MSR SweetWater Purifier System



I have used the SweetWater for three years now. It…

Rating: rated 4.5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it used
Price Paid: A great guy gave it to me for free when I bought a tent from him!


I have used the SweetWater for three years now. It has always done a great job. When an internal mechanism broke from years of use, MSR promptly replaced it—no questions asked.
I got it used. When handed to me, I asked the guy how much life was left in it. He said he thought it was at the end of the line. I used it for two more years. It's finally starting to "pop the hose back" from the filter being at the end of the line.


  • Pumps well
  • Easy assembly
  • Durable parts


  • Expensive replacement cartridges ($50)

Effectiveness: Treats water well. Be mindful that it takes out particulate matter and filters out harmful pathogens, but if you filter brown water, it will still be brown. Note: I have never used it in sub-zero weather.

Speed and efficiency: I fill up a 32oz Nalgene bottle in 2 minutes.

Capacity: I've used it solo and in groups. It performs well in both. We just take turns holding bottles and pumping.

Ease of use: Easy assembly and disassembly. Folds down small.

Features: Pre-filter to help your cartridge work longer. If you buy a baby bottle brush and scrub out the inside of the cartridge after trips, you'll prolong the life of that expensive cartridge by a good amount. Also, be sure to disassemble the unit after trips to let it dry out.

Construction and durability: Made of long lasting plastics. I've dropped it several times on rock without problems. One internal mechanism broke  but no problems replacing it.

Condition: Bought it used. The newer filters are lighter and last a long time but the SweetWater is still a great reliable filter. 



My SweetWater died almost immediately. Pump was used…

Rating: rated 0.5 of 5 stars

My SweetWater died almost immediately.

Pump was used in -2 Celsius the pressure relief popped constantly with almost no pressure while pumping melted snow.

After 2 days of use for 4 people the body started to crack at the threads and leak with every pump.


Ok, I have used this pump on prolly around 15 full…

Rating: rated 4 of 5 stars

Ok, I have used this pump on prolly around 15 full week long trips. The action of pumping is great you could no ask for anything better, and it pumps at a fast rate.

Personally I have never had a real problem with it. However I have been told (from reliable sources) that when this filter is used in water with a high amounts of silts and clays it tends to clog the filter up.

There is a couple of easy solutions. If you wrap the intake peace that sucks the water up in a coffee filter it will help to stain the particles out. Also, if you put the cartridge into boiling watter and boil it, it will help unclog the filter.

I really think this is a great filter for most people. It's a great price and works well.


Let me start by saying that this is the easiest filter…

Rating: rated 2 of 5 stars
Price Paid: Gift

Let me start by saying that this is the easiest filter to pump. The lever action pump is great. And it filters water on the up and down stroke but.....

I have had this for several years. The first few trips the filter worked fine. After that the filter started to require numerous cleanings while on the trail.

I followed the manufacturer's suggestions on cleaning the cartridge with a water and bleach solution. This helped for a few liters then it was back to cleaning on every water stop.

My brother brought along the same model on our last trip and his began needing the same frequent cleaning as my old one.

I might need a new cartridge but I'm afraid this isn't the problem and then I'll be stuck with a bad filter and out the cost of a new cartridge.

I will be buying a new filter before my next trip, just haven't figured out which one.


Great little pump. I've had mine must be almost 10…

Rating: rated 5 of 5 stars
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $100


Great little pump.


  • It just seems to last


  • It has a few

I've had mine must be almost 10 years or pretty close. Bought the system when they first came out, used in all four seasons, used it to get water from a streams, lakes, through the ice. Works really well.

Replacement filter is a little pricey, and it doesn't pump the volume of the newer ones ,or as fast. But I just don't have the heart to replace it. It works so well and the Sweetwater purifier solution that comes with it makes the water taste like the water that comes out of your faucets... if that's what you want, and it even comes with a cleaning brush.


Hi Cal. Welcome abroad. Can you explain the cons a bit more for SweetWater? You gave it 5 stars but say it has a few flaws. Is the 5-stars more because it's sentimental to you or is it really an top-notch excellent product? Just looking for a clarification. Thanks.

2 years ago