The Katadyn Hiker Pro water filtration system is part of Katadyn’s backcountry series and is the high performance version of Katadyn’s Hiker series of filters. The filter itself is small and lightweight and comes with a carry bag, two (2) hoses, a pre-filter and quick release fittings to attach to Nalgene type bottles and various kinds of hydration packs. The filter itself is contained inside an outer filter that is easily removable and can be cleaned to extend the life of the filter. The unit is marked with “in” and “out” for easy assembly of the hoses and to avoid any confusion as to the water sources. The top of the unit has a small pump that stores inside the unit when not in use and is easier accessed when needed. The unit itself is blue and a light gray color.
After a very short familiarization period, I immediately put the product into use on various day hikes, overnight trips and multi-day backpacks. I immediately noticed that the unit and all the accessories fit easily into the carry case. The unit is very light, is very packable and easily stored in a variety of areas in my backpack. While using the unit, I liked the idea of putting the pre-filter in the water source to help remove larger particles and sediments from the water source, prior to the water ever reaching the actual filter. The pre-filter also contain an adjustable piece of foam that can be slid up and down the hose acting as a fishing bobber, allowing the user to control the depth of the pre-filter. I found this very useful in areas with a large amounts of debris, sediments and other possible impurities were near the bottom on the water source.
During the use of the product, I found the quick release fittings to be very helpful. These fittings allowed me to quickly attach the unit directly to several different hydration bladders, along with a standard Nalgene type bottle. Once hooked up, I found the pumping of the unit to be very easy and found that the water flow to be much more than I had expected. The unit produced purified water much quicker than water filters I have used in the past.
Disassembling the device also proved to be quick and easy. When repacking the items into the carry bag, I did discover that there was no way to store the parts of the unit (hoses, fittings and pre-filter) that were exposed to the unpurified water, from the parts that were not. I began to pack small plastic bags into the carry bag and use these plastic bags to separate and store these items to avoid cross contamination. I found this essential on multi-day hikes, when you do not have the opportunity to thoroughly clean the filter and accessories.
While using the product over several months, I found the unit easy to disassemble, clean and decontaminate. The hoses, pre-filter, fittings and filter itself is easily accessed and to remove the outer filter from the actual filter took just a few seconds. Cleaning of all these parts was quick and easy and did not require any special cleaning products. I found that water mixed with a small amount of bleach worked great. During the months that I used this product, I did not experience any mechanical problems with the unit and found it to function well.
Overall, I found this product to be light, easy to carry and a breeze to use in the field. The unit puts out an excellent flow of water for such a small and lightweight backcountry product. The unit is easy to disassemble and clean and has a variety of quick release fittings to attach to bottles or hydration bladders. I would recommend this product to any outdoor enthusiast looking for a lightweight, easy to use and reliable water filter system.