My Katadyn Mini is over 10 years old and has seen a lot of use. I felt it appropriate to do a review on the filter for several reasons.
- It’s durable.
- It will filter up to 2000 gallons of water. This is significantly more than most small portable hiking filters on the market
- It has a ceramic filter.
- It is field cleanable.
- It’s very small.
- It’s an important item to have on hand in case of emergency.
- Newer versions have a refillable activated carbon core and activated carbon indicator. This helps with the taste and removes chemicals.
My filter has seen a lot of the Rocky Mountains. I’ve taken it on numerous backpacking trips and thrown it in the car just in case on many outings and vacations etc. It’s still working fine.
The package comes with a nice carrying pouch, a hose, a scrub pad and some lubricant. The filter has a durable plastic case. Some argue against using a ceramic filter because it might get broken more easily than other filters. I haven’t completely abused this filter, but I’ve thrown it around plenty. I’ve packed it with plenty of other hard gear and stacked other equipment on top of it. It’s taken the rough handling well.
The filter is somewhat small. This makes pumping it less ergonomic than some other pump filters, but once you get the hang of it, it works well enough. You can pump a liter of water in about a minute with some effort, maybe two if you take it slow. I recommend setting it up on a rock or piece of wood to make it easier. You may want to have someone else hold the container you’re pumping into, or you can set it on the ground next to your hard surface. If you’ll take a minute to setup a makeshift work space, working with this filter goes really well considering its small size. You can even kneel next to your container and pump off of your leg. But having that opposing surface makes it go much faster. Just don’t get too forceful or violent with it. It’s strong but not indestructible. If it’s too difficult to pump your filter is probably clogged and you’ll need to clean the filter.
The hose has a float on the end to keep it out of the muck. You can adjust it so that it’s below any moss and above the muddy river bed. You need to make sure that the handle shaft o-ring is adequately lubricated to get suction when pumping. You might need to prime that shaft with a little water.
The big advantage of a ceramic filter is the amount of water you can filter before its useful life is over. If you make sure to filter from streams and inlets instead of stagnant water, it will really extend the life of the filter. You will also want to use the included scrub pad from time to time to open up the exterior pores of the filter. Some users report that using a pre-filter like a coffee filter strapped around the end of the intake hose really helps limit how often you need to scrub the ceramic filter. I’ve personally never had a problem with it clogging up any faster than I expected.
Katadyn Mini Water Filters sell for around $100, but check around for the best price. I got mine for a bit less than that 10 years ago so there hasn’t been much price inflation on these. You can get replacement ceramic filters as needed or to store and keep on hand for about $42. I highly recommend these filters as equipment that should last a long time and work when you need it. They are small and light. I’ve used it to pump water for multiple people on family and scouting trips. I always take my Katadyn Mini along as a backup even if I’m car camping. They are small and light and reliable. The ceramic filter will last for years if taken care of and protected. I have generally taken it with me while traveling around the country and staying in hotels. … You never know what’s going to happen. You can’t go without water. Even if you don’t get one of these, make sure you take the necessary steps so that you’ll be able to access clean water in an emergency situation.
Katadyn Mini Water Filter Specs
- The lightest, most compact filter on the market
- Silver impregnated ceramic lasts up to 2000 gallons
- Dimensions: 3 x 7 inches
- Output: 1 quart/min
- Ceramic depth filter 0,2 micron
- Weight: 7 oz
- Effective against microorganisms such as bacteria, protozoa, cysts, algae