Archive for August, 2009

My Review of Katadyn Vario Microfilter

Friday, August 7th, 2009


Katadyn® Vario Microfilter's two-mode design lets you opt between fast filtration or extended lifetime of the primary filter (up to 500 gallons!)

Great with a semi-fatal flaw

TX Outdoorsman Houston, TX 8/7/2009

4 5

Gift: No

Pros: Good Water Flow, Stable, Easy To Refill, Comfortable

Cons: Bulky, Poor Construction

Best Uses: Extended Hikes

Describe Yourself: Avid Adventurer

What Is Your Gear Style: Minimalist

Bought the Vario for a trip to the Boundary waters. Read the reviews and saw that others had the intake nipple break off, but since I am very careful with my gear, thought I could avoid this weak spot. The comfort and ease of pumping make up for a bit more bulk than most. Being able to screw a Nalgene on the bottom is great, especially when pumping in a canoe. It was truly fast, it amazed all on the crew, who loved to use it. I had people standing in line to pump water… But, on day three, I opened the pouch to pump water and the nipple was broken off. Not sure how it happened, but for most of the circumference, the glue joint separated. I was able to temporarily repair with gorilla tape, but it still made me mad. The bright side is that I sent an email to Katadyn describing the situation and they promptly responded, promising to send repair parts. I intend to fashion a “doughnut” from some type of lightweight plastic to go around the new nipple to make it immune to any side forces and recommend that anybody who intends to depend on this pump do the same. I also noted that after 10-15 liters, the housing started leaking. Cleaning the ceramic did not stop it and I will have to investigate further to figure out what is wrong.


Great Dining Fly

Friday, August 7th, 2009

I was very impressed with the dining fly we were issued at Northern Tier.  It was a light but strong material and I was particularly impressed with the nylon webbing sewn all around with plenty of loops to tie it off wherever it made sense based on the campsite and the trees available.  It is made by Kondos Outdoors right in Ely, MN.  The cost is $70.00.  A lot for a “tarp” but not much for a backpacking quality dining fly.  The weight is not listed, but it did not seem to heavy or bulky to me.  Here is a link to it: