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Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter
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Raymond Estrella
(rayestrella) - MLife

Locale: Northern Minnesota
Re: freezing on 10/26/2011 14:10:25 MDT Print View

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.


Locale: Western Michigan
prefilter for Sawyer Squeeze? on 10/26/2011 14:37:58 MDT Print View

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.

Edited by KENLARSON on 10/26/2011 14:41:22 MDT.

Larry De La Briandais
(Hitech) - F

Locale: SF Bay Area
Prefilters on 10/26/2011 14:48:31 MDT Print View

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.

Edited by Hitech on 10/26/2011 14:53:50 MDT.

Tony Wong
(Valshar) - MLife

Locale: San Francisco Bay Area
Re: Re: freezing on 10/26/2011 16:57:41 MDT Print View


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.


Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
Drying the filter on 10/26/2011 19:48:31 MDT Print View

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.

Donna C
(leadfoot) - M

Locale: Middle Virginia
Re: Drying the filter on 10/27/2011 03:43:00 MDT Print View

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.

drowning in spam
(leaftye) - F

Locale: SoCal
Re: Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter on 10/27/2011 21:20:29 MDT Print View

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.

Paul Smart
(Smarteee) - M
Cloudy Water on 11/27/2011 04:07:18 MST Print View

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.

Mark Champion
(CelticElf) - F
camelbak pump on 05/15/2012 12:37:35 MDT Print View

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.

Randy Martin
(randalmartin) - F

Locale: Colorado
Re: Cloudy Water on 05/15/2012 12:57:48 MDT Print View

"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.

Daniel Cox
(COHiker) - F

Locale: San Isabel NF
Re: Drying the filter on 05/15/2012 14:06:22 MDT Print View

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.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Re: Re: Drying the filter on 05/15/2012 15:27:44 MDT Print View

"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.

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
re: Re: Re: Drying the filter on 05/15/2012 15:50:21 MDT Print View

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!

Daniel Cox
(COHiker) - F

Locale: San Isabel NF
Re: Re: Re: Drying the filter on 05/15/2012 16:35:45 MDT Print View

"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.

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Sawyer Squeeze on 05/15/2012 18:56:49 MDT Print View

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.

David Williams
(dwayve) - F

Locale: South Bay Area
re: freezing the filter on 06/24/2012 16:44:59 MDT Print View

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:Sawyer filter in plastic bag on left
It wasn't a hard freeze, more like windblown snow at 11,000ft, none found on top of bag.

Steven Paris
(saparisor) - M

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Sawyer Squeeze Water Filter on 07/27/2012 23:13:08 MDT Print View

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.

Andrew Priest
(Aushiker1) - M

Locale: Fremantle
Sawyer Customer Service on 09/26/2012 08:25:48 MDT Print View

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
water sparkle.
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
cleaning simple.
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

My email to Sawyer was:

Dear Sawyer

I purchased a Sawyer Squeeze Water Filtration system from 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.


Jake D
(JakeDatc) - F

Locale: Bristol,RI
Re: Sawyer Customer Service on 09/26/2012 08:40:27 MDT Print View

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.


Locale: Western Michigan
Can We Put a "WRAP" ON THIS ISSUE.... on 09/26/2012 09:53:37 MDT Print View

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.

sawyer pouch



Edited by KENLARSON on 09/26/2012 09:57:40 MDT.