Source: bought it new
Price Paid: Bought at retail
Bombproof filter that creates safe drinking water without any nasty side effects.
- Highly durable construction
- Long filter life
- Superior filter efficiency
- Field maintenance equipment included
- Requires periodic maintenance
- Low filtration rate
- High pump effort
Effectiveness: This filter is rated to a minimum particulate of 0.2 microns. This rating means that it will filter out bacteria and protozoans, it claims to catch all biological contaminants other than viruses. It removes silt and other fine particulate, and yields water with a pleasant taste.
Speed: The Katadyn Pocket is rated to .86 litre/minute with approximately 60 strokes in a minute. This is not a blazing fast filter. The pump force is rated at 16 pounds of force to drive water through the ceramic filter element, so it pumps slow and it also requires more force than many other water filters.
Capacity: The filter element is rated for 13,000 gallons. It's a silver impregnated ceramic cartridge, which water filters through the fine pores in and then exits the outlet hose. The lifespan of this element is multiple orders of magnitude greater than more conventional pump filters on the market.
Ease of Use: This is a subjective judgment, because you have to take into account your own abilities, strength and endurance. On the spectrum of water filtering, this is more difficult than most lightweight filter systems, most gravity systems, and most chemical treatments. The outlet hose has a small bib clamp to hook onto the mouth of a water bottle, but this doesn't hook into the fill opening of hydration bladders very easily. Overall the story on ease of use doesn't sound that great, but I greatly prefer it for my backpacking trips:
The Hiker Pro is a fully cylindrical device with two barbs on the side, one on the bottom for source water, and one on the top for purified filter to exit. Pumping is done along the major axis length of the device, with no levers to snap or snag. This design makes it easy to place in a side pocket and keep the device accessible. Additionally, I've added a quick-release filter connection to my Camelbak bladder so I can pop off the mouthpiece and pop on the filter's outlet hose with a watertight connection. Thusly I can stop and refill the water bladder without unloading my pack at all, I find this really convenient.
Features: By far the best features of this device is its long lifespan and solid construction. It's vulnerable to prolonged exposure in freezing environments (causing the filter to crack), and high impact shocks, but is otherwise very sturdy. The filter element is solid ceramic, the machined components are all high grade aluminum, and the filter body is a thick layer of molded polypropelene. It holds up well, and filters well for parties of multiple people. The filter element requires periodic maintenance, but tools for cleaning the filter surface and measuring the remaining lifespan of the filter element are provided.
Construction: This should be your primary concern for a water filter if you buy the Katadyn Pocket. It's expensive and requires more effort than many other filters. Water is essential for your survival, and its essential for that water to not contain anything that will make you sick. For prolonged trips, this device gives you confidence that you'll have access to clean drinking water.
Conditions: I've used this filter while on backpacking trips in e.g. silty mountain streams of 1-2 inches depth. The source hose has a large mesh filter to keep out larger particulate, and is long enough to make pumping while seated reasonably straightforward. In my experience, this filter is good for about 40-50 liters before the pump starts to slow, at this point it's a good idea to perform field maintenance on the pump, which consists of using the abrasive pad to remove the outer surface of the ceramic element.
Conclusion: This filter is extremely sturdy. Its filter element's lifespan is extremely long. However, it compromises other factors of its design in pursuit of its lifespan and sturdiness. Drinkable water is the second most important thing to have (rule of 2s), and this gives you reliable access to it in most environments except the desert.
Price Paid: 280 CAD
Extremely impressed with this filter. As it is the only one I've used, my opinion is somewhat biased.
I spent several hours on research of which filter I should go with. I read that this filter is heavy and expensive. I also read that this filter last an incredibly long time. Well, they're all true! This filter is definitely heavier and more expensive then most other filters on the market and there is NOT a chance I will buy a different one!
I've tested this filter in literally the dirtiest water I could find and it comes out clear and drinkable! I do find that it's a little bit of work to fill my 3 liter CamelBak but if you're filtering water, don't cheap out and cut corners! I find the maintenance to be very easy to do and cleaning is a breeze. I have noticed that the only part that can keep a smell is the plastic outer sleeve. It's important to clean this filter out and let it dry before storing or you will definitely acquire a permanent taste.
All in all, nothing really to complain about. It's kept me healthy after drinking water that people won't even swim in or let their dogs drink. The weight and value of it is priceless after you take that into consideration.
Price Paid: $240
This filter is very quality and robust.
It is heavy (as pack articles go) and very well made.
Filters water lickity-split, I was shocked at how fast I could pump 3 liters at a pop.
I would strongly suggest that you obtain a longer outlet hose, I have found that 32" is enough so that you can squat streamside, and fill a vessel tucked under your arm.
It is such a good filter, I will only bring this unit for filtration, and if weight is an issue, I will treat chemically. After using this product, the plastic stuff is just plain miserable to use.
I gave it 4.5 stars, because with some additional machining of the aluminum components, I feel that it could drop some grams...but who's counting anyway?
Actually had to scrub the element when it "slowed down" (still faster than anything out there!). Definitely get a longer outlet hose as I stated above. I can fill a liter bottle super quick.
Price Paid: $265
If you go on long trips, don't leave home without this. I used mine in Maine after my GPS went down. I was alone for almost two weeks, and ran out of fresh water on the second day. This effortlessly filtered my water from the local streams (which I was told was parasite-ridden during the summer months) for over a week. Very handy, I never got ill.
Price Paid: $205
If you don't mind a little extra weight then you can't beat this filter. In the long run it's cheaper than the Hiker Pro, it's field maintainable, and it's made of quality materials. It's simply the best filter on the market.
Price Paid: $305 CND
Terrific filter, worth every penny and more. Used on a week-long canoe trip as the only filter for 8 campers. Pumping became a bit harder (and stayed that way even after cleaning) towards the end of the trip but was still pretty easy to use. Filtering a 1L bottle takes 2-3 un-flustered minutes though if pumping hard, you can do it in a minute flat.
Easy to clean and maintain. A bit heavy but will take a lot of abuse (just don't drop it in a lake!). At 13000 gallons per filter cartridge it's at least $1,500 cheaper per gallon than any other filter.
Price Paid: $199.95
I have spent as long as 70 days in the brush with only the equipment I can carry on my back. This product is worth its weight in GOLD. The first time I left home with it I was a little worried so I took some Micropur tabs and iodide mix along with me. I was absolutely amazed when I pulled water out of the Ohio River, filtered it straight into my container and drank it. This product will save time, loading space and weight from your next trip and allow you to carry other gear instead of buches of water.
Price Paid: $289
Sorry folks, but the Katadyn Pocket is overpriced and it is too much work to get a decent amount of water. Got a workout just getting a shot glass full of water. And I was always scrubbing the ceramic filter with the green-scrubber thingy. Hate it.
Threw mine in the back of the closet as a Plan C if absolutely necessary (would have thrown it in the trash if I hadn't spent so darn much on it).
Price Paid: $200
Best filter made. Easily pumps gallons. Keep the ceramic filter clean for easy pumping.