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Katadyn Pocket Review

One of the most durable and well-crafted water filters we've seen, this filter is built to last
katadyn pocket backpacking water filter review
The Katadyn Pocket is easy to pump, requiring minimal effort and a flow rate of one liter per minute.
Credit: Trish Matheny
Price:  $395 List
Manufacturer:   Katadyn
By Trish Matheny ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 3, 2022
61
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#25 of 28
  • Water Quality - 20% 8.0
  • Durability & Maintenance - 20% 9.0
  • Treatment Time - 15% 6.0
  • Weight & Packability - 15% 2.0
  • Ease of Set-Up - 15% 5.0
  • Ease of Filtration - 15% 5.0

Our Verdict

The Katadyn Pocket is constructed from high-quality, durable materials and is backed by a 20-year warranty. After reading the instructions, we carefully assembled the parts and began filtering water at a rate of one liter per minute. The Pocket protects against harmful protozoa and bacteria and is relatively easy to maintain in the field if and when flow rates begin to decrease. The only caveats to this ceramic filter are the price tag (and it's a big one) and the weight, as it is one of the heaviest filters we tested. This filter is ideal for river or horse-packing trips where weight is not an issue, as opposed to backpacking trips where every ounce is accounted for.
REASONS TO BUY
Durable and built to last
Great water quality
Pump requires minimal effort
Flow rate comparable to other hand pump filters
REASONS TO AVOID
Heavy
Very expensive
Lots of assembly parts

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Pros Durable and built to last, great water quality, pump requires minimal effort, flow rate comparable to other hand pump filtersLightweight, adaptable, easy to use, lifetime guaranteeExcellent design and quality, durable and lightweight, versatile filtration options, extended filter lifeFast, easy, hands-free filtration, large volume, storageLightweight, inexpensive, kills all pathogens (including crypto), reliable
Cons Heavy, very expensive, lots of assembly partsNot great for group use, better if you replace the bagsExtra maintenance to maintain microfilterA little expensive, can't gather from shallow sources, clogs with heavy sedimentTakes a long time to kill crypto, slight taste to the water, chemical treatment
Bottom Line One of the most durable and well-crafted water filters we've seen, this filter is built to lastSimple filtration that is lightweight and reliable for individual useThis filter is an excellent choice for lightweight and durable collapsible bottle filtrationA fast and easy to use gravity filter perfect for small groupsThese drops are a reliable and lightweight option to carry all over the world
Rating Categories Katadyn Pocket Sawyer Squeeze LifeStraw Peak Squeeze Platypus GravityWorks Aquamira Treatment...
Water Quality (20%)
8.0
9.0
8.0
8.0
5.0
Durability & Maintenance (20%)
9.0
6.0
6.0
7.0
10.0
Treatment Time (15%)
6.0
9.0
6.0
9.0
2.0
Weight & Packability (15%)
2.0
8.0
8.0
5.0
9.0
Ease of Set-Up (15%)
5.0
7.0
9.0
7.0
8.0
Ease of Filtration (15%)
5.0
8.0
9.0
9.0
9.0
Specs Katadyn Pocket Sawyer Squeeze LifeStraw Peak Squeeze Platypus GravityWorks Aquamira Treatment...
Type of Filter/Purifier Pump Squeeze, in-line, on-the-go Squeeze Gravity filter Chemical treatment
Measured Weight (entire kit) 20.0 oz 5.7 oz 3.8 oz 11.5 oz 3.0 oz
Number of Liters (L)/Gallons (gal) per Lifetime 50,000 L / 13,208.6 gal 378,541 L / 100,000 gal 2000 L / 500 gal 1500 L / 396 gal 114 L / 30 gal per package
Filter Media or Active Ingredient Ceramic micro-strainer Hollow fiber Hollow-core membrane microfilter Hollow fiber Chlorine dioxide
Effective Against Bacteria? Yes Yes Yes Yes Yes
Effective Against Protozoa? (Giardia,Cryptosporidium) 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 0.1 micron 0.2 microns 0.2 microns N/A
Advertised Flow Rate 1 L / min 1.7 L / min 3 L / min 1.75 L / min N/A
Dimensions 10 x 2 in 11 x 6 in 9.48 in x 4.8in x 2.67in 9.4 x 3 in N/A
Storage Capacity (L) 0 2 L 1 L 8 L N/A

Our Analysis and Test Results

The designers of the Katadyn Pocket created a water filter with longevity in mind. The design features an easy hand pump filtration system that's effective at removing harmful bacteria, protozoa, and particulates at a flow rate of one liter per minute. Constructed from high-quality steel, a ceramic filter, and with a 20-year warranty, this water filter is up for the ultimate backcountry adventures for many years to come. The only caveats are the heavy weight and expensive price tag.

Performance Comparison


katadyn pocket backpacking water filter review - the katadyn pocket is a high quality hand pump water filter that is...
The Katadyn Pocket is a high quality hand pump water filter that is built to last.
Credit: Trinity Robinson

Water Quality


Thanks to a 0.2-micron ceramic filter, the Pocket is effective against bacteria and protozoa such as giardia and cysts. Our testers had no complaints regarding the water quality or flavor as the filter also successfully removed any sediment and particulates even when filtering after significant rain events.

katadyn pocket backpacking water filter review - a pre-filter helps to enhance water quality by preventing any larger...
A pre-filter helps to enhance water quality by preventing any larger debris from entering the filter.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Durability and Maintenance


This is one of the metrics where the Pocket really shines compared to its competitors. Katadyn clearly designed this filter with durability and longevity in mind. The steel parts that surround the ceramic filter are as durable as it gets, and this filter comes with a 20-year warranty.

The Pocket is relatively easy to maintain, whether in the field or at home. Simply detach the base of the pump and remove the plastic sleeve before cleaning the ceramic element (with the scour pads that Katadyn includes with your purchase) until the original light color is restored to the filter. When finished, cover the ceramic filter with the plastic sleeve, apply a drop of the silicone lubricant (also provided) to the threads on the base of the pump and tighten.

katadyn pocket backpacking water filter review - durable construction for lifetime use, this tried and tested ceramic...
Durable construction for lifetime use, this tried and tested ceramic filter is built to last.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Treatment Time


With a treatment time of one liter per minute, the Pocket is on par with other hand-pump models available on the market; however, it does require some patience to earn your drinking water.

katadyn pocket backpacking water filter review - on par with other hand pump filtration systems, the katadyn pocket...
On par with other hand pump filtration systems, the Katadyn Pocket offers a flow rate of roughly one liter per minute.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Weight and Packability


One of the drawbacks to a filter that features such high quality and durable parts is overall weight — the Pocket is the heaviest water filter we've tested. With so many other lightweight options available, it's hard for our testers to recommend this filter as a "pocket" option. Perhaps it is better suited for river or horse-packing trips where weight is less of an issue.

katadyn pocket backpacking water filter review - weighing 20 ounces and requiring as much space in your pack as a...
Weighing 20 ounces and requiring as much space in your pack as a 2-liter water bottle, unfortunately the Katadyn Pocket does not score well for packability.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Ease of Setup


The Pocket has many parts to assemble, and while our testing team has a ton of experience setting up filtration systems, this was one of the only systems where we felt it necessary to watch a video for added explanation.

For setup, first connect the two hoses to the filter, which requires pushing the hose float up the input hose before attaching the pre-filter strainer to the bottom of the hose that goes into your water source. Attach the hose to the input barb on the pump base and then attach the bottle clip to the output hose (which comes in a labeled plastic bag) before attaching the output hose to the output barb near the pump. Now you're ready to filter.

katadyn pocket backpacking water filter review - the katadyn pocket takes a little extra time for setup then other...
The Katadyn Pocket takes a little extra time for setup then other filters that we tested in this review.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Ease of Filtration


If you're familiar with other hand pump water filters, the Pocket is similar. Simply place the input hose, with hose float attachment, into the water source and begin slowly pumping the water through the filter, making sure the input hose is not kinked. Once you fill your containers, remove the hose from the filter and continue pumping the remaining water through the filter before removing the output hose and placing it into a separate bag to prevent contamination. Finally, pack the filters and parts away in the provided storage bag.

katadyn pocket backpacking water filter review - this photo displays all the included parts with the katadyn pocket...
This photo displays all the included parts with the Katadyn Pocket filter.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Should You Buy the Katadyn Pocket?


If you're looking for a durable filter for the burliest of backcountry missions, the Pocket is a solid investment for many adventures ahead. Great water quality, easy hand pump filtration, and a competitive flow rate — the only caveats are the weight and the hefty price tag, both of which are substantial. But if you like the idea of a ceramic filter and non-plastic components, this is a great option that will last you for the long haul.

katadyn pocket backpacking water filter review - a mission statement right on the storage bag, katadyn is committed...
A mission statement right on the storage bag, Katadyn is committed to clean and safe drinking water.
Credit: Trish Matheny

What Other Backpacking Water Filters Should You Consider?


If you're interested in another hand pump at a more affordable price, check out the Katadyn Hiker Pro. If you need something that's a fraction of the weight, check out the collapsible LifeStraw Peak Squeeze.

Trish Matheny
 
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