LTR Katadyn Camp Filter Mike J Daurio Jr.
KATADYN BACKCOUNTRY SERIES CAMP WATER
TEST SERIES BY MIKE DAURIO JR.
December 02, 2007
NAME: Mike Daurio Jr.
LOCATION: Wonder Lake, Illinois USA
HEIGHT: 6' 0" (1.83 m)
WEIGHT: 183 lb (83.00 kg)
I am quite new to backpacking. My experience lies mostly as a canoe
guide. My inspiration to get more into this sport/hobby was a
backpack trip to Thailand in 2005. Due to my experience I am fond of
lightweight, waterproof quality gear. I backpack in mainly hilly
forested areas and of course near rivers and streams. I also do a
lot of backpack traveling to other countries. I am a 3-season
backpacker. Every year I spend time in the Ozarks in Missouri and in
Voyageurs National Park in Minnesota. I'd love to explore
Canyonlands National Park in Utah.
PRODUCT INFORMATION & SPECIFICATIONS
Manufacturer: Katadyn Products AG
Year of Manufacture: 2007
Manufacturer's Website: <<HYPERLINK GOES HERE -
"http://WWW.KATADYN.COM" LINK TEXT = "WWW.KATADYN.COM">>
Listed Weight: 13 oz (369 g)
Measured Weight: 13.5 oz ( 383 g)
Size: 6 in x 4 in x 4 in (15 cm x 10 cm x 10 cm)
Hose length: 48 in (120 cm)
The description and specifications as taken from the manufacturer's
Filter technology: .3 micron pleated glass fiber removes bacteria,
cysts, and sediment, removable filter protector, activated carbon
core. 99.9999% Klebsiella, 99.99% Giardia and Cryptosporidium.
Capacity of filter 200 gallons (750 l) depending on water quality.
Large volume water bag (2.6 gal / 10 l)
Easy open/close buckle system
Long output hose with on/off valve
<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 2" IMAGE CAPTION = "PACKAGE">>
The filter came packaged in an oversized cardboard box and in good
condition. The manufacturer could have used a smaller shipping box
for the filter I'm sure. When I opened the shipping container I
found the filter in its manufactured packaging. This box was
appropriate for its contents. On the front of the box there is an
opening which would give a finger access to feel the material of the
filter's bag. I do not know what function this would serve to the
consumer. I'd feel more comfortable that the contents wouldn't be
damaged if the box wasn't accessible like that.
After opening the box to reveal the filter I read the box to
inventory the parts. The box reads as follows:
1- 2.6 gallon water bag
1- Anti Clog Hiker PRO Microfilter Cartridge
1- removable filter protector
48" Output Hose
1- on/off output hose valve
<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 1" IMAGE CAPTION = "CONTENTS OF
Also included in the package was a small bag containing a sponge and
a small tube of silicone grease, and an instruction booklet.
My initial impression was that I was without the removable filter
protector but it was already installed on the cartridge.
The filter is a dry bag type of bag with a hole at the bottom. A
filter element is installed in the hole to create a gravity fed
filter. The bag is made of vinyl and looks as the type of vinyl that
would retain its stiffness in the hot sun. The bag is a soft dark
blue and the color concerns me a bit. I am afraid the color of the
bag will allow it to absorb the suns hot rays and changing the
temperature of the output of water. I look forward to testing the
sun's affect on the bag. The bag closes with a roll top feature that
clips together. I am familiar with these as I am a canoe guide for a
month out of the year, and I find this clip on most dry bags. The
clip looks sturdy; however, it is placed at the fulcrum of where the
bag will be hanging.
READING THE INSTRUCTIONS / ASSEMBLY
The instruction booklet starts out by explaining how to install the
filter protector that has already been installed by the
manufacturer. I am glad I read this as the booklet later states how
to clean it if the filter's output is decreased due to clogging. The
next step is the filter assembly. I must admit that with most
purchases I make I skip the instruction booklet and try to assemble
it before opening. This is as far as I got without having to
reference the instructions. The filter is clearly labeled OUT so I
knew I was putting it in correctly. The instructions clearly explain
the need for the silicone grease in this area. They also voice
caution to not grabbing the cartridge which can damage it. After
lubing the O ring I placed the cartridge in the hole and grabbed the
hard ring at the bottom of the bag. I applied pressure with my
thumbs to the cartridge and it slipped in with ease. I figure this
is the best way to insert it without damaging the filter.
The instructions have a diagram to show assembly of the cartridge
to the bag, fastened to the bag by a threaded cap. This was my first
element of concern. If the cartridge is not fully installed the cap
will not catch the threads. This was my indication to grab the
instructions. Once I was educated and the cartridge was installed
correctly the cap grabbed easily to the threads. I tightened the cap
a little too much and the threads gave. I then tried over and
tightened it just to the point of snugness.
The booklet then goes on to say to flush the cartridge with 2
liters ( 2.53 gal) of water and that it may produce discolored water
on the flush cycle. It explains that this is normal.
The booklet never mentions how to install the on / off valve. It
took me a good minute just to figure it out. <<IMAGE GOES HERE.
ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 3" IMAGE CAPTION = "SHUT OFF VALVE">>
The instructions continue on to explain how to fill, hang, and start
filtering. I will be referencing the instructions in the next
section on these matters. Confident everything was installed
correctly I proceeded to try it out.
TRYING IT OUT
<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 4" IMAGE CAPTION = "IN USE">>
The instruction's state to fill the bag with separate container. As
I will not be bringing any other container with me I tried filling it
without one. The book also warns not to touch the hose to the source
I filled the bag in the kitchen sink. I thought it would be simple
but it proved a bit challenging but not impossible. During the
filling period, hose became disconnected but I couldn't deal with
that until it was full. When full, I followed the instructions to
roll the bag 4-5 times and snap it closed. I then hung it on a hook
right outside my back door. Reattaching the hose proved difficult
while it was draining. After about a minute it finally slipped into
place. The shut off valve did an adequate job of stopping the flow
of water. It surprisingly didn't drip either. I started the filter
draining into a 1 liter bottle ( 34 fl oz) it took 2 minutes 49
seconds to fill. I then let the remainder of the water drain into a
pan. I do not have a measurement on how much water was in the
bladder but it took 25 minutes 50 seconds for the rest to drain.
The filter seems to work better when the hose is as straight as
possible. I will be commenting on its application in the field
I lead a wilderness canoe trip to the Ozark National Scenic Waterways
every year. We canoe up
to 60 miles (97 km) of the Current River and do day hikes about every
day. Last year we completed a 20 mi (32 km)section of the Ozark Trail
finished canoeing. We will be returning this year. I also spend time
in Voyageurs National Park every year as my fiancée's family owns a
home on Lake Kabetogama. We spend about a week canoeing and
exploring the islands. This year we are planning a 2-day adventure
on the locator lake trail and another two day trip to Cruiser Lake.
My summer is also filled with many day hikes and small
camping trips to the many state parks in Illinois and Wisconsin. My
favorite being Kettle Moraine State park in Wisconsin.
I will be using the filter in Minnesota, and Missouri this year on
weeklong trips. The Missouri trip is where it will get the biggest
test. I lead a group of 18 people down the current river. It is a
spring fed river and we usually fill up water at the ranger stations.
It will be a five day trip and we will probably use the filter almost
all day. We will be filling up (2) five gallon thermos cooler 1-2
times a day.
Temperature could range anywhere from 60 degrees F (16 degrees C) to
100 degrees F (38 degrees C).
The filter will be used in rocky, wet, and dirty conditions. Water
will range from clear spring fed moving water, to murky water that
has been sitting. My test plan will be built around function,
filtration, and durability.
Time of filtration will be a heavily weighted category for the
filter. We my stop to fill up midday and still need to keep on
schedule. Also after cooking the thermos would have to be
replenished. How long will that take?
Is the bag easily filled in different situations? A shallow creek?
How hard is it to change the filter cartridge? Is it easily
carried? How well
does the shutoff valves work? I also have concern about how easy it
will be to find a place to hang the bag. Does the clip hold? I will
also bring a rope to make sure we will be able to find a place to
How does the water look smell and taste? Does the particles and
debris I may pick up sit in the bag? Is it easy to clean out
afterwards? How does it do with various clarities of water? Does the
time to filter decline over the long term use of the cartridge?
Can the material hold up if stored exposed on my canoe, or will it
need to be in a protected area? Does it soften when sitting in the
sun? Does that significantly effect the temp of the water? The
bladder looks like it can be hung, will it stretch or hold with the
weight of the water?
I look forward to getting in the field to test the
performance of the filter. It seems to be the perfect product for
my needs. Thank you to Katadyn and Backpackgeartest.org for the
opportunity to test the filter.
This concludes my Initial report.
<a name="FRPT">FIELD REPORT</a>
FIELD LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
I was able to use the filter on two separate trips this summer. The
first was a wilderness canoe trip down the Current River with
sixteen people. After we floated for six days, we then spent a
night on the Ozark Trail. Terrain was mostly gravel bars and
mountainous forests. The river winds through large tree covered
bluffs and naturally creates huge gravel bars. Most of the time
these bars are lined with dense forests. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT
= "IMAGE 2" IMAGE CAPTION = "Our terrain for six days">>
As the river winds through the mountains, its elevations receded
from 852 ft (260 m) above sea level down to 570 ft (174 m). When
on the trail elevations reached 870 ft (265 m). The trail's terrain
was dirt or gravel trail through dense forests primed with hungry
deer flies ready to bite and annoy us. Temperatures scorched to a
recorded 113 degrees F (45 C) dropping to a comfortable 72 degrees F
(22 C) at night.
The second was a five day adventure in Voyageurs National Park in
Minnesota. It was spent with my fiancée, and her two younger
brothers. We canoed Lake Kabetogama setting up three different
base camps and heading out on numerous day hikes to do some
exploring. The terrain is rocky shores covered in grass and moss,
some sandy beaches, and dense northwoods forests containing pines,
poplars, and quaking aspen. Elevations stayed pretty constant
between 1100 -1200 ft (335-366 m) above sea level. Temperatures were
between 85-89 degrees F (29-32 C) during the sunny days, and got
down to almost 60 degrees F (16 C) at night.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
On the first trip the filter was perfect for our use. Sixteen people
were on our trip each having two Lexan bottles (32 total) and we had
two 5 gallon (19 L) containers. I am a beginning backpacker and
have only borrowed a pump style filter. I couldn't imagine using
that to fill up 32 Lexan bottles or two 5 gallon (19 L) water
coolers. Given the temps outside, and size of the group, the filter
received tremendous use. Before we launched we filled up at our
outfitter's spigot. I tried the water it had a strong iron taste. I
got the first bag full filtering into the water cooler while we
loaded the bus. The filter takes about 20 minutes to drain and
filter its capacity. I got two of these done in the time it took to
load. We then transferred the water to our Lexan bottles. We only
had enough filtered water for about half of the individual bottles,
so it was decided we all got one iron tasting and one filtered Lexan
bottle. We then filled the two water coolers and shipped off. I
have found no information that the filter filters iron; however, in
comparison the filtered water was definitely more palatable. There
was virtually no taste of the heavy iron content the water from the
spigot had. As for quality of water I was impressed already.
Daily we had to filter a large amount of water so every stop, I kept
replenishing the water coolers, and from the water coolers we
replenished our Lexan bottles. It was a good system and we'd time
our breaks around the time it took to filter a bag of water. While I
was in charge of water throughout the day when we stopped to camp I
shared the responsibility with my traveling partners. The others
found the process of filling the bag and filtering the water,
As our surroundings changed I had to get creative to find places
to hang the bag and even more creative on how to hang it. I
sometimes lucked out with a sturdy branch about 7 ft (213 cm) from
the ground. For this ideal situation hanging the bag was as simple
as clicking the clasps in place around the branch. <<IMAGE GOES HERE.
ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 1" IMAGE CAPTION = "Hanging with a bungee">>
A couple of times I had to bungee it around the trunk of a tree at
the ideal height. I found it useful to bring a 25 ft (762 cm) rope
to help create possibilities for hanging. I'd fill the bladder and
attach the rope. I'd then throw the other end over a higher branch
and tie it to the trunk. This was tedious when I had to refill the
bag over and over to replace our cooking water. This method was also
easier with two people but had been performed the first time by
myself. I welcomed the offer for help the next time. The bag and
clasp held up for the most part. On one occasion there was a small
protrusion of bark on the branch it was hanging from that triggered
the clasp and created a large splash. I refilled the bag and was on
my way filtering again.
The Current River is spring fed and we grabbed water from the
cleanest sources possible. There were times I stopped and had to get
water from stationary parts of the river. The filter performed
consistently with all types of water, the well water at the
outfitter, the flowing spring water, and the stationary pool water.
Every time I was finished filtering I rinsed the inside of the bag
out to rid it of debris. Filling the bag was easy but did require
getting into the water to do so. If faced with having to stay dry to
fill the filter's bag, I'd use a large ladle or pot to fill from the
shallow shore. I hope to test a situation like this for my long
Use was a little more involved for our trip to Lake Kabetogama. The
filling and hanging was an equally challenging situation. What
proved more challenging was the attention factor. On this trip we
had no 5 gallon (19 L) reservoir. I had to fill the Lexan bottles
individually versus the hang and let drain method used in the
Ozarks. It takes approximately 2-2 1/2 minutes to fill each bottle.
The water quality in Voyageurs National Park was a clear, but golden
tinted. It filtered clear and odor free. It didn't seem as
refreshing as the water in the Ozarks, but I believe the warm sun
increased the temperature of Lake Kabetogama. The Current River,
being spring fed, has a cooler year round temperature. Other than
its refreshing qualities the temperature of the water had no bearing
on the filter's performance.
A couple of lessons learned. I learned to figure out the place of
hanging the filter before filling it. I got a good workout the first
few times as the bag is heavy when full. Also it is easier to
attach the small hose to the bottom of the filter before filling it.
It proves harder to attach the hose when water is coming out.
Finally, I found that the temperature increases when the bag is in
the direct sun. Finding shade to hang it in rectified this situation.
The trips were definitely an ideal way to test the filter. The
filter performed well yet required some adaptation as our
surroundings change. I am pleased with the quality of water that it
produces with different water clarities and odors.
I will be bringing the filter on a few dayhikes and mountain biking
trips to state parks in the Illinois and Wisconsin areas. I hope to
try filtering some really murky water taken from some shallow areas
to test its abilities further.
This concludes my field report. My long term report will be amended
in December. Check back for more information.
LONG-TERM TEST LOCATIONS AND CONDITIONS
<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 1" IMAGE CAPTION = "Glacial
The Katadyn Camp filter has tagged along on a few day hikes in
Glacial Park part of the McHenry County Conservation District. I
usually just pack water on a day hike but I wanted to test the
ability to filter different water sources, so I flung it in my day
pack and hit the trail. Glacial Park is a glacial formed park filled
with hills and grasslands with some patches of forested acres. The
trails wind across the Nippersink Creek, whose headwaters stem from a
man made lake. The hikes took place on a cool evening with
temperatures at approximately 65 degrees F (18 C) and on a brisk
morning with temperatures around 50 degrees F (10 C).
The filter was also used in the Harrison-Benwell conservation area
also part of the MCCD. I chose this location to test the filter
because the 3.5 mile loop crosses a swampy area. The trail is a
groomed trail through a forest consisting of maple, oak, black
walnut, and boxelder trees. The terrain is flat and sometimes muddy.
PERFORMANCE IN THE FIELD
<<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 2" IMAGE CAPTION = "filtering
the Nippersink's finest">>
The filter has performed exceptionally with all it's been asked to
do. The Camp filter has withstood the 80 or so gallons (303 liters)
of clear, cool water in the Current River, approximately 10 gallons
(38 liters) of Lake Kabetogama's finest, and another 10 gallons (38
liters) of water from various sources. The filter has taken out the
floating particles of the Nippersink and left the filtered water
clean and clear. When asked to perform against the murky wetland
water in the Harrison-Benwell Recreation area it stepped up to the
plate. With the swamp water, the filter produced a clean product
that had a slight odor. The filtered water did taste fine and after
drinking it I never felt the effects of any "beaver fever" or
The filter has also had a consistent rate of approximately 3 minutes
per liter (34 fl oz) of water. The exception of this has been when
filtering the Swamp water. It took almost five minutes to filter a 1
liter (34 fl oz) Nalgene full of water. I believe this was due to
the floating algae bloom that was scooped into the filter's bag.
I used a small Gatorade bottle to fill the bag with the swamp
water. Until now I have entered the water source to fill the
filter's bag. I wanted to test how this method would differ. I had
no trouble filling the filter's bag with the extra container but I
did have to lug an empty bottle around. Because it has come in
contact with the tainted swamp water, the empty Gatorade bottle
although light, is a useless bulk that would need to be carried to
fill the filter this way.
The swamp water clogged the filter with its muck and algae.
Although it still did the job it was a more time consuming task to
clean. I rinsed the filter out thoroughly and then filled it full of
water and dumped two caps full of bleach ion the filled bladder. I
then just rolled the top and hung it on a post on my deck to drain.
The shutoff valve does an excellent job of keeping the water from
flowing in the tube. Although it was initially a concern of mine,
the simple design of the valve not only performs well it serves
another function. While filtering water in Glacial Park, I had a
lack of nearby trees. After deciding to hold the filter while it was
filtering instead of hauling water in the filter about 200 yards (183
m) to a tree, I used the valve to clip the hose in a fixed position
on the Nalgene bottle. <<IMAGE GOES HERE. ALT TEXT = "IMAGE 3" IMAGE
CAPTION = "another use for the shut-off valve">>
POSITIVES: I am overall pleased with the performance of the filter.
1. It is the absolute perfect filter for our annual canoe trip
down the Current River and it worked great for the four of us
trekking Lake Kabetogama's Islands.
2. I am impressed with its filtered product. The filter has
bested even the funkiest of water qualities.
3. The weight of the filter not much more than the filter cartridge
4. The simple design is easy to use.
5. I like the fact that I can fill the filter and let it drain
clean water in my container
1. Filling the bag is a slight inconvenience. It is extremely
easier to fill the bag by getting wet, however that method could pose
dangerous in cooler temperatures. Filling it by bringing a separate
container poses a different annoyance. I brought the extra Gatorade
bottle specifically to test this method but was hampered with
carrying around the useless bulk of an empty contaminated bottle full
2. Holding the bag to filter it can be tiring; only a problem if no
trees are around to hang it on.
3. The filter isn't very packable. There is no protection from
crushing the filter and no case or sack that comes with it. I
haven't found a container or sack I like to store the filter yet.
I will definately bring the filter with on any trips with more than
two participants that can all benefit from the volume of water the
bladder can handle. In solo or coupled outings I'd weigh my
options. I will continue to use the filter and am glad it's in my
arsenal. It especially comes in handy for high volume needs. I
really appreciated the filter when stopping to cook. I filtered
water to drink, cook and dish duty all in one filling.
Thank you to BGT and Katadyn for allowing me to test the filter.
Mike J. Daurio Jr.