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  1. #1
    Senior Member joefbtg28's Avatar
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    Sawyer Squeeze Review and DIY Gravity system

    Hey All!
    As I am getting gear ready for backpacking season, I figured I would share my experiences with the sawyer squeeze system and how it has evolved for me over the last several years. IMO, the Sawyer Squeeze is THE BEST filter on the market right now, but it does have some considerations.

    Sawyer Squeeze vs mini:
    I have used both backpacking. In my experience the full size Squeeze is worth the 1.5oz penalty over the mini. The flow rate is much greater (almost twice as fast) in my experience. I only use the mini for day hikes now, in a small squeeze setup for quick drinks.

    Cold weather considerations:
    Shake out your filter after the last use of the day. If you have the slightest idea that the weather will dip below freezing overnight, put the filter into your sleeping bag with you. There is no indication that your filter has been compromised if it has ever been frozen. For this reason I replace mine every 3 seasons or so to be on the safe side. I would not recommend this filter for winter camping scenarios, but if you are like me, you will be melting snow in the winter anyways.

    Back flush syringe:
    You definitely want to back flush your filter after every trip. If you are heading on a trip with any amount of sediment in the water, bring it. In the Rockies, with crystal clear water, I only bring it on trips longer than 4 days or so.

    Sawyer Bags:
    You can use the included sawyer bags as a clean water bag if you want, but be warned. They do not last long and they can fail in the field. I only use them as a backup/emergency bag in my kit, which can be used for dirty or clean as needed. I generally put a bit of gorilla tape around the top of the bag, for extra security. They will fail where the bag meets the spout.

    Dirty Bags:
    I have tried many different dirty bags. From MSR Dromedary, Platypus Hoser, to my current Nalgene Wide mouth Cantene. My friend uses a Platypus Big Zip Reservoir. Try to find a reservoir with the spout in the middle of the bottom of the bag, as this is best for flow. If the spout is on the corner or front of the reservoir, this will impede the flow rate, and water pressure on the filter. Do not use a reservoir with one small opening. It takes far too long to fill, especially with your hand in a freezing river. This means you have two options; something with a wide mouth like the Nalgene Cantene, or something with a zip top like the Platypus Big zip. Keep in mind that if you use the Nalgene Cantene, you will need an adapter and gasket to fit it to the filter. The 63mm nalgene adapter can be purchased from jetflow here: https://jetflow.com/new-page-1/

    Filter Positioning:
    The first thing to keep in mind is where to position the filter in the system. In my experience putting a length of hydration tubing [about 4 feet] in between the dirty bag and the filter greatly improves the flow rate of the system. I am guessing this allows for more water pressure to be put on the filter itself. In order to put the hydration hose into the dirty side of the filter, you will need the grey adapter from this kit, "Sawyer Products SP110 Inline Hydration Pack Adapters."

    [Easy, but not closed] Backpacking Gravity Setup:
    In my opinion, buying the full size squeeze with one bag, and creating your own system is the way to go. In this setup your dirty bag will be a Platypus Big zip. Keep as much of the hydration hose attached as you would like. I would keep it 3ft or longer for best flow. Remove the mouth piece, and attache the grey adapter from this kit, "Sawyer Products SP110 Inline Hydration Pack Adapters," and attach to the dirty end of the filter. On the clean side of the filter, simply attach the push top included with the filter. Hang the Big zip from a tree or the top of your pack, with the pre-attached cord. Position the filter over your water bottle of choice and open the push top to start filtering. Since this is an open system, take care that there are no leaks in the dirty water section that could drip into your clean bottle. This system has the best flow due to the open nature of the clean end and therefore is my current recommendation.

    Adjusting the above system for use with hydration bladders:
    If you like to use a hydration bladder in your pack, you can make the system closed. For use with a hydration bladder, do all of the steps in the above open setup. Instead of using the push top, connect the clean end to "Sawyer Products Fast Fill Adapters for Hydration Packs," and the other end to your hydration packs hose wherever convenient. You want to make sure there is not a lot of air in your clean bladder when filling. This will help the flow. If you do not want to carry two lengths of hydration hose, you can find a dirty bag that connects directly to the filter. Like the Nalgene Cantene with jetflow adapter. Just keep in mind that having the hydration tubing after the filter is not equivalent to having it before the filter, in terms of flow rate.

    Adjusting the above system for use with Smart water bottles:
    As we know, smart water bottles are great. They are light and cheap. Don't forget to add your 2oz marks on the bottle before your trip! For use with a smart water bottles, do all of the steps in the above open setup. Instead of using the push top, connect the clean end to a tornado tube: https://www.amazon.com/Vortex-Bottle...s=tornado+tube. Then attach the smart water bottle to the other end of this. It is important to not have the smart water bottle fully tightened to the tornado tube, as some airflow out of the clean bottle is needed as the air is replaced with water. Also, squeeze the smart water bottle once attached to remove some air. This will improve flow.

    Hope these tips help!

  2. #2

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  3. #3
    johnspenn's Avatar
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    Great article, very comprehensive.

    I have a Squeeze and like it better than the Mini, but my last few trips I've been using the Katadyne BeFree and it blows them both away as far as flow rate and ease of use. Have you tried one, and if so what are your thoughts?

    There's a continuing discussion in the water treatment area of our Donating Members' section, and mostly the jury seems to be out. Like I said mine has only seen a few trips so far, but so far it's my favorite by far.

  4. #4
    OneClick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnspenn View Post
    There's a continuing discussion in the water treatment area of our Donating Members' section
    Careful, esmith may a have a problem with you referencing existing threads!

  5. #5
    johnspenn's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by OneClick View Post
    Careful, esmith may a have a problem with you referencing existing threads!
    Should I reference non-existing ones? Who's esmith? Afraid I'm out of the loop lol.

  6. #6
    OneClick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by johnspenn View Post
    Should I reference non-existing ones? Who's esmith? Afraid I'm out of the loop lol.
    That's a good thing...you want to stay out!

    I agree with using the standard vs the mini. Some of the mini knockoffs are rated at 600mL/minute, so that is about half the rate like you said.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
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    Thank You
    The Sawyer is a new add on for this season, and your info really helps.

  8. #8
    oldpappy's Avatar
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    Timely info for me too, thank you.
    Enjoying the simple things in life -
    Own less, live more.

  9. #9
    Senior Member LuvmyBonnet's Avatar
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    Nice write up Joe. I enjoyed reading it. I'm a fan of Sawyer filters. I have the mini, 2l gravity and just won a Sawyer Select S2 filter at HangCon. I believe it is just a squeeze with a special .1 micron membrane in the bottle. I haven't had a chance to use it yet. Hopefully up in Algonquin when the ice melts.
    Hanging in the woods, paddlin and catching trout- My kind of living...

  10. #10
    Senior Member Carrico's Avatar
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    Love my Sawyer,never had a problem with slow rates or anything like that. They make it easy and very cost-effective to put together a dyi gravity water system.20180212_110230.jpg
    By all means, let's argue about whether or not a hammock will hurt a tree. All the while ignoring the fact that there is an island of garbage the size of Texas floating in the Pacific ocean. Or how about the fact that over 75% of the world's nuclear reactors are leaking...

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