After careful research among the various types and brands of water filters in the market, we decided that the most suitable option for our style of travel would be the Katadyn Vario Filter. And as we don't want to keep you in suspense, we'll start by telling you that, yes, it proved to be a great idea!
Katadyn Group agreed to provide us with the filter and, after 15 months of use under various conditions across South America, we are now sure that this particular filter is ideal for us for many reasons. According to the description, the filter eliminates bacteria, protozoa, cysts, algae, spores and sediments. Reduces chemicals and improves taste and odor thanks to a replaceable activated carbon granulate. Many times we find ourselves in areas with no access to potable water and we need a filter that is efficient. But apart from this, the Vario, has some more features that we really like:
The filter is designed to make pumping as easy as possible and its dual piston mechanism provides continuous water flow with minimal effort, which was a very pleasant surprise. It has 2 modes: In "Longer Life" mode, the turbid water is first pre-filtered through the ceramic disk and has an output of approximately 1lt/min. In "Faster Flow" mode, the water is directed straight to the glass-fiber membrane, increasing the water flow to up to 2lt/min. We always use it in “Longer Life Mode” and we never felt that the water flow is slow. 1 lt/min is more than enough for our needs.
It can treat up to 2000 liters throughout its lifespan, which is quite a high volume in comparison to other popular filters. And this is a great “value for money” feature!
It weighs 425gr, less than half a kilo, which is not exactly lightweight if you compare it to a “lifestraw” type filter. BUT what's important here is that for two people who don't find it very attractive lying face down and sucking water from potholes with a straw, Vario is the solution! All jokes aside, we don't think it's a big deal – for our style of travel – to carry a slightly heavier filter. It would be way more uncomfortable to have to treat water through a straw to use for our coffee/pasta. And, NO, boiling water is not always the answer!
The only weak point we found out about first hand, is that it is important that it should be kept safe from impacts and cramming. It has a plastic housing and even if it is a tough one, it can crack or break. So, in any case, try to avoid drops and falls! In our case, it was the nozzle at the water entrance that broke, but we easily managed to repair it with glue. There are some reviews claiming that the filter may leak, but we never had these kind of issues. Of course, the O-rings and the filters need cleaning and maintenance according to the manual, so this way, all issues related to poor maintenance can be prevented.
Our overall impression after 15 months of use of the Katadyn Vario is that it is ideal for long-term trips for more than one person. The quality and the efficiency of the filter are not disputable. The fast flow (even in the “slower” of the two modes) is a key-feature, as well as its lifespan and the volume of 2000lt of water it can treat. So, in one small phrase: definitely recommended!
You can find the Katadyn Vario Filter HERE
The product reviewed here were given to us as a sponsorship from KATADYN GROUP. We need to clarify that we asked for the specific product after we had already made our own research and we don't have any obligation to “promote” it or “advertise” it. The review comes after 15 months of regular use, depending on our access to potable water.
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