Whether you’re backpacking through the Himalayas in Nepal, spending a week in the Canadian wilderness or living in an area often affected by natural disasters, you may be in a situation in which you’re forced to drink from a questionable water source. While visual assessment of water can provide some clues about its potability, the easiest way to be confident is to use the best water purification tablets.
By treating water before drinking it, the risk of contracting something serious may be eliminated. The reason you can’t just walk to any stream, lake or sitting water source is that these sources may have potentially harmful microorganisms or sediment inside. Consuming natural but untreated water can often make your situation worse rather than better, even if you’re dehydrated. In a scenario where no potable water is available, you can try not drinking for as long as humanly possible, but you are always going to need to take on fluids eventually.
Luckily, when it comes to cleaning water, the best water purification tablets are a handy and reliable way to kill potentially dangerous microorganisms in water and therefore make it safe to drink. As this is a problem faced by people all over the world, these methods are tried and tested. Here are some of the major benefits of carrying water purification tablets:
Disease Prevention – Using water purification tablets removes water-borne diseases, such as cholera, typhoid and dysentery, as well as more commonly encountered, illness-causing microorganisms, like giardia lamblia and campylobacter jejuni.
Long-Lasting – The shelf life of water purification tablets depends largely on their packaging. High-quantity tablets with shorter shelf lives are best suited for hikers or outdoor adventurers, who use them on a regular basis. Individually sealed tablets can have life spans of up to seven years, making them ideal for home emergency kits and just-in-case scenarios.
Budget-Friendly – Water purification tablets are a modest investment. For under $20, you can expect to treat at least 30 liters of water.
Portable – Tablets, more so than other types of water purification, are compact and take up minimal bag space. This makes them convenient for carrying, even when you don’t expect to need them.
Below are 11 of the best water purification tablets, drops and other advancements in purification technology that will allow you to drink directly from suspect water sources.
1. Potable Aqua Germicidal Purification Tablets
Producing ready-to-drink water in as little as 35 minutes, the Portable Aqua Germicidal Water Purification Tablets are a fast and simple way to get your water clean and potable. The bottle contains 50 individual tablets, which are great for camping, hiking, international travel and keeping on hand for natural disasters. To create drinkable water, simply add two tablets to your water, shake after five minutes and wait 30 more minutes for the process to finish. The product is loved by Amazon users and used by the military and worldwide emergency organizations as well.
Potable Aqua Germicidal Purification Tablets
2. Ef Chlor Potable Water Purification Tablets
These Ef Chlor Potable Water Purification Tablets are a trusty component of any at-home emergency kit. One hundred tablets are included in the pack, and each one is capable of purifying up to one liter of water in 30 minutes. Furthermore, they have a shelf life of up to three years and are effective against virtually all known spores, viruses and bacteria. These are great tablets to throw in your pack or emergency kit.
Ef Chlor Potable Water Purification Tablets
3. Logest Water Purifying Device
BEST FOR EXTREME SPORTS
It’s a great idea to carry a Logest Water Purifying Device in your gear when heading out into the wilderness. Each straw has a lifespan of up to 600 liters which may be enough to last more than a year, depending on your usage. Four devices are included in a pack, and each device features a handy carrying strap for portability. They’re lightweight and eliminate up to 99% of harmful bacterias, such as legionella and E.Coli.
Logest Water Purifying Device
4. Coghlan’s Emergency Drinking Water Tablets
BEST FOR ADVENTURE WEEKENDS
Coghlan’s Drinking Water Tablets are a cleaning treatment effective against giardia and other water-borne pathogens. These tablets utilize an iodine-based compound for neutralization without leaving an unpleasant taste. This pack of 50 is designed for emergency situations and not for continuous use. To produce one quart of good-to-drink water, simply add two tablets and mix.
Coghlan’s Emergency Drinking Water Tablets
5. Aquatabs Water Purification Tablets
BEST FOR AT-HOME EMERGENCY KITS
A blister pack of 10 individually sealed tablets is included in each strip of Aquatabs Water Purification Tablets. One tablet is required per 0.75 liters of water. After you’ve treated the water, you will need to wait 30 minutes before drinking it. With a shelf life of up to five years, these tablets are ideal for storing in the back of your cupboard, just in case they’re ever needed.
Aquatabs Water Purification Tablets
6. LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
MOST ADVANCED (+BEST REVIEWED)
With over 6,500 five-star reviews from Amazon users, the LifeStraw Personal Water Filter is our most popular option for drinking water straight from the source. This advanced filter uses membrane technology to filter out bacteria, microplastics, parasites and more. It’s ideal for all kinds of activities, including camping and international travel, as well as a great addition to any home emergency kit. The pen-like device is lightweight and has a lifespan of up to 4,000 liters of water.
LifeStraw Personal Water Filter
7. Rothco Chlor-Floc Water Purification Tablets
BEST MILITARY STANDARD
The Rothco Chlor-Floc Water Purification Tablets are trusted and used by the US Military. Each box includes 30 tablets which are enough for purifying up to eight gallons of water in total. One or two tablets are required per liter, and once treated, the resulting water will be free of giardia, bacteria and viruses.
Rothco Chlor-Floc Water Purification Tablets
8. ION Alkaline Water Drops
Able to raise pH levels up to 10 while also increasing oxygen levels, these ION Alkaline Water Drops are an odorless and colorless quality water treatment. With a shelf life of up to seven years and a purification capacity of up to 100 gallons, this little bottle of drops is both small and mighty. They work by using stabilized oxygen molecules to rid water of impurities and are designed to deliver a thirst-quenching, fresh taste.
ION Alkaline Water Drops
9. We Are Clean Water Water Purification Drops
These We Are Clean Water SilverDyne Water Purification Drops are a simple and easy way to clean suspect water. The USA-made drops are both vegan and gluten-free and make use of only organic and natural ingredients. The formula is both smooth and flavorless and is ideal for creating clean and pleasant drinking water. To clean one liter of water, simply add two to three drops of the solution and let it sit for 30 minutes before consuming.
We Are Clean Water Water Purification Drops
10. Kiyo UVC Bottle
While water purification tablets are highly portable, they do still require carrying around both a water bottle and a pack of tablets. What if you could have a water purification system built directly into your water bottle? That’s exactly what the Kiyo UVC Bottle has. With a simple tap of your finger on the lid, which starts a three-minute cleaning cycle, the bottle will remove 99.99% of bacteria and pathogens from the water inside using UVC technology.
Kiyo UVC Bottle
11. SteriPEN Ultra WaterPurifier
As one of the most advanced pieces of portable water purification technology, the SteriPEN Ultra Water Purifier is ideal for traveling. To use it, simply place the lamp of the pen into the water pot and let it work its magic. Once ready for drinking, you’ll see a smiley face show up on the LED screen. This smart device utilizes ultraviolet light instead of chemicals and purifies 32 ounces of water in 90 seconds. Additionally, when the rechargeable battery is full, it can last for up to 50 treatments.