There is little of more importance to anyone out on a distance hike than the availability of fresh, clean water at all times. It's tempting at times to simply fill up your bottle with that cold, clear mountain water but for health reasons, I believe filtering is a must. After doing considerable research, my filter system of choice is the Katadyn Hiker.
Specifications: Capacity (gallons) - 200
Capacity (liters) - 750
Output - 1 quart/ 1 liter per minute
Weight - 11 ounces/ 310 grams
Other - Anticlog Technology with 0.3 micron glassfiber (no cleaning);
Activated carbon granulate
There are a few simple things you can do to ensure proper operation of your Hiker filter. Priming is required before the first use and I have found that after sitting idle for any length of time, it it a good idea to go ahead and prime the system again before setting out on your trek. This is a simple procedure but when done ahead of time, it can eliminate water collection frustration (yes...this is real...especially at the end of a long hiking day when collecting water really is at the bottom of your list of things you feel like doing). I also suggest placing the small pre-filter on the end of the collection hose, coupled with the weight to keep the filter basket from floating to the surface. Again, the first time I used my filter, I didn't do this and promptly proceeded to clog it up with sand and other tiny particles from the water source bed (I boiled the water before use). Other than that, operation is simple and fairly quick. I make sure to take my filter apart and rinse all the parts upon my return from any hike. I also suggest carrying a spare carbon filter which can be purchased separately. The tiny amount of weight it adds is worth not having to worry.
Overall, I have been completely satisfied with my Katadyn Hiker and suggest it to anyone who enters our store in search of gear. It's also a good thing to have on hand "just in case" something happens to our water supply. Living in Florida, being prepared for hurricane season is something that shouldn't be taken lightly. We also carry our filters with us even on day hikes because one never knows what might happen...we actually had to filter some water a couple months ago while on a 10 mile hike in Torreya State Park. I firmly believe that purchasing this piece of equipment is money well-spent!
Happy Hiking All!!!