One of the most important parts of any backpacker, hiker, or trail runner’s kit is their water filter. And today we’ll be reviewing the Katadyn Befree Water Filter. Designed to work with a collapsible bottle that can be squeezed for quick use. The Befree has become a favorite with hikers and trailer runners because of its quick and easy to use design. And something I was looking forward to testing before my next major ultra.
I’ve used traditional gravity feed filter systems for years and recently have had a lot of success with the Sawyer Squeeze style. But the separate dirty bag design makes for an extra step that the Katadyn BeFree promises to cut out. But how would it perform for our group on the trail? Let’s find out.
Price: $25-$65 (Based on Size)
0.6 Liter Filter
1 Liter Filter
3 Liter Filter
Size Options: 0.6 Liter / 1 Liter / 3 Liter / Filter Cap
Weight: 0.6 Liter – 58 Grams / 1 Liter – 63 Grams / 3 Liter – 100 Grams
Filter Style: 0.1 Micron Hollow Fiber Filter
Filters: Protozoa And Bacteria
Reverse Flow Cleanable: Yes
Output: 2 Liters Per Minute
Katadyn Befree Water Filter Review
The Good: Quick flow rate, quick to fill, easy to use, 0.6 liter fits in running vest pockets, and filter cap can be replaced or used on other collapsible water flasks.
The Bad: Filter has a tendency to calcify quickly. Double check it before going out on the trail.
For our test I ordered two 0.6 liter Katadyn BeFree water filters from Amazon. I went with the 0.6 liter because I was looking for a size that could work with my running vest front bottle pockets. And this size fits perfectly. Although I started with two full water bottles and the filter in my pack for when I needed it. The soft flask design allowed the filter to roll up tight, taking up no space while giving me a filter and backup bottle if I needed it.
Out on the trail is where the Katadyn BeFree really shined. It’s lightning fast to fill and start drinking out of. And the flow rate allowed us to use one to fill up our whole team of 3’s water bottles quickly. While providing me with a backup bottle for sections where I might need an extra 0.6 liters. Or if one of my bottles breaks or gets lost. Believe me , it’s happened.
Last for me to test was the cleaning ability of the filter and its ability to hold up over time. Now this is something I couldn’t do on a single run. But fortunately for me, one of my friends has one he’s been using for the last 6 months. And based on his opinion, overall the filter has held up great. The one issue he has had is with calcification on the filter. If you don’t make sure to flush it out after each use it has a tendency to clog very easily. This can be disastrous on the trail when trying to get water off a soft trickle. So just make sure to clean and test the filter before each use.
What water bottles are compatible with a katadyn befree filter?
The Katadyn BeFree filter cap is compatible with any soft water bottle or soft flask with a 42mm screw on top. This includes the incredibly popular Salomon Soft Flask.
Can I filter lake water Katadyn BeFree?
Typically, filtering lake water should only be done as a last resort. You should always try to filter water from a moving source. So if you can find some sort of water coming into the lake, that is probably a better choice. But in emergencies you can use the Katadyn BeFree to drink lake water, and protect against microorganisms.
Video – Using the Katadyn Befree Water Filter
Here is a video of us using the filter while out on an ultra trail run in north Georgia. The video should start at 4:48 and shows us filling the filter and using it to fill other bottles.