User Review: Katadyn Hiker
Price Paid: $69
Got it for a 7-day trip through the North Dakota Grasslands/Badlands. Was very excited when I bought it because iodine just gets old after a while. Fortunately I had the sense to buy a bottle of the ol' style pills.
When the Hiker worked it worked amazing. Had to use it in a lake populated with all sorts of nasty growth, sediment, little bugs... etc... The water it produced from these dubious sources tasted better than my tap water.
The problem came after about 8 liters of water when the pump just broke. Every bit of water that was pulled in by the pump was immediately pushed out the same as it came in. Result? No clean water made it to my bottles. Aaargh! Iodine again.
I trouble shot the problem for over four hours trying to fix it, I even had brought the manual with me. But to no avail. I think the two way check valve somehow completly failed. I was able to return it thank goodness. Will be more careful in what I buy next time.
Summarize: Complete failure after only 8 liters. While slightly difficult to pump, produced great tasting and clear and clean water. The hoses were long enough and the bottle adapter worked perfectly. Was very disappointed.
Update: May 15, 2006
Addition to the previous review. Contacted Katadyn and got a response within 30 minutes. Apparently some lakes in the upper midwest carry certain tannins that promote protein growth which then kills the filter. The Gentleman apologized and threw in a pack of their Micropur pills for good measure. He recommended the Hiker Pro as its 10micron filter for the filter and the ability to field clean it would prevent this. He also went on to assure me that pump failures are extremely rare and the Pro improves upon the old Hiker. Even though the Hiker broke on me Katadyn's customer service is so good that I will consider purchasing the PRO.