Sawyer Squeeze water filter

Squeeze type filters have revolutionised water purification for me. Instead of adding chemicals or using a heavy pump, filling a bottle and squeezing the water out is much more convenient. The Travel Tap was the first device I used, which was great, but squeezing the bottle was hard work. Then came the Super Delios, which was lighter, more elegant and a lot easier to use. My Delios filter is still usable, but the flow rate has diminished noticeably recently. On The Challenge, I was conserving the filter by only using it for drinking water. For cooking water and tea, I used untreated water on the basis, boiling should destroy any nasties. Was this the reason I got a stomach bug? Who knows?

Sawyer Squeeze water filter

The Super Delios filter is now unavailable due to supply issues related to the tsunami. Faced with the likelihood that my filter was nearing the end of its life, I decided to get a Sawyer Squeeze water filter from Outdoor Warehouse. All the technical details are on the Sawyer website. The technology and specifications of the Sawyer and Delios filters are essentially the same. The only real difference is the ability to backwash the Sawyer filter with a syringe to remove any sediment build up.

Syringe and drinking cap

The Sawyer filter is larger than the Delios and is about double the weight at just over 100g. It is supplied with three pouches (2L, 1L and 0.5L). The thread on the filter is compatible with Source and Platypus bladders. Personally I prefer to use my Source bladders. While the Delios is supposed to be compatible, I’ve found a tendency to leak when attached to a Source bladder. The Sawyer, on the other hand showed no signs of leaking, which I put down the rubber O ring connector, which the Delios lacks.

Rubber O ring for secure connection to a bladder

I found the big difference in use to be the flow rate. With the Sawyer, the water simply gushes out with little or no effort. The flow rate of the Delios is noticeably slower. It was also useful to be able to use the Sawyer directly on the bladder, which helped the speed of water flow. The drink style push/pull cap with snap-on guard was superior to the Delios as well for drinking direct. Arguably, the Sawyer filter is a bit more robust as it doesn’t have the tethered flip cap of the Delios (mine is now secured with a piece of duct tape).

The Delios is lighter and less bulky, but I think the Sawyer is probably a better product as the flow rate is superior and it mates with 3rd party bladders better. Supposedly, the Sawyer will purify 1 million gallons, so it should last a lifetime! The fact that it can be backwashed probably extends its life considerably. At £59.95, it’s not cheap, but essentially, it’s virtually a one-off investment. For peace of mind, I’d rather purify all the water I use and the Sawyer makes purification simple and quick. Of the products I’ve used, I’d say it’s the best.

Disclaimer: this product was purchased with my own funds.

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10 thoughts on “Sawyer Squeeze water filter”

  1. Hi. I also enjoy the ease if the Swayer, also. I think i most like is the ability to carry more water in the dirty bag, so in the mornings no need to go back and get water. In case you lose your cap, I replaced the provided push/pull cap with a Smart Water wayer bottle cap that has the cover on a hinge. Section Hiker’s blog also gives example of using a pre-filter. Using the pre-filter slows flow, but traps much.

    Thanks for blogging!

  2. Looks good – the weight increase on the Delios is negligible in the overall scheme of things when backpacking.
    I haven’t take a filter on the TGO Challenge for fifteen year now and have never suffered any ill effects.
    I think this would be pretty handy for walks in Europe and England, where stream quality is less predictable.

    1. It’s so easy to filter water at zero marginal cost so it seems silly not to, even if the chances of a problem are negligible. I’m not saying everyone should do the same, it’s just how I see it.

  3. Robin, thanks for the write up. I have the Travel Tap which is good but as you say hard work using it. I certainly will look at this as when I went to buy the Delios 18 months ago, it was unavailable and probably won’t be for some time to come.

  4. If i was in need of one right now. Thats the one i would go for. Expensive but for life.
    I think i am correct in saying the Delios can be back flushed though.

  5. Thanks for the review.

    I bought a Traveltap, but it seemed to clog very quickly when used here in the Midlands last January, even with two nylon pop-socks as pre-filters. It was unpleasant squeezing ice-cold water for long periods, so I probably pressed too hard and forced dirty water out past the lid seal and then got sick. I never got sick using sterilising tablets for thirty years. So I too may try the Sawyer filter next.

    1. The Sawyer requires minimal effort and has a rapid flow rate, so you shouldn’t have the same problems. It won’t filter viruses though.

  6. Interesting… my Travel Tap was damaged on my last trip and I grew a little weary re its flow rate. I’ll check this out. Thanks.

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