One of the fundamentals of back-country camping is that it is difficult to carry enough water for the entire trip. The minimum daily water requirement for the average person is two-thirds of a gallon, which weighs 5.5 pounds. Back-country campers are dependent upon local waters sources, and these are often contaminated, prompting a need to carry a lightweight water filter in your backpack.
Katadyn Hiker Pro Water Filter
This is an upgraded version of the time-tested and popular Katadyn Hiker filter. It has a reputation for durability, weighs 11 oz. and can filter 1 liter of water per minute. Like most back-country water filters, the Hiker Pro is a pump-operated device that removes microorganisms down to 0.3 microns in size. That includes the most common worries for backpackers, like Giardia, salmonella and cryptosporidium. The filter also has an activated carbon stage that will clean out unwanted chemicals and leave the water tasting much like what would come out of a Brita or Pur pitcher at home.
Katadyn Exstream Purifier Bottle
Another Katadyn product, this bottle is a sound choice for day hikers, mountain bikers and backpackers who want a handy "fill and forget" water filter. Simply pour the water into the 26 oz. bottle, screw the top back on and start sucking the water through the nozzle like any other sports bottle. The filter requires a bit more suction than a normal bottle. Another plus for a filtration bottle like this one is that it can double as a travel water purifier, sparing you the need to buy multiple bottles of water. The Exstream Purifier meets Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) standards for removing microorganisms and weighs 7 oz. when empty.
MSR MiniWorks EX Water Filter
The EX is a top-rated backpacker filter and the best-selling unit on the market. The filter meets EPA standards and uses a long-lasting, durable ceramic filter to extract microorganisms. It also has the standard carbon filter for removing unwanted chemicals. While it weighs more than the Katadyn Pro Hiker at one full pound, it offers a number of advantages in exchange for the extra weight. First, the filter is built so that no tools are required to disassemble and maintain the filter. Second, it uses a crank-lever instead of a bicycle pump to force the water through the filter. While both the EX and the Pro Hiker can filter up to 1 liter of water per minute, the crank-lever requires less pumping effort to filter the same amount of water.
Article Written By Edwin Thomas
Edwin Thomas has been writing since 1997. His work has appeared in various online publications, including The Black Table, Proboxing-Fans and others. A travel blogger, editor and writer, Thomas has traveled from Argentina to Vietnam in pursuit of stories. He holds a Master of Arts in international affairs from American University.