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Katadyn Hiker Pro Review

Katadyn Hiker Pro
Price:   $85 List | $67.99 at MooseJaw
Compare prices at 4 resellers
Pros:  Durable, functional, easy to use
Cons:  Largest filter pore size
Bottom line:  A popular but somewhat outdated pump style filter, we would reach for a gravity style unit over this one.
Editors' Rating:   
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Weight (including bag and all things that would be carried):  14.3 oz
Effective Against:  Protozoa, cysts, bacteria, cryptosporidium
Time to Treat a Liter (Timed Test):  1:35 min
Manufacturer:   Katadyn

Our Verdict

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 has a lot in common with the MSR Sweetwater Microfilter, including weight, capacity, pump-time, and price tag. If you want a pump that filters out the most harmful pathogens, go with the MSR Guardian, which has a filter pore size of 0.02 microns, much smaller than the Hiker Pro's 0.2-micron pore size. For ultralight backpackers, the Aquamira Water Treatment Drops are lightweight and friendly on the wallet.


RELATED REVIEW: Best Backpacking Water Filters and Treatment of 2017


Our Analysis and Hands-on Test Results

Review by:
Jessica Haist

Last Updated:
Wednesday
August 10, 2016

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A standard pump water filter, the Hiker Pro is reliable and easy to use but is becoming outdated by new technology consisting of smaller, lighter and faster filters.

Performance Comparison


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

Reliability/Effectiveness


As a durable and reliable pump filter, this contender 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 MSR Guardian has a pore size of 0.02 microns and can eliminate viruses. The Hiker Pro and other common pumps like the MSR Sweetwater Microfilter and MSR TrailShot also have a pore size of 0.2.

The Hiker Pro is a reliable pump that is easy to use and convenient for backcountry travelers on the go.
The Hiker Pro is a reliable pump that is easy to use and convenient for backcountry travelers on the go.

Ease of Use


This filter is simple to use, although we do not like its strange pump handle and find it harder to hold on to the filter while pumping than any other conventional pump handle like the Katadyn Vario or the MSR Miniworks. Another 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.

The Hiker Pro is much more difficult to pump than the Vario.
The Hiker Pro is much more difficult to pump than the Vario.

Treatment Capacity


This water 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 more than the MSR Aquatabs. Although it pumps water at about one liter per every 90 seconds, this pump is not the best for large groups and would take it on trips with 1-3 people maximum. We think a gravity filter like the Katadyn Gravity Camp 6L is best for large group scenarios.

Speed


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, however not nearly the fastest of the pack. The Gravity Camp is the fastest of the bunch at 40 seconds per liter, followed closely by the Guardian at 42 seconds.

Filtering water with the Hiker Pro on the approach up to Mount Ritter in the Easters Sierras.
Filtering water with the Hiker Pro on the approach up to Mount Ritter in the Easters Sierras.

Weight


Weighing over 14 ounces, including the hoses and storage case, the Hiker Pro lands in the middle of the road in this metric. Heavy is too strong a word, but the Katadyn isn't exactly lightweight, either. Gravity filters like the Platypus GravityWorks are a better, more lightweight choice over heavier conventional pumps.

Best Application


Trustworthy and durable, this filter is suited for general hiking and camping needs, solo or in small groups. We would also recommend the Sawyer Mini for folks traveling in the backcountry solo or in pairs.

Value


At $85, this water pump is average in price for this type of product. It costs less than UV treatments like the SteriPEN, but much pricier than a chlorine dioxide treatment like Aquamira Water Treatment Drops.

Conclusion


The Katadyn Hiker Pro is is middle of the road when it comes to pump-type filters. It is relatively inexpensive and can treat a moderate volume of water in its filter's lifetime (750). It is on the heavy side and we found it's unique handle more difficult to pump with than traditional filter handles. Generally, we prefer gravity filters over this type of pump.
Jessica Haist


Where to Buy?

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MooseJawon sale
$67.99  -  20% off! see it
Amazonon sale
$77.09  -  9% off! see it
REI $84.95 see it
Backcountry $84.95 see it

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Most recent review: August 10, 2016
Summary of All Ratings

OutdoorGearLab Editors' Rating:   
  • 1
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  • 4
  • 5
 (4.0)
Average Customer Rating:     (0.0)
Rating Distribution
1 Total Ratings
5 star: 0%  (0)
4 star: 100%  (1)
3 star: 0%  (0)
2 star: 0%  (0)
1 star: 0%  (0)


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