The world's most in-depth and scientific reviews of outdoor gear

Katadyn Gravity Camp 6L Review

The best value gravity filter on the market.
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $90 List | $67.46 at Amazon
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Pros:  Lightweight, great price, durable design, fast flow, high volume filtration
Cons:  Doesn't filter out viruses, no additional storage reservoir
Manufacturer:   Katadyn
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  May 6, 2019
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77
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#2 of 18
  • Water Quality - 20% 7
  • Durability & Maintenance - 20% 9
  • Treatment Time - 15% 8
  • Weight & Packability - 15% 6
  • Ease of Set-Up - 15% 6
  • Ease of Filtration - 15% 10

Our Verdict

As the best value gravity filter out there, the Katadyn GravityCamp 6L will keep you hydrated on long backpacking trips. Whether you're thinking of hiking the Pacific Crest Trail or heading out for the weekend to your favorite remote Alpine lake, it'll help to keep you healthy. Offering a flow rate that can filter 6L of water in just 6 minutes, all you have to do is dip, hang, and wait. As a single bag system, it does not have a storage reservoir, like our Editors' Choice winner, the Platypus Gravity Works, so you need to carry an extra water container. The Ultra Flow filter features a 0.2-micron pore size, removing common water pathogens like bacteria and protozoans like Giardia and Cryptosporidium, but it does not remove viruses. Even the stinkiest of water comes out clean and smell-free.

While none of the gravity filters filter out viruses, one option is to use an in-line filter like the Aquamira Frontier Max that can easily plug into the base of the Gravity Camp. Or you can opt for the MSR Guardian Purifier, a handpump that requires a little more work. However, if a virus isn't a big concern, this is an excellent choice if you need a less expensive but super reliable and lightweight gravity filter.


Compare to Similar Products

Our Analysis and Test Results

With exceptional performance at a great price, the Katadyn GravityCamp 6L wins our Best Buy Award. Of the gravity filters, it's priced the best and offers the best performance, almost winning our Editors' Choice award. It comes in both a 6L and 10L option.

Performance Comparison


The Gravity Camp 6L provides fresh  clean water in no time with very little effort.
The Gravity Camp 6L provides fresh, clean water in no time with very little effort.

Water Quality


The Gravity Camp features a pleated glass-fiber filter with activated carbon inside. The activated carbon does a great job removing nasty smells from water, providing fresh and clean hydration. The 0.2-micron pore size will filter out protozoa and bacteria and other sediment and debris. It does not, however, filter out viruses. If you plan on going to international areas where viruses may be a concern, consider a different option, or add another in-line purifier system like the Aquamira Frontier Max. Other gravity systems have the filter in-line, but in this setup, the filter is inside the bag, located right at the base.


In clear or slightly turbid water, this filter does a fantastic job. It will provide water of a high quality that is ready to drink. That said, water that is highly turbid is a different story. If you research the filter used in this system, Katadyn does claim that it is all right to use in turbid conditions. Turbid means water that contains lots of sediment and is not clear. There is a range here. While it does work for conditions with "low turbidity," like a little bit of murk in a puddle, it did not perform well during our Colorado River sediment tests where the water was "highly turbid."

The Gravity Camp is the only gravity filter where the filtration unit is inside the dirty water bag instead of attached to a hose.
The Gravity Camp is the only gravity filter where the filtration unit is inside the dirty water bag instead of attached to a hose.

After big rains in the desert, many water sources can get flooded with sand and dirt from overlaying areas, making the river look like chocolate milk. After filtering just 2L, the filter clogged. While water did flow, it took over 10 minutes to fill up a liter in these tests. When we took the filter apart, it was full of silt and sand. Upon cleaning it out, which involved scrubbing with a small sponge (provided) and removing the protective pleats, it worked again. But it clogged once more shortly after.

While this filter does an amazing job at producing clear water  the filter can get clogged in very turbid water.
While this filter does an amazing job at producing clear water, the filter can get clogged in very turbid water.

As a result, it does work, but at a much slower rate in highly turbid conditions. It's important to note that none of the filters were able to withstand these conditions. As a result, it's essential to pre-filter your water or let the sediment settle before filtration. If you carry an extra ziplock bag or storage reservoir, you can collect the water, let it settle, then decant the water off the top into the gravity bag. Aside from that, it works like a charm, providing clean and fresh water, free of microorganisms and water-borne pathogens. It also tastes great.

Durability and Maintenance


This product features strong construction and is easy to maintain. The filter cartridge treats up to 1,500 liters and is easy to clean on the trail. In comparison to other filters, we didn't have to work as hard to maintain this filter as the Platypus or MSR Gravity Works, unless we encountered turbid water.


The filter's protective screen staves off the entry of larger debris, prolonging life. It can easily be rinsed off and scrubbed with the small sponge provided. You should handle the filter unit carefully and not allow it to freeze at any time, which can ruin it.

The pleated overlay sits on top of a removable paper-like protective layer that can easily be removed and scrubbed. This helps to improve the longevity of the liter. Here we see some silt and sediment captured in this layer that we later cleaned out.
The pleated overlay sits on top of a removable paper-like protective layer that can easily be removed and scrubbed. This helps to improve the longevity of the liter. Here we see some silt and sediment captured in this layer that we later cleaned out.

The reservoir bag is much more durable than any of the other bags we've tested so far. It's composed of a nylon material with a clear looking glass feature so you can see the clarity of the water. When hanging it in trees and around pointy bushes, we weren't worried about punctures or holes. The roll-top is well reinforced and easily supports the weight of the water, not showing wear and tear even after months of consistent use. Overall, exceptional durability and construction should lead to the longevity of the filter.

The seals are welded and the bag is super durable. All the main seams hold up under the weight of 4L of water. When put together properly  we didn't notice any leaking or other problems.
The seals are welded and the bag is super durable. All the main seams hold up under the weight of 4L of water. When put together properly, we didn't notice any leaking or other problems.

Treatment Time


The Gravity Camp is one of the fastest gravity filters tested. Most of the gravity filters performed close in time during our time trials. After three timed trails, the Gravity Camp filtered one liter in an average of 64 seconds. This is super fast! When the bag is full, the speed increases, but when it gets to a low volume, the speed slows done. The full 6L filters in just over 6 minutes.


The advertised flow rate is at 2L/minute. While we did see this rate when we first opened the package, it decreased a little over time. Overall, it's a fast filtration system that can easily provide water for the solo hiker or several people at base camp.

The Gravity Camp by Katadyn is so fast there is virtually no wait time to fill a liter. Simply just fill and wait for water to fill your bottle easily.
The Gravity Camp by Katadyn is so fast there is virtually no wait time to fill a liter. Simply just fill and wait for water to fill your bottle easily.

Weight and Packability


The Gravity Camp weighs 11.65 ounces, making it a lightweight filtration option. It packs up to the size of a water bottle and given that the parts are quite pliable, it can be folded up. It also comes with a zip-up carry case that helps prevent loss of any parts. Once you've assembled it, you can keep it all together, fold or roll it, and easily get it into the pouch without issue. A great option if you're heading out on a multi-day backpacking adventure into the unknown.



Ease of Setup


This bag features a 6L roll-top reservoir with a hose extension and filter that sits inside of the bag. Assembly of this product can be a bit more difficult because you need to screw the filter into the bag before you put it in the water source. That said, if you're on a trip, you can keep the filter in for easy setup later on.


Once you've assembled the filtration system, you can take your bag, and fill it up in your nearest water source. Like all gravity filters, you need a good flow of water. The Gravity Camp is not the best filter if all you have is a puddle or super shallow source. It's perfect for rivers, streams, and lakes.

Simply flip your back inside out and screw the filter into place. This bag with the roll-top also makes it super easy to dry out and clean.
Simply flip your back inside out and screw the filter into place. This bag with the roll-top also makes it super easy to dry out and clean.

Once you've collected your water, roll down the top, and hang it in a tree. While other filters like the Platypus GravityWorks don't require a significant height difference, we noticed that the GravityCamp does need to be suspended higher than the Platypus, which is in part due to the longer included tube. You can easily cut off a portion of it to make it shorter.

Performing a timed test at the campground. Simply string up the bag  clip it into a tree  and attach your reservoir. In this test  we use the HydraPak ShapeShift and clip it into where the hydration tube would normally fit.
Performing a timed test at the campground. Simply string up the bag, clip it into a tree, and attach your reservoir. In this test, we use the HydraPak ShapeShift and clip it into where the hydration tube would normally fit.

Ease of Filtration


Once you've set up your system, it's time to hang out and relax. Like all gravity filters, the biggest benefit is that you don't have to do a whole lot. Since the Gravity Camp doesn't come with an additional reservoir for clean water like the Platypus GravityWorks or the MSR Gravity Trailbase, you need to bring an extra water storage container (if you're going to need it on the trail) like a hydration bladder or bottle.


This filter is pretty simple, making it very compatible with other products. It comes with an adaptive end that can be slipped into the output tube, making it compatible with most hydration bladders. We tested this with the clean reservoir for the MSR Trail Base in addition to several hydration bladders that we are currently testing, and found that this end is compatible with all of them.

A look at compatibility with other storage containers like a hydration bladder.
A look at compatibility with other storage containers like a hydration bladder.

If you don't have a hydration bladder for storage and only want to fill a water bottle, it's easy to do that, too. Just take off the end, or drink right from the output if you're really thirsty. We also like the tube clamp that makes it easy to stop and start the flow of water.

Simply grab your water storage container and fill 'er up! This end is compatible with a plethora of hydration bladders or can simply be put inside a bottle for filling.
Simply grab your water storage container and fill 'er up! This end is compatible with a plethora of hydration bladders or can simply be put inside a bottle for filling.

We noticed that the outlet attachment/cap has a gasket that is somewhat finicky to get seated and will sometimes leak. That said, once you've done it once or twice, it becomes a no brainer.

Best Applications


We would take this filter with us on any backcountry trip, especially with two or more people. It would also work great for any base camping situation. It does work well with water that is clear or with a little turbidity but seriously slows in highly turbid water sources. As a result, we'd still recommend it, just as long as you pre-filter. It's lightweight, easy to use, and a great option for backpacking. It comes in both a 6L and 10L option. If you're hunting for an easy to use gravity filter that'll get a lot of water to a lot of people quickly, consider the 10L option instead.

The Gravity Camp is easy to fill from large and medium sized water sources and has a convenient roll top closure.
The Gravity Camp is easy to fill from large and medium sized water sources and has a convenient roll top closure.

Value


The Gravity Camp is one of the best value gravity filters in this review. It beats out its competitors at an affordable retail price of $90. It earns our Best Buy Award because it affords high quality without a high price. Since it's also fantastically durable, you should expect this system to last you a long time.

Conclusion


The Katadyn Gravity Camp is one of our favorite gravity filters at a relatively low price. It's fast, easy to use, and can filter a wide range of water sources.


Amber King