Katadyn Hiker vs Hiker Pro: Comparison in 2021

This is our comparison of Katadyn Hiker and Hiker Pro microfilter.

Katadyn is a name that is well known for making quality water treatment filters.

Most water filtration systems are great for an individual out in the woods but it can be difficult to find the right fit to go through the rigors of multiple people using it consistently on a trip.

When a group of people are out in the backcountry and water filtration is needed, Katadyn provides pumps that can serve a whole party of folks and make drinking clean water easy.

Quick Summary

Katadyn Hiker

Designed for high output with little effort, the Katadyn Hiker utilizes a .2 micron filter with a pump handle that makes pumping clean water ergonomic and simple. It is lightweight and easy to bring along when you need water to be filtered quickly and efficiently for a large number of people.

Hiker Pro

Katadyn upped their game from the previous model of the Hiker to the Hiker Pro. This filter is reliable and easy to use, especially when water sources are shallow and hard to pull from. This hand pump is another great option for those that are needing water treatment for a group, or even when going out by yourself.

 Katadyn HikerKatadyn Hiker Pro
Filter TypeHand pump with .2 micron glass fiber filterHand pump with .2 micron pleated glass fiber filter and activated carbon
Size6.5” x 3” x 2.4”3” x 3” x 6”
Weight11 ounces13.4 ounces
Output Rate1 liter/min1 liter/min
Filter Life200 gallons300 gallons
Check Price on AmazonCheck Price on Amazon

Detailed Review

In order to really understand the differences in what Katadyn did to make both of these models, we need to look into the specifics.

Each water filter is going to have benefits that others may not have, and to understand what version is the best for you, it all needs to be examined.

The Hiker and Hiker Pro are similar products, but there are a few areas in which they differ, here is where we take a look.

Water Quality

The Katadyn Hiker utilizes a .2 micron glassfiber filter that ensures the removal of both cryptosporidium and giardia. While it works well for these two diseases, the filter can struggle when put up against muddy or murky water.

It is recommended to partially filter water with a bandana or other cloth before putting the filter into action. Each cartridge is capable of filtering up to 200 gallons of water, ensuring that it is bacteria free.

The Hiker Pro uses an anticlog pleated cartridge that is made out of glass fiber with activated carbon inside to efficiently remove Giardia and Cryptosporidium as well as bacteria. Activated carbon is used to help rid the water of unwanted smells or tastes that may come with a sedentary water source, and does so effectively.

Winner: The Hiker Pro’s anticlog cartridge wins the water quality category between these two filters.

Weight and Packability

At only 11 ounces, the Katadyn Hiker is a great choice for those looking for more lightweight options that can still take on a heavy amount of water.

The filter itself is a sleek cylindrical design that will fit most anywhere just like a small bottle of water.

The only drawback is the handle that doesn’t fit into the shape of the filter as well as the tubes are necessary for filtration.

While the Hiker comes with a carrying case, it can be difficult to feel secure about not possible breaking the handle when packing up camp.

The Hiker Pro weighs in at 13.4 ounces in total. This sounds a bit heavier, but is still incredibly lightweight for hand pump filtration systems.

The handle on the Hiker Pro is incorporated into the design and doesn’t stick out from the main body. The carrying case makes packing a cinch.

Winner: The Hiker Pro is a bit heavier, but is designed more for packing it effectively and feeling confident that you won’t break it in transit. The included carrying case is nice for helping to keep it together and not having tubes flying around your pack, tangling up with everything else you have along.

Ease of Use

The Hiker is a simply designed and easy to use filter. There is no fluff when it comes to water filtration with the Katadyn Hiker, as it is as simple as pulling the filter out of the bag and starting to pump.

The difficulty in use arises when the pump gets clogged as there is no backflush system integrated into the design.

All hand pump filters also demand a lot of muscle when pumping. The more that you use the filter, the harder it will get to pump and the more likely it is that you could possibly break the filter, so you need to be careful.

The Hiker Pro is just like the Hiker as it is easy to use by pulling it out of the bag and starting to pump instantly. Again, it falls short in the lacking of a backflush system so manual cleaning is necessary for smooth filtration.

The handle on this model is a bit short, as well as it being an awkward shape to hold at times. Once you get past this, it is still easy to use.

Winner: When it comes to ease of use, both of these models fall at about the exact same level. They are designed in the same way and have the same shortcomings. For this category, it is a draw.

Maintenance

The maintenance for the Katadyn Hiker is really only the replacement of a filter.

There isn’t an easy way to backflush the system or scrub down the filter, so once this is clogged it will be time to purchase a new filter. That makes the maintenance of the Katadyn Hiker easy, but expensive over time.

Every 200 gallons or so you will need to do this replacement, and that simply isn’t sustainable.

The Hiker Pro is able to be scrubbed down in order to improve and sustain its longer lifetime of about 300 gallons of water.

It’s easy to remove the filter and scrub it to clean it, but would be a lot easier if there was a built in backwash system. It’s low maintenance up until the point of hitting murkier waters, and if the filter gets too clogged it can lead to breaking the case.

When pumping starts to get difficult, remember to clean the filter otherwise the pressure can lead to cracking the plastic case.

Winner: When it comes to maintenance, both of these filters require some, but the Hiker Pro is much easier to maintain and have last a longer time.

Treatment Time

The Katadyn Hiker’s treatment time is relatively fast as there is no assembly upon use and pumps water efficiently. The issue with the Hiker is that over time, the pumping will get more difficult due to the filter clogging up.

This is the biggest downfall of the Hiker, as maintenance isn’t really simple and you are looking at a more difficult filtration session as time goes on.

While the Hiker Pro is easier to maintain and clean the filter, it is the same as the Hiker in this arena. The pump time is quick, most users will say it takes less than a minute to pump a whole liter, but it will get more difficult as the trip goes on.

The good thing about the Hiker Pro is that it can be maintained and pumping will go back to being a bit easier.

Winner: The Hiker Pro is the best choice to keep getting a short treatment time even on a longer trip.

Value

As we mentioned earlier, the Katadyn Hiker is going to require purchasing replacement filters more often because of its poor ability to be maintained. This unfortunately decreases the value because it will continue to demand money from you.

From the initial purchase, it is a decent product for a moderate price, but as time goes on you will need to continue reaching into your wallet to let this product stay functioning as it is meant to.

The Hiker Pro is an incredible value for the pricetag that it carries. It is going to be reliable and have a much longer lifespan when you take care of it. It has a high performance level and brings versatility to the pumping game.

Overall, it will stay true to what it is built to do and not disappoint or require constant purchasing of other parts to keep on using it.

Winner: The Hiker Pro easily comes in with the best value in this match-up. It lasts longer and requires less purchases down the line. While it does have a higher price point, the extra money is easily worth the effort and will pay for itself as time goes on.

Conclusion

The Hiker Pro is an upgrade from the Hiker, full of improvements where they were needed in the original model.

Both of these hand pumps are good quality filters for what they are, but the Hiker Pro is simply the best model of the two. It has significant improvements that make it easier to use and has a much longer lifespan than the Hiker.

While it costs just a bit more, it will be worth every penny in order to continue ensuring that you have clean water out there.

Getting Giardia isn’t often worth saving a few bucks, trust us on this as we hope you don’t have to find that out for yourself.

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