Katadyn Vario Product Review
This weekend I was able to do a product review on the Katadyn Vario water filter. Out of the box the unit is fairly small and should fit in most peoples BOB along with the filter also comes a basic repair kit of O rings and a small cleaning pad as well as a carrying pouch.
This unit while plastic seems to be decently built but one of the weak points that I observed is the pumping handle, if you get in a hurry or are rough this seems to be the area to break. I would also add that the two hose barbs that the inlet hose and outlet hose connect to can be subject to breakage if mishandled. Overall though if you do not abuse the pump you should get good life out of it for the class it is in. Also one good feature of this filter is that you can connect various types of bottles directly to the bottom of the unit making one less thing to hold.
The reason this unit is called Vario is that you have two modes to choose from when filtering, mode one is when you can bypass the ceramic filter and only use the carbon filter. This mode allows for faster flow of about two liters per minute. Mode two is where you use both the ceramic and carbon filter at the same time, this would be used for the worst water you need to filter such as water contaminated with Klebsiella terrigena, Giardia and Cryptosporidium. Efficiency of the filter in removing the previously mentioned bugs is around 99.9%
Speaking of the previously mentioned filters (Ceramic and Charcoal) about $20 and $30 respectively seems a little pricey for a ceramic filter that is good for about 1000 gallons and a charcoal filter for 50 gallons. When you add the cost of the filters together you are over the 50% replacement cost of what a complete new system would cost. Your results may vary though depending on your water quality and conditions.
Overall for a filtration system that is under $100 in cost along with it's low weight and compactness and being made by the Swiss buts it in the buy category for me, is is the best? No, but it is a good piece of gear at a reasonable cost and should provide a good amount of service. As I tested it on well water that I am sure was being fed from a lake I found the taste to be very good, I can't vouch for what it removed at the microscopic level but as I am here writing this today I am alive and kicking so that's a plus.
You can check out further reviews of this filter on the Amazon site link that I provided above or you can also visit my store in the link bar at the top of the page or go to the link here.