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Sawyer Inline Versus Steripen
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Ken Helwig
(kennyhel77) - MLife

Locale: Scotts Valley CA via San Jose, CA
Sawyer Inline Versus Steripen on 12/20/2012 08:12:15 MST Print View

I use a Steripen Opti and I am thinking of changing over to using a sawyer inline for more on the go drinking as well as for gravity feed filtration. Pros and cons?

Travis Leanna
(T.L.) - MLife

Locale: Wisconsin
Re: Sawyer Inline Versus Steripen on 12/20/2012 10:28:55 MST Print View

Ken, I did the exact opposite, but mostly because I don't want to use filters in winter.

The Sawyer is a great filter, but I do like the simplicity and compactness of the Steripen.

However, Steripen's reliability could be described as questionable since its a complex piece of gadgetry.

Honestly, it's hard to say which one is better. Both achieve the same thing with a different method. If you're a diehard hiker that likes to go long and hard, stick with the UV light. If you want a bit more in the reliability department and don't mind a bit of time, the Sawyer is a great little filter.

Edit: I reread your post. I only really used the Sawyer as a gravity setup, so if you're using it as an actual inline, I can't offer too much to say about that.

Edited by T.L. on 12/20/2012 10:31:44 MST.

Andy F
(AndyF) - F

Locale: Ohio
Re: Sawyer Inline Versus Steripen on 12/20/2012 10:39:49 MST Print View

I've used the Sawyer Squeeze and the Steripen Opti. Both worked well.

One way to look at it is which failure would you rather deal with:

obscure blink codes and dead batteries


frozen or clogged

Steven McAllister
(brooklynkayak) - MLife

Locale: Atlantic North East
S vs S on 12/20/2012 12:20:41 MST Print View

The only advantage that I can see is that the Sawyer will make cloudy/murky water more palatable. At the cost of eventually plugging up.

The Steripen is easier to deal with overall.

There is the argument about electronic devices being unreliable, but I think the same of mechanical gadgets as well.

I can always boil or treat with chemicals as a backup with either system.

Colton Akers
(Akers07) - F

Locale: Indiana
Sawyer Inline on 12/20/2012 14:04:53 MST Print View

I use the sawyer inline on my platy system. When I get to a water soruce I unhook my bladder, fill, then hook back up and thats it. It just filters as I drink. Zpacks sells the adapters and they have a good picture of it too. The adapters can be found in numerous places. When Im at camp I just hang my bladder and use as a gravity filter to get water for cooking. My wife and I both use this system. Makes stopping to get water much faster and more simple. I also got a new 35cc syringe with a long tip to backflush. Smaller and easier to pack than the 60cc one and I use a 3" piece of platy tubing to hook up the syringe to the adapter to backflush. I installed a mesh prefilter as well so I dont have to backflush quite as often.

Richard Cullip
(RichardCullip) - M

Locale: San Diego County
Re: Sawyer Inline Versus Steripen on 12/20/2012 16:27:58 MST Print View

i use both. I've got my Sawyer filter setup as a 3 liter gravity feed system which I use in the evening when I arrive at camp. This gives me enough water for the evening meal and for breakfast with enough left over to fill my water bottles (two 500ml Gatorade bottles) before leaving camp in the morning. I use my Steripen while on the trail if I need to refill my water bottles. It's quick and easy to treat a liter of water with the Steripen which is the exact amount my two water bottles hold. The water bottles are attached the shoulder straps of my ULA CDT pack for easy access while hiking. Both systems have their advantages and I like the flexibility that carrying both gives me.

Christopher Kuzak
depends on 12/20/2012 21:07:17 MST Print View

I have both but lean toward the sawyer (I still have a soft spot for my trustee Hiker though). Gravity setup is nice and it's easy to fill my platy. Pen is good for doing a liter or so in a bottle but a pain with a platy. I got eaten alive by mosquitos trying to do a cup to platy transfer a year ago. Not too smart, I admit. I say get a sawyer and just see what you like more.

Ben 2 World
(ben2world) - MLife

Locale: So Cal
UV or Filter on 12/20/2012 22:42:09 MST Print View

I think your choice would depend on (1) water sources and (2) your own preference.

Water source -- if water sources where you mostly hike have fairly clear and OK tasting water -- then the UV will work wonderfully. If brown or green water, I would want some type of filtering.

Back a few years ago, I used Steripen for a short while, then switched to inline. Subjective, but I much prefer inline. All I have to do is scoop water, add some chlorine droplets, and I am good to go. Be it resting a bit or continuing my hike, I do wait about 20-30 min. for the chlorine to work -- before sipping water through my Frontier Pro inline filter.

If viruses are not a concern, then you can drink your water immediately after filling if you use the Sawyer inline filter.

Finally, while my Frontier Pro can also be used in gravity mode, I find myself not using that mode much, if at all. Firstly, I think gravity mode is good for filtering large volumes of water. But the only time I use "large" volume is when cooking -- except I don't use my filter since I will be boiling my water anyway. All other times, it's easy enough to sip water through the inline filter as needed. YMMV.

Edited by ben2world on 12/20/2012 22:53:45 MST.

Ryan Dorn
Sawyer on 12/21/2012 01:31:37 MST Print View

Another vote for the Sawyer filter. I've gone from the in-line to the squeeze and couldn't be happier.

Good thing is that Sawyer products are really reasonable, so just go ahead and get one. Even if you don't go with it, it makes a nice backup filter and didn't set you back much.