View Full Version : filling a Sawyer Squeeze filter

04-25-2016, 09:29
OK, so I'm slow on the uptake. I picked up a Sawyer Squeeze at REI yesterday. I like it, especially the fact that it's half the weight of my Katadyn Hiker Pro.

My one concern: filling the squeeze bag with water to be treated. With a pump filter, that is almost never a problem. I can draw water from an inch-deep puddle, through the filter, straight into my hydration pack. Couldn't be simpler.

So -- tricks or hints for filling the squeeze bag when the water source is shallow?

04-25-2016, 09:31
This may be helpful.

04-25-2016, 09:46
Nice, I like it. Simple and effective.

04-25-2016, 09:53
What 95% of us use is the bottom of a plastic cup or bottle.

1.Cut it off so that it is pretty small and weighs almost nothing.
2. Scoop water or let it drip into cup bottom
3. Pour into bag

Even if you use others tricks it is worth carrying something you can do this with. That is the only downside to bags instead of bottles IMO, that you can't submerge it to fill it up.


04-25-2016, 10:32
I considered that at last resort I could scoop water with my plastic camp cup but a) it would be slow and tedious and b) it would involve a change in habits, since normally the camp cup only comes out... at camp.

04-25-2016, 10:33
^^^ ++1. I have a Smart Water bottle, cut the bottom off. That is my "scoop". It is also my storage. My bag, Sawyer Mini, a few adapters I carry, all go inside that cut bottle. I also have a cut little 1 liter Playty bag, rolls up and is good for when there is just a seep (the cut Smart bottles, might not work that well in a seep)

04-25-2016, 11:03
I picked up this tip from someone on here several months back; use a zip-lock bag as your "scoop".

04-25-2016, 11:26
+1 on the ziplock bag.

I have always used it to fill my bags. Takes up no room and weighs nothing.

04-25-2016, 12:45
I've taken a water bottle and cut it in half, one part is the scoop and the other the funnel. I took two bottle caps, taped them together and drilled the center out. Put a piece of screen (to filter out the big floaters) between them and glued them together. The funnel gets screwed onto one end and the Sawyer bag to the other end. The funnel increases the opening size. If there is enough flow velocity the bag will fill, in standing water use the scoop. I generally use my (usually filthy) neckerchief as a prefilter to catch the fines.

My AquaMira bottles fit in the scoop and the funnel will fit over them.

Started with a soda bottle and saved fractions of an ounce by changing to the thin skin water bottle.

Harrison Bergeron
04-25-2016, 12:51
The great thing about the Squeeze is that makes it so easy to justify the luxury of carrying a 1.5 oz bucket. Make your own silnylon bucket and save another .8 oz. Add another half ounce for the TOP of a Smartwater bottle to use as a funnel/scoop and a couple of bottle push-tops and you're golden!

Here's my entire water filtration kit:

Sawyer Squeeze filter: 3.2 oz
Sawyer 32oz bladder: 1
Bottle push-tops for Sawyer and funnel: 0.2
Tornado Tube adapter (for backflushing): 0.6
Funnel -- top of 1L Smart Water water bottle: 0.6
DIY silnylon 6L water bucket and ziplock: 0.8
DIY silnylon stuffsack for water gear: 0.3

Total: 6.7 oz

Katydin Hiker Pro: 12.9 oz

04-25-2016, 13:53
OK, I don't mean to be dense, what exactly is a "Smart water bottle?" Maybe a photo would help. Thanks for the comments.

04-25-2016, 13:55
It's a bottle of water that says Smart on it. It's made from a heavier plastic than other water bottles


04-25-2016, 14:45
Wow, there is a lot of thought going into how to fill a collapsible bag with water.

98% of the time, I just fill the Sawyer bag directly either from standing water or from running water. I find that if I blow into the bag and inflate it, I can slowly dip it into standing water and fill it up just fine. Then, on the really rare occasion when I have a tiny trickle or seep that requires more creativity, I either use my drinking cup, or my small pot, or a Ziploc bag to scoop up the water. I've never actually thought much about it before.

One could also slurp up the water and spit it into the bag if need be. The risk of dangerous contamination from slurping and spitting would be extremely small so long as you didn't swallow. :eek:

04-25-2016, 14:57
I use a tornado tube to connect a funnel bottle to my dirty bottle. I just cut the bottom off the funnel, small piece of cloth between the two as a prefilter.


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04-25-2016, 15:00
Tornado tube, Smartwater bottle. It's been a learning experience. ;)

04-25-2016, 15:08
Wow, there is a lot of thought going into how to fill a collapsible bag with water.

I never had to think much about it because having a pump filter made it a non-issue. It seems the Sawyer will take some getting used to, and at least initially will make certain water stops take longer. But saving six ounces is probably worth the extra bother.

04-25-2016, 15:18
As said multiple times above, you should carry a small scoop of some kind. Often I find a nearly dry spring where there's just an inch or so of water. In this case, the trick is not to disturb the bottom, otherwise you kick up dirt and the entire water supply becomes silty/dirty. More often than not I need to skim the water with my scoop.

04-25-2016, 15:41
I never had to think much about it because having a pump filter made it a non-issue. It seems the Sawyer will take some getting used to, and at least initially will make certain water stops take longer. But saving six ounces is probably worth the extra bother.

It is not just saving 6 ozs. If one has to filter really bad water the Sawyer far outperforms the pump filters. For example on the AZT last fall Skipper and I sat next to each other at a really rank cow pond (called Tanks out here) that we had no choice but to get water from where there were cows literally standing in the water across from us and pooping and peeing in it and they had also stirred the extremely fine dirt up really well so what we were filtering was the consistency of runny mud. Skipper was using a Sawyer and I was using an MSR pump. It took me 90 mins to filter 3 liters and it took him 45 mins.

Needless to say I dumped the MSR and bought a Sawyer at the first opportunity.

On the AT with its generous and frequent water sources the above might not be a big advantage (other than you can rig the Sawyer to gravity filter overnight as many do) but in the west with the much sketchier water sources clogged filters are much more of an issue.

04-25-2016, 16:43
. . . in the west with the much sketchier water sources . . .
I assume you mean the desert west? Much of the west has more and safer water sources than the AT depending on where you are.

. . . It seems the Sawyer . . . at least initially will make certain water stops take longer. . .
I find the Sawyer about the same speed as a pump because there is less fiddling with hoses and such, the Sawyer tends to have better flow rate, and I'm not sure that fiddling with a cup, in the rare cases where you need to use one, is all that much more time consuming than trying to keep the pump uptake hose in the water and still out of the gunk.

04-25-2016, 17:30
How I kept my pump pickup out of the silt was to put it on top of a flat rock and put another rock on top of it so it doesn't jump around. This was with the Katadyn mini. 90% of the time it was slower than my hiking partner's Squeeze.
The Katadyn Mini has a cleanable filter, but it needs cleaning often in mildly silt water.
Keeping my coffee cup readily accessible now that I have a Squeeze isn't much of an inconvenience, for the shallow sources that require scooping.

04-25-2016, 18:49
I guess there's no perfect filtration system. I don't know of any kind of filter that doesn't eventually clog. Almost by definition.

My ancient MSR had a porous ceramic matrix that could be exposed and cleaned with a scrunge. But it was heavy and had other issues.

My Kadadyn Hiker Pro clogged when I pumped from a muddy puddle at Eagles Nest shelter in PA. It was very slow to pump after that. It cost me a town stop (and $$) to pick up a new filter element. I learned after that to carefully pre-filter any water that was the least bit silty or muddy.

You shoulda seen the "First Need" filter I carried way back when. That was a piece of work.

04-25-2016, 19:21
You shoulda seen the "First Need" filter I carried way back when. That was a piece of work.

I loved my First Need. Still have it actually. Would still be using it if it wasn't so heavy. What I especially liked about it was that it removed off-tastes.

04-26-2016, 10:08
i use a small ziploc bag and a small 25 cent funnel. i fill the bag with the water, whether its moving or still, it works well. then pour from bag through the tiny funnel into the sawyer bag. the filter catches the fine particulates. and i make sure to flush it before and after each trip. i carry aquamira drops as a backup if the filter clogs on a trip.