The Potable Aqua PURE Electrolytic Water Purifier ($119.99) disinfects a wide range of microbial contaminants in both clear and cloudy water by using a small amount of a brine solution (salt + water = brine).
How it works: The Potable Aqua PURE Electrolytic Water Purifier purifies untreated water by converting salt, water and power from a rechargeable battery into a mixed oxidant disinfectant. This reaction kills the invisible fluvial zoo that is lake and river water.
How it really worked: I treated water from Kite Lake in Colorado over Labor Day weekend 2015 and have yet to be admitted to the ER with Giardia lamblia.
What I loved:
- A little brine goes a long way. One salt chamber mixed with water created enough brine to fill the brine container. See video.
- Only 50 drops of brine are needed to disinfect a 20-liter HydraPak Stash Collapsible bottle of lake water (leaving plenty of brine left for the rest of my two-day trip).
- Solution protects water that you won’t drink right away (e.g. you want to fill a water bottle for night-time sipping or coffee the next morning).
- Fits in the palm of my hand and weighs in at a svelte 4 ounces.
- Integrated flashlight feature.
- Uses solar power to charge.
- Simple to use once you’ve read through the manual and practiced at home.
- If you need to hydrate immediately, you’re out of luck. You have to wait 30 minutes after mixing the brine solution to disinfect the water and bottle.
- Does not filter like a Katahdyn or similar water filtration system.
- Does not uncloud cloudy water.
- Treated water tastes like chlorine.
Overall thoughts/final verdict
The Potable Aqua PURE Electrolytic Water Purifier is by far the simplest, smallest and most cost-effective water purification device I’ve used. Potable Aqua states that it can treat up to ~60,000 liters of water in its lifetime.
It’s a great system for ultralight backpacking despite its limitations with taste and sediment. One thing I did learn was that adding a couple packets of Propel helped to disguise the chlorine taste.
Ultimately, I recommend the Potable Aqua PURE Electrolytic Water Purifier. Especially if you are treating water that is clear and not full of sediment. But if the taste of chlorine or swishing sediment in your mouth doesn’t appeal to you, it’s best used as a back-up to your normal filtration system.
PURE Electrolytic Water Purifier sample for this review provided by Potable Aqua