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Katadyn Micropur Purification Tablets
$15.95 at REI
$14.95 at REI
|$8.42 at Amazon|
Compare at 2 sellers
$10.99 at Amazon
$19.69 at Amazon
|Pros||Lightweight, packable, easy to use, durable foil packaging||Lightweight, inexpensive, kills all pathogens (including crypto), reliable||Easy to use, lightweight, packable||Easy to use, super packable, lightweight, cheap in comparison to other filters||Lightweight, inexpensive, simple|
|Cons||Corrosive and harmful to humans and animals, long purification time, for emergency use only||Takes a long time to kill crypto, slight taste to the water, chemical treatment||Not safe to use long-term, lower value than other chemical treatments, poor taste||More expensive then other chemical treatment, chlorinated taste, does not kill Crypto||No storage capabilities, hard to clean|
|Bottom Line||These lightweight, easy to use tablets have a long incubation time and are meant for emergency use only||These drops are a reliable and lightweight option to carry all over the world||This can be used as an emergency treatment system, but not much else||This is the lightest chemical treatment option out there||A simple and inexpensive on-the-go filtration system designed for the solo adventurer|
|Rating Categories||Katadyn Micropur Pu...||Aquamira Treatment...||Potable Aqua Purifi...||MSR Aquatabs||LifeStraw|
|Water Quality (20%)|
|Durability & Maintenance (20%)|
|Treatment Time (15%)|
|Weight & Packability (15%)|
|Ease of Set-Up (15%)|
|Ease of Filtration (15%)|
|Specs||Katadyn Micropur Pu...||Aquamira Treatment...||Potable Aqua Purifi...||MSR Aquatabs||LifeStraw|
|Type of Filter/Purifier||Chemical treatment||Chemical treatment||Chemical treatment||Chemical treatment||Straw filter|
|Measured Weight (entire kit)||.45 oz||3.0 oz||2.3 oz||0.1 oz||1.75 oz|
|Number of Liters (L)/Gallons (gal) per Lifetime||20 L / 5.3 gal (20 tabs)||114 L / 30 gal per package||25 L / 6.6 gal||60 L / 16 gal (30 tabs)||4,000 L / 1,000 gal|
|Filter Media or Active Ingredient||Chlorine dioxide||Chlorine dioxide||Iodine and Tetraglycine Hydroperiodide||Sodium dichloroisocyanurate||Hollow Fiber|
|Effective Against Bacteria?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes|
|Effective Against Protozoa? (Giardia,Cryptosporidium)||Yes||Yes||Yes (Giardia = yes; Crypto = no)||Yes (Giardia = yes; Crypto = no)||Yes|
|Effective Against Viruses?||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||No|
|Effective Against Chemicals?||No||No||No||No||No|
|Effective Against Heavy Metals?||No||No||No||No||No|
|Removes Particulates (sediment, microplastics)?||No||No||No||No||Yes|
|Filter Pore Size||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||0.2 microns|
|Advertised Flow Rate||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A|
|Dimensions||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||8.8 x 1.2 in|
|Storage Capacity (L)||N/A||N/A||N/A||N/A||0|
Our Analysis and Test Results
After reading the warnings and precautionary statements on the Micropur Tablets packaging, we were a little nervous about using them for anything other than an absolute emergency. Keeping that in mind, they are simple to use, require no maintenance, and remain one of the lightest filtration options we tested. However, another drawback is the treatment time which requires 4 hours to kill harmful bacteria, viruses, and cysts.
When added to water, the Micropur Tablets release chlorine dioxide in order to kill bacteria, viruses, and cysts, such as cryptosporidium and giardia. The tablets do not remove dirt or particulates from your water, but our testers found that using an old dedicated t-shirt or similar material would help as an additional filter for larger contaminants. We did not give these tablets a high rating for water quality due to the chlorine flavor and particulates still present in the drinking water after the 4-hour purification time.
Durability and Maintenance
With a shelf life of up to 5 years and a maintenance-free purification system, our testers gave the Micropur tabs high scores for this metric. Katadyn recommends storing them in a cool and dry area, like your emergency kit, away from the sun. Because these tablets can be so harmful and corrosive if improperly used, we recommend placing the foil pouches inside another plastic bag to store for emergency use.
The Micropur Tablets take an extremely long time to process, up to 4 hours when the instructions are followed appropriately. This long treatment time is just one of the reasons these are not practical for an extended backpacking trip.
Weight and Packability
These weigh .45 ounces for 30 tablets, or the equivalent of 30 gallons of water. It's a no-brainer to add them to your emergency kit for up to 5 years before they need to be replaced. And since each tablet is individually wrapped, you can modify the weight based on the needs of your group.
Ease of Setup
The Katadyn Micropur Tablets are easy to use; simply fill one liter of water in a stream, remove one tablet from the individually wrapped pouch, submerge the tablet into the water, and leave the water in a dark place for 4 hours. However, despite this easy process, there is also a great caveat worth mentioning. After carefully reading the instructions, our testers noticed warnings that the tablets are corrosive and harmful to humans, domestic animals, and aquatic life. Yikes! Furthermore, the tablets should not come into contact with your bare skin or clothing so as to avoid permanent eye damage. The manufacturer also recommends handling with rubber gloves and protective eyewear, which doesn't seem practical for backpacking trips when you're trying to keep it simple and save weight.
Ease of Filtration
Filtration is easy if a bit time-consuming, as long as you have 4 hours to kill, a water source, and a dark location for the purification tablets to filter out harmful viruses and bacteria.
Should You Buy the Katadyn Micropur Purification Tablets?
If you're looking for a backup emergency use filtration system, the Micropur Tablets fit the bill. Easy to use, zero maintenance, and one of the lightest options on the market. Still, there are much better options there — chemical or mechanical — for whatever use case you need.
What Other Backpacking Water Filters Should You Consider?
For those after a lightweight, backup water purification system with less alarming precautionary statements, check out the Potable Aqua Purification Tablets. And if you're ok adding a little extra weight for a similar price tag, the Aquamira Water Treatment Drops are the way to go. You can also keep things light and easy with our favorite squeeze system, the LifeStraw Peak Squeeze.
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