Spring in Grand Junction is a great time for hiking and early season backpacking trips.  As we headed out for a hike today on the Kannah Creek trail, Adelle and I took along the Sawyer Squeeze Water Filtration System to test in a creek along the way.  The system won the Editors’ Choice award in 2012 by Backpacker Magazine and guarantees the filter will last for 1 million gallons of filtered water with no pumping, chemicals, waiting or worries.

My boyfriend and I have long been fans of Sawyer products, so I was excited to have the chance to review a new filtration system.  This one weighs just 3 oz and is simple to use.

The system comes with 3 water pouches: 1/2 L, 1L and 2L.  It also includes the filter and a syringe (not pictured) for backwashing the filter.  Directions can be confusing at first if you aren’t sure what the manufacturer means by “cap.”  When they tell you to unscrew that, or remove it, they’re referring to the gray end of the filter.  This gray cap is used for the in-line filtration system.

After reading the instructions (before leaving the house) I decided to include the following in my pack:

a bandana, “dirty water” bottle (which was labeled as such) and a “clean water” bottle.

While Autumn and Norbert the beagle enjoyed their own tasty water, I got to work filtering water from a tributary of Kannah Creek.

First I filled our “dirty water” bottle with water from the creek.

Next I poured the water into the Sawyer 1L water pouch.  I left the cap for the pouch sitting on a nearby log, away from dirt and debris.

Next I screwed the filter onto the pouch.

Then I began to squeeze the water into my “clean water” bottle.  It was a little difficult at first because the filter needs to get saturated with water before it works well.  Also, I discovered that holding the bottle in one hand and pouch in the other was difficult so…

I sat down and held the bottle between my feet.  This worked well and the bottle was filled with clean filtered water in less than a minute.  After the filter is saturated you don’t even have to squeeze the pouch; the water will just flow through the opened cap.

Tasty!   Of course the filter can be used 2 other ways right out of the box.  1.  You can skip the last step of squeezing the water into a bottle and just use the pouch with the filter attached as your drinking vessel.  2.  You can fill a bottle (like an empty water or soda bottle) and screw the filter onto that.

You can also purchase the in-line adapter:

As mentioned earlier, the in-line adapter is the gray portion on the filter shown on the right.  On the left is an older model in-line adapter that I have been using on backpacking trips for several years.  The in-line adapter is great for several reasons.  It makes it easy to carry just 1L of water at a time if you’re in an area where water is easy to find.  When we backpack in the mountains we stop at creeks and simply fill a “dirty water” nalgene bottle, pour the water into our water pouch, screw the hydration hose back onto the pouch and are on our way.  As we sip water it is filtered through the in-line Sawyer filter.

By snipping your hydration hose you can attach an in-line filter easily.  Simply unscrew the white “pull-cap”  and insert the hose over the filter opening.  Make sure to follow the directional arrow when assembling your in-line filter.  The other end of this piece of hose will be your water pouch or camelback.  We discovered that the hose on the newer models is fairly secure, will not slip off and does not require clamps like the earlier models.

The other snipped piece of hose will attach to this end of the filter.  It has a small barb to keep the hose from pulling off.  We both agreed this new in-line system is easier to attach than the older model we currently have.

Sawyer’s in-line filter adapter makes this whole set up even easier.  By having a variety of sizes of water pouches available you can use the in-line adapter for day trips or longer backpacking trips.  Thanks to Sawyer for letting us review this product!


Disclosure of Material Connection: I received the Sawyer Squeeze Water Filtration System for free from Sawyer as coordinated by Deep Creek Public Relation in consideration for review publication.

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