For years I used a product called Polar Pure for water purification when weekend backpacking. It was an iodine based solution, so not great for a thru-hike, but fine for a week or less. Specifically, it used iodine crystals which slowly dissolve over time and can work for a couple thousand treatments.

Unfortunately the company that makes the product is based in California where iodine is on a list of substances the state is changing regulation on in an attempt to stop crystal meth production.

Are there any companies in Europe or elsewhere that can ship legally to the US that produce something similar to Polar Pure?

The features I am most interested in is a small container that is able to treat thousands of bottles of water over time.

  • I found this:katadynch.vs31.snowflakehosting.ch/fileadmin/user_upload/… but they say they cannot send it thru us mail but the product is found in Canadian website (like www.mec.ca)
    – Amine
    Commented Jun 19, 2012 at 16:35
  • Thanks, that's a pump and there are equivalent pumps that can be bought in the US. One of the big upsides of Polar Pure was the extreme ease of use. Nothing really to clean, maintain, etc.
    – Justin C
    Commented Jun 20, 2012 at 2:19
  • REI has some simple lightweight water purification tablets.
    – Patrick
    Commented Sep 19, 2012 at 16:14
  • @Patrick - thanks for the suggestion. I use tablets and have an REI membership. Tablets work, but I still remember fondly the days when I had my Polar Pure. Been some updates from Polar Pure since I wrote this question but still no solution.
    – Justin C
    Commented Sep 20, 2012 at 16:40
  • @JustinC it looks like polar pure is back!
    – ppl
    Commented Jun 24, 2014 at 4:21

3 Answers 3


Polar pure, the most effective water treatment product availble, is now back in stock and availble for sale on amazon.com

I would like to thank everybody for all there support, it was an unfortunately long process due to the "meth heads" that were using iodine, the same chemical used in polar pure, to make crystal meth. This caused the dea to create much strictness regarding the sale and purchase of iodine.

Polar pure has been in negotiations with the dea for approximitly 4 years and we are now happy to say we are back in business with limited restrictions.

1 of the restrictions regarding consumers is that polar pure must be sold directly to consumers which is why we began selling them direct to consumer on amazon.com with an authorized distributor by the dea.

The second restriction imposed on consumers is the quantity per purchase. A customer may purchase as many bottles of polar as they see fit however we are only allowed to ship 1 bottle per customer per day. So if a customer purchases 5 bottles of polar pure we would ship 1 each day and the customer would receive 1 each day as well. We apologize for this inconvienance however it is a strict rule enforced by the DEA.

Polar Pure uses a unique chemical process that kill All waterborne bacteria up to 99.99999% including viruses. There is no filter on the market that can kill or cleanse water as effectively and as economically as polar pure.

Recently a new product was released for sale using only a filter and no chemical solution with the claim that is will kill 99.99% of bacteria but makes no claims regarding Water borne viruses which can cause hepatitis!, this is because water filters cannot filter at the necessary micron level needed to kill viruses. Viruses are about 0.004 microns in size, even the best of filter can only reach 0.2 microns in size.

That being said I am now proud to reintroduce polar pure to the market place for people to safely and effectively as well as economically treat water for all their purification needs

  • 1
    Is your product absolutely safe regarding health issues (chemical residues)? If so, do you have scientific proof?
    – Wills
    Commented Jul 7, 2014 at 18:21
  • @Polar Pure - that is great news! Congratulations on winning your long fight, I have been checking your webpage about once a month for the past 4 years waiting for this announcement. Also, welcome to the site!
    – Justin C
    Commented Jul 15, 2014 at 14:03
  • @JustinC: Is this actually the case? There have been discussions that this is not, in fact, the case, and that this is a distributor selling old stock (stuff lasts forever, so not a problem). BUt it would be nice if this product could return to the market.
    – gbronner
    Commented Aug 11, 2015 at 15:32
  • @gbronner - You are correct, it looks like they are still not producing new bottles, but more than one seller has old stock for sale, so that's at least better than nothing.
    – Justin C
    Commented Aug 12, 2015 at 12:30

You might want to take a look at this site which is in Canada, but ships to the USA. Due note that since the DEA is restricting/banning the product, buying iodine crystals through the mail might get seized coming into the country.

If you want to help Polar Pure come back, take a look here for info on how you can help.

If you are looking for a more bulk level purchase you could check this supply store which sells iodine crystals in 30g increments.

  • polarequipment.com/purchase.htm I actually wrote a letter and got a form letter in return. It was quite depressing, as I've used polarpure on 400+ mile hikes and found it very satisfactory.
    – gbronner
    Commented Dec 2, 2013 at 17:05

If you still have your PolarPur bottle you can purchase crystal iodine off of ebay. Look for this seller, "ibmsuccess2010", he sells and ships from Lithuania. I place a quarter teaspoon of the iodine back into the PolarPur bottle and it will work like new. The seller packages and ships very discreetly. The amount if crystal iodine you will get will probably last you a lifetime.

  • 2
    Hey TGA - I edited to strip out seller information to avoid any unnecessary questions about terms of use, etc. Commented May 20, 2013 at 20:22
  • 2
    @RussellSteen, isn't this a double standard as the other answer also advertises specific commercial suppliers? The seller name is still available in history. I believe the question could more clearly state that other sellers on eBay also offer the service. The value of specifying the seller name is that TGA is presumably sharing his experience and sharing useful information. I don't believe this falls in the content policy clause 'whose primary purpose is affiliate marketing'. I believe he's primarily sharing his experience and doubt that the main intent is to augment the vendor's exposure.
    – ppl
    Commented May 20, 2013 at 21:42
  • 1
    @ppl -- You make a good point, I have rolled back my edit. Commented May 22, 2013 at 11:29

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.