The Sawyer Squeeze Filter has revolutionized how we think about filtering water in the backcountry. Coming in at a 3 ounce field weight, this filter will disappear into your pack without adding bulk or weight. Anyone who has spent time in the backcountry has most likely labored in a creek pumping for multiple minutes only to have a liter of clean, drinkable water. This filter will typically fill up a liter of water in about 20 to 30 seconds by squeezing the water through the hollow fiber filter. The filter comes with three (64oz, 32 oz, 16 oz) lightweight, packable, reusable pouches to collect and transport water.
In the backcountry you have a few ways of using this filter. First, you can attach the filter directly to the bag and drink from the pop-up cap. Another option is to squeeze the pouch and fill another container like a Nalgene or Camelbak bottle. The third option allows you to screw the filter directly to most plastic water bottles, even a 2 liter bottle. This offers some versatility not only in the backcountry but when traveling abroad where you may not trust the water source. You can also throw the squeeze filter in-line with your hydration pack. This allows the convenience of filtering while on the move.
What has set this filter apart from others is the exceptional filter technology at hand. This filter, like many others, removes bacteria and protozoa related to water bourne illnesses. The filter meets and exceeds all EPA recommendations for removal rates, actually posting the highest filtration rates available on the market. The Hollow Fiber Membrane came from technology used in the medical field for kidney dialysis This filter touts a 0.1 micron that uses a cluster of micro-fibrous tubes to filter water effectively. This filter does remove 99.99999% of all bacteria and 99.9999% of protozoa (Giardia and Cryptosporidium) but does not purify out viruses. The filters effectiveness and ease of use is a huge benefit, but the real catch is the longevity of the filter.
Sawyer is so confident in the technology at hand they give this filter a 1 Million Gallon Guarantee. Verbatim it reads:
We are confident in our million gallon claim because you can continually clean the filter by backwashing it with clean water at high pressures, restoring it to its original capacity. That is why we can GUARANTEE THE FILTER FOR LIFE as long as you follow the simple care and use instructions. Backwashing is not required often unless you are filtering very turbid water. Even so, the simple process only takes a few seconds. If you are accustomed to a ceramic filter, the cleaning ratio is approximately 20:1. In other words, by the time you first need to clean your hollow fiber filter, you would have needed to clean a ceramic filter twenty times. NO REPLACEMENT FILTERS OR CARTRIDGES ARE NECESSARY. We trust you will thoroughly enjoy the ease and extra protection this proven next generation technology offers you.
This claim is really why the filter has caught the attention of so many backcountry users, gaining high praise from backpackers and publications. Sawyer was awarded the 2012 Editors' Choice Award from Backpacker Magazine, and is frequently the go to filter recommended by Bass Pro sales associates.
I found the Sawyer Squeeze Filter to be much easier to use than other ceramic, paper, or chemical based filters and purifiers. I enjoyed not having to pump; squeezing is easy enough that my 4 year old daughter was able to take part in the filtering process. With the remarkable longevity of the filter, convenience, and versatility, this is a must for anyone who enjoys the backcountry or even general emergency preparedness. The filter also is extremely affordable compared to its competitors (MSRP 59.99). For more information check out Sawyer's FAQ and this Video from Sawyer. Available On-line and In-Store.