Last Updated on March 7, 2020
When you are enjoying outdoor activities, it is important to keep hydrated and drinking water is one of the best and healthiest ways of doing this. While camping, a useful piece of equipment is a water container. This will help you to carry water backwards and forwards to your tent for drinking and cleaning purposes. There are many different types of drinking container available. This buying guide will give you some tips to help you choose the right one for you while the product reviews highlight the pros and cons of some of the best water containers for camping available now.
Quick Overview of The Best Water Containers for Camping
Collapsible/ Portable Water Containers
|Coleman Collapsible Water Carrier||5 Gallon||<1 lbs||Check Price|
|Coghlan's Collapsible Water Container||5 Gallon||<1 lbs||Check Price|
|Reliance Products Reliance Fold-A-Carrier||5 Gallon||0.65 lbs||Check Price|
|Gowithwind Collapsible Water Container||1.25 - 5 Gallon||0.31-0.49 lbs||Check Price|
|AMACASE Collapsible Water Container for Backpacking||1.32 Gallon||0.15 lbs||Check Price|
|Freegrace Premium Compact Collapsible Bucket||2.64-6.08 Gallon||0.5-1.19 lbs||Check Price|
|Built U.S.A. Seattle Sports Camp Bucket||3.15 Gallon||0.35 lbs||Check Price|
|UST FlexWare Collapsible Sink/Wash Basin||2.25 Gallon||1.23 lbs||Check Price|
|The Friendly Swede Collapsible Bucket for Camping||2.64-4.23 Gallon||0.85-1.25 lbs||Check Price|
|AMACASE Collapsible Water Container for Backpacking||1.3 Gallon||0.79 lbs||Check Price|
Rugged, Large Water Containers/ Jugs
|Coleman Jug With Water Carrier||5 Gallon||2 lbs||Check Price|
|Reliance Products Aqua-Tainer Rigid Water Container||7 Gallon||1.1 lbs||Check Price|
|Brio Reusable Plastic Water Bottle Jug Container||2-5 Gallon||0.9-1.9 lbs||Check Price|
|Skilcraft USGI Plastic Water Can||5 Gallon||5 lbs||Check Price|
|REDCAMP Portable Water Container with Spigot||4 Gallon||0.88 lbs||Check Price|
Reviews of The Best Collapsible/ Portable Water Containers
This is one of the best water containers for camping under $10.
The wide opening of this container means that it is easy to fill without spillage. It is also wide enough to add large ice cubes to the container.
This is a durable container that is made from good quality materials. The handle is heavy-duty polyethylene, and this resists cracks and dents.
This is container folds flat when not in use. This means it takes up very little space when packing for your camping trip.
It has two handles, one on the side and one on the top, so you can carry the container the way you find easiest.
The tap has a simple valve mechanism that is easy to use as you just turn to release the water from the container.
- Good opening
- Strong handle
- Easy-to-use tap
- Collapsible for neat storage
- Two handles
- Flimsy plastic
- The cap has a poor seal
- Slow water release
This portable and lightweight container is ideal as a camping water container and has some interesting features.
Combined Cap and Spout:
There is just one hole in this water container that acts as both the filling point and the tap. The tap is attached to a screw cap which you remove to fill the container with water. You then replace the cap and turn the container the other way up to use the tap. The opening is leak-proof and wide enough to add ice cubes.
Sturdy and Durable:
It is made from BPA-free, food-approve, high-grade polyethylene, so it is a sturdy and durable piece of equipment. This material resists cracks and dents so it will last you for many camping trips over the years to come.
It comes with two handles, one on each side, to make carrying the container easy.
- Good tap valve
- Combined tap and cap
- BPA-free plastic
- Two handles
- Strong odor of plastic
- It has a hanging string that breaks easily
A water container that is suitable for camping, events, and a range of outdoor activities thanks to the collapsible feature.
This water container is constructed of BPA-free, food-approved, high-grade polyethylene that is durable and easy to clean.
It has a sturdy handle on the top of the water container. The handle folds down for easy storage or for when you turn the container the other way up to use the tap.
At just 0.65 pounds, this is a lightweight water container for camping. It is also compact as this is a collapsible container that folds flat for neat packing and storage.
Good Spigot Design:
The tap has an easy-to-use design with a simple valve. The manufacturers claim that this is leak-proof.
- Easy-to-use tap
- BPA free
- Strong fold-down handle
- The tap is in a strange position
- Doesn’t hold its shape well
This water container comes in three size option between q.25 gallons and 5 gallons so you can choose the most suitable size for your needs.
Combined Tap and Water Fill:
This water container has a combined filling point and tap feature, so you can fill your container and replace the cap with an inbuilt tap to use straight away.
This has a strong handle as it is an integrated part of the water container’s design and not an added piece.
This is a collapsible container that folds flat, so it won’t take up space in your luggage and stores away neatly.
Doesn’t Taint Water:
A common problem with camping water containers is that they taint the water with a smell and taste of plastic. This container is odorless and tasteless.
- Simple tap feature
- Good integrated handle
- Collapses down as water empties
- Slow water release
This handy pack of three bag-style water containers makes collecting and carry water easy while camping.
The design is similar to that of a plastic carrier bag with an integrated plastic handle. Each bag in the pack holds 0.66 gallons, so the combined capacity of the bag is just under two gallons.
Each bag is just over two ounces with a combined pack weight of 6.4 ounces. This means that they are a lightweight option
When empty, these water bags lie flat. If you are looking for something compact, then this is one of the best water containers for camping.
Suitable for the Freezer:
You can fill the water bags with water before leaving home and then freeze them. By the time you have reached your destination, the ice will have partially thawed leaving some ice with very cold water.
- Neat design
- Easy to use
- Low capacity
- No tap so needs pouring
- Doesn’t stand
Reviews of The Best Collapsible Buckets
This is one of the best water containers for camping for those who want something with a large capacity and need water for cleaning purposes.
This water bucket has a large capacity as it can hold up to 10 gallons of water. This reduces the number of trips you need to make to the nearest tap.
You can either use this water container as a bucket for transporting the water from the tap to your tent or as a container to use the water direct from the bucket. For example, you can use it as a sink for washing your face or as a washing up bowl. You can also use it for carrying any other items.
Lightweight and Compact:
At just eight ounces, this is a lightweight water container. It also folds down flat when not in use, so it doesn’t take up much room.
The structure of the bucket means that it is self-supporting and can stand alone regardless of whether it is filled with water or it is empty.
It is made from BPA-free plastic and is also free of other toxins.
- No toxins
- Stands well
- Two strong shoulder straps with padding
- Secure lid
- No tap
- Not for drinking water
This is the perfect solution for carrying water back to your tent and doing the washing-up without the need for a separate bowl.
The base of this water bucket is made from abrasion resistant material, so it will not scratch or tear from regular use. The vinyl-coated nylon is long-lasting and durable.
Easy to Clean:
It is easy to clean as you can simply pop it in the dishwasher when you return from your camping trip.
This water bucket has a capacity of 3.17 gallons which is plenty for washing-up or laundry.
- Lightweight at 5.6 ounces
- Dishwasher safe
- Strong handle
- Durable materials
- Problems standing upright
- Small capacity
Part of the UST Flexware range of camping accessories, this collapsible sink is ideal for washing-up while camping.
A washing up bowl is a bulky item to take camping with you, even if you use it for packing other times. This problem is solved if you buy this product as the bowl folds down flat after use. This means it is a compact item to take away camping with you.
It has two sturdy handles for carrying the water back to the tent and its design means the weight is evenly distributed and will not spill.
When you are not doing the washing-up, you can use this collapsible sink to carry other items.
It is made from a flexible thermoplastic rubber, which is sturdy and durable. The plastic rim gives it extra support and helps it to keep its shape.
- Use in multiple ways
- Good handles
- Heavy at 19.7 ounces
- Sticker on interior base does not fully remove
This collapsible bucket is suitable for various outdoor activities, including camping, traveling, and gardening.
Free from Toxins:
It is free from toxins, such as BPA and phthalate. This means it is safe to use for drinking water or food storage.
This collapsible bucket has a handy handle on the side that you can use for pouring water from the bucket. It also has a detachable shoulder strap for carrying and a further handle on the lid.
You can use this collapsible bucket in many ways, from doing the washing-up while camping to washing the car. You can even use it for a warming foot bath at the end of a hard day hiking.
Both the mesh pocket on the side and the lid are removable. This means you only need to attach them at the times when you need them.
It is made from heavy-duty industrial grade 500D PVC tarpaulin. This is a durable material and the product is made stronger with double-stitching and sealed seams to prevent leaks.
- Sealed seams
- Strong materials
- Several handles
- Detachable features
- 64-gallon capacity
- Plastic taste and odor to water
- Slouches a little when heavily filled
Another practical item from the UST FlexWare camping equipment range, this collapsible bucket will come in handy for multiple purposes.
Like all the other items in the UST FlexWare range of products, this collapsible bucket has a funky orange and gray design.
It is made from thermoplastic rubber, which is a sturdy and durable material. It is also toxin-free and dishwasher safe. For added stability, this bucket has a plastic rim.
This bucket has a sturdy plastic handle that folds down. The handle evenly distributes the weight, so it is easy to carry.
It has a capacity of 1.3-gallons and weighs 12.6 ounces.
When you collapse this bucket down for storage, it measures just two inches by ten inches. This makes it a compact item to pack for camping.
- Foldable and compact
- Sturdy materials
- Dishwasher safe
- Stiff to open and retract
- Quite small
Reviews of The Best Rugged, Large Water Containers/ Jugs
This well-made water carrier is one of the best water containers for camping as it is designed with outdoor activities in mind.
Fast Water Delivery:
The design of the spigot means that the water is delivered quickly without the need for tipping.
This water carrier has a sturdy handle on its side that is molded from the same material as the body of the water carrier, so it is unlikely to break. It is wide enough for even large hands and has a good hand grip design for ease of carrying with wet hands.
It is made from tough polyethylene and this is both scratch and impact-resistant. It is manufactured in the United States.
- A trusted brand name product
- Durable and sturdy materials
- Good handle
- Delivers water fast
- Scratch and impact-resistant
- Leaky valve
- Wash before use as some have bits of plastic inside
One of the best options, if you are enjoying a longer trip as it has a capacity of seven gallons.
Molded Contour Grip:
This water carrier has a molded contour grip that makes the container easier to carry even when full to the brim.
It has hand gradient lines marked on the side of the container, so you can see how much water is left inside. This is also useful if you need to track how much water you use.
To prevent leaks, the cap has a thick rubber gasket. The spigot has a good flange at the base of its threads and this will also prevent leakages.
- No plastic tastes
- Decent handle
- Useful gradient lines
- Good capacity
- Thin plastic
- Very heavy when filled
This 3-gallon water container is a good choice for people who enjoy shorter camping trips and its size makes it the perfect travel accessory.
It is made from the highest quality titan resin. This is free from all Bisphenol compounds, including BPS and BPA.
This product has received FDA approval, and this means that it is safe for using as a container for drinking water.
You can use this water container time and again in outdoor situations as this durable item will last for years.
The handle is molded from the same materials as the body of the water container. As it is all one part without a seam, this means the handle is sturdy.
Separate Valve and Fill Points:
The refill hole of this product is on the top, while the valve for pouring water is on the side.
- Easy to fill and pour water
- Solid handle for easy carrying
- Good quality materials
- FDA approved
- Stickers difficult to remove
- Slow water delivery
This is a genuine issue United States military water container that meets military standards and specifications.
As this meets military standards and specifications, this is a rugged and durable water container.
This is made from good quality plastic that is BPA-free, so it is safe to use for drinking water.
It has a simple screw cap over the hole for filling and pouring. This screw cap has a piece of plastic attaching it to the bottle, so you cannot lose the cap.
The handle is molded as one piece with the water container, so the handle is sturdy and unbreakable.
- Military standards
- Capacity of five-gallons
- Easy-to-use cap
- Sturdy handle
- Good quality BPA-free plastic
- Problems with the thread on the cap
- Heavy and bulky, even when empty
If you prefer a larger container with a tap, this is a great option for you.
This water container is made from polyethylene that does not contain toxins and is approved for using with drinking water. You can also use the water for cleaning and washing purposes.
Easy to Clean:
The container has a capped hole on top that is large enough to fit your arm inside to clean out the barrel.
This container has two caps, both of which have a screw cap fitting. The larger of the two caps is for easy filling, adding ice, or cleaning out. The smaller of the two caps is also for filling and this cap fitting has the tap valve connected.
The handle is molded plastic and is part of the main body. Therefore, it is a sturdy container. However, it is in a strange position that makes it difficult to pour.
- Two cap sizes
- Easy care
- Strong handle
- You need to tip to use the tap
- Strange handle location
- Difficult to pour
Portable Water Container Buying Guide
There are several factors you should consider when choosing the best water container for camping and this guide gives an overview of these factors along with some tips to help you make the best decision.
Types of Water Containers for Camping
There are lots of different options when it comes to buying camping water containers. Some of the most include the following:
- Water tanks- The most common option for camping water storage is a water tank. These come in all shapes and sizes and most will have a handle and a tap.
- Water jugs- The downside of a water jug is that it is open at the top so there is a risk of contamination. People choose these because they are easier to carry than water containers.
- Portable water containers- In most cases, you would describe camping water storage as portable. This means that you can easily move them around, such as from the tap to your tent.
- Collapsible water containers- A collapsible water container, also known as a folding water container, is one that packs away flat when not in use. This is a popular option as they take up less room in your backpack.
- Aquaroll- An aquaroll is usually barrel-shaped. This term refers to any camping water container that you can fill and then roll back to your tent. This is ideal for people who struggle to lift a large water container.
- Water buckets- These are similar in shape to a regular bucket with handles, but they have a lid to stop the water from getting contaminated.
Water containers come in a range of sizes. When choosing which is the best to buy, it is important to consider how much water you are likely to use during your trip and how often you would need to fill the bottle. It is also worth noting that smaller containers are lighter but will need more refill trips, while a larger container will need fewer trips for refilling but is much heavier when filled with water.
You can buy water containers in a range of materials and each of these has pros and cons. The most common of these are as follows:
- Plastic- The most common material for camping water containers is plastic. This is durable, light, easy to clean, cheap, and unlikely to break. Most people opt for plastic water containers for camping.
- Glass- Some water containers are made from glass. These are better-suited for use at an event as they look better quality. They are not great for camping as there is a risk of them breaking and broken glass then becomes a safety concern. Glass containers are also more expensive than plastic water containers.
- Stainless-steel- Another option is to buy a stainless-steel water container. These are easy to clean and relatively light. They are also nice-looking products with a sleek design. The downsides to this material are that it is more expensive than plastic and can dent easily, either when being transported in the car or when using it on a campsite.
- Handles- Most camping water containers have some sort of handle. This is usually either on the top or on the side. It is best to opt for a water container with a handle as they are easier to carry. Another carrying method that some containers have is a strap. These are good for carrying the water over your shoulder instead of by hand.
- Taps- Many water containers have a tap that you can use to fill your kettle or bottle. These are a handy feature as you do not want to lift a big container every time you need a drink. Using the tap means there is also less spillage. The tap is also known as a spout and a camping water container with a spout will usually have a simple lever to turn the water on and off.
- Lids- Most of the water containers for camping have lids to stop insects, foreign objects and bacteria from getting inside the container when it is filled with water. These lids vary from one product to the next. While some have a flip or push cap, others have a screw cap.
- Hoses- Some water containers come with a hose and this is something that you can also buy separately. It is a useful item to have as it solves the problem of holding a heavy water container up to a tap while it is filling. This is something that many people find difficult. Instead, you can rest the water container on the floor under the tap and attach the tap and the hose. You then put the other end of the hose into the water container to fill without the need to hold the heavy container.
A Few Frequently asked Questions
Why Do You Need a Water Container?
There are several reasons why you would need a water container when camping and these are as follows:
Drinking- Having a water supply for drinking is important when camping. By filling a water container, you will have a better supply in your tent.
Save time- Having a camping water container instead of a small water bottle will save you time. A small bottle needs refilling regularly and to do this you would need to make repeated trips to the tap at the campsite. If you have a water container, it has a greater capacity than a regular bottle. Once this is filled and taken back to your tent, you can refill smaller bottles directly from the container. Similarly, it saves you time making repeated trips to refill the kettle.
Cleaning- You can also use the water container to collect water for cleaning yourself and utensils. Some campers use the water from their containers to have a face wash in the morning if they don’t head straight for the showers. They also use water from the containers to fill their washing bowl to
Is It Safe to Drink Water from These Containers?
These containers are designed for carrying water to drink to your tent. Therefore, it is safe to drink water from the containers. However, there are some important points to remember. The first is that you should wash the container regularly between trips to remove any bacterial build up. Second, you must make sure the water is suitable for human consumption. If you are on a campsite, they will usually have a water supply that is labeled as drinking water. If you are getting your water from another source, you should probably only use it for cleaning or boil it first to reduce bacteria in the water.
Which Ones Are Best to Take with You When Camping?
In terms of materials, plastic water containers are easily the most sensible option. They are light, sturdy, don’t break, and are safe to use. The best style is a collapsible container as these take up the least room in your luggage. In relation to capacity, you will need a container that can hold at least two gallons of water. For longer camping trips, a five-gallon water container is better as you won’t need to fill it as often. However, the downside to this is that a five-gallon container filled with water is heavy.
A water container is a very useful item to take camping that will save you a lot of trips back and forth to the tap. You can use the water from them for washing, cleaning, and drinking. There are plenty of options available and each of these has its own pros and cons.
Our best pick:
Collapsible water container: The Coleman Water Carrier– It comes from a trusted brand, has a large capacity, and some decent features.
Collapsible bucket: Freegrace Premium Collapsible Bucket– as it is a lightweight and compact option, despite having a large capacity.
Rugged, large water container: The Coleman Jug with Water Carrier– because it is made from durable and safe materials that will stand the test of time.