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Hands-on Gear Review

Katadyn Hiker Pro Review

Backpacking Water Treatment

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  • Currently 4.2/5
Overall avg rating 4.2 of 5 based on 3 reviews. Most recent review: August 8, 2014
Price:   $85 List | Varies from $73 - $85 online  —  Compare prices at 7 resellers
Pros:  Durable, functional, easy to use.
Cons:  Largest filter pore size.
Manufacturer:   Katadyn


One of the best-selling and most popular water filters, the Hiker Pro is easy to use, reliable, and effective against bacteria and protozoa, but not viruses. It is very similar in features to the MSR Sweetwater Microfilter, having almost identical weight 12.5+ ounces), pump-time (1.5 min per liter), capacity (750 liters), and price ($85-$89). If you want a pump that filters out the most harmful pathogens, go with the First Need XL, which has a filter pore size of 0.1 microns, much smaller than the Katadyn Hiker Pro's 0.2 micron pore size. If you are interested in the lightest and most economical method to purify your water, check out Aquamira Water Treatment Drops.

RELATED: Our complete review of backpacking water treatment

Compare Side-by-Side

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Analysis and Hands-on Test Findings

Review by:
McKenzie Long
Senior Review Editor

Last Updated:

A standard pump water filter, the Hiker Pro is reliable and easy to use.

Performance Comparison

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Dan Sandberg uses the Katadyn Hiker Pro to filter water from a running stream, Rocky Mountains, Colorado.


As a durable and reliable pump filter, the Katadyn Hiker Pro effectively eliminates bacteria, protozoa, and cysts but not viruses. It uses an AntiClog pleated cartridge made of glass fiber that includes activated carbon granules. One detail of note is that a simplistic standard for comparing water filters is measuring pore size. Typically, a pore size of 0.2 microns or under is the ideal size for capturing the smallest bacteria. The smaller the pore size the more harmful organisms are strained out of the water. This filter has the largest pore size of any we reviewed, at 0.2 microns, though it is still approved for eliminating bacteria from water. The First Need XL has a pore size of 0.1 microns and can eliminate viruses. Other common pumps like the MSR Sweetwater Microfilter also have a pore size of 0.2.


At just over 12 ounces including the storage case and hoses, this filter is average in weight. Not too heavy, but not ultra-light either.

Time Before Drinking

Relatively easy to pump, the Hiker Pro takes a little over a minute and a half to pump a liter, which is not long to wait.

Ease of Use

This filter is simple to use. The only issue is that sometimes the pre-filter gets clogged when filtering silty water. Attaching a coffee filter around the outside of the pre-filter keeps this from happening and allows it to work smoothly.

Durability/Uses Before Maintenance

This filter is good for 750 liters before needing a replacement cartridge ($39-49). This is not nearly as much capacity as a ceramic filter like in the MSR Miniworks EX, which is good for 2000 liters, but it is longer than the Aqua Vessel or the First Need XL.


The taste of really gross water is improved slightly by the reduction of bad tastes and odors, and mountain stream water remains tasting fresh.

Best Application

This is a durable and reliable water filter that is great for general hiking and camping.


At $85, this water pump is average in price for this type of product. It is less expensive than UV treatments such as a SteriPEN, but more expensive than a chlorine dioxide treatment.

Other Versions

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Katadyn Vario
  • Versatile Filter with multiple settings depending on water flow
  • Adjusts to fast or slow moving water or dirty water
  • $90

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Mini Ceramic Filter
  • Very lightweight
  • Extremely compact
  • $110

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Katadyn Pocket
  • Heavy duty filter in compact size
  • Ideal for long lasting continuous use
  • Can handle extreme use
  • $370


Katadyn Micropur Purification Tablets
  • Lightest and smallest water treatment method
  • Ideal for emergencies or weight conscious hikers
  • $14 for 30 tabs

Hiker Pro Replacement Cartridge
  • Replacement cartridges for Hiker, Hiker Pro, and Base Camp models
  • $50

Read our full comparison review of other Backpacking Water Treatment Methods to learn more.
McKenzie Long

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OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews

Most recent review: August 8, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
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Average Customer Rating:   
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100% of 2 reviewers recommend it
Rating Distribution
3 Total Ratings
5 star: 33%  (1)
4 star: 67%  (2)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
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   Aug 1, 2013 - 10:42pm
schifferj · Backpacker
I have tried nearly every water filtration device and always come back to the Katadyn Hiker Pro. My very first water filter was the predecessor to this filter a Pur Hiker. Why do I use it? Quite simply because it works. I tried the MSR Miox filter which required a 45 minute wait after use and added a chlorine taste. I tried two versions of the Steripen and both failed in midstream, so to speak, leaving me high and dry. While it ways a bit more, the convenience of being able to hook quick disconnect hoses to a bladder in my pack and just pump and go is awesome. I'm told I don't need to change the filter until it clogs and I'm unable to pump but that never seems to happen. I hike in the Pacific Northwest and most times I feel I could drink water without any kind of filtration (and oft times do) so I'm not overly concerned about the micron size of the Katadyn filter. I'll use it until Katadyn comes out with an upgrade to this filter.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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   May 11, 2014 - 04:43pm
wideangle · Fisherman · West Linn OR
My son and I used thus filter on a nine day unguided float on the N.F. Koyukuk River in Gates of The Arctic National Park. We filtered all cooking and drinking water. Never a problem with this unit. This filter is a high volume pump that many outdoorsman trust. It would be 5 star if if were a wee bit lighter.

Bottom Line: Yes, I would recommend this product to a friend.
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