In the realm of travel purifiers, we recently reviewed the SteriPEN Traveler, an affordable product and one that has consistently done the job for us. The downside of the SteriPEN Traveler, however, is that it takes batteries to use and it has a limited lifetime – the bulb will eventually burn out. If you can afford something a little more costly, you can buy a product that will last much longer.
The Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter is one such product. Using a silver-impregnated ceramic filter, it removes all microorganisms, parasites and bacteria that are over 0.0002mm in size. In other words, it removes almost everything harmful and it produces water that is clear and pure. You can use this filter in almost any conditions and with almost any source of water. It is worth noting, however, that some viruses are smaller than 200nm and could pass through the filter. Again, this depends on what your source of water is to begin with.
What’s more, the filter comes with a 20 year warranty. One filter can handle roughly 13,000 gallons of water over its lifetime. It is used by hikers and travelers and it has been endorsed by the US military for use in the field. If you read any of the reviews on Amazon, you will see that this product is expensive, but many people are happy with their purchase.
Let’s look at some other features of this product. Notably, it can filter one quarter of water per minute. When you consider that chlorine dioxide tablets can take up to 4 hours to purify water, the Katadyn Pocket Water Microfilter looks like it is operating at light speed. It is lightweight (a bit over a pound) for what you are getting and it also doesn’t take up too much space (2.4 x 10 inches).
Another great feature is that the filter can be easily cleaned and maintenance overall is minimal. It is rugged and built to handle trips in rough conditions. Adventure sport enthusiasts, hikers and campers should take note of this. While the SteriPEN can also be used for outdoor activities, it is not nearly as durable and furthermore, if you are not careful you can break the UV light bulb. The Katadyn filter has no moving parts and it does not use batteries – it relies on an incredibly powerful and efficient filter. In other words, it is a fail-safe and reliable water treatment device.
As we said earlier, it is not by any means the cheapest water filter or treatment option out there. It is several hundred dollars more than your average treatment device. And despite its portability, reliability and general ease of use, it does not filter out all viruses. We recently reviewed a different product, the Lifesaver Bottle, which filters out organisms as small as 15nm in size. Have a look at that review and consider saving yourself some money and getting a more effective product.
If you use the katadyn pocket microfilter, feel free to share your experience in the comments below.