20 comments on “Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter

  1. Very interesting, Ryan. Does the pouch need to be cleaned every so often to prevent mildew from growing inside the damp interior of the pouch?


    • The instructions say to clean the bag with a little bleach then let it dry thoroughly before letting it sit for a prolonged period. I’ve just made sure to let it dry when I get home from a trip. Probably at the end of the summer I’ll bleach it for long term storage.

      There’s also a syringe for backwashing the filter to clear out any minor clogs, but I haven’t had the flow diminish enough to need a cleaning yet, either. So far, it’s performing wonderfully!

  2. Welcome to the Sawyer club 😉 I think i showed you mine when we crossed paths around Tom/Field. You stated all of the reasons I went with it over ever using AM.. I tend to show up at water sources empty so being able to drink something right away is really nice. And unlike pump filters you can fill up a dirty bag and take it away with you for extra storage(and also nice for buggy water sources). I use the Evernew 1.5L bag as my main bag now and the small 16oz sawyer bag for backup/extra capacity.

    • Oh yeah, I’d forgotten about that because I was more focused on your rain jacket 🙂

      I’ve been using platypus bags instead of Evernew… I heard that the filter would only fit Evernew bladders and not platypus, but that’s totally not true. I don’t know where that info came from. Not that I prefer one over the other… I just had a few platy’s already.

  3. Interesting. I’m sure I’d still carry some water as Ive generally been more a sipper type. But even so I’ve found chewing gum preoccupies my quest to quench. And, now a convert to trail runnin & racing, I find the elite and experienced apply the same ultralite principles, including carry just enough water to get to the next source. I like the concept – and i like some risk – like cutting it too close & runnin out once in a while. I’ll have to check it out

    • Yuck, chewing gum! 😉

      With the hotter weather, I’ve been carrying a little more water with me, but usually no more than a liter. It is very dependent on the situation, though. If I were out west, I’d still be carrying a lot of water. You know Maine and New Hampshire, though… Water water everywhere!

      Speaking of your conversion to trail running, I’m going to trick you into going backpacking again one of these days! Watch out!

  4. I have a Sawyer filter inline with my Camelbak. Before this I would sometimes skip a watering hole due to the 15-20 minutes it would take to fill up. It never failed that I often went without water for a few miles on the AT because I had not stopped. Now I simply dump water in the Camelbak and walk on. It may be THE BEST innovation for hiking to date.

    • That was my problem almost to the t– skipping a water source because I hoped to delay that 20 minute wait for the Aqua Mira. Not so bad in cool weather, but pretty awful in the height of the summer heat!

  5. I used the Squeeze for my AT thru hike last year. Yes, the mylar bag gave out before I finished NH. I had a platy bag that I wasn’t using (hated how it fit in my pack), so I used that instead. I have nothing but good things to say about the Squeeze! I maybe back flushed it 2-3times in the 2200 miles, and it still worked until the end. Also, I didn’t figure out how to camel-up and not carry water until I hit VT…after that I only carried water in PA and some stretches of VA that were a little dry. It takes planning and diligence to that, but it’s so awesome to NOT have to carry water. Good luck with your AT hikes!

    • I’m still perfecting my technique and learning how much water I should carry, but you’re certainly right about that– carrying less water weight is the best.

  6. Good luck getting any reliable customer service from Sawyer if you do have problems. According to their customer service the product is PERFECT and has never had any troubles.
    Any problems are “user error.” If Sawyer is that good, and 100% of their products are perfect then they should be designing much more than water filters. Here’s a quote I received from their customer service when I asked about problems with the pouches…

    “To date all the pouches that have been returned by customers claiming they are defective are well used/abused pouches that look like they have been to hell and back. It’s not hard to see a pouch that has been abused, the printing gets distorted from the stretching. But, we are dealing with the trophy generation where nothing is their fault.”

    The pouch I returned busted the seam on the first trip with no excessive squeezing. And they say all returned pouches have been used and abused? Why would you name a product the “Squeeze” if you aren’t able to squeeze it?

    • Well that is one reason to buy it at a place that you know has a good return/exchange policy. I went out of my way to buy mine at REI, so I don’t have to deal with Sawyer. On the other hand, having worked in customer service for an outdoor gear company, I’m noticing something in your rant that seems all too familiar…

      The name of a product doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with how it’s used or what does– there are plenty of “lightspeed” or “flight” names that don’t make you travel at interstellar speeds or encourage you to jump off cliffs. If you’d tested the Squeeze before your first trip, which you may have done, you should have noticed how little squeezing was necessary to get a good flow of water out of it. When you say “no excessive squeezing”, my first thought is that your idea of excessive is probably very different from mine. I see this all the time regarding carbon fiber trekking poles, or DriDucks jackets. Both are less durable than heavier counterparts, but if you don’t treat them like the heavier counterparts you won’t likely destroy them much quicker.

      This may be a moot point soon, anyway, as Sawyer has upgraded their water bags from last year’s model to a more durable version. http://hikelighter.com/2013/01/20/sawyer-squeeze-updated-2013-version/

  7. I have a Sawyer but haven’t taken it into the field yet. My question is, how easy is it to fill the pouch if the water source is extremely shallow? I’m thinking I should take an extra small container to fill it with in that circumstance. I’m also thinking about bringing a piece of cheese cloth to act as a pre-filter.

  8. I cut the top (2 inches) off a thin and cheap bottled water bottle (Kroger brand). I use that to dip into the water. I let the filter do the rest unless it is really bad. I use my bandana if it is very dirty.

    • Yep, that’s pretty much it. Doesn’t add more than an ounce or so of weight (considering I usually bring the bandanna anyway, and the bottle bit is around half an ounce), and takes up little space.

  9. Oh was I ever a Happy Hiker for 4 days hiking in the Marble Mountains this last week. Th Sawyer Squeeze was awesome. I did get a 96oz. Nalgene Bag with the wide mouth and Flowjet adaptor, http://www.flowjet.com for $10.99 and a rubber gasket for .59.Fresh clean cold water when ever I wanted and able to fill my Geigerrig bag quickly for the trail and drank from the Nalgene bag directly with the filter on.
    What made it really sweet is my hiking Buddy didn’t even use his Aqua Mira tablets at all! The NalgeneBag is a bit heavier, but, built heavier duty. Definitely worth the few extra ounces.

  10. If you store the filter for a while, make sure the night before you take it out on a hike you soak in hot water for a while, then back-flush it a couple of times. I used my filter last summer, never backflushed it, worked great. Took it out on my first overnight this year without checking it, couldn’t get more than a dribble through it. After backflushing with vinegar and then with hot water, have finally gotten it almost back to brand new rate of flow. Was rather a damper on the hike, though, fortunately it was just an overnight. Others have mentioned having to backflush while on a trip–carry that syringe!

  11. I just returned from a 32-day backpacking trip on the CDT. I brought my new Sawyer Squeeze instead of my trusty (but heavy) PUR (Katadyn) Hiker that I’ve used since 1996.

    What I love most about the Sawyer is using it as a gravity filter. At breaks I filled a 2.4L Platypus, screwed on the filter, and hung it from a tree branch. I then removed the mouth piece from my drinking tube and connected the drinking tube to the bottom of the Sawyer. Within a few minutes, the entire 2 liters had flowed through the filter and into my second (clean) 2.4L Platypus connected to my drinking tube. When it took any longer, I back-flushed it with the syringe provided and the flow rate returned to its original super-fast rate out of the box. No pumping or squeezing required.

    • Nice! I like the idea of using it as a gravity filter… I’m going to have to try that out sooner or later. And I’m glad this thing works as well on the CDT as it does in the east. I was thinking about the filthy water sources in NM earlier, but I bet a bandanna pre-filter would help quite a bit.

  12. Pingback: Sawyer Mini Squeeze Water Filter | Guthook Hikes!

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