Pur Hiker - where's the charcoal?

12:42 a.m. on November 15, 2009 (EST)
24 reviewer rep
41 forum posts

Just ordered replacement cartridge for old pur (now kayadyn) hiker. was also going to replace the activated charcoal in the bottle-top adapter's hopper. Can't find the charcoal anywhere. Talked to couple of gear "experts" at mgear and backcountry and neither one had a clue what i was talking about (they were probly in grammer school when i bought this thing). Anyhoo, has the filter technology changed where there's no longer need for charcoal on the output side of the pump? Any clues? Thanks!

10:17 a.m. on November 15, 2009 (EST)
1,663 reviewer rep
3,956 forum posts

Hey pburse,

They had not heard of activated charcoal???

There are several sources of activated carbon / charcoal on the Internet.

You want to make sure you get charcoal intended for water filtration, and more specifically the 'bone char' which absorbs metals and chemicals better than the other types. At least that's my understanding, you will want to do your own research, and maybe someone here on Trailspace can tell you more.

I use activated charcoal with all my filters, I made a small in line canister with hose nipples on either side. I don't think it's a must have item or your gonna die, but it does help with taste for sure. I don't worry with it for light & fast trips, but for more leisurely trips I like to enjoy my water and it makes your drink mixes taste better as well I think.

They hadn't heard of activated charcoal???

I still have my PUR water purifier, the one with an iodine impregnated filter & activated charcoal bottle top. I also have the little flat filter that took a flat, round, filter disk, can't remember what they named it though. That one was bad about clogging, just not enough filter surface it seemed to me.

I think here lately the move has been towards lighter, smaller, filter systems and maybe that's the reason they have moved away from external charcoal canisters. Maybe someone else can offer a more detailed / accurate take on that issue.

My Katadyn Hiker has activated charcoal in the filter itself unless I'm badly mistaken.

Katadyn still sells the bottle top charcoal canister separately it seems, at 2.08 oz. Here is a link.


Here is a link to a site where you can purchase activated carbon / charcoal in 5 lb. bags and on up.


Also be sure to read the 4 part article on water treatment by Bill Straka which can be found here.


This is the first part.

Hope that helps!

3:39 p.m. on November 15, 2009 (EST)
24 reviewer rep
41 forum posts

So there's activated charcoal within the new filter cartridges? I suspected that might be the case. That explains everything. That is a nice design improvement. I can remove that bulky bottle top hopper and gain some real estate in the padded cell. I believe that flat disc you mention just serves to keep the charcoal in hopper. Tried to read that water treatment article few days back... eyes glazed... way TMI. Thanks for the info.

BTW - hope you saw shoe lace post - those sterlings are very impressive - one thing i didn't mention, but will go back and add - while they are semi-slick and slide thru eyelets incredible smooth, they are flat/elliptical (but not too wide) so they do not come untied

5:43 p.m. on November 15, 2009 (EST)
1,663 reviewer rep
3,956 forum posts

Gotcha on the shoe laces, thanks!

The flat disk was a water filter about 5 or 6 inches in diameter that went in a water filter that Pur made, it didn't use a standard cylindrical cartridge. I didn't like it and don't know where mine is. Seems to me it was called the Pioneer.

This is what it looked like:

7:06 p.m. on November 15, 2009 (EST)
24 reviewer rep
41 forum posts

gotcha, i remember that one - thought you were talking about the small disc in bottom of charcoal hopper on the hiker - thanks again for info

12:07 a.m. on November 23, 2009 (EST)
37 reviewer rep
749 forum posts

trout hunter

I just tonight threw one of those flat PUR filters into the trash bin and there is no charcoal. I purged 45 items of camping gear from my pile and since I threw out the nalgene bottles I also threw out the filter.

Also my Sierra cup, MSR kettle etc etc and a Whisperlite.

Jim S

8:11 p.m. on November 23, 2009 (EST)
1,663 reviewer rep
3,956 forum posts

Yes Jim, you are correct, the little flat filter did not have charcoal, the original Pur Hiker had some in the bottle filler cap that was attached to the end of the out feed hose. Hope I did not confuse anyone.

The trash is the proper place for that little filter I think, I was never impressed with it. But the Whisperlite, hey man throwing that away is a sin. HaHa

11:33 p.m. on November 23, 2009 (EST)
1,663 reviewer rep
3,956 forum posts

Here is a photo of the earlier Pur Hiker model showing the round charcoal bottle top to the left of the filter:

I had this model and a few others. It worked well.

June 25, 2018
Quick Reply

Please sign in to reply

More Topics
This forum: Older: Best boot laces? Newer: Aquaseal or bust!
All forums: Older: Tis the season Newer: Canyon trio- January backpacking trip