Best Water Container for Camping and Overlanding
Quick Answer – Best Water Container for Camping:
- ⛲ ALWAYS FRESH TASTING WATER - REPLACEABLE INNER LINERS made from food grade, BPA free material are the unique feature of this portable water jerry can bladder. Just replace the inner bladder and your water storage container is ready to use again in no time! Keep your water odorless and clean without pathogens, mold, or mildew.
- ⛲ NO LEAKS - HEAVY DUTY CONSTRUCTION - the outer water storage bladder bag is made from military grade material creating a puncture resistant barrier, protecting the inner, replaceable water dispensing insert. The spigot withstands harsh field conditions and will not break or leak.
- ⛲ EASY FILL - EASY GO - make JerryFlex️ part of your camping stuff, RV freshwater supply or your hurricane emergency preparedness kit. The bladder's large opening allows for filling it from any faucet and for easily adding ice cubes to keep your beverage cold. Or attach a garden hose to the tap to fill it quickly - No pump required!
- ⛲ MULTI-UTILITY WATER CONTAINER WITH SPIGOT - the ultimate potable water container for drinking, cooking, and cleaning when out and about, boondocking or when traveling to remote areas. A great addition to your camping gear, RV water supply, for overland camping and offroading, for ATV water storage or for adding to your home emergency preparedness kit.
- ⛲ SECURE AND COMPACT - JerryFlex comes with sturdy handles and straps for carrying and for securing this portable water bladder to your vehicle for safe transportation. It can also be placed into a standard or NATO jerry can holder. When empty, its size is reduced to 20%, allowing for easy storage until your next trip.
One of the most essential camping/overlanding accessories you can buy is a water container. Generally, you would need 2 separate water containers for camping. While there are lots of built-in solutions for overlanding, in this post we will discuss the off-the-shelf portable solutions.
You can use one for storing fresh drinking water, while the other can be used to store water for washing and cleaning (aka. grey water).
However, if you don’t have the option to carry two containers, you must take one portable water container for pure drinking water.
Therefore, we are going to share reviews of some of the best water containers for camping out there in this post, and will provide a detailed buying guide at the end.
EZPACK JerryFlex Portable Bladder Water Dispenser
GSI Outdoors Collapsible Water Container
Coleman 5 Gallons Water Carrier
Reliance Products Aqua-Tainer 7 Gallon Rigid Water Container
Reliance Products Beverage Buddy 4 Gallon Water Container
Coghlan's 5-gallon Collapsible Water Container
Best Water Container for Camping – Reviews
EzPack-USA is known for its wide range of storage solutions. Whether you are overlanding, camping, or traveling to a remote area, you can turn to EzPack for their portable water bladder, namely JerryFlex. This is a multi-utility water container. It comes in 3 colors such as blue, green, desert, and is available in either 2.5 gallons or 5 gallons size.
The net dimensions of the 2.5-gallon JerryFlex are 12 x 12 x 5.5 inches when full. The 5-gallon version measures 13 x 17 x 5.5 inches (full).
When full, the 2.5-gallon and 5-gallon JerryFlex water containers weigh about 23 lbs and 44 lbs respectively. When empty, the larger one weighs 1.7 lbs and the smaller one has a weight of only 1.3 lbs.
When not in use, the size can be reduced to 20% to conveniently store the JerryFlex. The outer shell is made with military-grade material that is puncture and leak-proof, while on the inside there is a BPA-free and food-grade inner liner. As a result, the water will always remain fresh.
Better yet, the inner liner can be replaced anytime, so you don’t even need to wash it clean every time you fill it up with new water. The faucet is made with high-grade material. This is key, as most portable water containers fail at the faucet. You will also like the inclusion of the tie-down straps and durable carrying straps.
It is compatible with a NATO or standard jerry can holders. Thanks to the wide opening of the container, you can fill/remove water faster. You can also simply use a garden hose with it.
The fact that it has a replaceable inner liner relieves you from having to clean your water tank. Replacing is really easy with the large zip opening on the side of the flexible outer shell.
What Previous Buyers Said?
This is a very popular water container. Most buyers have said that they liked the idea of the replaceable inner liner. They say that it truly keeps water fresh for days. They have also liked the unique design and rugged build quality.
The straps and handles make it easy to carry around, and customers also admired the wide mouth as they can even pour ice cubes easily.
- Comes with replaceable inner liners
- Made with BPA-free food-grade material
- The leak-proof and sturdy outer shell
- Compatible with a NATO or standard jerry can holder
- Sturdy faucet
- The strap may be a bit uncomfortable to carry the weight of the water (EZPack are already working on a solution)
Are you looking for a budget-friendly water container for camping? Then you should check out this collapsible water container from GSI Outdoors. It is available in 2 sizes: 10-liter and 20-liter.
Depending on the size, the price might slightly vary. This container is made with high-grade Polyethylene, which provides a transparent look.
When empty the 10-liter version has a weight of only 0.38 lbs and the 20-liter versions weigh 0.63 lbs. respectively. The 20-liter measures at 10.5 x 10.5 x 2.5 inches, while the 10-liter sits at 8 x 8 x 2.5 inches. They do have a 15-liter version, but it is rare.
You can hand wash this camping gear with warm water and mild detergent after use. It is equipped with an ergonomic spigot at the top for a high flow of water. Plus, the tap is very simple to open/close with one hand. For portability, it has a built-in carrying handle.
When it comes to the build quality, it is decent. You know it is a collapsible water container for your camping trip, meaning it is not rugged like the hard-shell containers. Still, it can handle occasional bumps and jolts and will not burst open if there is much water.
What Previous Buyers Said?
Customers have appreciated that it is a collapsible water container. They have also liked the BPA-free and food-grade construction material used in this. Some customers even praised the molded handle as it makes the container portable.
Honestly, a few users said that the spout opening could be wider as it takes a long time to fill/remove water. Other than that, they have said for the price, this is worth it.
- Reasonably priced
- Leak-proof construction
- Collapsible design
- Features a built-in carrying handle
- The spout could be a bit widerLimited compatibility
Coleman is a well-known brand for offering outdoor adventure gear and accessories at a very reasonable price. Now, we are talking about a hard-shell water carrier from Coleman, which has a capacity of 5 gallons.
The water container for camping comes in blue and has a cube-like shape. The net dimensions of the water tank are 10.51 x 10.51 x 10.51 inches. Thanks to the non-insulated polyethylene construction, it is scratch and impact-resistant.
It comes with a fast flow spigot at the top. Additionally, it has a molded handle to comfortably carry it around. You can unscrew the spigot if you want to fill water quickly in this camping water container. Another great feature of this carrier is that it is totally BPA-free.
This is a durable water container for any camping trip, and it is very easy to clean as well. All in all, you are getting a high-end portable and user-friendly water carrier for a great price for your emergency water.
What Previous Buyers Said?
Previous buyers have stated that it is a heavy-duty water container for camping. However, most of them suggested you rinse/wash it thoroughly with water before using it as there might be small plastic pieces inside.
Some users have complained that the spigot is not of good quality. On the contrary, most users have praised the user-friendliness and portability of the container. They have also said that it comes in a perfect size and design for space-saving.
- Solid construction quality
- Comes with a molded carrying handle
- Great value for money
- Great for short camping trips
- The spigot might break after a while (replacement sold separately) Limited compatibility
The next one on our list is the Reliance Products Aqua-Tainer container of 26-liter/7 gallons capacity. Similar to the last one, this is also available in blue.
This camping water container is made of BPA-free polyethylene, which is recyclable and durable. You can be sure that it can withstand harsh, outdoor environments without any problems.
The net dimensions of the camping water storage container are 15.75 x 11 x 11 inches. When empty, you can stack multiple water carriers of the same model. There is a molded handle at the top of the container.
You will like the inclusion of a screw-on vent for high-flow water dispensing when necessary. On top of that, it comes with a hideaway spigot, which makes the container look minimalistic.
As per some users, when filled with water, it bulges out a little. Also, Reliance Products recommend keeping the emergency water container out of exposure to direct sunlight for long-lasting service.
Lastly, they are offering a 5-year warranty against manufacturing defects. So you can rely on these water containers for camping whether you need them for emergencies or adventure.
What Previous Buyers Said?
The majority of the buyers have said the price to performance ratio of these water containers for camping is great. Several customers liked that it is compatible with a garden hose. The stackable design also received positive feedback.
Many users also talked positively about the screw-on vent for water dispensing quickly. In addition, buyers are also happy as this comes with a good warranty policy.
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- Comes with a 5-year warranty against manufacturing defects
- Large capacity
- FDA-approved and BPA free
- Reasonably priced and easy to clean
- The spigot could break after a few years (replacement is sold separately)Limited compatibility
As the name implies, this is another portable water carrier from Reliance Products, like the last one. Similarly, the Beverage Buddy 4 also comes in blue. However, there are a few differences between this and the last one.
First of all, this particular water carrier has a unique shape. Secondly, it has a different cap compared to the previous one. Thirdly, it is a bit expensive.
When empty, the camping water container for camping weighs only 1.20 lbs. It measures at 11.30 (W) x 10.30 (H) x 14 (L) inches. This is the medium version with a capacity of 15 liters or 4 gallons of water.
The screw-on spigot can be easily removed when you need to fill or remove water faster from the carrier. Thanks to the larger mouth opening, you will be able to do that incredibly fast. When the cap is removed from the top, there will be a 3 ¾ inches gap for filling up water.
The smaller size is very easy to carry even when it is full of water. They have also included a built-in contoured handle for portability. Also, when empty, you can remove the cap and store the camping water tank more conveniently.
When it comes to long-lasting service, this emergency camping water storage container is a decent one. Some users have said that it can break at the faucet, but only after 2-3 years of rigorous use. Overall, if you have the budget, then it could be one of the best camping water containers out there.
What Previous Buyers Said?
First off, former buyers have said that the unique design and compact size make this 4-gallon container very portable. Additionally, they have also praised the durable build quality of the water container. A lot of customers mentioned that the wider mouth has helped them pour water into it quicker.
A few of them actually said the price is a bit high compared to other similar options. Apart from that, they have said this container is perfect for camping as it is portable and robust.
Having said that, however, we cannot recommend this product for long-term use. We’ve used this product over a few quite long overland trips but eventually, the faucet failed.
- Large-cap makes it easy to fill water
- Space-saving unique design
- Features a built-in carrying handle
- Non-toxic and BPA-free
- A bit pricey
- Limited compatibility
- The faucet tents to break after about 6 months
Igloo Corporation is another top brand when it comes to camping accessories. From them comes this 6-gallon water container. It is also available in blue and can hold up to 22.7 liters or 24 quarts of water.
Likewise, it is made of rugged plastic that is food-grade and BPA/PVC free. One of the unique features of this camping water tank is the long, flexible spout, as it makes dispensing water very easy.
The camping water container is made ruggedly and has a slim build, meaning it doesn’t take up so much space when you will store it. For smooth water flow, it is equipped with a pull-up vent. In addition, it has a molded, ergonomic handle at the top of the carrier, for when you need to pour water or carry it around.
The net dimensions of the cooler are 3.82 (L) x 7.32 (W) x 20.63 (H) inches. It has a weight of about 2.6 lbs. when empty. As per the manufacturer, you should wipe the interior and exterior of the container clean between uses.
You can also use mild detergent and water to wash it after use. Of course, for tougher stains, you can use water and a diluted solution of baking soda. To be noted, make sure the container is fully clean of all the cleaning agents and dry before storing it for a long time.
What Previous Buyers Said?
The past buyers of this camping water container for camping have left mostly positive feedback. They have stated that it comes with a robust build quality, and it can easily withstand bumps, drops, and jolts. Most users have admired the inclusion of the unique flexible spout.
On top of that, a lot of customers have also said the stackable design makes it a great addition to their camping gear collection. A number of customers said that the lid is not that durable. Otherwise, they have said it is a good quality water container for camping in this price range.
- Made with BPA free and non-toxic material
- Features a flexible spout
- Easy to carry with the heavy-duty molded handle
- Rugged construction
- The flexible spout could have been more durable
Many users want to get collapsible water carriers as it is easier to carry them when not used. If you are one of them, then you should take a look at this 5-gallon water container from “Coghlan’s”. This camping water container is made of high-grade polyethylene, which means it is free of BPA and made of food-grade material.
It can resist impacts, so there will be no cracks or dents if you are careful. Then again, it is not a very thick camping water container, so you will have to be careful while using it if you want it to last long enough.
The water carrier comes with a screw-on faucet, which you can remove as well. This will come in handy when you will need to fill up the water container.
It is not compatible with a standard garden hose. However, after you have removed the spigot, you can easily add ice cubes to the water through the wide opening. Like all the other portable camping water containers, it also has an integrated handle.
This camping water container has overall dimensions of 11 x 11 x 12 inches and comes in a transparent color. It can hold up to 5 gallons or 18.9 liters of water. When not in use, it can be easily collapsed and folded down to store away. For the price, this is one of the best collapsible water containers out there.
What Previous Buyers Said?
Previous buyers are pleased with it as it has an affordable pricing and collapsible design. They have also added that the on/off feature of the spigot helped them fill water fast.
As per most of them, this collapsible water container is built ruggedly. The integrated handles of these water jugs have also received a lot of love from current users.
- Comes with an integrated handle
- It is a BPA-free and food-grade
- Collapsible water container
- Comes with an easy-pour spigot that can be removed and reattached
- The containers start to collapse when the water level goes down
Frankly, this is a bit of a unique camping water container on our list. You can see that it is very different from the other products we have reviewed earlier. Interestingly, the different size and shape of the container made it a popular option.
This particular container comes in bright orange/white, with the entire external body of the container being bright orange. However, the inside, lid, handles, and faucet are white.
Speaking of the faucet, it has a recessed and drip-resistant angled spigot, so it is very easy to pour water, while also giving the container a minimalistic look.
The container is a bit round in shape, has two reinforced handles on both sides. Besides that, it has a pressure-fit lid, so there is no way for dirt and mold to trap inside the container, thanks to the UV inhibitors and infrared technology that protect the water container from sunlight damage.
The container is built with the best materials. It has a flat lid, and, interestingly enough, the container is so durable that you can sit on top of the lid without any problem.
But the best feature of this container is that it can be used as a cooler as well. According to Igloo Corporation, this can hold ice for up to 3 days under recommended conditions.
The external dimensions of this water dispenser are 14.5 x 13 x 19.5 inches. Whereas the internal dimensions at the top and bottom are 10.56 x 10.56 x 16.63 inches and 9.25 x 9.25 x 16.63 inches respectively.
When empty, the carrier weighs about 5.5 lbs. You can see that it is a bit on the heavy side for a container with only a 5-gallon capacity.
As a result, most people don’t use it for camping and we would not recommend it for camping either. However, if you want a camping water container cum cooler and have the budget, then you can go for this without a doubt.
What Previous Buyers Said?
Past buyers have said that it can be a great option if you want a reliable and robustly built water container. However, some of them said that this is a bit bulky for a camping water container. Moreover, some buyers also said that the price could be a bit lower.
On the other hand, most happy buyers praised the heavy-duty build quality of the container. They liked that it has a flat lid so that you can use it as an alternative to a chair while on your camping trip.
Some of them also liked that it can keep the water cold a long time after adding ice cubes. They have said it is one of the best water containers available right now.
- Robust build
- Comes with reinforced handles for easy portability
- UV-ray resistant
- Pressure-fit lid so dirt or mold won’t trap
- Can hold ice for up to 3 days
- A bit heavy. Not great for camping
- One of the priciest camping water containers on our list
Buying Guide – Best Water Container for Camping
How Much Water Do I Need For Camping Trips? – Size and Capacity
Once you have decided to buy a water container for camping, you will need to determine the size and capacity of your to-be container.
For that reason, you should find out how much water you are going to need when camping. But will you know that?
Normally, you should remember that a camper should drink at least 2 liters of water per day.
If the weather is hot or you are working hard, then you will need more than 2 liters of drinking water. Plus, you will need water for cooking, washing dishes, and washing hands/faces.
It is estimated that one needs at least 11 liters of water per day for accomplishing all the additional activities while on a camping trip. So, you could say that one person will need at least 13 liters or 3.5 gallons of water in total.
But to be on the safe side, you should be prepared with 15 liter/4 gallons water per person (drinking water and emergency water storage).
The more the merrier, in this case. Now, simply count the total number of campers on your side and how many days you will be camping. Then multiply that number by 15 liters.
For example, if 3 of you will be camping for 3 days, then the estimated amount of water you will need would be 3 persons x 3 days x 15 liters = 135 liters or 35 gallons.
It means you will need multiple water containers in this situation, as a 35-gallon container will definitely not be portable. Now it is your turn to determine how much water you will need per person in your case.
Hard-shell vs Collapsible (Container Shape/Portability)
You might have noticed that we have reviewed 2 types of camping water containers above, which are hard-shell and collapsible. If you want a durable, sturdy, and long-lasting water container for camping, then the hard-shell model would be the best option.
However, they take a lot of space when not in use and are pricier compared to their counterparts.
Conversely, if you want the most portable and space-saving option, then you can go with the collapsible ones. However, they are prone to punctures and might collapse when there is not enough water inside. But collapsible water containers are more budget-friendly.
So it all boils down to your choice and budget as both options have their pros and cons.
The structure or shape of the container is also another factor to consider. It is better to go with slim and stackable hard-shell water containers as they will occupy less space.
But if you are going on a short trip or go camping very rarely, then a collapsible water container would be a good choice as well.
Material (Durability/Structural Design)
Normally, the best camping water containers will be made with high-grade polyethylene. Moreover, make sure that it is BPA-free and food-grade material.
As we have already mentioned hard-shell water containers are the most durable ones out there. The faucet should also be of good quality.
Water containers for camping are available at a variety of prices. Of course, the prices vary depending on the types, size, quality, and features of the water carrier.
Generally speaking, hard-shell coolers tend to be expensive compared to soft-shell/collapsible ones. It is up to you to choose one that fits your budget, as well as one that meets most of the requirements.
How to Clean Camping Water Containers?
Typically, the best camping water container brands will provide an instruction manual with the water storage container. If yours didn’t come with one, follow these pointers:
For light stains and dirt, you can use only water to wash and clean the camping water container. On the other hand, if there is tough dirt or stains, then you will need to use mild detergents with water.
You can also use a mixture of 1 tsp. (4.92 ml):1 liter water for cleaning your water container thoroughly.
In addition, you can also use diluted baking soda for this purpose. Remember, it is not advised to use harsh chemicals or cleaning agents to clean up the water containers. Regardless, you should always wash and clean the container after use.
If you will not be using it for a long time, then you should clean it thoroughly and dry it out. Only after that, should you store it away.
Is Bringing a Water Container a Must Even If There Is Drinking Water At a Campsite?
It all depends on you. If you don’t mind all the trips you have to make back and forth to the place of the water supply, then you can go without a water container.
However, in our opinion, you should always go with your own water container while camping, even if there is a drinking water supply at the campsite.
That way, you don’t have to move frequently and you will have vital access to water supply at your own disposal.
Conclusion – Best Water Container for Camping
It is undeniable that water is vital for all forms of life. In fact, there’s a saying ‘water is life’. However, you will need fresh and pure water. To keep your water supply fresh while on a camping trip, a portable water container would be a great option.
As a result, we have covered reviews of some of the best water containers for camping above. By now, you should have already picked the best option among all the products above. But if you are still in a dilemma, then you can go with the EZPACK JerryFlex Portable Bladder Water Dispenser.
The JerryFlex Portable Bladder Water Dispenser comes with a user-friendly design. It is built solidly and can supply fresh-tasting water all the time as the inner liners are replaceable. In addition, it is fairly portable and comes in various sizes.
Yes, the price is a bit high compared to some alternatives, but for the features and specs it offers, it is definitely worth it.
Ferenc Elekes has been a devout Overlanding enthusiast for many years. During that time, Ferenc has explored 75 countries on six continents, with overland travel involved in 40 countries on three continents. From his trusty 2006 Toyota Land Cruiser Prado with a roof-top tent, he’s blogged about experiences that can only be found in the remotest regions on Earth. Along the way, he's gained in-depth knowledge of the novel challenges overlanders encounter and practical ways to meet them. On his website, he shares informed opinions about everything from the best overland gear to how to get a vehicle unstuck. Ferenc has also written for Ih8mud, the Expedition Portal, the Overland Journal, and he is often invited as a guest to outdoors-related podcasts.
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