User Review: MSR SweetWater Microfilter
Source: received it as a sample, freebie, or prize (MSR replacement)
I use it a lot and I like it.
- Field maintainable
- Silt stops it up but that's expected
I bought an original white Sweetwater from Sweetwater and was happily using it for years. The pin that the pump handle hinges on broke so I wrote to Sweetwater only to find that MSR had purchased the company. So I wrote to MSR. They immediately sent me a new pin. However, the pin was too large for the holes in the filter.
MSR asked me to email them some photos and when they realized that I had an original they sent me a new Sweetwater filter, including the anti-viral treatment (which I've never used). Of course they were aware that I'd not purchased the original filter from them (MSR has top notch customer service).
I've had this model for years now and have replaced the filter cartridge once and have had no other problems. I've carried it in the Wind Rivers and Canadian Rockies in 20 degree weather and it still worked fine, though I know that at some point it can freeze as can all filters.
It will pump a liter of water in about 90 seconds. A good friend has the MSR Miniworks and it's also a nice filter. It takes about 90 seconds also. The Mini weighs more, but the filter lasts over twice as long according to MSR specs.
It's important to not overuse the cleaning brush if you want the filter to last longer. But the brush does work just fine to revive a stopped up filter. I have used it in silty canyon water in Utah and in glacial water here in the Pacific Northwest. A pre-filter system of some sort is mandatory for that.
In Utah I had no prefilter so I boiled water that week. (I dislike chemicals, though I had some chlorine with me.) I used a coffee filter with the glacial water and that helped, but the particulates would still stop up the filter after a couple or three liters. I've also used in-line prefilters and those stop up too.
For 20+ years I never considered using a filter or any treatment until one awful, miserable night in the Wallowas in NE Oregon. Lesson learned.