Portable Water Filter

Katadyn Pocket Water Filter Review

The Katadyn Pocket is a versatile portable water filter designed with longevity and reliability in mind.

Katadyn Pocket is a portable water filter designed for the adventurers. Simple construction and functionality allow you to filter untreated water even when you don’t have access to a secure water source.

To get you on track and get your mind clear, have a look to its specs:

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Katadyn Pocket Components
Image taken from: Katadyn Manual

As you saw above, it was made mainly with aluminum. Some other components have been made with plastic.

This makes it more strong than other hand pump operated outdoor water filters such as the Survivor Filter Pro.

It comes with a silver-impregnated ceramic filter (we will discuss in the next section) that can an impressive volume of 13000 gallons before needing replacement.

Its greatest strength is the hose and pump system that allows you to treat as much water as you need.

Simply place one hose into the water source (stream, river, or lake) and the other hose into a bottle or any preferred container (something we find really cool).

The system is not the most straightforward to use and you’ll need a bit of elbow grease, but the product does what it’s supposed to do and comes with a host of additional advantages (check them at the end of this review).

What to Consider Before Buying the Katadyn Pocket Filter

Pollutants removed by the micro-filter

The Katadyn Pocket micro-filter doesn’t wow with the number of pollutants it can remove (indeed, the unit doesn’t remove chemicals or heavy metals, unfortunately).

Even though, the manufacturer suggest that you can filter cloudy water, it is best to use with relatively clean water sources, such as mountain stream or lake water.

Aside from the previous point, it can remove particles and microorganisms with a diameter larger than 0.2 microns including protozoa such as giardia, cryptosporidium, bacteria, cysts and parasites (most commonly found in surface water bodies).

In most cases, you can use it to purify swamp and rainwater too.

Filters Details

Silver impregnated ceramic microfilterAs briefly discussed in the intro of this review, this pocket filter has a simple, one-stage filtration system consisting of a silver-infused ceramic filter.

  • Stages

This portable water filter is considered as a one stage filtration system, however it also comes with a pre-filter (a strainer at the suction point) to trap particles greater than 130 microns; without this, your ceramic filter will get clog in not time.

We would say, the Katadyn Pocket is a two (2) stage water filter, like the Lifestraw Go.

Despite the scarce filtration capabilities, the filter impresses with its long lifespan. You can filter up to 50000 liters of water before having to replace it.

  • Filter replacement

There is various factor that will make you replace your filter.

The main factor is when you reach the suggested filtered gallons; but how do you know when 13000 gallons have gone through the system? Katadyn knows that the ceramic filter will deteriorate over time and the filter diameter will reduce. To check this, you need to use the included plastic gauge; if that gauge goes through the filter, it’s time to change it.

The second one, and only if you haven’t look after your system, is if you detect cracks on the ceramic filter.

How to Operate, Clean and Maintain your Katadyn Pocket Water Filter

  • Operation

The operation is basic. The first thing you need to do is to place the inlet point in the water, away from the river or stream bed (bottom point). Once you have done this, you can adjust the float in order to maintain the required distance of the inlet.

Pocket water filter internal view of parts and operation
Image sourced from: Katadyn Factsheet


It is no a brainier that if your inlet touches the ground level, it will not suck up water properly or will clog up the pre-filter.

Lastly, pumping water is simple. Your experience will be as similar as inflating the tires of your bicycle.

When pulling the handle up, the system will suck water, filling up the empty space between the filter and the pump handle (also called the interstitial space).

Once you start pushing down the handle, the water will be forced to run trough the ceramic filter, removing the potential pollutants discussed above.

One of the things we love about this portable water filter, is the ability to place the inlet hose (sucking end) into the water from the distance, meaning you won’t need to get too close to the edge of the water stream to source water. 

  • Filters Cleaning

As explained above, this system comes with two (2) filtration points.Katadyn Pocket maintenance kit and parts

To clean the ceramic filter, you will have to remove the outer casing and scrap up the impurities. To do this, you will have to use a cleaning pad (comes with the filter).

Do the cleaning process every time you see it is hard to pump water (after some time using it).

As off the pre-filter, you only need to rinse it with clean water (this has to be done every time you use it).

  • General Maintenance

Lastly, maintenance is very straightforward. You will need to take the whole system apart and rinse it with clean water when you get home.

It is very important that you let it dry before putting it back together, otherwise it can build-up bacteria overtime.

Finally, make sure you lubricate the little o-ring and thread of the pump base to ensure you can remove dismantled without issues.

The Flip Sides…..

1) Even though, we like the fact that you can use a water filter that operates using an internal manually operated pump, this is also a bummer situation in terms of how much additional weight you will have to carry over your hiking adventures (due to the addition of elements in order to generate the pumping effect).

Nevertheless, it is well worth to have it handy if you want to filter enough water for you and your partner.

2) We can tell this filtration system is durable and efficient (in terms of how much water volume you can treat) however, one filtration stage may not be the best if your only water source is very cloudy (very sedimented)

3) Getting a liter of water may require some time (not much though). If you want to filter more, you could easily spend a few minutes treating water instead of enjoying the outdoors.

Katadyn Pocket Review: Final Thoughts

This Katadyn filtration system is a simple portable water filter to use when camping or testing your survival skills.

It doesn’t have the easiest operation, and it is quite heavy to carry, but it can give you an endless supply of clean water whenever you need it, and it lasts for a lifetime.

Whether it’s worth the hefty price is up to you, but considering its pros, we recommend you get the Katadyn Pocket water filter around for your family hiking adventures.

Any thoughts you want to share regarding this hiker water filter?

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