User Review: MSR MiniWorks EX
Source: received it as a personal gift
Great reliable water filter that is easy to clean and maintain.
- Easy use
- Easy maintenance and cleaning
- Long filter life
- Good tasting water
- Design helps prevent cross contamination
- Slower than other filtration methods
The Miniworks is a pump style water treatment system that has a ceramic filter with a carbon core. MSR claims that this filter is effective against protozoa, bacteria, and chemicals/toxins. Based on my experience with the Miniworks, I have no reason to doubt these claims. MSR does not claim that it is effective against viruses, so if viruses are a concern, then water treatment drops should be used in conjunction with this filter.
The filter takes about 1 minute to filter about 1 liter of water. This filter is ideal for individuals or small groups. For a pump filter, the Miniworks is easier to use than most pump style PUR or Katadyn filters.
Most wide mouth water bottles (e.g., standard Nalgenes and the MSR Alpine Bottle) and water bladders can be screwed onto the bottom end of the filter for easy use. Water bottles with smaller openings will not screw onto the filter so a an extra pair of hands may be needed to fill up these style of water bottles. It is possible to purchase a tube from MSR to attach to the clean water outlet to aid in filling water bottles with smaller openings.
The design of this filter is superior to similar pump filters like the Katadyn Hiker or Hiker Pro because of its ability to screw standard water bottles to the bottom of the filter and because it has a cap that screws onto the bottom of the filter to keep the clean water outlet sanitary.
I have not used this filter in extremely dirty water, so I have not had it clog up on me. However, if this were to happen cleaning the filter would be a breeze. Just unscrew the cap to the housing for the filter and gently scrub and rinse the ceramic exterior of the filter cartridge. Cleaning the filter for long term storage is also easy. For long term storage the ceramic cartridge can be gently scrubbed and then boiled.
This filter is slightly heavier than other similar filters. In addition, if this filter is being used during the winter or in areas with the possibility of freezing temperatures, then some care will need to be taken to ensure that water does not freeze inside the filter, causing the ceramic element to crack. This can be easily avoided by placing the filter inside one's sleeping bag during nights where the temperatures are expected to be below freezing.