User Review: Sawyer Complete Water Filtration System 4 Liter
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $100
Buy the filter separate and use with Platypus Hoser for a worry-free kayak and canoe water filtration system!
- Easy of use (almost no labor)
- Viruses and bacteria
- Million gallon capacity (lol!)
- Excellent for kayaking and canoeing
- Heavy and bulky
- Not the fastest
I should say first that I use only the Sawyer .02 filter...not the rest of the system. With my Sawyer .02 filter I use a Platypus Hoser hydration bladder and the Platypus Big Zip for an easy to use (no-pumping) source of freshwater! I prefer the Platypus bags over the Sawyer bags because I find them more durable and useful when not being used with the filter...and with the Platypus Big Zip this system filters water like a boss! Just dip in the river or lake and hang from a tree...the rest is up to gravity.
I estimate that the system has produced around 100 liters of water on the 20 or so trips I have used it...and I have never had a single issue arise. I typically use the system on relatively clean water sources (Ozark rivers)...but I have used it on some of Indiana's filthiest rivers (the water is brown in the Big-zip). I do occasionally run the system in reverse just to keep things running smooth...but have not yet needed to.
The system is a little too bulky and heavy for my backpacking needs (I use Aquamira)...but I am a big baby when it comes to carrying even moderate backpacking loads (I would be complaining at 15 pounds)...but for those who do not mind a little extra weight and volume...or for those who need to make a lot of safe drinking water...this filter might be perfectly adequate for backpacking.
With that said...I find this system to be just the ticket for my kayaking and canoeing trips...where I bring a heavier and more complex cooking system which often requires more water. The flow-rate is not as fast as filling up a bottle and putting in a few drops of Aquamira...but when kayaking and canoeing you're always next to a water source so everyone can leisurely fill-up their water bottles throughout the evening and the next morning before setting off. I have used this filter system with groups of up to seven with no complaints.
It is important to note that Sawyer and many others make lighter filters...but the .02 filter is the only one that filters out viruses as well as bacteria. Viruses are not that big of a concern here in the US...but the million gallon claim of the fliter (I get the impression that this system is intended for "preppers") makes it perfect for large groups spending extended time near a water source (the end of the world?)...which is more often than not the case when kayaking and canoeing...so for me the added protection against viruses is just a bonus!