Camping trips are all fun and games until you realize you do not have room for enough water. Big and potable water containers are important in all types of camping.

By big, we mean multi-gallon big! You do not want to be in the middle of nowhere without enough water supply. 

Even when your campsite has access to drinking water, there’s no better assurance than bringing your own water supply. It’s better safe than sorry!

Best camping water container storage

Reliance Products Aqua-Tainer 7-Gallon Water Container

For maximum capacity and dependable durability, this is a true go-to for a lot of campers out there. It is made of BPA-free plastic for safety and has a 7-gallon capacity.

That’s some whooping 26.5 liters! The water container is 15.75 x 11 x 11 inches in dimension so it really has a great amount of space. While it’s great for camping, its size obviously is not ideal for backpacking and hiking.

But for RV’s, truck campers, and car campers, this one’s for you! Plus, this container’s simple design makes it fuss-free and extremely easy to use. Thanks to its reversible hideaway spigot and screw-on vent. It also boasts of an ergonomic handle for a smoother experience!

Pros

  • High quality
  • Durable and reliable
  • Simple to use
  • Can eliminate chemicals and bacteria
  • Perfect for camping
  • Easy to install
  • Provides safe and healthy fresh water

Cons

  • May leak

Coghlan 5-Gallon Collapsible Water Container

This is a budget-friendly option but with smaller capacity. While its capacity is significantly smaller than the previous container, 5 gallons of water can still take you somewhere. It is best for day trips, picnics, hiking, and backpacking. Thanks to its 11 x 11 x 12 inches dimensions when folded.

Coghlan’s water container is made of food-grade, BPA-free plastic. Another great thing is that it does not retain odor and flavor. This water container is cold-resistant with easy to handle handles. This is extremely easy to use with its one-handed spigot with a large spout so you can throw in some ice cubes easily. 

Pros

  • Eliminate pollutants
  • Great longevity
  • Multiple layer of filtration
  • Portable
  • Easy to operate

Cons

  • May leak

Arrow Home Products Slimline Beverage Container

If you’re all for some high-quality build, you should check out this one from Arrow Home. It has a 2-gallon capacity with high flow. It houses an effective carbon to keep the bacteria away. Nothing like a safe water supply even when you’re outdoors! Plus, it works effectively in decreasing odor, chlorine, and sediment. 

Pros

  • Time-saving high flow rate
  • Minimizes bacterial growth
  • Affordable
  • Decreases odor, sediment, and chlorine
  • Quick to clean
  • Easy to use
  • Portable

Cons

  • Filter is not built-in

WaterBrick 1833-0001 Water Container

Another go-to in the market is the WaterBrick 1833-0001. This is versatile as it can be used on different trips: boat, RV, motorhomes, and camping. It has a special hose that makes it easy to connect.

Customers also adore this product’s slim design so it fits well in a lot of spaces and conditions. It’s also made to be filled in quickly. Additionally, this model has high flow rates and great odor- and bacteria-reduction capabilities.

Pros

  • Flexible hose for easy connection
  • High flow rate
  • Reduces odor and bacteria
  • Slim design

Cons

  • Easy to twist hose

igloo corporation 42154 Water Container

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.

Pros

  • Built-in pouring spout
  • Slim design fits in compact spaces
  • Affordably priced
  • Easy to clean

Cons

  • Vent plug doesn’t lock

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.

Pros

  • Free from BPA, PVC, or DEHP
  • Rolls up for storage
  • Large opening
  • Freezer-friendly
  • 1-year warranty

Cons

  • Small capacity
  • Won’t stand on their own
  • Difficult to pour from

Buyer’s guide: How to choose the best camping water container storage

Water containers come in different shapes and sizes and the great amount of variants in the market may leave you overwhelmed. So, we prepared a buyer’s guide to help you narrow down your options.

Capacity and size

This depends on what you need. For emergency water supper back-up, the larger, the better. 2 gallons of water will be gone quickly if you completely lose access to drinking water. In such cases, 7 gallons and up will work best for you.

Collapsible vs. hard-shell

A hard-shell design is easy to stack and is the more durable option. But, it is also heavier and space-consuming. On the other hand, while a collapsible model is portable, lightweight, and does not take up a lot of space, it is prone to punctures because it is thin. The key here is to know what you need!

Spigots and leak points

Spigots make the water usage experience a breeze but not all water containers have one. But the more important thing to consider is the seal. Rubber gasket seals are less prone to leaks. Also, note that spigots located on the sides are great for pouring but are prone to creating a mess if not properly closed.

Cleaning

Water tanks with bigger openings are easier to clean so take note of this!

Material and build

While there are stainless steel water containers, most and the more preferred ones are made of plastic. This is because plastic options are almost always cheaper and lightweight. For your safety, always opt for food-grade and BPA-free options.

Price point

Whatever your budget is, there’s a water container in the market for you. Basic tanks such as the Coghlan Collapsible Water Container are cheap yet great and efficient options!

How much water do I need for camping?

Before we get too far ahead of ourselves here, let’s talk a bit about how much water you actually need for camping. The US National Park Service recommends that campers drink at least 1/2 gallon (2 liters) of water every day. However, this amount can increase substantially, to about 1 gallon (3.9 liters) of water in a hot climate.

In addition to the 1/2 gallon (2 liters) people need for drinking each day, campers also need to factor in how much water they’ll need for cooking, cleaning dishes, and washing their hands. With this in mind, we’d recommend at least 3 gallons (11 liters) of water per person per day of camping – if you’re good at rationing your water. 

To be on the safe side, 3.5 gallons (13 liters) per person per day is likely sufficient for regular weather conditions, but upwards of 4 gallons/person/day (15 liters) might be necessary for very hot climates.

Here’s a simple formula you can use to determine how much water you need:

Water (in gallons) = 3.5 x # People x # Days

If you’re traveling somewhere particularly hot, consider bumping 3.5 up to 4 or even 4.5 to account for this extra water usage.

This may sound like a lot, but if you consider how much water we often use at home, 3.5 gallons (11 liters) for a single day of camping is nothing. In fact, the USGS estimates that we use between 80-100 gallons (302-378 liters) of water a day at home, the majority of which goes to flushing our toilets. That figure makes 3.5 gallons (11 liters) seem like a drop in the ocean.

Where to fill your camping water container

You might be surprised to find that it’s easy to get a hold of free water to fill your water container (at least in North America). Nearly every campground is going to have a water spigot on-site, but here are some other locations you may not have considered:

Visitor centers: National Parks, State Parks, Forest Service Offices and City Visitor Centers often have a water spigot outside to use. If you don’t see one, just go inside and ask! They should be able to direct you to the nearest potable water spigot.

Dump Stations: Not all dump stations have potable water but many do, and they will be marked accordingly. You can find dump stations outside many marine and RV retailers, some gas stations like Flying J and Pilot, or check out this website to find a dump station near you.

Beaches and Parks: Some beaches and parks will have free water available. This is a great place to look if you happen to be near one—just make sure that it’s a potable spigot.

Paid Campgrounds: Even if you’re not staying at a campground drive in and ask the host.

Grocery Stores: If all else fails, stop into your local grocery store or Walmart. Many have water fill stations inside where you can purchase water by the gallon. We’ve seen prices around 37 cents per gallon if you bring your own jug.many will allow you to fill up your water tank for a small fee; just 

Verdict

The truth is: there’s no one best option for everyone. As I’ve said, it largely depends on your needs. If you need some decision making, go back to our list of best water containers with our buyer’s guide in mind. We hope that we helped you come a bit closer to your dream water container. Happy shopping!