This was probably the area with the most turnover in my arsenal. I started with three different items actually. All were good, but were lacking in some way. My early trio was a .8L Kleen Kanteen, a 2L Platypus bladder with hose, and a Sawyer Squeeze Filter. The Kleen Kanteen I ditched because it was a weird shape. I went through two 2L bladders for the Platypus (both got leaks in them), and the Sawyer Squeeze Filter became a pain to do a few times every day – it burned time and energy that I didn’t want to burn.
Enter my three replacements. The .5L Nalgene was more durable and it fit better in my side pouch of my bag. The Camelbak was much more resilient than the Platypus (the Platypus material is too rigid – it creases too easily and springs leaks at the creases over time). And putting ten drops of Sweetwater in the 2L bag and waiting ten minutes is much easier than sitting down and squeezing 2L of water through a small filter for ten minutes.
It’s not that all my old items were terrible. It’s just that I found three better items.
The .5L bottle was durable and lightweight. I kept it on the outer pouch of my pack and it was never damaged. The Camelbak bladder was supple enough to deal with the constant pressures of being in my pack. It did not crease or spring any leaks.
The use of Sweetwater drops allowed me a quick, simple way to treat my water. Before using the drops, I would burn five to ten minutes filtering my water.