water tab
Instagram: potableaqua

8 Water Purification Tablets and More for Sanitized Drinking Water

Water purification tablets might save your life if you run out of safe drinking water on an outdoor trip.

Camping trips can be unpredictable. There are times when we overpack and times when we under pack. Sometimes this leads to underestimating how much necessary items we need to bring.

One big consideration is drinking water.

You definitely shouldn't assume the water you come across in the backcountry is safe water to drink, no matter how clean it looks. Backpackers, hikers, and campers are often warned to stay hydrated, but sometimes they can drink a lot of water on a hike, and before they know it, they're out of water.

What are water purification tablets?

Water purification tablets are intended to kill microorganisms that cause waterborne diseases, such as cholera, guinea worm disease, and dysentery. They may contain chlorine dioxide as an active ingredient to purify water.

According to the CDC, waterborne illnesses can cause diarrhea and vomiting, as well as respiratory issues.

How do you use water purification tablets?

Each type is a little different, so you'll follow the instructions on your tablet bottle. For example, Potable Aqua says to drop two tablets into a quart or liter of water and to wait five minutes. Leave the cap on without tightening it, shake the container, then retighten the cap. Wait another 30 minutes, and then your water is safe to drink.

Keep in mind that water purifying tablets are not intended for daily use. Use them for emergency situations. Also, be aware that they may not be entirely safe for pregnant women.

Best Water Purification Tablets

1. Potable Aqua Tablets

Potable Aqua's tablets are proven effective against giardia lamblia. Tetraglycine hydroperiodide is a top active ingredient for purifying unclean water safely, and it's found in Potable Aqua. A customer said they sent these iodine tablets to friends in Puerto Rico after a hurricane. It's unfortunate they had to use them, but I'm glad someone thought of a temporary solution for safe drinking water.

2. Aquatabs Water Purification Tablets Deluxe 250-Count

Aquatabs says there is no unpleasant taste, and it's ready to drink after 30 minutes of disinfecting. A customer found Aquatabs as a solution to make their well water safe.

3. Ef-chlor Portable water purification tablets

In a place where waterborne illnesses are prevalent, it's smart to take water purification tablets with you. Someone found these Ef-chlor tablets useful during a trip to a Caribbean island where cholera cases were affecting the population.

4. Katadyn Micropur MP1 Water Purification Tablets

Here's a nice review giving you some reassurance that these Micropur MP1 tablets work.

5. MSR Aquatabs Water Purification

These EPA-approved water purification tablets are effective against viruses, bacteria, and giardia cysts. A five-star review says the MSR Aquatabs is a top pick among other tablets because they have a neutralizing taste.

6. Quake Kare Water Purification Tablets

They have a 5-year shelf life, so you'll be able to keep them in your survival kit for quite some time before you need to replace your tablets. A customer used them for a trip to India and said they worked.

7. Potable Aqua Chlorine Dioxide Water Purification Tablets


Two customer reviews said these helped treat a respiratory condition and also disinfected wounds in farm animals. Potable Aqua's chlorine dioxide water purification tablets are effective in treating giardia lamblia and cryptosporidium.

8. Coghlan's Drinking Water Tablets

Coghlan's tablets can treat up to 25 quarts of water. Many customers and emergency organizations sent these tablets to friends and family in Puerto Rico after the hurricane in 2017.

Powder water purifiers are also excellent water treatment options for backpacking trips. Clean water is very crucial for everyday life, not just outdoor trips. Many people used disinfection treatments in their water as a means to an end during natural disasters. Shout out to everyone who thought of friends and families' basic needs during hard times.

Although some might complain about the aftertaste of their water when using purification tablets, they are still grateful they at least had a solution. You can also use camping filtration systems and LifesStraw's water filters as purification methods, along with these emergency water disinfectants in liquid form. Again, these are only for emergency use.

If you don't have a camping trip planned anytime soon, these tablets will make a great clean water source during boiling notices, water shortages, natural disasters, and more emergency situations.

This post was originally published on October 23, 2019.