The mountains are calling and I must go.
If this applies to you, and the wilderness beckons you often then, the Katadyn Hiker Pro could be that backpacking water filter companion you need.
But before you set out on the mountain paths with this water filtering buddy, this Katadyn Hiker Pro Review will give you all the information you need.
Katadyn Hiker Pro Overview
Katadyn Hiker Pro comes from the house of the Switzerland-based Katadyn Group. Established in 1928, the company is a market leader in portable, personal water treatment systems and products for the outdoor and marine industries.
The Hiker Pro is a pump-style filter that comes with a Pleated Glass Fiber Filter with an Activated Carbon Core. The set up provides you with a clear, microbe-free, odorless drink of water even from hard to reach streams running through crevices and cracks.
Katadyn claims that the hiker pro can filter one-liter water per minute.
Though there is no explicit mention about the life of the filter, it is claimed that regular cleaning and maintenance ensure that the filter services you for a long time. Also, the inner cartridges can be replaced. Of course, there is a cost involved.
But, that’s not all that the Katadyn Hiker Pro has to it. This mini-backpacking hand pump does offer some peerless benefits that make it worth the purchase.
Take a look…
As an outdoor enthusiast, if the uncertainty of the water sources on nature trails concerns you, then the Hiker Pro may solve your problem.
The 0.2-micron filter is a champion at providing bacteria and protozoa-free water. This means that salmonella, E.coli, cholera, leptospirosis, cryptosporidium, and Giardia, which find their way through the water, cannot be a cause of concern for you.
Hiker Pro is not only efficient against the microbes but also keeps bad odor out. The activated carbon filter not only ensures that the silt stays out of the water but also guarantees that the water you drink is odor-free and tastes great.
Effective Silt Filtration
An interesting feature of this backpacking filter is the multi-step filtration system. The three-step filtration ensures that the final load of silt that reaches the main chamber is successively reduced at each step.
The 130-micron filter at the collection end stops large particles from entering the system. Further, the wrap-around filter on the main carbon filter ensures that the final load entering the main filter chamber is further reduced.
This step-wise reduction also enhances the life of the main filter chamber.
When we talk about compatibility here, we are scoring the Hiker Pro Water Micro Filter on two counts.
Firstly, thanks to the EasyFill Bottle Adaptor, the Katadyn Hiker Filter is compatible with different sized water bottles. It also comes with a connector that allows the output line to connect to hydration bladders.
Besides these, a remarkable feature of this microfilter is its adaptability to the water source. This can be attributed to the design of the filter.
Water flows into the pump through an inlet pipe. The pipe enables the pump to draw water from even shallow streams and hard to reach cracks and crevices.
This makes the nifty filter pump peerless and functional in the most trying conditions where other filters may struggle.
Katadyn claims that the microfilter can efficiently filter 1-liter water every minute. But, experienced outdoor experts who have tested the flow rate have found the time to vary anywhere from 40 seconds to 2 mins to get a liter of water.
Also, the flow rate reduces towards the end of the cartridge life. But overall, the flow rate of the Hiker Pro will not disappoint the water needs of even a medium-sized group.
Now, this is a huge positive of this transparent microfilter. Unlike the filtration systems with a hollow fiber filter media, the Pleated Glass Fiber is not susceptible to freezing.
It can, therefore, work equally efficiently under sub-zero temperatures and requires no special care to prevent freezing of the fiber.
Doesn’t that somewhat make up for the small inconvenience of having to dry it, post usage?
Katadyn does not explicitly mention the life of the filter. But, if maintained as per instructions, it can last a long time.
Portable and Sturdy
So what if the Katadyn failed to make the Hiker Pro one of the lightest-weight filters in the market. It is, nevertheless, a portable microfilter, made of strong plastic that can withstand a bumpy journey to the base camp.
Thanks to the small pouch that the filter and its attachments come in, you can safely round them all up into the pouch that sits tight in your backpack.
And, with that, the long list of points in favor of the Katadyn Hiker Pro comes to an end.
Put together, these features make the Hiker Pro a great buy for the enthusiastic camper. Nonetheless, there are points to be considered for making an informed buying decision.
- The Katadyn Water Micro Filter is a pump-based filtration system. The handle needs to be manually operated, as in a hand pump, to force lift water from the source towards the filter, finally into the bottle. While the flow rate of the filter is fairly high, operating the pump for a long time can be a tiring task.
- Also, periodically, lubricating the pumping mechanism is of prime importance to keep the pump in a functional shape.
- Though this is touted as a lightweight backpacking water filter, others score higher than it on this front.
- It also tends to take up some space, if not a lot, in your backpack. So, if space is a concern then you may want to consider other space-saving options.
- Do consider that the 0.2-micron glass-fiber filter media is effective against bacteria and protozoa. But it is ineffective against viruses or heavy metals.
- On the maintenance front, the Hiker Pro isn’t very demanding but needs some care and attention nevertheless.
- It is strongly recommended that at the end of each trip, the filter cartridge be air-dried to avoid build-up of mildew or mold on it. Compromising on the hygiene of the cartridge leaves you with no option but to replace it.
- And that brings us to the last but one of the important points to consider. When compared to its peers, the filter cartridge of the Hiker Pro backpacking filter is priced on the higher side. Priced at almost half that of the system, it can be prohibiting for some.
Pros and Cons
But, just like we always say, you don’ have to take our word for it.
While it’s been our earnest effort to bring to you the most non-partisan Katadyn Hiker Pro Review, it would be incomplete without the voices and opinions of the users.
So here are some pros and cons listed by users across the web.
And for those of you who believe that God lies in the details, here are the technical specs of the Katadyn Hiker Pro.
- Weight: 11 ounces (approx. 310 g)
- Treatment Type: Pump
- Filter Material: Pleated Glass Fiber with Activated Carbon Core
- Product Dimensions: 3 x 3 x 6 inches (7.62 cm x 7.62 cm x 15.24 cm)
- Each purchase includes
- Hiker Pro Filter
- Field Maintenance Kit
- 1/4 inch drink tubes
- Quick Connect Fittings
- Water bottles
- Water Bottle Adaptor
- A Deluxe Carry Pouch
- Filters: Sediments, bacteria, protozoa, keeps out nasty odors
Our Verdict: Recommended
The Katadyn Hiker Pro is that essential backpacking filter that keeps you safe from microbes in the wilderness. It offers a clear drink of water that not only is microbe-free but also is odor-free and tastes great.
It’s a pro indeed when it comes to drawing water and working at extreme temperatures. Shallowest streams or gurgling spring rivers, this is one filtering companion that will function irrespective of the water source and temperature.
However, some may find the pump style a little laborious as also the maintenance part. Considered as one of the somewhat expensive yet, highly dependable water filters, it is worth a try if you don’t mind a bit of a workout by the river.