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 everyday 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
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.
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?
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Actually I have made very different experiences! My Platypus bottles broke after a couple of months. They usually get a hole I area’s with a lot of stress, like directly under the spout.
The good news though is that these defects are covered under the warranty. I have gone through more than a dozen of Platypus but have bought only three or four – the other ones were all exchanged under warranty.
I wonder if there is an issue with how your storing it?
I bought a 3L playtapus resivour over ten years ago for a backpacking trip out west. I’ve hiked thousands of miles with it since then. Its been through allot with no signs of slowing down.
Seriously. I can’t imagine what you’re doing to break a Platy. Things are indestructible in my experience.
Same here, I have a 3L bladder that I got in 2009. It’s part of my Sawyer-based gravity rig, and I’ve used on nearly every overnight trip since purchase, so in the hundreds of trail days by now. It got a pinhole puncture on one side once years ago (don’t recall how, surely gross negligence on my part), which I repaired with a couple layers of packing tape and it’s been good ever since. I roll it up tight and jam it into a pocket a couple times per trip, I’m beyond being gentle with it. I would say that Platypus bottles are the class of the field when it comes to materials and construction; as Philip says of the 2l, it’s light, cheap and bomb proof.
I wish they still made that 3L size. That’s the one that cracked on me. Took an awfully long time to destroy though!
I looked into the Platy when I was first putting my kit together but passed because it was not compatible with the Sawyer squeeze. I opted for evernew bags and they haven’t disappointed once! They are compatible with the Sawyer right out of the box, have a reinforced bottom for hanging, weigh the same as the Platy, have an attached cap so you don’t lose it, are durable, clear, and have an attached elastic to help keep the bag rolled up plus it gives you something to clip to in case you need to hang it off of your bag. The only thing that the Platy has that the Evernew doesn’t is the measurement marks but a sharpie can solve that problem. They can be more expensive but I snagged mine for 15 bucks on amazon so the price does drop from time to time if you are willing to deal stalk. That plumber’s tape trick is a really good idea though!
I’ve tried sharpies. Rubs off too fast.
Very true but I’m prone to losing things so for me the attached cap and elastic far outweigh this one area where the Platy is better but as they say your mileage may vary.
Have you tried an industrial sharpie? The ink in those generally requires a ketone to remove instead of any alcohol so I find they last a little bit longer in general.
Not worth it. Happy with the Platy.
I loved mine until I lost the cap just before setting off on a trip. Agree, they really need a way to attach cap and bottle.
I love my 2L Platy even though I get some seepage even with plummers tape. However, have you looked at the CNOC.
Thanks for all of your posts.
You know I haven’t. I’ve never been a huge fan of bottles with a wide sliding bottom lock. But I can see the advantages, especially from the cleaning side and refilling side of things, especially when all you have is still water in cattle tanks. I like the gussets bottoms of the Platy’s, I guess, and the durability. One less thing I need to worry about. But thanks for mentioning it. Maybe I’ll give it a try.
I recently added the CNOC to my kit and love it. I harvested some tubing from an old filter and use it and a Sawyer Squeeze in a gravity setup. Filling the Sawyer bags or other soft-sided bags through the capped opening was a huge aggravation for me.
It never occurred to me to use plumbers tape. Thanks. I’ve got some around the house from when I changed a shower head.
I’m skeptical about the plumber’s tape, the seal should be made on the end, not on the threads. What you need is a better gasket in the cap. Try using a soda/pop/soda-pop/coke bottle cap, as they seem to have pretty good gaskets. Did I miss any regional idioms there? :)
I use that same trick on my winter water bottles which expand and contract wildly because I pour boiling hot water into them. It really does work. I have read that people change the gaskets inside of the Sawyer, but that sounds like a lot of leg work, when I’m already drowning in plumbers tape at home.
Incidentally, I screwed a Sawyer micro on the a brand new 2L platy last night and they formed a perfect seal. That’s not field tested, so don’t count on it yet. The micro is only available with the Select S1, S2, and S3 water bottles and not sold separately.
I’ve heard of storing in the freezer when at home. Any merit to that practice? Does it kill stuff if it was used for dirty water?
I wash mine after a trip. I attempt to dry them by hanging them upside. When they are dry to my liking I store them uncapped in my deep freezer.
That’s mainly to inhibit the growth of mold inside them between uses. People do it with all makes of reservoirs, mainly the kind people drink from with hoses.
And they make great scoops. I cut the top off of my old, gunky Platypus 1L bottle and the bottom has been my scoop for years. I love it as a scoop since it folds flat, and basically weighs nothing. My filter, straw, and squeeze bag fit inside the scoop keeping everything together. You can even use the top as a funnel if you can find an application for it.
On scooping water: A 1 Gal freezer bag grabs 2+ liters in one dip. Nip one of the lower corners off on your bag first. Then you can funnel the water into your container of choice after making your scoop. I put a red spray paint dot on mine so it is hard to lose
I prefer the soft bottle, it’s sturdier over time and stands upright if I want to set it down. I don’t use the top as a funnel, just threw that out as a possibility. I’m sufficiently adequate at pouring into small openings.
Fortunately 20 oz bottle caps work perfectly with the Platy. I don’t think any of mine have the original cap. In fifteen years I have managed to punch exactly one hole in a Platy. A Platy patch is still holding 8 years later.
Never tried it, but I wonder if putting a little Velcro tape on the top of the cap and a dab somewhere on the bottle would solve the cap problem.
In the Canadian High Arctic we often use Platy “Plus” bottles (the one L model with the big loop on the top corner) inside our jackets to keep the water from freezing. In the bottom corner we punch a hole in the gusset excess plastic to create a loop of cord to hang around your body. I’ve had these bottles fail 3 times:
1. Barb wire
2. near boiling water made it leak at the seams
3. a nearly new one just leaked near the connection to the top(nothing to do with the threading)
I do really like them still, however, they discontinued this model with the big loop at the top corner.
Can anyone recommend a model/brand that could fill this role? I’m looking for a flat/low profile soft bottle. I’ve tried the “Seeker 2L” and found it to be too wide/large.
I know the bottles you mean. Sound pretty similar to these.
I’ve looked at those at the store and not only does the “duolock” cap feel very insecure(getting your jacket/inner clothing wet is a dangerous mistake to make in the Arctic) but they are not compatible with different lids(We generally swap ours out with bite valve caps) or sawyer squeezes.
That was my impression too. More of a bottle for tourists and school kids.
Thank you for the post. I’m a complete noob when it comes to backpacking so you’ve been warned. :-) I notice that most of the conversation around this 2L is for “storage” and not necessarily as a container used to drink while out on a trail. Is 2L considered too big to used for the container used to drink moving?
Imagine carrying a 1/2 gallon bottle in the side pocket of your pack. It weighs 4 lbs. Better to carry 2 x 1 liter bottles in the two side pockets to keep them balanced.
Thank you very much, Philip! That makes a lot of sense and something I didn’t think about. Glad I asked! Thanks again.
To prevent losing my platy top, I just attached a camera lens cap holder/leash— stick one end to the cap and then wrap the elastic end around the neck of the bottle a few times. Haven’t lost mine yet!
Reading the article above got me to thinking what bottles are compatible with my Sawyer filter (which I have never used) and it turns out I have a Walmart 1L bag which fits just fine the Sawyer or my Platypus and what’s more the cap is secured so you can’t lose it. It’s probably half the price of the Platy, looks pretty tough.
I just don’t see the point of a water filter especially in White Mtns. I generally keep my water in old soda bottles and if I run out on the trail or when backpacking I just fill up from whatever stream or spring I encounter. I have always found the water to be good. I usually carry Aquamira drops and maybe camping for the night I will use them depending on how ugly the water source looks but most of the time I don’t bother. No, I haven’t got giardia yet and I know now quite a few rivers and ponds that are good to drink from.
In fact, if I set out to catch giardia, I don’t know where you’d go to be sure of getting it from the water. I have read an old article where Yvon Chouinard scoffed at hikers that were afraid of giardia. I guess I have the same attitude. So Far, anyway.
Wish I could post a photo. Came across a captive cap that fits on Platy. I went to a runners expo where Brooks was giving away 500ml bottles like the Platy, but it has a loop for the cap that slips over the neck. Not as heavy duty as Evernew bottles, but better than nothing. Never had a Platy fail, started using in 2004. How you roll it ups matters. Don’t put lateral pressure near the neck. Sawyer bottles infamous for failing at that point.
After reading your above article I decided to switch how I filter my water with my Sawyer Mini. In using the Sawyer Mini by attaching it to a one liter soda bottle for the last year I was looking for a better way. After reading your article I purchased 2 Platy Water Bottles (2L) and did some fabrication where I can set it up like a IV bag and let gravity do the work. First I put 2 grommets in the bottom edges of the bottle and strung a piece of cord between them so the bottle can be hung upside down. Next taking a Powerade 32oz bottle cap drilled a hole in it and attached a male adapter to it. With a 3 foot piece of surgical tubing (1/4″ dia.) I attached one end onto the male adapter on the cap. The other end is attached to the Sawyer Mini after it is screwed onto the Platy bottle. When I need water I remove the cap from my Powerade bottle and hook it up to the filter system by screwing on the cap with the tubing. After hanging the platy from a tree branch it takes about 3-5 minutes to fill up. A lot easier! I selected the Powerade bottle over the Gatorade (both 32 oz) because the Powerade bottle has about 2 more mouthfuls in it. Thanks Phil
Experience using newer Platypus DuoLock Soft Bottle for boiling water? Want to use it to warm our sleeping bag. Thanks
I wouldn’t trust anything less than a Nalgene bottle for that application. Your mileage may vary.