The human body can survive quite a while without food, but without water, we suffer greatly and perish within a week. Although there is water nearly everywhere, it's not always safe to drink, and for this reason, water purification tablets such as Aquatabs are one of the greatest inventions we have. We can use these tablets to kill bacteria in the water we get from a stream while camping, to get clean water to those who don't have access to it where they live, and to prepare for unexpected future events. There has been a lot of "buzz" generated around Aquatabs, but are they really worth it?
Contaminated water can carry all sorts of disease-causing bacteria, so it's essential to make sure the water you are drinking is safe for consumption. Aquatabs are marketed specifically to address this, and we decided to investigate the issue ourselves. We've taken the time to check out Aquatabs, see what they're all about, and give you a review of them to help you decide if they're right for your purposes. In addition, we've compared them to similar purification products on the market to see how they measure up against one another.
What Are Aquatabs?
Aquatabs refers to a brand of dissolvable tablet that purifies water, making it safe for consumption. Those living or traveling in conditions where there is no safe drinking water nearby can use these little circular pills to kill harmful bacteria in the water available to them. They are extremely useful for those who love camping or hiking, people in less-developed countries, survivalists, and others.
Each individual tablet is able to purify a certain amount of water. Purifying water requires that you simply collect water from just about any source and add as many tablets as are needed to the water per the manufacturer's instructions. As the Aquatabs break down fully and mix with the water, they kill microorganisms capable of causing many ailments and diseases.
When used correctly, Aquatabs provide you with clean drinking water in 30 minutes. The ratio of pills to water required for purification is 0.75 liters of water to 1 pill. This is fairly quick but not optimal during an emergency or spur-of-the-moment situation. The tablets will last in storage and maintain efficacy for 5 years, and if you purchase them intending to use them immediately or at least sometime soon, this shouldn't be an issue. On the other hand, if you're looking for a water purification resource to place in storage and last for years to come, you'll want to consider whether 5 years is enough for you.
On the current market, when purchased from competitive online sellers, Aquatabs come in packages of 100 or 200 tablets, and these packages cost around $10 to $15 each.
How It Compares
We picked a few similar products available on the market to see how they compare.
- Aquamira Chlorine Dioxide Water Purifier Tablets
- PURINIZE Natural Water Purifying Solution
- Expedition Research TAC-H2O Water Purification Tablets
Aquatabs Water Purification Tablets
- Aquatabs are effervescent tablets which kill microorganisms in water to prevent cholera, typhoid, dysentery and other...
- In the past year over 1 billion Aquatabs have been used globally. Each package includes 100 individually sealed tablets...
- Aquatabs are used both in emergency situations and also for continuous use in households that do not have access to safe...
Ease of Use:
Aquatabs are ultra-simple to use with very little work to be done aside from making sure your pill-to-water ratio is correct. The main task you'll have to perform is measuring out your water.
Marketing materials and labeling for these tablets indicate that they are effective in killing 99.99% of bacteria. In our opinion, that last .01% does not justify the Aquatabs receiving a reduced rating. They hit the mark for efficacy.
Formula & Active Ingredients:
The active ingredient in Aquatabs is sodium dichloroisocyanurate, which is common for these types of products. There are other ingredients present in the tablets but, according to our research, the manufacturer does not list them all out specifically.
Our review team found that Aquatabs offer one of the best, most convenient and inexpensive ways to purify your water despite some minor concerns. Their greatest strength is their effectiveness, since they work very well to kill nearly all bacteria existing in water. However, we would like to see a prominent, complete ingredient list to increase our peace of mind in this regard. Overall, they are still a great product worth trying out.
Aquamira Chlorine Dioxide Water Purifier Tablets
Aquamira chlorine dioxide water purifier tablets are similar to Aquatabs in that they are intended to kill bacteria in your water and make it safe to drink. This is simply an alternative-brand item with a few key differences that make them unique. For starters, while each Aquatab purifies 0.75 liters of water, one Aquamaria tab is recommended to purify a full liter. This fact is offset, however, by the fact that you can simply alter water volume and use more Aquatabs when needed. Another key fact of note is that Aquatabs can purify water in 30 minutes while the Aquamira tablets take 4 hours for this process.
Aquamira purifier tablets provide all the same benefits as Aquatabs with the added perk that they make your water taste and smell better. We found that this is most likely due to some additional ingredients in the Aquamaria formula (which we discuss in more detail below). Also, these tabs come in packages of two different colors: blue and tactical green. The blue packaging is standard and essentially plain and utilitarian whereas the tactical green configuration fits well with other camouflage clothing and gear favored by campers and survivalists.
Ease of Use:
As with other, similar products, you can purify your water using these tablets by simply measuring out how many liters of water you have and using one tablet per liter of water.
These tablets are highly effective in killing bacteria, but the 4-hour sanitation time required can be a drawback in many situations. In contrast, Aquatabs are designed to purify your water in 30 minutes. What this may come down to is the fact that Aquamira tabs are said to make your water taste and smell better. It's possible that the long wait time could be part of the reason for this.
Formula & Active Ingredients:
The active ingredients in Aquamira tabs are sodium chlorite and sodium dichloroisocyanurate. As is true for Aquatabs, there are also other ingredients that are not listed specifically or prominently.
These purification tablets are another great option for those who need a way to purify their water. They are super-effective but take a substantial time interval to kill all the bacteria. They come at a reasonable price, and if you aren't looking to have your water sanitized as rapidly as possible, you most likely won't have any complaints about them.
PURINIZE Natural Water Purifying Solution
Purinize offers a water purification solution that is decidedly different from the previous two purifiers we've discussed so far. The most obvious distinguishing feature is that it comes in liquid form. As a result, instead of counting pills when making measurements, you must count drops as you add them to your water. Also, rather than coming in a zip-lock package, this solution is packaged in a bottle. Depending on your particular needs, this liquid form could come in very handy.
One of the greatest draws for those who use Purinize solution is that it is completely chemical- and gluten-free. It only uses mineral salts to purify the water, making this an excellent solution for those who seek out all-natural and organic products. The wait time needed to make your water safe for consumption is one hour, which is acceptable in most situations. Overall, Purinize solution offers some great benefits, but its price point is a bit higher than the Aquatabs and Aquamira tablets we checked out.
Ease of Use:
Purinize solution is not as easy to use as Aquatabs or Aquamira tablets to use due to how the liquid must be measured and added. For example, while one Aquamaria tab can clean a liter of water, that same process requires 20 drops of Purinize liquid by comparison. This can be cumbersome and inconvenient on its own, and if you want to measure out the drops in a measuring cup instead, that just means you'll have to carry these items and keep them on hand for when you wish to purify large quantities of water.
When using Purinize solution, you also have to worry about potential spills and waste whereas, with tablets, it's easy to pick up a pill if you drop one. Some may see this as a significant disadvantage.
Purinize solution is as effective as any other purifier despite its chemical-free formula. It can also kill bacteria in water moderately quickly, requiring only one hour to achieve full effectiveness.
Formula & Active Ingredients:
Purinize solution contains purified water and sulfate mineral salts. According to the manufacturer, the mineral salts present in the formula are as follows: alum, calcium, cerium, chromium, cobalt, copper, iron, lanthanum, lithium, magnesium, manganese, nickel, phosphorus, potassium, rubidium, scandium, selenium, silicon, strontium, sulfur, titanium, vanadium, and zinc.
PURINIZE isn't a perfect product, but it's effective and fulfills its purpose well. It does everything you would expect from a water purification product, but having to count droplets in order to measure it out is tedious. For the price, you get a great product with these minor imperfections.
Expedition Research TAC-H2O Water Purification Tablets
- Illustrated Tri-Fold Color Manual Included.
- Use one 49mg USA/UK/NATO/UN Mill-Spec Aquatab tablet for up to 5 litres of water. Up to 500L total of water treatment...
- Safety heat sealed in 4-layer 140 micron thick TAC-H20 Mylar pouch. Resealable zip-lock, waterproof, sunlight proof,...
Expedition Research is a company that, with their TACH-H2O product, essentially repackages and labels Aquatabs in order to appeal to fans of tactical gear. Standard Aquatabs come in a box of prepackaged tablets that look a lot like other products you can find on the shelf of any drug store. Expedition Research took actual Aquatab packages and repackaged them inside of a sturdy tactical package. The package is heat-sealed and designed to keep your Aquatabs safe from the elements. This is also said to extend the shelf life of the tablets, making them even more appealing to survivalists and preppers.
Again, our research indicates that these are simply Aquatab-brand tablets in a different package. Even the individual tablets' packaging is the same. However, the Expedition Research bundle is more expensive than just the standard tablets due to its strong outer packaging. Depending on what specific purpose and situations you think you may encounter, this price difference may not influence your choice, however.
Ease of Use:
Just like the standard Aquatabs, you will simply measure your water and add the appropriate number of tabs to achieve purification. One extra note about these is that the manufacturer does caution that once you break the seal on the package, it's advisable to keep them in a cool place and free of sunlight to help preserve their shelf life.
These are the strongest, fastest-acting tablets we found on the market.
Formula & Active Ingredients:
The formula used in these is the same as the standard Aquatabs product we chose to feature in this study and review. Again, the maker is not fully transparent in regard to all ingredients included.
The stronger packaging that comes along with these may seem a little gimmicky to some savvy consumers. In reality, the average person does not encounter many situations where paying more for a stronger package is easy to justify. The Expedition Research TAC-H2O tablets will definitely attract those who like tactical gear, but fancy packaging is not essential.
After reviewing each of these products and thoughtfully taking into account their various pros and cons, we determined that standard Aquatabs are our top choice for the typical user and Purinize solution is our top choice for highly health-conscious consumers. Aquatabs are the least expensive tablets we reviewed while also offering the most valuable benefits, such as the quickest purification time. The Purinize solution also deserves special recognition for being chemical-free and the only product represented here that is available in liquid form. This can be a unique advantage for some.
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