Chemical Water Treatments

The best chemical water treatments, reviewed and curated by the Trailspace community. The latest review was added on January 30, 2019. Stores' prices and availability are updated daily.

Need help getting started? Read our four-part guide to backcountry water treatment:
Part 1: Proper Hydration
Part 2: Keeping Your Water Supply Safe
Part 3: What’s in Backcountry Water?
Part 4: Methods for Making Water Safe

Recent Chemical Water Treatment Reviews

Aquamira Water Treatment Drops

rated 5 of 5 stars Funny, used to always boil water, iodine, then got a pump and replaced with another pump, and got turned on to this by a Triple Crowner. Been using for the last ten years and no problems, which I consider not just luck. Buy a new set each year. Makes a lot of potable water for its size. I wish we had this product when I was in the army, often had to drink some really nasty stuff in the jungles, we were issued iodine tabs back then and I've seen several really sick troops after a few weeks in the… Full review

Aquamira Water Treatment Drops

rated 5 of 5 stars “I choose a lazy person to do a hard job. Because a lazy person will find an easy way to do it.” Aquamira drops have been my go-to for water treatment for a few years now. I've used a Katadyn Basecamp gravity filter, which worked well until it just stopped one day. Pretty big and heavy in retrospect anyway. I've also used a gravity filter that I rigged up with a Platypus Big-Zip and a Sawyer Mini that worked brilliantly until it just stopped working one day no matter how hard I back-flushed… Full review

Aquamira Water Treatment Drops

rated 5 of 5 stars I just got back from a 4-day backpacking trip with a new cycling friend who brought this product call Aquamira. It's two small bottles of liquids that when mixed together in about 7 drops each makes a tasteless way to purify water in the back country. I just looked it up online at:  Comes in two small bottle weighing just around an ounce. Mixes in the white cap of Part B above, turns yellow after a 5 minute wait, then added to water… Full review

Aquamira Water Treatment Drops

rated 5 of 5 stars No added taste, never inconvenient, very light, and best of all, it doesn't break. I've been using these for years with great success. I've been using the Aquamira drops for a few years, ever since Andrew Skurka (Ultimate Hiker's Guide) suggested them, and I've never looked back. Most people who I've spent any time with on the trails, who were using some filter system, pretty much converted after experiencing this stuff. What could be easier? Here is how it works. You find a water source and you're… Full review

Water Wizard for River Runners

rated 4.5 of 5 stars Although designed primarily for river runners, this chemical treatment product works equally well for hikers and campers who need to settle the dirt and sediment out of water before filtering it or treating it for drinking. Follow the directions by adding the appropriate number of drops of the Water Wizard solution to muddy water, stir briskly, and within a minute or two the result is clean, clear water. The Water Wizard solution is actually polyaluminum chloride which has been in standard use for… Full review

Aquamira Water Treatment Drops

rated 3 of 5 stars Convenient, light, fast enough. But how antiseptic is it? I have used these drops for several years, and I have never gotten sick in the wild. But that does not prove they actually kill germs; I might simply have been lucky.  Knowing that, I'm worried about the absence of any claim by Aquamira that they are effective against germs —bacteria, viruses, and parasites. Before purchasing my second kit, I threw away the packaging from my first purchase. This time, I read the packaging carefully. There… Full review

Aquamira Water Treatment Drops

rated 5 of 5 stars Great for lightweight with no taste. I started using the pump filters and after many years went looking for something lighter and went to the Steripen which is great. That however you have to rely on batteries. Then it was the tablets for the absolute lightest thing out there, but ugh the taste was awful and you had a 30 minute wait time. Then I found these drops and several of my hiking friends now use them. I carry 3-4 little pre-made (that morning) capsules that are ready to drop into my coke… Full review

Potable Aqua Water Purification Tablets with P.A. Plus

rated 4.5 of 5 stars Less weight than a filter, and won't plug up. I took these along on a backcountry elk hunt in 2010 as a backup to a filter water bottle. I am sure glad I did. The filter bottle was a disappointment. The two-part tablets delivered good tasting water with no ill effects. I would fill my Camelbak and water bottles from a small creek, place in the appropriate number of tablets, and wait about 1/2 an hour or more then put the neutralizer tablet in. The taste of the water was good, and after 7-days had… Full review

Aquatabs Water Purification Tablets

rated 5 of 5 stars Light, easy to use, safe for long term use. Safe for long term use. Easy to use; one tablet per litre, let sit for 30 minutes. No aftertaste but sometimes a bit of odor when you first open the water bottle. Approved and used by: NATO, WHO, Unicef, International Red Cross, Medecins Sans Frontieres, and Oxfam. Full review

In order to show you the most relevant gear, we have omitted some older, unreviewed products.

If you like, you can view the list with the older products included.