User Review: Sawyer Squeeze Filter
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $59.95
The water was clean, clear and tasted good. The bag definitely needs to be wiped off after filling and before squeezing...otherwise you will get unfiltered water in your bottle/bladder/etc.
Speed & Efficiency:
The water filter works pretty fast. It's best not to over squeeze as the bags don't seem very robust at all...but even squeezing slowly worked ok. However, filling up the bags is a different story. If you only have a pool of water or if the water is moving very slowly then good luck...it's going to be very difficult and time consuming to fill up. If you have fast moving water then it's a little bit easier but still no walk in the park. If you have falling water it's easiest to fill (but difficult to hold on to depending on how much force the water has). If you only will be filtering on standing water (lakes, ponds, pools, etc) then this filter is NOT FOR YOU.
The smallest bag is useless. The largest bag is cumbersome to pack but will shorten your fill times. None of the bags seem all that robust. Plan on purchasing replacements. If I were filtering water for a group I would definitely bring multiple bags (the largest one).
Ease of Use:
The learning curve for this filter was pretty short...it was pretty easy to figure out how to get the most out of it. Filtering into a Camelbak bladder was not easy. I never could get the entire 3L bladder completely full since you need 2 hands to squeeze and 2 hands to hold the bladder open. Maybe this is the case with most filters but if you use a bladder it will be easier to first filter the water into a bottle, then pour into the bladder.
I guess the main "feature" is the squeezability. Can't say that it lived up to expectation because I had none before using. I guess I hoped the bags would be sturdier and the whole operation to be a little more packable...but that's just me.
Construction & Durability:
It seems well built enough for a piece of plastic. But, Sawyer really dropped the ball in one area. After you filter water the filter WILL hold some water (seems untreated as well) that WILL leak. Sawyer could have easily included a screw in plug to remedy this situation but they didn't. SO, don't pack the filter near something you don't want to get wet. Wrap it up in a towel or hang it from your pack to drip dry.
I only used it a few times on day hikes. I imagine most of the issues I've noted will still be issues...only magnified...on longer hikes.