The Katadyn base camp pro 10L water filter is a really cool gravity filter that I take on all of my trips. If you’re not sure what a gravity filter is, take a look at our blog posts from early August which discuss the different types of water filtration systems.
The Kayadyn is interesting because the filter itself is pre-attached inside the water bag. This makes the entire filter able to collapse into a small bag, and makes the filter incredibly easy to use. The bag also contains a window, which allows you to see the water quality before being filtered, and to determine if the filter itself is being clogged by debris. The only part that needs to be attached is the hose that clips easily into the bottom of the filter. That’s it! Just fill it up, hook it onto a tree branch, and wait for your water.
I’ve used this filter on anything from short backcountry canoe trips in the spring and fall, to week long hiking treks in the dead of summer. The purpose of a water filter is to provide you with clean water when you need it, and by these metrics, the Katadyne Base Camp gets overall good reviews, but with some shortcomings that I would love to see improved in the next version. Here is my own personal ranking for this filter:
Ease of use: The Katadyne is a favorite of mine in terms of ease of use. As I mentioned in previous blogs, I prefer the gravity filter over other types of water filtration systems, and the Katadyne makes this very easy. You really just need to fill it up with water, pop the hose in, and hook it up to a tree.
Weight/Size: In terms of weight and size, this is a good filter. It is not heavy (when empty), and collapses to fit into a small pouch. Very convenient for hiking trips, although drops are obviously much easier to carry around.
Quality of water: I’m not a scientist, and I haven’t done any tests on the water, but I’ve used this in some pretty marshy and dirty areas and I’ve never been sick.
Speed: Here is where I have had my biggest problems with the Katadyne. It takes very little to clog this filter, and once it is clogged, it runs at about a drop a minute. If you are going to buy this filter, learn how to clean it properly! Otherwise you’ll be faced with some long wait times for your water, and can risk some unpleasant moments on hot trips.
Maintenance: As noted above, learn how to clean the filter if you’re going to buy this item. The Katadyne Base Camp is a great product, but it does clog up easily, and without this routine maintenance it isn’t worth having around. Thankfully, the filter comes apart easily, and maintenance is not difficult.
Overall, I would rate this filter at an 8 out of 10. I’ve never seen a filter that needs no maintenance, but this one seems to need more than others. If you’re comfortable with that, the design and ease of use make it a good product.