Select Page

Gear Review: Katadyn Base Camp Pro 10L Gravity Filter

Katadyn Base Camp Pro 10L Gravity Filter

Katadyn Base Camp Pro 10L Gravity Filter

Water Filter
Katadyn Base Camp Pro 10L Gravity Filter
$100, 12 oz.
moosejaw.com

Treating water in the backcountry is usually a time-consuming chore—unless you use a gravity filter, which, once assembled, does most of the work for you. On a four-day, 86-mile, ultralight backpacking trip in northern Yosemite National Park in early September, a friend and I found the Katadyn Base Camp Pro 10L gravity filter simple to use and speedy, and it has the capacity to quickly treat water for a larger group or a family.

There aren’t many parts to spend a lot of time assembling the filter: Screw the filter unit onto the valve cap, fill the bag with water, then screw the cap onto the reservoir bag, and hang the bag from a branch (there’s a convenient strap on the bag) and it begins rapidly making potable water for you. We were really impressed with the speed of the 0.2-micron, pleated glass-fiber filter, treating up to two liters per minute while filtering protozoa, bacteria, cysts, and sediment out of backcountry water sources. While there’s just one reservoir bag, we didn’t miss having a second reservoir for the clean water because the Base Camp Pro is so simple to use and quickly fills a bladder or a liter bottle. We used it as a campsite water bag, filling it and taking water from it when needed for cooking and drinking.

 

Hi, I’m Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside, which has made several top outdoors blog lists. Click here to sign up for my FREE email newsletter, or enter your email address in the box in the left sidebar or at the bottom of this story. Click here to get full access to all of my blog’s stories. Follow my adventures on Facebook, TwitterInstagram, and Youtube.

 

Katadyn Base Camp Pro 10L valve.

Katadyn Base Camp Pro 10L valve.

Refilling the reservoir bag, or packing away the entire kit and reassembling it, is a breeze thanks to the quick-release valve with an automatic shutoff. A plastic window in the reservoir bag provides a visual indicator of how much water you have left in camp or remaining to be filtered. Be sure to install the filter protector, which Katadyn says extends the lifetime of the filter element to 1,500 liters of water. There’s also a smaller version, the Gravity Camp 6L ($90, 11 oz.), probably adequate for two or three people. You can purchase a Shower Adaptor Accessory ($10) separately for a backcountry bath; lay the full reservoir in the sun for a while and you’ll have a hot shower.

BUY IT NOW You can support my work on this blog by clicking any of these links to buy a Katadyn Base Camp Pro 10L Gravity Filter at moosejaw.com, nrs.com, or rei.com.

 

Tell me what you think.

I spent a lot of time writing this story, so if you enjoyed it, please consider giving it a share using one of the buttons below, and leave a comment or question at the bottom of this story. I’d really appreciate it.

 

See my review of the Platypus GravityWorks water filter and all of my reviews of water filters and my reviews of backpacking gear.

NOTE: I tested gear for Backpacker Magazine for 20 years. At The Big Outside, I review only what I consider the best outdoor gear and apparel. See categorized menus of all of my gear reviews at The Big Outside.

—Michael Lanza

 

You live for the outdoors. The Big Outside helps you get out there. Subscribe now and a get free e-guide!

About The Author

Michael Lanza

A former field editor for Backpacker Magazine, Michael Lanza created The Big Outside to share stories and images from his many backpacking, hiking, and other outdoor adventures, as well as expert tips and gear reviews to help readers plan and pull off their own great adventures.

4 Comments

  1. larryvc

    I have had my old reliable gravity-flow ceramic filter for a decade or more, but it had a pretty slow output. So last year I bought the Katadyn 10L and was prepared to fall in love with it. Same for a buddy who showed up on the same river trip with an identical new one. But sad to say we both returned our new filters after the trip.

    Why? Unlike a ceramic filter, this Katadyn model’s paper filter cannot be cleaned. As you noted in your review, it does come with a filter protector, but that pre-filter (in my humble opinion) is poorly designed, and lets particles slip by to clog the main filter. Now if replacement filters were cheap, say $5, I could live with it. But they are $40, more than I want to shell out on a regular basis. I could even handle spending the $40 for a new filter after every river trip, but ours got clogged up after just a couple days of use.

    We are veteran river runners, having spent 100s of days on scores of major trips. And we have done lots of backpacking using pump filters. So we know the trick of first settling the river water in buckets. But even with that the paper filter still got clogged, and the output slowed way down. And this was on the Lower Salmon and Snake rivers, which look reasonably clear to the naked eye. On a silty desert stream where the water takes forever to settle out the filter would clog up so much faster

    So if one were just going to be getting water from crystal clear steams and high mountain lakes then I suppose this Katadyn model would be a good choice. It was light weight, easy to use, and had a super fast output. But as it is I would not recommend it to any of my rafting friends.

    Reply
    • MichaelALanza

      Based on my experience on the Paria River, I’d have to agree, Larry. I’m very impressed with the filter’s performance in clear, mountain streams, but I wouldn’t recommend it for silted waters.

      Reply
  2. Shelley

    Great review. We’ve been using this for several years now for our backcountry canoe trips and it easily keeps up with our family of seven’s water needs. One word of warning, if you are in an area where the water has lots of organic matter, tannins, etc. you won’t get anywhere near 1500L of water out of this filter.

    Reply
    • michaellanza

      Thanks Shelley. You’re right about filtering water that’s not clear. I just used this filter in the heavily silted Paria River in southern Utah and northern Arizona, and I’m going to need to replace the filter cartridge. Whenever dealing with heavily silted water, as often found in glaciated rivers or desert canyons, it’s better to settle some water in pots or bottles overnight first, then carefully pump the water out of those vessels without disturbing the fine silt that has settled to the bottom. Of course, that requires a pump filter rather than a gravity filter.

      Reply

Leave a reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Welcome to The Big Outside

photo of Michael Lanza

Hi, I'm Michael Lanza, creator of The Big Outside and former Northwest Editor at Backpacker magazine. Click my photo to learn more about me and my blog. Sign up for my free email newsletter in the blue box above. Click on Subscribe Now! in the main menu (top right) to get full access to all of my stories on America's best backpacking, hiking, and outdoor adventures. And click on Ask Me in the main menu to learn how I can help you plan your next trip.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This