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Old 04-17-08, 04:38 AM   #1
Al Downie
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Katadyn 'Pocket' Water Filter

Hi,

I'm thinking about buying this filter for a forthcoming trip to India, and I wonder if anyone here has used it and can comment on it? It's heavy, but it does seem to be solid, predictable and reliable compared to a light-pen or tablets. If you've used one, would you recommend it? And how long does it take to make a litre of clean water? Is it tiring on the arm?

Thanks for any advice,

Al
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Old 04-17-08, 06:13 AM   #2
eric von zipper
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I have one. It works great. I've filtered water from a river that hog farms pollute and lived to tell about it. I don't recommend doing that, and I plan on not doing it again, if I can help it. It is heavy, but this filter is worth it, imo.
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Old 04-17-08, 07:32 AM   #3
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Haven't used the Katadyn, I have traveled with folks that did and it seems to be fine. I have had a first need purifier that I have used for years. http://www.generalecology.com/portablesystem.htm A hint on using any pump type filter, don't be in a hurry, Forcing water through the filters with the pump is a bit of a slow process, if you go to fast the pressure builds up and makes it harder to pump, slow and steady is the way to go. I always tell new people "that water filtering is Zen thing". Always gets a laugh from backpacking classes I have taught and fellow hikers.
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Old 04-17-08, 09:21 AM   #4
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We used the Katadyn Pocket all last year in Asia. It is one of my favorite pieces of equipment. I like the fact that the filter element is cleanable (not disposable like nearly every other filter on the market). I still have the original element (despite the fact that I was overscrubbing it!) after a year of pumping every bit of water we used for cooking and drinking. They say the element lasts for 50,000 liters depending on water conditions. It can be a bit of a workout on the triceps... but that's a good thing.



I've posted some cleaning and maintenance tips for the Katadyn pocket on our website... here.
http://www.vwvagabonds.com/Bike/BikeWaterFilter.html

Happy travels
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Old 04-17-08, 09:37 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by Al Downie View Post
it does seem to be solid, predictable and reliable compared to a light-pen or tablets.
I take issue with the reliability of pumps over tablets/other methods of chemical treatment.

Pumps have multiple points of mechanical failure: clogged filter, broken handle, broken connector nipples, etc. Chemical treatments do not suffer this effect.

Perhaps another angle to take would be, wait 30 mins for chemicals to work, or spend 15 pumping?

I use Aqua Mira personally. Sure, it tastes a bit closer to tap water than filtered water does, but it will *never* clog. My favorite part is that you can setup the chemicals, then do something else instead of sitting there pumping.
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Old 04-17-08, 09:43 AM   #6
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I have been using the Katadyn Pocket Filter since 1986 when I bought it for a South American bike tour. Despite the allure and siren song of new filters this one just worked and the cleanable ceramic filter core lasted for well over a decade of intense use.

I might wish that it was lighter and faster pumping but it is a quality product with an excellent track record. You do get what you pay for for long term use.

Do remember that it filters bacteria and cysts NOT viruses. You will need a Viral stop agent to add to the filtered water for some situations.
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Old 04-17-08, 09:45 AM   #7
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It is true that chemicals purification is easier than pumping but the chemical treatments alone do not get all the bugs and for longterm trips the idea of ingesting that much chlorine dioxide is not appealing.
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Old 04-17-08, 09:59 AM   #8
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I like the MSR MiniWorks filter. It's lightweight, has a similar ceramic filter which can be cleaned in the field, and also the base (where the clean water comes out) is made to screw onto a bottle such as the Nalgene or MSR dromedary bag. That means one less tube to worry about. They sell it over on rei and it seems to have a good reputation in general. It's made of plastic, and so perhaps not quite as "bombproof" as the Katadyn in theory, but it's used by the US Marines for global use by the Amphibious Raids and Reconnaissance Division, so I guess that says something!

http://www.trailspace.com/gear/msr/miniworks/
http://www.rei.com/product/695265

Edit: Take some of those reviews with a pinch of salt... any good filter will be rather slow, and will clog up at some point. If it doesn't, then it's not doing its job properly. You'd have to go to much larger filters made for groups before you get a higher filter rate, but those are also much, much more bulky and heavier.

/Neil

Last edited by NeilGunton; 04-17-08 at 10:09 AM.
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Old 04-17-08, 08:13 PM   #9
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If it's India, buy two.
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Old 04-18-08, 01:52 AM   #10
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Hi

for that amount of money you can buy enough bottled water in India.

From my opion it is on bicycle trips never necessary to filter water (only to save money on a low/no budget long cycling trip)

Thomas
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Old 04-18-08, 12:06 PM   #11
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for that amount of money you can buy enough bottled water in India.

From my opion it is on bicycle trips never necessary to filter water (only to save money on a low/no budget long cycling trip)
This is true. For the price of one filter you could purchase about 500 bottles of water in the developing world.

Many tourers choose to carry a filter for just this reason... to avoid buying and discarding all of those plastic bottles.
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Old 04-20-08, 02:21 AM   #12
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while its true that you can buy a lot of bottled water in the developing world for the price of a filter, every one of those bottles produces ridiculous amounts of waste and contributes to the ever quickening ecological degradation of the area you are in. in many places, the tourist create far more waste than the people who liver there. do us all a favor and use a filter, single use bottles are for chumps.
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Old 04-21-08, 04:33 AM   #13
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while its true that you can buy a lot of bottled water in the developing world for the price of a filter, every one of those bottles produces ridiculous amounts of waste and contributes to the ever quickening ecological degradation of the area you are in. in many places, the tourist create far more waste than the people who liver there. do us all a favor and use a filter, single use bottles are for chumps.
Hi,

some Off-Topic comments on it:

- in many countries bottles are refundable/recyclable
- you can also use the non-bottled water that the locals drink (This is what I do most) - or boil your water
- I don't know how many bottles have the same environmental bilance then a hightec product which parts are produce all over the globe...

Thomas
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Old 04-28-08, 02:21 AM   #14
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Thanks all for the replies - I bought a pocket filter just last week. I really wanted to go with the lightest possible option, but it seems that all the alternatives have shortcomings:

- UV-pen will only work with clear water - if it's cloudy you've got to filter it first
- UV-pen relies on either batteries or a solar charger
- Tablets can take up to 4hrs to disinfect water
- There are health concerns about prolonged daily use of tablets
- Boiling water uses a lot of fuel and takes a VERY long time to clean the amount of water we'll require on a hard cycling tour in the Himalaya

Filtration seems like the most bomb-proof method, and the Pocket Filter seems to be the most bomb-proof of all the filters. Worth the extra money for the peace of mind it offers.

Thanks again,

Al
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Old 04-28-08, 05:49 PM   #15
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A mechanical filter is my preferred method of purification when I´m way out in the mountains with pure, lean, delicious water. However, ever since I clogged the crap out of my filter purifying glacier-fed river water (the tiny tiny silt gets in there and doesn´t come out) I´ve just used the least expnsive thing possible: household bleach. I got a Nalgene brand dropper for like $.75 and an ounce of bleach has lasted months. Two drops per lieter, let it sit a half hour. Of course you´ve gotta lean your water bottle surfaces and threads like iodine, but it´s worked great and practically free. I´m currently on tour in Mexico and have had some strngeloks from locals, but haven´t gotten sick yet (wood knocked). Once your water is sterilized you can open the top and let the bleach ¨breathe¨ off for fifteen minutes to get rid of the taste if it bothers you. Tasted just like the tap water back home.

Oh, and if you´re worried about the safety or validity of this technique, it´s used by the Boyscouts of America (scout´s honor!) and NOLS courses on occasion.

Cheers!
-Donal
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Old 04-29-08, 11:50 AM   #16
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I used a katadyn pocket for a good amount of my 12 month trip. Great unit! It even did fine filtering super silty Xianjiang/Tibet cold river water.

If you're camping bellow freezing remember to allways drain the filter by unscrewing the bottom. If your sleeping bag is big enough, you can also put the filter kit at the foot of your bag. Makes it easier to filter in the morning.
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