Gear Review: Polar Pure Water Disinfectant - Backpacker

Gear Review: Polar Pure Water Disinfectant

An iodine treatment that doesn't taste like iodine.

If you’ve sworn off iodine because of its aftertaste, reconsider: Polar Pure Water Disinfectant treats water with iodine crystals that impart no flavor—at least, none that our tester could detect. “It’s so light and compact, I’m a new fan of chemical treatment,” she says. “And it simplifies packing, since unlike filters and battery-powered devices, I don’t have to examine it or do any maintenance whatsoever. I just grab it and I’m out the door.”

The shotglass-size jar comes with a few crystals at the bottom: Fill the jar with water, wait an hour, then pour off one to four capfuls (colder water requires more solution, and a thermometer on the jar indicates dosage) to treat your one-liter bottle of water. It’s ready to drink in 20 minutes. Our tester refilled the jar after each use, so it was always ready to treat water. And it’ll last seemingly forever, purifying hundreds if not thousands of liters before the iodine crystals are used up. $16; 3 oz.;

See all "essential" reviews from the 2011 Gear