Evernew “Water Carry” Bags

Greetings Hikers,

How to carry water while hiking… this is one of those issues that very much falls into the HYOH factor, and I have never been a huge advocate for one specific method over another.

When I first started hiking I used the Everyday CamelBak bottles. Those got replaced with the CamelBak 70oz Antidote Reservoir which got replaced with the Platypus Big Zip 3 liter, which got replaced with a Hydrapak 70-Ounce Reservoir and so on and so forth. I even bought myself a Camelbak HydroBak 50 oz Hydration Pack somewhere along the way. One of the few bags I never did buy was the MSR Dromedary Bag.

When I got close to reaching the SUL weight I knew that none of those were going to be able to keep being used so I made the switch over to using water bottles such as Gatorade, than to the Smart Water bottles which were a bit lighter and proved to be durable enough. This meant that not only did I get to reduce the weight of using a reservoir but I also no longer needed to weight of the reservoir sleeves within backpacks. (extra perk: no longer needing a backpack with a hole in it to push your tube through, thereby making it just a weebit more water resistant)

Through a set of events I never saw coming and I did not realize until after it had all happened, I am now back to using bags to carry my water in…It all started when I decided I was no longer happy with the way that I was filtering water. It was taking way to long for the process to complete. ‘Enough said.

Eventually I came across the just-released ‘Sawyer Squeeze water filter(read my review of it) and it changed how I approach filtering water, and how I carry water.

It was quickly discovered by myself, and many other hikers, that the included bags that come with the Squeeze have a very high failure rate. Sawyer needs to take a step back and realize that what they need to do is offer the filter by itself and give up trying to work their way into the water bag market. The bags are giving the filter a bad name by many long distance hikers, and that is very unfortunate as the filter is the only viable water filter on the market, as it offers 0.10 Micron Absolute filtering – read my review for what that is very very important!

So what happened is this massive quest by hundreds, maybe thousands, of hikers around the world trying anything and everything to find a way to get the Squeeze to work with different bags.

By this time I had become a huge fan of the Platy Soft Bottle. I truly loved it, at least I thought I did. Turns out there were a few things I have since discovered made it a bit inferior.

Some of us where able to get the Squeeze to work with the Platy SB by switching out washers and other tricks.

But this went against every principle I have as a hiker. Principles such as, when you are a long distance hiker and a piece of gear breaks and you have to stumble into some random outdoor shop along whatever trail you are hiking, and you may not be able to buy exactly what you have been using, you better make sure that when you start the trail, your most vital pieces of gear are not going to screw you over in these situations. A water filter just out of the box not connecting to a water bag just out of the box is one of those situations that are unacceptable. This leads to you have to spend more money, can lead to a change of your daily life pattern, and can often times result in additional weight because the local stores along trails do not always have the UL/SUL gear that you probably started out with.

Along the way in my own process of trying to find a bag that fit the Squeeze (right out of the box, no special washers, no modifications, etc) I went through probably a dozen different bags to see which the Sawyer Squeeze would attach to and not leak or dribble when you used it.

One of the bags I had sitting around was the Evernew ‘Water Carry’ bag. It was a bag that I had never taken on-trail and had actually never even put water in. I already had enough Platy Soft Bottles that I just did not need to be taking other bags out with me. So when I grabbed the Evernew bag I was expecting the same thing to happen that all the one bags had happen… it would leak.

Amazingly, it did not leak. Somehow, out of the dozens of water bags I had in my house I had found a water bag that did not leak when using the Sawyer Squeeze!

Could it be true? No way I thought to myself. So, I went hunting online for where I could find them. I bought another one, and when it showed up I screwed it onto the Squeeze and wow – it to worked!

I probably attached and detached the two bags to the Squeeze a couple dozen times and tested them. It was just too good to be true.

After my utter joy of discovery I did the next logical thing… I grabbed my scale – giggle – to weight them against the Platy Soft Bags. I am sure most of the world probably felt a “uggghhh” when I first put them on the scale, I was a bit bummed. Granted, no earth shakingly huge difference in weights between them, but heavier they were.

I spent the next week using the Evernew water bags around the house, around the office, on a couple of sub-24-hour hikes, all in a quest to see if one of them would pop a seam, blow a gasket, or just proof to be something I did not like.

They never did pop a seam.
They never did blow a gasket.
They turned out to be something I very much fell in love with!

The overall quality of them appears, and seems to be, much better than the Platy Soft Bottles.

The Evernew Water Bags:

There are four different sizes of the Evernew Water Bags

600 ml  (20.3 fl oz) [0.6 liter] {EBY205}
5.91 x 9.45 inches
26 grams / 0.9 oz

900 ml  (30.4 fl oz) [0.9 liter] {EBY206}
5.91 x 11.02 inches
29 grams / 1.0 oz

1500 ml  (50.7 fl oz) [1.5 liter] {EBY207}
6.69 x 12.99 inches
36 grams / 1.3 oz

2000 ml  (67.7 fl oz) [2 liter] {EBY208}
8.27 x 12.99 inches
42 grams / 1.5 oz

My initial bag was the EBY206 which is the 900ml bag. The second one I bought to confirm it would fit on the Squeeze was also the 900ml bag, as that is the closest size to most long distance hikers use.

Once I was able to confirm that the Squeeze was rock-solid-tight with these bags, and once I used them for a couple of months to make sure they would hold up, I headed over to Gossamer Gear and picked up all of the other sizes. (disclosure: I am a Gossamer Gear Trail Ambassador and I bought all of them with my own money with the exception of the EBY205 (600ml) bag, which they threw into the box that showed up – thanks guys!)

I ordered the 2 liter bag thinking it would be the perfect bag for ‘dirty water’ that I collected and than attached to the Sawyer Squeeze, and it has proven to be awesome for just that purpose.

I ordered the 1.5 liter bag mostly to see just how much bigger it was than the 900 ml bag – and it turned out to be surprising taller than what I was expecting. I think it would fit perfectly in a side pocket on just about any backpack, providing you have a strap a few inches above the top of the pocket.

I ordered another 900 ml bag because I knew it would be the primary go-to bag that I would be using.

As it turns out, I have totally fallen in love with the 600 ml bag. I use this thing all day long, whether at home, the office, or out on the trail. Friends laugh at me because it is always with me, even if we go out somewhere for lunch.

I should mention that the weights above include extra cordage and a piece of plastic connected to the cap. I have removed both the cordage and the cap-connectors. On my primary bag I actually threw on a pull-top cap to make it easier to drink from, giving I access it so much throughout the day.

The Caps:

Platy on the left, Evernew on the right

Probably the biggest difference between the Evernew bags and the Platy Soft Bottles is the lid. Beyond the Platy bags not attaching properly to the Squeeze, the cap is smooth which I did not realize until I started using the Evernew bag, is a bit of a bummer. The Evernew bags have a ridged cap, which makes them very easy to open when  you have gloves on, when your hands are cold, and just in general. I love the caps. Heavier than the Platy caps? Yes. Worth the extra 1.88 grams (0.066 oz) of weight? Oh Yes!

I have also attached connectors onto the tops of all the bags so that I can use drinking tubes with them. The larger 1.5 liter bag works very well for shoving into a backpack and attacking a tube to, for those that like to drink in that manner.

Platy Soft Bottle Cap: 2.58 grams (0.091 ounces)

Evernew Water Bag Cap: 4.46 grams (0.157 ounces)

How They Feel:

When I got my order from Gossamer Gear with all of the bags, I pulled out the 1.5 liter and the 900 ml bags and filled them up with water. I than grabbed my Platy Soft Bottles and filled them up with water.

I than asked somebody to switch them all around and with my eyes closed I wanted to see which of them felt better in my hands. The first time I picked one of the Platy bags and one of the Evernew bags. I closed my eyes again and had them switch them all around again and hand them to me, and that time I picked only the Evernew bags as the more comfortable ones. A third time ten or so minutes later and I again picked the Evernew bags.

Durability:

I have well over a thousand miles of hiking with the Platy Soft Bags. I have never had a single one fail on me. I did have a cap crack on me once.

At this point I have less than 100 miles of hiking with the Evernew bags. So it would be unfair for me to compare their durability against the Platys. I have asked some hikers presently on the PCT who I know are using the Evernew bags and all of them but one have not had any failure with the Evernew bags. The one hiker that told me they blew an Evernew bag also blew two platy bags and some other bag – all while using the Sawyer Squeeze, so my guess is this hiker is just being a bit to aggressive while filtering their water – I recommended to him that he “roll” rather than “squeeze” the bags, it works just as fast and is a lot easier on the bags.

I have been using my 600ml bag for a few weeks now and I have added Emergen-C twice a day to the bag and usually once a day I will throw in a thing of Crystal Light. It has not stained at all yet. My Platy bags would become stained orange after a single use of Emergen-C. The bags are a 3 layer polyethylene construction with some sort of antibacterial treatment applied to them (like most of the bags out there these days.)

Where To Buy:

Evernew, based out of Japan, has been having supply issues for a while now. Both with their water bags as well as their cookware. The boat shows up here in America, all of the suppliers get their outstanding orders, there is a mad rush to buy them, and than they are all gone. Almost every single store online that I know of that carries these bags sold out of them within 48 hours of getting them, with the exception of one.

The fact that I discovered that they fit onto the Squeeze and than told a few guys about it who than told a few other guys about it, lead to a mad rush of buying these bags. Another hiker discovered it at just about the same time that I did and posted about it over at BPL and that lead to an even bigger rush to buy them. Suffice to say, Sawyer Squeeze owners have all come together with the realization that the default Squeeze bag suck and something that perfectly fits the Squeeze is a must-have item!

Online stores where you can buy them (no promises they will be in stock by the time you read this article):

Gossamer Gear – They have all four sizes listed in their store and is where I got mine at.
Mountain Laurel Designs – It appears they only have two sizes, they say they will have more in October.
Trail Designs – It appears they have all four sizes in stock along with a cool looking hydration tube with a straw that goes down into the bag. (How it is that Trail Designs always has every Evernew product in stock – good job guys!! I bought my favorite Evrnew cooking pot from Trail Designs. I also own and use their awesome caldera sidewinder!)
ProLightGear – It appears they are totally out of stock of all four sizes.
AntiGravityGear – No idea how big of a stock they keep.

Pros:

Fits perfectly onto the Sawyer Squeeze!
Multiple sizes to pick from
Feels more comfortable to me than Platy Soft Bottle bags
Much better cap

Cons:

Slightly heavier than other bags out there
Can be a bit hard to find as Evernew has been having a hard time keeping USA suppliers in stock

Conclusion:

First and foremost is the importance that the Evernew Bag fits perfectly with the Sawyer Squeeze! No having to switch out the washer on the Squeeze or make any modifications to it. That is huge! The Squeeze has become the defacto best-of-the-best water filter for hikers, their bags have to high of a failure rate, so actually having a high quality bag that can fit the Squeeze is huge!

Durability, so far, for me, has been as good as any other water bag out there. Even the huge 2-liter bag I have filled up and tried to abuse to see if it would blow a seam and it did not. Granted I did not go jumping on it or driving over it anything stupid like that, but I have put it through the kind of standard use-and-abuse it might receive while on-trail for months. It has already made it into my 2013 hiking gear list to be used with the Sawyer Squeeze as my dirty water bag, or if I am in a very dry area and need another two liters of water.

In the end, as I started this article by say, we all have our own favorite way of carrying water. Once I became a SUL hiker I never thought I would switch bag to using bags. Oh how things change when you find something that makes your hiking life better!

-Abela

In accordance of USA Federal Trade Commission 16 CFR, Part 255: I hereby declare that I am a “Trail Ambassador” of Gossamer Gear. The Gossamer Gear products mentioned within the content of this review were purchased by myself and were not supplied to me free of charge, or in exchange for services, by Gossamer Gear, unless otherwise mentioned. Any other product(s) mentioned within the content of this review is free of endorsement(s) between myself and the manufacturer(s) and meets all FTC 16 CFR.255 compliance requirements.

17 thoughts on “Evernew “Water Carry” Bags

  1. Great write up John! I will just need to point my review of the Evernew bags to your site… :)

    I agree with you about rolling the bags rather than squeezing them when filtering the water through the Squeeze filter. I have been rolling my bags rather than just squeezing, and my Sawyer bags are holding up still, although, the 2L bag that I use more often is looking a little…well, used… No leaks yet though…however, now that I have my Evernew bag, I will be using it instead of my Squeeze bags…

  2. I would think the filter on top of the bag would cause it to fall over when stuffed in the side pocket of a pack. Or do you fill the 2L, fill the 0.6L and drink from the latter, with the filter stuffed back in your pack?

  3. Good article John. Been using two Evernew 1.5L bags for a year now and they are holding up fine. Got them from Gossamer Gear. I used one of them as a dirty water bag with the Sawyer Squeeze on a Labor day backpack to the Desolation Wilderness near Lake Tahoe with no problem. Interestingly, I forgot to empty one of my filtered water bottles after the hike and when I got home after a couple of days it smelled skunky. So much so that I would have been reluctant to drink it. I didn’t get sick drinking the Sawyer Squeeze filtered water on the hike though. Apparently the Sawyer Squeeze renders water safe to drink, but without any charcoal, does not remove some of the stuff that gives water “character.”

  4. I switched to Evernew bags over a year ago because I was forever losing the Platypus (or soda bottle) caps and had to carry a couple of extra anyway. With the Evernew cap permanently attached to the bottle, no need to carry extras!

    I did some experiments at home and found that the Sawyer Squeeze works fine as a gravity filter. The adapter isn’t necessary; just screw the “dirty” water bag into the top of the filter. I just needed a short piece of tubing (3/8″ external diameter, 1/4″ internal diameter) which I already had a supply of for other experiments with homemade gravity filters. The tubing is only to connect the “clean” end of the Sawyer Squeeze filter with the “clean” water container.

    I mistrusted the Sawyer bags on first sight (ignoring what I’d read about them on BPL). I haven’t even tried squeezing them! However, I will probably carry their 2L bag along to use as an occasional spare water container for when there are no frequent water sources or I have to camp a long way from water sources. I agree with your contention that Sawyer should sell just the filter without the fragile squeeze bags!

  5. I understand your recommendation about using the Evernew bags with the Sawyer filter, and it sounds like your prefer the .6L bag. What I am not sure I understand is how do you carry water now? Do you put the .6L bag with filter attached, full of water, and carry it in your bag pocket?

    1. Hey Dennis, nah, I do not keep them connected. You can but it requires quite a bit of suckage-power to pull the water through the filter. What I have been doing is lugging around the 2l as the dirty water bag, the 600 as my primary bag, and the 900ml as a secondary bag with clean water. Gives me a liter and a half of clean water, which is about the max I need to carry here in the Redwood forests of Northern California. I throw the squeeze filter into a small ziplock bag. When I am out using my backpack that does not have any pockets, I just fill up smart water bottles for primary and the 900ml bag for secondary and it goes inside of my backpack, yet outside of the bag linner, usually inside of a one-gallon ziplock bag.

  6. I use the Sawyer 3 way as an inline filter with a hydration hose & a platy bottle. If you pull the mouthpeice off the end of the hose you can easily squeeze water through the end into another container or use it as a gravity filter. I don’t have to carry extra water bags or worry about it leaking because I am using the platy adapter to hook up the hose to the platy bottle. The 3 way comes with the inline adapters for the hose. The adapters have a quick disconect feature that allows you to unsap the hose from the filter when you want to clean or air everything out. I would not use this setup to filter water for a group but it works well for solo travelers who use a hydration hose. If you have the Sawyer Squeeze you can order the inline hose adapters from Sawyer.

  7. What does this mean “food-grade 3-layer nylon/low-odor polyethylene” in practical terms? I have been using a Soft Bottle for about 6 months now. I use it to drink from but also as a hot water bottle on cold nights. I had read somewhere that the platy SB would be able to withstand boiling and freezing without problems(ie. some kind of bad plastic transfer to water or denaturing of the plastic making it leech “stuff” from the plastic). I’m wondering if that is what is meant by food-grade 3-layer nylon/… ? Perhaps I have been lead to a misunderstanding of it’s uses. Because you seem to be intimate with both “bottles”, I wonder if you might know more and be able to help clarify?? Kindly thanks -CNugget

  8. Just FYI, Trail Designs must have some stock again, having sold out just after your article. I was able to get a 0.6L bag this fall, and a 2L bag from a generous soul on BPL, but I wanted an extra set to throw in my gear bin just in case so I wouldn’t find myself without. On a lark, I went on Trail Designs this morning, placed an order for both sizes and lo and behold! I just got the shipment notice! Thought you might want to know.

  9. Been carrying these for a bit now with my squeeze and they are a pain in the ass to dry out. Should I just leave them uncapped and put them away? What do you do?

    Thanks buddy

    1. Go hiking more so they do not ever need to be dried out :-D

      When the winter season arrives and I stop hiking, I just grab some bleach and mix it with water and let them soak overnight, and dry them out the next day. If they get really nasty while out on the trail I will do the same thing – as I carry a small bottle of bleach inside of a ziplock bag to wash my cloths when I am away from trail towns.

  10. Being an older WV packer (64), finding weight a bigger issue and my heavy combi which has never failed me in 20 yrs or so, am going to try the Squeeze system. Supposedly Sawyer has new bags but will pick up an Evernew just to be on the safe side. Thanks for the pointed evaluation.

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