• Weight 59 grams
  • Speed of filtration Approximately 2litres/minute
  •  
  • Cost $69.95

Katadyn BeFree 0.6 Litre

Rating

Rating:                 8.8 / 10

Value for Money   1.7 / 2.0

Ease of use           2.0 / 2.0

Weight                  1.7 / 2.0

Speed                  1.8 / 2.0

Durability          1.6 / 2.0

Katadyn BeFree 0.6litre Review

Carrying water on the trail is only half the equation. In many places we hike, at least in western countries, we take for granted we will have access to good quality supplies of clean water right? While the answer is usually yes this is not a guarantee and what we see is not necessarily all that we get.

I travelled through India a few years ago and managed to pick up a severe case of Giardia that took me six weeks on a fairly strong course of antibiotics to get rid of; an experience that I never, never, ever, want to repeat. Don’t be fooled here, Giardia, and other water born pathogens exists in Australia and there have even been outbreaks in town water sources in the past. As a result of this I am extremely cautious when collecting water on the trail and no matter how clear the water may appear, I will always use some form of water treatment just to be on the safe side.

The Katadyn BeFree performs two tasks. It’s a soft flexible water bottle (600 ml) as well as being a filter that will remove all impurities aside from viruses. Due to its size the Katadyn BeFree 0.6 Litre is ideal for day hikes when you are guaranteed of finding water along the trail and the weather is reasonably mild. In 2017 I hiked the Canberra Centenary Trail (145 km) over three days in temperatures around 35°+ celsius and was drinking on average about 7 litres of water a day. For this hike, and for that matter all other hikes I prefer to use a hydration bladder and was taking small sips of water about very ten minutes. I personally find that I don’t drink as much with any type of water bottle as it becomes a chore to get the bottle out to have a drink and in excessive heat this can be a problem even when there is plenty of water around. This may not be an issue for you if you are conscientious with drinking water. For milder days when the water consumption is not as high, the Katadyn BeFree is a good option limiting the water weight that you will carry.

The other quirk with this unit is that it is a soft water bottle and can be a bit ‘floppy’ particularly  when half full so you need to think about where your are going to store it. It its empty I will just roll it up an d it sits in the large stretch pocket on the back of my pack. If it has water in it then it lives in one of the side storage pockets along with other random assorted items that live there. If you are using this as your main water supply then you are less likely to get it out and drink. 

Something to be mindful of with this product is if you are doing hikes that require you to carry two days of water, you are going to have to carry a storage bladder and top up the BeFree as you need to which means that your are using the Katadyn BeFree as a water filter which is how I use mine. Given that empty it weights under 60 grams this is not a big impost and when rolled up in your pack it takes up almost no space.

Originally I had concerns about durability given how lightweight this product is but I’ve now been using my Katadyn BeFree for about around 18 months and it’s going well, lasting beyond what I expected its lightweight construction to survive. Just remember to keep it away from sharp pointy objects. Whether it lasts the 1650 refills will be interesting to see, particularly if you are rough with your gear. 

I am now using the Katadyn BeFree as my main filter on solo hikes and find that it is a relatively quick process to top up my 3 litre water bladder. This unit now forms part of my main hiking kit as will continue to do so until I find a better option.

Katadyn BeFree filled with water

Katadyn BeFree 0.6 Litre with cap unclipped

Katadyn BeFree 0.6 Litre with filter/cap unit unscrewed. This filtration unit is good for 1000 litres which for this unit means approximately 1650 refills. The filter unit/cap can be replaced at a cost of just under $30 AUD

Katadyn BeFree 0.6 Litre rolled up to save space and only 59 grams in weight

This combined water bottle and filtration unit is about as quick as it gets. If the water is dirty the speed of the water availability will be slower. Pre filter dirty water using a commercial available filter or a cloth buff

Katadyn BeFree filled with dirty dam water. I had no other option on this particular hike

Clean water coming out of the bladder. There was no way I would have drunk the dam water without filtration and I was amazed at the results have clear, clean and good tasting water.

We Like

  • This water container/treatment option is very lightweight and great for when there is abundant water along the length of the trail
  • This is one of the easiest water treatment products around. Just fill the container, screw the cap on a drink, or top up your bladder
  • Filters out the solids in the water – pre filter if possible (use a buff) to get a quick filter
  • Relatively inexpensive when used long term. One litre only costs around two cents to treat
  • Instant drinking quality water. No waiting

We Don't Like

  • Not really effective if you don’t have regular water sources on the trail. You do have the option of carting dirty water and refilling the Katadyn BeFree as you go
  • Doesn’t filter out viruses. You can always put a Katadyn purification table in the water if viruses are a concern
  • Care is needed when handling the ‘soft bottle’ to minimise the change of damage but mine has now lasted 18 months.
  • A personal bug bear levelled at all water bottles. I don’t drink as much when using this or any other water bottle as my main supply.

Buy One

You can purchase the Katadyn BeFree 0.6 Litre collapsible bottle online from Wild Earth or Amazon

Please note that our affiliations do not influence, in any way, the independence of our gear reviews

If you have used the Katadyn BeFree 0.6 Litre or if you have questions, we’d like to hear from you. Post your comment or question below

Best Uses

This is a great option for solo hikers when there is regular water on the trail, ideally in mild weather. I use a similar system to this as a means to filter water into my three litre bladder

Investment

$69.95 AUD

Other Versions

  • Katadyn also produces a 1litre bottle which doesn’t appear to be available in Australia as yet
  • A three litre version is due next year

Disclaimer

This review was done with product purchased from a retail store by the reviewer

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