Katadyn Vario Water Filter Review – A Quality Back Country Water Filter

I wanted to do a review on the Katadyn Vario water filter due to many readers asking me what I personally recommend and to narrow my selection to one water filter. Although I generally recommend any of the top 10 water filters detailed in this article here, my personal recommendation comes from the Katadyn brand and their Vario water filter.

I personally recommend the Katadyn Vario water filter because it ticks all the right boxes in terms of features, durability, filtration technology, capacity as well as survival practicality. When I say survival practicality, I am referring to the reliability of the product working when you need it. There is nothing worse than being in a survival situation which requires you to filter untreated sources of water and your water filter is ineffective!

Click below to read my Katadyn Vario water filter review.

Product: Katadyn Vario Water Filter
Who’s It For: For all.
Overall Rating: 10/10
Price: $82.40
Where to Buy: Amazon 


Effective Filtration.  

One major thing which I love about the Katadyn Vario is the filtration technology which incorporates BOTH ceramic and pleated micro filtration making water from sources such as lakes and rivers drinkable.

This combination of two great filtration methods makes water from untreated sources safe to drink. When anybody asks me about water filters, I always tell them to look for at least ceramic filtration due to the effectiveness of this method.

CERAMIC FILTER water treatment systems may provide the ONLY process whereby untreated water supplies can be rendered biologically safe to drink. The market for ceramic filtration systems is growing daily—in part due to public concern about emergency water conditions which could be caused by earthquakes, hurricanes, floods and so forth. – Source


The Vario water filter refers to it’s filtration technology as ‘dual-piston’ as it provides maximum filtration with minimal effort and handling. This technology is equipped with three filtration stages.

1) A high performance glass fiber filter to remove waterborne bacteria.
2) A ceramic pre-filter and disc (which is cleanable) to reduce chemicals and pesticides.
3) Active charcoal in order to eliminate odors.

It should be noted that the Katadyn Vario water filter can be adjusted accordingly depending on how dirty the water is. You just simply turn the filter (to engage the ceramic filter) for the ‘long life’ option if the water is dirty, or you can turn the filter to engage the glass fiber filter for normal water conditions.

Versatile Features.

The Katadyn Vario water filter seems to be designed with the survivalist in mind. The features of the Katadyn Vario make the water filter extremely practical in survival situations.

The water filter comes with a threaded built-in bottle adapter which balances the water filter on uneven surfaces (such as rocks). Furthermore, the Vario’s adapter base attaches to water bottles, or the output hose, as pictured below, can be used to fill larger containers/hydration systems.


Although the Vario doesn’t come with a bottle as pictured above, you can purchase one here.

The Katadyn Vario can produce up to half a gallon (two quarts) per minute in the faster flow mode (for normal water conditions) and one quart per minute in the longer life mode (for dirtier water conditions).

In addition to these features, the water filter comes with a one year warranty as well as a deluxe carry bag, cleaning pad and pre-filter.


The Vario can be used in a range of different situations – from camping to fishing.

The Katadyn Vario In Action!

Combining the impressive filtration technology of the filter with the practical and effective features, the Katadyn Vario water filter is a winner for not only survival needs, but also for other uses such as travelling, fishing, biking and more. 

In the words of Katadyn,

No other water system provides higher quality or longer lasting performance. – Source. 

Below, you can watch a video of the Katadyn Vario in use. If you have any questions, drop me a comment below and I will get back to you. Happy filtering 🙂


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Hello I have never used water filter,never had a reason to filter my water, but im going on vacation to India later this year and im made to understand i need to take water filter with me. While looking for info on water filter, your site came up. Thanks for a very well written post and everything explained so well and in an easy way to understand. From your review, Katadyn Vario water filter is what l need and should purchase.Was wondering if you can suggest a cheaper one,$82.40 is quite expensive given i will only need it for about… Read more »


I do believe that everyone should own more camping supplies because you never know what could happen and you might need to take off on foot someday. I am currently in the market for more camping materials and I think this would definitely be nice to add to my collection. I am very impressed with your site.The Katadyn Vario looks awesome! I loved the Youtube video at the end with the really murky water. I can’t believe something so small could make the dirty water so clean. Cheers!

Martin Kelly
Martin Kelly

These days a bugout bag is a good idea for everyone not just doosday people,you never know when you are going to need water and you can’t go around with a big filter and you need water before food. This seems like a good way to decide on a portable system.Especially a short term solution.I like they way you listed the features and prices and types of filters all very important. Thanks for sharing this important info.


This filtration unit seems very portable, easy to use and reasonably priced. The 1/2 gallon per hour processing capacity is faster than I would have expected. Are the ceramic and pleated filters replaced and if so, what is their life expectancy? Also, what kind of battery and what is the expected use time out of a charge. Thanks.


Hi, I have a very high opinion about this Katadyn tool because of its two filters which may act together. But I am highly skeptical about its effectiveness regarding pesticides and chemicals. I do not think any filter will remove those. Ceramic filter is good simply because of its 0.2 microns pores, so most of dangerous creatures will be removed, though not all, viruses will still be there of course.