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Pack Katadyn's lightweight Vario Dual Technology MicroFilter and drink clean water whether you're camping near muddy water or clean mountain streams.

Katadyn's lightweight Vario Dual Technology MicroFilter adjusts for dirty water or normal water conditions, so you get the cleanest, freshest water possible no matter where you're backpacking. A simple turn engages the ceramic prefilter when you're pumping out of a muddy lake so the pleated glass-fiber filter inside doesn't get destroyed. After a long, hard hike, this Katadyn water filter's dual piston pump works smoothly and easily—pumping out up to 2-liters per minute. The Vario Dual Technology Filter removes waterborne bacteria so you can drink safely on your camping trips, and uses a replaceable carbon core and cleanable ceramic disc. Attach Katadyn's adaptor base directly to your standard Nalgene water bottle opening, or use the output hose for larger water containers.
  • Includes refilter, carrying bag, and cleaning pad

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27 4
15 3
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Katadyn Vario Dual Technology MicroFilter

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Here's what others have to say...

5 5

Very useful.

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

My husband spent 5 weeks in the Utah backwoods as part of his profession and this came in handy. He was able to filter his water rather than carry it around without getting sick. Plus, the water was nice and cool.

5 5

A must have

  • Familiarity: I've used it once or twice and have initial impressions

I have owned more compact backpacking filters in the past, but after seeing the Vario in action, I had to have one. I am sure I will still use smaller filters for when weight matters, but on rafting trips, or on treks when functionality, speed and output volume is more important, the Vario takes the cake.

The only two downsides of this filter are its weight (425g compared to 310g for the Hiker Pro) and its complexity of parts, which I imagine could lead to repairs in the future, though I haven't heard many instances of this.

If you are looking for a simple quality product that is very light weight I would favor the Katadyn Hiker Pro. But if you are looking for a faster filter, with replaceable charcoal, and a longer filter life, the Vario is for you.

5 5


  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This pump is MUCH faster than the old sweetwater pump I used to have, even on the long life setting. We have pumped from dirty shallow puddles and heavily silted lakes and continually get clear, good water. It's easy to maintain out in the bush and so convenient to not have to pack water . I wouldn't go anywhere without it.

5 5

Awesome Pump

  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

This pump is great. Katadyn has really made a great product here. This pump is especially good if you're in a group of 4-8. It may be a little overkill for solo journeys. The ability to switch between fast flow and slower flow is fantastic. The faster flow filters about 2 liters per minute. I went backpacking with a buddy of mine and he had the MSR Sweetwater. We were filling up the same size bottles and mine filtered way faster than his. Great product!

EDIT: After a few trips, my pump started leaking where the pump housing connects to the actual filter. I sent it in to backcountry to be replaced. I'm hoping my unit was just defective. I'll update again after I've used the replacement awhile.

Responded on

A little of the supplied silicon will remedy that. I bought one of these filters for our boy scout troop and use it each year when we hike a portion of the AT. It has never let me down. I liked it so much, I bought one for myself

Filter doctor Review of Vario

Posted on

Another video that I thought was helpful

4 5

Good Flow, Little Leak...

Seems like a good quality piece of equipment. It does leak a little before the filter at times, have to be careful not to contaminate your water bottle or container.

4 5

Good filter, but leaks under pressure.

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

I like the filter. It's a little heavy, I kind of wish I got the Hiker Pro. I say that because its a little lighter and shares the filter with the base camp filter. But I also read about the handle breaking on the Hiker Pro and this one is much sturdier

I do like how it connects to my wide mouth nalgene bottles. It's like holding one thing instead of trying to pump and hold a bottle too.

My cousin and I both have this one. And both of ours leak a little when you push too hard. It's not that big of a deal because it is leaking before the filtering happens. The solution is to just not press so hard.

Responded on

Yeah, mine leaks too sometimes. Biggest problem with that is if you are using the nalgene and screwing it onto the filter, the unfiltered water drips right onto the mouth piece and sides of the nalgene you are supposed to be drinking out of...

Lookin at this, the hiker pro, and the...

Posted on

Lookin at this, the hiker pro, and the pocket microfilters. The descriptions say that the hiker pro filters out more "categories" of harmful items than the Vario (by far, I might add), and more than the pocket microfilter as well. This cant be right... Shouldn't the model that costs four times as much as this be able to filter out EVERYTHING, and at the very least, shouldn't this Vario be able to filter out at least CLOSE to as much as the hiker pro? Whats the point of a water filter that doesnt protect you from everything that the worlds water can contain?

Best Answer Responded on

I think the description for this one is just missing some info.
Based on the specs, this and the Hiker pro both have a .3 micron pore size, so they will remove, basically everything but viruses. (most monocellular life will be .5-1.0 microns, cysts and multicellular bugs like hydra can be up to 5 microns.)
The Hiker Pro will improve taste and odor, as well as remove some chemical impurities, because of the activated carbon.
As far as the pocket model, I didn't see posted specs for the cartridge it needs, but I suspect similar a pore size.

Katadyn / Vario Dual Tech Microfilter

Posted on

Katadyn / Vario Dual Tech Microfilter

5 5

Great Water Filter

  • Gender: Male
  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

I have really enjoyed my water filter. Held up very nice over the years. Easy to use and clean in the field. Pumps water super fast and very efficiently. I would definitely recommend this to anyone looking for a water filter. A little bigger than the popular hiker pro but a little more efficient in my opinion. Worth the extra size and weight and cost.

5 5

Awesome water filter!

  • Familiarity: I've used it several times

Happy I picked up this filter. I have only used it a handful of times but each time it never fails to perform and I dont have to worry about my water not being safe to drink. Overall recommend this to anyone looking for a more technical version of the Hiker Pro. It is a little more complex than the Hiker series but not to bad to have to take apart on the go.

4 5

Pretty great!

  • Gender: Female
  • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

Really great filter! The 2 filter mechanisms make it last a long time because the ceramic part can be cleaned. Not the lightest product on the market, but it is fast and reliable, which make it worth the weight!

4 5

Easy to use!

I Love this pump! It is easy to use with it's dual action pump and is easy to maintain. try it out a few times at home before you take it into the backcountry because I and some others have had faulty ones before.

5 5

Great Product

This is my second Katadyn and this model is simple to set up and use. Fills a Nalgene fast. Only a few things to watch out for: After your trip and you clean the filter per the instructions, it takes a couple of days for the filter to dry out so you can reassemble. You should take a ziplock bag with you to store the hose in so as not to contaminate the filter with 'dirty' water. Lastly, the red cap that covers the intake is pretty easy to lose. Other than those minor items, the pump is great.

5 5

Light & Fast

Stores easily, very fast and I didn't get giardia.

4 5

Fastest filter around, but can have some reliability issues

I’ll preface this review with my cut and paste statement that I work as a backcountry backpacking guide in Yosemite National Park. Nearly all of the products I take the time to review have seen at least a half a season, if not more, of use... and I’m committed to not bothering to write a review until I feel like I’ve really gotten to know a product. I never thought I’d bother to write reviews, but I’ve recently decided that since I’ve spent so much time over these last many years reading reviews, and finding a tremendous amount of value in articulate and well-informed opinions, that I wanted to give back to the community. So, with that being said, here we go...

Since we do some filtering of water in the park we split time between two filters - the MSR Miniworks (which is what I personally own) and the Katadyn Vario. Both are great filters, each with its own strengths and weaknesses. Each time I wind up filtering water I find myself cursing each filter in one breath, and then praising it the next... for nearly opposing reasons.

The Katadyn is, in many ways, the opposite of the Miniworks. We've had filtering races in the backcountry between the two filters, and the Vario is far and away much faster, and easier to use. Since its a dual action pump you're filtering water on both the up and down stroke. There's also less resistance on the handle of the filter, so if you're not one that wants to exert a bunch of energy while filtering then the Vario is also a good choice.

I only have two issues with the Vario - replacement filters are quite expensive, and the paper portion of the filter is not capable of being cleaned, meaning that over the life of the filter you'll be spending more for clean water. Honestly, this is a relatively minor complaint since most of us are not going to be pushing thousands of gallons through it while quite literally living for months or years in the backcountry. The value of clean, safe water is incalculable, and paying a little more for it is a niggling issue.

My bigger issue with the Vario are the times I've had certain portions of it, namely the 'cup' inside the top of the filter, literally disembody itself, therefore cross contaminating the rest of the filter. The two or three times this has happened we closely watched the seal around the top of it while we filtered, only to see it gently beading up unfiltered water into this 'cup' in the top of the filter, which is located just below the handle pivot point, underneath the smokey plastic lid.

To be honest, this problem is very possibly a result of our treating the filter with less care than it probably deserves. Having gotten used to the bombproof MSR Miniworks it takes a little bit of a shift in your touch to handle the Katadyn. While it might not be the filter you're looking for to deal with the second coming or some other post-apocalyptic scenario... it is lightning fast and easy to use. There have been plenty of times I've been tempted to forsake my MSR Miniworks in favor of this veritable Formula One of a filter... and I still might.

As for care, like any filter... make sure to disassemble it once you're home. Don't put it up with moisture in it and let it fester and get moldy. Check the ceramic element from time to time, scrub it lightly with some Scotch Brite when needed, or back flush it on the occasions that its really dirty, then boil it occasionally.

Regardless, its a great filter. Take good care of it and it'll supply you with clean, safe water for years and years.

Responded on

I'm on the fence between this and the miniworks. In the end, which one would you recommend?

Responded on

If you're on the fence between those two I'd suggest the MiniWorks. It's slower, but significantly more durable and more easily maintained in the field. However, after using the Sawyer Squeeze for a couple years I won't ever bother going back and using any other filter. Ever.

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