OregonMouse asked me to report back on this (in the post on Sawyer vs Platypus threads) when I got it.
Well, I received it today. Price was $17.99 plus $2.92 shipping, so pretty reasonable. Shipping was not particularly fast, considering it shipped from the same town I live in. I placed the order late at night on the 10th, got a confirmation notice on the 11th, and a notice that it had been shipped on the 12th. Although the web site said it would ship USPS (est. shipping time 2 days) it actually shipped DHL, who sent it to Auburn, WA, where it was transferred to the Postal Service, then back to Portland, arriving today, the 16th.
Weight of the bag is 2.6oz., as advertised. It's only accompanied by a few instructions printed on the box. I washed it out with dish soap before use as advised on their web site. It has a strong plastic-y odor, but it doesn't seem to affect the taste of the water. The slide seal at the large end seems to work fine with no leaks, and I was able to get my hand inside to clean it, but I have fairly small hands. The slide requires more force than I expected to remove, but that's probably a good thing, ensuring that it seals.
The threads are compatible with the Sawyer...regular pop bottle threads. I noticed it was fairly easy to accidentally cross-thread, possibly because the material is slightly softer than the average pop bottle. Not a big deal, you just have to pay attention while attaching the filter.
No problem squeezing to filter. It's a soft, rubbery material (EPDM maybe?) but is reputedly quite strong. The slide has a hole for hanging to use as a gravity filter. Addition tubing would be needed. It just comes with a plain cap.
I'm not sure you could develop enough pressure for a strong backflush of the filter, so might still be necessary to carry the syringe.
There are numerous YouTube videos about it. The advantage I see is that it has the wide opening that makes it much easier to fill. So far, it seems like a keeper.
Loc: Gateway to Columbia Gorge
I live just east of Portland and have seen some weird shipping agendas, too. But your DHL shipping from Portland to Auburn and back to Portland via USPS is really weird! (For you non-Northwesterners, Auburn is between Seattle and Tacoma, WA.)
Thanks for the report on the bag! It sounds good. I have several sizes of Evernew bags, but of course they do not have the opening at the top so are hard to fill from the water source.
May your trails be crooked, winding, lonesome, dangerous, leading to the most amazing view--E. Abbey
Yeah, it was the opening that sold me. I could just see myself on a chilly evening dangling precariously over a rock, holding my hands in ice-cold water, getting my jacket cuffs wet, while trying to coax the water into the opening of a Sawyer bottle.
Frankly, I think the PUR (Katahdin) Hiker is the best of all, except for the weight. You just plop the inlet into the water and pump. And it has two pre-screens (one inside wrapped around the filter cartridge.)