Sawyer Squeeze Ultralight Water Filter

Joined
Feb 1, 2013
Messages
485
Location
Ontario
Happy Canada Day to all my fellow Canadians! Got to take the canoe out into the lake in overcast conditions to celebrate the nation's birthday on the water...
CanadaDayPaddle1.jpg



Also took the time to test out a new bit of gear - an ultralight water filtration system called the Sawyer Squeeze. It's been reviewed by backpackers before but haven't seen it done for the paddling crowd yet. Here is the bundle in the hull...It consists of a plastic water bag and a 0.1 micron hollow fiber filter that screws onto the threaded bag opening. Here is the bundle in the hull with the two components of the system side by side. The bag has handy instructions printed right onto it in case you forget the order of things....
CanadaDayPaddle5.jpg



Basically you dip the bag into a water source, in this case the deepest sections of my cottage lake, and wait to fill up. The collapsible design of the bag with its narrow threaded opening means the bag won't fill completely, but I helped it along by blowing the bag full of air before submerging. Here's a shot leaning over the gunnels to fill up...
CanadaDayPaddle6.jpg



The filter screws onto the threaded opening and with a gentle squeeze water starts flowing through the filter system...
CanadaDayPaddle7.jpg



Pop open the flow valve on the top and you're good to go for a quick drink...
CanadaDayPaddle8.jpg



I ended up using the supplied 16oz bag and there is no way that this fills up to capacity when trying to submerge in a body of water. The kit I got contains a medium (32oz - 1L) and large (64oz - 2L) size bag but I don't fully trust their capacities either. Still, the threaded section is pretty standard so an empty plastic bottle would also work. I found it very convenient to keep in the boat so you can quickly pause to stay hydrated. I can see the advantages of this system instead of having to take out a water filter and pump on route. The manufacturer has openly said the bags are not very tough, so extreme squeezing cause the seams to burst, but so far most of the reviews I've read on the product have been positive. I like the small size and the lack of pumping. My quick experience here has confirmed this will be a key bit of gear in my kit along with a secondary water purification methods in case of failure. But I'll have to report at the end of tripping season to see how it turned out in the field.
 
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
465
Location
Dodgeville, Wi
Murat,

Happy Canada Day! Nice product, interesting for sure. How long is the filter supposed to last? I really like your canoe, who makes it?

Have a great day - Happy Canada Day!

Bob.
 
Joined
Feb 1, 2013
Messages
485
Location
Ontario
Thanks Bob. Manufacturer claims up to 1000 gallons before you need to clean, but I anticipate that is with clear, non sedimented water in the first place. Forgot to add that the kit has a backwash syringe (basically a medical syringe) that you fill with clean water and squirt through backwards to clean the filter. Overall the whole system seemed reasonably priced. I got it on the canadian amazon site for around $50 with free shipping. My last Katadyn filter replacement for their gravity bag Basecamp system was the same price and could not be cleaned before clogging up within just a few uses.


The canoe is a 14 footer from Pam Wedd of Bearwood Canoes in Parry Sound, Ontario. I built it '08 as part of a course build. It was a wonderful experience - especially for someone who want's a self built canoe but don't have a dedicated shop space or have the desire to build a dedicated form. Have some pics of the process here if you're interested.
 
Joined
Jul 31, 2011
Messages
465
Location
Dodgeville, Wi
Murat,

I had the Katadyn as well, so frustrating and expensive! I now use a 4 liter MSR gravity bag that is very fast and so far fool proof, I have used it for 43 days in the bush so far and not one hiccup.

I enjoyed the pictures of your canoe build, one day I want to build my own canoe as well ... Pam's boats are built about as close to perfect as one can get.

Bob.
 
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