I’ve been using Platypus Platy Water Bottles since 2009 for bulk water storage, filtration, and purification because they’re so reliable and durable. I use a 2L Platy Bottle on almost every day hike or backpacking trip I take, so it gets a lot of use and abuse, and comes back for more, time and again.
Platy Water Bottles have a lot of benefits. They’re:
- Transparent – so you can see how much water you have left and how silty it is *before* you choke your filter on it
- Lightweight – a 70 oz/2 liter Platy only weighs 1.3 oz. That’s less than 2 x one-quart soda bottles.
- Foldable – so you can roll them up and tuck them away when not needed
- Measurable – with permanent markings in fluid ounces and liters, so you can tell how much water you have
- Self-standing – with a gusseted bottom, which is handy when cooking or around camp
- Hangable – with reinforced areas in the bottom that you can punch out and run cord through (or hydration pocket dowels)
- Sawyer Compatible (see below)- with Sawyer water filters and a good replacement for Sawyer Squeeze bottles
- BPA Free – Safe to store water and drink from
- Taste-Free – Polyethylene lining doesn’t retain flavors
- Bomber Durable – my last Platy Water Bottle lasted for 8 years of near constant use
Sawyer Water Filter Compatibility
I mostly use my Platy as the backend “dirty-water bag” for a Sawyer Squeeze Filter when I want to filter water on the move. People say that Sawyer Filters (the squeeze, mini, and new micro) and Platy Bottles aren’t compatible, but I’ve been using them together since 2011. I simply wrap the threaded Platy spout with a little white plumbers tape to ensure a drip-free seal between the filter and the reservoir and it works perfectly like that. It’s a no brainer. There’s really no reason not to use these two great products together. Try it if you don’t believe me.
When not in use, I roll my Platy up and stuff it into the front stretch pocket of my pack along with my wet water filter so they don’t get the rest of my gear wet. The other times I use the Platy are when I need extra storage capacity to get through dry water areas or if I want to batch purify a large amount of water with Aquamira Chlorine Dioxide drops. This has the added benefit of sterilizing the inside of the Platy bottle with chlorinated water so I can pour it into my cook pot without filtering it or pack the Platy away between trips without having to wash it out.
I never put flavored drinks into my Platy, although they are polyethylene lined and don’t retain odors. I rarely bother washing them between my frequent trips because my water filter will remove any bacterial contaminants or a dose of Aquamira will kill them off.
Some people find it difficult to refill soft water bottles, especially those with narrow pour spouts like the Platy Water Bottle. It’s pretty easy if you have running water available, like in a stream. You just need to find a small “drop” like a cascade, water rushing around a rock, or even over a stick, and put the spout in front of it. Gravity will force the water into the bottle. If you only have still water available, like from a pond or water tank, you will need some kind of scoop to collect and pour the water into the Platypus, but it can be as simple as a cook pot or a snack bag.
You also need to be careful not to lose the cap of your Platy Water Bottle when you refill it or mate it with a water filter. I’m meticulous about keeping track of it and have only lost one once, after a 2 week backpacking trip, when it didn’t matter so much. But I wish Platypus would come out with a cap keeper that keeps the two together, like Evernew does. That’s really the only thing I’d wished changed about these bottles, but it’s not a showstopper for me because I’ve developed habits to compensate for it. (I used to carry a spare cap in my first aid kit, but don’t bother anymore.)
While Platy Water Bottles have myriad benefits, the thing I like the most about them is their dependability. They last and last no matter how many times you bend them, drop them, and roll them up. What other piece of backpacking gear costs so little and lasts so long?