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Fast, Fresh Water: Hiking Lady’s Sawyer TAP Water Filter Review

Sawyer TAP Filter ReviewWhat good is water unless it is drinkable?   We all need reliable, safe drinking water, whether or not we are at home, hiking in the backcountry, or at a campground.  Between the covid-19 pandemic this past year, the west coast wildfires, storms and boil alerts in Texas, emergency preparedness should be the top item on your list.  That’s why you should read my Sawyer TAP Water Filter review!

Sawyer’s Water Filters

Sawyer is a well-known outdoor products company that has been in business since 1984. For those of you not familiar with their water filters, Sawyer makes a wide range of them, from their Mini Water Filter to their Personal Water Bottle Filter and many more. They recently developed a new model called the Sawyer TAP water filter.  I had the chance to test it out, so read on to get my full review of the Sawyer TAP water filter!

Hiking Lady’s Review of the Sawyer TAP Water Filter

As many of you know, in mid-2020 the Hiking Lady family made a big improvement to our outdoor recreation – we purchased a Winnebago Solis camper van, making pandemic camping (and hiking adventures) extremely safe, comfortable, and fun. (See Hiking Lady: Camper Van Life). With two boys ages 5 and under, it makes it way easier to travel and explore, all while staying very “socially distanced”. To fill up the fresh water tank of the camper van, we use an inline water filter. However, how about that time when our water pump broke when it froze…we had to head home. The Sawyer TAP water filter sure would have been handy on that trip.

  • What is the Sawyer TAP Water Filter for? The TAP is designed for just that, connecting to a “tap”. Think of your kitchen sink, or your camper van/RV’s kitchen sink, or a hose bib at a campground. That is what this nifty filter connects to. It fits taps 17mm to 20mm (11/16″ to 3/4″); hose bibs (garden hose spigot); and some (but not all) faucet aerators.  It is a 0.1 micro filter, so it can get rid of a lot of junk (see next question).
  • What it removes? 99.99999% of all bacteria (salmonella, cholera, and E. coli); removes 99.9999% of all protozoa (such as giardia and cryptosporidium); also removes 100% of microplastics.  I don’t have equipment to test whether or not these claims are true, but fancy independent testing companies did that work for me :).  See details at Sawyer.com.
  • What’s in the package? The TAP filter, backwash adapter, threaded spigot adapter, dual threaded adapter, tap gauge, extension hose for use in a shallow tank.  Notably, these other parts can be used with other Sawyer filters.
  • How long does it last? The Sawyer TAP can filter up to 500 gallons of water per day, and is rated for 100,000 gallons.  That means that it can last for over 10 years, if used and maintained properly. (The “maintenance” involves backwashing it and let it dry out before storing; pretty straightforward).  It is a handy little, lightweight piece of equipment.
  • What technology does it use?  The TAP filter uses hollow fiber membranes, with pores no bigger than 0.1 microns.  Compared to other filters, Sawyer’s are thicker, making it possible to clean them and re-use it over and over again.

The Sawyer TAP Water Filter in Action

I was hoping that the TAP filter would fit the sink faucet in our Winnebago Solis camper van, but alas, it did not.  However, it fits perfectly on hose bibs, as shown in the previous pictures.   I’ve stayed at Hipcamps, private RV “resorts”, and some remote campgrounds where the supposed potable water literally smelled putrid (yes, all in the United States).  We always just pressed on to find water elsewhere, rather than risking drinking contaminated water.  Filters are a must have, and this is a very handy, relatively inexpensive piece of gear.  I’m so excited to have this Sawyer TAP filter as part of my adventure gear kit.  It provides a lot of peace of mind as well to have available for emergencies at home or out on a Hiking Lady family adventure.

Using the included Tap Gauge to see whether or not it would fit…
One spot where a Sawyer Tap Filter is a must!
One spot where a Sawyer Tap Filter is a must!

Specifications of the Sawyer TAP Water Filter

  • Dimensions: 10.5 x 16.5 x 10.25 inches
  • Weight: 4 ounces
  • Price: $39.95, Amazon.com, REI.com

Bottom line – I’d recommend the Sawyer TAP filter for emergency use, attaching to hose bibs, and definitely an RV tap assuming it fits on your faucet!

Happy trails!

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