10 Best Water Containers for Camping of 2023 – Reviews & Top Picks
It’s hard to beat the freedom and relaxation you can feel while camping in the great outdoors. But unless you’re staying at a designated campsite, you’re going to need to bring your own supplies. Tents, sleeping bags, and food can be easily stored in crates for carrying, but transporting water can be a different story.
If you don’t want to transport half a dozen or more individual water gallons to your campsite, then you’ll need a water container that can reduce the workload. Don’t forget about packing all those empty containers out!
As avid campers, we wanted to know which water containers were going to help make our lives the easiest when carrying enough water for a whole family to cook, drink, wash up, and more. We tried out as many as we could find, and the following ten reviews will compare what we learned to save you the hassle of doing the same.
A Quick Comparison of Our Favorites in 2023
|Best Overall||igloo corporation 42154||
|Premium Choice||LCI Plastic Water Can||
|Reliance Products 9410-03||
The 10 Best Water Containers for Camping
1. igloo corporation 42154 Water Container – Best Overall
Shaped like a typical jerrycan, this water container from Igloo makes it easy to transport up to six gallons of water at a time. There are two handles built-in to make it easier to carry; one on the top and one on the side. And if you need to transfer your water to another container, there’s even a pouring spout with plenty of reach.
One thing we liked about this container is the slim design. It’s less than eight inches wide, making it compact enough to fit into some tight spaces. This made it much easier to fit into a vehicle that was already packed with other camping gear!
However, the vent plug was a bit of an issue. It doesn’t lock, so a little water was able to splash out. But we fixed it with a little tape, and it was good to go. Since this container is plastic, it’s very easy to clean and doesn’t hold onto odors or tastes. Plus, it’s affordably priced, which we always appreciate. All in all, we think this is the best water container for camping.
2. WaterStorageCube Collapsible Water Container – Best Value
The WaterStorageCube is a unique water container that we were quite impressed with. It’s quite inexpensive but very useful. What’s special about this container is that when it’s empty, it collapses completely flat, making it much easier to store and transport. When you’re loading all your gear back into the car after your trip, this container will fold flat and won’t take up any space.
When the container is full, it’s easy to pour from thanks to the built-in pouring spigot. Turn the lever and water will pour out, no need to lift and tilt the container. We also found this to be very useful for washing hands while camping. However, there’s no vent, so the water flow continues to slow until it barely works. You’ll need to release pressure by removing and replacing the cap.
With safety in mind, this container is devoid of harmful chemicals like BPA, PVC, and DEHP. That means it’s safe to hold your water, even in the heat. No chemicals will leach into your water from this container. Altogether, the safety, convenience, and inexpensive solution that the WaterStorageCube provides add up to the best water container for camping for the money.
3. LCI Plastic Water Can – Premium Choice
This plastic water can from LCI is the standard-issue can that gets distributed to military personnel. It’s a genuine military-issue piece of gear, that’s built to the tough standards you’d expect of military equipment. It’s completely BPA-free, so it’s safe for storing your water and no chemicals will transfer to your water, even in the heat.
To keep your water safely inside, this can has a locking top with a drinking spout. You can drink straight from it without opening the whole can, making it easy and quick to get a sip whenever needed. Another convenient feature is that these cans are stackable. You can fill several with water and stack them neatly on top of each other to conserve space.
Since it is a mil-spec piece of kit, the LCI water can is one of the more expensive options we’ve tested. But for us, it’s worth it to have such a high level of durability that you know you can rely on. We never worry about what might happen to these cans because they can handle just about anything.
4. WaterStorageCube Collapsible Water Container Bag
Though they have a smaller capacity than some of the other containers we tested, the WaterStorageCube Collapsible Water Container Bags make excellent water containers for camping. They’re soft plastic, so they roll up completely flat, making them one of the smallest and most portable containers we’ve seen.
There is a catch to the soft plastic though. When full, these bags won’t stand on their own. They have no rigidity or support, so they just fall over. They’re also very difficult to pour from, since the bag won’t hold shape on its own and there is nowhere to really hold from to pour. There is a handle on top, but since the bag collapses under its weight, it’s difficult to pour from the top handle.
We liked the large opening on this bag, which made it much easier to fill and empty. For those who don’t want to intake unnecessary toxic chemicals, this container is BPA, PVC, and DEHP-free, so you have nothing to worry about. Even better, this bag is freezer-friendly, so you can freeze your water if desired. It’s also protected by a one-year warranty, so you know that your investment will last.
5. Reliance Products 9410-03 Rigid Water Container
The Aqua-Tainer Rigid Water Container from Reliance Products is a simple device with some notable features. It can hold seven gallons of water, which is more than most of the other containers we were comparing it to.
While we were impressed by how much water this container holds, its shape is less impressive. It’s a basic square, not very space-conscious. We like the containers with a slimmer profile that can fit in tighter spaces. Of course, these containers do stack on each other to conserve space, but they can only be stacked when they’re empty. The hideaway spigot is a nice feature though. It tucks into the container when not in use so that it’s not taking up extra space.
Another complaint we had with the Aqua-Tainer was that it will degrade in sunlight. Since camping is an outdoor activity, it’s likely you’ll be in direct sunlight at some point. But with this container, you’ll have to be careful not to let it sit in the sun. Luckily, it’s protected by a five-year warranty, but it only covers manufacturer’s defects, not user error.
6. Coghlan’s Expandable Water Carrier
With a cheap price and an expanding capacity, the Coghlan’s Expandable Water Carrier is an interesting container that’s meant for camping and backpacking. When folded closed, it’s a tiny container that’s just an inch thick. But when you add water, it expands to hold up to two gallons.
This container has a built-in spigot with an on/off lever and a screw-in cap. Remove the cap for easy filling or draining and use the spigot for pouring your drinks. It’s a convenient design, or it would be if it would stay standing. Unfortunately, once it’s full of water, this container won’t stay standing and just falls over. You can’t really pour water from the spigot while it’s tipped over, so this is a frustrating issue.
Though it’s well-built overall, the Coghlan’s water carrier isn’t going to last you for years. Ours lasted for about six months of light use before it split open. But for a product that’s so cheaply priced, that’s still not too bad. If it would stay upright when full, this container would probably earn a much higher position on our list.
7. Coleman 2000014870 Water Carrier
Affordable and simple, the Coleman Water Carrier is a cheap way for you to transport your water to and from your campsite. But it’s got a quality that matches its low price, which is why it didn’t rank higher on our list.
We like the large capacity of this container that allows you to carry five gallons at a time. There’s also a hole on the back that you can hang the container from. To that end, a hook and rope are included so you can hang it from a nearby tree since it won’t stand on its own. We like this concept and appreciate the hook and rope were included. However, the hole isn’t strong enough to support this container when it’s full of water, so it doesn’t quite work as intended.
Like many similar products we tested, the Coleman water carrier collapses when empty so it takes up less space for transportation or storage. But unlike competitors, this one pours extremely slow. It took about a minute to pour a single eight-ounce glass of water from this container. The container is decent, but we’re not patient enough to wait that long every time we need a drink!
8. REDCAMP Portable Water Container
Available in sizes ranging from 2.6 gallons to 5.3 gallons, the REDCAMP Portable Water Container is another collapsible water jug that’s meant for camping. This one is a bit more rigid than some of the others we tested, so it manages to hold its shape better when pouring. Moreover, this is supposed to make it less susceptible to cracking or other damage. In our experience, this wasn’t the case. After a few trips, a hole wore in the bottom where it sits, causing a leak.
This water container is made entirely from non-toxic food-grade material. It’s odorless and tasteless, so you can be sure that no chemicals or flavors are being transferred to your water. It’s got a single carrying handle on the top, making it easy to transport, but we prefer the designs that have a second handle to make it easier to pour.
We were disappointed to see that ours had a leaky spigot straight out of the box. This was especially annoying considering it is one of the more expensive water containers we tested. It may have ranked better if it were more robust, but we can’t recommend a container that has durability issues.
9. Gowithwind Collapsible Water Container
Whether you want a container with a small capacity of just 1.3 gallons or a larger capacity of more than five gallons, the Gowithwind Collapsible Water Container has the right size for you. The one we tested had a capacity of 5.3 gallons, which was plenty to provide an entire family with water for a short camping trip.
This container is completely safe since it contains no BPA, PVC, or DEHP. There are no harmful chemicals to leach into your water and no plastic tastes or odors that you’ll end up drinking. This is very important for us, and we’d like to see this on all containers at any price point.
The Gowithwind container was susceptible to a lot of the same problems that other similar containers faced. Because the material is soft, it won’t stand up when it’s full, just rolling over instead. It also doesn’t want to fully expand once it has been collapsed. We had to blow the corners out by mouth to fully open it so it could be filled. The small lid also makes it difficult to clean or even dry out.
10. ITRAZ Collapsible Water Container With Spigot
The ITRAZ Water Container is a basic collapsible water container that’s available in a 2.6-gallon or 5.3-gallon size. As the name implies, it folds flat for storage when there’s no water in it. Adding water expands it to full size so you can carry the full capacity of water.
This container is made entirely from non-toxic food-grade material. You don’t have to worry about unsafe chemicals making their way into your body by way of this water container. But it did have a strong plastic smell and taste, unlike many similar containers we tested. This was very off-putting, but since there are no harmful chemicals in the container, it’s not detrimental to your health. Still, it’s not something we enjoyed.
Though this container folds up, it doesn’t seem to fold as flat as others we tested. It’s also not as durable as some of the other containers, and it was starting to crease along the fold lines within the first few weeks. While it didn’t break during our testing, we don’t expect it to hold up for more than a few months of regular use.
Transporting and storing large quantities of water can be a major pain, but you’re going to need it while you’re out camping. We’ve searched far and wide to find the best water containers for camping, which you’ve read about in our reviews. Out of all the products we tested, three of them stood out as top picks.
Our favorite overall was the Igloo Corporation Water Container. It’s got a six-gallon capacity with a slim design that helps it fit in small spaces. There’s also a pouring spout built-in and it’s affordably priced for any camper.
For the best value, we recommend the WaterStorageCube Collapsible Water Container. It has no harmful chemicals like BPA, PVC, or DEHP, and it folds very small for easy storage. Plus, it’s got a built-in pouring spigot and it’s available for a very cheap price.
Finally, our premium choice pick is the LCI Plastic Water Can. This military-issue piece of gear is built combat tough with great features like the locking top with drink spout. They’re 100% BPA-free and can even be stacked on top of each other to save more space.