Are you someone that spends a lot of time in the Great
Yes, then you probably have a need for some water
purification tablets. Sure, the river might look crystal clear, but pathogens
that could make you sick might be floating in the river.
This buying guide will explain
what a water purification tablet is, how it can keep you safe, and how to
choose the right one. First, we’ll take a step back and examine the top 5 water
purification tablets on the market for you.
You will find everything that you
need to know about these tablets in this article.
These chlorine dioxide tablets make a great choice for any
outdoor adventurer. Chlorine dioxide is probably the best form of water
purification on the market for a variety of reasons explained below. Just know
that it is the only tablet type that kills off cryptosporidium, which is the
most frequent cause of an upset stomach. It also leaves no residual taste like
the other chemicals.
You get 50 tablets with this package and each tablet can
filter 1 liter of water. That gives you plenty of tablets for a long outdoor
excursion or a long emergency situation.
2. Aquatab TAC-H2O
This NaDCC (chlorine) tablet works great for any kind of
outdoor activity or emergency situation. Just like the Aquamira, each tablet
will purify 1L of water. However, the Aquatab works much faster than Aquamira.
It only takes this tablet 30 minutes to remove any pathogens and bacteria from
3. Potable Aqua Chlorine Dioxide Water Purification Tablets
Another chlorine dioxide tablet. Very similar to the
Aquamira tablet in the amount it can filter per tablet and the purification
These tablets, in particular, are more suited for a hydration pack than anything else.
4. Best Value: Aquatabs AQT100
Another chlorine tablet. These ones come in a 100 pack at a very good price (check price here, it changes a lot). This one is an “add-on” product from Amazon, which means that you can only purchase it with a purchase of $25. This is why the price is so low.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What pathogens do purification tablets kill?
This is probably the most frequently asked question
regarding these tablets. The answer really depends on the type of tablet that
However, the tablets will target 4 different types of
Bacteria (e. coli, salmonella, etc.)
Viruses (norovirus, entereovirus, hepatitis A,
Iodine and chlorine dioxide are both ranked equally well by
the Center for Disease Control (CDC) to effectively kill viruses and bacteria.
They do have some differences for protozoans (cryptosporidium, Giarlia
lamblia). Iodine is not effective against protozoans. Chlorine dioxide is
Chlorine is about the same effectiveness as iodine for
killing the organisms found in water.
Are chlorine and chlorine dioxide the same thing?
They are completely different compounds that have different
effectiveness against the different types of organisms. Chlorine dioxide uses
activated oxygen to kill organisms. This has the added benefit of bonding to
the sediment and forcing it to the bottom of the container. That isn’t removing
the sediment, but it does make it less likely that you will swallow sediment
while drinking the water.
I heard that chlorine dioxide tablets are out of stock, is that true?
It’s half true. You are probably thinking about the recent
increase in demand of chlorine dioxide tablets from a few federal government
agencies (FEMA, the military, etc.). This caused the manufacturers to shift all
of their focus onto producing tablets to fulfill their government contact.
For about a year there were no chlorine dioxide tablets
available on the consumer market. You should purchase as many of those tablets
as possible when available because the government can gobble up all the supply
for a long period of time.
What Is A Water Purification Tablet?
First of all, great question.
A water purification tablet is just a portable water
filtration system in the form of a tablet. You simply drop the tablet in dirty
water and it makes it clean. Obviously, these tablets are very light. This
makes them great for backpacking or any other type of outdoor activity where
weight is a major concern.
People also use them during natural disasters especially
Do note, these tablets will only kill pathogens and bacteria
found in the water. They do not remove dirt or chemicals. However, killing
pathogens and bacteria makes them effective for all but the most extreme
How Does A Water Purification Tablet Work?
First of all, a lot of tablets are available on the market
and they all work in slightly different ways. However, the basic premise of the
tablets is all the same.
The tablets all contain a chemical, which is usually iodine,
chlorine dioxide, or chlorine. This chemical will kill the bacteria or
pathogens found in the water.
How to use a water purification tablet?
Using one of these tablets is extremely simple. You simply
place it in an enclosed container of water and let it dissolve. The time it
takes for the tablet to dissolve will vary based on the tablet. Simply
reference the instructions on the package for how long you should leave the
tablet in the water.
Here are some general directions for the different types of
Chlorine Tablets Use:
Chlorine tablets (NaDCC) are fairly easy and fast to use. Simply
drop them in the water and they will dissolve in under one minute.
Unopened Shelf Life: 3-5 years
Opened Shelf Life: 3 months
Taste: You can taste chlorine. Some advertise themselves as
taste free though, which is debatable.
Wait Time: 30 – 60 minutes. It takes closer to an hour if
the water is cold.
Iodine Tablets Use:
Iodine tablets are another easy and fast form of water
purification. They kill the least amount of organisms, but they still have
Unopened Shelf Life: 4 years
Opened shelf life: 1 year maximum.
Taste: These tablets taste the worst. You can easily taste
the iodine in the water.
Wait Time: 30 – 60 minutes.
Chlorine Dioxide Use:
Chlorine dioxide tablets are the best type of purification tablets
available on the market. They are the only type rated to kill protozoans. Using
these tablets is a little bit different than the other types though.
Unopened shelf life: 3-5 years.
Opened shelf life: 3 months
Taste: No taste in the water. It also will cause sediment to
drop to the bottom of the container.
Wait Time: 30 minutes to kill bacteria in water over 60
degrees Fahrenheit. It takes 4 hours to kill all the bacteria, viruses, and
protozoa in especially dirty water.
Do the tablets taste bad?
This depends on your sense of taste. Really though, most of
these tablets will make the water taste bad.
Chlorine dioxide tablets taste the best. In fact, these
tablets will leave no taste at all. This makes them the ideal choice for anyone
that does not like the negative taste left in the mouth by the other two
Iodine tablets especially can make the water taste a little
bit weird. This is such a common problem that companies sell iodine reduction
tablets that take out some of the bad taste from the iodine. These tablets can
be found on Amazon.
Chlorine will generally taste better. However, it can still
leave a bad taste in the mouth. Removing the chlorine taste is much easier
though. Simply leave the container open for a few minutes and some of the chlorine
should evaporate out of the container.