great.
I highly recommend this filter - it's a modest investment and will last you for years.
Check out my site www.backcountrywater.com for comprehensive information on waterborne pathogens, contaminants and water treatment systems.