We’ve looked at some of the most popular camping water containers and we’ve put together a list of what we believe to be the best water containers for camping.
Water is an essential part of our lives. In fact, our bodies constitute 70% water. Not only do we need water for fulfilling our thirst, but it is also essential to keep ourselves clean, wash our dishes, and much more!
Water is the most important thing to take with you on a camping trip in the evergreen forest or going for an excursion on the outskirts of your city.
But how do you take it? In small plastic bottles that you discard after use? These bottles are not only affecting the environment but are also heavy on the pocket.
Most of these small bottles can only hold 0.5 to 5 liters of water. These bottles are made from plastic and have toxins such as phthalates and BPA which are harmful to you and your family.
A better alternative is a Camping Water Container. Water containers for camping come in several sizes and can be used again and again for a long time!
The best camping water container would be made from BPA-free materials to keep your water free from harmful chemicals. It would have other exceptional compounds that help to keep the water leak-free, odor-free, and taste-free.
In this article, we take a closer look at 7 of the best camping water containers that you can take with you on any outdoor adventure.
In addition to this, we have included a detailed Buying Guide and FAQs to help you choose the ideal water container for your next adventure. So let’s begin!
The Scepter 5 Gallon Tank is heavy-duty, reliable, durable, and fits perfectly on the back of a Jeep or a camper.
Our Top Picks: Camping Water Container
- Top Choice: Scepter 5 Gallon Tank
- Our Premium Pick: AquaTank-2 Water Storage Bladder
- Great Value: Water Storage Cube Collapsible Water Container
- Best Portable Collapsible Container: Hydrapak Seeker
- Most Versatile: Igloo 5 Gallon Camping Water Container
- Best for long trips: API Kirk Stackable Water Containers
- Best Collapsible Water Container: Freegrace Collapsible Bucket
Quick Answers: Camping Water Containers
The following are our top 7 recommendations when it comes to water containers for camping. All these units have features you can expect from high capacity and reliable water containers that you can take for camping!
The Scepter 5 Gallon Tank is our overall favorite water container for camping. It’s heavy-duty, durable, reliable, well-made, and fits perfectly on a camper.
The Scepter 5 Gallon Tank is a heavy-duty yet lightweight portable water container that’s easy to carry from one place to another. It’s perfect for camping, hiking, or any other trip. What we really like is that it’s the same size as a standard gas tank and it fits nicely on our camper.
A big plus is that the Scepter water container is eco-friendly. It’s produced from food-grade material and doesn’t have Bisphenol A or BPA.
It’s made of high-quality material and it doesn’t release any chemicals in the water. It’s odorless and, most importantly, it doesn’t make the water taste like plastic.
The Scepter 5 Gallon Tank measures 13 ½ x 6 ¾ x 19 inches and has a heavy-duty design which means that it will prove to be a reliable unit for a very long time.
The AquaTank-2 Water Storage Bladder is lightweight and it compacts down easily when you’re not using it. It‘s one of the most resistant camping water containers out there. You can choose from five different bladder sizes ranging from 15 gallons to 300 gallons which makes it perfect for boondocking.
The AquaTank 2 Water Storage Bladder is made from the best-quality material out there. It’s a thin, light, and well-made water container. We poked it and stretched it out to test it but it felt strong and didn’t leak.
Not only is the AquaTank-2 made from BPA-free materials, but it also doesn’t have any Phthalates either. Both of these compounds can be harmful so we try to steer clear from products that may contain some.
The AquaTank’s collapsible container is made from food-grade Polyurethane material internally and externally with the shell made from Nylon.
The Aquatank has inlet and outer tubes which are extremely efficient for letting water out without making a mess.
The company ensures that it doesn’t have any odor or weird taste that other plastic containers have. We personally didn’t find the water had a noticeable plastic taste even after three days of being stored inside the bladder.
The AquaTank-2 weighs less than 5 pounds and comes with a small box that is ideal to store when you’re not using it. It comes in different sizes from 15 gallons all the way to 300 gallons.
The Water Storage Cube Collapsible Water Container has the best extra features. It has a custom-made lid and spigot with a seamless one-piece design. It’s also collapsible which makes it super easy to store!
Water Storage Cube has come up with a Collapsible Water Container made from non-toxic and eco-friendly materials.
This collapsible water container is made from BPA-free plastic and doesn’t contain any DEHP (Bis(2-Ethylhexyl) phthalate which has been linked to asthma, obesity, and many other health problems. It doesn’t contain PVC either (Polyvinyl Chloride which is considered toxic).
It’s a transparent water container that is foldable and flexible. It retains its shape and is easy to fill up, drain, and reuse. The water container is soft with firm molded handles that make it convenient and easy to carry around.
The lid is custom made and the spigot is designed without a gasket which makes it resistant to leaks. The lid is thick which makes it resistant to heavy pressure. It’s a one-piece design that does not have any seams which help prevent any leaks.
The spigot comes off easily and releases an adequate amount of water and makes it easy to control the water flow.
Overall, we liked how you can squash this container down when we’re not using it. Even though it’s made from soft plastic, we found the storage cube to be a reliable and durable product that should last for a while.
The Hydrapak Seeker Collapsible Storage bladder only weighs 4.4 ounces, is easy to carry, and is perfect for day trips or backpacking.
The Hydrapak Seeker’s Collapsible bladder is flexible, compact, and very lightweight which is ideal for day trips. With its 4 liter capacity, it’s a good option for two people going on a day hike.
The Hydrapak can also work efficiently over a wide range of temperatures and you can even freeze it! It has a maximum temperature limit of 60 ° C or 140° F.
The Hydrapak is compatible with an array of water filters such as Filtration systems like the Katadyn BeFree which can easily be screwed onto it.
Overall, the Hydrapak is a super lightweight, durable, and non-toxic bladder that you can take with you on the go.
With a smooth and pressure-fit lid, we found the Igloo 5 Gallon Water Container a reliable water container for camping. It keeps your water cold for 3 days and you can even use it as a seat!
The Igloo 5 Water container can store water up to a capacity of 5 gallons. If you want to store ice, you can store it in this unit for 3 days without it melting!
The unit has a recessed and an angled spigot which is resistant to leaks. The spigot also helps to dispense the water easily without any spillage.
When it’s full, it is a bit heavy so the compact and easy to hold handles do come in handy to help move it around.
The Igloo 5 water container also features a ‘keeper cord’ and pressure fit which fixes the lid to the cooler to stop any dirt or sand from getting and ensures the water stays clean. It also helps prevent water spillage during movement.
Furthermore, the upper surface of the container can be used as a seat! –> Get the Igloo 5 water container here.
The API Kirk Stackable Water Containers are among the most convenient water containers with a large capacity for camping if you need to bring a lot of water for a long trip.
API Kirk Water containers can carry 5 gallons of water each and are stackable which makes them perfect for longer trips. The precision of design ensures they can easily fit into your car or RV.
The shape of the container’s top aligns with the shape at the bottom. Thus, they’re super easy to stack on top of each other.
They’re made of High-Density Polyethylene, more prevalent by its abbreviation HDPE. They’re made with BPA-free plastic. The materials are food-grade which makes these water carriers safe and toxins-free.
The Water containers come with a dust plug that is pre-installed and that can be removed once you get to your destination.
The caps on these water containers are center threaded with a membrane that you can cut if you want to use a spigot. They come with a free wrench to help you fit the caps easily.
The API Kirk Stackable Water Containers are perfect when you need a lot of water for your trip. You can easily stack up several containers on top of one another and that’s why we find them perfect for boondocking.
The Freegrace Collapsible Bucket is a great water container for camping that offers great value for money. It’s sturdy, compact, and perfect for doing dishes, washing clothes, or keeping your drinks cold!
The Freegrace Collapsible Container is a practical way to carry water while camping or at any outdoor event. It comes in different sizes with carrying capacities of 10/16/23 liters.
The Freegrace is lightweight and easy to fold when you’re not using it. It can further support its own weight and stay upright even if you set it down on an uneven surface.
This Collapsible bucket is made from Premium 500D Tarpaulin. It’s double-stitched and it’s sealed from all sides to ensure it doesn’t leak.
While this is NOT for human drinking water, your dog can safely drink out of it. It’s also perfect to use for dishwashing or laundry. You can also fill it up with ice to keep your drinks cold. –> You can this one on Amazon.
Our Buying Guide: Best Water Containers
You might have a lot of questions regarding which water containers for camping to buy. It can be overwhelming to differentiate between all the different types of water containers and pick out which one is ideal for you.
So in this section, we answer all of the questions you might have regarding portable water containers for camping. We also give you a few tips and tricks to help you nominate the best water container for camping that is the perfect match for you!
Things To Consider in a Water Carrier
The first thing that will help you choose the ‘perfect’ water container for your camping trip is evaluating the material the unit is made of. While some units are made of plastics, others are made of steel or metal.
However, in this article, we have included units that are made from different food-grade components like Polyurethane and Tarpaulin since these are considered non-toxic.
The downside of having a metal or steel water container is that during summer, the tank could heat up and warm up the water. Whereas, during winters, the water would become extremely cold and even freeze.
Thus, most people prefer rigid water containers made out of plastic or other materials to keep the water at an ideal temperature.
You should try to invest in a unit that embraces materials free of BPA, PVC, and DEHP and other toxins that can be harmful to your health.
Moreover, the type of material also plays an important part in the quality of the stored water. Some materials might infuse in an odor and taste in the water while others retain from doing so. Thus, it’s very important to inspect the material of the container you are buying.
The first question you need to ask yourself while shopping for a water container for camping is the purpose of the water container. Why do you need it? Do you need it for drinking only? Or are you going to use it for washing dishes, your clothes or showering while you’re camping?
This is important because you will need to estimate the amount of water you will need to bring and choose the right type of camping water container.
If you’re using your container for drinking water only then it depends on where you’re going and for how many days. It also depends on whether you will have access to water nearby or not.
As a rule of thumb, a container with a capacity of 5 gallons of water will be sufficient for most short camping trips.
If you want to use the water container for emergency backup or to wash your belongings, buy a tank with a capacity of 5 gallons or more.
Spigots and Gaskets
A spigot is essential for safe; spill-free transfer of water to and from the container. While some models of water containers contain spigot, others do not. SO it’s very important to note whether your unit has a spigot or not.
You need to also ensure the gasket your unit has. Rubber gaskets work exceptionally well to ensure that the water doesn’t leak out.
The Design (Collapsible or Firm Shell)
By the design of the Water container, we mean whether you want a unit that has a collapsible prototype or one that’s rigid and has a hard outer shell.
Let’s first talk about the difference between the two.
A collapsible Water Container works well if you have a small space to store it. Most of the collapsible water containers are made from plastic so that they can be folded easily when they are not used. They are the easiest to store.
However, the downside of a collapsible Water Container is that it will lose its shape once the water is slowly taken out. Moreover, these containers are more prone to damage.
Though, the collapsible containers we’ve looked at above have a Nylon outer shell or some other sturdy material that keeps them leak-free and damage-free.
The water containers that have a firm outer shell usually take up a lot of space. However, if you want to carry a large amount of water, then these will work best for you. The reason is that they are sturdy and most of these containers can be stacked upon one another.
The downside of these types of containers is that they are much heavier than collapsible units and need more storage space.
At the end of the day, it really depends on the purpose and the capacity of the water container you need.
The importance of durability is very clear. A durable unit will last you longer which means you won’t have to constantly buy new ones or spend money on repair or replacement of the units.
Some pointers that will help you predict whether the unit has a longer shelf life or not are: The material it’s made of, the spigot, the gasket, and last but not the least, how easy it is to clean.
Cleaning of the Water Container
This is important since this ensures the proper hygiene of the unit. You can judge whether a water container is easy to clean or not by looking at how it opens up. Even if it has a small opening, think about whether a small brush can fit into it to clean the unit easily from top to bottom.
Storing the water for longer times can make some of it evaporate. Furthermore, water can leave hard water stains on the sides of the container. So, check whether it’s easy to clean the stains out or not before buying water containers for camping.
Frequently Asked Questions: Portable Water Container
Q1. How to sanitize a camping water container?
You can wash the water container with dish detergent and water. You need to wash carefully and rinse completely to make sure that no dish detergent is left behind.
For a deeper clean, you can use unscented, liquid bleach. Be mindful not to pick up scented bleach or bleach that’s often used for cleaning surfaces.
You will need to dilute the mixture down to sanitize the inside of the water container. For the mixture, you will need to mix in one teaspoon of bleach with one quart of water. Partially fill your water container, seal it completely, and give it a good shake.
You’ll need to shake it really well for at least 30 seconds. Every inch of the interior surface should be coated for the water container to be 100% sanitized.
Here’s how to best sanitize your water container for camping.
Q2. How can you remove the hard water stains from the water container?
One of the most suggested methods to clean hard water stains from any plastic container is with white vinegar.
Mix equal parts of white vinegar and water. Just soak your container in this cleaning solution for a few hours and then wash it as you normally would. Let it dry and voilà! Your container will look as if you just bought it!
This method is very effective! Hopefully, all of the stains will vanish within a few hours!
Q3. How much water to bring on a camping trip?
First, consider the number of people going on the camping trip. Then count the number of days you will be staying there. Then calculate the gallons of drinking water you need per person per day (1 gallon per person). This proves to be the most efficient method.
However, if you need the water for other purposes like cleaning, you might need more water. If you’re camping without any near access to water, here’s how to calculate. You should calculate 3 gallons of water per person since you will be using it to brush your teeth, shower, wash dishes, do laundry…
Thus, keeping all these points in mind will help you calculate your water consumption to ensure you have enough water for your camping trip.
Final Thoughts: Best Water Container
While all the camping water containers we’ve reviewed are great options, we think the Scepter 5 Gallon Tank is the winner here. We found it to be the ideal size for us and the easiest to store on our camper trailer. It’s lightweight, portable, toxic-free, and simply well-made.
The runner-ups are AquaTank 2 Water Storage Bladder and Water Storage Cube Collapsible Water Container. Both products have exceptional construction and have all the noteworthy features to make sure you have a leak-free and resistant water container for camping that you can use for many years.
We hope that this article has proved to be a worthy read for you and that it cleared things up in your mind to pick the best camping water container for your needs. Happy camping!