Nothing is more important to human existence than safe drinking water. Many remote places, where outdoor lovers venture, offer only lake or river water. Many parts of the world do not have safe water supplies. Visitors to these areas may not have the same immunity that residents have developed and may suffer tremendously without a way to purify their drinking water. Having the best water purification tablets is one way to be sure you can make potable drinking water virtually anywhere.
1. What Are Water Purification Tablets?
Water purification tablets are packaged products that enable people to purify specific quantities of water in a short amount of time. The best water purification tablets are packaged securely in single application doses to keep them dry until needed. They are easy to use by mixing with water and waiting the prescribed time before drinking: from 30 minutes to four hours depending on the product.
2. What Are the Types of Water Purification Tablets?
There are several different chemical formulations for purification tablets, including chlorine based, chlorine dioxide based, iodine crystals tablets and iodine tablets. Only the chlorine dioxide based tablets have the ability to handle cryptosporidium. The other types work well for other contaminants.
3. How Do These Tablets Work?
These tablets mix with water and make water safe from bacteria, viruses, protozoa and other organisms. Many work in 30 minutes. Those made with chloride dioxide will even take care of cryptosporidium, but it will take four hours before the water is safe from this organism. Tablets can be usedin conjunction with water filtering systems, many of which are also portable solutions. Some filters will screen out cryptosporidium cysts, complimenting the work of iodine or chorine based tablets.
4. Can You Keep Water Purification Tablets on Hand?
The best water purification tablets have long shelf lives; as much as five years for the packaged product. The user should follow package directions for how soon they should be used once they are opened and exposed to air. The tablets are easy to pack in tackle boxes, backpacks and suitcases. The package specifications will give guidelines for how long water can be stored. For some products, the shelf life of the purified water is as long as five years.
5.How Does Water Treated With Purification Tablets Taste?
The best purification tablets are designed to produce safe, drinkable water. With safety as the first consideration, taste is still an important factor. Humans need about a half gallon of water a day and even more in hot, dry conditions. Drinking the right amount of water is much easier if it tastes good.
The chlorine-based tablets generally get positive reviews on their good taste or the absence of foul tastes or odors. The iodine-based tablets need help to overcome taste, odor and some discoloration issues. Some products have two stages: one to purify the water and the second to take care of taste and odor.
How We Reviewed Products to Find the Best Water Purification Tablets
We looked for products used by a variety of people in parts of the world where water supplies are uncertain. This included people working in emergency areas where water systems have been compromised by hurricanes or tornades, military personnel out in the field, and hunters, campers and backpackers in remote places where lakes and rivers are their source of water. We looked for the best water purification tablets that solved water quality issues for these people.
Overall Price Range of the Best Water Purification Tablets
Our selection of the best water purification tablets ranges in price from around $.04 to around $.70 to purify a quart or liter of water. Some of the products are intended for purifying quantities for personal use in situations like backpacking. Others can be used to purify larger volumes of water at one time, which works well for small campsites or groups traveling together in remote locations. Our $, $$, and $$$ ratings will reflect where each product is pricedin comparison to others in this review based on approximate price per quart or liter.
Products We Reviewed
- Katadyn Micropur MP1 Water Purification Tablets
- Aquatabs AQT100 Water Purification Tablets
- Potable Aqua Chlorine Dioxide Water Purification Tablets
- Potable Aqua Water Purification Treatment
- Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets With PA Plus Neutralizing Tablets
- Aquamira – Chlorine Dioxide Water Treatment Two Part Liquid
- MSR Aquatabs Water Purification
- Chlor-Floc US Military Water Purification Powder Packets
- Ef chlor Portable Water Purification Tablets
Katadyn Micropur MP1 Water Purification Tablets
- Effective against microorganisms
- Each tablet treats 1 liter
- Lightweight and portable
Katadyn Micropur MP1 Water Purification tablets are a highly-rated purification product for use against the four contaminating microorganisms that require treatment to make water drinkable. These chlorine dioxide-based tablets effectively kill viruses and bacteria within about 15 minutes, giardia in about 30 minutes, and are effective against cryptosporidium in four hours.
Each tablet will treat one liter of water. The tablets are individually wrapped and have a shelf life of five years. The Micropur MP1 tablets do not leave an aftertaste like some other products. Katadyn is well-known for its quality line of outdoor products including water filters, which are recommended for use with chemical treatments in some water conditions.
Where to Buy
- 100% non-toxic. Free of chemical disinfectants like chlorine, chlorine…
Purinize is a liquid water purifier made from mineral salts in purified water. It works by coagulating a range of over 200 contaminants and impurities in water, including bacteria, viruses, protozoa, pharmaceuticals, heavy metals and more. These are then eliminated from the water by filtering the water through a standard coffee filter or a fine cloth.
It comes in an eight-ounce container, but the two-ounce bottle is suitable for airplane travel and will purify up to 15 gallons of water. Because it contains no chemicals, is 100% non-toxic and is gluten-free, this product is safe even for long term use. Its final composition is 97.5% purified water and 2.5% natural minerals including calcium, chromium, copper, iron, magnesium, manganese, potassium, selenium and zinc.
Where to Buy
Aquatabs AQT100 Water Purification Tablets
Aquatabs AQT100 Water Purification Tables have been used for more than 20 years in all kinds of emergency situations. Major aid agencies and military organizations use this product to treat drinking water by killing microorganisms including cholera, typhoid, dysentery and other water borne illnesses.
Aquatabs are effervescent tablets which each can treat a volume of two quarts of water. The product can be used to disinfect raw or pre-treated water collected from rain, rivers, lakes, wells, cisterns and other similar sources. The tablets are effective in 30 minutes after mixing and do not have a negative taste.
Where to Buy
Potable Aqua Chlorine Dioxide Water Purification Tablets
- One pack of 30 Potable Aqua Chlorine Dioxide Water Purification…
- Effective against bacteria, viruses and cysts, such as Giardia lamblia…
- Emergency water purification for camping, hiking, traveling and…
Potable Aqua Chlorine Dioxide Water Purification Tablets are effective against bacteria, giardia, Lamblia, viruses and cryptosporidium. Each table will treat one liter or quart or water. Tablets are individually wrapped and come in packages of 20 or 30 tablets. They have minimal aftertaste. To be effective against cryptosporidium, the pills must sit in the water for four hours.
Where to Buy
Potable Aqua Water Purification Treatment
- One bottle of 50 Potable Aqua Germicidal Water Purification Tablets
- Makes questionable water bacteriologically suitable to drink within 35…
- Emergency water purification tablets effective against Giardia lamblia…
The Potable Aqua Water Purification Treatment is used by military and emergency organizations throughout the world to turn questionable water into water bacteriologically suitable to drink. It is also a good product for hikers and backpackers. It is easy to use and water will be ready to drink in 30 minutes from the time of mixing.
Where to Buy
Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets With PA Plus Neutralizing Tablets
- One Bottle of 50 Potable Aqua Germicidal Water Purification Tablets…
- Makes contaminated water bacteriologically suitable to drink within 35…
- Effective against bacteria and Giardia lamblia
This is a two-stage product. Potable Aqua Drinking Water Germicidal Tablets disinfect drinking water followed by use of Potable Aqua Plus Neutralizing Tablets to neutralize the iodine taste, odor and color. Two of each tablet are required to treat one quart or liter of water.
These purification tablets are effective against bacteria, viruses and cysts such as giardia and Lamblia in 30 minutes. The Neutralizing Tablets are used after this treatment to improve the taste, odor and appearance of the water and water is drinkable after three minutes of this step. This product is not effective against cryptosporidium and is intended for use in emergency situations and not for continued use.
Where to Buy
Aquamira – Chlorine Dioxide Water Treatment Two Part Liquid
- NOTICE – Before ordering, please make sure you are purchasing from the…
- Kills odor causing bacteria and enhances the taste of stored potable…
- Treatment has a 4 year shelf life from manufacturing date
Aquamira Chlorine Dioxide Water Treatment Two Part Liquid handles all the microorganisms, including cryptosporidium. This two part product comes in two volumes: one that can handle up to 30 gallons of water and one that can treat up to 60 gallons of water. There is almost no difference in price between the two.
This product can be used in drops to treat small volumes of water, but it is especially aimed at treating larger volumes. It is a good preservative for storage of water for emergencies. Once water is treated with this product it has a shelf life of five years. The two-step process kills contaminants and then neutralizes the taste and odor. Aquamira controls the built-up of slime in storage containers.
Where to Buy
MSR Aquatabs Water Purification
- Water purification tablets that quickly and reliably purify drinking…
- Provides safe drinking water in just 30 minutes, effective against…
- Ideal for ultralight backcountry travel, international travel, and…
MSR Aquatabs Waterer Purification tablets are a 30-minute treatment for water. This product is effective against viruses, bacteria and giardia cysts but not cryptosporidium. A box contains 30 individually wrapped tables. Each tablet treats two quarts or two liters.
Where to Buy
Chlor-Floc US Military Water Purification Powder Packets
- Currently used by the US Military
- 30 tablets per box
- Eliminates giardia, bacteria and viruses
Chlor-Floc US Military Water Purification Powder Packets are used by the US military to eliminate giardia, bacteria and viruses from drinking water. Use one or two tablets, depending on water temperature, to purify one liter or quart of unsanitary water.
Where to Buy
Ef chlor Portable Water Purification Tablets
- Who knows where the next natural disaster is going to hit? Be Prepared…
- Pack of 10 Tablets, Purifies a Total of 50 Gallons!
- Applications: Drinking Water Purification, Hospital Disinfection, Baby…
Ef chlor Portable Water Purification Tablets come in packs of ten tablets. Each tablet will purify five gallons of water, making this product suitable for small groups in situations where safe drinking water is not available. This product will make water suitable for drinking 30 minutes after the tablet is mixed thoroughly with the water. This is intended to be a broad spectrum, fast acting sanitizer and sterilizer. It is effective against bacteria, viruses, fungi and protozoa.
Where to Buy
Most of the best water purification tablets are designed to be easily carried and ready for use when needed by a single person purifying water for himself or herself. Some are designed to treat more water at one time, either for immediate use by a small group or for storage to have an emergency supply ready. The price range per quart or liter of water ranges from just pennies to a price close to that of a soft drink.
All Are Reasonably Priced
Given the important function these tablets serve, the price should hardly ever be a consideration in making a purchase decision. The products cheaper by the quart are the ones that treat a larger volume of water at a time. The most expensive are the chlorine dioxide based products that can handle cryptosporidium as well as the entire range of bacteria, viruses and other organisms that the other types of tablets also take care of.
Filters Work, Too
There are a variety of water filtering products designed for the same kinds of situations where tablets would be used. A good filter can strain out cryptosporidium cysts from water. When this combination of treatments is used, the less expensive chlorine and iodine based purifying products should do the job.
Best for More, Best for One
Our selection of the best water purification tablets is a list of excellent products that meet high standards of quality and performance. This list is a good resource for people whose lives take them to places where water quality may be an issue. These products are very portable, have long shelf life and relatively low prices.
Out of this impressive group, we name two best water purification tablets: Aquamira for producing larger volumes of potable water that can be safely stored for long periods of time, and Katadyn Micropur MP1 Water Purification Tablets for producing small volumes of good tasting water free from contaminants.
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