View Full Version : Out with the old, in with the new(Sawyer)

04-16-2019, 10:46
Sawyer Squeeze, Micro and Mini.
The Mini is the lightest, but both slower and more prone to clogging. It was the cause of much untoward language when I used it for a week in the CO Rockies several years ago, as it quickly developed a need for constant backflushing(like at least once per use), and hasn't been used much since.

My old setup.
The tube the Squeeze is shown in also serves as a dipper. Very handy on the rare occasion I gather water from a trickle, more compact than a cut down water bottle, and easier to use than a ZipLoc/cut down Platy/whatever(though heavier than all of those). Except for summer in the South, it never gets used, so I'm comfortable ditching it the rest of the time.
It will stay with the Squeeze and another Evernew bag in my dayhiking pack, as I have some long ones planned.


Micro w/stuff sack and 1.5L Evernew:
That's "wet weight" after using the filter, while the Squeeze had not been used in over a week and may have dried out, so switching things around dropped ~3.5oz minimum.
I like the Squeeze just fine, but wanted an extra filter that was not the Mini. The Micro being less bulky and lighter are both good in my book. The "cleaning coupling" works great with Smartwater bottles and Platypus bags, and is also lighter than the water tornado that I've always used with the Squeeze filters.
As long as the Micro does well at maintaining its flow rate, it's all good.

No idea what's up with the attachments. It made me reload the pics after timing out...

04-16-2019, 11:41
I tried out my new Micro over spring break. It worked great. Definitely like the coupler over the syringe for back flushing in the field.

I've used the Mini and the Squeeze in the past. Based on my experience, I wonder if your problem with the Mini had to do with mineral deposits...

I've used a Mini since it was first released. Typical use was several 2 night trips in GSMNP and only backflush the filter once I was home. Then, just to ensure freezing temperatures hadn't damaged the device, I simply purchased a new one at the start of each season.

The only time I had an issue with the Mini was using it on an extended JMT trip. I took along the syringe and back flushed every other day. It performed fine over the entire trip as a gravity filter, but I noticed as my trip progressed, the flow rate got slower. I started back flushing every day, but the back flushing didn't seem to speed things back up.

After that trip, I decided to try the Squeeze for my weekend trips, just to see if I could get the filtering process completed faster. I purchased it late in the year, used it for two trips, then stored it for the winter. When I used it for my first trip the next year, I discovered the Squeeze was almost completely clogged. I had to use it as a gravity filter hanging off my pack while I hiked because it would take well over an hour to filter 2L of water.

In retrospect, here's a few observations I made:
1. GSMNP is a very humid environment.
2. The JMT is a very dry environment.
3. My home town has very hard water.

So what I think was happening was that I never had issues using the Mini in GSMNP (even on 4 night trips) because the high humidity prevented most of the water left in the filter from evaporating. But the dry conditions on the JMT allowed a significant portion of the water left in the filter to evaporate between uses, leaving mineral deposits in the filter. And finally, the Squeeze left in storage in the house during the off season likely allowed all the water to evaporate and left behind a LOT of mineral deposits.

Because of this, I now back flush my filter with distilled water (and a little vinegar) when I get home. The next time I take an extended hike somewhere away from the humid GSMNP, I'll plan to take along a ziploc bag to store the filter in between uses to prevent the water that remains in the filter from evaporating to see if that prevents mineral deposits.

04-16-2019, 15:43
That's an interesting theory. My Mini was always stored and carried in a ZipLoc snack bag, so I don't know how it would have fared without it.
The Squeeze was ~2.5x as fast when I tested them, which still wasn't bad, as I get very fast times with it(them-I've frozen and discarded one of each, I think).
I do know the Mini's clogging became an issue in the CO Rockies, and was not a problem with a Squeeze on a later trip to the same area.
I've never had a Squeeze clog up much. At least not to where backflushing didn't straighten it right out. Got a video somewhere, from 2015, using a Squeeze on the last day of a trip to the Sierras where it had just seen daily use for 2 weeks, filling a 700mL Smartwater bottle in about 20 seconds.
I'd been reading a bunch of stuff about it on BPL, and someone had asked how many *minutes* it took to filter a liter!
All the usual desk jockey expertise after saying I'd matched the times by some guy on youtube...:rolleyes:

04-16-2019, 16:17
My Squeeze takes multiple minutes per liter. Backflushed numerous times.

04-16-2019, 16:41
I just put 32oz/.95L through my new Micro in 34 seconds. Squeeze took 45 seconds after backflushing, right at a minute before. May need to backflush it again...

Found my video, too.


04-16-2019, 17:26
I wish I could recall off hand, but I think when I once tested a new Mini with my gravity system (~3' hose), it took 4 minutes for a new Mini to filter 2L of water.

04-16-2019, 17:35
Squeeze harder;)
That Sawyer bag is hard to get a grip on. 100% guarantee I can easily smoke the times I just did with an Evernew bag.

04-16-2019, 17:53
My system is a 2L Evernew Water Carry for dirty water, and a 2L Platypus hoser for clean water.
I replaced the stiff tubing that comes with the hoser with one of the soft silicon hoses that came with my old Sweetwater filter. The soft hose isn't difficult to squeeze onto the oversize output nipple of the Mini or the Micro.
I used a hole punch to poke a hole thru the margins of the Evernew and tied a string thru it to hang it by.
I then just fill the Evernew with dirty water, connect it all up, and hang the Evernew such that the Platypus can rest on the ground or other stable surface.
No squeezing... instead, I just let the system do the filtering while I go about other tasks.

04-16-2019, 18:50
I used a hole punch to poke a hole thru the margins of the Evernew and tied a string thru it to hang it by.
I then just fill the Evernew with dirty water, connect it all up, and hang the Evernew such that the Platypus can rest on the ground or other stable surface.
No squeezing... instead, I just let the system do the filtering while I go about other tasks.
I've thought about doing that exact thing, but never bother, since filtering goes so quickly. A friend of mine uses her Squeeze like that, too.

I've seen people ask about the "flow rate" before. Well, they don't have one. The harder you squeeze, the faster the flow. If you hang it up, or have a very weak grip, sure it's gonna be slower. That's hardly the filter's fault. They're named "Squeeze" for a reason.

Under 30 seconds per liter with either Squeeze(backflushed it some more) or Micro when I use the Evernew bags that are easier to hold, btw. My Mini is headed for the trash, though. Unusable after sitting clogged since 2014.