Katadyn Hiker Pro Water Microfilter Review: A Horror Story

The Katadyn Hiker Pro Microfilter is a popular, portable water filter for bacteria treatment and removal–but this review reveals why you shouldn’t buy one.

After spending time using and looking at the Katadyn Hiker Pro, I have to say that it just doesn’t appeal to me anymore.

The Katadyn Hiker water filter worked perfectly for my first water treatment device. However, as I’ve aged, matured, and grown wiser, I realized this isn’t the best portable water filter.

I know. Crazy, right? I mean, I absolutely swear by my Katadyn Pocket Microfilter, and think it is one of the best inventions on the planet.

But the Katadyn Hiker water filter? Eh, not my cup of tea.

Let me explain:

Katadyn Hiker Pro Water Filter
Reviews and Ratings


katadyn hiker pro reviews

Katadyn Hiker Pro parts

According to online reviews of the Katadyn Hiker Pro water microfilter, it is a perfectly fine portable water filter for hiking and backpacking.

If you’re in the market for a pretty cheap water filter that pumps water at a pretty quick rate of speed, then you might dig this one. But it is only effective for 2 people. A group of more than two? Well, you’ll be pumping water for hours.

But I’ve heard far too many bad things about the Katadyn Hiker water filter to consider getting another one for myself. Besides, why would I need to? I already have the best of the best.

So, why has this particular water filter gone off my radar? Let me break it down for you.

Katadyn Hiker Pro Microfilter Drawbacks

First of all, like a lot of cheaper microfilters on the shelves, the Katadyn Hiker water filter breaks pretty easily. And trust me, the last thing you want while hiking in Glacier National Park’s mountains (or any mountains!) is for your water filter to break.

A lot of unhappy hikers have commented on the web how the inlet spout at the bottom of the filter can snap right off with just the littlest of touches.

Personally, if I’m spending a couple nights in the heart of Glacier National Park (or even one afternoon!) I do not want a filter with me that can become unusable so quickly.

While I never experienced this, too many others have to recommend the Hiker.

And you might not even notice that such a small piece has broken off! Can you imagine spending the day drinking contaminated water and not even knowing it?

No thanks.

Speaking of small pieces, another thing that bothers me about the portable, Katadyn Hiker water microfilter is that it comes with about a million and one pieces.

With all the parts and hoses and attachments and output/input valves and clips… Jeez, I think I might need a second backpack just to carry the arsenal of supplies it comes with!

Don’t get me wrong, I love that they’re trying to be prepared for the eventuality of anything and everything a hiker may want to do with a water filter.

But when it comes to products like these, I tend to follow what my 8th grade teacher always told me:

Keep it simple, stupid!

The thing I love most about my Katadyn Pocket Microfilter is how easy and uncomplicated it is to use.

I don’t know, maybe it’s just me, but the Katadyn Hiker Pro water microfilter just doesn’t seem worth the effort when the Pocket filter exists.

But don’t just take my word for it. Check this out:

The Katadyn Hiker Pro Review: A True Horror Story

When I started researching the Hiker Pro water filter, I gave a shout-out to all my hiker friends to see if any of them currently use or have used it in the past. I wanted to hear first-hand from other sources how the filter worked in the wild.

I heard back from Bobby (name changed to preserve his damaged ego) and only Bobby.

As it turns out, the Hiker Pro water filter isn’t a very easy product to use at all.

According to Bobby, it’s just about impossible to successfully balance the container while pumping the water.

Bobby was in Yosemite National Park, taking some great pics of Lower Cathedral Lake last summer.

He went to a stream to get some water with his Katadyn Hiker water filter for the hike back to his campsite. He was having a hard time keeping hold of the bottle he was trying to pump water into and it fell into the river.

It wasn’t a fast moving stream so he tried to lean over and pick it up, only to fall headfirst into the water. And the capper? He had his camera slung around his neck. Totally ruined.

Of course, I can’t blame this portable water filter entirely for this mishap, but it sure didn’t help.

Both Bobby and I say: you can do a whole lot better than a Katadyn Hiker Pro.

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  1. I was concerned about a negative review on the katadyn filter until I actually read what the problems were.

    Instead of throwing the baby out with the bathwater on your review, perhaps it would be better to mention the weaknesses of the filter and recommend how people using the equipment could be mindful of how to avoid problems.

    I am careful with all of my equipment as are most people. However, a fatal flaw would be that it does not filter water to a safe level. This review did not state the filter was not adequate at making my water safer , it just said that some people who don’t pay particular attention to detail broke their stuff (or got wet).

    Let’s put blame where blame is due, he fell in because he was not paying attention. Once the young man climbed out of the water and dried himself off he could go back and have a good dinner knowing his water was safe to drink and prepare food.
    I appreciate the opinion.


    • Perry Rosenbloom says

      Hi Kevin,

      Thanks for sharing your thoughts. I agree with you to a large extent: However, there are better filters on the market for that price. I personally recommend the SteriPen as it filters water more safely and reliably.



      • Chris Brims says

        This review is a joke. During my time in the Scouts, we carried the PUR Hiker, we never had any of these issues, we could have 15-20 people using 1 filter and we had no issues at all, it didn’t take hours to filter our water.

        So you’re going to abide by the KISS principle and then recommend a UV light which runs off of a battery, that makes no sense. A broken UV lamp is useless, a dead battery is useless. The instructions say to swirl it around in 16 ounces of water for less than a minute, and do it twice if you have 32 ounces. How can you be sure your water has been sanitized. A true UV sterilization system makes sure to run all the water past the UV lamp. The description states it fits store bought bottles by inserting into the bottle and turning upside down. Except for chemical sterilization, I don’t want to be drinking out of a container that had unclean water in it. There can be plenty of non-sterile water on the outside of the neck of the bottle and you might as well be drinking straight from the source.

        • Perry Rosenbloom says

          How long ago did you use the PUR Hiker? It’s garbage these days.

          I owned one about 10 years ago and it rocked. Second time I purchased it though, and it was absolute garbage.

          Still, one person’s experience can be different than anothers.

          I use the SteriPen and it’s phenomenal. Just carry an extra set of Lithium batteries with you and you’ll be set.

  2. I recently had the problem mentioned in this review with my Hiker microfilter. I am a very careful and attention to detail oriented person, and despite that as I was carefully removing the input flow hose the Input Barb separated from the filter body. Now I have a useless filter. Fortunately I was on an overnight hike and had enough water to make it back to my car. I was very disappointed with the quality of this product.

  3. I didn’t like this filter at all, it pumps too slowly. I got the Katadyn Guide and threw this one out. With the guide you can fill up a big 2 liter pot of water in about a minute or two.

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