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  1. #1
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    Default Light weight water system question

    I have reduced the weight of my pack from 37 pounds down to 22 pounds, and, as part of that, I am going stoveless. For my water system, I am thinking about going with a Gatorade bottle and life straw, but I am wondering if any of you have any experience with the life straw as your main water filter. I also have both a Sawyer and a Sawyer Mini, but the main reason I want to go with the life straw, besides weight, is ease of back flush. With a Sawyer, I will have to have clean water to back flush, and hence the idea of going with the life straw solution, which back flushes just by blowing through it. Anyone have helpful experience/suggestions?

  2. #2

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    I think the convenience of not having to back flush with water on the Life Straw is counter-balanced but the inconvenience of how clunky it is to use to drink out of a bottle and having to use it all the time vs only having to back flush every couple of weeks with the Sawyer (if that).

  3. #3

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    I have never used one personally, but having seen people using the Lifestraw, I agree it seems clunky. I rarely have to backflush my Squeeze on trail.

    One thing to note, the Lifestraw seems to be designed more for emergency use rather than primary use. It only has a 1000 liter lifespan, while the Squeeze is a 1 million gallon.

  4. #4

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    Aqua Mira drops work for me.
    "It's fun to have fun, but you have to know how." ---Dr. Seuss

  5. #5
    GSMNP 900 Miler HooKooDooKu's Avatar
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    If you're trying to get light weight, seems like there are numerous things that are lighter than a Gatorade bottle... they seem pretty thick compared to a SmartWater bottle. Of course the benefit of the SmartWater and the Sawyer Mini is that the Mini can be screwed directly onto the SmartWater bottle and you can drink directly from the bottle thru the Mini (though for better flow, you might want to consider the original Sawyer Squeeze for that).

    If you prefer to filter your water into a bottle and then drink from the bottle (something you'll likely want to do if you're adding anything to the water to flavor it), I enjoy using Bai water bottles. They are about on part with SmartWater bottles on thickness, but they have a wider mouth to make adding drink mixes easier like the wider mouth of the Gatorade bottle. And as a plus... if you carry back flush syringe that comes with Sawyer, the mouth of the Bai works perfectly with them.

  6. #6
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    Thanks, everyone, for your helpful comments. After considering your different ideas, I've looked into some other option (still trying to achieve the balance of light weight and convenience) and modified my system.

    I will be using my Sawyer Squeeze filter, fitted with a SP150 coupling and two Smart water bottles. One bottle will be for stream water with the filter screwed onto its top; then on the other end of the filter, a clean water (Smart) bottle attached via the SP150. This will enable me to fill the dirty water bottle, attach all parts, and carry it on the side of my backpack inverted so that the water gravity feeds into my clean water filter. It also eliminates the need to carry the backflow syringe. I saw this hack described; the only thing I'm not sure about is whether it will tend to air-lock and stop the filtering operation. But I figure on experimenting to try and make it work.

    Feel free to comment.

  7. #7
    Registered User lonehiker's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TwoRoads View Post
    Thanks, everyone, for your helpful comments. After considering your different ideas, I've looked into some other option (still trying to achieve the balance of light weight and convenience) and modified my system.

    I will be using my Sawyer Squeeze filter, fitted with a SP150 coupling and two Smart water bottles. One bottle will be for stream water with the filter screwed onto its top; then on the other end of the filter, a clean water (Smart) bottle attached via the SP150. This will enable me to fill the dirty water bottle, attach all parts, and carry it on the side of my backpack inverted so that the water gravity feeds into my clean water filter. It also eliminates the need to carry the backflow syringe. I saw this hack described; the only thing I'm not sure about is whether it will tend to air-lock and stop the filtering operation. But I figure on experimenting to try and make it work.

    Feel free to comment.
    Have you tried this gravity set-up? With the dirty water being a hard bottle I'm wondering if it will gravity feed as would a collapsible bladder?
    Lonehiker

  8. #8
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    Default

    Same thought
    You need an air outlet on your receiver bottle unless ir is a collapsible bladder. I'm partial to the Gatorade bottles as they have a wide mouth and the grooves in the bottles allows me to fasten them to pack straps with bungees.

  9. #9
    GSMNP 900 Miler HooKooDooKu's Avatar
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    If light-weight is going to be your main focus, I would suggest filling a Smart Water bottle with dirty water and drinking strait from the bottle thru a Sawyer Squeeze. It has enough flow rate compared to the mini to do this... this is a system I've seen several people on he trails (or YouTube) using.

    If gravity filtering for convenience is going to be your main focus, I would suggest double bladders with Sawyer Mini.

    Here's some weights (some are estimates and not from direct specs)
    1.0L Smart Water Bottles - 1.3oz
    900ml Evernew Water Carry - 1.0oz
    2000ml Evernew Water Carry - 1.5oz
    1.0L Platpus Soft Bottle - 1.2oz
    2.0L Platypus Bottle - 1.3oz
    Platypus Hoser Barb cap - 0.5oz
    Sweetwater Hose (one of the two 32" hoses in a replacement set) - 1.1oz
    Sawyer Coupler - 0.3oz
    Sawyer Mini - 2.0oz
    Sawyer Squeeze - 3.0oz

    So a minimalist Sawyer system would be two Smart Water Bottles, a Sawyer coupler, and a Sawyer Squeeze.
    Total weight: 6.1oz
    Total Capacity: 2L
    Upgrade with a 3rd Bottle to 3L capacity for 7.4oz


    A minimalist gravity feed system would be one Smart Water bottle, 900ml Evernew bladder, tubing and barb fitting, 1.0L Platypus, Sawyer coupler and a Sawyer Mini.
    Total Weight: 7.4oz
    Total Capacity: 2.9L
    Upgrade both bladders to 2L becomes 5L capacity for 8.0oz


    So after doing this analysis, I'm quite happy with my 5L gravity feed bladder system.

    (BTW, the only way I can find to get the Platypus cap with barb fitting is to buy the Platypus hoser, and then throw everything away but the barb fitting and cap. The Hose is too thick and the Platypus 'Bottle' is lighter than the 'Hoser').

    BTW2: Testing my gravity feed system with Mini shows a fresh filter can handle 2L in 4 minutes.
    Last edited by HooKooDooKu; 08-09-2018 at 00:11.

  10. #10
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    So here's what I've settled on at this point. One Smart Water bottle for dirty water. A Sawyer Squeeze filter (with a garden hose washer/filter in the dirty end of the filter). For the other end of the filter (for purposes of backwash, I have the SP150 coupler with a clean Smart Water bottle). I've decided not to worry about gravity feed (no, it will not gravity feed with two hard plastic bottles). This way, I can dip water out of the creek without fighting with a bladder. Screw on the filter and drink. When I need to backwash, filter water into the clean water bottle, then attach the SP150 coupler and the clean water bottle and backwash. I like this better than carrying the Sawyer syringe, because it allows me to apply more pressure on the backwash without bursting the syringe (that did happen to me one time). It's not perfect, but it's light weight and convenient. I'll keep a bladder in mind if I want to tweak the system, but so far, I think I'll like it. I'll know more when I field test it on an actual trip.

  11. #11
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    I have been using the Cnoc Vecto https://cnocoutdoors.com/products/vecto-water-container for my dirty water container. It has a wide mouth at one end that can easily scoop water, and a threaded end to connect the filter. Since it collapses, it can be used by squeezing or as gravity. If I need to carry more than the two 1L Smartwaters, I can just carry extra dirty water and filter later.

    I think the process of filtering from one Smartwater bottle to another would be frustrating, having to burp the dirty bottle all the time.

  12. #12
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    The CNOC Vecto looks sweet, so thanks for that suggestion. You're right about the constant burping. I've been able to get some ideas from all of the posts here and appreciate all the suggestions!

  13. #13
    GSMNP 900 Miler HooKooDooKu's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Analog_Kidd View Post
    I have been using the Cnoc Vecto https://cnocoutdoors.com/products/vecto-water-container for my dirty water container. It has a wide mouth at one end that can easily scoop water, and a threaded end to connect the filter. Since it collapses, it can be used by squeezing or as gravity. If I need to carry more than the two 1L Smartwaters, I can just carry extra dirty water and filter later.
    I first saw the CNOC bladder in a youtube video by Darwin On The Trail posting about the equipment he's using this year for hiking the PCT.
    To put it simplistically, you pay for the convenience by nearly doubling the weight of the bladder.
    The Evernew bladder is 1.5oz, while the CNOC is 2.7oz.
    Quote Originally Posted by Analog_Kidd View Post
    I think the process of filtering from one Smartwater bottle to another would be frustrating, having to burp the dirty bottle all the time.
    If I have my weights right, the 1.5L Evernew Water Carry weighs as much as a 1L Smartwater bottle (1.3oz).
    Given that statistic, seems like the only reason to stick solely with Smartwater bottles is if you plan to drink strait from the bottle thru the filter (in which case you need a firm-sided container).
    Otherwise, it makes more sense to carry one or two Smartwater bottles and one Evernew water Carry (or your bladder of choice depending upon the amount of convenience you want).

  14. #14
    Registered User Nanatuk's Avatar
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    I have the CNOC bladder and love it. It may weigh an ounce heavier, but its bulletproof. I use it for a gravity feed system with a Sawyer Squeeze and smart water bottle.

    Only advice I would give is don't hang it solely by the plastic loop in the clamp, run your parachute cord under the ends of the clamp whenever the bag is full.

  15. #15
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    Another vote for Cnoc. Love that bladder. You can really put some force into it without worrying about breaking. I also love their folding trekking poles.

  16. #16
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    Anyone used a Versa Flow filter by Hydroblu? It superficially appears to be the same as a Sawyer Mini with identical specs. But it is threaded with female threads on both ends so unlike the Sawyer filters (Mini or Squeeze), it can be fitted to bladders or bottles with no adaptors or tubing. Most gravity systems I see us long tubing to get more hydrostatic pressure and faster flow rates, but I use my Sawyer Mini with only 1" of tubing to connect the adaptor and it works fine in gravity mode (with two 900 mL Evernew bladders). I may pick up one of these Versa Flow filters to eliminate the hassle and weight of the adaptor and tubing.

    http://hydroblu.com/versa-flow-light...-water-filter/

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