9 Best Water Containers To Keep Your Entire Family Safe

By Just In Case Jack |
Last Updated: May 21, 2021

Today we’re going to talk about the best water containers on the market and why you need them.

At Skilled Survival, we want to prepare you for real-world situations. To give you the tools and knowledge for when life goes sideways.

EVERYONE should ready for common emergencies, such as:

severe weather
power outages
water and food shortages

These basic preparations help you avoid panic when there’s a catastrophe. And of all the things you need to survive, none is more crucial than drinkable water. Without it, you’re toast!

Water is one of the necessities of life, and most people can only survive for around 3-5 days without it. Then your body starts to shut down FAST.

Once you run low on water, you’ll begin rationing and desperately scavaging. But to stay healthy, you need to keep drinking around a half gallon a day!

Looking for water after an emergency is too late. You have to get your water situation sorted out well in advance of a crisis.

That’s why high-quality water containers are essential for any survivalist and prepper.

The bottom line:

If you don’t want to be a part of the fragile masses, invest in some emergency water containers.

So today I’m going to share everything I know about investing in water containers for long term storage, specifically:

6 Reasons To Invest In Water Containers
Different Types Of Water Containers & Pros|Cons Of Each
6 Best Water Container Features To Look For
9 Best Water Containers On The Market Today

**Note: If you just want to know our top brands, feel free to SKIP AHEAD HERE.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #78 Item Complete Prepper Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

6 Reasons To Invest In Water Containers

Let’s start off with a powerful quote from Benjamin Franklin:

“When the well is dry, we know the worth of water.”

Good, clean water has no expiration date. But the type of water container you choose could contaminate it!

For example, it’s ok to store non-drinking (water for sanitation) in old laundry soap bottles. But label them for cleaning use only!

For storing potable water, you need food-grade containers to keep your aqua safe and clean.

Here are 6 reasons why you should spend your hard-earned money on water containers:

1. They Are Safer Than Bottles And Milk Jugs

When buying water and other drinking products at the store, they come in safe containers. But they’re generally one-use items and not made for long-term water storage.

Thin plastics can degrade over time, so you want to have a thick BPA-free water container that will last.

A proper water container won’t have residue from other products, so there’s no chance of cross-contamination.

You’ll also want to use containers you can properly reseal. Glass bottles and milk jugs may not have this option.

2. Large Storage For Natural Disasters

Mother Nature loves to stir things up from time to time. You never know ahead of time when there will be a flood, earthquake, or hurricane coming to town.

City water lines can easily be disrupted, and that means no water to your house. Or worst yet, only highly contaminated water.

And while loading up on canned water is a safe way to go, it can get pretty expensive.

3. They Have Multiple Uses

Having emergency water containers on hand is just plain smart. If TSHTF, you need this life-preserving elixir.

But what about other uses?

You don’t realize how vital water is until you step away from the tap.

There are several different applications for having drinking water containers.

Camping Trip
Hunting Expedition
Remote Vacation
Family Picnic
Beach Party
Road Trip

For all these outings and adventures, you need to pack water. But, if it’s a last-minute purchase, you won’t get the best selection; IF you can find any at all…

For example, once Covid-19 became a worldwide pandemic, it became tough to find ANY water containers. And if you did, you paid a very steep price for them!

So instead, get some water containers TODAY, and if they’re portable, use them for camping or other outdoor adventures.

My favorite prepping gear is items you can put to use early and often, while also having a backup for future emergencies, such as:

4. They Save Space

Storing water doesn’t have to be bulky and creates clutter in your basement or garage. Instead, you can buy a stackable, portable water container to take advantage of small spaces.

Or and even get collapsible water containers for backup.

5. Easy To Transport

If forced to relocate fast, you’ll need water containers you can pick up and fit in your bug out vehicle.

A 5-gallon water container is ideal for most vehicles and not too heavy to pick up.

If you need more water, then a 10-gallon water container is still portable enough to transport.

These work well for camping and hunting as well as living off-grid.

You may also want a water container with a spout so it’s easy to pour.

6. Immediate Resource for Hygiene And Cooking

Besides drinking, you also need access to clean water for washing, preparing food, and flushing toilets (unless you have an emergency toilet setup).

The experts recommend 1 gallon per person per day for all your drinking, eating, and hygiene needs.

That can add up FAST.

It’s incredible how much water we use when we cook. This usage includes washing fruit and veg. as well as dishes after the meal.

Keeping your body clean also takes a fair amount of water.

Make sure you have enough on hand to take care of these other needs. You may not know when you will find a new source of clean water next.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Ultimate Survival Gear Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

Different Types Of Water Containers & Pros|Cons Of Each

When looking for the best kind of water containers, it can be a little intimidating.

There are many options to choose from, and you should buy the proper containers to suit your needs.

Let’s go over some of the various types:

1 Gallon Water Jugs

These are the type of water containers you can buy just anywhere.

They are cheap, lightweight, and easy to pour. These jugs come in a gallon, and they’re available nearly everywhere.

Suitable for a short trip, but you’d have to buy a tonne of them for a long journey.


You can find them at most stores
It’s easy to carry around


They can spill or break easily
Don’t hold much water
They are not stackable

Military Jerry Can

These cans are great for storing and carrying water.

And they were initially used in WW2 by both the German and Allied forces. These Jerry cans were made of pressed metal and stored fuel and water.

Today the army still uses them, and civilians can get them for water storage.

They are usually made of hard plastic now and hold around 5 gallons.

The modern ones are made to resemble the original military ones and can be stowed easily in your vehicle.


Enough water for 4 days
Some models are stackable


Are heavy for one person to carry around full

Heavy Plastic 5/10 Gallon Jugs

Bigger water containers equate to more capacity. And this is wise for longer trips or emergencies.

But the largest water tanks are not portable.

Instead, these modular type of containers are stackable and fits together nicely. However, they are slightly heavier and bulky than jerry cans, so make sure you have room.


Holds enough water for several days
It comes as a stackable water container


It’s heavy for a small person
They can take up more floor space, especially the non-stacking ones

55 Gallon Drums

These puppies will help you get through the next apocalypse for sure!

With up to 55 gallons of water, you’ll have an ample water supply at the cabin, bunker, or backyard shed.

When filled, you won’t be moving them, so make sure you pick a location you want them to live.

Water drums are the type of water containers that need to already be in place and filled. So they’re not quickly coming on the road with you.


You can store a large quantity of water
Solid, heavy-duty construction so you won’t get leaks


It becomes cumbersome to move around once full
You can’t load these into your vehicle in an emergency
It requires a pump to get the water out

Water Bladders

If you need a large water container on location, you may want to invest in a water bladder.

These do come in various sizes, from a backpack style up to bladder tanks.

One of the most convenient options is the Bathtub water bladder.

However, larger bladder tanks (like this one) are ideal for storing potable water on remote expeditions.


You can have a large quantity of water at home and in a remote area
Bladder packs are hand free


Smaller ones are good for one person but won’t hydrate the whole family for long
Can puncture or tear

Larger Capacity Storage Tanks

For extensive water storage setups, you can get high-volume water storage tanks.

These heavy-duty containers have a capacity of well over 100 gallons. This volume tends to work well for your off-grid or homestead setup.

Some are also stackable and connectable. These tanks give you peace of mind if our water supply gets cut off for an extended period.

These tanks are a water source if you’re hunkering down at home or your bug out location.


The ability to store a large volume of water
Stackable design and connectable


You should put them into position and leave them there
Not for bugging out; take your water and run set up

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our #78 Item Complete Prepper Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

6 Best Water Container Features To Look For

Here are some key features to look for when buying your water containers.

1. Quality Construction Materials

You want your water to be safe and free from contamination. Most water containers are hard BPA-free plastic.

Make sure you buy the best you can afford.

2. Durability

Get the proper water container for the situation at hand.

If you need to stack multiple containers, make sure they can stand up to the task.

You don’t want leakage either, so make sure any spouts, spigots, or caps seal well.

You also need your emergency water containers to last and not degrade over time.

3. Solid Sealing System

Different styles of water containers use different types of seals.

The seals must be tight to prevent any chance of spilling or contamination, even if it gets knocked over.

4. Water Capacity

Consider who you are hydrating.

If it’s just you, you may be able to get by with a bladder pack and Jerry cans. However, for a family, you will have to go bigger.

Also, how long will you need clean water to drink?

Here’s the math:

(1 Gallon) X (# of family members) X (# of days) = Total Target Gallons

5. Ease Of Use

Make sure your water container comes with spouts.

A spigot, or hose connection, or pumps (or even better – solar pumps) help to get at your drinking water fast.

6. Storability

You want to be able to fit your water into your vehicle if you are bugging out.

For home use, we all have precious little space for an extra water container or barrel.

One large container will take up less space but will be immovable when full.

Stacking containers work well for this.

As A Way To Introduce You To Skilled Survival, We’re Giving Away Our Ultimate Survival Gear Checklist. Click Here To Get Your FREE Copy Of It.

9 Best Water Containers On The Market Today

PORTABLE Water Containers

First, we have some excellent emergency water containers you can transport if necessary.

They cost a bit more per gallon – but you gain the “optionality” of taking them with you in a pinch:

1. Legacy Emergency Water Containers

Legacy Emergency Water Containers

If you are looking for a great water container for the whole family, Legacy is it.

These water containers can carry enough water for 1 person for 5 days.

Yet small enough so you can carry and load them while still full.

But what’s up with the blue color?

Blue containers prevent bacterial growth. Why? Because the dark color prevents direct sunlight from hitting the water.

This color makes this container excellent for long-term storage.

And because they are food-grade HDPE plastic that is 100% non-toxic and BPA-free.

So you won’t have to worry about your water quality degrading.

It also comes with a screw-on lid with a tamper-proof seal. This security measure means you can check if anyone has been into your water. And it’s a centerpiece to screw on a spigot for pouring water.

And you only need one spigot for all your blue containers!

You also get a venting hole with a cap at the back to allow for pouring.

This 5-gallon water container weighs in at about 40 lbs, so you can move them around when the container is full.

This weight means you can easily take it with you when you need to leave your home or go camping.

They are stackable up to 3 high, so get a bunch of them and see how little space they take up.

2. Scepter 05177 Military Water Container

Scepter 05177 Military Water Container

Here we have a military-grade water container that can take a beating.

When bugging out fast, you need a portable water container designed for combat.

This robust 5-gallon container is the same type used by military forces and is built to last.

Even though it has a 5-gallon water capacity, it’s lightweight and easy to carry.

The slim Jerry can style allows you to hold it along your body with heavy-duty handles.

Also, it’s built with a non-corrosive, high-density polyethylene construction that’s BPA-free. So you know it’s safe and sound.

The Scepter 05177 comes in several colors to block out the sun. And it’s stamped with the label “water,” so there is no confusion.

It also has a spill-proof spout and a smaller opening for filling handheld containers. That’s a convenient addition.

They side stack nicely in the back of your truck. And will give you all the water you need on your next camping or hunting trip.

3. Reliance Products Aqua-Tainer

Reliance Products AquaTainer

Reliance has a high-quality water container for your home or off-grid setup.

This plastic water container is 7 gallons. So it is bigger than the first few but still portable because you can move it around at 58 lbs full.

The design is made stackable as well as blue in color to protect your water from direct sunlight.

And it’s made of food-grade solid plastic and is BPA-free, so you know your water supply is safe.

It’s well built, leak-proof and Reliance has a 5-year warranty.

This reassurance should give you great peace of mind because they stand behind their product.

It also comes with a reversible spigot.

This setup keeps it safe inside the container during storage. And it gives you easy spill-free pouring.

The space-saving design and contour grip makes it simple to stack and move around from home to truck to camp.

The Aqua-tainer is a perfect container for all your outdoor activities, including:

beach days

Most importantly, though, it’s an intelligent emergency water container for long-term water storage.

5. Sagan Life Aqua Brick Water Containers

Sagan Life Aqua Brick Water Containers

Aqua Bricks are well-designed containers for your water storage needs.

It’s both portable and stackable, so you get to decide how many to bring depending on your needs.

The Aqua Bricks stack like… well…Bricks. That way, you’ll save space at home or in the car when you need to get at your water supply.

Sure having 1 barrel is excellent for large volumes. But you can stack these up to match your barrel capacity and still be able to grab one at a time for on-the-go drinking.

And with the rubber gasket in the lid, you get an excellent tight seal, so there’s no chance of leakage.

They are made of durable HDPE and are BPA-free, and the conical shape reinforces them.

It’s recommended to only stack to 4 feet high, but that is enough water for most emergency needs.

These are easy to fill and pour with an attachable spigot. They also double as food storage if needed with a ventless feature.

This setup can come in handy if you work through your water supply and need to preserve foods such as:

or even pet food

The Aqua Brick is a practical solution to your water storage needs.

5. Collapsible 5 Gallon Water Container with Spigot

Collapsible 5 Gallon Water Container with Spigot

You may be familiar with this type of collapsible water container from camping trips. The reason they’re still around is they’re a proven design.

And if you don’t have stored water in an emergency, you may not be able to get to the store.

These containers can be stowed flat and taken out for a quick fill-up in the sink, and you are good to go.

They are great to have stored in your garage for when you are going camping or fishing too.

They can even fit in your emergency kit or INCH bag.

There are built-in handles so you can grab and go wherever you find yourself during an emergency.

It’s constructed from food-grade BPA-free PVC plastic with no odor at all.

And the dedicated pouring spigot has no gaskets, so that means no leaks. And you can regulate the flow too!

With a 5 a gallon capacity, you will readily have drinking water for several days.

Yes, they don’t look as cool as the water bricks or Jerry cans.

But when you need to get water in an emergency, no one cares who’s water container looks the trendiest!

LARGE Emergency Water Containers

Here we have some other excellent emergency water containers you may not be able to pack in a hurry.

They are no less important, though, because they have a large capacity. These can make all the difference in a more prolonged end-of-day scenario:

6. Water Prepared 160-320 Gallon Water  Tanks

Water Prepared 160-320 Gallon Water  Tanks

If you want to protect your family at your bug out location, here is the big daddy!

These water tanks take the inconvenience of rotating your containers out. Why? Because you’ll have water to spare.

An excellent stackable design maximizes capacity while minimizing space.

So it’s highly efficient for large volumes of water storage. If you have the correct setup, then these high-capacity emergency storage tanks are a must.

They are BPA-free and UV resistant, with each tank holding 160 gallons of water.

With the advantage of being able to stack them 2 high, your water problems are over.

As big as they are, you can still fit them through a standard doorway, so if you have an extra corner to put 1 or 2 in, go for it.

The tanks have several valves and connectors so getting to your stored water is easy.

When you order them, you get a 330-gallon water storage treatment kit too. Because you must purify your water as well.

So if you take your water storage seriously, you need a few of these!

7. WaterBOB Bathtub Storage Emergency Water Container

WaterBOB Bathtub Storage

There may come a time when you have an emergency, and you can’t leave your home. And when utilities start going offline, it’s time to put your long-term water storage plan in place.

The WaterBOB is one answer.

This is a water containment system that fits a standard-size tub and can be filled through the tap.

You won’t have to wait in line to get bottled water with this setup.

Why? Because these will hold 100 gallons of fresh drinking water.

A tub is a perfect vessel for using a BPA-free collapsible plastic container to fill and store water.

These bladders will keep water fresh for 16 weeks. So you have aqua for washing, drinking, and cooking.

It’s straightforward to store, too, because it folds flat.

All you need to do is place the liner in the tub and fill it with the attached fill sock onto your faucet.

20 minutes later, it’s full.

Then you can use a siphon rod and pump to access the water you need.

8. 55-Gallon Water Treatment and Storage Kit

55-Gallon Water Treatment and Storage Kit

Using a water storage barrel makes sense for a lot of people. It can be moved around and relocated quickly while empty and provides ample capacity for clean drinking water when full.

This 55-gallon food-grade barrel is made with high-density polyethylene plastic.

That’s why it can store all kinds of liquids.

It has a blue closed top that is non-removable for ultimate contamination avoidance.

Just use the included plastic siphon hose and hand pump to get your water out, and you are in business.

These barrels come in several sizes, from 15 gallons up to 55 gallons. And you also get a treatment kit that kills bacteria.

You can stack these barrels 2 high, but storing them on concrete or in direct sunlight is NOT recommended.

They are multi-use once the emergency is over, as you can use them to catch rainwater and other storage.

9. AQUATANK Water Bladder

AQUATANK Water Bladder

Here we have the AQUATANK portable water bladder for an emergency.

What makes this one great is the portability? It packs up into a small box and only weighs 5 lbs.

Water storage capacity is from 15 gallons up to 300 gallons, so you pick the size that suits your needs.

These bladder tanks work well in your home when services are knocked out. AND they won’t take over your tub either.

It fills fast and easy with inlet and outlet tubes and is also great for camping and cabin/bug out locations.

You fill it up on-site, and you have an abundant water supply when a crisis occurs.

It has a 100% TPU food-grade inner liner with a rugged nylon outer shell. This liner material means it’s nearly puncture-resistant.

In addition, the AQUATANK is thinner and lighter than most other rubber bladders. And weight reduction counts when you are packing up your gear and heading out fast.

Finally, this water container will give you peace of mind.

While fragile neighbors are scrambling to fill 5-gallon containers, you’ll be all set!

Final Thoughts

No one is immune to natural disasters and emergencies. But, getting you better prepared is why Skilled Survival exists.

We are helping the fragile make wise investments to become resilient.

Water is the most critical life-giving ingredient. And if you can filter it, purify it, and store it properly, you have a significant survival advantage.

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