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  • Katadyn - Vario Dual Technology MicroFilter - Black

Katadyn Vario Dual Technology MicroFilter


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    59 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?

    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!!

    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!

      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.

      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.


      • 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.

      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.

      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.

      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?

      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?

      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.