Best Water Container for Camping [Review and Buying Guide]

When you’re tired out from a long day of hiking or camping in the summer, hydration is key to making sure that you can recover and have enough energy for the next day of fun adventures.

The best water container in this product round-up is the Scepter 05935 Military Water Container, as it holds a respectable 5 gallons of water in an easily transportable, lightweight, free-standing, and durable body style without any BPA in its construction. This is an easy-to-use, reliable, rugged water container that will be sure to keep the thirst away.

For an even more portable option, consider the HydraPak Seeker. This is a flexible, thermal polyurethane 2-4 liter hydration sleeve that fits inside a backpack, perfect for short hiking days. It can easily be refilled with one of the larger containers, such as the RedCamp, as well.

If you’re searching for the best water container for camping, learn about these and more with our full product round-up below.

Best OverallScepter 05935 Military Water Container Scepter 05935 Military Water Container
  • Size: 5 gallons (20 liters)
  • Materials: BPA-free plastic
Most Premium OptionAqua tank II Aqua tank II
  • Size: 15 to 300 gallons
  • Materials: TPU and nylon outer shell
Best Budget OptionWaterStorageCube WaterStorageCube
  • Size: 5.3 gallons
  • Materials: BPA-free plastic
HydraPak Seeker HydraPak Seeker
  • Size: 2, 3, or 4 liters
  • Materials: TPU
Igloo portable sports water dispenser Igloo portable sports water dispenser
  • Size: 5 gallons
  • Materials: BPA-free plastic
RedCamp Portable Water Container with Spigot for Camping RedCamp Portable Water Container with Spigot for Camping
  • Size: 10, 10.5, 15, 18.5, and 20 liters
  • Materials: BPA-free plastic
Freegrace Premium Collapsible Bucket Freegrace Premium Collapsible Bucket
  • Size: 10, 16, or 23 liters
  • Materials: Premium 500 denier tarpaulin

Product Reviews

Scepter 05935 Military Water Container – 5 Gallon (20 Liter): Best Overall

Scepter 05935 Military Water Container
914 Reviews
Scepter 05935 Military Water Container
  • PORTABLE WATER CONTAINER – Lightweight, easy to transport portable 5-gallon water container is ideal for camping, RVing, emergency management, and off-road adventures
  • BPA FREE CONSTRUCTION – Manufactured from food grade material, the BPA free construction will not add taste, odor, or chemicals to the water
  • IMPACT RESISTANT DESIGN – Designed and produced to military specifications, this impact resistant water can is rugged, reliable, and durable
  • WATER CAN DIMENSIONS – 13-1/2” L x 6-3/4” W x 19” H
  • SCEPTER QUALITY – For over 70 years from the front lawn to the front line, Scepter products have proven rugged, reliable, and synonymous with best-in-class portable fuel and water containers

The Scepter 05935 Military Water Container is our choice for the winner of the product round-up, thanks to its large capacity for plenty of hydration, easy transportability, and rugged body style that will hold up to your adventures. It is also safe to drink from, as it sports a BPA-free construction.

Scepter designs a series of portable water containers built for the military and outdoor adventurers alike, so their products are constructed with durability in mind.

This particular model holds 5 gallons (20 liters), which is a good amount for refilling smaller water bottles throughout the day. Remember that this model does not have a spigot at the bottom for refilling small cups, unlike some others in this product round-up.

This container sports a handle along the top, making it easy to carry by your side. Its thin body style fits inside your car easily as well.

The Scepter can also stand up on its own, which is convenient for making sure it doesn’t spillover. The lid is a twist-on type and stays secure as long as it doesn’t tip over; however, be careful not to lay the container on its side if the lid isn’t tightened all the way, as this can easily cause leakage.

Constructed of a lightweight, BPA-free plastic, the Scepter is certainly not too heavy. It is available only in a sand color, which is slightly less exciting than it could be; however, when choosing a water container, color probably shouldn’t be the top priority.

The Scepter is priced at $44.99, which is a little pricey for a water container. However, keep in mind that this is built for durability and reliability, so you will be less likely to have to replace it.


  • Very rugged and durable (good reliability)
  • Holds 5 gallons (20 liters)
  • Lightweight plastic and easy to carry with the handle across the top
  • BPA-free
  • Easy to refill
  • Stands up on its own


  • Somewhat expensive
  • Lid may leak if the container is on its side
  • Does not have a spigot at the bottom for refilling smaller cups easily

Aquatank II Water Storage Bladder: Most Premium Option

Aqua tank II
285 Reviews
Aqua tank II
  • "THE BEST THING SINCE SLICED BREAD FOR THE RV OWNER" Sick and tired of stretching hoses while you're out boondocking? Don't go dry camping without bringing an AQUATANK-2. It will change the way you enjoy your RV experience! Keep in mind, these tanks are made and warrantied for a static environment so if you're going to use it some other way, please make sure to secure it tightly and keep it away from sharp objects.
  • "DECEPTIVELY TOUGH!" Our AQUATANK-2 systems have state-of-the-art material that is thinner and lighter than any rubber bladder but much stronger than you would imagine. Test the sample provided and see exactly what we mean; just try to poke it, stretch it, or rip it and you'll see what we mean. It's Tough Stuff!
  • "NO WEIRD TASTE" BPA's are not good... they can interfere with your natural hormone functions and they make your water taste just plain weird. Say no to Bisphenol A and Phthalates and invest in the safest, toughest, and lightest bladder on the market! The AQUATANK-2's inner lining is 100% Food-Grade TPU (Polyurethane) and the Outer Shell is Durable Nylon.
  • "PEACE OF MIND WATER STORAGE" With all of the events happening in the world right now, having a large amount of drinkable water storage is incredibly important. When you're in need of water, the inlet and outlet tubes make filling and using the water super easy!
  • "BANG FOR BUCK IS 5 STARS +" Your friends will be green with envy when they see you filling your new AQUATANK-2 while they're still filling old 5 gallon buckets! Grab a simple water pump to go with your tank and the process is even quicker and easier.

The Aquatank II is the most premium pick in this product round-up, as it is built to be the ultimate option in portability. This little water tank is built with an inner lining of flexible, 100{6c74ca63e013bf7fdc90f42082e9494ee47031617a282fbe0976712ddae472a0} food grade thermal polyurethane, while it sports an outer shell made of nylon that stays wrinkle- and crack-free.

Because of its easy portability, the Aquatank is built specifically for camping, cabins, or RV’s. It has a bendable, stretchy, foldable (and rollable) body style that is easy to transport and store away when not in use.

The Aquatank is available in various sizes, from 15 to 300 gallons, so it’s appropriate for nearly any of your hydration needs. Refilling the Aquatank may be cumbersome in some situations, however, because it requires a standard garden hose thread connection.

While the nylon outer shell is quite durable in most scenarios, be sure to keep sharp objects away from the Aquatank, as there is a danger of accidentally puncturing it and causing water to spill out.

Lastly, the Aquatank costs from $109.99 for the 15-gallon version up to $299.99 for the 300 gallon version.


  • Food-grade, BPA-free polyurethane lining, and durable nylon outer shell
  • Easy to transport, lightweight
  • Bendable and flexible body style can be folded when not in use.
  • Many size options (15 to 300 gallons)


  • Can possibly poke holes in it
  • Must be refilled with a garden hose thread connection
  • Does not stand up on its own
  • Very expensive

WaterStorageCube Collapsible Water Container: Best Budget Option

2,394 Reviews
  • FOOD-GRADE ODORLESS GREAT TASTE: PE plastic made with highest quality USA raw material. Environmentally friendly non-toxic, No BPA PVC or DEHP, No plastic PVC odor and water taste will not be affected, Transparent.
  • LIGHT, COMPACT, PORTABLE AND REUSABLE Foldable space saving design store away easily. Remains soft and flexible even when cold yet retains shape and is easy to fill, dry, drain and reuse. Soft molded handles make holding and transport easy. Perfect for outdoor activities like camping, RV, hunting, hiking, backpacking, fishing, picnics, BBQs, sports, festivals, parties and beach.
  • WORRY-FREE AND LEAK-PROOF Custom made lid and spigot with gasketless design means no leaks or parts to replace. Good spigot water-flow. Thicker lid to withstand heavy pressure. Easy on/off spigot with controllable flow. Our premium collapsible container is 1-piece design with no seams to leak or handles to break. Durable and dependable.
  • EMERGENCY PREPAREDNESS AND DAILY USE Enables you quickly and safely store all the water your family needs in the event of an emergency or natural disaster like hurricane, tornado, earthquake, fire, flood or drought. Include in your Emergency / Survival Kit. Also great for daily use. Dispense right out of refrigerator. Automobile emergency water. Hand-washing stations at events and festivals. Transport large amounts of water easily.
  • SATISFACTION GUARANTEE AND EBOOK INCLUDED If for any reason within 30 days you're not satisfied, simply return for a refund or replacement. THANK-YOU BONUS: Cubey wants you and your family to Be Prepared and includes our 30pg eBook Camping and Emergency Preparedness Survival Guide with each order.

The best budget pick, the WaterStorageCube, is an excellent choice for those not looking to spend big bucks while still getting an easy-to-use, trusty water container perfect for picnics, camping, or for keeping water in a safe place for emergencies.

The WaterStorageCube costs only $12.45 for a 5.3-gallon container. Conveniently, it also folds up into a compact square for easy transportability.

The WaterStorageCube has a transparent body style constructed of a non-toxic, BPA-free LDPE plastic that promises to be odor-free. It features a handle across the top for easy carrying. There is a lid across the top as well for refilling the container itself, while the spigot at the bottom is easy to open so that water flows freely out to fill a cup.

To use the container, simply set it up on a table and hold a cup under the spigot while water flows out. Because of this design, the WaterStorageCube is also perfect for using it as a hand-washing station. The fixture can also easily refill dog bowls or other containers.


  • Lightweight and easy to carry
  • Can be folded down into a compact square
  • BPA-free
  • Easy to refill and fill other cups
  • Stands up on its own
  • Can be used as a hand-washing station


  • Inexpensive option
  • Not as durable
  • Requires a table for set-up, as the spigot only releases water from the bottom

HydraPak Seeker Collapsible Water Storage Hydration Reservoir: Most Portable Option

HydraPak Seeker
1,548 Reviews
HydraPak Seeker
  • PORTABLE & PACKABLE- Crush the Seeker Hydration Reservoir when empty and store in bail handle. The flexible design makes it so light and compact, you'll forget it's in your pack.
  • VERSATILE WATER STORAGE - Wide working temperature range (can be frozen - max temp 60° C / 140° F).
  • WATER FILTER COMPATIBLE - Filter more water in the backcountry, most 42mm threaded filters (Katadyn BeFree) screw on to the top.
  • LIGHT & DURABLE CAMPING RESERVOIR - Flexible and abrasive-resistant TPU, the Seeker can stand up to whatever you throw at it.
  • 100% BPA & PVC FREE - No weird taste, and no unnecessary or harmful chemicals.

The HydraPak Seeker is the most portable option, as it has the lowest capacity in the smallest body style that flattens and folds up easily for simple storage. This is a durable choice from a reliable brand.

The HydraPak is available in 2, 3, or 4-liter capacities and two colors (mammoth grey or malibu blue). Constructed of flexible TPU, the HydraPak is BPA-free and has a lifetime warranty.

This model features a secure, screw-on cap that is easy to refill. There is a measuring gauge along the side for keeping track of your water intake, which is always important when exercising. You can insert a water filter so that you can fill the reservoir with water from a river or stream, perfect for camping.

Not only is it easy to flatten and fold away for storage, but it is also easy to carry with the four lash points that allow you to connect the hydration pack to a backpack. Similar to the Aquatank, be careful around sharp objects to avoid puncturing the HydraPak.

Lastly, the HydraPak costs only $25.50.


  • Inexpensive
  • Lightweight folds up easily for storage
  • Easy to carry, has strap attachments for a backpack
  • BPA-free
  • Easy to fill and insert a filter
  • Comes in two colors and three sizes
  • Secure cap
  • Water intake gauge along the side


  • May be able to puncture it
  • Doesn’t stand up on its own
  • Not available in higher capacities

Igloo 5 Gallon Portable Sports Cooler Water Dispenser, Bright Orange: Most Durable

Igloo portable sports water dispenser
6,168 Reviews
Igloo portable sports water dispenser
  • Recessed and angled drip-resistant spigot for easy dispensing
  • Reinforced handles for strength and product longevity
  • Keeper cord affixes lid to cooler for cleanliness and loss prevention
  • Pressure-fit lid won't trap dirt or mold
  • UV inhibitors and infrared technology protect the cooler against sun damage

As the most durable option in this product round-up, the Igloo portable sports water dispenser is a heavy-duty container that is sure to hold up to years of use. The Igloo also boasts plenty of convenient features, such as side handles, a securely fitted lid, and an easy-to-use spigot.

The Igloo’s style is one that you often see at sports events, as it has an angled spigot at the bottom and holds enough water to keep a team hydrated.

The Igloo features reinforced handles that make it rather easy to carry, even though it is more cumbersome than the other products in this round-up because it doesn’t fold into a more compact size. Thankfully, the handles are secure and comfortable.

The lid is pressure-fitted on top to prevent mold or dirt from getting in. It is durable enough that you can even sit on top of the lid without breaking the container. With the lid removed, you can easily fill it with ice, which Igloo promises to keep frozen for up to three days.

Its bright orange cooler features UV inhibitors and infrared technology to keep the color from fading. Lastly, the Igloo costs only $29.95.


  • Very rugged and reliable
  • Handles on the sides
  • The durable, pressure-fitted lid to keep dirt out
  • Inexpensive
  • The bright orange color won’t fade
  • Easy to fill with ice, and ice stays frozen for up to three days
  • Stands up on its own


  • Heavier and bulkier
  • Must be used on a table
  • Does not fold into a smaller size

RedCamp Portable Water Container with Spigot for Camping: Another Inexpensive Option

RedCamp Portable Water Container with Spigot for Camping
1,777 Reviews
RedCamp Portable Water Container with Spigot for Camping
  • ▶Safe Material: Food-Grade great taste environmentally friendly high-grade HDPE plastic, more transparent and softer. No BPA PVC and water taste will not be affected
  • ▶Worry-Free and Leakproof Spigot: Patented unique faucet design with different Silicon sealing rings and outlet position, easy to prevent leaking for carrying water, no fuss for water scattering everywhere. It is flexible to turn/off the spigot
  • ▶Easy to Clean the Jug: Dimension: 13.8x7.5x11.4in (35x19x29cm). The water container has two barrels. One is large enough to put your hand inside and clean it easily
  • ▶Outdoor and Emergency Use: The portable water container is perfect for outdoor activities, like camping, picnic, hiking, travel also for home household and emergency preparedness
  • ▶100% MONEY BACK GUARANTEE: REDCAMP offers a 365-day limited manufacturer warranty. If you're not satisfied for any reason, please contact us immediately and we will give you a reply within 24 hours

The RedCamp Portable Water Container with Spigot for Camping is another inexpensive option, with a price of $9.99 to $35.99 depending on which version you select. This is an easy-to-carry, lightweight, versatile water container perfect for camping, picnicking, or even emergencies.

The RedCamp features a wide mouth that is easy to fill and clean. It comes in a variety of sizes: 10, 10.5, 15, 18.5, and 20-liter options, so you can select the version that fits your needs the most. Made with a food-grade HDPE plastic, it promises to be BPA-free without any unpleasant taste or odor.

With a spigot at the bottom, the RedCamp is best used on a table or in your refrigerator on one of the top shelves. The spigot has a faucet design with silicon rings for sealing against leakage.

Lastly, the RedCamp features a handle for easy portability.


  • Inexpensive
  • Available in 10, 10.5, 15, 18.5, and 20 liter versions
  • BPA-free
  • Easy to fill up and clean
  • Handle for carrying
  • Does not leak
  • Stands up on its own


  • Not as durable
  • Must be used on a surface

Freegrace Premium Collapsible Folding Water Container: Best Bucket Style

Freegrace Premium Collapsible Bucket
2,130 Reviews
Freegrace Premium Collapsible Bucket
  • ✔ 10L(With Lid) size: 7.87 x 9.84 inch(0.86 Pounds/390g),Capacity:610 Cu.In; The only bucket with LID and comfortable GRAB HANDLE on Amazon! Say good bye to pain hand caused by the heavy water and protect your water from dirt, sand and even prevent fish from escaping!
  • ✔ MULTI-PURPOSE COLLAPSIBLE BUCKET: Looking for an easy and practical way to hold water for washing hands, dishes or even laundry while you're enjoying your camping? Sick and tired of the outrageous cost of a car-wash when you're on the go? Well, Freegrace's compact bucket is here to save the day!
  • ✔ LIGHTWEIGHT & SELF-SUPPORTING: unlike lesser quality buckets, our bucket is extremely light, easily foldable and support its weight and stand upright, even when set down with no other support!
  • ✔ DURABLE & WELL-MADE: When it comes to our compact collapsible buckets, we make a point of using nothing but the best materials available (Premium 500D Tarpaulin), state-of-the-art production procedures (a strong durable material with double-stitched, sealed seams), and strict quality control. That's the only way we can be certain they meet the high standards and expectations of our customers - you!
  • ✔ BPA FREE AND 100% RISK FREE PURCHASE : Our Freegrace bucket is free from any harmful toxins, so it is completely safe for farm animals feeding and pets water-drinking directly from our bucket. If, however, you don't find your new bucket to be up to your standards, don't worry - it's covered by a 90-day money back guarantee!

The Freegrace Premium Collapsible Bucket is a unique option that holds up to 10, 16, or 23 liters of water and is available in seven different colors. This stylish container features a bucket style with a lid and grab handle that simply collapses down into a small circle for easy storage.

Because this is a bucket style, the Freegrace is a fantastic option if you need a container for your dogs while camping or if you’re looking for somewhere to wash your hands. It is even useful as a bucket for washing the car.

However, the Freegrace is not the best choice if you’re looking for something to easily pour into another container or fill up a cup of water from a spigot, as it lacks this feature.

The Freegrace can securely stand up on its own and is constructed of 500 denier tarpaulin with sealed seams for durability. It promises to be BPA-free.

Also, the Freegrace features a mesh pocket inside for holding any extra items.


  • Lightweight
  • Mesh pocket for extra items
  • Many sizes and color options
  • Stands upright on its own
  • Easy to carry with handle
  • Inexpensive


  • Hard to pour out, heavy
  • No spigot for cup filling

Buying Guide: What to Look For in a Water Container for Camping


Thermal Polyurethane

Hydration sleeves like the Aquatank and HydraPak are made with a thermal polyurethane (TPU) type sleeve for added flexibility and strength. These sleeves are easy to fold into a compact size and store away. The TPU material is tear-resistant and durable but may unfortunately be puncturable if in contact with a sharp object.


Many water containers are made out of plastic, as this is a lightweight, inexpensive material. If you are purchasing a container made of plastic, however, be sure to find one that is BPA-free. BPA, or bisphenol-A, is an industrial chemical that can be toxic to the body’s hormones and cause health issues. Thankfully, all of the water containers we reviewed here are free of BPA.


When purchasing a water container, the capacity is one of the most important elements to consider.

If you’re looking for a simple water container for a short day of easy hiking, a smaller hydration sleeve like the HydraPak may be your best choice. These are available in small capacities down to just two liters, which is a good amount for one person on most easy day hikes. This will be a lightweight, easily portable option but would need to be refilled if used for more than a hike.

However, if you want to bring enough water to hydrate your whole family, a much larger container is a better option. For example, a container with a capacity of 10 liters should be enough for a day of camping with a family of five. This will obviously be much heavier, so this type of container is best used on a table at the campsite itself.

More: YETI Rambler 20 OZ Review: The Complete Review

Spigots and Gaskets

The spigot, or plug, on the water container should be secure and easy to use. This is where you will refill smaller water containers. The gasket is a rubber or silicon ring that seals the junction and prevents leakage of water.

When you receive the container, make sure to test it out and ensure that you can easily use the spigot and that no leakage is occurring.

Type of Container

If you’re looking for a large container to be used by multiple people at the campsite, you may want to buy a free-standing container that won’t topple over or spill easily. Most of these will be designed with the spigot near the bottom of the container, making them most easily set up on a table to refill smaller cups of water.

For a shorter, easier hike, you may want to find a container that’s more portable and lightweight. These containers will often be made of a soft and flexible TPU as discussed above. These will not stand up freely on their own but make up for that with easy transportability and compactness.

The other main style of water container is a bucket, such as the Freegrace. These are easy to use and fill. However, when filled with water, they are not as portable and may spill easily without a lid securely in place. As there is no spigot, these are not ideal for refilling other cups, unless you are okay with dumping the cup into the bucket every time.

More: Alternative Coolers to Yeti Coolers: The Best Cooler Like Yeti (ALL The Best)


The most durable water containers are made out of a tough plastic with thicker walls, such as the Igloo model. These will resist breakage and last for many years. TPU, while it is flexible enough to withstand some stretching, maybe puncturable. As discussed, be sure to store these away from knives or sharp camping gear.

Cleaning the Water Container

A final note about the size of the container is how easy it is to clean. Containers with larger lid openings or wider mouths are easier to clean with a rag or brush. This is especially true with the bucket style, as you can easily scrub it with a sponge using your hands thanks to its wide-open top.

Containers with wider openings will also dry out faster after you’ve cleaned them. The faster drying time will help prevent mold from growing inside the container.

However, you can also clean a narrow-mouthed water container using only household chemicals mixed with water, as we’ll discuss below in detail.


How Much Water to Bring on a Camping Trip

When camping, a general rule of thumb is to bring at least two gallons of water per person per day. So if you’re camping with a family of six people, you would need 12 gallons of water per day. Also, consider how and where you will refill your container.

It’s important to plan for the climate and the events you have planned. If you’re camping in hotter temperatures or know that you have a ton of difficult hikes ahead, you may want to consider bringing even more water than suggested, just in case.

Also, consider if you need to bring extra water for pets, for washing hands, brushing teeth, or for preparing meals.

If you need to bring a lot of water, the best course of action may be to bring a large container holding several gallons (such as the Aquatank or RedCamp above) as well as a series of smaller water bottles for individual use. Then, you and your fellow campers can refill these water bottles directly from the larger container.

More: RTIC 45 Cooler Review: All You Need To Know

How to Sanitize a Camping Water Container

A simple way to sanitize a water container is to use household chemicals. You can create a solution, or mixture, of these chemicals with water. You can also add rice, which will act as a scrubbing agent to help remove any particulates from inside.

To do this, first put rice inside the container, add in some dishwashing soap, and add tap water. Shake the water jug for 30 seconds so that the rice and soap comes into contact with the entire interior surface, and then dump it out and rinse it.

Then, add in 1 tablespoon of bleach with a gallon of water. Shake up this mixture for 30 seconds. Leave this to sit overnight so that the bleach can disinfect the interior of the container. In the morning, pour the solution out, and rinse it several times until the bleach smell is completely gone.

Here is a demonstration of this process:

More: bkr Water Bottle Review: Is It Good Bottle To Have?

If you don’t want to use bleach, another option is 3{6c74ca63e013bf7fdc90f42082e9494ee47031617a282fbe0976712ddae472a0} hydrogen peroxide diluted in water. Mix 100 mL of hydrogen peroxide with 300 mL of water, pour it into the container, and shake it around for 30 seconds. Dump it out, rinse it with tap water, and let it dry. Here’s another helpful video:

How Can You Remove the Hard Water Stains from the Water Container?

To remove hard water stains (calcium) from the water container, pour white vinegar or apple cider vinegar into the container and let it sit for a couple of hours. The vinegar is acidic and will loosen off the calcium. Then, pour the vinegar out and rinse it with water.

Can I Only use the Camping Water Container for Cold Water?

Some containers are suitable for warm water as well as cold. For instance, the HydraPak can hold frozen water as well as water up to 140 degrees Fahrenheit (60 degrees Celsius).

However, make sure to avoid putting boiling water in containers made out of plastic, as that will degrade the material and cause it to break down. For boiling water, you should look for a container made out of stainless steel or other metal construction.

More: The Best Wheeled Coolers [Review and Buying Guide]


To make sure you stay hydrated through all your camping days and nights, a water container is an essential item to bring. The winner of this product round-up, the Scepter 05935 Military Water Container, is lightweight and easy to carry, holds 5 gallons of water, and is built to last.

Suppose you’re looking for a smaller container perfect for a short hiking trip. In that case, the HydraPak Seeker is a great option, as it comes in 2, 3, and 4 liter variants and is flexible and compact enough to attach to your backpack easily. On the flip side, for a large family, the Aquatank II and the RedCamp hold large amounts of water, perfect for refilling multiple cups throughout the day.

We hope that this buying guide has helped you to make an informed decision for all your hydration needs.

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