Katadyn Hiker PRO
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $90
The Hiker Pro is a must when drinking water from questionable water sources. I was never worried about getting sick when using this filter.
- Easy to use
- Clean water!
The filter lasts quite a while and they are not hard to change either. The bottom connection piece did break after 4 years, but a little bit of plastic welding, and it's good as new and ready for my PCT thru hike.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $85
Failed me miserably on my Appalachian Trail thru-hike in 2012. Seriously.
- Works well for about a week
- Handle can break
- Becomes extremely sluggish after awhile
- Replacement cartridges are obscenely expensive
Don’t you dare buy this. Don’t. OK, that’s harsh, but this thing was the cause of much anger for me.
It says that it can filter about 750 liters, but I’m guessing that is 750 already clean liters of water. When you’re in the backcountry, there will be silt and such that constantly clogs the cartridge. For me it started to clog after the first week, which ended up with me taking about 30 minutes to get my water, my muscles straining to push down on the handle, and the vein in my neck bulging with anger. I heard from other people that had this that they pushed on the handle so hard, that it actually broke.
If you still decide to get this, do yourself a favor and remove the weight on the end of the prefilter where the water enters because that only drags it down into the silt and muck. You can also, from what I hear, get a coffee filter and wrap it around the prefilter to keep large particles from entering. If you have to replace the cartridge, it’s like $50 or something ridiculous.
Source: bought it new
Price Paid: $75
Great product that instills confidence.
I'm one of those "What If" types of hikers and backpackers. I tend to consider the worst case scenario and move backwards from there. And in terms of "What if I run out of water in my bottles" I know I've got my butt covered with the Katadyn Hiker Pro. And when it comes to "What if I want to lighten my pack?" that's obviously covered as well.
The Hiker Pro has performed wonderfully for me to date. It pumps fast and is well made. I will say that with cold fingers getting the hose on the input stem requires a little patience. They say you should get 200 gallons or so out of the glass fiber element and I'm probably reaching that point. We'll see if that's a fair estimation. What I do know is you get great tasting water sans any chemical taste.
The Hiker Pro weighs in at around 11 oz., which I don't find to be problematic. You are looking at about 40 bucks or so for a replacement filter though so depending on your usage, and budget, it can get a little pricey. I think the life of the filter can be extended though by giving it a quick once over cleaning at the end of a trip and making sure to run clean water through it and let it dry fully. It comes with a nice carry sack and also offers a bottle attachment.
A good quality product by a great manufacturer. You shouldn't go wrong with this one.
Have been using a Hiker Pro for several years now. It's easy to use, carry, clean, and store. Really, what else do you want from a filter?
Price Paid: $49.95
I have used my Hiker Pro for 2 seasons now, I have had to clean the filter once when the water volume slowed down.
It is very easy to pump and produces enough water quickly to not be bothersome. I use the filter when dayhiking or overnight trips with 4 people.
I purchased the filter after reading online reviews and figured it was worth a try. Some people have reported the housing is prone to cracking but I have had no issues so far. I do perform regular maintenance, lube seals, rinse housing, etc. I have used it in murky water, alpine streams, and algae covered creeks.
Overall I am very satisfied with the filter and good deals can be found online.
Price Paid: $79
I've been using the Kadayn Hiker Pro for a little over a year now and I can't say enough good about it. Prior to getting this filter I used a regular Katadyn Hiker for eight years. Never had the cracking/breaking problem mentioned by several on this site and in fact, from time to time when I hike with friends I'll bring the old one along.
I've got mine set up to pump directly into my Camelback hydration system and what a blessing that is! I take off the pack, take out the filter, plug it in, pump till full, put it all away and go. No more unpacking my pack, getting the bag out, yada yada. I've also got a spare hose set up with a bottle flange so that I can just hook it up and pump into Nalgene bottles.
Great set up! Just as I've always recommended the Katadyn Hiker without reservation I now recommend the Hiker Pro.
Price Paid: Don't recall
I'm a long time camper, backpacker, and general outdoorsman. I bought this last year before heading to Isle Royale - worked great supplying 3 of us for a week then and continues to work well after about 10 additional treks!
Some notes: (1) be careful with the handle...the one our Scout Troop had broke at the hands of a hasty Scout, (2) look for a "clean" spot in the water. The dirtier the water looks, the quicker the filter clogs. If you keep it in clear water, or at least as close as you can get, it'll last the 170 liters they claim. (3) keep the clean parts in a separate bag. (4) carry a spare filter. It is a little big, but a life saver if you need it!
Compared to others I've used, the Katadyn Hiker PRO is faster and fits more bottles. It requires average force to pump (possibly a little easier than many). I will say that because of the handle it is more fragile, but with a little care I don't think it's a problem (note the "hasty Scout" comment).
Price Paid: $35
I've been using Katadyn filters for over 30 years now, my latest Hiker pro for two years and still going strong. I don't understand how some can break theirs. I wouldn't say they're bulletproof but with a little care these should last a long time. Take care of your gear and it will take care of you. I recommend the Hiker for its ease of use. I did inquire about getting spare O-rings just to have in my kit.
I enjoy using this product. It pumps water efficiently and has never gotten me sick. Be sure to use a bandanna or some kind of filter fabric to prevent sediment from prematurely clogging the filter for those water sources with high turbidity. I have not had any problems with the handle or casing breaking, I plan to be careful with this though.
Regardless, always carry a backup source of water treatment. I recommend the Katadyn Micropur MP1 tablets as a backup.
Price Paid: $74.95
I have two reasons for my poor rating of this filter:
1) Didn't function in the field
2) Miserable customer service
I tried a new Hiker Pro this past weekend on a hiking trip to the Superior Hiking Trail. The first liter of water was dark grey due to the activated carbon core (per directions this should have cleared up with just one liter of water). I pumped an additional 10 liters with the filter with all the water being a brownish color. I tried some of the "filtered water" and it had a weird taste. Fortunately my friends First Need purifier was yielding perfect tasting crystal clear water so I didn't need to use the Hiker Pro for the rest of the trip.
Upon returning home, I contacted Katadyn and they told me the filter was fine and not intended to remove color, odor, or bad taste although the packaging (and my wastewater treatment classes) told me that's exactly what the granular activated carbon core is for. I suspect a damaged filter but Katadyn just said the filters fine don't worry about it.
So, for a non-functioning product and lousy customer support the Hiker Pro gets 0 stars in my book.
Price Paid: $74.95
Worked great for about 5 days. Used it for the 1st time on a 7-day trip hiking the AT. I tried using only the clearest springs. It pumped 60-70 liters of water and on day 6 failed. The cartridge was clogged. Because of this it was unsafe to continue hiking 15 miles to our next destination and we barely had enough water to cook with. We had to end our trip a day early and have someone pick us up.
The booklet says that the cartridge should filter effectively for up to 750 liters. We pumped less than 10% of that. I called Katadyn about this and they said that the cartridges have no guarantees. The cartridges are $40 to replace and definitely not worth that if they only last through a 5 day hike.
Katadyn will not stand by their product. They left me with the impression that the cartridges may not last as expected. The bottom line is that Katadyn screwed up the rest of my hike that I had been planning for months. It may be lightweight but the cartridges are crap and way too expensive.
Price Paid: $15
I have used this old PUR filter with iodine in the element and still in use today, now used with a new Katadyn filter. It has served me well and even provided my hiking friends with clean water when their new more expensive filters failed. I also have the original Katadyn ceramic filter which kills viruses but I don't use it as much as my Hiker because it's lighter and don't want to worry about cracking the ceramic element.
I since bought another unit, a Katadyn Hiker Pro which is basically the same exact filter but with upgraded filter and cleanable sleeve. This one has been adapted to my hydration bladder. The other is now in my bug-out-bag.
I gave it a 4.5 because the handle design is not IDIOT proof, I never let anyone else use my filters. Learn how to handle and maintain your equipment. They're the Glocks of filtration units out there.
My Hiker is actually so old, it's from back when PUR was still making them. Thankfully, when Katadyn bought the company they kept making the Hiker in the same size, so I have upgraded it to the new Hiker Pro filter element. Good to go!
It pumps fast. It's compact. It's simple and reliable.
The endurance of the filters is excellent. I'm an avid lover of the outdoors, and the filters typically last me 2-3 years. The new "Pro" version does seem to last a bit longer. My current filter element started out filtering silty mountain stream water for a party of four on a 3 week climbing trip, and is still pumping with the same ease and speed after 5 more months of use.
The best advice I can give is to remember to take the filter element out of the housing after each trip so it can dry. That goes for all models of filter. Leaving it sealed and wet in your garage will ruin a perfectly good filter.
Anyways, I've had this piece of kit for many years. It's been to a few continents so far, and it has served me very well.
Price Paid: 70CAD
Worked well at first. On about the 10th trip, the plastic along the pump shaft split and now water squirts out with every pump. Terrible build quality. You'd think for something that people rely on for clean drinking water, Katadyn wouldn't cheap out on their parts and materials.
As for customer service, Katadyn has not responded to any of the three emails I've sent them over the past year. My intentions are to let them know about what may be a quality issue: the plastic split right along the seam of the shaft which I would say is more indicative of poor design than misuse.
Wouldn't buy again. Save up, get something metal-based and (hopefully) more durable.
I've used the Katadyn Hiker Pro now for several years, off and on, with the "off" periods only being when no filter was needed. It has consistently functioned well, and I've encountered no problems with the device. I would suggest minor alterations in connections, tubing, etc., but these are minor points--the only reason it doesn't receive a 5/5 score from me.
On a side note, Katadyn customer service was both pleasant and prompt in sending me replacement quick-connect fittings after my dog treated some as a chew toy. No charge.
Replacement cartridges are widely available. Very effective. Should I need to buy a new filter device, I'd likely return to the Hiker Pro.
Price Paid: $80
One of the cheapest and best pumps on the market. I've used it in some murky water with no problems. I was working for a summer camp a summer back and I would typically fill up 20 Nalgenes at a time, worked great, easy to clean, easy to change the filter, and pumps fast. I recommend this to anyone.
Price Paid: $60
I've never owned another water filter so I don't have much to compare it to. Then again, I've never needed anything else, which a kind of testimonial in itself. I don't use filters a ton when hiking, and only really use them consistently at lower altitudes. This one works just fine. I can fill up a 32 oz. nalgene in under a minute from a mountain trickle an inch deep.
While mine has not broken, but given how much wobble is in the pump handle, I can see how it could. So previous reviewers' complaints should probably be considered. I carry chemical water treatment as a backup.
I am a military deployed in SUDAN with the UN. Canada has issued me this filtration unit for the mission.
After using it for filtering about 100 L of water (the filters are due to be changed after 170 L), the casing of the unit broke on the side of the pump (the small cylinder) and then water gushed out at every pump ... Luckily for me, there are two of us here (two Canadians), so I ended up using my countryman's filtration unit (also a KATAKYN Hiker Pro). Sadly, his unit also broke at the same location, also at about 100 L of pumped water.
After using 2 different units which broke at the same location, after about the same use ... hence I would not recommend this item.
That being said, it is light, easy to use, easy to clean.
Price Paid: $56
Have had my Hiker Pro for about a year now. Bought it so my son and I could do some backpacking on our own apart from Scouts.
Well it pumps great and fast, but last week we were on a high adventure canoe trip to Tinnerman Canoe Base (great place) and on the 5th day of 7, the handle snapped off just below the grip. Fortunately, we had the handy ole Sweet Water still available. It pumps a heck of a lot slower ... but it pumps!
I haven't taken a run at the customer service windmill yet, but it sounds based on some of these reviews like it won't be an easy ride.
Price Paid: $50+
I bought this filter when I got sick after my first backpacking trip and didn't treat the water. Mine is an older model (15 years) when Pur made this filter. It is EXCELLENT. After all these years and uses I would buy another one in a heartbeat. Great product.
Price Paid: $65
This is by far the best water filter for the money. It is comparable to MSR's costing 2 to 3 times as much. Definitely get the Pro version. It is only ten bucks more and you get a field cleaning kit including a prefilter and cleaning sponge and the quick disconnects make it easy to set up prior to your trip. It comes with 1 glad bag and a stuff sack. Keep the clean hoses in the glad bag and the dirty hoses in the stuff sack. This will keep you from cross contaminating. Always use the same bag for each so you don't forget. Water tastes great, even my home water tastes better. You won't get hikers cramp with this filter!!!
Price Paid: $50
It is the FASTEST pump I've ever used. In 47 strokes you will have a 32oz bottle filled. I can fill three bottles in the same time it takes my buddies with their MSR filters to fill one. The pump has never failed. Carry an extra baggie to keep the hoses separate. The quick disconnect feature is awesome, it breaks down in seconds. The water tastes great. Clean up at home after the trip is easy and painless. After using my Hiker on the second trip last year I converted an MSR user to the Hiker.
Price Paid: $69
This is a must have. This filter is much faster than the MSR ceramic unit my buddy brought on a recent weekend camping trip. My water tasted much cleaner than his and the Katadyn undoubtedly filled our containers much faster than his. I really like the bottle adapter that comes with the unit too.
Price Paid: $49
Love the options! It can fill Camelbaks or wide mouth Nalgene-like bottles...fast. It packs relatively small, and the instructions are simple to follow. The pumping can get tiresome if you're filling more than a gallon at a time (for camp-wide cooking use); but, it's perfect for the individual (or two-some) on a backpacking trek. (I picked mine up at an end-of-season sale at a Dick's Sporting Goods store.)
Price Paid: $60
I can't say enought about the Hiker PRO. Whether I'm doing a long day hike or a 3-night backpacking trip, I make sure I have this lightweight filter. Setup is extremely quick and easy. Filled up three 32oz bottles in just a few minutes. IMO there is plenty of hosing. Best tasting water I've had compared w/two other filters owned.
Price Paid: $70
This water pump is absolutely amazing! Fast, lightweight, great tasting water. I will never use purifying tablets again! The only strange thing about the pump is the little bag it comes with is called the outlet hose, and I use that for the input hose, because the outlet hose is really hard to remove.
Price Paid: $52
Fast as heck and the water tastes great. My only beef is the bag you put the hoses into leads to possible cross contamination, so bring two bags. Mkae sure the bags are different so you don't mix them up (now WHICH one was the "clean" baggie?) Other than that, it's FAST and effective.
Price Paid: $69
Fast, lightweight, compact, but I can't give it 4 stars, something was missing, oh yeah, how about an extra supply hose! I had to cut the one supplied and now I have limited distance from the filter to my water bladder, and the hose tends to jump around while you pump.
Price Paid: $65
Excellent filter. Definitely get the PRO version. It comes with a mesh screen and some other doo-dads that the regular version doesn't. I love the quick disconnect feature. Easy to clean. No exposed moving parts to break like the Sweetwater. It pumps water pretty fast. Go buy one.
Price Paid: $69
This such a handy filter. It's fast, easy-to-use, and lightweight. Used it on recent kayaking trip. It worked wonderfully. I was amazed at how quickly it filled up my Nalgene.
Price Paid: don't recall
I have had my Hiker Pro for nearly 4 years now, and I have nothing but good to say about it. As with anything it has its intended purposes, and if used for that purpose it is great. I use for hunting/hiking in the mountains to refill my hydration bladder.
Of course the first time I used it the water was cloudy, but it quickly cleared up, and the water tastes, well, like water.
The reason for 4.5 stars is because I think everything has some room for improvement even if I cannot think of any.
Update: December 17, 2011
A little over a year from my last review and I still have nothing but good to say. I would easily buy another one if I ever found myself needing to.
Price Paid: $79
I love using this pump when it works. But I have had the housing split AND the pump handle break. I maintain it well and when it is working it is great, it's just not sturdy.
Price Paid: $79
I have owned the filter for two large trips. The filter doesn't last long, so carry an extra or install a brand new one before you start out. Do not rely on any filter pump exclusively, carry another source for water treatment.
ALSO the housing split at the pump chamber and water leaks from the crank at every pump. A better casting is required to make this product more durable and reliable.
Where to Buy
Compare prices from 15 outdoor retailers: