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Reviews > Water Treatment > Filters > Katadyn Vario Filter > Test Report by Pamela Wyant

Katadyn Vario Water Filter

Initial Report - July 2007
Field Report - October 2007
Long Term Report - November 2007

Tester Information:
Name:  Pam Wyant
Age:  49
Gender:  Female
Height:  5 ft 5 in (1.65 m)
Weight:  165 lb (77 kg)
E-mail address:  pamwyant(at)yahoo(dot)com
Location:  Western West Virginia, U.S.A.

Backpacking Background: 

Pursuing a long-time interest, I started backpacking four years ago, beginning with day-hiking and single overnights.  Currently I’m mostly a ‘weekend warrior’ and mainly hike and backpack in the hills and valleys of West Virginia, but have section hiked longer parts of the southern portion of the Appalachian Trail (AT) the past two years.  My usual shelter is a hammock but I am currently testing a Tarptent. In general my backpacking style is lightweight and minimalist, and I try to cut as much pack weight as I can without sacrificing warmth, comfort, or safety.

Initial Report - July 2007

Product Information:

Manufacturer:  Katadyn
Year of manufacture:  2007
Model:  Vario

Advertised weight:  15 oz (425 g)
Actual Weight: 
   Filter only - 13 oz (369 g)
   Filter, hoses, prefilter/weight & float, & bottle clip - 16.3 oz (462 g)
   Repair kit , scrub sponge, zipper lock bag for outlet hose, carry case 2 oz (57 g)
   Total weight 18.4 oz (522 g)

Actual weight of filter after use:  15.4 oz (437 g)
Actual weight of assembled filter after use:  18.8 oz (533 g)

Listed size:  7.5 x 4 in (19 x 10 cm)
Measured size of filter:  Approx. 7.5 x 4 in (19 x 10 cm) overall
Measured size inside carry case (all components):  Approx. 10.5 x 6 x 4 in (27 x 15 x 10 cm)

Listed output:  up to 2 quart/2 liter per minute

Manufacturer Website:
MSRP:  Not available

Vario attached to Nalgene bottle

Product Description:

Disassembled filterThe Vario is one of Katadyn's Backcountry Series Water Filters, suggested as "ideal for camping, trekking and backpacking" for 1-2 persons for use with clear to slightly turbid water.  The Vario is somewhat unique in that it has three different types of filters built in - a cleanable ceramic disc, a glassfiber microfilter, and a carbon core.  The user can select to engage all three types of filters for longer life of the glassfiber filter, or bypass the ceramic filter for faster water flow.  A prefilter that attaches to the intake hose is also included.

The Vario is cylinder shaped and has a lever style pump handle.  The overall shape reminds me somewhat of an oversized flashlight; a comfortable gripping area at the base, which widens toward the top.  The top end has a transparent smoke colored cover that allows me to see the dual pistons working when I pump the handle.  Working the lever up and down activates the dual pistons to start the water flowing, bringing back childhood memories of using the old hand pump at our vacation cabin.

The photo to the side shows the disassembled filter.

On the side of the pump head opposite the handle is a diagram of the filter interior with a warning sign.  It wasn't readily apparent to me what the sign meant, but reading the instruction booklet quickly gave me the answer.  It is a precaution to make sure a V-shaped notch in the glassfiber filter is lined up with a pointed ridge in the filter housing when replacing the glassfiber filter after removal.  The Vario is fairly simple to assemble and disassemble.  To remove the pump head, I simply twist it slightly counterclockwise, then lift up.  The ceramic filter can then be lifted straight up.  Part of the time when I lift the ceramic filter up, the glass fiber filter comes up with it, and I can simply pull the two pieces apart.  Part of the time it remains inside the filter body, in which case, removing the rubberized cap at the bottom of the filter housing allows me to push on the fitting at the end of the filter which pops the filter up high enough that I can grasp it and remove it from the housing.

The glassfiber filter looks like what I typically consider a filter to look like - pleated folds of stiff papery feeling material in a circular shape with plastic end caps to hold it properly in place inside the filter housing.  The ceramic prefilter is different than what I would expect a filter to look like.  It's just a solid disk of ceramic material attached to a plastic fitting.  Inside the plastic fitting are small holes around the outside, and a small tube for water inlet, which is located behind the white arrow to align the filter for faster flow or longer life.  The words faster flow and longer life are printed on opposite sides of the filter housing, and I just twist the white arrow to the desired setting, reattach the pump head to the filter body, and it's ready to go in the desired setting.

Inside the glassfiber filter is a core of activated carbon.  The carbon, which looks like tiny pieces of black coal, can be replaced by pulling the red cap out of the top of the glassfiber filter, removing a piece of green sponge, dumping the old carbon out, rinsing the center with filtered water, and pouring in new activated carbon, which Katadyn says is available in refill packs "where you purchased your Katadyn Vario."

The photos below show the carbon core assembly components. 
Also noticeable in the photos is the V-shaped notch and the pointed ridge in the filter housing that need to line up together.

Carbon core with cap
Cap removed, foam in place
Carbon inside core

Katadyn recommends using the included prefilter on the intake hose to prevent large particles from entering the filter system.  The cylinder shaped prefilter is placed inside the hose weight, the barbed fitting on the top passed through a hole in the weight and then inserted into the intake hose.  Adding a bit of silicone lubricate makes the fitting easier to insert.  I then added the foam hose float and pushed it down toward the prefilter/hose weight and attached it to the barb protruding from the side of the pump head.  Basically at this point, the filter is ready to pump, but I have a choice to make on what type of outlet method to use.  I have three options - I can remove the bottom cap and thread a Nalgene-type bottle directly to the filter housing; I can attach the outlet hose to the barb in the center of the bottom of the housing and place the opposite end into the water container of my choice, running the hose through the metal clip and attaching it to the side of the container if desired; or I can leave the bottom cap in place, positioning it so the built in hollow tube aligns with the opening in the bottom of the filter housing so I can thread my hydration system water hose through the base of the filter for direct connection.

Katadyn provides a pamphlet with clear instructions on assembling, using, cleaning, and storing the filter.  The pamphlet also gives field performance tips and instructions on how to replace the various components of the filter.  The Vario has 8 different O-rings, and mine came with 7 replacement O-rings.  Four of the O-rings are used on the pistons, two at the top of the glassfiber filter, and one between the ceramic filter and the filter housing.  The 8th O-ring is attached to the bottom of the glassfiber filter and a replacement for this O-ring was not included.  I assume that a replacement filter would come with this O-ring already in place since none of the included O-rings is sized to replace this one.

Also included with the Vario is a green scrubby sponge to clean the ceramic filter, a small tube of silicone lubricant, a sturdy zipper lock type bag marked "Outlet Hose", and a zippered black nylon case that can be used to carry the filter and accessories.

The instruction pamphlet gives the following general guidelines for life of the filters:  200 liters (or 6 months constant use) for the activated carbon; 1875 liters for the glassfiber cartridge.  Interestingly, the website claims a slightly higher amount of 2000 liters for the glassfiber cartridge and a much longer life of 400 liters for the carbon.  I could not find an estimated life for the ceramic filter in the instructions or on the website.

Prefilter components
Underside of ceramic filter
Underside of pump head

Preliminary Use and Impressions:

After reading the directions, the Vario was easy to disassemble and assemble (both of which I did several times before ever trying to filter water).  The parts fit smoothly together, and the process is simple enough that I don't feel I will need to carry the instructions in the field.

I took the filter and a 1 liter Platypus bladder to a local stream.  Conditions lately have been fairly dry, and the stream was fairly low and moving only slowly.  Not being used to using a pump style filter (lately I have been using chemical treatment and previously used a gravity fed system), I struggled a little to juggle everything around, and ended up dropping the output hose and my Platypus into the stream.  Hm..  Lesson learned.  Plan A:  Think about where everything is going ahead of time, if possible get into a comfortable sitting position to make everything easier to place, and pay better attention to the outlet hose.  Plan B:  Take backup chemicals to disinfect output hose and bladder if plan A fails.

Once I got everything settled I made mistake number 2.  I placed the float too far away from the prefilter assembly.  While it was okay when I first placed it, I soon found the pumping action moved the hose around and the prefilter ended up on the bottom of the streambed in a shallower area, stirring up a lot of sediment, which of course was sucked up into the filter.  Lesson learned.  Don't allow too much space between float and prefilter.

Proceeding to fill the bladder, I noted it took about 50 seconds to fill the bladder.  Not bad!  I decided to take the filter apart and look at the components.  Wow!  The ceramic filter really worked - it was covered with slimy brown sediment and had turned tan in color, but the glassfiber filter was still pure white.  I rinsed it off in the stream and reassembled the filter to play some more.

Okay, on to mistake number 3.  Deciding to see how quickly I could filter a liter of water, I pumped the handle rapidly (must have missed the part of the instructions that said to pump steadily and slowly).  I guess too much pressure built up, and the pump head popped off the filter body.  Lesson learned:  Do not decide filtering is a race with time.  Follow manufacturer instructions - pump steadily and SLOWLY.  (Hopefully I will get better at all of this when I am in the field!)

Next I decided to test the 'faster flow' setting.  It took about 35 seconds to fill the 1 liter bladder.  I switched back to 'longer life' and found it took about 80 seconds to fill the bladder pumping steadily and slowly.  I think I can live with this - it's a lot faster than the wait time for chemical treatment, and several minutes faster than my gravity fed filter.

I pumped the filter dry and weighed the assembled filter before cleaning and drying and found it gained 2.5 oz (71 g) from residual water.

Ceramic and glassfiber filters after useAfter the test, I cleaned the Vario for long term storage according to the manufacturer directions, which involves adding a couple of tablespoons of bleach to a liter of water and pumping it through the filter, then disassembling everything and allowing it to dry before reassembly.  I noted the glassfiber filter also had some brownish stains (probably from using the 'faster flow' setting, which lets me know it's really important to follow the manufacturer instructions to only use the 'faster flow' setting when water is clear).  The photo at the right shows the color of the filters after use.  Note some slight brown staining on the glassfiber filter near the bottom, and the darker brown coloring of the ceramic filter as opposed to the pure white in the earlier photos.

The only negative thing I have noted about the filter so far is that it tends to leak a bit of water from the area between the ceramic filter and the filter housing when I pump water.  While this doesn't seem to be a serious problem, it is a little annoying.  I plan to contact the manufacturer to see if this is normal and expected, if there is something to adjust to prevent this from happening, or whether my filter may be defective.  Stay tuned for more information on this in my field report.

This concludes my Initial Report.

Field Report - October 2007

Filtering in Dolly SodsField Conditions:

In late July I used the Katadyn Vario on a weekend backpacking trip to the Dolly Sods area of the Monongahela National Forest in eastern West Virginia.  Elevations ranged from around 3000 to 4000 ft (900 to 1200 m), and temperatures ranged from 60 to 75 F (16 to 25 C).  It rained off and on for most of the weekend.  I filtered water from four different small creeks, which were running well.  The water appeared clear (sediment free), but colored by tannins.  The creek bottoms were mostly rock with some soil.  The photo to the left shows me using the Vario (far right side of photo) and also shows the water is fairly clear, as evidenced by the visibility of the creekbed.

In early September I used the Vario on a backpacking weekend trip in the Laurel Fork Wilderness in eastern West Virginia.  Elevations were around 3000 to 3500 ft (900 to 1100 m), and temperature in the 50 to 75 F (10 to 25 C) range, with partly cloudy to sunny skies, no precipitation, and moderate humidity.  I filtered water from two different creeks.  The water level was fairly low for the area, with the water running, but slower than normal.  The creek bottoms were a combination of soil and rock, with sediment visible on the creekbed which would easily stir up when disturbed.  The running water or undisturbed water appeared clear.

In mid-September I used the Vario for demonstration purposes only while teaching a beginner backpacking class at Watoga State Park in southeastern West Virginia.  Due to logistics involved in teaching the class, we were unable to filter water while actually on the trail on the overnight trip.  The creek we used for filtering had very rocky banks which were wet with rain at the time of the class, so I collected water from the creek in a pot and took it to the top of the bank, to show the class how to use a filter (the Vario) as a water treatment method.  Temperatures were in the 60 F (16 C) range.

Field Use:

I've had some mixed results using the Vario in the field.  While set on longer life, it works like a charm to filter about 3-5 liters.  On the two trips so far, after that it begins to spurt water from the housing at the point the base joins to the top.  The spurting accelerates to the point it is spewing out more water than is passing through the filter.  At this point, I disassemble the filter, and when I separate the two parts of the housing, a lot of water pours out.  Sometimes the ceramic filter appears to have a bit of sediment on the top and sometimes it does not.  I rinse the top of the ceramic filter in the creek, scrub it with the included scrubby sponge, rinse again, and reassemble the filter and begin pumping.  It will usually pump another liter or so before the whole process repeats.  Ugh!  After doing this two or three times, the pump becomes ineffective and will not pump water through the intake hose.  At that point I switch to the faster flow setting and the filter works like a charm for the rest of the trip.  Unfortunately, this of course allows more particulate through the glassfiber filter, meaning I will have to replace it faster. 

On returning home, I disassemble the filter and clean it according to directions, and make sure to scrub the ceramic filter once while it is wet, and once when it is dry, brushing the particles away when finished.  The next time I use the filter, it again works like a charm for those 3-5 liters.  Then I repeat the whole process.  What surprises and concerns me most is that the ceramic filter eventually will not work in the field despite repeated and vigorous scrubbing, and yet once cleaned at home it will work for a few liters the next trip.  I e-mailed Katadyn about 2 weeks ago through their website to see if this is expected or not, and have not received a reply as of the date of this writing.

On the positive side, the Vario is fast when it is working properly, and very fast on the faster flow setting.  I can fill a liter in only a minute or so.  It is very easy to pump, requiring little effort to operate the handle.  It is fairly easy to assemble, and easy and comfortable to grasp.  It does require a little dexterity when assembling to make sure I keep the outlet hose from becoming contaminated by either coming into contact with the intake hose or falling into the stream, but this is true of any pump style filter I know of.  The zippered plastic bag provided by Vario to store the outlet hose did rip lose at the top after a few uses, and I have simply replaced it with a Zip-Lock pint size freezer bag, which works just as well.

Taking the Vario apart to thoroughly clean it after a trip is also fairly easy, although I end up with a lot of pieces laying around while it dries (two parts of the body housing, the rubber bottom cap, the ceramic filter, the glassfiber filter, the handle/pump assembly, the clear plastic top, and the pin that holds the handle/pump assembly on.  I generally allow the pieces to dry overnight before I reassemble it, without the glassfiber filter, which I allow to dry for nearly a week as it seems to hold water longer.  Even when it feels dry on the outside some water remains on the inside so I try to make sure it is very dry before reassembling the entirety.

Katadyn recommends lubricating the O-rings each time the filter is disassembled and cleaned, which is a simple matter of squirting a little of the provided silicone lubricant on the rings and spreading it with my fingertip, however if I have only used the filter a few times, I have found there is still a good residue of lubricant and I may not have to reapply each time.

Impressions so far:

On the negative side, the ceramic filter has not worked very well for me, clogging quickly and causing water to spurt from the filter housing, which also means I have to be very careful not to hold the filter near my Platypus while pumping, because once the water starts spurting about I could easily contaminate the bladder accidentally. 

Mostly I have used the metal clip to hold the outlet hose in place in a Platypus bladder, which is my normal water container, although I did remove my bite valve assembly and use the bladder hose to connect the filter once.  I find for the most part I prefer removing the bladder to fill it, since I don't like taking my whole pack down to the water source and prefer to keep my drinking tube assembly away from any chance of contaminating it either by filter malfunction (spurting water) or by dropping it accidentally in the stream.

Filters after 2 months useI've found it a little difficult to hold a taller (2 liter) Platypus bladder in place while holding the filter and pumping,  due to the bladder's flexibility, which means I have to try to support it somehow between my feet and legs or against a rock and pump carefully so as not to jostle the bladder making it fall over and spill the filtered water.  Shorter bladders are easier to handle so I sometimes filter into a 1 liter or 1/2 liter bladder then transfer to the 2 liter.

On the positive side, pumping water has been faster than waiting for chemical treatment to work, even including set up time, and there is no chemical aftertaste to the water.  All of the water I have filtered so far has tasted (and smelled) very good, although a slight variance can be noted between the taste of water from different sources.

The filter has never failed to work in the faster flow mode, and so far it seems effective; at least I have not come down with any waterborne disease.

Another big positive is that the Vario has undoubtedly kept a lot of gunk from entering my system that I would have drank had I been using chemical treatment, as evidenced by the color of the filters in the picture to the right.  All that brown stuff would have been in me!

This concludes my Field Report.

Long Term Report - November 2007

Field Conditions And Use:

In early October I used the Vario on a 30 mi (48 km) weekend backpacking trip in the Cranberry Backcountry in southeastern West Virginia.  Temperatures ranged from around 50 F to 80 F (10 to 27 C) and the weather was mainly dry with only a few sprinkles of rain one evening.  Trails varied widely from sections of old logging roads that had fairly smooth dirt surfaces, to rocky passages through rhododendron thickets with their accompanying roots across the trail, to a short section of graveled forest service road.  Elevation varied considerably from 2700 to 4000 ft (800 to 1200 m) with some tough climbs.  Water sources were low and scarce due to a very dry summer and fall.  The first evening I filtered about 3 quarts/liters of water from a small low-flow stream near our camp.  The water appeared clear, but the bottom had a good bit of clear appearing sediment which I tried to avoid stirring up.  After filtering about 1.5 quarts/liters on the longer life setting, the filter once again began spurting water and not working well.  I cleaned the ceramic filter with the green scrubby and pumped a bit more, but found the filter still not working very well, pumping water very slowly.  I switched to faster flow setting and quickly finished filling my containers.  I filtered an additional quart/liter on the faster flow setting the next morning with no problems.  A couple of hours later I quickly filtered another quart/liter on the faster flow setting from a small moderately flowing stream which lasted until that night's camp.  I did not need to filter again on that trip, since a trail angel had planted some water for our group knowing that we would have a dry camp.

Shortly after this trip, Katadyn contacted me concerning my problems with the filter spurting water and not working well on the longer life setting.  Their customer service representative shipped me a new ceramic filter and a new glassfiber filter to use in completing the test, which I used for my next trip, a section hike of the Appalachian Trail in northern Georgia and southern North Carolina in late October and early November.  A friend and I had originally planned to divide the trip into a 2-day segment followed by a night at a motel (and showers) and another 4-5 day segment, but due my friend developing severe blisters, and situations at a couple of shelters that made us uncomfortable, we ended up spending 3 nights in hotels and 2 nights on the trail. 

Over a 6 day period, I hiked a total of 56.1 mi (90 km) at elevations ranging from 2660 to 5220 ft (810 to 1590 m), with a lot of ascending and descending, often over 700 ft (200 m) within 1-1.5 miles (1.5-2.5 km).  The trail varied from short sections of semi-smooth dirt to the more common rocky sections, with plenty of roots crossing the trail to throw in a little variety, and a few rock scrambles.  Temperatures were in the 40 to 70 F (4 to 21 C) range.  The weather during our trip was dry for the most part, but there was some fog and condensation some mornings. 

Unfortunately, this area of the Appalachian Trail was under an exceptional drought during the weeks preceding our trip and during the trip itself, so we needed to haul more water than normal.  Due to the lack of reliable water sources, I carried about 6 quarts/liters starting out the first day, which lasted until mid-morning the second day when we reached a good spring in a mostly dry creek bed behind Deep Gap Shelter.  The water itself appeared clear, but was flowing into a shallow depression with a good bit of sediment at the bottom.  Recalling my earlier problems with sediment, I thought a minute and decided to use a large fallen leaf to place under the intake prefilter and weight assembly.  This seemed to work very well, and not much sediment was stirred up when I pumped.  I was able to quickly pump about 4 quarts/liters for my friend and myself using the longer life setting and did not notice any water leaking from the pump housing.

Using the Vario in Betty CreekOur second night was spent in a motel, and I did a 15.6 mi/7.4 km solo day hike the third day due to my friend having severe blisters.  Since a couple of good water sources were reported for this section, I took the Vario along in my pack so I could refill my water bladder and  not have to carry more than a couple of quarts/liters at a time.  The stream at Plum Orchard shelter was running well and I filtered from a shallow water hole there, with the water being clear with little sediment on the bottom.  I again used a large leaf under the prefilter assembly, which seemed to be working well, since the filter quickly pumped a couple of quarts/liters using the longer life setting and again I had no further problems with the filter.

We set out the fourth morning with enough water for the day, and I filtered about 4 liters/quarts that evening at the spring behind the old Carter Gap shelter.  The water was cloudy with suspended particulate.  After the first liter on the longer life setting, the water began to flow very slowly gradually decreasing to a mere trickle and a few drops began to leak from the middle of the pump housing.  I took the top off the housing, and found a good bit of grainy sediment on the top of the ceramic filter which I washed off in the spring.  I had to repeat this once more, but was able to continue using the longer life setting by cleaning the ceramic filter with the provided scrubby, and did not have to switch to the faster flow setting.

The final time I used the Vario for this test was the next day, at Betty Creek, shown in the photo above, where the water was running well and appeared clear.  The water depth was sufficient for pumping without having to worry about stirring up sediment from the bottom.  The Vario worked well on the longer life setting with no problems, quickly pumping 3 quarts/liters.

Testing Conclusions:

Although I've been frustrated a bit by how quickly the Vario can clog when there is sediment in the water, I've enjoyed having clean, clear, good tasting water quickly available.  Attaching the hoses in the field and getting the filter operating is a simple matter; although sometimes figuring out how to get to the water and hold the filter, water bottle or bladder, and keep the outlet hose sanitary while keeping the intake hose in a good position so it doesn't draw up sediment or algae, all while trying to get in a comfortable position to work the pump is a definite challenge.  It's a little easier to fill a hard sided water bottle than a flexible bladder, but both usually have to be held in position to keep the containers from shifting and the filtered water from spilling. Once in a while, I can wedge the containers in place among some rocks, but I usually keep them in place with my feet so I have both hands free to use on the filter.  All this results in the need for a little dexterity while using the filter.  Fortunately, the worst that ever happened when I was filtering water was having one foot slip on a rock and get a little wet.

In using the filter, I've found the dual piston design makes for a very strong pumping action.  This is both good and bad.  It's good because it's fast.  It's bad because this means the prefilter assembly will move around a lot in the water as I pump.  This allows it to drift around and get into less than optimal position, like against an algae encrusted rock or too near the sediment at the bottom of a shallow hole.  This can result in a lot of sediment working its way into the Vario and clogging the ceramic filter.  I've learned to work around this a little by taking up any excess intake hose and holding it in my hand to keep the prefilter assembly better positioned, and to use a large leaf to keep too much sediment from stirring up in shallow water.  It would probably be a good idea to do as the manufacturer suggests and collect water in a container such as a collapsible bucket when the water is cloudy, then allow it to settle for a while before trying to pump it.  However, I like to keep my pack weight down and keep my equipment simple and to a minimum, so it is unlikely I will have a large container with me on backpacking trips.  I could see how this might work better with groups when the weight could be shared and this is something I might try in the future to try to extend filter life.

I experienced only a little leaking from the pump housing after replacing both filtering units, and it happened only when the ceramic filter was coated in sediment.  So, it appears that when the ceramic filter needs cleaned or replaced, pressure can build up from the Vario continuing to pump water in that can't filter quickly enough through the ceramic.  The water has to go somewhere when it is under pressure, so it squirts out the path of least resistance - the place the two parts of the filter housing connect.  Keeping the ceramic filter clean and replacing it when too gunked up seems to eliminate this problem.

I've tried carrying the filter in several different places in my pack, including within the main pack bag and in the front pocket, but I've found I best like carrying the Vario inside its case in one of the side pockets on the exterior of my pack.  This allows for fast access to the filter and lets excess water drain out of the case and drip harmlessly into the mesh pocket and onto the ground instead of onto other gear I am carrying.  The cased filter fit well inside the outside pocket of my GoLite Quest pack and I never had it come out while hiking, but did have it come out of the pocket a few times at camp while packing and unpacking if the pack wasn't completely full.  The loop tab on the outside of the case came in handy for threading a compression strap through to make sure the filter can't escape completely if it does work its way out of the pocket.

Final impressions:

Overall I'm impressed with how quickly the Vario can filter water, and how clean and good tasting the water is after it's passed through the filter.  Although I'm quite impressed at the amount of dirt the Vario collected from the water I pumped, I've come to the conclusion that much of this dirt is collected due to the strong pumping action of the dual pistons, and probably would not have been in the water had I collected it carefully in a pot or other container. 

Although I've really enjoyed being able to drink clean water quickly without waiting for chemicals to work, the 20 oz (567 g) or so that the wet filter and accessories weigh conflict with my 'gram weenie' tendencies, and I probably will either go back to chemicals or other lighter water treatment techniques for solo trips.  On trips where I am sharing equipment with friends, I plan to continue to use the Vario and enjoy the quick, clean, good tasting water it provides.  Hopefully I'll find careful selection of water sources will make the replacement filters last much longer than the originals.

This concludes my long term report.

Thanks to Katadyn and for the opportunity to test the Vario Water Filter.

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