Katadyn Vario Water Filter

Katadyn Water Filter on Rock

Water is the most important element on earth, so it’s no surprise that it’s your most important resource when traversing in the outdoors, whether it’s on a day hike, or a backpacking trip -- but you can only carry so much.

Backpacking excursions are often planned around water sources, or at least ways to obtain and refill your supply, but there’s always the chance that you may run out, or encounter water this isn’t safe to drink.

If this occurs, you have limited options. One of those options is to boil water you gather in the wilderness. This is certainly effective, but not only is it time consuming, it can drain your fuel supply that’s usually reserved for cooking. Water sanitizing tablets are another emergency backup option, but you can run out of those quickly as well.

Woman Filtering Water

A more riskier and last-ditch option is to take your chances with the water, which may work if you find a spring or clear river, but it’s still not recommended.

Fortunately, portable water filters give you a much more sustainable way to provide yourself clean drinking water throughout the duration of your trip. The Katadyn Vario Water Filter is very dependable, mostly self-sustaining, and makes the filtering process incredibly easy. It’s a game changer.

Features & Benefits

There is plenty to like for such a simple water filter. Easy to use, versatile features and settings, the Katadyn Vario Water Filter has it all.

Water Source to Bottle

The filter works by placing the feeder end into the water source, with the other end going to your bottle, cup, mug, water bladder, canteen, or whatever. That’s about as simple as it gets. This allows you to pump the water directly from your source right through the filter and into your desired means of drinking.

Katadyn Water FIlter with Bottle

Ceramic Filter

The ceramic filter that does most of the work lasts for over 500 gallons of filtering. Caring for the filter after use is pretty simple too. Simply pull it out, rinse off any sediment, and wipe.

Fast Pumping/Minimal Effort

The actual pumping action barely requires any effort, as opposed to some of the other filters out there that give you a solid workout for five minutes. The pump action is smooth, and the filtering process goes by quickly.

Potential Disadvantages

No Pre-Filter

The ceramic filter bares the brunt of the load, and it’s perhaps just a little unnecessary. A pre-filter could catch some of the larger sediment just as the water enters the filter, taking some stress of the ceramic filter and giving you even cleaner water. This would likely result in a bigger filter, however.

Man Filtering Water with Katadyn Water Filter

Lots of Parts

If you end up having to do some deeper cleaning when on your trip, prepare to deal with quite a few parts if you have to break the filter down. That can be a little annoying to deal with on the go. Fortunately, the cleaning and take-apart process is almost always done back at home after a trip.

Unique Advantages

Activated Charcoal

This is something you don’t usually find with many backpacking filters. This is the same charcoal found in the filters you attach to your sink at home. Ths gets rid of chlorine, pesticides, and just any bad tastes in general. A true luxury in the outdoors.

Filter Bypass

If you’re in a hurry, or if the water is mostly clean and just needs a little filtering, you can shut off the ceramic filter and bypass your water right on through the charcoal for a quicker process.

Katadyn Water Filter

Our Rating

Gold 4.4 Stars Rating


To say the Katadyn Vario Water Filter is useful is an understatement. This tiny device gives you a way to always have clean drinking water, no matter where you are. Many buyers have boasted of using it in places such as the Amazon rainforest, with no ill effects. The longevity of the filter is an added bonus, truly giving you a nearly inexhaustible way to have safe water throughout your trip.

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