Sawyer 2L Water Filtration System
Idea; Great. Implememtation; Not so much.
I do a multi-day backpacking trip at least once a month with hikes in between, in varying regions, so having clean drinking water is a priority. I bought the Sawyer 2L bag-to-bag system with really high hopes. The overall pack weight was also very attractive. I also really liked the fact that the system could be backflushed in the field but after multiple trips the problems with the system became very apparent.
The first major issue, as highlighted by other reviewers, is that the quick disconnect will remove themselves easily from the rubber grommets at the bottom of the bags. I was putting my clean water bag into my hydration pouch on my Gregory backpack, with the hose installed, and the quick disconnect fell out and started filling my backpack with my clean water. Other reviewers have covered their solutions but my solution is far more simple. Camelbak uses the same quick disconnect fitting in its Anidote series and the quick disconnect fitting is integral to the bladder. My suggestion is that if you are using the clean water bag as a hydration bladder for hiking a backpacking, purchase a 2L Camelbak Anidote Reservoir as a replacement to your Sawyer 2L clean water bag (this was my solution).
The second major issue is the difficulty in filling the dirty water bag. Sawyer does recommemend that you fill the bag from a running water source (river, stream, etc.), but as all of us know, water is the backcountry comes in all forms and it is sometimes very hard to find running water. Even in a flowing stream the dirty water bag is hard to fill because the insides of the bag just stick together. Additionally, when filling from a lake you have to do a sweeping motion which can stir sediment that collects in the bottom of you bag and in your filter. The Platypus version of this product completely opens one entire end facilitating and easy fill. Since I do not want to go and buy another product because I am now invested in this one, my solution is to use my cooking pot to fill the bag instead of putting the bag in the water. I have also had to use a t-shirt twice to prevent sediment in the bottom of the bag and filter. A suggestion to Sawyer would be to install a removable screen at the opening. My friends who have the squeeze bag set-ups have the same issues with filling.
The third issue is how the set-up is not provided with a mouth piece. As I said earlier in this post, the Camelbak Anidote series uses the same quick disconnect as sawyer. I went and purchased an insulated hose with an on-off valve and mouthpiece from Camelbak to fix this issue.
The final issue I have found is that the tiny metal eyelet, at the top of both the clean and dirty water bags, is useless. Not a single one of my backpacks has a gear hook that can fit through the eyelet. This is a major issue because it does not keep the bladder in place and can change weight distrubution of the pack as you move.
In the end, I have a Camelbak clean water reservoir, a Camelbak hydration hose, a Sawyer inline filter, Sawyer dirty water bag, and the drity water crossconnect hose. I am still trying to figure out a "full fix" soultion to my dirty wag bag issues. The filter element is great and I have no complaints about it, it is just the accessories around it that are the issue. Would I recommend THIS product to a friend? The answer is No, I would recommend that they purchase the 3-way Inline Filter or the Mini Inline filter and build their own system from the products of other manufacturers much like I have.
November 6, 2014
This item is at the top of my list for all the equipment I have. It's super reliable. It works pretty fast. It's easy to set up and do. When I arrive at camp, we find water FIRST. And fill all of our bottles from the system right at the creek, then we fill the clean bag and the grey bag and bring them back to camp. After filling the grey bag, I can go set up my tent or collect firewood,while it filters 2 liters of water (about 5 minutes), and when I come back it's all done and ready to go. Four liters of water is plenty to make dinner and drink for an entire night, and then wake up and make breakfast for a large group of people.
September 29, 2014
This would be the ideal setup "if" it included a bite valve and/or a way to shut water off with both bags so you could fill up blue bag and grey bag for later. Seems useless without, glad i have a good water pack, blue bag kinda useless the way it is. would have given 5 if equipped properly with everything you need with kit.
September 22, 2014
Love it but 2nd year and filter won't unplug :(
Bought a year ago and used it in the BWCA and loved it!! Very easy to use and filtered at a great rate. Brought it home, followed all the cleaning instructions I could find (which are hard to find by the way). Went to use it this year and the filter refuses to do more than a dribble unless it is under pressure from the faucet. Searched for solutions and came up empty handed. Going to contact Sawyer in hopes they have an answer other than replacing the main part of the system.
August 26, 2014