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Katadyn Micropur Purification Tablets Review

These lightweight, easy to use tablets have a long incubation time and are meant for emergency use only
katadyn micropur purification tablets backpacking water filter review
Affordable, packable, and easy to use when following the warning instructions, we recommend these purification tablets for emergencies only.
Credit: Trish Matheny
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Price:  $16 List
Manufacturer:   Katadyn
By Trish Matheny ⋅ Review Editor  ⋅  Nov 3, 2022
65
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#16 of 28
  • Water Quality - 20% 1.0
  • Durability & Maintenance - 20% 9.0
  • Treatment Time - 15% 1.0
  • Weight & Packability - 15% 10.0
  • Ease of Set-Up - 15% 9.0
  • Ease of Filtration - 15% 10.0

Our Verdict

Due to the precautionary statements and careful handling of the Katadyn Micropur Purification Tablets, our testers do not feel comfortable recommending these tablets for anything other than emergency use. That being said, they are ultralight, affordable, and come in foil packaging that is easy to throw in your backpack or emergency kit. The long, 4-hour processing time and the limited use of one tablet per one liter are a couple of drawbacks for these tablets. Our testers recommend stashing them in your backpack or emergency kit and hoping you never have to use them.
REASONS TO BUY
Lightweight
Packable
Easy to use
Durable foil packaging
REASONS TO AVOID
Corrosive and harmful to humans and animals
Long purification time
For emergency use only

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Best Buy Award    
Price $16.00 List
$15.95 at REI
$15.00 List
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$8.42 at Amazon
Compare at 2 sellers
$11.00 List
$10.99 at Amazon
$18.00 List
$19.69 at Amazon
Overall Score Sort Icon
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72
71
67
66
Star Rating
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Pros Lightweight, packable, easy to use, durable foil packagingLightweight, inexpensive, kills all pathogens (including crypto), reliableEasy to use, lightweight, packableEasy to use, super packable, lightweight, cheap in comparison to other filtersLightweight, inexpensive, simple
Cons Corrosive and harmful to humans and animals, long purification time, for emergency use onlyTakes a long time to kill crypto, slight taste to the water, chemical treatmentNot safe to use long-term, lower value than other chemical treatments, poor tasteMore expensive then other chemical treatment, chlorinated taste, does not kill CryptoNo storage capabilities, hard to clean
Bottom Line These lightweight, easy to use tablets have a long incubation time and are meant for emergency use onlyThese drops are a reliable and lightweight option to carry all over the worldThis can be used as an emergency treatment system, but not much elseThis is the lightest chemical treatment option out thereA 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%)
1
5.0
2.0
1
8.0
Durability & Maintenance (20%)
9.0
10.0
10.0
9.0
4.0
Treatment Time (15%)
1
2.0
2.0
2.0
6.0
Weight & Packability (15%)
10.0
9.0
10.0
10.0
9.0
Ease of Set-Up (15%)
9.0
8.0
9.0
9.0
10.0
Ease of Filtration (15%)
10.0
9.0
10.0
10.0
3.0
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.

Performance Comparison


katadyn micropur purification tablets backpacking water filter review - one of the lightest options for water filtration on the market, put...
One of the lightest options for water filtration on the market, put these in your emergency kit and hope you don't have to use them.
Credit: Trish Matheny


Water Quality


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.

katadyn micropur purification tablets backpacking water filter review - not the best water quality but sufficient in case of emergency.
Not the best water quality but sufficient in case of emergency.
Credit: Trish Matheny

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.

katadyn micropur purification tablets backpacking water filter review - durable packaging and zero maintenance make this a great choice for...
Durable packaging and zero maintenance make this a great choice for the emergency kit.
Credit: Trish Matheny

Treatment Time


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.

katadyn micropur purification tablets backpacking water filter review - after filling your bottle, dropping in the tablet, move your water...
After filling your bottle, dropping in the tablet, move your water to a dark environment, and wait 4 hours for the process to be complete.
Credit: Trish Matheny

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.

katadyn micropur purification tablets backpacking water filter review - highly packable, throw a few packages in your backpack and hope you...
Highly packable, throw a few packages in your backpack and hope you never have to use them!
Credit: Trish Matheny

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.

katadyn micropur purification tablets backpacking water filter review - while some other chlorine dioxide tablets offer similar warnings...
While some other chlorine dioxide tablets offer similar warnings, these precautionary statements were a bit concerning.
Credit: Trish Matheny

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.

katadyn micropur purification tablets backpacking water filter review - the filtration process is easy, simply fill your bottle, drop your...
The filtration process is easy, simply fill your bottle, drop your tablet, and wait for 4 hours.
Credit: Trish Matheny

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.

katadyn micropur purification tablets backpacking water filter review - we're happy these affordable tablets are easy to put in our pack in...
We're happy these affordable tablets are easy to put in our pack in case of emergency, however, we do not recommend them for any other purposes.
Credit: Trish Matheny

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.

Trish Matheny
 
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