Katadyn Hiker vs. Hiker Pro (Which is the Better Filter?)

When you’re out hiking and exploring nature, it’s important to have access to clean and fresh water. Having a water filter is one piece of equipment that small groups or solo hikers should consider bringing along with them.

There are so many available pumps and filters that it’s hard to understand and decided why one is better than the other.

I’ll be doing a comparison between the Katadyn Hiker and Hiker Pro to find which one is the better option for you!

Katadyn Hiker and Hiker Pro comparison

What is the Katadyn Hiker?

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Using a 0.2-micron filter, the Katadyn Hiker eliminates the bacteria and particulates common in natural water sources. The filter pumps out one liter per minute and can filter up to 200 gallons in its lifespan.

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It has a pump handle that is easy to use and is compact, so it’s easy to carry around on your most strenuous hikes. The filter’s core comes with activated carbon that aims to eliminate any lingering taste or odor that comes with natural water.

One great thing about the Katadyn Hiker is that it’s one of the lowest maintenance options available today! That means you don’t need to be constantly worrying about backflushing and the other annoyances that can come up with a filter.

What is the Katadyn Hiker Pro?

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The Hiker Pro also boasts a 0.2-micron filter and can pull water from even shallow sources. It also has an output of one liter per minute, and the filter on this model has a lifespan of up to 300 gallons, improving its longevity.

In addition to the activated carbon, the Hiker Pro comes with a pre-filter that stops larger particles from even meeting the filter.

A huge benefit of the Hiker Pro is how compact and easily transportable it is. Since it’s less than a pound in total, it’s very popular with ultra-light hikers and backpackers who are always looking for ways to carry less in their packs!

Main Differences between the Hiker and Hiker Pro

Filter Capacity

Both filters have an actual capacity of around 11 ounces of liquid in the container. The big difference between the two is how much water they can each filter until they need a replacement filter.

The original Katadyn Hiker can filter 750 Liters, while the Hiker Pro can filter much more at 1150 Liters before running out.

Of course, the actual amount that can be filtered depends on the water quality it’s being used for.

  • Hiker – 750 Liters
  • Hiker Pro – 1150 Liters

Weight

The two filters have different dimensions, but the actual weight difference isn’t big enough to be a large factor.

Both weigh less than a pound total, with the Hiker coming in at .69 pounds and the Hiker Pro weighing in at .70 pounds.

Either way that you go, the filter shouldn’t add enough weight to your backpack for it to be an annoyance.

  • Hiker – .69 lbs
  • Hiker Pro – .70 lbs

Item Size

As mentioned above, both of these microfilters have very different dimensions when looked at side by side. Even though they aren’t the same size, the total weight is pretty comparable.

Here are the exact dimensions for the Hiker and Hiker Pro:

  • Hiker – 9 x 8 x 3 inches
  • Hiker Pro – 3 x 3 x 6 inches

It’s clear that between the two, the Hiker Pro offers a smaller more compact container.

Things to Consider

When comparing any two filters like the ones above, these are the most important features to consider and should help you make a final decision on which one to get!

Ease of Use

If you’re looking for something easy to use, both filters tick that box. They take such little time to pump water from the source, and both pumps are ready to use from the moment you pull them out of your pack.

Ultimately, the designs of these two filters are so similar that this shouldn’t be the make or break factor in your decision.

Weight and Size

The Katadyn Hiker is lighter at 11 ounces, but the Hiker Pro is only two ounces heavier. Like a small water bottle, the Katadyn Hiker can fit in your pack with very little space, but the tubes and handle can make packing awkward.

On the other hand, the Hiker Pro has a case that packs everything efficiently so you can slip it into your pack, knowing everything is all together.

Maintenance

You’ll need to replace the filter on the Katadyn Hiker once it’s clogged up. It’s low maintenance in that way, but replacing a filter every 200 gallons is not sustainable and can become costly/

You can clean the Hiker Pro’s filter by hand, but it’s relatively low maintenance until you have to filter water that isn’t as clear. Then, as long as you clean the filter when pumping gets too tricky, the Hiker Pro will last you a while.

Water Quality

The two diseases that need to be filtered out are cryptosporidium and giardia, and the 0.2-micron filter in the Katadyn Hiker sifts them out. However, the filter starts to struggle if you try to use it on murkier water.

There is an anti-clog cartridge with activated carbon that removes both cryptosporidium and giardia along with other bacteria. The filter gets rid of tastes and smells and produces better water quality overall.

The Verdict

Both filters are great options and I’ve been happy with each one on the few occasions where I’ve tried them out while on a trip.

The Hiker Pro is a bit more of an investment, but if you are a consistent hiker who uses a water filter often, it’s worth the upgrade. The extra cost isn’t as important since there’s a good chance it will last much longer than other available options.

It may cost a little more upfront, but it’s durable, costs less to maintain, and lasts longer than the Katadyn Hiker.