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Sawyer Squeeze Bag Water Filter Review | High Sierra Backpacker

Sawyer Squeeze Bag Water Filter Review

Alex Wierbinski's picture

By Alex Wierbinski - Posted on 13 November 2014

Sawyer Squeeze™ Filter System.
I've seen lots of happy backpackers using this filter system.

The concept behind the system relies on a lightweight synthetic hollow fiber filter material in a small filter cartridge unit that screws onto lightweight mylar sacks of 16, 32, and 64 ounces.

The filter is operated by unscrewing the filter cartridge from it's mylar sack, filling the sack with water, restoring the filter cartridge to the filled sack, and squeezing.

Sawyer Squeeze Filter System

They are cheap, lightweight, and moderately durable. The "Plus" model comes with a 16, 32, and a 64 ounce sack, filter cartridge and cleaning syringe for fifty bucks.

I've been inquiring with a great group of gear test subjects for quite some time. These would be the "main body" of each year's PCT hikers as they cross the Sierra.

I generally have a Southbound trip planned to meet and greet this year's crop, and find out how they and their gear are working out on the trail. This is always entertaining!

There's one little problem for long distance backpackers: The bags crack/split at 700 miles of PCT use. This was reported to me on July 31, 2013 by PCT hikers Mountain Man and Gone Slow during their 2010 PCT hike.

 Field Reports 

From Gone Slow, 2010 PCT Hiker, who has some good advice about using the Sawyer System:  

"Wow great to hear from you, brought back some trail memories, which is always a good thing in my book. 

So we were indeed using the Sawyer filtration system. The bags were terrible so for the rest of the trail I used one liter soda or water bottles which screwed right on to the filter.

I ended up finishing 2300 miles of the trail in 2013 and I plan on finishing the last 360 or so next summer and I will likely be carrying a Sawyer Filter again. Website is awesome, great meeting you out there!"

The Sawyer System works well, and its long-distance bag splitting problem is minor, as carrying an extra bag is not a weight nor cost issue.

The seam splitting issue occurs as a result of repeated roll-ups splitting the upper seam of the pouch. This suggests that the pouches be inspected as our time/distance on trail approaches 500 miles, and replaced prior to the 700 mile mark.

A PCT hiker would be wise to put an extra Sawyer pouch in their Muir Ranch resupply bucket, which is roughly around the 700 mile mark for PCT hikers.

A PCT hiker would be wise to plan including Sawyer pouches in their resupply packages that correspond to each 700 mile segment of the PCT.

At 700 miles per pouch the average PCT hiker will need 3.8 pouches to finish the 2660 miles of the PCT.

More Information, Please
Post up your experiences with the Sawyer Squeeze System through the comments link below. Members can post up a review pages with images and videos.

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