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Sawyer In-Line Filter

in Hydration - Water Treatment

Average Rating
4.14 / 5 (7 reviews)

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mark henley
( flash582 )
Sawyer In-Line Filter on 01/03/2007 14:12:49 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

This Filter weighs in at 2 oz and once installed it has a very small impact on flow rate from the hydration tube/bite valve. I'm using it in conjunction with a Platypus hydration setup and you get an extra bonus of being able to slip off the hydration bite valve from the platy and use this as a gravity filter.

This filter does require a screwdriver to install the metal hose clamps that secure it inline. This, in my opinion, makes this filter non-servicable in the field. It also has a positive backstop for flow, meaning that you can not backflush the filter in the field either.

Still, for 2 oz, in many of the area's I hike, this is very light protection.

James Iry
( jiry )
Light, nice flow, but not field serviceable on 03/03/2007 12:28:13 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

I just installed a Sawyer Inline on my Platy Big Zip and I'm very, very impressed by the flow. I can drink from the hose and barely notice any difference. If their claims are accurate about what it filters this is an amazing little treatment device for all but viruses. Unfortunately, unlike ceramic core filters, there's no way to clean the filter element. So it gets a 4, not a 5 (actually, I'd give it a 4.5 if I could).

The unit comes with hose clamps, but in my opinion they're overkill. An adequate seal is made by just pushing the tubing up far on the nipples.

One open question is backwashing. The Sawyer website says "... faucet adapter can also be used to backwash and extend the life of your filter." REI's website says "five hundred gallon usage is dependent upon using reasonably clean water and backwashing if flow begins to slow."

But the USACHPPM says it's not backwashable ( I'm not sure where that comes from. I just took mine apart and I see no evidence of a one way valve.

The product literature that comes with the Sawyer does say that if you get the flow backwards you'll decrease the life of the filter. But that likely just means that you should be careful not to push dirty water the wrong direction. If you look at the diagrams on Sawyer's website, it looks as if dirty water going the wrong way would force particles into the ends of the hollow fibers and plug them up.

Edited by jiry on 03/03/2007 15:12:21 MST.

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Tony Wong
( Valshar )

San Francisco Bay Area
How to Build a Sawyer Gravity Filter on 02/07/2008 23:20:13 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5

Pros: Light Weight, Field Cleanable by backwashing, No Chemicals, No Pumping

Cons: Setup time longer than traditional filter. Speed of filtration can vary based on conditions. Like traditional filters, susceptible to damage if frozen. No way to test or verify that the filter is working or not.

5/27/09 Update: I have revised my rating to a 3.5 due to the fact that there is no way to test or verify that the filter is working or not. My other concern from other filters that use this same technology is that they may clog up with muddy to silty water.

Warning: Do Not allow any type of filter to freeze. Drain completely when done. Sleep with filter in your sleeping bag, if necessary to prevent freezing. Alway carry water treatment chemicals as an emergency backup in the event your filter fails.

Videos & Links to Sawyer Explaining System & Technology

Master List of Videos:

General Overview of Sawyer Filters & Technology:

Specs & Status for Sawyer In Line Filter:

How to Backwash Filter at Home & In the Field:

One Million Gallon Filtering Guarantee:

My experience:

I now use the Sawyer inline filter as my sole water filtration system for my family and I, including my four year old daughter.

My first experience using the Sawyer inline filter was on a backpacking trip to Lake Vernon in May 2007 in Yosemite above Hetch Hetchy Reservoir.

Conditions were bad with rain turning to snow at the higher elevations. We were forced to retreat back half way into the trip when snow levels reached knee high levels and my wife had earlier fallen and injured her leg. We retreated to a area that had snow on the ground at levels of two or three inches, where we could pitch our tents.

Our only source of water was a small, stagnant pond that was choked with fallen trees and decaying grasses all along the shoreline. The water along the shoreline was shallow, green in color and choked with small bits of debris in the water.

In our group of four, only one of us had a traditional filter, a MSR Sweetwater Micro filter. After pumping about 3/4 of a Liter, the filter complete clogged up and failed. Unfortunately, the person who had brought the filter had forgotten to bring the cleaning kit for the filter!

I pulled the gravity filter out and assembled it, hoping that it would work as advertised. In my dirty water bag of green water, I could clearly see bits of dead grass and a few small bugs swimming around.

To my surprise, the filtered water still had a greenish, brown color to it. With some reservation and skepticism, we drank the water and cooked with it. What other option did we have? Thankfully, the filter worked and no one got sick during the remainder of the trip or afterwards.

I estimate that each one of us easily drank three to four liters of water filtered by the Sawyer inline filter.

Since that experience, the Sawyer filter has been the only filter that I use.

Recent trips with the Sawyer filter:

4 day, 50 mile loop from Yosemite's Glacier Point to Red Peak Pass at 10,800 ft to Merced Lake, Little Yosemite Valley, back to Glacier Point.

4 day, 70 mile trip on the High Sierra Trail from Crescent Meadow to the top of Mt. Whitney.

Here is the list of items that you will need:

* Sawyer In Line Filter 1.80 oz
* Platypus Filter Link 0.50 oz
* Platypus Water Tank 4 Liter 3.0 oz
* Platypus 2+ Liter Water Bottle 1.20 oz
* Nite Ize Figure 9 Rope Tightner Small Size 0.25 oz
* Kelty Triptease Guyline/Cord 3-4 ft. 0.10 oz
* 3ft. 3/8" Food Grade Vinyl Tubing 3.50 oz
* 2 3/8" Metal Grommets 0.25 oz
* Grommet Tool for installing grommets

Total Weight of Full System: 10.6 oz

****NOTE: AS OF 2009 Cascade Designs, makers of Platypus discontinued production of the Filter Link, as they are now selling the Clean Stream Gravity Filter System****

****An expensive solution to this is to purchase the replacement threaded tubing for the hydration system system and cut it short to substitute for the Filter Link*****

****As of 2009 Sawyer now offers a Gravity Filter System. However, it appears to be a much heavy system than described here****

Weight of Stripped Down System: 5.3 oz
(See Below for details)

Weight of Trail/Dayhiking System: 3.3 oz
(see Below for details)

What is inside the filter?

Sawyer Filter 1

Sawyer Filter 2

Sawyer Filter 3

Sawyer Filter 4

Here you can see the strands of the hollow tubing that have been arranged in a U shape.

Sawyer Filter 5

The ends of the hollow strands are embedded in a resin, which allows only the clean water that is filtered to exit out through the cut ends. Note: If you look carefully, you can see the inconsistency in production. Some of the hollow tubes are still embedded in the resin, which prevents filtered water to exit. The vast majority are resin free and able to allow water to exit. I wonder if this creates any sort of measurable variable between filters on performance on speed of filtering?

How to Build Sawyer Gravity Filter:

1. Identify top and bottom of Sawyer Filter: Top of filter is the input for dirty water. Bottom is output for clean water

2. Attach Tubing included with Sawyer Filter to "top" of Sawyer Filter

3. Secure tubing to Filter with hose clamp included with Filter

4. Attach Platypus Filter Link to open end of tubing

5. Install one grommet at the left side of the bottom edge of the Platypus Water Tank

6. Install one grommet at the right side of the bottom edge of the Platypus Water Tank

Note: When the Water Tank is standing upright on a table the grommets should be facing towards you, not underneath the Water Tank. Grommets are for hanging Water Tank upside down using cord from a tree branch or tree trunk

Gravity Filter

Gravity Filter II

How to use Sawyer Gravity Filter:

1. Fill Water Tank with Dirty Water

2. Seal "Zip Lock" top of Water Tank

3. Make sure that threaded cap included with Water Tank is tightly installed

4. Thread Cord through both grommets

5. Hang Water Tank upside down from a tree branch or tree trunk using Cord

6. Using Nite Ize Figure 9 Rope Tightener to quickly tie or untied cord to tree branch or tree trunk

7. Attach 3ft. 3/8" Food Grade Vinyl Tubing to the "bottom" of Sawyer Filter

8. Stand Platypus 2+ Liter Water Bottle Upright on the ground

9. Lift hanging Water Tank to upright position and remove threaded cap

10. Screw on Filter Link/Sawyer Filter to Water Tank

11. Lower Water Tank to the Hanging upside down position

12. Start filtering process by sucking on end of 3 ft. Food Grade Vinyl Tubing until water flows through filter

13. Insert end of 3ft. Food Grade Vinyl Tubing into Platypus 2+ Liter Water Bottle to collect clean, filtered water

14. When Platypus 2+ Liter Water Bottle is full replace with an optional second Water Bottle to filter remaining water in Water Tank

15. If you only have one Water Bottle, unscrew Filter Link/Sawyer Filter and thread cap onto Water Tank

16. Filter additional water as needed

Note: For additional convenience, a second Platypus Filter Link can be attached to the end of the 3ft. tubing and threaded to the Platypus 2+ Liter Water Bottle. If this is done, thread Filter Link loosely to allow air to escape from the 2+ Liter Water Bottle. Failure to do so will result in pressure accumulation in the Water Bottle and will slow or stop water flow to the Water Bottle.

Note: As you become more proficient at using the gravity filter, you can attach the Sawyer filter to the Water Tank before hanging the bag upside down from a tree.

How to save weight using Stripped Down System:

1. Only use Sawyer Filter, Platypus Filter Link, and Platypus Water Tank

2. Use your hydration system as your "catch bag" for clean water

3. Remove bite valve from hydration system

4. Connect bottom of Sawyer Filter to your hydration system's hose where bite valve was attached

5. Lay Water Tank on its side on a rock or fallen tree vs. hanging from a tree branch or tree trunk

Note: I use a Platypus 1.8 L Hoser Hydration System (3.5 oz), which has a gusseted bottom that allows it to stand upright.

When using the Hoser as a catch bag, it is important to loosen the threaded cap that connects the tubing to the hydration bag to prevent pressure accumulation, which will slow or stop the flow of water.

How to use Sawyer Filter on the Trail or Day hiking:

1. Only use Sawyer Filter, Platypus Filter Link and 1 oz. disposable 1 pint/500 ml water bottle

2. When hiking on the trail and you want a fast drink of water without having to use the full system, fill 1 pint bottle with dirty water

3. Screw on Filter Link/Sawyer Filter loosely to 1 pint bottle

4. Turn bottle upside down

5. Use bottom of Sawyer filter as a straw to suck water from bottle through filter

Day Use Filter

Note: Loosely thread the Filter Link/Sawyer Filter. As you drink water, you should see a steady stream of air bubbles rising in the bottle.

Threading the Filter too tightly to the bottle will create a vacuum as you drink, which will collapse/crush the bottle and slow the flow.

Seeing the air bubbles rising in the bottle is an indication that you have not threaded the Filter too tightly.

***Storing filter after use: I recommend using your mouth to suck on the clean water output end of the filter like a straw to drain the filter of all water, which decreased the wet weight of the filter and decreases the chance of damage due to possible freezing***

I hope that this helps you to lower your pack weight and help you to build a gravity filter using the Sawyer Inline filter.


Note: Regarding Backwashing filter to clean in the field.

I have not experienced a reduction in water flow while in the field.

Each time that I have returned from a trip I have backwashed the filter using the gravity filter system using a small cap full of bleach followed by rinsing the filter two times with clean water.

Based on my experience at home, I see no reason why I could not backwash the filter in the field.

Update: 12-03-08

I have now been using this filter for over 1.5 yrs without suffering any illness or decrease in performance/rate of flow. I have also never needed to back flush this filter in the field.

I do back flush the filter at home after each trip before storing it between trips using warm water with about 10 drops of bleach in 1 to 1.5 liters of water.

Sawyer now offers a life time guarantee on this filter.

There are two negatives that I have found with this system:

It does not have an active carbon component to it to filter out the taste of bad water.

The imperfect solution that I have come across is using a Katadyn accessory that is also an inline product, but filled with active carbon. This works well, but is bulky/heavy.

The other negative with this system is the Platypus Water Tank. The zip closure is very difficult to close and almost impossible to close if your hand are cold and wet. Very frustrating. I hope that Platypus will come out with an improved version of this useful bag to address this problem. Perhaps similar to the redesigned Big Zip's closure system.

****Update 3/29/09: Platypus came out with a new and improved water tank closure system which looks like it will take care of one of the major problems plaguing this system****

****Update 07-20-09: I used this system for 9 days while hiking the 168 mile Tahoe Rim Trail and did find that after 6 days of use, the rate of filtration decreased dramatically- almost to a trickle. I back washed the filter by simply rolling up my clean water Platypus bottle and applying quite a bit of pressure to reverse the flow of water in the gravity filter system. I only need to push less than a cup of water through the filter to clear it. I was surprised by how much force was needed to backwash the filter. I was even concerned that I might damage my clean water Platypus bottle, due to the amount of force/pressure needed to backwash the filter. Once the filter was cleared, the filter's rate of filtration was back to normal and was good for the rest of the trip. In hind sight, I should have paid more attention and noticed the steady decrease in the rate of filtration and back washed the filter sooner to avoid the problem, which required so much pressure to clear the filter. Later in the trip, when I used the filter in "trail mode", I simply collected some clean water in my mouth and forced a bit of the water backwards through the filer and back in to the dirty water bottle. This worked easily and was a quick way for me to maintain the filter daily with little effort.

***Update 08-11-2010 Back Washing/Flushing in the Field***

Just came back from a 5 day/50 Mile Trip in SEKI and because I needed to carry a full size bear vault, I replaced the 1.8 L Hoser bag with two 1.0 L Platypus bottles on the outside of my pack. Found a much easier way to backwash/backflush the system. Screw on the hose tightly to the clean water bottle to prevent air from escaping and allow for backpressure to build up til water stops flowing or the clean bag is full of water & air. Basically, the clean bottle is like a ballon. Then simply squeeze the clean bottle with both hands. This sends clean water flying back through the filter and clears the filter easily/completely.

I am still very satisfied with this product and highly recommend it.

Note: Reviewer below, Herman, is absolutely correct in that my photos are not showing an optimized setup. It would increase the rate of flow if there was more tubing between the dirty bag and the filter. Also, he is correct in pointing out that there is really no way to test this system to know if it is working or not. Using this is a bit of an act of faith.


Edited by Valshar on 08/11/2010 13:50:47 MDT.

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
Cascade Designs Platypus Water Tank priced at: $24.95 - $39.99
High Sierra Loop priced at: $27.99 - $46.45
High Sierra Tank priced at: $34.90 - $46.45
Kelty Grommet - Kid's priced at: $14.95 - $34.95
Nite Ize Figure 9 Rope Tightener priced at: $3.95 - $7.99
Platypus Bite Valve priced at: $5.95
Platypus Cleaning Kit priced at: $9.95 - $12.95
Platypus Hoser priced at: $22.95
Platypus Hoser Hydration System priced at: $15.98 - $18.98
Platypus Water Tank priced at: $16.95 - $39.95
Platypus Water Tank 4 Liter priced at: $29.95 - $34.95
Keith Selbo
( herman666 - M )

Northern Virginia
sometimes it's the company, not the product on 05/21/2009 14:01:58 MDT Report Post Print

Rating: 3 / 5

I've used this filter (this is the 0.1 micron version) in a gravity configuration with two platy bags similar to the arrangement shown a photo in one of the above reviews. I should point out that the setup in that photo is sub-optimum because the filter is mounted close to the supply bag. The water at the filter inlet would be under MUCH higher pressure and thus filter faster if the filter was placed at the other end of the tube.

OK, what's good? Lifetime warranty easy maintenance, 0.1 micron absolute (claimed) and it filters with no help from me (no pumping) so I can do something else while my water is getting filtered. It's also pretty light. My whole setup is about 8 ounces, or about half what my MSR mini-Works weighs.

What's bad? Well, the instructions say don't drop it or let it freeze. OK, I won't, but what if somebody dropped it in shipping, or knocks it off the shelf at my house or bumps it off the hanger at the shelter while I'm off taking a haircut and hangs it back up? If my mini-works filter is damaged, I can see the damage and replace the filter.

I asked Sawyer how to tell if the filter was damaged. They weren't any help. Apparently, the only way to tell is if you sicken or die and the cause is traced back to the filtered water.

The MSR hyperflow uses the same type of element, and MSR publishes an integrity test for it. So does another manufacturer who's name I'll include when I remember it. I recommend buying a filter you can test.

The bottom line is you should be careful with this filter, but even so, without an integrity test, I don't think you can ever be sure of it.

rated 3 instead of five because there is no integrity test and company's apparent lack of interest in providing one.

Update: I always backflushed after a hike, but I now take the precaution of backflushing a few ounces of water after every filtering operation. My longest hike with this filter is five days. I never have experienced a significant flow reduction.

Edited by herman666 on 02/24/2010 08:34:22 MST.

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Dean F.
( acrosome )

Back in the Front Range
Great filter! on 12/08/2009 10:12:22 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

I have a slightly different kit- the 0.1 micron 4-way filter. Of the filters available I give it a 5. It's not perfect, but IMHO it is the best that is available, hands down. The 4-way kit comes with a bottle in which the filter hangs, see:

sawyer-supplied bottle

I will admit that the Sawyer standard bottle seems a bit small- only 1L, since the filter takes up space in the bottle. BUT, I see that Wal-Mart is offereing the filter with a larger bottle:

WalMart Bottle

I'll give the caveat that I haven't handled the Sawyer's direct competitor- the MSR Hyperflow. But I would point out that the Hyperflow generates some incredibly negative reviews. Perhaps later versions are better. But compare this to the Sawyer, where the greatest complaint anyone can muster is that it cannot be bubble-tested.


Sawyer guarantees their filters for life- no filter changes needed. I have never experienced any significant flow problems (and I've used some rather sandy water- I just was careful to backflush every few days).

I generally use it with the supplied bottle, so I just have to scoop water into the bottle and start sipping through the tube. I barely have to stop- I'm not doing the gravity filtration thing. (But that it can also be used for gravity or in-line filtration is a plus.) If I need to carry more water I carry it "dirty", and transfer it into the bottle to drink. Seeing how the thing is built, it is obviously very durable, and I think that worries about dropping the filter are overstated.

If you have an earlier filter that can be disassembled then you can easily tell if it has been damaged- either the plastic housing will be cracked, an o-ring will be bad, or the resin plug will be cracked. The way the filter is made the tubules are nigh indestructable. This thing AIN'T fragile- certainly not in the way a ceramic filter is. And I think that not being able to bubble-test is sort of in the nature of a non-pumped filter, so I'm not sure how valid a criticism that is.

Unfortunately, Sawyer has started sealing the filters so that they cannot be disassembled. I assume that this is because far more people were damaging the filters trying to disassemble them than were damaging them in any other way. :o)

The freezing issue, OTOH, is real- as it is with ALL filters. And it might not be obvious upon disassembly. I've slept with mine in my sleeping bag with me.

I have, unfortunately, extensive experience in breaking other models of filter. I can't understand why more people don't have these. Since Wal-Mart picked them up (as much as I dislike Wal-Mart) perhaps that will change.

Light. Bombproof. Lasts forever. I'll never buy another. 5/5.

EDIT-- The limited carrying capacity of the bottle setup finally started annoying me while hiking in groups and on vigorous treks where I go through a lot of water, so for such situations I cobbled together a gravity setup from an old 3L Platypus I had laying around. I was careful to avoid Tony's minor design flaw, above- I have my filter close to the "clean" bag, not the "dirty" bag. Works great; good flow. I fill two PET bottles with it and drink from the bottles. And, I can still carry an extra 3L "dirty" if I have to camel up.

I still love this filter, and don't understand why more people aren't using them. If you aren't a filter kinda person I understand, but the Sawyer beats any other filter I can think of, hands down. And, heck, REI carries them now- including their pre-made gravity setup. It uses quick-disconnects, so it is easy to move the filter unit around to different setups, such as the bottle, etc.

Edited by acrosome on 06/27/2010 16:09:39 MDT.

Price comparison from GearBuyer: MSR O-Ring priced at: $0.60
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Robert Blean
( blean )

San Jose -- too far from Sierras
Sawyer SP122 -- the quick connects are a real asset on 03/05/2010 21:26:14 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 5 / 5

Sawyer Point One Inline Water Filter (SP122)

The filter Tony used in his gravity filter system (described above) is the SP121. Since then a newer version, the SP122, has come out. Both use the same filter element. The only difference is in how the filter attaches to the tubing.

· SP121 is the older one; it has barbed fittings
· SP122 is the newer one; it has quick connect/disconnect fittings

The SP122 is just as good as the SP121, and I find that the quick connect fittings make it more suited than ever for a gravity filter system.


After reading about how people did gravity filters, I liked how Tony did his. I decided that I would do a similar one, including basing mine on the Sawyer inline filter. When I looked for a Sawyer filter, the new ones – with quick connect fittings instead of barbed fittings – were just coming out. I decided that making a filter system with quick connect fittings is the way to go. You get a lot of convenience, and it only adds 10 grams (0.4 oz) to the system. I like the idea that everything comes apart – for a number of reasons:

· Cleaning is easier when things are taken apart. Furthermore, the disassembled parts should dry better/faster.
· It all packs better
· You can detach the dirty bag to go to the lake for more water
· You can detach the clean bag to take it to your cook area
· It makes dealing with a hydration bladder easy
· It works well with my existing Big Zip, which has a quick connect fitting for its drinking tube

On talking to U.S. Plastics, I discovered that quick connect fittings are not standard. Whether or not they mate varies from manufacturer to manufacturer, and even between model lines of a single manufacturer. I found a marking on my Platypus fittings indicating they are made by CPC (Colder Products Company). When my filter arrived, I saw that the extra fittings Sawyer supplies are also CPC fittings. I contacted CPC and, over several communications, found out that:

· Both companies used custom CPC fittings
· The fittings are derived from Colder’s “APC” series
· The customization is not likely to be in the mating part – that should still be compatible.

That left me wondering about compatibility, because:

· Neither CPC nor U.S. Plastics knew which CPC parts would be compatible with Platypus
· Neither CPC nor U.S. Plastics knew which CPC parts would be compatible with Sawyer
· I did not know (until the filter arrived) whether I could use the same fittings for both Sawyer and Platypus. (It turns out that Sawyer and Platypus are compatible.)

I contacted both Platypus and Sawyer to ask just what their fittings are, and whether I could buy compatible fittings. So far, I have not heard back from either one of them – I cannot say I am overwhelmed with their customer service.

I solved the basic problem by buying

· One Platypus CleanStream® Hose Kit, which included:
o One Platypus male elbow to fit the Big Zip, so I did not need to worry about compatibility. (I did gamble that Big Zip and the CleanStream dirty bag would have compatible quick connect fittings – turns out to be true.)
o Two pieces of tubing – a long piece (48”) and a short piece (11”). It turns out that the tubing is nice – softer and lighter than the drink tubing that comes with the bladders. The long piece is about 6” longer than the original drink tube.
o A shutoff clip
o A Platypus Filter Link to connect to the clean bag
NOTE: the kit I got from Moontrail included the Platypus Filter Link. The kits I have seen advertised elsewhere do not include one.

· One Sawyer Point One Inline Water Filter (SP122), which included:
o One filter
o One male and one female quick connect fitting, to use with the tubing that plugs in to the filter
o Two small nylon tie-wraps, to hold the tubing on the quick connect fittings. I doubt they are needed; I am not using mine.
o One faucet adapter. This is used both for back flushing with clean water, and on the inlet side if you want to filter tap water.
o One male-male straight through adapter, so the faucet adapter can be plugged in to the clean side of the filter

Putting the system together:

1. Dirty Bag – I used my existing 3L Platypus Big Zip is the dirty bag. It is fairly light, because you do not need to include its drinking tube.

2. Dirty tube – the long tube is the dirty tube. Set it up with:
o Platypus elbow male quick connect on one end
o Sawyer male quick connect on the other end
o Plug it in to the inlet (dirty, gray) side of the filter

3. Clean tube – the short tube is the clean tube. Set it up with:
o Platypus Filter Link on one end. (I used an older Platypus similar to the Hoser. If you want to use a second Big Zip, see below for the fitting to get and use that in place of the Platypus Filter Link.)
o Platypus tube clamp in the middle
o Sawyer female quick connect on the other end
o Plug it in to the outlet (clean, blue) side of the filter

4. Attach the clean tube to the clean bag.

5. Attach the dirty tube into the dirty bag and you are filtering water. You can stop filtering by either removing the dirty tube, or by closing the tube clamp.

6. Note: you can put the Platypus tube clamp on whichever tube you like. Putting it on the clean tube allows disconnecting the clean bag from the filter, moving it wherever you want, and using the clamp to turn water flow on and off.

Result – I filled the Big Zip to its 3L marking with tap water. It took just under 2:30 to filter it.

That is better than the advertised 1 liter per minute. Being new to this, I was impressed with how fast I could see the water dropping in the dirty bag as the filter ran.

Weights I measured:

· 58 gm 2.0 oz Dirty hose, assembled
· 24 gm 0.8 oz Clean hose, assembled, includes tube clamp
· 82 gm 2.8 oz Total assembled hoses weight
· 56 gm 2.0 oz Filter (REI weight – forgot to weigh mine when dry)
· 138 gm 4.8 oz Total filter system weight
· 57 gm 2.0 oz 3L Platypus for clean bag – older model, similar to Hoser
· 102 gm 3.6 oz 3L Platypus Big Zip – for the dirty bag

Other thoughts:

· Minimum weight system – let the water drop into your container, or drink directly from the filter. For negligible extra weight, put the tube clamp on the dirty tube.

o 3.6 oz Big Zip
o 2.0 oz Dirty hose
o 2 oz SP122 Filter
o 5.8 oz Total minimum weight

· When thinking of the system weight, consider whether or not you would have had the clean and/or dirty bags anyway.

o The clean bag is no extra weight. Just use whatever clean bag you used before. If you did not have had a clean bag, then you don’t need one now, either – just direct the filtered water into wherever you would have put it before.

o If you would have had a dirty bag anyway, then the one for this system is no extra weight. If yours was lighter, then adapt this system to use yours.

· I like Ben’s idea for a water scoop/filter. If I adopt it, I expect to use a very light rigid bottled water bottle, with the bottom cut off as a water scoop. That will double as a carrying case for the system, so I can keep it in an outside pocket for easy access during the day.

· I am going to try an MSR Nano Pack Towel (size small, 24 gm, 0.8 oz) for a pre-filter. It is clearly a multi-use item, and lighter than a bandana would be.

o I considered the Duda Diesel 1 micron filter bags. They should work well – they would fit right over the end of the bottle. I have not yet tried them, but would like to one of these days.

· If you use a hydration bladder, you need to think about whether you want it to double as your clean bag. Even if you don’t (perhaps you normally keep it full of something other than water, such as a sports drink), you may still want to be able to attach it to the filter. Either way, that takes:

o A Sawyer-compatible male and female quick connect (see compatibility section)

o Remove the bite valve and insert the female quick connect in the drink tube.

o Put the bite valve on the male quick connect

o Now you can easily switch that tube from drinking (bite valve plugged in) to filtering (filter plugged in).

· If you want to carry your dirty bladder and drink from it, it would be easy to make a modified clean tube that you could use. It would be easy to arrange that you could quick connect wither a bite valve or else the clean bag on the clean side of the filter.


· All tubing is 1/4” inside diameter (ID) and 3/8” outside diameter (OD)

· The quick connect parts are all for 1/4” ID tubing, except the one for the bite valve. Since the bite valve slides over the tubing, you need a 3/8” barb fitting for it.

· It turns out that the fittings Sawyer ships appear to be stock CPC parts, not custom ones.

· I recommend going to the Colder Products Distributor Lookup page to find someone local. It is very reassuring to be able to actually try the parts you are buying, and see that they fit. (I am in San Jose, CA and used Ryan Herco Flow Solutions. They had what I wanted and were very helpful.)

· The parts are:

o Sawyer-compatible 1/4” female disconnect. This appears to be the actual part Sawyer ships. (Extra is needed for hydration bladder drinking tube)

o CPC: APC17004 1/4 Hose Barb Non-valved In-Line Coupling Body

o Ryan Herco Part #0762-115

o Sawyer-compatible 1/4” male disconnect. This appears to be the actual part Sawyer ships. (I did not need an extra one of these)

o CPC: APC22004 1/4 Hose Barb Non-valved In-Line Coupling Insert

o Ryan Herco Part #0761-115

o Sawyer-compatible 3/8” male disconnect (bite valve). Sawyer does not ship this. (It is compatible, and needed for the bite valve)

o CPC: APC22006 3/8 Hose Barb Non-valved In-Line Coupling Insert

o Ryan Herco Part #0761-120

o Platypus male elbow (to fit into the Big Zip quick connect) was not actually in stock. They did have a 3/8” part in stock, and it looked like the right thing, but wrong size. I believer the following part numbers are correct, but am not able to verify that. This would be needed if you also use a Big Zip for a clean bag.

o CFC: EFC23412 1/4 Hose Barb Non-valved Elbow Coupling Insert

o Ryan Herco Part #0881-502

· There may well be other compatible CPC parts. For example, the EFC series appears to be what Platypus uses for the Big Zip quick connect, while the APC series is what is used everywhere else. “EFC” stands for Extra Flow Coupling, so you could conceivably want to use this series of fittings throughout – I did not bother, because I expect the filter is the limiting item on flow rate, so plain fittings are just fine.

· Sawyer web page for the SP122

· Colder Products Company – makes the quick connects for Platypus and Sawyer. They were as helpful as they could be. You do not buy parts directly from them – you go through a distributor. See above for how to find a local distributor. They said that U.S. Plastics carries their full line, if you are buying on the web.

· U.S. Plastics carries CPC parts. When I contacted them, they were very helpful – they just did not know details of Platypus or Sawyer fittings. All of the fittings above are Acetyl fittings, except the elbow (which is an EFC fitting).

o Acetyl Fittings

o Polypropylene Extra Flow Couplings (EFC)

· Moontrail – is where I got my filter and CleanStream tubing. They had the best price on the SP122 that I could find. Their CleanStream Tubing Kit included the Platypus filter link -- no other place I looked does include that part.

· Ryan Herco – is where I ended up buying parts locally. They have sites all over the country. Here is their locator page.

· Arrowhead Equipment – still has the last of the Platypus Filter Links available (3/2010). If you want one, and if you got your hose kit from someplace that does not include one, here is where to get it.

Comments on remarks in the earlier reviews:

1. Back flushing – as far as I know, it can be back flushed:

a. Tony reports doing so, and the good result, on his TRT trip

b. The Sawyer web site says: This faucet adapter is used for back washing all Sawyer Filters and Purifiers, extending their life.

c. Most credible: the directions from Sawyer, that come packed with the filter, have a paragraph on how to back wash the filter.

2. Tony says that setup time takes longer than a traditional filter – I’m not so sure that is true with a quick connect setup such as described in this review.

3. Testing whether or not the filter is working – could someone comment on what that means? Is there a mode where dirty water would bypass the filter element? Perhaps if it got frozen? If we have a real concern, perhaps someone should call up Sawyer and discuss the issue with them.

4. Clogging – yes, I believe that is real. I also believe it is generally accepted that pre-filtering is needed for pretty much any filter. Has anyone who pre-filters and back flushes had a problem with a Sawyer inline filter clogging?

5. Drain the filter completely when done, so it won’t freeze – I wish I knew how to drain it completely. I believe that disconnecting it offers the best chance, though. I suspect that, in freezing weather, you’d best sleep with your filter – any filter, not just the Sawyer.

Edited by blean on 03/06/2010 18:54:46 MST.

Price comparison from GearBuyer:
MSR Bite Valve priced at: $4.49 - $5.95
Diesel Take - Men's priced at: $74.99 - $94.95
MSR Pack Towel priced at: $14.99
Platypus Bite Valve priced at: $5.95
Platypus Drinking Tube priced at: $9.75 - $12.95
Platypus Hoser priced at: $22.95
Sawyer Water Filter priced at: $59.99
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Western Michigan
Sawyer Filter/Purifier Tests on 03/08/2010 14:15:46 MST Report Post Print

Rating: 4 / 5



I have an Immunosuppressed immune system due to two stem cell transplants and chemo therapy that were used to treat my multiple myeloma cancer. I was planning to take four of my grandchildren backpacking on Isle Royale last year and taking care of our water needs on the island while diverse (I needed 0.02 Absolute Micron protection), still equated to making sure the water was safe and in large amounts. This is the reason I investigated using a gravity system and the SAWYER products. (Normally I use a SteriPen and find it to be safe, light weight and utmost it neutralized all the inoculants that would cause me big problems.)
Prior to our trip I did some testing that I would like to share for whatever its worth. While the tests in each category were scant and neither to SAWYER’S nor my statistical liking, they did give me an idea about the use of this technology and the SAWYER product and what I might expect in the field
I should start by saying I tested the SAWYER FILTER SP -121 (NOW – SP122) ( AND the SAWYER PURIFIER -125 (NOW SP – 135) ( SAWYER has changed their numbering in accordance to the produce update and use.

TEST #1 - FILTER COMPARISION TESTS - Katadyn Hiker Pro & Sawyer SP121 (Prior to the start of the test all filter devices used were back flushed per manufacture instructions. Each trial was conducted with 2 liters of "cold tap water" (22.90C/73.20F) in TESTERS DESIGNED hanging filter bag, with the Top Closure CLOSED. Time was started when water began to flow from the outflow end of the tubing. Outflow water (filtered and non filtered) was collected and measured.

FILTER COMPARISION TESTS - Katadyn Hiker Pro & Sawyer SP121

Prior to the start of the test all filter devices used were back flushed per manufacture instructions. Each trial was conducted with 2 liters of "cold tap water" (22.90C/73.20F) in TESTERS DESIGNED hanging filter bag, with the Top Closure CLOSED. Time was started when water began to flow from the outflow end of the tubing. Outflow water (filtered and non filtered) was collected and measured.

DRY WEIGHT: 72g/2.54oz
WET WEIGHT: 106g/3.74oz

DRY WEIGHT: 121g/4.26oz
WET WEIGHT: 250g/8.82oz


TEST#3 - SAWYER SP125 ADDITIONAL TEST - Outflow Tubing Length Changed (Each trial was conducted with a minimum 4 liters of "cold tap water"(22.3 0C/72.1 0F) with 1 cap of bleach added (planning not to use filter for an extended period of time), in the TESTERS DESIGNED hanging filter bag, Top Closure CLOSED and, the filter bag placement remained constant for each test. Time was started when water began to flow from the outflow end of the tubing. Outflow tubing was shortened and filtered water was collected and measured. Wet weight of PURIFIER at the conclusion of test 9.66 oz.)

SAWYER SP125 ADDITIONAL TEST#2 - Outflow Tubing Length Changed

TEST#3 - Water Temperature (Each trial was conducted with a minimum 4 liters of "hot tap water" at beginning measured temperature above, in the TESTERS DESIGNED hanging filter bag, Top Closure CLOSED and, the filter bag placement remained constant for each test. Time was started when water began to flow from the outflow end of the tubing. Outflow water was through a Pelon prefilter and was collected and measured. Filter weight at the BEGINNING OF TEST: 229 g/8.1 oz; AFTER WETTING FILTER with warm water: 250 g/8.8 oz; CONCLUSION OF TEST: 276 g/9.7 oz.)

SAWYER SP125 ADDITIONAL TEST#3 - Water Temperature




 After after ten days using the SAWYER SP-125 PURIFIER the flow rate did decrease significantly and back flushing was not needed.

 If weight is your prime variable in water filtration or purification you can see by my data that DRY WEIGHT prior to testing of the SP-125 PURIFIER and the SP-125 PURIFIERS WET WEIGHT during testing was significantly different. Weather you use the SAWYER FILTER or PURIFIER they MUST be “wetted out” prior to using otherwise the neither FILTER nor PURIFIER it would not meet the recommendations by SAWYER for the FILTER or PURIFIER to function properly.

 If you are interested in Flow Rate through a SAWYER FILTER SP -121 (NOW – SP122) PointOne Filter or SAWYER PURIFIER -125 (NOW SP – 135) PointZEROTWO Purifier refer to their website From my use with a PointZEROTWO Purifier I can say you will see a one minute+/liter flow rate.

 Total weight of the system SAWYER .02 micron WATER PURIFIER (8.18oz/wet /FLUSHING SYRINGE (1.12oz)/ BAG&HOSE (3.52oz)/BAG (.35oz) - (13.17oz)

Edited by KENLARSON on 03/12/2010 12:22:29 MST.

Price comparison from GearBuyer: Sawyer Pointone Filter priced at: $59.99
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