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Rated 5 out of 5 by from Amazing filter! I have had this filter for probably 3 years or so and have always enjoyed using it, because it is so fast! Just recently I started having the water seep around the junction between the lower part and upper part. Not that big of a deal, but annoying nontheless. I did a little online research and went to Katadyn's Q and A section, where they said to scrub the filter and oil the O-Rings in the pump. Just like that, and the thing was back to pumping full speed ahead, no need for a new filter or even parts, just a little TLC. Would reccomend to anybody that doesn't mind performing a little maintenance. (Seriously, it took ~ 5 minutes.)
Date published: 2012-06-02
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Don't be mislead... I'm not really sure what many of these reviewers are talking about. I've had this filter for a year and I've never had any problems with it. I hike mostly in the Sierra Nevadas, but I've used it in CO Rockies as well. It pumps plenty fast. I've never once been disappointed with the speed at which it filters, and more importantly, I've never contracted G or Crypto or anything else. I've probably run 150+ liters through it. If it weighed a little less I'd give it 5 stars. Maybe my lack of problems with this filter derive from the clarity of the sources I pump from. I've never had any issues with excess silt building up in it. Anyway...I love this filter.
Date published: 2008-08-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great for more than 1 person Must be careful about avoiding silty water sources or the ceramic filter will clog quickly. Can clean the filter easily with the included scrubber, though won't be like new. When the ceramic filter is clean quickly and easily fills a nalgene. Minor issues: I wish there was one more thread on the bottom, pops off a nalgene too easily, so best to hold the bottle instead of the pump, or as I have fairly large hands I hold both with one hand. When done pumping should pump out remaining water otherwise it drains out into your pack. Rather heavy and bulky for one person, I think I'll buy a SteriPEN also. But is super for a group.
Date published: 2010-08-18
Rated 5 out of 5 by from For the Price...Worked Like A Champ Bought this for a Backpack Archery (Longbow) Elk trip 2010. Used it at elevations between 10900-12000 feet. The Vario worked without a hitch. The dual settings are great. Mainly used the high flow setting since we were pulling water from a flowing creek. Best feature is that Nalegen bottles (widemouth) and MSR Domedary Bags screw on to the Vario. Makes it a clean one-person operation when filtering water. Easy maintainence and cleaning. Keep the o-rings lubed and seated correctly and you shouldn't have a problem. Highly reccommend!
Date published: 2011-06-05
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Mmmm Mountain Water In Pike National Forest, I used this filter to fill up my bladder and my two Nalgene bottles. It's a little big compared to some lightweight stuff I've noticed but worth it for me to carry in my pack. The activated carbon helps clear up taste issues from stream water. For my first time out I took it with all the included contents. But now that I know what to expect I can keep some (not all) of the maintenance stuff at home and help reduce bulk a little. I especially like how it attaches to the Nalgene bottles and frees up a hand to pump. I can vouch that it removes dirt and sediment from water. After I got home I took it apart. The ceramic filter was dirty as well as the microfilter on the inside. Easy to clean with scrub pad that comes with it.
Date published: 2013-07-28
Rated 4 out of 5 by from How to improve the filtering capability? Several individuals have noted that they have had filtering/pumping problems with the Vario. This is a good filter until you get a lot of silt in it...then it stops pumping. An easy way to keep out silt is to take along a few cheap paper coffee filters with you on your hike. Wrap one around the pre-filter bob and secure it with a rubber band. This will stop the pump from sucking in silt and help ensure a longer filter life for your Vario! For extra dirty water, use two coffee can extend the life of your filter and eliminate most problems if you use this simple technique!
Date published: 2008-08-17
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Works Perfectly If You Read The Instructions Katadyn provides everything needed to keep the Vario in perfect working order. If water comes out the side it's because flow is restricted and the ceramic filter is clogged. Fixing it is as simple as brushing the top of the ceramic filter with the included green pad. It takes 10 seconds. When your trip is finished, Katadyn recommends disassembling the unit, rinsing everything off, and letting it air dry. You then reassemble it using a small amount of the included silicone lubricant on the O Ring seals. I've used this filter in many situations, including at a remote hut in winter where the Vario successfully filtered water for sixteen people. I've used it in backpacking outings where it was the primary filter for a dozen people. The water tastes great and no one gets sick. The only possible drawback is that it is rather heavy at 533 grams. But it does such a great job and can service several people, so in my view is worth the extra weight.
Date published: 2014-04-03
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Follow Up to my 8-14-2013 review OK...FOLLOW-UP on 8-14-2013 review, in which I gave 4 stars. Still 4 stars. I was perplexed by the number of reviews complaining about water leaking and/or squirting out from between the head section and the body section of the unit. So when I encountered the exact same issue I had to look into it, and the answer was simple. The ceramic prefilter disc can and will get clogged should one use silty, murky or other dirty water. Katadyn's webpage has a pdf for maintenance of the Vario, wherein reads that really dirty water can and will clog up the ceramic prefilter disc in less than one gallon. It seems this is what people are missing. They read that the unit can filter super nasty, muddy, silty water...which is can, and does...but in doing so clogs up the prefilter. When this happens one needs to either clean the prefilter in the field or switch from "fast" to "slow" filtering. It's not the unit that's's people not knowing the limits of the unit, and being lazy and using foul water instead of taking the time to make a pool to get clear(er) water. Stop using really dirty water, if at all possible, and if one must - clean the prefilter with the green scrubber that comes with the unit. The ceramic prefilter disc can take up to 200 scrubbings before needing to be replaced. Use the cleanest water possible. Clean the prefilter if dirty water is used. Keep the various o-rings lubricated. Disassemble and completely air dry the unit before putting it into storage after a trip. Replace the activated carbon when there's an odor or taste in the water. It is a maintenance prone unit, but works great...and fast. This Katadyn Vario is a supurb water filter. With proper care, use and storage it will yield years of faithful service.
Date published: 2013-08-20
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Questions & Answers

I have a Katadyn (vario) and am wondering if I can by replacement filter for that model

Asked by: George06
Yes, REI sells the Katadyn Vario Replacement Cartridge: The replacement disc ceramic and the replacement carbon packets can be purchased directly from Katadyn's web site.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2015-09-20

Is there a way I can hook the Katadyn Vario to my Osprey 3L hydration pak?

Asked by: alschoenback
The Vario Water Filter can attach directly to the bite-valve included with Osprey 3L reservoirs. Also, you can take off the bite-valve and connect the reservoir hose directly to a nipple located on the bottom of the Vario filter.
Answered by: REIservice
Date published: 2016-08-30
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