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Katadyn Vario Dual Technology MicroFilter

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    67 Reviews


    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
    • Item #EXT0059

    Tech Specs

    Filter Material
    0.3 micron glassfiber
    Purifying Element
    ceramic disc
    2 L / 1 min
    bacteria, cysts
    7.5 4 in
    Cartridge Life
    500 gal
    Claimed Weight
    425 g
    Manufacturer Warranty
    1 year

    Tech Specs

    • Reviews
    • Q & A

    What do you think about this product?

    Have questions about this product?

    Must have Filter!

      Just received this filter. Awesome in every way. I’m a big fan of the drop in filter hose, goes in hard to reach areas. Water taste awesome out of this system. This is my second Katadyn water filter and always impressed with quality of there products.

      Great but big

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      I really really like this water filter I feel like it pumps tons of water but the size is quite big and it might not be the best for long trips as we recently found out while hiking in the Uintas.

      Adequate at best

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      I've owned this filter for 3 years. Used it 4 times and really don't like it. It doesn't pump very quickly. Feels like it builds up pressure (like a clog) very quickly, even on very clear water. The pressure makes it leak at the seals. Not vert happy.

      The Best!

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      This is the best filter I've owned. Its super easy to set up and use, packs down nicely and is on the lighter side. Also, this thing pumps fast. It didn't take longer than a 30 seconds to pump up a Nalgene and less than 2 minutes or so to fill up a hydration bladder. I've used in rivers and lakes in the PNW with great success and ultra clear, clean water every time. Highly recommend.

      Feel free to reach out to me with any questions you have about this filter.

      Well designed pump

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      I find that the estimation of pumping 2 liters a minute is a little high, I can get a liter and a half in about that time. It has a cool feature of being able to screw on to the top of a nalgene, which is awesome. My only gripe is that the pump can be quite squeaky.

      Katadyn water filter performance

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

      I recently purchased a Katadyn water filter from you because I was impressed with it's reviews and the fact that it could pump 2 liters of water in a minute. I have been backpacking for 30 plus years and have owned a few water pumps. This is by far the worst pump I have owned. I got the pump this last spring and used it in the Teton mountains in Wyoming for an overnight trip of about 25 miles. It performed OK (not 2 liters per minute - but OK). I then went on a 6 day trip in the Wind River range. On the first day the pump was slow, 10-15 minutes a liter. After that it got even slower, a minimum of 20 minutes per liter. Needless to say we quit using it and opted for boiling and treating water with chemicals. every night in camp I disassembled the pump completely to try and alleviate the problem with no success. We concluded the filter was completely clogged even though it looked brand new. Also, all the water I was pumping was very clear with no glacial silt or particulate. I would like to understand what happened, but I'm probably going to purchase a different pump very soon.

      Yea, it's ok.

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

      This is a quick pumping filter and the water tastes clean. My only gripe is the size, it's quite bulky. It's lumpy Nalgene sized. As long as you are using clear-ish water the filter is designed to last some 1,800+- liters. If the water is on the dirtier side and you have to use the ceramic (second) filter it only lasts 190. That's enough for a summer of serious backpacking but for the money, there are others that last longer.

      Simple to Use

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      Purchased this filter after hiking with a friend that had one. Just completed multiple days on the Teton Crest trail and it worked like a charm. Filters water quickly, easy to use, no funny after-taste. A little heavier than some of the others but worth it. PS Keep the in-take off the bottom of lake or stream so filter doesn't get dirty as fast.

      Water for days!

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      I feel so powerful with all the water I can now drink. This is the first water filter I've ever used and I'm pretty sure I'll never stray from the Vario. The filter is incredibly easy to use and I didn't have any trouble with never having used one before. Definitely flush some water through it the first time like recommended. The carbon core needs to be flushed out. The pouch that comes with it makes it nice and easy to carry and through in your bag without taking up too much space. Love it!

      Worth the weight

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      Took this out with a couple friends for a 3 day trek through the backcountry and after the first day, i became "the water guy." Its a bit like being "the molly guy" at a rave - cool at first, burdensome eventually, but someone has to do it, right? Anyway my two buddies had a Hiker Pro and what looked like a MiniWorks from MSR. Both the other filters held up well and were doing the job, the MSR was particularly impressive being 10 years old(or so buddy 1 claimed) but the Vario was filtering at close to twice the speed. Admittedly I had the synthetic filter selected and this thing sticks to a Nalgene like Secret Service agents stick to Colombian prostitutes, but I think the real MVP in the speedy filtration is the double pump action. The Vario sucks water on both the up and down pulls of the handle, which means the Zika factory you found in the forest is being converted to life-sustaining, bacteria-free liquid oxygen at twice the rate. For solo missions when you're really concerned with maximizing the value of each and every gram I think the Hiker Pro is still the best out there. But if you can afford another 4 ounces the Vario is, especially for groups.

      Worth the weight

      Its da bomb!

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      It is simply great! It is a must have. The instructions are very very easy to follow but I definitely recommend testing this thing out before you are knee deep in the brush somewhere. I take this with me every time I hit the outdoors because it is small and lightweight, and definitely durable. The water that the pump pushed out is better than any sort of water you can buy in a bottle. If you take care of this it will definitely take care of you for a long time!!

      Don't order unless you're sure

      • Familiarity: I returned this product before using it

      Their return policy is terrible. If you don't want something and you had it shipped out, you have to pay to return it yourself, or buy one box per item (even if the original order came in one box).
      I failed to read the fine print - trying to make sure no one else does the same!

      This is it.

      • Familiarity: I've used it several times

      I'm telling you now, this is your filter.

      I've tried multiple Katadyn filters and this is the most affordable, efficient filter of theirs. It eliminates finicking with an inlet hose, instead you just fit it to the top of your water bottle and pump.

      It gets you clean water quick, which I appreciate because when I'm thirsty, I'm hangry, if that makes sense.

      Speaking from experience and mistakes, if you are debating getting a handheld filter or gravity filter, I would recommend purchasing a handheld first then a gravity feed filter. Handhelds make filling up bottles while hiking more realistic and less of a hassle while gravity filters are better for base camp use.

      excellent piece of gear

      • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

      I have used this filter for almost four years now, and it has yet to fail me. It pumps quickly, while still doing its primary job very well. I do have an issue with leaking at the head before the ceramic filter, but as long as I'm careful not to let any of the leaked water into the bottle or along the edges of the bottle's mouth then its not a problem.A minor nuisance really.

      Easy to clean, quickest pump I've ever used, and does it's job well. what more could you want?

      I would highly recommend this filter.

      Great Filter ---Hands Down!

        I have owned this model since 2008 & it has been great. I did go some time without using it and did not properly inspect it before setting out on a trip & the gasket at the base by the outflow spout failed. I had to dip into my survival kit for "Plan B" water treatment. This did happen at night. The next morning I was able to easily take it apart and make a quick field repair & then it worked great. It has a fast flow & filtering the water on the Longer Life setting I am still amazed how great the ceramic disc filter works. You can obtain water from a fast flowing stream by Rapids and/or waterfalls where the water is well oxygenated and after your trip you open it up to clean it & BOOM... Dirt, grit & grime loaded on the ceramic disc. It is a bit big & bulky but well worth it.

        fast filtering

        • Familiarity: I've used it several times

        Not the lightest out there but filters water fast. My wife and son were using the MSR MiniWorks and both complained that it was slow. I filtered and filled two Nalgene bottles in the time they did one bottle. This filter is easy to take apart and clean. It has been on about 6 trips so far and I have not had any maintenance or other problems with the filter. We sold both of the MiniWorks and purchased two more of the Varios.

        fast filtering

        Best Filter To Date!

        • Familiarity: I've put it through the wringer

        We really love this filter, super easy to use, clean and maintain. The dual pumping action fills a water bladder in no time. We just pull the mouth piece from our bladder hose and insert that into the bottom of the filter and pump water directly into bladder. It's so easy a 5 year old can do it!

        Best Filter To Date!
        Unanswered Question

        Does this filter come with an attachment that directly screws onto the Nalgene water bottles?

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

        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

        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.

        Would this fit an MSR Dromedary bag?

        Would this fit an MSR Dromedary bag?

        A friend and I will be backpacking through...

        A friend and I will be backpacking through Kentucky this summer on a month long trip through the Boone National Forest. Will this work for us just fine or should we had anything else to ensure good, clean drinking water?

        Best Answer

        A lot of water in that region comes from limestone springs. Ahhh, Bourbon country. As pure as that sounds, the water still needs to be filtered & the Katadyn Vario will perform admirably!

        Jeff, of course, is correct. But It never hurts to carry iodine tablets or be certain you have a method of boiling your water in the worst case scenario of a filter failure.

        1rst remember to stop by the natural bridge....near the red river in the northern part of the Forrest, its cool.... I'm a 10th generation Kentuckian... one of the few. its a amazing place. 2nd if you want to learn more water quality levels there look at, that's the Kentucky Waterways Alliance. they will tell you what to expect.... so you can ask the right questions when picking out a filter. i'm doing the same, but for the coal regions of the state.

        1rst remember to stop by the natural bridge....near the red river in the northern part of the Forrest, its cool.... I'm a 10th generation Kentuckian... one of the few. its a amazing place. 2nd if you want to learn more water quality levels there look at, that's the Kentucky Waterways Alliance. they will tell you what to expect.... so you can ask the right questions when picking out a filter. i'm doing the same, but for the coal regions of the state.

        i've been doing quite a bit of digging...

        i've been doing quite a bit of digging around for a water filter that i can depend on. I have been running into the term 'microns' quite a bit. I am doing an Isle Royale trip in a few weeks and am wondering if this filter will be okay to use by its self. On there DNR site it says a filter should filter .4microns or less for bacteria and 25 microns or less for tapeworm. Will this filter do the job?

        Alright, I'm going on a backpacking trip...

        Alright, I'm going on a backpacking trip in Ohio in a few weeks and just picked one of these up. I know this will not filter out viruses due to them being much smaller. Should I treat the water with a chemical after wards or just use the filter?

        Best Answer

        I would purify if you're filtering water out of the big, working rivers. Especially suspect would be the Ohio & any rivers around Cleveland, Cincinnati, or Columbus. This is not only an Ohio thing but all big, working rivers. I just returned from a trip to the Pacific Northwest & I'd treat water from the Columbia & Willamette rivers exactly the same way. If you're filtering water away from farms & cities, this filter alone will work just fine.

        Will this or some other filter make drinking...

        Will this or some other filter make drinking water from my swimming pool in an emergency situation like an earthquake?

        There is no filter short of a reverse osmosis filter (not at all portable) or a still that will get chlorine out. You need something like a marine watermaker for that; you're not going to find a portable filter that will get chlorine out of pool water.

        Best Answer

        I'm going to disagree with Angus, somewhat (again). This filter uses granulated activated carbon (GAC) as part of its filtration system. Activated charcoal is highly effective in removing chlorine from water and remains one of the principle means of doing so. Other ways you can remove chlorine: UV light, like a SteriPen, but it'll take anywhere from 22 - 45 minutes to do so, which is not feasible. You can also use chemicals, such as sodium bisulfate/metabisulfite, but that too is not feasible. In heavily chlorinated water, like that found in a swimming pool, you may have to filter the water more than once to remove the chlorine, but you will remove it assuming you're using a relatively new GAC cartridge.

        The issue with GAC and filters like this, and why I don't fully disagree with Angus regarding his answer, is that they do not remove trihalomethanes, which are byproducts of chlorination and are considered toxic over time in amounts greater than 80ppb (according to the EPA). For emergency use, however, this product would likely be fine.

        BainUT did very well in his answer ------until he said that activated charcoal does not remove trihalomethanes. A very simple Goggle search shows all sorts of articles that assert that activated charcoal does remove most organic chemicals uncluding trihalomethanes, and also chlorine.

        The key here is to replace the activated charcoal when it is used up. With chlorinated water: that means when you taste chlorine. With the Vario, you can remove the red cap on the filter and replace the charcoal with Katadyn's Vario carbon replacement 2-pack. With other filters, you might have to replace the whole filter after about 6 months of use.

        Please note that not all microfilters have Activated charcoal.

        I'm living in Nicaragua and was wondering...

        I'm living in Nicaragua and was wondering if this pump would be a good buy for my water filtration. The size doesn't matter too much to me, as I will be living in one place. I'm more interested in filtering large volumes of water each day (five gallons or so). If this isn't the solution for me, anyone know of a high volume pump? Thanks.

        Best Answer

        I'm not sure if any pump will be right for you, with that much water everyday. Will the water be cloudy, silty, stagnate, or have a lot of algea? This will force you to operate on regular flow, vs. high flow. Your core will eventually clog up so you would have to bring some replacements. I would recommend using a UV sterilizer for water that doesn't need to be filtered from dirt, etc. Along with their micropure tablets. If you bring a filter, I would only use it on the water that you don't have the "stomach" to drink. If you want a great reference with detailed info, check out the Backpackers field guide by Rick Curtis.From riverridgeray. I have a Vario that in "Faster Flow" mode will filter 5 gallons of water in about 7 minutes. However---if you are going to be doing that every day, the water had best be clear or you will eventually clog filters. After 50 gallons or so, you will need to lube o-rings on the valves. Plan on some regular maintenance along the way. If you are not in a hurry, and your water is clear, I would tend to recommend one of the Katadyn drip filters. I trekked in Nepal for 16 days last fall with a small trekking company and 12 friends. We got all our water through 2 Katadyn Base Camp drip filters. The Katadyn ceramic drip filters are slower, heavier, more expensive and tend to last much longer--none are really designed to work with dirty water.Final thought! In Central America, if your water is possibly contaminated by human feces: you are at risk of various viruses, including hepititis A & E. Microfilters do not remove all virus. In Nepal, we microfiltered to remove the more common protozoa and bacteria, then added Micropur Chlorine Dioxide tablets for virus. The combination of microfiltration and chemicals gave us clean, safe water (with no chemical taster) in 15 minutes.Since the UV systems sold here are designed to do 1 liter or less per treatment: multiplying their treatment process to reach 5 gallons per day seems like a stretch of their capacities.

        Can I use this product to clarify salt...

        Can I use this product to clarify salt water for drinking?

        No. Getting the salt out of water is a much more complicated process, to the point that I don't believe you can get a handheld filter that'll do it. There are reasonably small stills available, but this won't do it. You'll end up with very clean salt water.Yeah, to filter out salt you have to boil the water and collect the steam, and let the condensation drip down to a container. Which is a lot of words to say, "you have to distill it".from riverridgeray: Katadyn does make hand-held desalinators. The U.S. Navy has one in every lifeboat. However, they are very expensive, heavy, require clean offshore salt water, and are really intended for emergency survival rather than regular use. They do make bigger (and still more expensive) battery-powered ones for regular use.

        Planning a trip through Africa; any...

        Planning a trip through Africa; any recommendations on a good purifier?

        OK! Any good microfilter becomes a purifier if you add Katadyn Micropur tables after pumping water through the microfilter. Please bear in mind that Protozoa cysts (eggs) take up to 4 hrs. to kill with the best chemical treatment and Micropur has that disclaimer on their package. However filter out the Protozoa as any Katadyn or MSR filter will do (along with bacteria) and then add one Micropur tablet per Liter of water. If virus are present--in Africa, Asia, and S. America---you should worry they are: the Micropur kills them in 15 minutes. No need to wait four hours, no need to have to look at all thr ugly stuff floating in your water. I have pumped water out of hotel sinks in both Nepal and S. America. Don't waste money on bottled water and contribute more plastic waste to 3rd world landfills. For one person I'd get the Katadyn Hiker or Hiker Pro for your trip, for a group the Vario is great---if you will read the instructions and maintain the filter.