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on November 15, 2012
A good product but I have to baby it a little. When I use this filter I also bring along a fine mesh filter. (a permanent coffee filter worked best for me because its a perfect fit on the opening of my camelback)I use the container brought along to store the coffee filter as a scoop.I strain the water throught the coffee filter into a spare 100oz camelback bladder.Then I use the Katayn filter to treat my drinking/cooking water from the spare bladder. When I tried to use the Katadyn as advertised,it had one drawback.The prefilter system ie,inlet hose mesh filter & sedement filter clogged very easely even in the sierras.This made it very hard to pump even after I cleaned both filters.(as best I could in the middle of nowhere) I like the Katadyn, it will make clean water and lots of it, if you strain the water before you use it. All filter systems have drawbacks even UVs and the couple extra steps I take are no big deal to me. I can make 200oz of water in about 5-10 min depending on conditions and the Katadyn performs just fine for the price.
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on August 11, 2014
I've had my Hiker for about 10 years now, and the design has not changed much, if at all. It's served me well on many trips over the years. I'm reviewing it now because I just purchased a different filter (Sawyer Mini) and finally have a base of comparison. The hiker works exactly the way that it's supposed to. It comes with several accessories for different uses and pumping scenarios. For the last few years, I've been the only one of my friends who brought a water filter on our backpacking trips. We were all able to share it, and filter all of the water that we needed quickly and easily. Even though this filter is a lot more expensive then the popular Sawyer Mini, this Hiker has some real performance benefits that I think many people would prefer. You can filter a lot of water quickly with this Hiker (huge benefit over the Sawyer Mini). I can fill my Nalgene bottle in 20sec or so, and fill my 3L bladder in 90sec. Just keep pumping until you get what you need. Also, you can easily get water out of even the most shallow stream or pool of water, even dirtier water. It's kept me hydrated and healthy for countless trips, obviously a must-have tool.

The downsides: Using this Hiker can seem a little cumbersome, when you're trying to manage your water bottle, the pump, and the two tubes collecting and delivering the water. It's kind of the nature of the beast, and you get used to it quickly enough, but I've appreciated the simplicity of my Sawyer Mini for this reason.

The biggest issue I've had with the Hiker is that the filter cartridges do not seem to last very long. I'll share this filter with my (8-10 person) group for a 3-day trip, and the filter will be very tough to pump by the end of the trip, and require replacement. Replacement cartridges are not cheap, at $50ea, so it has become kind of a sore point for me each year. I can't imagine that we are pumping more then 100 gallons over the course of the trip, but year after year, I need a new filter following each trip. We're generally not filtering our water out of muddy puddles or from the sandy bottom of a creek, so I don't know what more I could do to prolong the life of these filters. This has been the only real disappointment.

After 8 years of use, the handle broke on me while pumping water through a nearly-finished filter. Fortunately this happened on the last day of our trip, so we were not stranded w/o water. I contacted Katadyn and they sent me a replacement pump handle for free. Can't beat that customer service.

All in all, I like this filter a lot. Even though the filters are expensive, I'll keep this Hiker around for use on the trips that require a lot of water consumption. I definitely think this is a better performer then the Sawyer Mini, but it comes at much higher cost, so it's up to you and what your itinerary and needs will be.
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I use this product while i am up hiking in Idaho. And honestly i love It. I had asked my wife for a pro version of this to replace an older version i had. she got me this at first I was a bit disappointed but after three multi day hiking trips and not having to use iodine pills(though i still take them just in case). i do not even think of going anywhere without it.

A few things. The water in Idaho is relativity clean as we don't have many muddy streams / rivers / lakes. So i can not tell you how this product would work in say Missouri where the waters color seams to be brown to black. But here where the water is clean it almost never clogs. it pumps relativity fast and the water taste amazing! Seriously if you could bottle some of the water filtered through this and sell it you might make a fortune.

Anyway i can not rave enough about this. And i recommend it to everyone wanting a hiking filter!
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on July 15, 2014
I bought this filter for backpacking and it is extremely easy to use, care for, and pack. I can fill a nalgene with fresh water in less than a minute and it only takes a few minutes to fill my 70 oz camelback. The outlet hose comes with an attachment that fits onto most standard-sized nalgenes/water bottles. It is 2" in diameter. If you use the filter this way, be prepared for the water to look quite fizzy the first couple of times. This is normal and is a byproduct of the carbon filter being brand new. The filter itself is of very good quality and will render most water safe to drink, minus viruses and some agricultural runoff. I use it in mountain lakes and streams where giardia and E. coli are a concern. Note that it won't make stanky lake water taste better! The simple design makes this filter very easy to take apart and clean. I disinfect mine after each trip by pumping bleach water through it followed by tap water and letting it air dry. The prefilter works very well for getting rid of sand and other large debris, but be aware that the check valve (inside the body of the pump) can suddenly become clogged with sediment. If your filter stops pumping and the cartridge is not in need of replacement, you may need to clean out the check valve. Take out the filter by unscrewing it and fill the main pump body halfway with clean water. Swish it around and pump until the sediment in the check valve becomes dislodged, then screw the filter back in to see if you're getting flow through the outlet.

At 11 oz, this is not exactly an ultralight filter, but it is light enough to suit the needs of most and powerful enough to make sure you always have plenty of water.
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on September 8, 2015
A 72 mile canoeing trip in the middle of BC Canada made having this essential. And it worked wonders. We never had issues and filtered about 10 gallons a day without any problem. Put a coffee filter over pre-filter if the water source is not so good. I didn't use one but we were filtering out of the best water in North America. It is small and easy to store. When it is not in use for a long period of time make sure you run some diluted bleach water through it before storing (instructions included explain more).
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on October 10, 2012
so many water filters to choose from but I decided to go with the Hiker. They all work pretty much the same under $100 dollars. I used this twice backpacking and it worked very well. Both times the creek level was 2-3 inches and I though it was going to suck up rock and dirt but it didn't. Easy to pump and the water tasted great!
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on November 4, 2014
I bought this filter way back in 1996(I think) mid 90's anyway. I have used this from Canada to the Florida Keys to California. Currently settled in the mountains of North Carolina. Hiking in the Francis Marion NF of South Carolina once we ran out water in August. Thanks to a crazy dog with a motored powered tail. The nearest water source was still three or four hours away. Then an old pine tree was found uprooted. The nastiest water was there in the hollow bellow the root ball. Stagnet mosquito larva filled grossness. No choice filtered this water out and I wouldn't say yum but would say praise the Gods of fool hardy knuckleheads. So I can say this filter gets used alot now that I'm in the mountains. Maintenance is crucial to long filter life. The case and pump I feel is bomb proof Im hard on boots and nearly as hard on gadgets. This has lasted me 2 decades and going strong. I have a katadyn vario which I loved on the one and only trip it went on but it was bulky and had me nervous that it was a bit fragile. The hiker has been dropped thrown tossed lost buried and generally well used. Size weight and sturdy build is right choice for me
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on October 27, 2014
Very efficient and very compact, it fits in the same outer compartment of my pack as my camp stove with room left over. I had my doubts when I was doing the first rinse at home before I took it in the field; that first liter of water went in clean and came out looking like something had died in my filter. After that first liter every thing has been fine. I've used it on a back-country camp out to filter water from a running stream, and other than a tendency for the intake to jerk around when I pump (which twice moved it out of the rocky spot I was in and into sand I was trying to avoid) I have no complaints. You will want to use the lube provided each time you assemble it, and there isn't a lot of lube in that tube so you'll want to go ahead and order more now. I ran out while on my trip and my intake hose may now be permanently attached, I'll have to play with it some more. It still works, I just can't break it completely down.
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on November 23, 2014
Very good water filter. This is one area in your camping/bug out gear that it's probably not a good idea to cut corners (being sick 2 days into a hike is not fun) just pay to have the right gear and be done with it. This will pump a gallon of water very quickly and does a great job at removing all the dangerous bits! Sturdy built, but put it in a protected area in your bag, as it is only plastic.
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on February 20, 2016
Absolutely love it did the first clean/pump thru at home and there was some nasty grey water (expected) but after that got cleaned thru o how crystal clear the water was, easy assemble/disassemble and it's got it's own case I love it can't wait to use it on the trail!!
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