Hands-on Gear Review

Compare backpacking water treatment ratings side-by-side >

Katadyn Hiker Pro Review

   

Backpacking Water Treatment

  • Currently 4.2/5
Overall avg rating 4.2 of 5 based on 3 reviews. Most recent review: August 12, 2014
Street Price:   Varies from $68 - $85 | Compare prices at 6 resellers
Pros:  Durable, functional, easy to use.
Cons:  Largest filter pore size.
Best Uses:  Hiking and backpacking, backcountry camping.
User Rating:     
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.5 of 5) based on 2 reviews
Recommendations:  100% of reviewers (2/2) recommend this product
Manufacturer:   Katadyn
Review by: McKenzie Long ⋅ Senior Review Editor, OutdoorGearLab ⋅ August 12, 2014  
Overview
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 0.3 micron pore size. If you are interested in the lightest and most economical method to purify your water, check out Aquamira Water Treatment Drops.

Compare top rated competitors side-by-side >

  • Photos
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge


OutdoorGearLab Editors' Hands-on Review

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

Performance Comparison
Click to enlarge
Dan Sandberg uses the Katadyn Hiker Pro to filter water from a running stream, Rocky Mountains, Colorado.
Credit: Max Neale

Reliability/Effectiveness
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 0.3 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 has a pore size of 0.2.

Weight
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.

Taste
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.

Value
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 & Accessories
The Katadyn Vario, $90, is a versatile filter that has more options than most of the others: you can change it for fast moving water, or slow, dirty water, while the Mini Ceramic Filter, $110, is a very lightweight, compact filter.

The Base Camp, $82, is ideal for camping, backpacking, or paddling. Just fill and hang.

The Katadyn Pocket, $370, is a robust water filter made of heavy duty materials. It is ideal for long lasting continuous use even under extreme circumstances.

The Katadyn Micropur Purification tablets, $14, are the lightest and smallest water treatment methods, making this system perfect for an emergency water treatment method or for weight-conscious thru-hikers.

For $50, you can replace your cartridge with the Hiker Pro Replacement Cartridge, as needed. This cartridge also works for the Katadyn Base Camp.

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

McKenzie Long

Compare this product side-by-side to top competitors >

Where to Buy?


Thinking about buying some gear we've reviewed? Help OutdoorGearLab out if you do. Just click on any of the above seller links and if you make any purchase, the seller will contribute a portion of the sale to help support this site. It won't cost you anything extra, and it's a simple way to help us fund our gear reviews. Thanks!

*Most retailers free shipping offers apply only to lower 48 US states using ground/economy shipping. See retailer's website for details.


OutdoorGearLab Member Reviews


Most recent review: August 12, 2014
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:   
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
 (4.5)

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)
Sort 2 member reviews by: Most Recent | Most Helpful
Write a Review on this Gear

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful:
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   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.
Help other readers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you? 
Yes
 
No

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
   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.
Help other readers find the most helpful reviews
Was this review helpful to you? 
Yes
 
No


Have you used the Katadyn Hiker Pro?
Don't hold back. Share your viewpoint by posting a review with your thoughts...

Write a Review on this Gear
Click to enlarge
Katadyn Hiker Pro
Credit: Katadyn
Where's the Best Price?
Seller Price
Amazon $67.96  -  20% off!
Eastern Mountain Sports $67.96  -  20% off!
Backcountry $76.46  -  10% off!
Compare prices at 6 sellers >

*Help support OutdoorGearLab. If you click on one of the seller links and make a purchase, a portion of the sale helps support this site
Related Best-in-Class Review
The Best Backpacking Water Filter and Treatment Systems

The Best Backpacking Water Filter and Treatment Systems

A detailed comparison of 17 water treatment methods for backpacking and travel.
Get More OutdoorGearLab
Follow us on Twitter, be a fan on Facebook!
Subscribe to our Newsletter