Katadyn Hiker Water Filter Review

The Katadyn hiker water filter is a low cost option in the water filter market. Its available through most large sporting goods outlet stores, such as Gander Mountain and available through several internet stores.

Even though the Katadyn hiker water filter is a low cost option, there is nothing “cheap” about this product. It appears to be made out of quality material, is durable and is an overall well made water filter.

Katadyn hiker water filter

The first time this Katadyn filter was used, my son, my nephew and I were on a 6 – 8 mile hiking trip through the piney woods of East Texas. The trip started off a on the deer lease we belong to. From there, my nephew, my son and I hiked between a couple of the rolling hills, across 2 creek bottoms and stopped for our first rest break on an old logging road. This was when Korey (my son) realized he had lost his water bottle. Luckily for the three of us there was a deer stand near by where we found a discarded plastic water bottle.

An hour later the three of us arrived at a creek where I had planned on refilling the water bottles.  One thing I did not know, the lack of recent rain fall had made the creek almost dry up.

The filter became clogged because the prefilter was removed, plan and simple. If we would have simply dug a hole in the sand, or dug out the creek a little bit and left the prefilter in place – everything would have been fine.

If you own a Katadyn hiker water filter, or plan on buying one, let this be a lesson. Do not remove the prefilter from the intake hose, because you run the risk of clogging the filter up. Its better to take a few minutes and find a deeper hole to put the intake hose in, or dig out a spot.

One of the highlights of the trip was when the two cousins found a trap spider. We had finished filling up our water bottles and the boys started looking around the creek.

After we got back from the hiking trip (Saturday evening), an email was sent to Katadyn tech support. A prompt reply was received Monday. The person who replied to the email was very helpful and described a possible solution. After following the instructions in the email, the water filter started working again.

Overall, the Katadyn Hiker is one of the better options in the low end water filter market. Even though this filter is not expensive (as compared to other filters) it is not cheaply made.

The hiker has a filter size of .2 microns, which means it will remove most harmful pathogens except viruses.

The Katadyn Hiker was first developed by PUR water filters in the 1990s.  Eventually, Katadyn bought the PUR water filter outdoor line and renamed the filter to the Hiker.

Around 1995 or 1996 I bought one of the PUR water filters that would eventually be renamed to the Katadyn Hiker.  The filter has been used for over 20 years and has experienced zero problems.  However, in that 20 years the main filter has been replaced several times.

★★★★★
$84.20
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Description

  • Proven protection against bacteria and protozoan cysts down to 0.2 micron with pleated glass-fiber filter media
  • Activated carbon in the core of the filter improves the taste and reduces chemicals in your drinking water
  • The field cleanable filter protector screen extends the life of the cartridge in challenging conditions
  • Long-time trusted option for...

    User reviews

    This product was assembled correctly and used in the Boundary Waters Canoe Area for one week. It was used to filter visually clean water well above the bottom of the lakes and by day 5 became so difficult to pump the housing itself shattered as seen in the photo. Luckily, our group had other options for water treatment. I would never recommend this filter to anyone and I cannot return it to amazon as the return window has passed.
    My second Hiker Pro - the last one lasted about 100 trail days of pumping for two people, so about 300-400 gallons. Then the valve that actually lifts water into the filter somehow decided there was too much weight on it (hose was hanging into a creek below a log at full hose extension). The fact that this happened without any prior indication of pending failure is the only reason I am dropping a star from the review. I had just replaced the filter element (for 75 % of the cost of the whole filter) so I figured I'll get another one, given I had enough filter to go another 100+ days.Weight is acceptable. Pre filtering appears to keep most of the crud out of the mountain water I usually filter, so these things last a long time for me. Packs well, drains before packing with a few strokes. Can get to water in hard to reach places, and it's quite fast. Just a few minutes for two 1 liter bottles and a gallon water canteen for camp. I move too fast to want to rely on any gravity system and in the end these things are just a matter of hair. If you pack them, use them, or they are just dead weight. This one is easy, and combined with bottles that don't tip over makes a great filter system for me. That's what matters. I don't count ounces on things that are essential for daily trail living. ItThe pump shaft and filter are pretty easy to service - I keep it lubed and the pump will go smoothly. none of that was related to my last unit's failure. I assume it was just a flapper valve that let go, something you cannot service deep inside the plumbing between pump and filter housing.This unit shows the filter through clear plastic - not sure what that adds over the last model, but it can't hurt to see what goes on around the filter (e.g. water still in it). To get a 5 star review, the ridiculous filter cartridge price needs to come down, though. There's some pleated fiber material between two plastic ends - how can that be so expensive to make compared to the rest of the filter? The pricing of these filters in general is far too high for what they are. Clearly aimed at the recreation market. I'd like to one day find a filter that works like this unit but doesn't come with the recreational equipment markup.
    Cost a fortune but after 1 trip, the second trip it became so difficult to pump that I'd almost rather go without water than try to find the energy to keep pumping. We had to switch it from person to person so that people could rest between pumps. waste of money and I will never get a pump like this again. I've contacted Katadyn in hopes to get a replacement pump. My friend bought the same pump and has had the exact same issues.


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Katadyn Pocket Water Filter, Black, 10 (2010000)

★★★★★
$369.95
$345.00
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Description

  • Pocket water filter designed four outdoor enthusiasts and international travelers
  • Filter's silver-impregnated ceramic element is effective against bacteria and protozoa
  • Filters all microorganisms larger than 0. 2 microns to produce clear, drinkable water
  • Round pump handle for easy pumping; outlet hose attaches to containers with clip

User reviews

In bought it after reading numerous reviews on the product. I went ahead and bought the charcoal filter for better taste. Works just as described.What I didn't like was that it took about two weeks to be delivered. I tracked that package and noticed that it was left at several facilities for quite some time. Last time I checked it was at a facility about an hour away for a few days. I almost jumped in my car in order to pick it up as we were getting ready to leave camping. For the price that you pay (almost $400), the least they can do is ship it 2 or 3days mail.
This water filter is amazing. Easy to use, easy to clean, easy to store. It's so stinking' solidly built as well. It's worth the extra $$$ for all of the above. Unfortunately, the first go around at buying a filtration system, I went with the Katadyn Vario Water Filter trying to save a few bucks. I was also attracted to the speed at which the Vario pumped out clean water (1-2 quarts per minute depending on settings). However, the Vario has a major design flaw. The hose outlet connector breaks too easily I discovered, and it breaks just trying to get the hose disconnected form the outlet. That should never happen. The Vario, while lighter in weight, it also bulkier and takes up a little more width in my pack... so while the Pocket is heavier, it's thinner and much more solidly built. I love this filter. And the cleaning is so much easier than the Vario. The longevity is also amazing. And if speed is what you need, I've already used the Pocket twice and I never felt like it was a super long pump. I carry a 3 liter camelbak, and it seemed to put in 1.5 liters with ease and without much effort. So if you are considering getting the Vario because of the price point, I would suggest you consider spending the extra $$$ for something that will last you a lot longer and be much easier to use. You get what you pay for.
Everything is on time. All perfectly. The packaging was crumpled on the way, but this is not fatal. Thank you.


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Katadyn Hiker Microfilter

★★★★★
$74.95
$56.42
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Description

  • Easy-to-use design is great for the beginning camper to the serious backpacker
  • The 0.2 micron glassfiber filter media is designed for high output with little effort
  • Activated carbon in the core of the filter improves the taste and reduces chemicals in your drinking water
  • Provides safe drinking water in any challenging conditions
  • Lowest maintenance...

    User reviews

    As configured, my Sawyer system weighed 5.2 oz. My Katadyn Hiker weighs 14.3 oz. Let me tell you which one stayed in my pack.The Katadyn Hiker adapts directly onto a Nalgene, Hydrapak collapsible bottle, and the MSR Dromedary/Dromlite bags. If it's got a wide mouth top, this can fit. It can also plug into CamelBaks. It has a pre-filter for all the gunk, a floater so you don't have your in like stuck in the sediment of the water, and it pumps up a 4 liter bag pretty quick. 3.5-4 minutes of pumping.The Sawyer is light. It filters slowly, requires a dirty container and clean container, and is more hassle than the weight savings are worth.
    This filter is light, cheap, durable, and pumps water quickly. However, the cost and refquency that of replacement filters makes the pump useless. The filters only lasts about 4 days of regular use. The replacement filters cost about $50 which is what I paid for it in the first place. Once the filer is clogged it is impossible to clean and back flushing does not really help. Furthermore, once clogged it does not allow you to pump water through the filter by way of a pressure release valve or something.I was very disappointing by this because with a new filter this pump is amazing.
    Admittedly, I am comparing this filter to my alternative and backup which is the Sawyer Mini water filter. My ratings in size, weight, functionality, etc are based in this bias. The Katadyn filter does a great job filtering water, it takes care of anything bad I will ever encounter on my trips in North America, and I am sure it would be fine anywhere in the world, trusting the manufacturer. The size and weight are acceptable. Any bigger and it wouldn't work for my preference. It is fairly easier to use, however I did have some problems with the filter getting clogged. I had to filter some pretty murky water on a mountain, and clogged it pretty bad. I cleaned it per manufacturers instructions, and rinsed it in a light bleach dilute for long term storage. Took care of it, but I have been slightly dissapoined to have to have field cleaned it twice on separate trips since then, which is easy enough to do as the filter screws out of the pump, but still, as I have been careful to use the cleanest water possible and prefilter with a bandana, that it seems to have been pumping more difficultly. Water tastes pretty good after filtering however, so four stars for that. Overall, probably works pretty good comparatively. Haven't had the clog problem with my Sawyer (yet) however. Finally, and the main disappointment the prompted my review, is that the handle broke on my recent two week backpacking trip. I was still able to use the filter, using my multitool needle nose pliers, but it was difficult. I was pretty bumbed to have this happen, so I would appreciate it if the manufacturer could perhaps engineer the handles better so that this problem wouldn't happen again, where the palm grip of the handle cracks off clean at the top of the pump shaft. Overall, three stars for a decent filter, but not thrilled about the durability with extended use.


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