Swiss made Katadyn is a popular choice on big US walks like the Appalachian Trail. Its glass fibre cartridge filter will remove bacteria and protozoa; it’s field maintainable to a degree and is a hand pump, so requires no batteries. There’s a carbon filter as well, to improve taste and reduce pesticide contamination. Katadyn reckon it’s good for 1150 litres before the filter needs replacing. Compared to others here it comes up somewhere in the middle, size wise – the pump is a little larger than an adult hand. It seems a little fussy to operate at first, with a whole load of tubes, nozzles (actually a very useful sediment filter) and bottle fixings to figure out. However, you won’t need all this on the trail – just the fittings for your particular containers. On test, I soon got used to operation and it was really efficient, cleaning a huge amount of water very quickly. If I was on a big stateside walk with a group or my family, especially a desert section where I’d need to bulk filter and then carry, this would be the unit I would take. Field maintenance is a real boon, as is no batteries to worry about – my only reservation would be how easy it is to replace that cartridge. Weight 310g.
VERDICT: Fast and efficient filter for producing bulk supply of fresh water.
BEST FOR: Bigger groups, or use in dry or arid conditions where resupply points are few and far between.
Review by David Lintern @