I received my brand new Katadyn Hiker Pro Microfilter from All Filters about a week before we left on our recent vacation. I was really excited about giving the product a test on a few of our hikes. It got to the point where my wife and I were getting tired of lugging a ton of water around with us on every hike and thought this would be a great way of reducing the weight in our pack, thus making us a little more efficient at walking uphill.
I’ve had my eye on the Katadyn Hiker Pro for sometime now. Generally speaking, this filter has received great reviews from both users and outdoor writers alike. Moreover, it seems to be the most popular choice for day hikers and short backpacking trips because of its light weight and dependability.
I’m not one to spend a lot of time reading directions - I prefer to just jump in with new toys. But with something as important as your health (i.e. eliminating all the nasties lurking in open waters), I spent the time reading all of the materials to make sure I knew how everything worked. I even tested the Katadyn at home before taking it out into the field. (You should also be aware of the cleaning procedures afterwards as well)
It was during this process I discovered my first, and really my only complaint: Katadyn doesn’t provide an adapter to connect directly to my Platypus. Fortunately my wife and I both have Nalgenes, which Katadyn does provide an adapter for. They also provide an adapter for Camelback type systems as well. I’m not sure why they don’t provide something for the popular Platypus; it seems like it would be very easy to develop a connector that would work.
Unfortunately there was only one hike on our entire trip that provided us with an opportunity to try our new filter. The hike to La Vega in Northern New Mexico was the only hike on our itinerary that had a water source anywhere along any of the trails we hiked. The Rio Nambe Creek near the hike's destination that day allowed us to stop and re-fill our bottles for the return trek.
We were both pleased with the performance of the filter and thought that the water tasted pretty good. Although a relatively short hike, it still helped to lighten our load. I think that bigger benefits will be had on longer hikes when weight is even more of an issue.
While researching the filter one of the complaints that I read were with regards to users getting silt into their filters and clogging it up (the Hiker Pro is not the only filter receiving these complaints). Several people suggested using coffee filters attached to the pre-filter intake to prevent this. We did this as a precaution, using a rubber band to attach it, and didn’t have any problems.
I also read a couple of complaints regarding the durability of the parts. My take on this is that some of these users may not have read the owners manual closely. The manual states that if the filter is hard to pump, it means that it needs to be cleaned and lubricated with the silicon lubricant provided, or the internal cartridge needs to be replaced. Possibly some of these users tried to force the pump, thus causing it to break. I don’t know, but to me the entire product seems to be quite sturdy.
According to the product literature, the 0.3 micron filter (effectively) eliminates all bacteria, protozoan cysts and microorganisms such as Giardia, Cryptosporidium and Klebsiella terrigena. The activated charcoal core also improves water taste. The filter also has the ability to pump roughly 1 quart of water per minute.
For more information on the Katadyn Hiker Pro, including specs and a product demo video, as well as other filter products from All Filters, please click here.
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