Best camping water containers

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You only realize how much water you use when you go camping. Once you have to fetch, carry, and store water for washing, cooking, and drinking rather than just turning on the faucet, it’s easy to see how vital it is. 

This is where a good water carrier can save you time and ensure you have it when you need it. Of course, in an emergency situation where water supplies could be affected, having a reliable storage method isn’t just useful, it could save your life. The best water containers don’t leak, are easy to fill, and get water from, and are a reliable component of your camping kit. Here are some favorite storage options.

Best overall

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Strong enough to stand on its own

The last thing you want a water container to do is leak. This collapsible container is made from one piece of food-grade plastic and is strong enough to survive 4’ drops and people standing on it. The spigot has an easy on/off design and the water you dispense will be odorless and tasteless. The foldable design is great for camping but also makes sense for emergency preparedness as you can easily store it away until it’s needed.

Best for emergences

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Reliance Products Aqua-Tainer 7 Gallon Rigid Water Container

Rigid and stackable water storage

Water is a precious resource and you can trust this rigid 7-gallon container to protect it. Made from rugged BPA-free polyethylene it features a molded handle and screw-on vent cap with a hideaway spout to dispense the water. You can stack these containers when they are empty for storage and they are big enough for emergency prep and to be a water station at an event or while camping.

Best to carry

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Coghlan's Expandable Water Carrier

Flat when unfilled for backpacks

A durable 2-gallon jug from a trusted outdoors brand, these feature an on/off spigot, screw-on cap, and a comfortable carry handle. The carrier is made of polyethylene, collapses for storage, and expands when you fill it with up to two gallons of water, making it ideal for camping trips, and thanks to the flat design, it will fit nicely into a backpack.

Best for backpackers

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Hydrapak Seeker - Collapsible Water Storage

Collapsible and compact but holds a good supply

Portable and packable but holding up to 4 liters (2l and 3l also available), Hydrapack has made a light and durable camping water container from premium BPA-free plastic. The flexible bail handle allows for easy carrying and pouring and it features lash points so you can attach to your pack, or hang up. The Seeker is compatible with most 42mm threaded water filters too.

Bottom line

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Water is an essential resource when camping and needs to be of prime importance in any emergency preparedness planning. A good container is one you can rely on not to leak so you’re never left without a supply of water and is big enough that you don’t need to keep refilling it. For these reasons, we would recommend the WaterStorageCube. It’s a flexible container that’s tough enough for most situations, unlike some other brands, and packs up small enough for camping trips or to keep in storage at home until you need it.

For backpacking and hikers who want more storage than a water bottle, we would pick the Hydrapak Seeker. It’s very portable and packs up small but is well made from a premium TPU that means it won’t let you down.

Advnture team

Launched in July 2020, Advnture is the ideal destination for anyone who loves the great outdoors. Whether you're into epic hikes through the wilderness, camping trips with the family, climbing with your friends, or looking for a trail running personal best, our team of experts will point you in the right direction, with top buying advice and in-depth guides to help you get the most of your time in the backcountry.