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.