The Katadyn Hiker Pro – a field-test review
By: Frank Ross
Being in a remote location is an ideal spot, unless you're really thirsty and have nothing to drink with you.
Taking even a sip from an impure source has the potential to cause tremendous pain and suffering; however, with the right system you'll be able to quench your thirst with minimal effort
When you're hiking or hunting and run short on your water supply, you can either tough it out or pull out a microfilter and take advantage of local sources such as a stream or lake.
The Katadyn Hiker Pro is a high-performance filtration system with a removable filter protector that extends cartridge life in challenging conditions where water is mandatory.
Using this unit is easy and quick. Quick-connect fittings on the input and output hoses make assembly a snap, and it is very easy to store in a backpack with the hoses removed. If you use a hydration pack you'll appreciate the ability to attach the filter directly to a 1/4" drink tube, and the speed with which you can fill up the pack. It fits most packs.
The microfiltration method features AntiClog technology that utilizes 129 square inches of pleated 0.3 micron glass-fiber media with an activated carbon core that reduces both unpleasant tastes and odor from filtered water.
When I field-tested the Katadyn Hiker Pro with an associate, Dan Carlson, the water was teeming with all types of bugs, minnows, tadpoles and presumably bacteria. After assembling the pre-filter and attaching the universal bottle adapter, Carlson began pumping steadily. Per directions, he filled the container once, emptied it and refilled it with crystal-clear water. The Hiker Pro will filter up to 1 quart (1 liter) per minute with only 48 strokes of the comfortable handle. In addition to floaties and green pond scum, this filter removes bacteria, protozoa such as Giardia and parasites such as Cryptosporidium, which will give you a level of comfort knowing there will be no unexpected guests when wetting your whistle.
The day was hot, and the water sweet relief. Since the filter cartridge will process up to 200 gallons, we filled the bottle again several times. Actual filtration capacity will vary with the quality of water you have to work with, and the pre-filter is field-cleanable.
This unit weighs only 11 ounces, so you'll hardly notice it's in your pack. It comes with a handy carry bag, so you can keep everything in one place and avoid digging for pieces or parts in the bottom of your pack. It also solves the problem of leaving a critical part back at home or in your vehicle.
If you tend to wander far and wide, and don't like to be limited in your range, then consider the Katadyn Hiker Pro. It's simple to use, very effective, lightweight and easy to carry along. For me, I like the convenience of being able to refill my hydration pack without worrying about what else I'm consuming besides pure water, and the ability to do that numerous times if necessary. It's a comforting thought about a long, comforting drink.