Last month I did a 4-day trip around Apache lake and the first time I used my Katadyn, the intake valve broke. Now I must confess, I suspect that it was probably my fault and I may have leaned the filter at an angle that snapped the intake. But I was able to jury-rig the thing and finished the trip safely. When I got home, I sent an e-mail to Katadyn explaining the problem, confessing that it may have been my fault and asking for a replacement valve. The response the next day was that they couldn't replace the valve but had to replace the entire body (ca-ching$$$$$) and asked for my mailing address.
The next weekend I did another overnighter on Lake Pleasant for an Eagle Watch trip so epoxied the valve on but that failed in the field so I resorted to my back-up filter. When I returned home, I found the new body in my mailbox. NO CHARGE!
You have to LOVE a company that puts so much effort into that kind of customer service.
NOTE: when iread other reviews for the Katadyn, all complain about the filter clogging. Yet, when I re-read the reviews carefully, it is clear that the owner is trying to filter mud!
So long as I try to filter clear water I have no problem and if I cannot find clear water, I pour dirty water through a coffee filter into a bucket into which I put my intake tube and have never had any problem.
Would I recommend the Katadyn to everyone? YES!Being a desert paddler, I am familiar with the adage, "Hydrate or Die". Having spent too much time overseas with the Air Force, I have seen and drunk a lot of bad water (and lost a lot of weight because of bad water) so was in the market for a small dependable water filter. I chose the Katadyn Hiker simply because my local store recommended it as the best all-purpose system for the money and size @ about $80. I bought two (one at a yard sale with a new filter) and tossed one in my camping bag, one in my emergency bag and forgot them.
Would I buy another? I did! I now own two Katadyn Hikers so I will always have a back-up or a loaner.
Normally, I carry a gallon of water in my boat for day trips (two gallons for summer paddling) but this time we planned a 3-day campout. About halfway to the campsite, Joann fell apart so I took from her 45# of her drinking water, then an hour later, another 15# of her water. Thus lightening her boat but overloading mine.
THAT is when I decided to test my Katadyn.
I found a clear place on the lake, poured water through a handkerchief to filter most of the gunk (why stress the katadyn filter?) then tossed the filter that comes with the filter into the 'clean' bucket and pumped water into my drinking bottle. I then refilled my 'clean' bucket as needed.
The filter was simple to use, easy to use, filled my drinking bottle within seconds and I never got sick. One suggestion though... it is important to NEVER switch the intake with the out-flo hoses. So as soon as I got home, I took my sharpie and wrote on both ends of both hoses "intake" and "outflo" so I would never mix them up. I figure that a combination of this plus a UV Steripen would be the best solution to the problem of drinking water.