KATADYN HIKER WATER FILTER
BY NANCY GRIFFITH
June 25, 2009
Northern California, USA
5' 6" (1.68 m)
130 lb (59.00 kg)
My outdoor experience began in high school with involvement in a local canoeing/camping group called Canoe Trails. The culmination was a 10-day canoe voyage through the Quebec wilds. I've been backpacking since my college days in Pennsylvania. I have completed all of the Appalachian Trail in Georgia, Tennessee and North Carolina. My typical trip now is in the Sierra Nevada in California and is from a few days to a week-long. I carry a light to mid-weight load, use a tent, stove and hiking poles.
|Photo courtesy of Katadyn website|
Year of Manufacture: 1996
Manufacturer's Website: http://www.katadyn.com
MSRP: $64.95 US
Listed Weight: 11 oz (310 g)
Measured Weight: 14.6 oz (415 g) - with used filter
Capacity: 200 gal (750 L)
Dimensions: 3 x 6.5 x 2.4 in (7.6 x 16.5 x 6.1 cm)
Output: 1 qt/min (1 L/min)
Replacement Filter MSRP: $39.95 US
The Katadyn Hiker is a pump that forces water through a pleated filter. The housing is essentially a plastic cup-shaped section with threads at the top for attaching the filter cartridge. At the side of the cup is a plastic pump section with a large plastic handle. The inlet tube has a cylindrical piece of foam attached that can slide on the outside of it. The foam allows the tube to float above the bottom of the water source. The inlet tube has a mushroom-shaped pre-filter on the end with a tubular shaped piece of foam inside of the mushroom. This is really handy for filtering out any silt in the water to be pumped. It mainly keeps the filter cartridge from getting too dirty and clogging.
The output side of the filter includes an output hose which has an adapter on the end that perfectly fits into a large Nalgene bottle opening. It also has an inner ring that fits perfectly into a small Nalgene bottle opening. This adapter makes pumping much easier especially when only one person is doing it since it stays in place on the bottle without holding it.
I have used the Hiker water filter for most of my backpacking and boat camping trips over the past 13 years or so. In total I would estimate the usage to be approximately 150 days. I have replaced the filter approximately 5 times. The condition of the water sources varied quite a bit but included clear mountain streams and lakes, murky ponds, very small springs and a few sources best described as mud puddles. Temperatures ranged from just below freezing to warm summer days.
When I purchased this filter, it was made by PUR. I chose it for its ease of pumping and high flow rate. When the pump becomes difficult to operate or the flow rate slows significantly, I know that the filter is getting clogged. I then remove the filter, rinse it and soak it with a mild bleach solution. If the pump is still difficult to operate then I replace the filter. Every time that I have replaced the filter, the filter returns to being easily pumped and flows quickly.
My typical maintenance routine is to remove the filter, rinse it (sometimes in a mild bleach solution and otherwise just water), clean out any silt in the main housing and allow it all to dry before being stored for the next trip. When trips were close together, I probably didn't bother with this and just stored it away. I put some food-grade silicone on the O-ring once in awhile to keep the filter easily removable. It can become very difficult to unscrew the filter with no lubricant on the O-ring.
The handle is large enough that it is comfortable in my hand. Pumping is easy enough that I don't really mind doing it. My husband and I typically pumped water as a 'two-man' job. One would hold the pre-filter or end of the tube down into the water. If we pumped directly from the water source, we would use the pre-filter. If we first gathered water into a carrier jug then we would remove the pre-filter. The second person would operate the pump. As mentioned before, the output fits nicely onto our Nalgene bottles, so that the bottle doesn't really need to be held. The whole thing can be done by one person but can be frustrating if the pre-filter moves to an undesirable area or if the inlet tube sucks onto the bottom of the water jug.
This filter has never let me down on a trip. There have been a few times when it has gotten clogged or has been difficult to pump, but with a rinse of clean water, it always was usable until the filter could be replaced. No illness has ever been attributed to drinking contaminated water after using this filter.
The durability of this filter is great. It came with a nylon zippered storage pouch which I have always used to store it both at home and on the trail. I have never babied it in my handling and have always stuffed it into my pack with no regard to being careful. There have been absolutely no problems. The pump operates as-new (when the filter is new), has very little damage and has never needed any replacement parts (other than filter replacement).
The Katadyn Hiker water filter is a high-quality, simply-designed, durable pump. The fact that the identical model to my 1996 version is still on the market speaks volumes about its performance.
THINGS I LIKE
High water flow output
Ease of use
THINGS I DON'T LIKE
Weight - with new technologies, there are some other lighter options
This report was created with the BackpackGearTest.org Report Writer Version 1.5
Copyright 2009. All rights reserved.
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