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Sawyer Squeeze question
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Paul Wozniak

Locale: Midwest
Sawyer Squeeze question on 10/30/2012 15:16:34 MDT Print View

I'm springing for the Sawyer Squeeze. I plan on using it primarily as a gravity filter. I am thinking about a fairly heavy reservoir option for simplicity sake.

Looking at the Platypus 3L Big Zip at 165 grams. The weight penalty over the 2L is negligible

This would be my one reservoir + a 750ml bottle for clean drinking water. The way I see it I could then scoop water directly with the Big Zip and filter from it into my drinking bottle or cookpot (if I wasn't doing a full boil). I would expect to carry it empty most times. I would fill up at or before meals and overnight camp, or carry only enough to get me to the next source.

I could also use it for washing up, which I usually do once per day. I like it because it's simple; just one bag.

Is the top closure reliable? The bottom hose connection?

Finally, I currently carry a platy cut down to be a water scoop. I've put a metal coffee-filter screen in the cap to keep out large particulates. Is there a way to do the same at the head of the hose assembly? Is it even necessary with the Squeeze?


Edited by PaulW on 10/30/2012 15:19:59 MDT.

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Sawyer Squeeze question on 10/30/2012 20:27:44 MDT Print View

Sounds like a good plan. Here are a few suggestions:

There is a weight penalty with the Big Zips over a regular Platypus or Sawyer Bag. I think the Sawyer bladder is lightest, but not very durable. A regular bladder is a only a tad heavier, but much stronger. You can put holes in either a regular Platypus or a Sawyer bag in the corners (not in a spot that would cause it to leak) and then attach some cord. Using some more cord, you have a dirty bag that you can easily attach to a tree, rock, or anything tall.

There are three ways (that I know of) to create a drip system. One is to use connector pieces (available at REI or other places). This involves a small bit of tubing. The drawback to this approach is that the tubing will fall off if you pull on it. In other words, you can't just connect the pieces and hang the whole thing by the dirty bag. The other two approaches solve this problem. One of those methods is to glue two caps together and then drill a hole in between them. The third is to buy a Tornado Tube and use it to connect the pieces. You will have to modify the Tornado Tube a bit. One part of the Tornado Tube needs to be sawed off (a hacksaw works great). This will become obvious once you buy the Tube and try to attach the pieces. It is also a good idea to make the hole in the tube bigger (with some additional drilling).

I've heard people create a pre-filter, but I forget the details. If you search for Sawyer Squeeze tips you might be able to find it (or someone will remember the details). I don't think the filter will completely clog, but it may get really slow until you back flush it especially if you filter a lot of silty water. I haven't worried about it, but I probably have to back flush more often than if I used a pre-filter.

Nathan Hays

Locale: San Francisco
Re: Choice of bladder on 10/31/2012 09:12:11 MDT Print View

Here's my setup with some weights. The Platy big zip is heavy. 3L is a lot of water.

I prefer the in-line because of the connectors. All the issues of thread fit go away.


jerry adams
(retiredjerry) - MLife

Locale: Oregon and Washington
Re: Sawyer Squeeze question on 10/31/2012 09:31:43 MDT Print View

Another setup I've been doing

Use 2 liter Sawyer bag - 1 ounce. Bring another in case the first one breaks?

Then, just set bag+filter on a downsloping rock with clean water container below.

The flow is slow, but if you're doing something else, like setting up tent and stuff, it doesn't matter. Maybe push on the bag a little if you're impatient.

Paul Wozniak

Locale: Midwest
Sawyer Squeeze question on 10/31/2012 10:26:55 MDT Print View

Ross, how do you fill your platy? I was looking to a big zip to reduce fiddle-factore; one less item to tote, handle, store. Thanks for the heads up on the tornado; I think I see what you're explaining. Hoping I can find one locally and not pay more for shipping than for the product.

Nathan, Nice - you have a water bladder named after you. Seriously, a good find, 1.2 oz lighter. I will try it out.

If I can find a good working solution to the prefilter I will post it.

Thanks for the help.


Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Sawyer Squeeze question on 10/31/2012 11:46:08 MDT Print View

Filling the dirty bag is pretty easy. Obviously if you find running water, then nothing else is needed. For a lake, a plastic bag will work. Some folks use a cup or bowl that they might use for dinner later. Rinsing out a bowl or cup a couple times will reduce the chance of disease to pretty much zero. Pouring boiling water into it will kill anything. I happen to use a large bag intended just for this purpose, but I forget where I bought it. I know it was a small outfit (similar to MLD or ZPacks). The bag is made out of green nylon and has a nice carrying strap over the top. It packs down really small but carries quite a bit. I put all my water related stuff into it.

While hiking, I tend to just sip and go. I stop by a stream, do the squeeze thing and then dump the extra water. This is quick and I don't carry any water. While around camp or when stopped for lunch I'll setup the drip system.

I've been doing this for a long time. My previous filter was a Seychelle. I like the Sawyer because it filters out more stuff and the threads make it easier to attach bladders. The overall weight is lower (the little tubes and adapters weigh something) and you can hold the whole thing up by the dirty bladder. This makes it easier to work with.

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Sawyer Squeeze question on 10/31/2012 12:01:49 MDT Print View

yes you can pull the hoses off the sawyer fittings (purchased from REI) but they don't come off while the thing is in use (unless I hang it over 6 feet high). The ability to remove the hoses makes it easier to go from the squeeze mode to gravity mode quickly. You just need to have the clean bottle resting on the ground. The upper platy bottle has had the bottom cut off for easy filling.

Sawyer Gravity

Paul, If you want to go the Tornado tube route, you can find them in teachers supply stores or sometimes in dollar stores. But they need to be modified to fit the Sawyer (so they don't leak)

I just used the hoses from an old platy hydration system that I bought but never used.

Edited by bestbuilder on 10/31/2012 12:05:28 MDT.

Nico .
(NickB) - MLife

Locale: Los Padres National Forest
Squeeze on 10/31/2012 12:11:58 MDT Print View

I usually just carry a 2L Evernew for dirty water. I screw the Sawyer filter on to it and filter directly into my 1L Powerade bottle. I can also hang the Evernew from a tree branch and with the push/pull cap on the filter use gravity to fill up my bottle.

If I'm hiking with others who will be relying on my filter, I'll often bring another "clean" 2L bladder and a modified tornado tube to create a larger capacity gravity filter. Works great and filters almost as fast as squeezing it.

Here's a pic of it in gravity mode:

To get the water into the 2L Evernew bladder, I use a scoop made from the smallest of the Sawyer Bladders that came with the filter. I just cut off the top. Plenty sturdy, nice and light. When not using it, I roll it up and rubberband it around the filter.

The only hard part with the Sawyer Squeeze is finding bladders with compatible threading. The Sawyer bladders are delicate, the Evernews are awesome but difficult to find and the Platypus bladders only sometimes work (seems some versions work, others don't). A soft-sided squeeze bottle with standard threads might work though.

EDIT: Oh, and pre-filters... I tried a couple different things but have ultimately found that just using my bandana over the opening of the dirty bladder works fine (or even not pre-filtering at all). With the tornado tube, I can always do a backflush in the field if I have to. There's been at least two instances in the last year or so that I've filtered some nasty mucky stagnant water with just a bandana pre-filter and everything has worked fine. Perhaps it'd be different if you're dealing with major turbidity though...

Edited by NickB on 10/31/2012 13:16:18 MDT.

Jay Wilkerson
(Creachen) - MLife

Locale: East Bay
Sawyer Squeeze Filter Tips on 10/31/2012 12:20:54 MDT Print View

Here is another look with a Evernew. Trail Designs usually has the Evernew in stock.

Ross Bleakney
(rossbleakney) - MLife

Locale: Cascades
Re: Squeeze on 10/31/2012 13:04:33 MDT Print View

The setup in Nico's picture looks just like mine. As he said, some Platypus bladders fit the threads, some don't. The ones that he shows (with squarish bottoms) seem to work fine (

Using tubing works as well as a Tornado Tube or glued caps. The disadvantage is the weight of the tubing, which can be substantial if you make it long enough (as Tad did) to avoid having the clean bottle be pulled off. The big advantage of tubing is that it can be squeezed off. So, if you waiting for your water to drip through, you can clamp off the tube, drink from the clean bladder and then put the thing back on without worrying about water dripping onto the ground.

I forgot to mention that as far as I know, the Tornado Tube is not food grade plastic. You can buy tubing that is. Gluing two caps together is OK as well. Something to consider if you are worried about such things. Hopefully Sawyer will make something like this (so you don't have to modify a Tornado Tube or worry about its toxicity). Hopefully they will add a pre-filter as well. Speaking of which, this thread ( has some tips for adding a pre-filter.

Dale Wambaugh
(dwambaugh) - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Squeeze on 10/31/2012 13:21:56 MDT Print View

Sawyer has a tubing fitting kit for $5 that helps.

Sawyer filter fitting kit

Tad Englund
(bestbuilder) - F - MLife

Locale: Pacific Northwest
Re: Re: Squeeze on 10/31/2012 13:23:46 MDT Print View

Ross is right about the weight of my tubing (longer than normal), the upper and lower weigh 2.1 oz together. I only use them when hiking with a group and I want the longer upper tube for head pressure (to make thing go faster).
When I'm by myself (most of the time) I just use the sawyer with the bag that come with it.

Paul Wozniak

Locale: Midwest
Sawyer Squeeze question on 10/31/2012 15:45:30 MDT Print View

I'm trying to have as few parts on this thing as possible with walkaway fiddle factor. So, I'm stepping away from the Zip reservoir because of the hose end. If it had a cap-end I would be all over it.

I will order a 2L Evernew. My goal is to insert a metal mesh prefilter into the cap end. I already do this with a circular metal mesh, cut to fit on the end of a platy with a pull-valve cap. It works like a charm.

Once I have the reservoir and the filter I will look for a way to connect these together. Lab supply catalogs and plumbing catalogs are full of plastic and vinyl connectors. I'll see what I can do.

I'm ordering reservoir tonight, filter is on the way. Thanks very much for the good advice, pictures and links. If this works I'll post the results. Come to think of it, if it fails I'll post too.