Katadyn has been in the business of water filtration since the 1930’s.
They control over 50 percent of the water filter market worldwide with products ranging from industrial and municipal water supplies down to your personal water bottle. Their products can remove particulate matter, bacteria, and even desalinate water, and their personal pumps see use all over the globe. It’s no surprise then that we had high expectations for their Base Camp MicroFilter when it showed up at our office.
The first thing we noticed when we looked at the Base Camp was the well constructed bag the components came in. It’s an attractive black Nylon affair with two loops on either side to allow secure stowing options, with a sturdy black zipper. Inside we found a folded 6 Liter Bag with a port at the bottom and top folding bar, a filter attachment, a combination shower and output attachment, and an output hose and filter cleaner.
We decided the best way to test out our new toy was to take it down to our local Rivanna River and see how it did in the real world. We chose a bend with easily access to both fast flowing and slow flowing water and got down to business. Filling the bag was as easy as screwing in the right attachment to the bag’s port, and dragging it through the water until it was filled.
Once it was filled we folded the top of the bag down using the folding bar at the top, and searched for a low hanging branch sturdy enough to hold the bag. Which is where we ran into a problem. There weren’t any.
Six liters weighs a little over 11 pounds, and since we were short on low lying tree limbs we had to hold it up with our arms for the 12 minutes it took for the bag to empty. It’s also worth noting that it’s not possible to switch out attachments to the bottom of the bag when full due to the inability to seal the top of the bag. Neither of these issues are large, but something to be aware of.
In the end the only thing that matters is, does it work, and the short answer is a resounding YES. The filtered water had no trace of grain and tasted great, compared to the unfiltered river water. Two thumbs up as far as the filter is concerned.
Speaking of the filter, cleaning it was a breeze. We removed the filter protector from the corrugated filter proper and simply used the provided sponge to remove what visible particles there were. All the other parts of the assembly were equally easy to clean with water and soap.
In the end we really like this product. It has just the right amount of capacity for a small group of people to fill their water bottles, or an individual to take a shower in the woods. We’re looking forward to taking it with us on our next long hike.
1. Great Filtration of both particles and bacteria
2. Plenty of Capacity for a group or personal shower
3. Simplicity of operation is idiot proof
1. The top’s not 100-percent water tight, so it requires a friend or tree branch to use correctly
–Editor’s Note: We sincerely hope Blue Ridge Outdoors intern Wil Geyer does not get giardia from this very thorough product test; but we do appreciate his excellent writing and hard work.