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The Best Water Containers for Camping of 2024

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Regardless of if you go backcountry or front-country camping, you will need some way to carry your water. Although a water bottle is great for a day’s worth of water, you are likely to need something to hold more than a day’s worth of water. This is where water containers come in.

Some water containers are collapsible, some are hard-shelled, but all water containers have a job to perform. These are our top picks for water containers for camping, including our best budget picks for great quality water containers at a great price. Whether you’re looking for a water storage system for your next road trip or a lightweight, collapsible option to take on your next backpacking trip, we have found the water container for you.

If you want to get back to climbing, get our top pick for camping water containers here.

Our Top Favorite
Coghlan's Store and Pour Contain-Alls Plastic Containers, Clear, One Size, 8525
Our Top Runner Up
Coleman 1-Gallon Water Jug, Portable Water Cooler with Handle & Spigot, Great for Camping, Beach, Sports, Tailgating, Picnic & More
Our Top Value Pick
Reliance Products Aqua-Tainer 7 Gallon Rigid Water Container, Blue , 11.3 Inch x 11.0 Inch x 15.3 Inch
Water Container
Coghlan's Camping Container
Coleman Water Jug
Reliance aqua tainer
Prime Eligible?
Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime
Our Top Favorite
Coghlan's Store and Pour Contain-Alls Plastic Containers, Clear, One Size, 8525
Water Container
Coghlan's Camping Container
Prime Eligible?
Amazon Prime
Our Top Runner Up
Coleman 1-Gallon Water Jug, Portable Water Cooler with Handle & Spigot, Great for Camping, Beach, Sports, Tailgating, Picnic & More
Water Container
Coleman Water Jug
Prime Eligible?
Amazon Prime
Our Top Value Pick
Reliance Products Aqua-Tainer 7 Gallon Rigid Water Container, Blue , 11.3 Inch x 11.0 Inch x 15.3 Inch
Water Container
Reliance aqua tainer
Prime Eligible?
Amazon Prime

Last update: 2024-05-19 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Our Favorites for the Best Water Containers for CampingOur Favorites for the Best Water Containers for Camping

Coghlan's camping container (Our favorite collapsible water container)

This 5-gallon collapsible water container is highly rated and doesn’t cost too much. The container is lightweights and made of BPA free plastic. The two handles make this container easy to pour out of and the pouring spout minimizes leaks. This container tops off our list as our favorite due to its ease of use and cost. We want a water container that doesn’t leak, and this one is known for having an amazing watertight lid.

Why you should choose this water container:

This is an amazing option for a large carrying capacity collapsible water container that will last you a long time.

What makes this water container unique:

The extra handles make this container extremely versatile and both easy to carry and easy to pour from.

Coghlan's Store and Pour Contain-Alls Plastic Containers, Clear, One Size, 8525
  • food safe plastic container
  • interchangeable caps for every pourable liquid or solid
  • set includes: 1 - 4 oz. (120 ml) bottle, 2 - 2 oz. (60 ml) bottles, 2 - 1 oz. (30 ml) bottles and 2 - 1/2 oz. (15 ml) polycon containers

Last update: 2024-05-19 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


WaterBrick (Our favorite hard-shell water container)

The 3.5-gallon water bricks may hold less water than some other hard-shell water containers, but they stack perfectly, making them super easy to store. They are also made with thick, durable plastic that will hold up to lots of use. One of the main benefits of a smaller capacity water container is that it will be lighter to carry when full, but you will need more water containers to get you through a trip if you won’t be able to refill at all. This tops our list as our favorite hard-shelled water container due to the stacking nature, making these containers super easy to store and transport.

Why you should choose this water container:

This water container has an opening large enough to get your hand inside to clean it out well, meaning that you could store water, tea, juice, or any liquid in this water container and still be able to get it clean after.

What makes this water container unique:

This water container comes with two lids, one for travel and transport and one with a pouring spout. This makes these stackable water containers great for both storage and travel.

WaterBrick International WaterBrick Water Storage Containers for Emergency Water Storage | 10-Pack of Stackable 3.5 Gallon Water Container Bricks | Food-Grade HDPE Plastic | BPA-Free | STD Blue
  • WaterBrick Long Term Water Storage: The WaterBrick STD storage containers have a 3.5 Gallon water holding capacity and take up a minimal amount of space, measuring just 9" W x 18" L x 6" H. Each cube has a convenient handle for easy individual carrying and can be stored just about anywhere with it's compact brick design.
  • Stackable WaterBricks: Designed like no other water storage containers, the WaterBrick water cube is designed to be stackable, reducing occupied space and making them more easily storable. WaterBrick containers can be cross stacked 2 per row up to 4 feet high, or 8 rows. This pack of 10 stackable 3.5 gal containers offers a 35-gallon total combined storage capacity.
  • Food-Grade and BPA Free: WaterBrick containers are manufactured in the U.S. using food-grade HDPE plastic which is also BPA-free. WaterBrick has a wide diameter opening, allowing the average adult to easily pull contents out of the container by hand.You can safely store multiple food products such as water, rice, beans, sugar, pet food, and even non-food products including sand or ammunition for hunting.

Last update: 2024-05-19 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Our Runner Ups for the Best Water Containers for Camping

Our Runner Ups for the Best Water Containers for Camping

Coleman Water Jug (Our runner-up for hard-shell water containers)

Coleman products are often easy to find and are known to hold up to the test of time. This water jug is made of sturdy plastic and has a well-formed handle that is wide enough to allow for even the largest hands. Although this jug does only have one handle, it is a well-placed handle that helps with pouring. Some people have reported that the lid leaks a little, but the pour spout is well designed for pouring water at a good pace.

Why should you choose this water container:

This water container would be a long-lasting choice, as Coleman products are known to last for a lifetime of use.

What makes this water jug unique:

The design of the pour spout is ideal for getting water out. Many pour spouts trickle water out of the jug at a slow pace, but this spout is ideal for filling water bottles and cooking pots, without having to wait around all day for your water.

Coleman 1-Gallon Water Jug, Portable Water Cooler with Handle & Spigot, Great for Camping, Beach, Sports, Tailgating, Picnic & More
  • Country Of Origin : United States
  • The Package Height Of The Product Is 15 Inches
  • The Package Length Of The Product Is 20 Inches

Last update: 2024-05-19 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Coleman Water Carrier (Our runner-up for collapsible water containers)

Coleman is a well-respected brand in camping products, and their collapsible water carriers have been used and loved for years. It’s a cheap option but does have some cons, including the small lid size. This makes this water container a little hard to clean. This is a great option for a portable water dispenser to keep at your campsite.

Why you should choose this water container:

If you are looking for an easily packed option that can sit on your picnic table and be used to store water for cooking or for cleaning, this might be the option for you. The location of the pour spout makes this container the ideal container to have sitting on your table for easy use.

What makes this water jug unique:

This water container is made of FDA approved plastic that resists cracks. The jug has two handles in useful locations, one on the top and one on the side, making it easy to carry and pour from.

On Sale
Coleman 5 Gallon Water Carrier , Blue
  • This product is made of high quality material
  • This product is easy to use and made of high quality material
  • This product is manufactured in China

Last update: 2024-05-19 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


Our Value Picks for the Best Water Containers for Camping

Our Value Picks for the Best Water Containers for Camping

Reliance aqua tainer (Our top value pick for hard-shell water containers)

The reliance aqua tainer is one of the most cost-effective water containers available today. It holds 7 gallons of water and is one of the most durable options available at a low price. Although 7 gallons of water can be heavy, the water container has a well-molded handle to assist you in carrying the container. The rubber gasket around the pouring spout also makes this container extremely leak proof.

Why you should choose this water container:

This water container is one of the most accessible and easy to find containers that will hold up to a long lifespan of use without costing you an arm and a leg.

What makes this water jug unique:

This water jug is made of BPA free plastic and features gradient lines on the outside, so you can see how much water you have left, which is super handy.

On Sale
Reliance Products Aqua-Tainer 7 Gallon Rigid Water Container, Blue , 11.3 Inch x 11.0 Inch x 15.3 Inch
  • Rigid, 7-gallon rectangular water container with molded contour grip
  • Space-saving design for easy storing and stacking when empty. Spigot cap is reversible for safe storage and transport
  • New and improved screw-on vent; hideaway spigot for on-demand water dispensing

Last update: 2024-05-19 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


WaterStorageCube Collapsible Premium Water Container Bag (Our top value pick for collapsible water containers)

These water storage bags or pouches are super lightweight, perfect for your next backpacking trip. They come sold in sets, making them a great investment. Each bag holds 1.5 gallons of water with an amazing leakproof seal.

Why should you choose this container:

If you’re looking for a lightweight option, look no further than the WaterStorageCube Water Bags. These bags weigh very little, but will perform at a high level with no leakage.

What makes this water container unique:

This water pouch can double as an ice bag for your next picnic. Made from high quality BPA free plastic, this pouch will serve you well at any temperature.

WaterStorageCube Premium Collapsible Water Container Bag, BPA Free Food Grade Clear Plastic Storage Jug for Camping Hiking Backpack Emergency, No-Leak Freezable Foldable Water Bottle
  • Premium PET Plastic: Made with BPA-free, food-grade PET plastic for durability and safety.
  • Collapsible Design: Folds flat for easy storage and transport.
  • Multipurpose Use: Ideal for storing drinks, food, and other items.

Last update: 2024-05-19 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API


How to Choose the Best Water Containers for Camping for You

When thinking about what water container is best for you, make sure you think about what features are important to you. Think about how important things such as pouring spouts, handles, and wide lids are to you. If your main worry is carrying water and not having it leak, a container with a lid only on top might be best for you, but if your main purpose in getting a water container is to have a jug of water on your picnic table to top-off water bottles with, maybe a good handle and pour spout orientation is what you should be looking for.

Key Differentiators of Water Containers for Camping

The main differentiating factors between water containers is the structure of the container and the volume of water that it can hold. If you are looking for a container to carry water for your next car camping trip, a larger hard-sided container might be what you need. If you are planning your next backpacking trip, perhaps a smaller volume collapsible container, with a light empty weight.

Other Important Things to Consider When Buying Water Containers for Camping

It is important to think about how often you will be using this water container for any given use. Are you looking for a storage container or a transport container? Does weight matter to you? How much weight can you carry? Keep these things in mind as you shop around. Remember that a gallon of water weighs around 8 pounds, so even if you’re car camping, a larger water container may not be realistic to carry from a pump back to camp.

FAQ about Water Containers for Camping

Here are some questions that might come to mind while you’re shopping for your new water container.

What are Types of Containers for Camping?

There’s primarily two categories of water containers; hard-shelled containers and collapsible containers. What type of water container you pick, depends on what your needs are. If you are thinking of outfitting a car or van for long-term camping and road trips, then a larger water tank might be better for you. Many vans that are outfitted for living in utilize tanks that are around 20 gallons to hold their water, but if you’re looking for a water container for car camping, anything in the range of 5-10 gallons might be more your size.

Hard-shell vs. Collapsible: What is the Best for Camping?

This depends on what type of camping you’re doing and how much space you have to bring water along. If you’re going on a backpacking trip and will be camping a considerable distance from a water source, a collapsible option is probably best for you. If you mostly car camp, a hard-shell option may be easier to use around camp, rest on tables or other surfaces, and are often easier to pour from.

Why Do You Need a Water Container for Camping?

Having the option to store more water than you currently need at any given moment can truly be a lifesaving action in the backcountry. In the front country, it can give you the ease of having a sink in your own campsite to refill water bottles for drinking or pots for cooking. Although not the most essential piece of car camping gear, it is high on the list of necessities.

If you plan on doing any backcountry travel in an area that has minimal water access, being able to carry some extra water could make your days more efficient. Having a collapsible, lightweight pouch type container to store empty in your pack and to fill up when you have good access to water, can save you heaps of trouble down the trail.

Is Safe to Drink Water from Plastic Containers?

While plastic is not the most sustainable material to use, it does have some amazing qualities and uses, and the technology used to design plastic keeps getting better and better. Most water vessels now are BPA free, so there’s no need to worry. If you’re still concerned about drinking water stored in plastic, make sure the water is cold and stay relatively cool. Hot water is much more likely than cold water to cause compounds in the plastic to leach into the water.

How Long Can You Store Water in Plastic Containers?

This depends on the water container that you’re using and how well you clean out the container between uses. In general, anything under a week is completely fine, but storing water in a plastic container long-term is likely to give the water a slightly odd taste. As long as the plastic is BPA free and FDA approved, it shouldn’t be leaching any chemicals into your water, but it may still change the taste of the water during long-term storage.

How Do You Clean Camping Water Containers?

This is something to consider before investing in a water container. Many containers have two openings, a large one to fill the container and clean it, and a smaller one to pour the water out of. Having a large opening makes the container much easier to clean. As with any dish, use hot water and soap for the best clean, just make sure you rinse all the soap out as soap is a diuretic, and you don’t want that the next time you go camping.

Summary of the Best Water Containers for Camping

To wrap it all up,  here’s a helpful table of the best water containers for camping we looked at today:

Our Top Favorite
Coghlan's Store and Pour Contain-Alls Plastic Containers, Clear, One Size, 8525
Our Top Runner Up
Coleman 1-Gallon Water Jug, Portable Water Cooler with Handle & Spigot, Great for Camping, Beach, Sports, Tailgating, Picnic & More
Our Top Value Pick
Reliance Products Aqua-Tainer 7 Gallon Rigid Water Container, Blue , 11.3 Inch x 11.0 Inch x 15.3 Inch
Water Container
Coghlan's Camping Container
Coleman Water Jug
Reliance aqua tainer
Prime Eligible?
Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime
Amazon Prime
Our Top Favorite
Coghlan's Store and Pour Contain-Alls Plastic Containers, Clear, One Size, 8525
Water Container
Coghlan's Camping Container
Prime Eligible?
Amazon Prime
Our Top Runner Up
Coleman 1-Gallon Water Jug, Portable Water Cooler with Handle & Spigot, Great for Camping, Beach, Sports, Tailgating, Picnic & More
Water Container
Coleman Water Jug
Prime Eligible?
Amazon Prime
Our Top Value Pick
Reliance Products Aqua-Tainer 7 Gallon Rigid Water Container, Blue , 11.3 Inch x 11.0 Inch x 15.3 Inch
Water Container
Reliance aqua tainer
Prime Eligible?
Amazon Prime

Last update: 2024-05-19 / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

One of the best things about water containers is how accessible they are compared to a lot of camping gear. While some camping gear can be expensive or hard to find, water containers can make your experience either backpacking, car camping, or road tripping so much better for not a huge cost. You can find amazing water containers at your local outdoors store, online on platforms like Amazon, or even at Walmart.

There are so many options out there for water containers for camping. From small collapsible bottles to large storage tanks to hard-shelled stackable containers, there’s something there for everyone.

If you found this post helpful, make sure to also check our reviews on the best camping gears.

> The Best Camping Plates

> The Best Camping Mugs

> The Best Backpacking Ponchos

> The Best Camping Utensils

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