Product – Water Filtration System

Manufacturer – Sawyer

Model – Micro Squeeze

Included: Micro Squeeze Filter with Push/Pull Cap, 1 x 32 oz / 1L Collapsible Pouches, Backwashing Plunger, Cleaning Coupling, Spare Gasket, Drinking Straw


There are very few things more important to the fragile human body than water. Heck, we are 60% water, and one can only survive 3 days without this liquid nectar of life. So your drinking water better is clean, safe and plentiful.

Untreated water can contain all kinds of nasties that include; bacteria, viruses, parasites and toxic chemicals.

Some microorganisms spread by water can cause severe, life-threatening diseases like typhoid fever, cholera and Hepatitis A or E. Other induce less dangerous diseases with diarrhea and gastro nightmares as the main symptoms.


Then there are the chemicals; Chlorine (Cl2), Chlorine dioxide (ClO2), Hypochlorite (OCl-),  (O3), Halogens: bromine (Br2), iodene (I), Bromine chloride (BrCl), Metals: copper (Cu2+), silver (Ag+), Kaliumpermanganate (KMnO4), Fenols, Alcohols, Soaps and detergents, etc… yummy!

I have used all sorts of gear and conducted many chemistry experiments in the wild to achieve clean and safe drinking water. In my experience there are essentially 4 backwoods methods to purify water for safe drinking:

  • Heat – Boil water
  • Chemicals – Safe amounts of chlorine or Iodine
  • Lights – Ultraviolet sterilization
  • Filtration – Device to filter out the nasties   
SawyerSqueeze 7
The Sawyer Squeeze is light, can last essentially forever, works well and is reliable… but there is one problem (read more)

The Test

I tested the Sawyer MicroSqueeze over 600 kilometres, 20 days in the backwoods and 44 litres of water. I hiked 14 days on the Bruce Trail, 3 days in the Adirondack Park and 3 days paddling in Algonquin Park.


SawyerSqueeze 8
It’s easy to work. Simply harvest water from a lake, river or stream in the included bladder, attach the filter and then gently squeeze clean water into another container… or drink directly from the filter mouthpiece.

Sawyer makes 3 different squeeze filter models: the original, the mini and this newest addition to the family, the micro.

About the MicroSqueeze – the design, construction, weight and boastful claims of the manufacturer impressed me. This filter was significantly smaller than the original and felt tougher than the mini.   

I have been purifying my water with Aquatabs or chlorine drops for years. Mostly because previous generations of water filters were heavy and often failed, and frankly chlorine was so much lighter, reliable and very effective. Yet I have always been concerned about the long-term use of chlorine, so the potential of this NEWish filtration system excited me.


SawyerSqueeze 6
The filter thread is compatible with all 28 mm containers … including the popular SmartWater bottle

This product worked as advertised.  It filtered suspect water sources quickly and effectively.  I simply harvested the water with the “dirty” bag, attached the filter and then squeezed the bag slow and steady for 2-2 ½ minutes per litre of water.


The resulting clean water looked clean and tasted fresh. Frankly, I was both surprised and pleased. I didn’t expect the water to taste so darn good. After purifying with chlorine for so many years, I began to expect the blended flavoured cocktail of latent chlorine and swamp water.  This filter however delivered clean delicious water within 2-3 minutes.


The filter worked great. The manufacturer claims that it will filter 100,000 gallons of water. That’s a lifetime for most campers.

The filter design is a Hollow Fiber Membrane and consequently doesn’t have to be replaced when it gets “dirty”, you simply backwash the filter… and bingo it’s good as new. Sawyer recommends backwashing whenever the flow rate decreases, or whenever it’s convenient.

Sawyer backwash
Backwashing the filter has never been easier with the NEW blue coupler – STEPS: 1) Remove the mouthpiece from the filter… 2) Replace with blue coupler… 3) Attach the other end of the coupler to a “clean water” bottle/bladder … 4) Squeeze until the water coming out the other end in clear and clean.

Included are both a large syringe & a coupling attachment for backwashing. This is an upgrade from its predecessor – the mini.  I never liked the mini for 2 reasons, and consequently never used it. It was slow to filter, and the only way to backwash in the field was with the bulky syringe.

The Micro improved both of these issues of the Mini.

The Microflow rate is better, it appears tougher (time will tell) and I like the coupling backwash option. Backwashing is super easy and the coupler takes very little space in my pack … weighing in at a scant 4g

Now you can field backwash fast and often!

That’s the good stuff.

The kit comes with the filter, backwash coupler, syringe, straw, and “dirty” bag for harvesting water. Everything worked great for the first 10 litres and then the bag failed at the seams near the mouth. I discovered “dirty” unfiltered water dripping into my “clean” bottle from this burst seam. Yicks!

I returned from the trip and contacted Sawyer support and they were really good. They sent me a replacement bag lickity split.

I suspected the failed bag was an anomaly. I also considered the possibility, I was creating too much pressure on the bag by squeezing too hard. So I took the new bag out on the second trip, this time I told myself to only squeeze gently… be gentle… be gentle!

The second bag failed after another 30 litres. This time at multiple locations in and around the spout.  Please note I was super gentle and backwashed the filter several times. I never noticed a flow rate reduction.

I contacted Sawyer support again, and once again they were very good. I explained the issue and further told them I was creating an online review and was hoping for an explanation, help and alternative 3rd party “dirty” bags/bladders.

Conversation with Sawyer:


The filter is awesome and the bag sucks.

The Micro Squeeze is an upgrade to the mini and performed better than expected. I will continue to use the filter on upcoming adventurers including my 2020 Appalachian Trail thru-hike attempt… but I will be using either my CNOC or Evernew bladder… both have been tested and both I like. The Sawyer bags are in the garbage.

SawyerSqueeze 5
The included bladder proved to be unreliable – consider using other bladders such as Platypus, EverNew or CNOC

Video – Review Sawyer Micro Squeeze

Tech Specs

  • Micro Squeeze Filter with Push/Pull Cap
  • 1 x 32 oz / 1L Collapsible Pouches
  • Backwashing Plunger
  • Cleaning Coupling
  • Spare Gasket
  • Drinking Straw
  • MSRP: $28.99 USD
  • Longevity: up to 100,000 Gallons / 378,541L
  • Volume: Includes 32oz / 1L pouch
  • Filter Material: Hollow Fiber Membrane
  • Removes: Bacteria, Protozoa, and Cysts, including E. Coli, Giardia, Vibrio cholera, Salmonella typhi, and micro-plastics
  • Best Uses: Hiking, backpacking, ultralight backpacking, camping, emergency preparedness
  • Weight: Filter + Mouth Piece Only: 2.5oz / 71g
  • Weight: Coupler Only: 0.1oz / 4g

What Sawyer Says…

Enjoy clean and safe drinking water wherever you roam with the ultra-compact, lightweight, reusable Sawyer Micro Squeeze Water Filtration System — from backcountry adventures to everyday office work and from domestic and international travel to emergency prepping. With a total field weight of 2 ounces, this tiny filter fits in the palm of your hand.  While small in size, the powerful Micro Squeeze removes 99.99999% of bacteria (salmonella, cholera and E. coli), 99.9999% of protozoa (cryptosporidium and giardia), and 100% of microsplastics — exceeding EPA recommendations for removal rates.

Attach the Micro Squeeze to the included drinking pouch, use the included straw to drink directly from your water source, connect it to your hydration pack tubing, or screw it onto standard disposable bottles (28mm thread). Made of a strong, softer material, the included 32-ounce (1-liter) Squeeze Pouch is half the weight of the standard 32-ounce Sawyer Squeeze Pouch and features a redesigned gusset for easy filling and stability. The Sawyer Micro Squeeze is rated up to 100,000 gallons. It comes with a 32-ounce reusable squeeze pouch, drinking straw, cleaning coupling, spare gasket, and cleaning plunger.

From website >> SAWYER



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