Sawyer + Backpacking Part 2: Sawyer Squeeze and Sawyer Micro Squeeze Flow Rate

Earlier I posted a review of the new Sawyer Micro Squeeze and found a few pros and cons compared to the Sawyer Squeeze. Today I am following up with an analysis of flow rate and backflush rate through the Micro Squeeze and the Squeeze using 6 different types of containers to squeeze the water through the filter.

Related Post:
Sawyer + Backpacking Part 3: Should I Carry the Sawyer Syringe?

No company solicited this review, and I purchased all tested items.

In case you haven’t read my prior post, here are the two filters that I’m comparing:

The Sawyer Squeeze (top) and Sawyer Mini Squeeze (bottom).

Filtration/Backflushing Containers

The Sawyer Squeeze and Micro Squeeze are water filters that work by physically squeezing a water container to force the water through the filter. When the filter gets dirty (and therefore flows slowly), you need to clean it by backflushing. Backflushing is the process of running clean water backwards through a filter.

I tested these seven containers for filtration and backflushing flow rate through the Squeeze and Micro Squeeze, ordered here by weight:


Container Weight, grams
Weight, ounces
CNOC Vecto 2L 75 2.6
Evernew 2L 45 1.6
Smartwater 1L Bottle 35 1.2
Evernew 0.9L
34 1.2
50 mL Syringe* 31 1.1
Smartwater 0.7L Bottle 31 1.1
Sawyer Squeeze 32oz Pouch** 31 1.1

*Only used for backflushing
**Only used for filtration

Filtration Flow Rate

First, you will notice that the flow rate through the Squeeze (orange bar) outperforms the flow rate through the Micro Squeeze (blue bar) using all six containers (plus gravity filtration). It’s pretty close, though, if you use the 32 oz Sawyer Squeeze Pouch that comes with the Micro Squeeze.

Next you will notice that the flow rate (not including gravity filtration) varies from 1.4 L/minute to 1.9 L/minute. The official Sawyer bag and the 0.9L Evernew Bag perform well for both the Squeeze and Micro Squeeze. The remainder do not perform as well for the Micro Squeeze, but they all produce good water flow with the Squeeze.

Backflushing Flow Rate

As seen in the blackflushing chart, backflush flow rate is higher through the Squeeze (orange bar) than through the Micro Squeeze (blue bar) in all cases except using the Sawyer syringe.

Again, the 0.9L Evernew Bag wins the day, with the Smartwater bottles also performing well.


So what did I learn? There is no perfect setup — every pro has its con.

  • Confirmation that water flows faster through the Squeeze than the Micro Squeeze using a variety of containers BUT the Squeeze is slightly heavier than the Micro Squeeze.
  • The 0.9L Evernew Bag with the Squeeze produces the fastest filtration of 1.9 L/minute and 1.4L/minute backflushing flow, BUT it holds less water than typical water containers and is relatively expensive.
  • The official lightweight Sawyer bag produces a great flow rate through both the Squeeze and the Micro Squeeze, BUT it has a reputation for breaking (my brand new bag broke in the course of testing about 50 liters of water)
  • The syringe provided by Sawyer works BUT is not as effective as the Sawyer coupling device used to couple to other containers.  Using the Sawyer coupling device increases both water pressure and water flow.  A higher flow rate will dislodge more contaminants.