Oct 26, 2011 at 1:10 pm #1795275Raymond EstrellaMember
@rayestrellaLocale: Northern Minnesota
Donna, I stop taking filters that I have to worry about once the daytime temps drop below freezing. Right now we are getting into the 20's and 30's (F) for lows but the days are still up near 50, so I just bring it in with me at night. Once it gets too cold to carry I won't be able to get water safely anyways as our lakes will be frozen over.Oct 26, 2011 at 1:37 pm #1795283Ken LarsonBPL Member
@kenlarsonLocale: Western Michigan
Brian…..To answer your question, yes. The Gold Tone Coffee Filter mesh is 3 microns in size. I used a modified Gold Tone Coffee Filter every time to took water from the inland lakes on Isle Royale to remove any possibility of infection from the hydatid tapeworms eggs (Echinococcus granulosus egg rounded, diameter 25 – 40 µ in diameter) that lurk in the water.Oct 26, 2011 at 1:48 pm #1795290Larry De La BriandaisBPL Member
@hitechLocale: SF Bay Area
If you are using clear stream water you generally won't need a prefilter. I used a sawyer filter (the version with the hose barbs) to filter at least 10 gallons over labor day (multiple people using it) and the flow never slowed. I was using water from a snow fed stream in the Sierras that does have silt in it (that's why I filter it). When using a First Need filter with an MSR prefilter the prefilter would fill with enough silt to require cleaning (or replacement of the element) after at best 5 gallons, often less, when filtering water from the same stream. Since the only thing you need to do with the sawyer is a quick back-flush, I've decided not to use a prefilter.Oct 26, 2011 at 3:57 pm #1795336Tony WongBPL Member
@valsharLocale: San Francisco Bay Area
You can minimize the chances of freezing by sucking the filter dry when you are done.
While hiking, this makes the "wet" filter light as possible and leaves little water in the filter at night to freeze.
That said, I do make a point of sleeping with my filter in my bivy, under a pile of extra clothing, or with me under my quilt if it is really cold.
I have been using the old black Sawyer inline filter for about 3-4 years now and mine is going strong…should last forever, unless I crack the case, break off one of the input or output nipples, or allow it to freeze.
If in doubt, sleep with the filter after sucking it dry, and you should be fine.
-TonyOct 26, 2011 at 6:48 pm #1795374Stephen BarberBPL Member
Just to be clear, suck the water out from the clean end!
If you carry the back-flushing hypo, you could use that instead – just push air through the filter.
And a tip I got here:
Once you're home, and have pushed bleach-laden water into the filter for 20 minutes to kill any lingering bacteria, take a fish tank air pump, and use it to push air through the filter for a day or two to dry the filter out for storage.Oct 27, 2011 at 2:43 am #1795486Donna CBPL Member
@leadfootLocale: Middle Virginia
All good to know. I am new to the gravity filter thing..used Steripen…and found that I will fill my bottles for the next day's breakfast and hiking and then disconnect the filter. I am thinking of using a bag now like the old Amigo to increase the flow. Just a guess but I think with the zip top closed, it hampers the flow. Or I may rig something to hang it using something other than what's provided.Oct 27, 2011 at 8:20 pm #1795805drowning in spamMember
I just carried mine on a 3 day hike. I filtered about 8 liters. I was very happy with its speed, especially when I was able to fill up and drink a full 1 liter bag while standing in the middle of the creek without feeling like the filter was slowing my drinking. One nice unexpected perk was that I could refill the bottles in the side pockets of my pack while leaving the bottles in the pockets. The only thing that I didn't like was that the washer would deform and leak if the dirty bag was screwed into the filter too tightly, but that wasn't a big deal and it was very easy to fix. I like this filter enough so far that I might never use Aqua Mira or my bigger gravity filter again.Nov 27, 2011 at 3:07 am #1805887Paul SmartMember
Used my brand new Sawyer Squeeze the first time on an over night hike in the Royal National Park, Sydney, Australia this weekend. I've been using an in-line filter with a Camel back & a Steripen up until recently. We've had a lot of rain here lately and the river run off, everywhere, was quite murky. I filtered 1.5 Litres, of the cleanest surface water I could find, through the Saywer & directly into my 'Clean' 2L Platypus. The resulting water, although not appearing to contain any particles, was far from clear. More a subtle Yellow/White wine colour. I wasn't 100% confident so I followed up the filtering by popping in a couple of Steri-Tablets into the Platypus and leaving it for 30 mins in direct sunlight.
Filling up any of the supplied pre-filter pouch's in standing lake water is, to be brutally honest, a pain. This is due mainly to the fact that when you place the pouch underwater to fill through the 1 inch wide opening, the water pressure outside keeps it collapsed. You need to slowly move the pouch around (Stirring up sediment) while trying to keep the sides pushed in to maintain an opening the water can fall into. It takes considerably longer to fill the pre-filter pouch than to filter the water you've collected! (Not to mention all the leeches that attacked me while I messed around…). You could argue that I should carry a different pre-filter 'dirty' bottle, but then that kinda negates the main two selling points of this filter. Size & Weight.
In summary, and reality, it took around 45 Minutes to get 1.5 Litres of water that I was comfortable to drink. (Hopefully I wont be writing an update in a couple of days, from a Hospital!). I will admit however, that the time it takes to fill would no doubt differ if I was filling from a fast running stream/creek/waterfall. I'll use it a few more times and my opinion may well change. But for now….
….Yes, it's light. No, it's not hassle free.May 15, 2012 at 11:37 am #1877948Mark ChampionMember
Sawyer has adapters for the squeeze filter for hoses. I just purchased a camelbak pump so I can place this filter as an inline system. I have called Sawyer and the filters can withstand up to 40 psi. I am making a big assumption that the camelbak pump will not exceed the 40 psi. With this set up I can pump the water directly into my water blader using the quick disconnect.
Currently I am saving up to purchase the .02 purifier and adapt that to this set up.May 15, 2012 at 11:57 am #1877951Randy MartinBPL Member
"Filling up any of the supplied pre-filter pouch's in standing lake water is, to be brutally honest, a pain. This is due mainly to the fact that when you place the pouch underwater to fill through the 1 inch wide opening, the water pressure outside keeps it collapsed. You need to slowly move the pouch around (Stirring up sediment) while trying to keep the sides pushed in to maintain an opening the water can fall into. It takes considerably longer to fill the pre-filter pouch than to filter the water you've collected!"
I can understand that filling up the collapsible pouch in standing water is going to be more difficult than running water. I would suggest for ease of filling to use a one liter water bottle with the top cutoff to scoop the water then you can easily pour into the squeeze pouch. I use the same 1 liter bottle with top removed to scoop water for my Steripen and I would think that same approach would overcome the difficulties you mentioned.May 15, 2012 at 1:06 pm #1877960Daniel CoxBPL Member
@cohikerLocale: San Isabel NF
After 2 months inside I accidentally subjected my gear tote to sub-freezing temps in my garage. I emailed Sawyer about potential harm done, and was told that you can't *ever* get the filter totally dry in a room-type environment. Even with long term storage in low humidity climate micro-droplets of water still exist and must be replaced.
I realize that of course that's what the rep is required to say. My knowledge of water properties isn't in-depth enough to say how probable the above is. I feel like sitting in a tote in my office, on the low humidity high plains of Southern Colorado would dry it enough to prevent damage but nonetheless that's the official line from the company.
I've kept my 3-way, but it still weighs on my mind a bit as the summer 'packing season ramps up and I filter water from those beaver ponds and green-water lakes.May 15, 2012 at 2:27 pm #1877969Rusty BeaverBPL Member
"I emailed Sawyer about potential harm done, and was told that you can't *ever* get the filter totally dry in a room-type environment. Even with long term storage in low humidity climate micro-droplets of water still exist and must be replaced.
I realize that of course that's what the rep is required to say. My knowledge of water properties isn't in-depth enough to say how probable the above is".
I can't speak for Sawyer products but, much to my surprise, I found some moisture inside a Katatdyn Hiker cartridge after more than a year! I wouldn't have believed this myself but out of curiosity, found it after cutting a clogged filter in half to see what it looked like inside.May 15, 2012 at 2:50 pm #1877978Stephen BarberBPL Member
Guess I'll run my aquarium pump a little longer!
The way I set it up, all the air from the pump is going through the filter. At the end of the summer last year, I plugged in the pump, and then forgot about it for over a week. I can't imagine there would be a lot of moisture left after that!May 15, 2012 at 3:35 pm #1877986Daniel CoxBPL Member
@cohikerLocale: San Isabel NF
"I found moisture inside a Katadyn Hiker cartridge after more than a year!"
Ah, crap. I might need to budget for a new filter then.May 15, 2012 at 5:56 pm #1878040Nico .BPL Member
@nickbLocale: Los Padres National Forest
I've been using the Sawyer Squeeze filter for all 5 of my trips in the last 5 months. So far, I've been pleased with its performance, ease of use and adaptability. It's a simple, lightweight water filtration system.
Early on I swapped out the factory supplied squeeze bags with an old 2L platypus. Haven't had any trouble with a leaky seal which differs from some other reports earlier in the thread.
On the clean end of the filter, I've mostly stuck with using the factory supplied push/pull cap but have also, on one trip, instead used a modified tornado tube to connect the clean end of the filter to another 2L platypus. This worked great as well and I couldn't see any evidence of leaks from a bad seal.
Most of the time I've used the filter in squeeze mode or an inline mode, but with the tornado tube and clean 2L platy, I set it up in gravity mode: 2L dirty platy hanging from a tree> squeeze filter > tornado tube > 2L clean platy. Without any user input, the squeeze filter appeared to filter at a comparable rate to the standard 3-way Sawyer filter (about 2.5- 3 mins/liter). A nice option for camp while going about other duties.
For a water scoop, I cut down an old platy. Makes it easy to get water out of the creek and pour into the dirty platy. Adds all of an ounce, if that, to my water filtration system. I wrap my dirty platy and water scoop up around the filter and rubber band it together. I leave the protective cap on the push/pull cap on the clean end to protect it from contamination when not in use.
Out of the 5 short trips I've used it on, I've only backflushed and cleaned it with a bleach solution once, although I always rinse and shake it out real good and do my best to dry it out before storing it away. Haven't noticed any changes in performance yet. I don't have to contend with freezing temps for long term storage, but when camping I try to shake out any water and then stuff it in whatever is handy (ziploc, stuff sack, etc.) and throw it in the bottom of my quilt.
All in all, I find the Sawyer Sqeeze to be an improvement over my most recent past methods of water treatment (which was the 3 in 1 Sawyer filter used in a gravity set-up), primarily due to the savings in weight, flexibilty of ways to use it and simplification of set-up. I've played around with a Steri-Pen Adventurer Opti as well in the last year or so, and it too was easy to use, but I'm finding the Squeeze filter is just a better fit for me. I like knowing the water is passing through a filter as opposed to zapping it with a UV lamp that may, or may not, be working properly. Plus the Sawyer Sqeeze benefits from no batteries to contend with, about the same size/weight as the SteriPen and it's better for filtering larger amounts of water (1.5 L+) at one time. I think I've found my winner.Jun 24, 2012 at 3:44 pm #1889754David WilliamsMember
@dwayveLocale: South Bay Area
Forgot to take it in the sleeping bag with me – wonder if it's compromised?
There was a light dusting of snow but the filter was in a plastic bag:
It wasn't a hard freeze, more like windblown snow at 11,000ft, none found on top of bag.Jul 27, 2012 at 10:13 pm #1898131Steven ParisBPL Member
@saparisorLocale: Pacific Northwest
I just returned from a short trip in Olympic NP and used the Sawyer Squeeze for the first time. I took only the 32oz Sawyer bag (and an older-style 1L Platypus in case the Sawyer started to leak).
I've read that a lot of people here are using it as a gravity filter, but I squeezed it and had a water system with 3 simple parts: the filter itself, a "scoop" made from the lower half of an old Nalgene cantene bladder and two Smartwater 700mL bottles.
I used the scoop to gather water and pour it into the Sawyer bladder (much easier than trying to submerge and get water into a bladder), I screwed the filter on and turned it upside down with the push/pull spout of the filter inserted into a Smartwater bottle opening (a perfect fit). Within a few minutes I had both bottles filled. No tubes needed and I didn't have to filter crouched beside a river trying to keep all the various parts in the right place while pumping. For the last year, I've been using Aqua Mira, but I like this better.
Keep in mind that much of the running water in Olympic is crystal-clear so no pre-filtering was needed.Sep 26, 2012 at 7:25 am #1915705Andrew PriestBPL Member
I have recently used a Sawyer Squeeze water filter and had one start leaking at the seam where it is glued to the outlet. I contacted Sawyer about this and this is the response I received from Susan Glick:
Sawyer filters offer the highest level of filtration available,
therefore they are removing more seen and unseen particulates than you
are used to filtering. Even water that looks sparkling clear can
actually be loaded with very fine particulate – which is what makes the
Depending on the quality of the water you may need to clean the filter
more often and we have supplied this lightweight syringe to make field
Before the pouches leave the factory they are 100% air tested, and while
they are rugged, these low cost pouches are not indestructible. They
tear as a result of too much pressure being applied and this happens
when you try to force water through the filter too fast, or your filter
needs cleaning and is creating more resistance.
To avoid breaking your pouch:
1. Do not squeeze the pouch as hard or wring the pouch.
2. Backwash the filter more often and with more force. You should bring
the syringe with you on your trip, especially if you are on a multi day
trip. It is important that the first backwash is strong so that it
cleans out all of the fibers rather than creating paths of least
resistance. The filter and syringe together weigh 4 oz which is still
much lighter and more compact than other filters.
3. Don't over tighten the filter on the pouch. Over tightening can
cause the o-rings to embed into the threads or lodge into the opening of
the pouch. If the o-ring is out of place you may not a have a tight
seal and water could leak out the bottom of the filter.
With all new technology, it takes time to learn how to best use it.
Until you learn the perfect balance of force and cleaning, we recommend
bringing a backup pouch with you on your trip.
Spare pouches come in packs of 3 and are available through http://www.REI.com
My email to Sawyer was:
I purchased a Sawyer Squeeze Water Filtration system from Moontrail.com in
January 2012. On a recent bicycle tour here in Western Australia I took the
2 litre bag and filter with me. Unfortunately after about three uses of
the 2 litre bag it started leaking near the output making the bag unusable
It seems that the bag itself has become unglued from the output unit. I
understand that others have reported similar issues which is disappointing
given that one needs this sort of gear to be reliable.
Can you please advise what can be done to address this issue with my faulty
2 litre bag.
Lesson learnt: Never trust Sawyer Products. Very disappointed as I thought this was a cool idea and good solution for me.
AndrewSep 26, 2012 at 7:40 am #1915709Jake DBPL Member
At least you got an email back. mine was never answered.
Evernew bottles will be my choice from now on, with the 16 or 64oz sawyer bag as backup (my 32oz leaked in <2 weeks) depending if i am alone or not.
love the filter, will not buy their bags though.Sep 26, 2012 at 8:53 am #1915728Ken LarsonBPL Member
@kenlarsonLocale: Western Michigan
My wife and I took four of our grand children (The girls ranged in age from 9, 11, 13, 13. ) on a ten day bp adventure this summer to Isle Royal National Park in which they filtered ALL of their water using the SAWYER SQUEEZE FILTER SYSTEM. Previously adventures we had used the SAWYER .02 PURIFER in a gravity mode. This year to get them into the true spirit of the adventure we went to the Squeeze Filter and the wife and I used the SteriPen because of my compromised immune system. Before leaving on the trip I included an EVERNEW WATER BLADDER- 0.6l – (.84oz) as a backup that the girls used maybe twice because they were interested in how it would "work". After I SHOWED/MODELED the correct procedure I wanted them to use and the PRECAUTIONS they must take when "making water" as we would say, there were NO BAG ISSUES as experienced by the many on this thread. I hope this will put at rest this issue.
One key point I emphasized with the girls that has been spoken to prior on this thread …….
• To avoid breaking/leakage around spout of the pouches DO NOT SQUEEZE THE POUCH AS HARD nor WRING/TWIST the pouch!!
Would like to add that worked with the grandchildren:
• Initially squeeze gently the bag in an upright position as the water will flow readily… once or may be twice. Once they found that the water flows from the bag fast with their hand pressure they could proceed to roll/folding as described below.
• GENTLY ROLL/FOLD the BOTTOM of the bag to within 2" aprox. from the spout.
• I EMPHAZIED …..DO NOT TRY TO GET EVERY ML OF WATER OUT OF THE BAG!
CheersSep 26, 2012 at 12:02 pm #1915798Seth BrewerBPL Member
Just got back from a 10 day trip of 173 miles from Maine Junction to the Canadian Border on the Vermont Long Trail. I brought both the 1L and 2L Sawyer bags and the filter (ALL NEW AS OF THIS TRIP) and within 6 days had two catastrophic blowouts of both squeeze bags (super glued them — held for two more days) and ended up on the last day simply using someones Steripen for the last 8 miles till I walked into North Troy. Having used a Steripen Opti for the whole A.T last year without incident, I'm amazed at the utter failure of this unit in so short a time. I would estimate a total use of around 40-50 liters through the filter. AND YES I did bring the syringe with me and backflushed the unit nightly. Will be ending up in the REI Garage sale pile after I return it. A good idea, but not really functional yet IMO.Sep 26, 2012 at 12:19 pm #1915810Jake DBPL Member
that sucks seth. the problem is with the bags not the filter. filter is awesome. and can be easily fixed with Evernew bags. Steripens have their limitations too.Sep 26, 2012 at 12:54 pm #1915826michael leviMember
@m-lLocale: W-Never Eat Soggy (W)affles
The bags are fragile, the filter itself is awesome and lightweight.
One of the best combos is bringing two one liter Aquafina water bottles in addition to a Sawyer Squeeze bag.
If your bag fails then the filter will screw directly onto one of your water bottles.
Some people even bring those flexible long smart water bottles and use that to squeeze.
If you would have done 5 minutes of research before you left you would have know this. Then you could have left your Steripen home and saved more weight.Sep 26, 2012 at 1:20 pm #1915841Rakesh MalikMember
I've been using a Sawyer filter for the past 15 months, and it's been great. I did have to replace the Sawyer pouches, because they're not very durable; I had two start leaking pretty early on. On my last trip (one week), I took a pair of the Evernew pouches, one liter each, and they worked out quite nicely. It was nice having two of them along, because I could fill them from a stream and then set them in the sun to warm up when I wanted a non-freezing sponge bath :)
That said, the filter itself has been fine. I haven't had to backflush it yet, either. I like the Steripen idea, but the fact that it relies on batteries and tends to eat them made me start to mistrust it. It failed on me even with fresh batteries in it, and even though I'd put one in backward when I replaced the batteries, it didn't work when I needed it. I put new batteries in it when I got home, and it worked fine. I stopped using it after that.Sep 26, 2012 at 5:08 pm #1915912Andrew PriestBPL Member
For what it is worth, I watched the Sawyer video BEFORE I used the filter and I don't believe I squeezed any harder than they show themselves in their video.
I also don't recall any warnings or instructions on squeezing the bags on the website or with the product. Maybe they need to put some serious warnings on the product.
I agree the filter is great but the customer service is shocking and the bags fall short of what I consider to be acceptable quality.
Will probably go with the Evernew bags but for me no more Sawyer Products.
- You must be logged in to reply to this topic.