The Katadyn BeFree filter system is a relatively new, award winning filter from Katadyn. The BeFree 3.0 liter filter uses a hollow fiber type filter to remove all the little nasties in your drinking water. When I was a kid, we drank straight from the creeks in the woods. Looking back on it, that wasn’t really smart and I won’t do that now. One of the last things anyone wants is to get sick on a multi-day outing. Unless you see water flowing straight from a spring, you are playing with fire by drinking unfiltered water.
The Katadyn BeFree 3.0 liter filter system is advertised as being a gravity filter. Instead of squeezing the bag to force water through the filter, you can just hang it up with the nozzle facing down and gravity will do the work for you. I like this style of filter very much. Squeezing or pumping water isn’t difficult but it is so nice to just hang up a bag of water and do other camp chores while nature takes its course. Just watch the progress so your bottle doesn’t overflow and waste water.
A standout feature of the BeFree filter is its high flow rate. Katadyn says the filter will process up to two liters per minute. Filtering the entire 3 liter bag took only 2 minutes and 21 seconds for me while I was using moderate to low effort. With a little more muscle, the advertised rate is no problem. Gravity will drain the 3 liter bag relatively quickly also. I hung the bag by its handle and let water flow for about 6 ½ minutes before the flow rate really dropped off and I just squeezed out the last bit of water.
Drinking straight from the filter is no problem at all. While you can’t really chug a lug your water, it flows plenty fast to easily drink right from the nozzle. A water bottle type cap is screwed onto the output side of the filter and a clear plastic cap covers the drink nozzle to keep it clean. You can replace the whole thing with a Smartwater bottle cap if it somehow breaks. With a simple modification the Katadyn BeFree 3.0 liter filter can be an excellent gravity filter. Just remove the cap and attach a fitting that accepts ¼ inch silicone tubing. Add shut a shut off valve and you are all set.
Katadyn uses a HydraPak 3.0 liter resovoir for the filter. The bag has an integrated bail handle at the opening and a carry loop on the other end. A 43 millimeter wide mouth opening makes getting water inside easy with the use of the handles. The filter is BPA-free and there’s just a bit of taste in the water after filtering. It is rated to filter 1,000 liters in its lifetime, depending on the quality of the water to be filtered. Organisms down to 0.1 microns are filtered and it removes 99.99% of the protozoa and 99.9999% of the bacteria.
The Katadyn BeFree 3.0 liter filter system weighs only 3.6 ounces on my scales and it packs down to the size of an orange. The filter is easy to clean because you just have to swish the filter part around in the water to clean it. Check out this video from Katadyn for more about the filter.
Getting one won’t break the bank, as the BeFree 3.0 liter filter sells for $59.95 on the Katadyn website. For me, this filter checks all the boxes. It fits the bill for a gravity filter, it’s light and small, it filters out all of the undesirables and it’s pretty inexpensive. So what’s not to like? Check out the Katadyn website HERE.
Thanks to Katadyn for sending out the BeFree filter for testing and review. We’re on a budget around here just like you and it’s a real privilege to pass along product information.