Whether you’re exploring the great outdoors for a valuable field study or an exciting backpacking experience, there’s no denying the importance of a water filter that does the job and stands the test of time, while still remaining safe to use.
This holds true, especially for beginners bent on getting acquainted with different terrains. Making sure that your first few trips create experiences that make a mark on you is important as it forms the foundations of your knowledge, and the methods with which you source drinking water when in the wilderness is a crucial part of that.
There’s a reason why water filters are important in any outdoor exploration, whether big or small, short or long. Primarily because you could catch pathogens such as giardia, cryptosporidium and e.coli from drinking unfiltered water, which could lead to infections and illnesses that pose risks to your health and well-being.
Depending on where you’re going or where you are, different backcountry water sources may also have higher or lower levels of contaminant due to the carcasses of dead animals, among other reasons. This highlights the need to search for the best water source by surveying the surroundings, and the need for an effective water filter, no matter how crystal clear the water source looks.
Over the years, the water purification methods have improved in many ways, offering viable options for survivability in the wild, and enhancing any outdoor experience. Two of the many pumps that have successfully infiltrated the market is the Katadyn Hiker and the more recently released Katadyn Hiker Pro.
There might not seem like a perceptible difference between the two water filters from the same well-established Swiss maker, but in this review, we’re going to dive deeper into the major similarities and differences between the Katadyn Hiker and the Katadyn Hiker Pro.
For clarity and convenience, we’re measuring them based on five aspects: the two products’ specifications, water and filtration quality, durability and maintenance, and finally, prices. And by the end of the review, you might just know which one you’ll settle for.
Perhaps the best selling microfilter for the outdoor market in the United States, the classic Katadyn Hiker boasts of lightweight make and intuitive design for speedy and convenient pumping.
According to the Katadyn official website, the Katadyn Hiker can accommodate the water needs of one to two people on hiking and trekking trips and is suitable for frequent and all-around usage. Overall, it works against chemicals and is portable enough for backpackers’ basic water needs. The Katadyn Hiker has a dimension of 3 x 6 inches and a diameter of 2 inches, and weighs just 11 ounces.
On the other hand, the specifications of the Katadyn Hiker Pro are almost the same. With similar dimensions as the earlier Katadyn Hiker, it’s lightweight, can work against microorganisms and cloudy water, and comes in handy even if you’re outdoors a lot and use it frequently.
One thing that differentiates the Hiker Pro from the Katadyn Hiker is the “quick-connect fittings”, which are supposed to make the process simpler by allowing you to filter directly from the water sources. The filter fits with the lid of the most common and popular types of water bottles, works well with other hydration systems.
Meanwhile, a more recently-introduced Katadyn Hiker Pro Transparent Filter primarily features a transparent design, which enables you to see how it works inside and follow the whole water filtering process. It also has the same dimensions, except for the weight which falls to just 8 ounces, lower compared to the previous ones’ 11 ounces.
Water Filtration Quality
Weighing 11 ounces, the Katadyn Hiker has an output capacity of 1 liter per minute or less. The early filter is equipped with an anti-clog technology featuring 0.2 micron glass fiber that helps effectively eliminate harmful contaminants, and activated carbon which helps remove chemicals that cause unpleasant taste and odor.
The same goes for the newer Katadyn Hiker Pro Transparent Filters, which is also equipped with the anti-clog technology and activated charcoal for improved water quality.
As per Katadyn, the Katadyn Hiker and Hiker Pro filters were put to the test at 750 / 1150 liters and were found to meet industry standards after being able to eliminate the bacteria Klebsiella terrigena and protozoan cysts Giardia and Cryptosporidium.
Durability and Maintenance
Both the Katadyn Hiker and the Katadyn Hiker Pro have a two-year limited warranty. According to Katadyn, it’s best to replace the cartridges of the filters after 750 / 1150 liters, or once you feel like the unit has become especially harder to pump.
In order to extend the quality of the cartridge, it’s still best to find the most appropriate water source you can and keep the products’ intake pre-filter clean. But in the event that you’re stuck with a water source that has heavy sediments, it’s suggested to wrap a bandanna or coffee filter around it. You can also utilize a separate container, and allow the sediment to settle down before filtering the clearer water above it.
After using it from a trip, it’s also best to disinfect the microfilter before storing it so it remains clean.
Filtering the water you drink is very important to make sure that you stay safe and in shape to finish the length of any trip that involves the outdoors. Both the Katadyn Hiker and the Katadyn Hiker Pro. as well as its new transparent design come in handy for long-term use, on top of being lightweight and trustworthy.
With a small difference in price and specifications, it’s better to go for the Hiker Pro and get the most out of the water filter. Still, if you’re on a specific and tight budget, the Katadyn Hiker is also very much a viable option to ensure you stay safe and hydrated while exploring the outdoors.
Featured Image Source: katadyn.com