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Sawyer Squeeze Filter Bag Failure
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Hamish McHamish
(El_Canyon) - M

Locale: USA
_ on 08/07/2012 21:36:11 MDT Print View

I also ditched Platys once they weren't compatible with soda bottle lids. For some reason the design geniuses said "hey, lets make the sides of the Platy lid as smooth and slick as possible so that they're especially hard to operate when the hiker's fingers are wet, like when they're filling water bottles...". Apparently they couldn't take a clue from the soda bottle lids which have fine ridges on them making them super easy to operate with cold/wet fingers.

Edited by El_Canyon on 08/07/2012 21:37:43 MDT.

Ozzy McKinney
(PorcupinePhobia) - F

Locale: PNW
No Platy Love? on 08/07/2012 22:01:29 MDT Print View

I must have an old Platy (it's a PlatyPlus, the one with the handle), because not only does it mate fine to the sawyer (sawyer bag sprung a leak after about 35 liters), it also seals fine with the replacement water-bottle cap I had to use after losing the original. How recently was the change implemented? Mine can't be more than 5-6 years old.

Mary D
(hikinggranny) - MLife
Platy incompatibility is recent on 08/08/2012 04:34:10 MDT Print View

I believe it was about 2 years ago that Platypus (Cascade Designs) changed the design of their bottles. I can only assume that was when they changed the threads. The last time I bought a Platy was three years ago, and it was still the old standard that was compatible with standard soda and water bottles. I lost the cap to that one three times that summer, which was why I decided to switch to Evernew.

Ron D
(dillonr) - MLife

Locale: Colorado
Evernew Bladder for Sawyer Squeeze on 08/08/2012 10:02:27 MDT Print View

As a caution, the Evernew bladders aren't perfect. I just used one with the Sawyer Squeeze on a JMT thru hike and it started leaking badly at the seam near the top on day 12.

Kenneth Jacobs
(f8less) - F

Locale: Midwest
Hmmm... on 08/08/2012 10:22:28 MDT Print View

I don't mean to sound like a devils advocate, but perhaps a lot of people are attempting to squeeze the bags far harder than the water flow rate allows for, if even other bags are failing. In my limited use of the Squeeze I've found no real flow gain past a gentle squeeze, and even that is only about 25% greater than just letting it gravity flow. Perhaps people's expectation of flow through the Squeeze is too high.

While I've only used mine about 8 times now, I haven't even had a problem with the original Sawyer bags. Not doubting that the Sawyer bags aren't really well made, because they simply FEEL cheap to me...but perhaps closer observation of flow rate gained at different pressure rates would explain a lot. If you squeeze anything harder than the restriction being imposed on said's bound to rupture in some way.

...just sayin' IMHO.

Ron Bell
(mountainlaureldesigns) - F - M

Locale: USA
Re: Evernew Bladder for Sawyer Squeeze on 08/08/2012 10:51:33 MDT Print View

••• May 2013 Update: Sawyer now has new Super Tough Bladders available with the filters and separate.

That said, I would always carry at least two bladders and the 2013 Sawyer

I talked with the Sawyer folks at OR last week.

One thing they wanted to get out to customers was the need to agressively back flush the filter to improve flow.

Use the supplied syringe to back flush and do it multiple times at each backflush session and be very agressive to flush out particles that slow the flow. This will put less pressure on any bladder or bottle attached. How often to back flush? That depends on how much sediment and small particles get trapped - bandana prefilter when the source is bad and certainly back flush fully after every trip.

As noted already, you can not just squeeze the beejesus out of the bladder or bottle for any type of screw on water filer and expect the container seams or threads to never fail - Use moderate pressure.

For a weekend trip, I like the idea of using two 1L bladders as the main frequent use clean bladders in the side pockets and then one more as the back up / dirty water to connect to the filter.

Edited by mountainlaureldesigns on 05/11/2013 13:31:02 MDT.

Dan S

Locale: Southern California
Was looking for a new system on 05/10/2013 19:43:37 MDT Print View

Old thread I realize, but I see you now recommend the newest Sawyer bags.

Can I assume any Sawyer system I order today will come with the improved bags? Let's hope so.

Edited by DJSTWO on 05/10/2013 19:51:25 MDT.

scree ride
BACKFLUSH on 05/10/2013 20:58:27 MDT Print View

I found the Sawyer doesn't work with my pressurized system. I took it off after bursting my first bag. Lifetime warranty on the bag with good service. It needs frequent back flushing just using city water. I couldn't imagine trying to filter murky water or being out more than a couple days with it.

Greg Mihalik
(greg23) - M

Locale: Colorado
Re: BACKFLUSH on 05/10/2013 21:29:09 MDT Print View

Which Sawyer?

By "pressurized" do you mean a gravity system with about 4' of elevation between the dirty bag and the filter?

Something is wrong somewhere. My Sawyer PointOne gives good flow every time. Haven't had to backflush yet. Been using it about a year.

Did you "prime" yours?

How long between uses?

Dan S

Locale: Southern California
Ref. updated bags. on 05/10/2013 22:44:36 MDT Print View

To be a little more clear, the rev. 2 bags are thought to be much stronger, and are now available. What's still not clear is how long it will take for the old stock to be replaced.

I am going to buy the new "plus" package, and give it a shot.

Rex Sanders
(Rex) - M

Locale: Central California Coast
Re: Ref. updated bags. on 05/11/2013 00:33:25 MDT Print View

"What's still not clear is how long it will take for the old stock to be replaced."

Ordered Sawyer Squeeze from REI on March 22, and got the old bags. Only used them a few times, haven't failed yet.

-- Rex

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: BACKFLUSH on 05/11/2013 09:08:32 MDT Print View


My Sawyer will quit working after it dries out for an extended time. Could this be what you are experiencing? Nothing will go through it.

I talked to the Sawyer people. They recommended flushing and back flushing with hot water and/or vinegar. I have to do this before using it if it has been stored and dried for a long time.

It is a pain in the neck to have to reactivate the filter. Takes 15 minutes or so and some trial and error. I use hot water directly from the tap. Once it starts flowing it will work throughout the backpacking trip.


steven franchuk
Hard water and backflushing. on 05/11/2013 12:06:39 MDT Print View

"I talked to the Sawyer people. They recommended flushing and back flushing with hot water and/or vinegar."

Hot water and or vinegar are frequent;y used to dissolve hard water deposits. When you are hiking in the mountains in most cases all the water you drink is from rain or snow fed streams and lakes which are almost free of minerals. However at home some of your home drinking water comes from wells or springs and it will have minerals. At my home I have a lot of iron in my water, probably from old iron pipes used by the utility (my home has all copper plumbing.

So if you backflush with hard house water and then let the filter dry the minerals can then clog the filter. Then you would need hot water (hot water is a better solvent than cold water) and or vinegar to dissolve the minerals.

I would recommend the following:

1. Backflushing only when needed. If the filter is working fine at the end of your trip don't backflush when you get home. If it doesn't need it don't backflush.

2. When backflushing use the cleanest water you can find. Rain water is excellent or or use distilled or Deionised water when backflushing.

3. If you filter needs to be backflushed at the end of your hike backflush ising the water near the trailhead. That water is likely from rain or snow and has few minerals. Filter it first (yes it will take longer with a dirty filter or use a separate filter stored in your car for this). After the water has been filtered sterilize it with chemicals and then backflush.

Edited by Surf on 05/11/2013 12:15:48 MDT.

scree ride
Re: Re: BACKFLUSH on 05/11/2013 13:08:16 MDT Print View

I was using a pressurized Geigerrig with an air bladder with a 3 in 1 Sawyer. The bladder has a lifetime warranty, which they were very quick to honor simply on my word. I figured out that I was getting too much back pressure from the filter.
I did not prime it as you sort of figured. I looked it up and will try doing it that way next time out. It sounds like it makes a big difference. Thanks for the advice. It is appreciated.

Rusty Beaver
(rustyb) - F

Locale: Rocky Mountains
Sucess on 05/11/2013 20:52:19 MDT Print View

I've lost count how many times I've used my "Squeeze"...on the same bag. Perhaps on a dozen overnights and one three-day. Most of the time is was just for me but for two of us on at least two trips. Not heavily used but used nonetheless. At any rate, the bag's material is quite wrinkled near the top. I expect it to crack there before anywhere....though I am speculating.

I suspect my success is due to the fact that I don't squeeze the bag. I just let gravity do its thing. It takes all of ~4-5 mins to fill a 27oz bottle. I do it while resting or grabbing a bite to eat....for which it takes longer to do than it does to fill the bottle. I've only filtered clear mountain water though. I have back flushed two...maybe three times tops.

Daryl and Daryl
(lyrad1) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest, USA, Earth
Re: Hard water and backflushing. on 05/11/2013 23:08:30 MDT Print View


The people from Sawyer gave me an explanation that was similar to yours. It was over the telephone so I couldn't remember the details so thanks for the post.

I'll do some experimenting.

I also run diluted bleach through the filter (per Sawyer protocol) at the end of the season. Could this be a factor?


jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Re: Hard water and backflushing. on 05/12/2013 07:49:09 MDT Print View

"I also run diluted bleach through the filter (per Sawyer protocol) at the end of the season."

There's your problem

Don't end season

You have to just keep using it year-round

I can't figure why people stop backpacking in the winter

Stephen Barber
(grampa) - MLife

Locale: SoCal
re: winter backpacking on 05/12/2013 08:15:06 MDT Print View

"I can't figure why people stop backpacking in the winter"

Because some of us have spent years in extremely cold places, and we have no desire to find ourselves once again in snow. It brings no joy.

jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: re: winter backpacking on 05/12/2013 10:18:48 MDT Print View

If you were living in Minnesota - okay, you got a point

You who live in Southern California have no winter, but any low areas are probably crowded with people and nice areas for backpacking get snowy in winter occasionally.

In Oregon and Washington and Northern California, there are nice places year-round with minimal snow and no people.

Charles Grier
(Rincon) - M

Locale: Desert Southwest
Winter camping. on 05/12/2013 12:03:48 MDT Print View

"Because some of us have spent years in extremely cold places, and we have no desire to find ourselves once again in snow. It brings no joy"

Plus 1 on that. I spent six months as a member of a field party in Antarctica and, as a consequence, got rid of any further desire for winter camping, YMMV.