Katadyn Pocket Review
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|Pros||Durable and built to last, great water quality, pump requires minimal effort, flow rate comparable to other hand pump filters||Lightweight, adaptable, easy to use, lifetime guarantee||Excellent design and quality, durable and lightweight, versatile filtration options, extended filter life||Fast, easy, hands-free filtration, large volume, storage||Lightweight, inexpensive, kills all pathogens (including crypto), reliable|
|Cons||Heavy, very expensive, lots of assembly parts||Not great for group use, better if you replace the bags||Extra maintenance to maintain microfilter||A little expensive, can't gather from shallow sources, clogs with heavy sediment||Takes 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 last||Simple filtration that is lightweight and reliable for individual use||This filter is an excellent choice for lightweight and durable collapsible bottle filtration||A fast and easy to use gravity filter perfect for small groups||These 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%)|
|Durability & Maintenance (20%)|
|Treatment Time (15%)|
|Weight & Packability (15%)|
|Ease of Set-Up (15%)|
|Ease of Filtration (15%)|
|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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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