We’ve come to really love Katadyn’s Micropur Water Tabs because they take up almost no pack space, they weigh next to nothing, and they can’t break or fail like a filter can. These tabs will purify your water, meaning they’ll kill everything – even viruses. So they’re even safer than a regular filter when you encounter questionable water. You’ll have to wait a bit for the tabs to take effect and you’ll need to get creative to filter out debris, but there’s no lighter, easier, or more reliable way to get safe water.
We occasionally use Micropur Tabs as our main form of water treatment, but more often we carry them as a backup treatment for really contaminated water or in case our filter fails.
WEIGHT: 1.2 oz. (30 tabs)
ULTRALIGHT – One tab (in its wrapper) barely registers on our scale at .04 oz., and they come in sets of 30. Each tab is good for purifying one liter of water, so that’s just about 1.2 oz. for 30 liters of clean water.
AFFORDABLE– This point comes with a bit of a caveat. Micropur tabs are affordable in the short term, but they’ll end up costing more than a filter or other purifiers in the long run. Still, the price for a set of these is relatively small when compared to a purifier like the Steripen Ultra or MSR Guardian.
KILLS VIRUSES –Water filters, like the popular Sawyer Squeeze and Katadyn BeFree, will only remove bacteria and protozoa (giardia, cryptosporidium, etc.). Micropur tabs are the lightest water purification method you can get, and they go beyond what a regular filter can do to remove viruses as well.
INCREDIBLY EASY TO USE – All you have to do is cut the package open, drop the tab in your water, and wait. Getting purified water couldn’t be easier – no pumping or squeezing required.
HIGHLY PACKABLE – Micropur tabs come in thin tear strips of 10 that will fit pretty much anywhere. You can stash them in your pocket, hipbelt, wallet – anywhere! We like to hike with a fanny pack, and we keep them tucked in there for convenient access on the go.
HAVE TO WAIT A BIT FOR THEM TO WORK – The results aren’t immediate with Micropur tabs. You’ll have to wait up to four hours for clean water depending on the situation and what you’re wanting to remove. Cryptosporidium will take the full four hour incubation time before it’s completely removed, but crypto isn’t very common in most backcountry water you’ll encounter.
Unless we’re in an area where water has been tainted by livestock feces, we typically only wait about 15 minutes before considering our water safe to drink since that’s the contact time required to eliminate the most common harmful stuff. We’ve never had any issues, but we recommend you use your own best judgment to decide how long you want to wait as it’s a matter of health. Colder water requires more time, and of course if you want to be 100% certain that your water is completely pure – you should wait the full four hours.
DOESN’T REMOVE DEBRIS – Because Micropur Tabs are a chemical treatment, they won’t remove silt, leaves, or other floaties. But this is an easy fix with a little bit of creativity. We use a bandana or Packtowl placed over the mouth of our bottle to pre-filter debris.
NOT AS COST EFFECTIVE OVER TIME– We mentioned this a little earlier, but seeing as the tabs aren’t reusable like a dedicated filter or purifier, they’ll end up costing you more in the long run if you backpack a lot. That said, a filter will eventually wear out and need to be replaced as well, so we think the cost difference ends up being pretty small in the end.
YOU MAY NOTICE A VERY SLIGHT TASTE – Micropur tabs leave a very slight chlorine taste in your water. It’s not like drinking full-on pool water, but most folks will notice it. We carry flavored electrolyte powder with us – Ultima and Cure are some of our favorites – to counteract the taste.
Katadyn Micropur Tabs are highly packable, ultralight, and they can be relied upon to give you safe, purified water. Unlike a regular water filter, they’ll eliminate all of the harmful things in your water – but you’ll have to give them some time for them to be completely effective. We recommend Micropur Tabs for trips where saving every ounce matters or for use as a backup in areas where you’re likely to encounter water with agricultural runoff or other harder to kill contaminants.
We hope this review helps you determine if the Katadyn Micropur Purification Tablets are right for you. As always, please leave a comment below if you have any recommendations, questions, or suggestions or visit our Facebook page and Instagram to join the community conversation. If you found this review helpful, please share on social media and click the little heart button below to give us a digital high five!
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