When it comes to survival, the natural resource second to just oxygen is water. No matter where you might be in the world, you need to be able to drink water to survive. Unfortunately, not everywhere in the world has safe to drink water readily available for our consumption. For these kinds of survival situations when you have to find water in the wild, we’ve taken a look at the best water purification tablets on the market right now so you can head out armed with the best of the bunch. How does the famous saying go? Fail to prepare, prepare to fail! Replenishing your body with fresh, safe to drink water is certainly not something you’ll want to fail at.
Unclean water can bring along a number of illnesses. In fact, waterborne illness can actually claim hundreds of lives in places that aren’t lucky enough to have proper water treatment facilities. This is particularly common during emergency situations since water gets contaminated very easily. For the times when you’re out camping or in a survival situation, it isn’t always feasible to carry along hundreds of litres of water or a filter. As at one with nature it may seem to sip H2O from springs and streams, it can actually make you sick. To ensure you remain safe in these kinds of situations, you should carry water purification tablets. We’ve taken a look at the best accessible, easy to use and affordable water purification tablets so you will never fall victim of a potentially life-threatening situation. Whether you’re an outdoor explorer, a survivalist or even in the forces, you really should be carrying a supply of water purification tablets with you at all times.
The Best Water Purification Tablet
Used in all four corners of the globe by the forces, campers, hikers and emergency organizations alike, this tablets from Potable Aqua will disinfect contaminated water in a pinch. Intended for short-term or limited emergency use, these handy tablets will purify drinking water in just 35 minutes. Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets are able to make most water bacteriologically suitable for drinking, protecting you against Giardia lamblia when used as directed, similar to portable water filters. Each tablet contains 20mg of Tetraglycine Hydropridide, which will transform your water into a suitable drink.
Easy to use formula
Reliable backup and compliment to filters
Help protect against recontamination of water containers
Suitable for international travel
- BrandPotable Aqua
- Weight1.44 ounces
Ready in 35 minutes
Not suitable for on-going use
Effective against all microorganisms, this purification tablets from Katadyn Micropur will treat 1 litre of fresh tasting water per every tablet. Rid your water on any unpleasant taste and harmful substances with these handy little tablets. With simple to follow instructions, you can treat water in 4 hours with no trouble at all. Although it might not be the quickest purification time, these are still a good choice. These tablets are effective against both Cryptosporidium and viruses so you not only get good tasting water, but you can enjoy the peace of mind of knowing you are protected. To always have clean water in the wild, be sure to check out our selection of the best filtered water bottles and pick your favorite.
Effectively treats all microorganisms
Provides fresh tasting water, eradicating unpleasant tastes
Meets EPA microbiological water purifying testing standards
1 tablet treats 1 litre of water
Safe for travel
Easy to use
Takes four hours to work
As one of the most reputable brands in the market right now, it’s no surprise that Potable Aqua has made it onto our list for a second time. This time, it’s there Chlorine Dioxide tablets. Offering minimal aftertaste and protection against bacteria, viruses and cysts these are a solid choice to keep you safe in the great outdoors. The downside to these is that they don’t act as fast as our top choice. With a four hour treatment time required to purify 1 quart of water, you’ll have to plan accordingly with these. When water is scarce, you can rest assured that purification tablets from Potable Aqua will be a valued asset to your emergency survival kit. It also makes a useful survival gift for outdoor enthusiasts.
Simple to use
Proven to work against bacteria’s and viruses
1 tablet treats 1 quart
- BrandPotable Aqua
- Weight0.8 ounces
Affordable EPA approved
4-hour treatment time needed
Once again, the most trusted name in purification products has cropped up on our list. Used globally by militaries and relief support organizations, you know you’re getting the best of the bunch with an option from this brand. The PA plus neutralising tablets are intended for use once the water has been treated. The purpose of these secondary tablets is to neutralize and residual iodine that remains in the water after treatment and rid the water of any taste or odour in just 3 minutes. It’s worth noting that this product is best used in conjunction with an emergency water filter. Although it’s effective against a number of bacteria and viruses, it will not protect you against cryptosporidium cysts as many other options will do. As will all Potable Aqua products, these tablets are created for short-term usually only. If you need to purify water in your home, check out our selection of the best water filter pitchers.
Effective in just 3 minutes
To be used secondary to purification tablets to neutralize water
Removes poor taste and odours
- BrandPotable Aqua
- Weight1.45 pounds
Trusted by users globally
Additional peace of mind
Ineffective against cryptosporidium cysts
Safety heat sealed within a 4-layer micron thick mylar reusable and waterproof pouch, aquatabs claim to be the world’s number one water purification tablets. Effective in killing microorganisms in the water that will prevent cholera, typhoid, and other water-borne diseases, Expedition Research LLC Aquatab tablets are a tried and tested method you can trust. In the year 2008, 15 billions litres of water were treated by these handy aquatabs, with the likes of the British army, NATO and special forces putting their trust in them. Providing users with safe to drink water in their water bottles in just 30 minutes, these are most definitely second in command to our top choice from Potable Aqua. Unlike the options from Potable Aqua, these are good for long term drinking water treatment.
Use one 49mg tablet to treat up to 5 litres of water
Reusable, waterproof sunlight proof storage
Provides ready to drink water in just 30 minutes
- BrandExpedition Research LLC
- Weight0.32 ounces
Good for long-term water treatment
Trusted by armed forces all over the world
Cannot be exposed to direct sunlight for extended periods of time
For more than 100 years, chlorination of drinking water has been one of the most effective methods of improving the health of the public in the developing world. As a result of research and development over 20 years ago, aquatabs were born. A simple, easy to use solution to ensure safe drinking water for users all over the world. Intended to be utilised in both emergency situations and for households that don’t have access to safe drinking water, Mightie Company Water Purification Tablets are good for ongoing use. With over 1 billion uses in the past year alone, 30-minute purification time, 5-year shelf life and the only option on the market with NSF 60 certification and approval from the World Health Organization, these are a trusted choice for sure. For more great options for countless outdoor enthusiasts, check out our guide to the best hydration packs.
Cleanses water in just 30 minutes
5-year shelf life
Individually wrapped tablets
Effective against cholera, typhoid and other water borne diseases
- Weight0.6 ounces
Suitable for on-going use
Over 1 billion uses in the past year alone
NSF 60 certified
Approved by the World Health Organization
Some reviewers claim expiry dates are shorter than 5 years
MSR’s aquatab water purification solution offer users fast effective protection against bacteria, viruses, protozoa and Giardia cysts creating safe drinking water in as little as 30 minutes. If you’re already using a microfilter, these will make a great addition to purification power when you need it most. With one tablet treating up to two litres of water, these are ideal for international travel or as an emergency backup if you’re out in the field. If you’re looking for great tasting water consistently, these are a solid choice. However, there are options with significantly better reviews available so be sure to shop around before hitting checkout.
1 tablet treats up to 2 litres
US EPA approved
Fast 30-minute treatment time
- Weight0.3 ounces
A great addition to any microfilter
Pricier than similar options
Water Purification Tablet Buying Guide & FAQ
If you’re looking for a tablet based on brand alone, it’s likely you’ll steer towards our top choice or one of the options from Potable Aqua. With that said, the aquatabs from Expedition Research comes in a close second for us. In short, you’ll likely get the number of tablets you need for under $20. Just be sure to have a read over our guide of key features and our handy Q&A before you make your selection to ensure you’re getting the best water purification solution for your needs.
How We Chose Our Selection Of The Best Water Purification Tablets
Considering the purpose of our buying guides is to ultimately save you money and give you access to the best products on the market right now, there are three considerations we looked at. Price, brand and reviews. The price point of the tablets are important, we want to bring you value for money without compromising on quantity, particularly when it comes to your health. In order to find trusted tablets, it was important we also looked at the brands that made it onto our list. Last but definitely not least, we took a look at thousands of reviews so that we give the best overview of the products that made it onto our shortlist. It’s extremely important that we considered tried and tested reviews from real-world situations when it came to a product like this. Without sounding too dramatic, it could be the difference between life and death after all.
Features To Look For In Water Purification Tablets
When you’re shopping around for water purification tablets, beyond price, brand and reviews there are a number of features you should look for.
Time to Purify/Ease of Preparation - If you’re ever in a situation where you desperately require water, you don’t really want to be spending too much of your precious time preparing your water, let alone waiting for it to purify. For peace of mind, it’s probably worth opting for a tablet that is effective in just 30 minutes and trailing the product a couple of times at home to ensure the process is suited to you.
Weight - Of course, tablets weigh next to nothing, so, they probably won’t weigh you down too much unless you’re taking large quantities. However, you should consider the weight when it comes to packaging and storage. In the kinds of situations, you’ll be needing purifying tablets in, it’s likely that the less weight you’re carrying, the better!
Taste & Smell - If you’re in a life or death situation, taste and smell won’t matter too much. However, if you’re using your tablets often, particularly those that are good for long-term use, taste and smell are important. Of course, you can use a neutralizer if needed, but it’s most definitely best to get a tablet that offers good tasting and smelling water from the offset. It’s worth noting that the chlorine flavour some tablets might create can be removed by allowing your treated water to sit uncovered, allowing the chlorine to evaporate.
Microorganisms the Tablets Are Effective Against - It’s worth parting with a little extra cash to get a tablet that protects against as many microorganisms as possible. Ideally, you’ll want a tablet that purifies your water from viruses, bacteria’s, Giardia lamblia and cryptosporidium cysts at a minimum.
Water Purification Tablet FAQ
Q: Are water purification tablets safe?
A: In short, yes. The entire purpose of these tablets is to treat water and kill harmful microorganisms making water safer to drink. Although in general, they are safe, you need to ensure you are following instructions and storing them correctly to ensure they fulfil their intended purpose effectively.
Q: Do water purification tablets kill viruses?
A: All of the water purification tablets featured in our review are effective in killing viruses when used correctly. Ensure you are reading labels properly before purchase and following instructions carefully for the best results.
Q: How long do water purification tablets take to work?
The best water purification tablets on the market are fully effective within 30 minutes of use. Some tablets can take 4 or more hours. So, if you’re concerned about time, be sure to opt for a choice that works within 30 minutes.
Q: What are the benefits of using water purification tablets?
A: There are many different benefits of water purification tablets. In fact, they’ve transformed the lives of millions of people around the world. These potentially life-saving tablets can help in survival or disaster situations when people need water to stay alive. Whether you’re an avid outdoor adventurer looking for a clean source of water during a camping trip, or a marine in a life-threatening situation, the benefits can be significantly different. Simply put, they will keep you safe, healthy and quite possibly, alive.
So, there it is, virtually everything and anything you need to know about water purification tablets. If our latest review has just one takeaway, let it be that parting with less than $20 for a revolutionary safe drinking water solution such as this is a small price to pay. No matter the purpose you might need these for, one day you could be seriously thankful that you invested in some of these tablets. Once you do purchase some tablets, be sure to read the labels fully and store your tablets as instructed. Once the time comes to use them, ensure you follow instructions properly for the most effective results.