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Katadyn Gravity Camp 6L Review

A convenient and easy-to-use gravity filter at a great price
Katadyn Gravity Camp 6L
Photo: Katadyn
Best Buy Award
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Price:  $90 List
Pros:  Lightweight, great price, durable design, fast flow, high volume filtration, use for cold weather
Cons:  Doesn't filter out viruses, no additional storage reservoir
Manufacturer:   Katadyn
By Amber King ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Apr 21, 2020
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74
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#3 of 24
  • Water Quality - 20% 8
  • Durability & Maintenance - 20% 7
  • Treatment Time - 15% 8
  • Weight & Packability - 15% 6
  • Ease of Set-Up - 15% 6
  • Ease of Filtration - 15% 9

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. While it does this well in clear water, it struggles with water that contains high amounts of sediment. Luckily, you can clean the filter, but it does require some disassembly of the system. As a single bag system, it does not have a storage reservoir, so you need to carry an extra water container. If you want a well-priced system that can be used in the winter, this best buy winner is suitable for small parties and bigger groups.

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Awards Best Buy Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award Editors' Choice Award Top Pick Award 
Price $90 ListCheck Price at REI
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$14.95 at REI
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Pros Lightweight, great price, durable design, fast flow, high volume filtration, use for cold weatherFast, easy, hands-free filtration, large volume, storageEasy to use, fast flow rate, collapsible, lightweightLightweight, adaptable, easy to use, lifetime guaranteeLightweight, inexpensive, kills all pathogens (including crypto), reliable
Cons Doesn't filter out viruses, no additional storage reservoirA little expensive, can't gather from shallow sources, clogs with heavy sedimentLacks durability and reliabilityNot great for group use, better if you replace the bagsTakes a long time to kill crypto, slight taste to the water, chemical treatment
Bottom Line A convenient and easy-to-use gravity filter at a great priceA fast and easy to use gravity filter perfect for small groupsOur favorite lightweight on-the-go filtration systemSimple filtration that is lightweight and reliable for individual useThese drops are a reliable and lightweight option to carry all over the world
Rating Categories Katadyn Gravity Cam... Platypus GravityWorks Katadyn BeFree Sawyer Squeeze Water Treatment Drops
Water Quality (20%)
8.0
8.0
8.0
8.0
5.0
Durability & Maintenance (20%)
7.0
6.0
1.0
5.0
10.0
Treatment Time (15%)
8.0
9.0
10.0
9.0
2.0
Weight & Packability (15%)
6.0
7.0
10.0
7.0
9.0
Ease Of Set Up (15%)
6.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
Ease Of Filtration (15%)
9.0
9.0
9.0
8.0
9.0
Specs Katadyn Gravity Cam... Platypus GravityWorks Katadyn BeFree Sawyer Squeeze Water Treatment Drops
Type of filter/purifier Gravity filter Gravity filter Squeeze & on-the-go Squeeze, in-line, on-the-go Chemical treatment
Time to treat one liter (timed test) 64 seconds 52 seconds immediate 40 seconds Clear Water - 20 min
Turbid Water - 35 min
Measured weight (entire kit, oz) 11.7 oz 11.5 oz 2.1 oz 5.7 oz 3.0 oz
Total cost per 100 L ($) $6.00 $7.33 $4.00 $0.01 $13.16
Replacement cartridge cost per 100 L ($) $2.67 $3.67 $2.50 $0.01 $13.16
# of liters (L)/gallons (gal) per lifetime 1,500 L/396 gal 1,500 L/396 gal 1000 L/264 gal 378,541 L/100,000 gal 114 L/30 gal per package
Filter media or active ingredient Pleated glassfiber Hollow fiber Hollow Fiber Hollow Fiber Chlorine Dioxide
Effective against bacteria? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Effective against protozoa? (Cryptosporidium, Giardia) Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Effective against viruses? No No No No Yes
Effective against chemicals? No No No No No
Effective against heavy metals? No No No No No
Removes Particulates (sediment, microplastics)? Yes Yes Yes Yes No
Filter pore size 0.2 microns 0.2 microns 0.1 micron 0.1 micron N/A
Advertised flow rate 2 L/min 1.75L/min 2.11 L per min 1.7L/min N/A
Dimensions 10 x 6 x 2.4 in 9.4 x 3 in 9.05 in x 2.73 in 11 x 6 N/A
Storage capacity (L) 6 L 4 L 0.6 L 0 0

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 tested, it offers the best performance for its price. It comes in both a 6L and 10L options.

Performance Comparison


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

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

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

As a result, it does work, but at a much slower rate in highly turbid conditions. In addition, the filter is a pain to clean as you've got to take the whole thing apart. It's not a simple backflush solution. 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 freshwater, 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 unless we encountered turbid water. We also appreciate that it keeps on working even if it freezes, which is head and shoulders better than hollow filter constructions that are unusable after a freeze.


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. With its design, this filter can freeze in cold weather. While it can't filter while frozen, it can still be used after it thaws out. This makes it a better choice than other gravity filter options for cold weather.

The pleated overlay sits on top of a removable paper-like protective...
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.
Photo: Amber King

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...
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.
Photo: Amber King

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 trials, 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...
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.
Photo: Jessica Haist

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 the 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.


Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge

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...
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.
Photo: Amber King

Once you've collected your water, roll down the top, and hang it in a tree. We noticed that the GravityCamp needs to be suspended high in a tree 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...
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.
Photo: Amber King

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, 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 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...
A look at compatibility with other storage containers like a hydration bladder.
Photo: Amber King

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...
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.
Photo: Jessica Haist

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.

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

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. 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, and you can use it all year round (and in cold weather!).

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 through all seasons.

Amber King