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Best Water Containers for Camping

We all know the importance of keeping ourselves well-hydrated. However, when in the great outdoors, we don’t always have access to clean drinking water. When planning your trip, it is essential to bring your own rations of clean drinking water. Bringing packs of plastic bottles is not only inconvenient and expensive, but the waste it generates harms the very environment you are going out to enjoy. A better option is to bring along purpose-built outdoor water containers. Not only is this more environmentally friendly, but also more versatile for outdoor survival, as these containers are more portable and provide more storage function. In this guide, we list down some of the best water containers for camping, as well as their pros and cons, to help you decide which of them best suits your needs.


Best Overall: Reliance Products “Jumbo-tainer”

The Reliance Products “Jumbo-tainer” is our top pick for the best water container for camping. It boasts a large water storage capacity, is made of durable and food-safe plastic, and comes with a tap. However, what particularly impressed us about the container was its unconventional design. It looks different but in a good sort of way. It features two ergonomically designed gripe handles for easier carrying and pouring. The overall body profile is also relatively thin. This allows the container more portability options compared to other, larger camping containers. The container is extraordinarily sturdy, enough to retain its integrity even when the inside water content freezes solid. One minor criticism we have of the “Jumbo-tainer” is that the spigot design is prone to leakage.

 

Pros

  • 7-gallon capacity
  • Sturdy, solid built
  • BPA-free plastic
  • Dual handles
  • Thin, compact profile

 

Cons

  • Potentially leaky spigot


Runner-up: Reliance Products Aqua-Tainer

The Reliance Products Aqua-Tainer is another great water container for camping and outdoor trips. The design is compact, sturdy, and boasts a large water capacity. Its plastic body is BPA-free, food-safe, and weathers the outdoor elements just fine. The manufacturers are so sure of the container’s toughness and durability that they attach a 5-year warranty with your purchase. The container also comes with a spigot you can screw onto the cap for convenient water release.

 

A major gripe we have with this otherwise excellent water container is that their design does not permit them to be stacked when filled. This does make them potentially less portable compared to other options on the market. Like in the other mentioned RP container, the overall quality of the spigot also leaves much to ask for. It doesn’t match that of the rest of the product. It is prone to leakage and can break easily with age.

 

Pros

  • 7-gallon capacity
  • Sturdy, solid built
  • BPA-free plastic
  • Space-saving compact design
  • Comes with a 5-year warranty

 

Cons

  • Not easily portable
  • Full containers don’t stack well
  • Fragile spigot


Most Portable: WaterStorageCube Collapsible

For small groups and solo campers, portability is always high on the agenda when choosing what equipment and gear to take along for the trip. If you are looking for a container that you can easily fit and carry around in your backpack, then the WaterStorageCube Collapsible is a great purchase. As its name implies, this water container can be folded up when not in use, saving space and maximizing portability. The container’s body is composed of high-grade soft plastic that is both environmentally friendly and non-toxic. However, this doesn’t mean that the container isn’t durable. Far from it, this water container can withstand a fair bit of abuse and pressure well.

 

As for drawbacks, there are a few. First, the lack of a vent means that water flow can be disrupted as it is harder for air to get inside the container. The container could benefit from having a longer, more robustly built spigot. However, given its highly affordable price, these minor quirks don’t do enough to chip away its overall appeal.

 

Pros

  • Affordable price
  • 5-gallon capacity
  • Environmentally friendly
  • BPA PVC or DEHP free plastic
  • Lightweight
  • Collapsible design

 

Cons

  • Insufficient water flow
  • Not as durable as hardshell counterparts

 

Best Cooler: Igloo® Orange Cooler

When the days are particularly hot and exhausting, nothing can compare to the experience of drinking a refreshing ice-cold glass of water to beat the heat. Being in the great outdoors doesn’t mean that you are deprived of such luxuries. Even as the mercury hits over 90, the Igloo® Orange Cooler has an astonishing capacity to keep the water chill, not for hours, but for days! Apart from providing exceptional insulation from heat, this water container also boasts a large storage capacity, a sturdy BPA-free hard plastic build, and comes with a dispenser chip for mounting plastic cups on the container. The container design is compact and stackable, allowing for easier storage and transport. The design of the spigot is also worth commending. To reduce leakage, the spigot is slightly angled, allowing for a drip-free dispensing of water.

 

As for the negatives, the push-down top lid isn’t exactly the most secure. This means that water is prone to leaking out when the container is tilted, and the entire lid can pop off the barrel if it is tipped over or falls with enough force.

 

Pros

  • 5-gallon capacity
  • Exceptional insulation from heat
  • Sturdy, solid built
  • BPA-free plastic
  • Well-designed spigot
  • Stackable barrel
  • Dispenser clip
  • Easy to clean

 

Cons

  • Lid not very secure
  • Unsecure lid permits portability issues

 

Best on a budget: Coleman Water Carrier

For those campers on a tight budget, we recommended Coleman Water Carrier. Coleman is a big name when it comes to camping gear and equipment and has a good reputation in providing a functional, good quality product. Their collapsible water carrier is no exception. Despite the appreciatively low price, the built quality is excellent and relatively durable. The design feature duel handles and falls completely flat for easier portability and storage.

 

However, similarly to the other collapsible water container already mentioned, a lack of an air vent results in insufficient water flow. Another gripe we have with the product is that its ‘bubbly’ soft frame makes it vulnerable to falling off a table or other elevated surfaces on the slightest push. However, these setbacks are not too big of a deal-breaker given the low price and high functionality of this water carrier.

 

Pros

  • 5-gallon capacity
  • Highly affordable price
  • Dual handles
  • Lightweight
  • Collapsible design

 

Cons

  • Insufficient water flow
  • Not as durable as hardshell counterparts

 

Final Remarks

In some outdoor scenarios, such as deserts and dry lands, you would require a water container not just for drinking and cooking but also for washing and cleaning. It is better to play it safe and bring along a larger container then to regret it later when the supply runs out. While there are plenty of options available on the market, we narrowed it down to what we deemed as the best water container for camping in each category. When going out on your next trip, consider taking along any one of these excellent containers for your water storage needs.

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