Sawyer Squeeze Filter or Katadyn Hiker Pro?

8:59 p.m. on October 16, 2013 (EDT)
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Got a gift certificate for BASS PRO SHOP . . . why that store, I don't know. But I'm not going to look a gift horse in the mouth.

That said, other than ammo, of which I have plenty, there is not a lot of stuff that BASS PRO sells that I would want. They do have SAWYER SQUEEZE FILTERS and also the KATADYN HIKER PRO, and my gift certificate will cover the cost of either.

Which would you choose, and why?

10:08 p.m. on October 16, 2013 (EDT)
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I haven't used either but both are good names. I have the Katadyn Pocket Filter and it produces some of the best tasting water I have ever consumed; however, it is a bit on the heavy side. So I just bought the Sawyer Mini Filter but haven't used it yet. In the future, due to its light weight and compact size, I will use the Sawyer Mini for backpacking.

Personally, I don't trust water filters with plastic handles and it looks like the Hiker Pro has a plastic handle. So between your two choices, I'd go with the Sawyer -- not only does it not have a handle that can break, it is also more compact and lighter in weight than the Hiker Pro, and Sawyer has a good reputation in the hiker community (which is why I bought the Mini).

10:11 p.m. on October 16, 2013 (EDT)
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the sawyer squeeze, but get a platypus to use with it. the bags that come with it are fragile.

10:21 p.m. on October 16, 2013 (EDT)
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I own both.

I prefer the Sawyer. Overall, it's faster, less complicated, and has less that can go wrong with it out in the field.

10:50 p.m. on October 16, 2013 (EDT)
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The new mini is near 1/2 the weight of the original Sawyer "Squeeze"...here's Stick's review: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=368DpkqhjFM the flow rate is excellent...with greater versatility than the original...and I swear by Sawyer's quality.

7:39 a.m. on October 17, 2013 (EDT)
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They don't sell the Sawyer Mini, but they do sell the Squeeze and the Kayadyn Hiker Pro.

10:57 a.m. on October 17, 2013 (EDT)
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I can't speak for the Sawyer but I do own the PUR version of the Katadyn Hiker.  It does have a plastic handle and a plastic body, but I haven't broke it yet and have been using it regularly for over 10 years now.  Great filter IMO.  I love the taste of the water I get out of it.  I always carry some backup pills just in case it does fail me but that hasn't happened yet and I put that thing through some pretty tough conditions.  I often times have to suck water out of springs that flow very shallow.  Less than an inch of water at times.  I can handle that no problem with the PUR hose.  No sure how one would handle that with one of those Sawyer bags.   Dig a hole for a pool I suppose.  

1:20 p.m. on October 17, 2013 (EDT)
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Trailjester said:

the sawyer squeeze, but get a platypus to use with it. the bags that come with it are fragile.

 Platy threads don't match the Sawyer--which is REALLY annoying to me.

1:45 p.m. on October 17, 2013 (EDT)
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Seems to me the advantage to the Katadyn is it has the activated carbon so it removes any foul taste if the water has any. But the disadvantage is increased size and weight.

The advantage to the Sawyer is its simple, compact and lighter, but the disadvantage is the lack of activated carbon.

2:26 p.m. on October 17, 2013 (EDT)
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@melensdad

Assuming you decide to buy Sawyer: After applying the coupon, if the Squeeze ends up costing $25 or more, you would probably be better off buying the Mini for $25 from some other store and using the coupon to buy something else from Bass Pro.

@Jason

With a shallow water source and the Sawyer Mini, you would have to attach the included straw and suck the water through the filter directly into your mouth.

2:56 p.m. on October 17, 2013 (EDT)
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Melensdad (and others reading this thread),

You may want to read my 4-part series on "what's in your water?", along with my reviews of the Platypus Gravityworks filter system,  and Camelbak AllClear (UV system). I have, and have thoroughly used, a wide variety of approaches to water treatment, including pump filters mentioned in previous posts above - Katadyn filters (2 different models, one with an activated carbon module), First Need (2 different generations, both with activated carbon modules), Sawyer Squeeze, and more (including iodine pills, saturated iodine solutions, chlorine dioxide, chlorine bleach, and just plain boiling). They all work, and they all have their strengths and weaknesses. As my 4-part Trailspace article notes, it is important to follow the directions carefully. For example, all the chemical treatments depend on adequate treatment time, which in turn is significantly longer at colder water temperatures. Keep in mind that even the sub-micron pore size filters do not remove all viruses (passing some really dangerous ones, though that is not of concern for most remote mountain streams in North America). Also be aware that NONE of the treatments are effective for industrial, agricultural, or mining runoff - know your water source!

3:03 p.m. on October 17, 2013 (EDT)
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The Sawyer Squeeze is pretty darn foolproof. Nice, too, that a typical threaded water bottle can be used if a water bag fails.

My Platy bottles fit the Sawyer threads - one of the first things I did when I got it in the mail was testing its compatibility. Going to go home tonight and see if they make tight enough a seal. Is that the problem, Goose?

Anyone out there buy a Mini yet? 

3:06 p.m. on October 17, 2013 (EDT)
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I have a Mini but haven't used it yet. Just arrived a couple of days ago. It's my first Sawyer filter.

3:28 p.m. on October 17, 2013 (EDT)
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Finally read this thread from the beginning and am all caught-up - looks like you do have a Mini, George!

Be sure to let us know how it works out for you. Since I'm primarily a solo backpacker and don't need to filter-out an entire camp's-worth of water, it's a downsize I'm considering. 

3:36 p.m. on October 17, 2013 (EDT)
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Goose,

Strange....I have a Sawyer squeeze and threads match well enough on my Platy bags...just can't over tighten them without poping out the white o-ring on the squeeze.

 

Jason,

In shallow water situations I use a flat plastic bag or a small disposable plastic water bottle with the bottom cut out (and lid still on) as scoop or catch and then pour into a platy bag before squeezing.

 

I used the old MSR mini-works pump for years and years, briefly used a steri-pen, occasionaly use Aqua-Mira, but prefer the Squeeze.

In many of the places I go water quality is pretty good so YMMV.

 

 

3:46 p.m. on October 17, 2013 (EDT)
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An aside:

 

(Probably not helpful and only slightly germane....)

 

In the Smokies there are springs that come right out of the side of a mountain and I've followed the lead of the people around me and drank without filtering or treatment for many years now.

In fact, there are some springs that locals drive to so they can fill up water jugs and take it back home to drink; a common sight around here.

 

Myself, I only trust certain ones and would never drink straight from any old run-off and am suspicious of all surface water.

3:47 p.m. on October 17, 2013 (EDT)
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Shallow water? I hold the Sawyer bag by the top ring and pass it through the water in a sweeping motion. Haven't yet needed a cup or funneling device. Won't fill it 100%, but it will give you enough water to filter.

4:46 p.m. on October 17, 2013 (EDT)
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Bill S said:

Keep in mind that even the sub-micron pore size filters do not remove all viruses

The Sawyer .02 filter has an absolute removal rate of 99.9997% for all known harmful bacteria and viruses. The downside is that it is much larger than the smaller Sawyer .1 filters. I use the .02 filter almost exclusively for kayaking and canoeing where a constant water-source means I have access to over 100 gallons of trouble-free purified water a day (this filter is king for large groups on the water). The downside to the .02 filter is that I find it too heavy for backpacking...though it still weighs less than most Katadyn filters.

In most cases (particularly for treating unknown water-supplies) I prefer Aquamira when backpacking...because it weighs very little (repackaged) and takes care of bacteria and viruses...and I actually find that it makes the water taste better (familiar is probably a better word because the same chemicals are used to treat my local water-supply). The downside to Aquamira is primarily the cost...there is also a short wait (which I don't mind)...and Aquamira does not remove particulates (though using a coffee filter with the funnel from Green's "water-filter" http://briangreen.net/2011/06/ultralight-17g-1-micron-water-filter.html makes a great UL pre-filter). Still...if I do not know the water source the drawbacks to Aquamira are not all that bad.

Now Sawyer went and did it!...the "Mini" has really caught my eye...it is a very light-weight and versatile water-treatment system...and my Sawyer .02 filter has been trouble-free for over two-years...so Sawyer's quality is without question IMO. More importantly...the "Mini" promises to save on the cost of treating water-supplies I have good knowledge of (which is commonly the case). For the price of treating 60 gallons of water with Aquamira I can treat water for years with the "Mini" when viruses are not much of a risk (which is commonly the case)

7:27 p.m. on October 17, 2013 (EDT)
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jrenow said:

The Sawyer .02 filter has an absolute removal rate of 99.9997% for all known harmful bacteria and viruses. The downside is that it is much larger than the smaller Sawyer .1 filters.....

 You left out one important point. The 99.9997% is for viruses larger than the 0.02 micron pore size. Unfortunately, some of the most dangerous viruses are smaller than that, and definitely smaller than the 0.1 micron pore size for most of the gravity feed and pump filters. The polio virus is 0.027 micron, well under the pore size for the Sawyer and other companies' 0.1 to 0.2 micron pore size and a lot of the pump filters at 1 to 2 microns. Hepatitis viruses are also in the 0.010 to 0.020 micron range.

Now, a point that is in my 4-part article is that viruses are uncommon in backcountry water. However, many people keep water treatment filters, chemicals, and UV treatments in their emergency kits (although surprisingly few people here in earthquake central along the California coast have any preparation for any disasters). In a disaster, whether earthquakes, tornadoes, or hurricanes, urban water and sewage systems get disrupted and can harbor a wide variety of viruses that are at and below the range of filter pore sizes.

Also noted in my 4-part article, chemical treatments require a lot of time. Aquamira chlorine dioxide requires 4 hours at "room temperature" (read the label!), and iodine requires 30 minutes (but note that prolonged use of iodine treatment can cause thyroid problems).

Bottom line is - no method is 100% perfect. So learn the limitations of the method you are using.

8:35 p.m. on October 17, 2013 (EDT)
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melensdad, I would say get the Sawyer, from all I have read and heard it is a great system.  The bags can be problem, but it connects to water bottles and other bags too.

Like Patman, I have the MSR Min-Works and it is a great filter and easy to field clean.  But it is heavy and bulky.  I currently am using a mix between a Steri-pen and Aqua-Mira, I have had too many problems with the Steri-pen to not take a backup. 


Currently I am looking at the Sawyer Mini. I really like the fact that I can just hook it directly to my hydration system and not worry about stopping to filter or clean water.  Just fill the bladder and drink. 

10:01 p.m. on October 17, 2013 (EDT)
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Patman said:

Goose,

Strange....I have a Sawyer squeeze and threads match well enough on my Platy bags...just can't over tighten them without poping out the white o-ring on the squeeze.

 I may have to revisit it. I tried it at home. It leaked. I read someone else say they don't match. So I didn't attempt a second time.

Of course, there is an advantage in knowing my Platy is filtered. The blue bag is not.

10:10 p.m. on October 17, 2013 (EDT)
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Goose - just tested my SS with both a half and full liter Platy bottle. They're both compatible and fit with a tight seal.

4:54 p.m. on October 18, 2013 (EDT)
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I have the squeeze and absolutely love it. Mine also matches up fine to Platyplus bottles, dont know about regular platy bottles. It also mates up just fine to soda bottles, water bottles etc with a standard thread pattern.

7:12 p.m. on October 18, 2013 (EDT)
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Thanks TheRambler...I was curious about the compatibility of the mini with standard thread patterns...what a great buy for the price!

Good points Bill S...not too worried about Polio in a potential water-supply here in the US...but there was a few cases of Hep-A in Kentucky a while back! I've read that thermal-death through boiling is 100% effective...though as you said 100% is statistically impossible (it always amuses me when there is 100% chance of rain...as it is not a chance of rain at that point!).

8:57 a.m. on October 19, 2013 (EDT)
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I use the Sawyer as well. For shallow puddles I simply cut the top off the smallest squeeze bag and use it as a scoop for a fraction of an ounce.

@Patman, be careful drinking directly from "springs" -- sometimes in the mountains a stream can cut underground and then re-emerge downhill, so what looks like water come a spring could just be a stream that is subject to the same contamination risks. Filtering is simple and quick, getting sick is awful and potentially prolonged, I don't ever risk drinking untreated water.

9:33 a.m. on October 19, 2013 (EDT)
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Looks like I need to take a long hard look at the Sawyer Squeeze at Bass Pro Shop, or perhaps use the gift certificate on something else in the store and buy a Sawyer MINI for my pack.

10:35 a.m. on October 19, 2013 (EDT)
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TheRambler said:

Mine also matches up fine to Platyplus bottles, dont know about regular platy bottles. It also mates up just fine to soda bottles, water bottles etc with a standard thread pattern.

 I'm going to partially admit defeat.

I was able to keep my Platy from leaking for 2 out of 7 attempts. I discovered, if I play with it, I can get it to work. I wondering how many thread patterns are out there on Platy bottles. An older .5L Platy that I own worked fine for me.

So, if my Sawyer bag were to burst, I would have a Plan B, but I'm not ready to dink around with getting it to line up, when the Sawyer bags have been working well for me.

12:18 p.m. on October 19, 2013 (EDT)
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if all else fails use a Poland springs water bottle with it, or a soda bottle etc. For the price I don't think anyone can go wrong with the squeeze.

the one major flaw as others have noted is getting water from a shallow source. but it's not that of a deal. I also cut the smaller bag and use it as a scoop though you could just as easily use a ziplock bag, a cup etc

1:12 p.m. on October 21, 2013 (EDT)
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Met two bushcraft-practicing fellas (now friends) on a backpacking trip this weekend.

One used a Katadyn pump, the other packed everything in.

Let 'em both try the Sawyer Squeeze, and they loved it.

The guy packing his water in probably filtered out half a gallon, and were it not for the SS, he'd have had to hike out to get more. 

Suffice it to say, once you've seen it in use, it's an easy sell. One of the guys even messaged me this morning to let me know he ordered one (the guy using the Katadyn, no less!).

6:45 p.m. on October 23, 2013 (EDT)
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I have the PUR version of the katadyn hiker and have used it for over twelve years without a problem. clean, good tasting water. I must say though, I think the sawyer squeeze is the new king of the hill.

1:36 p.m. on October 24, 2013 (EDT)
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This thread has convinced me to pick up the sawyer mini.  Only 3 oz.  Can't go wrong with that for only $25.  That is a fraction of the weight of my PUR.  

1:52 p.m. on October 24, 2013 (EDT)
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If anyone who already owns the standard-sized Sawyer Squeeze picks up a mini, please let me know how it compares.

Although $25's a bargain as far as water filters go, unless it's an enormous improvement, I'd probably keep the original.

2:25 p.m. on October 24, 2013 (EDT)
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I noticed nobody has reviewed the Sawyer MINI here on Trailspace.

4:09 p.m. on October 24, 2013 (EDT)
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6:36 p.m. on October 24, 2013 (EDT)
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On the back of one of the sawyer bags it states to replace the unit if it has been frozen.  Has anyone dealt with this?  I want to use the mini in some conditions that get well below freezing temps and am thinking it may not be the best idea to use the Sawyer now.  You would basically have to sleep with the unit to keep it from freezing while winter camping in cold conditions.  You would also have to keep it on your person while hiking to keep it from freezing.   

11:37 a.m. on October 25, 2013 (EDT)
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Jason Ruff,

 

When it gets really cold I switch to tabs or sometimes steri-pen; I'm not aware of any filter that is immune to sub freezing conditions.

I know of some folks that used the Kataydn Hiker year round (paper type filter I think) but they do take steps to keep it from freezing (like sleeping with it).

12:31 p.m. on October 25, 2013 (EDT)
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Thanks Patman,

I have used my PUR hiker in freezing conditions many times.  I always make sure to drain it as well as possible after every use to make sure water doesn't freeze and crack the casing.  I don't sleep with it or keep it on my person though.  It is always stashed in my pack which gets stowed under my tent vestibule at night.  I can't see the carbon and paper filaments being damaged to any freezing but I could be wrong.  

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