Top critical review
153 people found this helpful
Great filter, awful bottles
on July 1, 2012
I switched to the Sawyer Squeeze from the Aquamira Frontier Pro, because the Squeeze is a more effective filter. The Squeeze has a slightly higher field weight than the Frontier Pro, but it is safer to use without additional chemical treatment than the Frontier Pro. The Squeeze's guarantee is excellent, and the expected life of the filter is far longer than that of the Frontier Pro.
I tested the filter, at home, with both the 16 and 32oz bottles. I was wary of the strength of the bottles, due to the force being exerted on them and some previous bad experiences with Platypus bottles of a similar design (though my Evernew bottles have proven to be extremely durable), but both seemed solid.
I used the 16oz. squeeze bottle in conjunction with the filter for 6 months, approximately 10 separate backpacking trips, and 30-40 individual uses of the bottle. The 16oz. bottle showed no leaks at all and greatly increased my confidence in Sawyer's design. For a trip to the high desert of Central Oregon, I decided to use the 32oz. bottle.
At the second use of the 32oz. bottle, it developed a small leak near the top seam. I was able to filter enough water for myself and my hiking partner, but the leak allowed dirty water to spray my clean bottle. At my next water stop, the bottle sprung a second leak on the opposite seam and the first hole doubled in size. Half of each fillup ended up in the dust, and I was unable to carry water in the bottle to the next water source.
After my trek, I emailed Sawyer about the defective bottle, and was ignored. A rep responded to my second email, politely telling me that Sawyer did not cover the water bottles, but only the filter. Even after explaining my experience with the system and the number of uses the filter had seen, I received this as a response:
"We find most pouches fail from customers trying to force water too fast through the filter or using a filter that needs cleaning. To help customer through the learning curve on their pouches, we are offering replacement pouches at a substantial discount on our web site."
Unfortunately, a cheap replacement is no help when a bottle breaks in the backcountry. The filter itself is excellent, but the system itself is flawed.