If you found this article, this most likely means you own a Sawyer Squeeze water filter, and you probably already had one or two of their original water bags failing. Not to worry, I had this experience too. That’s why I wanted to create an article that shares two great options you can use as alternatives to Sawyer Squeeze water bags. So after doing a lot of research, reading through a ton of forum threads, and waiting until the products are back in stock, I discovered three great alternatives: CNOC VECTO, Evernew Water Carry Hydration Pack, and Platypus Platy Bottle.
*Disclosure: I only recommend products that I would use myself. This post may contain affiliate links that may earn me a small commission at no additional cost to you. Read the full advertising policy here.*
- The best – CNOC VECTO
- The runner up – Evernew Water Carry Hydration Pack
- Third place – Platypus Platy Bottle
- Other alternatives
- Product comparison
- Why you should consider getting alternatives for Sawyer Water Pouches
The best Sawyer Squeeze bag alternative – CNOC VECTO
After testing numerous water bag options on my camping and backpacking trips, I think that CNOC VECTO is the best alternative water bag I found for the Sawyer Squeeze water filter.
Find CNOC Vecto in your favorite stores
4.5⭐ out of 40 reviews on CNOC Outdoors
4.8⭐ out of 1651 reviews on Amazon.com
4.8⭐ out of 273 reviews on Garage Grown Gear
The runner up water bag alternative – Evernew Water Carry Hydration Pack
In my opinion, the Evernew Water Carry Hydration Pack comes in second place. Although it lacks some sturdiness and features that CNOC VECTO has, it’s also a good choice to bring on your outdoor trips.
Find Evernew Water Pack in your favorite stores
4.7⭐ out of 453 reviews on Amazon.com
4.1⭐ out of 35 reviews on Amazon.ca
Third place water bag alternative for Sawyer Squeeze bags – Platypus Platy Bottle
In my opinion, the Platy Bottle came close to second place, but it felt a little short. It’s still a decent solution as an alternative to Sawyer Squeeze water pouches.
Find Platypus Platy Bottle in your favorite stores
4.4⭐ out of 148 reviews on REI
4.7⭐ out of 2415 reviews on Amazon.com
4.7⭐ out of 2064 reviews on Amazon.ca
Other alternatives for Sawyer Squeeze Water Pouches
In all honesty, I do think there might be a lot more options that may be even better than the three I’ve listed. I just haven’t tried them all yet. If you want to experiment yourself, just look for any bags or bottles that fit on a 28 mm cap thread, which is a standard thread size for a regular soda or water bottle you can get in any shop.
When the Sawyer bags popped, I used just some regular hard plastic bottles on my backpacking trips for a while, as there were shortages in camping gear shops. This is not the most convenient way, but if you need to use the filter and you do not have time to purchase new bags, just grab any plastic bottle from your home and use it with the Sawyer Squeeze filter. I would often just screw the filter on a one-liter bottle and drink the water straight through the filter.
Also, if you find some great alternatives I haven’t mentioned in this article, be sure to mention them in the comment section below. I’d be happy to include it in this article as well.
CNOC VECTO, Evernew Water Carry Hydration Pack, and Platy Bottle comparison
The sizes they come in
In addition to the 2-liter size, the Evernew Hydration Pack also comes in 900 ml and 1500 ml sizes. The Platy Bottle only comes in a 2-liter size, but you can check out their SoftBottle for smaller sizes. Though, as the name implies, they are less sturdy than the Platy Bottle, but they also work with the Sawyer Squeeze filter. CNOC VECTO can both be found in 2 and 3-liter sizes.
The CNOC VECTO is the heaviest out of the three bags compared. The 2-liter water pouch weighs 76 grams (2.6 oz). The 2-liter Evernew Hydration Pack weighs 42 grams (1.48 oz). And the 2-liter Platy Bottle weighs only 37 grams (1.3 oz).
The CNOC VECTO water bag is made from Thermoplastic Polyurethane. The Platypus Platy Bottle and the Evernew Hydration Pack are both made from Polyethylene.
Why you should consider getting alternatives for Sawyer Water Pouches
If you’re like me, you probably like the Sawyer Water filter. I know I do. It’s light, easy to use, and the best part of all – it gives you clean water for life. Yes, you do not need to buy any additional filters or change any parts. Just make sure to backwash it often enough and keep it clean and it should serve you for life. This was why I actually got it, it just sounded like a great deal.
But after I received the Sawyer kit, I immediately thought the bags do not look that sturdy. This is fine if you’re just camping. But I use mine regularly on backpacking trips. And if a bag pops and you did not plan to bring any spare bottles you could filter the water with, you might end up in a risky situation.
Out of the three bags that came along with the kit (two bigger ones and a small one), one big bag popped during my first car camping trip of the season. I have no idea how; perhaps it touched a rougher part of a tree, been placed on a fir tree needle, or maybe I just squeezed it a bit too hard. I just saw the water bursting through a hole and that was the end of that. The second big bag popped on a backpacking trip. Luckily, it was the last day of it and I was returning to my car. I had it filled with water and placed it on a wooden bench, not too far from the ground. The bag rolled on its side and fell on the ground, probably fell for about 30 centimeters (1 ft.) and it exploded on the impact.
Now I know some people in forums say, that if you treat the bags well, they’ll hold. And that may be true. But these small accidents will happen and it can potentially end the whole trip. That’s not something I am willing to accept.
The main risks of the bags popping
- The Sawyer water pouches are made from thin plastic that can’t seem to hold pressure.
- The plastic material is too thin.
- The filter often requires you to squeeze the bags to get the water through. So the risk of accidentally popping one during filtration is quite high.
- Filled Sawyer pouches are wobbly and they do not have sturdy bases you can trust putting your bags on. They are fairly round when filled too. So, chances are, your one can also just roll off a bench and pop.
More articles about Water Filters and Hydration Packs
Here you can find all of my other articles comparing some of the best hiking water filters and hydration packs.