The Best Collapsible Water Container
Gowithwind Collapsible Water Container
When you’re considering a plastic water cube, you want one that is durable, safe, and leak-proof. You get all three of these qualities in the Gowithwind Collapsible water cube. Best of all, it won’t break your wallet. Add convenience to the lineup of qualities, and it’s easy to see how it earned the title of best overall.
The water cube is made of an FDA-approved polyethylene plastic that is BPA-free and free of odors and tastes. It’s durable, comes in three sizes, and even has an emergency survival guide included as a bonus. This is one water cube that we feel confident in recommending to anyone.
The Best Collapsible Water Storage Containers for the Outdoors
When you’re out on a camping trip, having a way to keep a constant supply of clean water is essential. Depending on what type of camper you are, you can either get your drinking water supply from the local spring, filter and top up your water bottles or you can grab a collapsible or rigid water container filled with an adequate water supply from home.
Whichever is your preferred method, choosing a collapsible over a rigid water container has many, many benefits. The most obvious one being able to store water without a rigid water container or water bottles taking up storage space, even when they are empty. The benefit of this is significantly greater when you have to carry all your gear, including your drinking water on your back.
In this guide, we’ll go over some of the basics of collapsible water containers as well as give you suggestions on some of the best ones available. We researched countless water containers and choose seven that stood out among the rest based on quality, usefulness, and overall positive reputation among buyers. Keep reading to find out everything you need to know about collapsible water containers.
Buyers Guide to Water Storage Containers
A water container is a water container. That may be what you’re thinking, but that’s not exactly true. Will they all hold water? Yes, but they aren’t all created equally. If you impulsively run out and buy the first one you see, especially a cheap one, you may find yourself being disappointed and thirsty on your camping trip. Below, we’ve provided some criteria to help you sort through the collapsible water containers on the market.
Types of Collapsible Water Containers for Camping
Water cubes are flexible plastic containers, usually made from polyethylene (PU) or a similar material. They expand as they’re filled up and are BPA-free (most of the time). You’ll need to be careful with these since they can be punctured with a sharp rock or sticks. However, they are inexpensive and great for small budgets.
A folding bucket is exactly what it sounds like. These are usually made of some type of thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU), nylon laminate material, or a similar material. This makes them rigid enough to hold water but flexible enough to fold down, almost flat. Some folding buckets are soft like shopping bags but keep their rigidity when full of water. Others are harder like regular buckets but can “pop” down to a circle.
Water bags are, again, just what they sound like. They’re pouches that are designed to hold water. While water bags can be made from several different food-grade materials, they’ll all be coated with some type of PU layer to make it waterproof. Water bags are versatile because they can be hung up and, with specific attachments, can be used as a shower.
Collapsible water containers come in a multitude of different capacities. We’ve given the typical capacity range for each type. Keep in mind these aren’t set in stone. However, these are the average capacities for the ones suitable for camping.
Collapsible water bags come in a range of different sizes or capacities. In general, water bags are going to be your smallest option, ranging up to around a 10-liter capacity. Many of them are suited for individual use rather than group use. On average, they range from two liters to 10 liters in capacity.
Water buckets are the next size option. The most practical collapsible bucket can range from just a couple of liters up to 20 liters in capacity. These are made for holding freshwater for a group of people. They can also be used for activities like washing dishes or washing clothes.
Water cubes have a size range similar to water buckets. On average, they range from a couple of liters up to 20 liters in capacity. These collapsible water containers are tabletop dispensers.
Ease of Use
Collapsible water containers are simple to use. The easiest would be the water bucket because it has a wide opening, and it’s rigid. Simply fill it up and go.
Water cubes would be the second easiest to use. You would have to flip it one way to fill it, then flip the other way to use it. Depending on the size, it may be a bit difficult to flip because it would be cumbersome.
Water bags can be slightly complicated to fill. They aren’t rigid, so it can take a bit of maneuvering to fill them up. You can also pre-fill it before you leave home, but that would defeat the purpose of having a collapsible water bag.
Water cubes are going to be your least expensive option, while water bags will be your most expensive. However, the value you get from them depends on what you need them for.
Water cubes aren’t good if it’s going to be placed on rough terrain because, after all, they’re made of flexible plastic. Holes could get poked in them. So, if you want to save money upfront, water cubes are an excellent value for you. However, it would be a waste of money if you’re going to be rough with the water cube.
Water bags are usually the most durable out of the three choices. If you’re looking for something that’s going to last a long time, water bags are excellent value for you.
Even water buckets have their perks. They’re the simplest to use and the simplest to break down. If you’re looking for simplicity, you’ll find value in the water bucket.
Some high-quality water bags are freezable. This allows you to prefill them and freeze them, so you’ll have cold water all day. To keep things extra icy then take along a cooler with wheels.
This is another feature of water bags. Welded seams prevent leaks from occurring through the seams of the bag. This plus a PU lining makes it waterproof.
While handles aren’t necessary, it makes it much easier to fill and pour whatever collapsible water container you have. With water bags, you won’t have a handle, but you should have some type of hook to hang it up.
A Few FAQs
Why do you need a water container?
When your camping, you may not have access to clean drinking water. Thus, a container allows you to take water with you so you can always stay hydrated. If you also have a filter, you’ll be able to refill from almost any water source along the way.
How much water do I need?
If you are car camping, at an absolute minimum, you need about a half-gallon per person, per day. However, how much water you need may end up being substantially more, depending on the amount of exercise you do (e.g. backpacking to each campsite), the weather, and other factors.
If you are backpacking should have at least one gallon of water (about 3.79 liters) per person per day. If everyone has individual water bottles, this is easy. If not, multiply that by the number of people in your group.
These collapsible water containers work exceptionally well with portable water purification systems, so you can stock up anytime you hit a suitable water source.
Is It Safe to Drink from These Containers?
Absolutely! Most products are BPA-free, and you can also add filters to them if they don’t already have one. For buckets, you may want to get a lid so that nothing falls into your water supply.
Can you store water in areas that have freezing temperatures without harming the container?
Some products are designed to be used in freezing temperatures, but not all of them are. You’ll need to check for this before you but one.
Can Storage Containers Only Hold H20?
While theoretically, you could put any liquid into a container that you want, it’s not a good idea. These products are designed to hold drinking water. Other liquids can cause mold and residue to grow inside a container, especially a water carrier bag.
The Best Collapsible Camping Water Containers Reviewed
Coleman 5 Gallon Carrier
Best Handle Placement
- Easy-use faucet lets you conveniently fill your drink
- Molded handle for easy, controlled lifting and carrying
- Heavy-duty polyethylene material resists dents and cracks
- Opening is large enough for ice cubes
- Made in the USA
Coleman, a company known for outstanding camping products, took this model a step above the rest by having smart handle placements. Instead of having a simple string on the back with one handle on the top, Coleman ditched the string and put one handle on the top and one on the front. Not only does this give you more stability when you pour, but it allows for a more effortless one-handed operation. As simple as this move is, it makes a big difference for someone who will be continually using the product.
- 5 gallon capacity
- Top and front handle makes the cube easier to use.
- Has strong seams.
- Lasts a long time.
- Slow-pour spigot.
- Spigot may leak a bit.
Bottom Line: Coleman is a trusted brand, and this product is a good quality cube, so you can rest assured that it’s a good purchase.
WaterBrick Stackable Water Container
Best Rigid Water Container
- Portable: Easy to Carry and Secure in Cars, Boats or ATV's
- Stackable: Securely Stacks or Grab & Go
- Customizable: To Maximize Limited Storage Space
- Stack & Store Any Where, Any How You Need
- Made in the USA
While this container isn’t technically collapsible, we’ve included it because it’s compact, stackable, and of superior quality than most of the products in the list. The WaterBrick container is one of the most high-quality water containers around. It’s made of a rugged, high-density polyethylene (HDPE), so it resists punctures and rough handling. Best of all, it can be frozen safely, and you won’t have to worry about damage. It only measures 9″ x 18″ x 6″ so it’s suitable for camping.
The WaterBrick containers stack together by using two interior conical reinforcement columns for vertical stacking and male and female connectors for horizontal stacking. It features a comfortable grip handle that makes it easy to carry and a wide opening that is big enough for an adult hand to fit in.
- Has a rubber gasket seal to prevent leaking.
- Made in the U.S.A.
- Can be used for dry food.
- Heavy compared to other products (2.52 lbs.).
- Not suitable for backpacking.
Bottom Line: If you can deal with stackable over collapsible, this is a great choice, especially if you want to freeze your water.
Coghlan’s Five-Gallon Collapsible Water Container
Best Water Container – Lightweight Option
- Portable, sturdy, collapsible 5-gallon plastic water container is ideal for camp, picnic, sports events, travel and emergency water storage
- Leakproof, easy-pour spigot with on/off feature removes easily for quick filling; ice cubes can be added through opening
- Heavy-duty clear polyethylene carrier with integrated handles for easy transport, resists dents and cracks
- Constructed of BPA-free, food-approved high grade polyethylene
- Measures: 11" x 11" x 12" (28 x 28 x 30.5 cm)
If you need the most lightweight option, you can get for a large group of people, and you should consider Coghlan’s 5 gallon container. Despite having a 5 gallon capacity, it only weights an incredible 5.3 ounces. While a lighter weight does indicate a thinner plastic, as long as you take care of it, the Coghlan drinking container won’t quit on you.
The product is BPA-free and made with a food-grade polyethylene. It’s made for one-handed operations, which works great while it’s mostly full. This can become slightly difficult when the water level is low, but not so much that it’s a deal-breaker.
- Easy to fill, even with ice.
- Great for backpacking.
- Strong seams.
- Reasonable price
- Spigot leaks a little.
- Plastic is not as thick as comparable product.
Bottom Line: The Coghlan’s offering is a decent, lightweight water storage container at a reasonable price range.
Gowithwind Collapsible Water Container
Best Water Container
There are quite a few reasons that the Gowithwind Collapsible Container has the best design out of all of them. The Gowithwind Collapsible Container has two different openings. It has a spigot with a blue cap plus one other opening with a red cap that you use to fill the cube. The reasoning behind all these openings is so that you don’t have to continually remove the spigots which can wear out the threads. When threads get worn out, leaking can occur.
Besides having the extra opening, the Gowithwind container comes in three different capacities: 1.3 gallons, 2.6 gallons, and 5.3 gallons. All three of them collapse down to a small size, almost flat, so you can get the size you need without taking up a lot of space in your gear.
- Separate opening for filling the container.
- Comes with a “Camping and Emergency Survival Guide” as a bonus.
- Made with FDA-approved materials.
- Comes in three sizes.
- Not suitable for freezing.
- Doesn’t have a flat bottom designed into it.
Bottom Line: With a smart and considerate design, three different sizes, and a whole host of other desirable features, the Gowithwind products can easily be considered the best in the list.
GSI Outdoors Collapsible Cube
Best Water Container on a Budget
- Collapsible 20-liter water container for storing and serving water that's great for hydrating, cooking, and cleaning while camping and backpacking
- Integrated handle for easy lifting and pouring; ergonomic tap handle delivers a high flow rate of water with one-handed efficiency
- Polyethylene container made with proprietary Blow molding method for superior burst strength and added durability
- Measures 10.5 x 10.5 x 2.5 inches; weighs 10.1 ounces
It makes sense to include a good budget choice in the list. It’s not always necessary to spend an arm and a leg to get a good H20 cube, especially if you’re only going to use it a few times. The GSI might be cheap, but it rivals some of the more expensive products on offer.
The cube is made of thick, heavy-duty plastic. The cube is blow-molded, so it doesn’t have seams. This means you don’t have to worry about seams splitting and spilling your water supply. In most cases, you get what you pay for, but there is always an exception to the rule. The GSI cube is that exception.
- Proprietary blow-molded construction.
- Made of high-grade polyethylene.
- Very affordable – can fit any budget.
- No flat bottom designed into it.
- Spigot isn’t the best quality.
Bottom Line: If you want to save money without sacrificing quality, the GSI cube is a great choice.
WaterStorageCube BPA Free Collapsible Water Container
Best Water Flow
- 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.
One of the typical complaints about water cubes is that the flow from the spigot is often slow. That’s where the WaterStorageCube comes in. The product has been designed so that its spigot to offer a high flow rate, so it doesn’t take so long to get a cup of aqua.
The product is also very durable. Unlike many products that may burst when the slightest amount of pressure is applied to it, this one can survive up to a four-foot fall. Safe is another word that can describe it. The polyethylene plastic is BPA-free and won’t add any weird tastes or smells to your water.
- Plastic is FDA-approved.
- Comes in three sizes.
- Handle is too close to spigot.
Bottom Line: This is a great, robust, and safe product that you can trust to hold your drinking water while camping at a reasonable price.
WaterStorageCube Premium Collapsible Container
- 🌊 ECOLOGICAL- Non-toxic food grade with no BPA, PVC or DEHP. Made with environment-friendly premium PET PA PE plastics. It's clear, soft, flexible, odorless, tasteless. Most durable & reusable.
- 🌊 TRAVEL BUDDY- 1.3 & 2.6 gallon sizes. Portable, lightweight & compact water carrier. Easily folds or stores flat taking up little space. Stash several in your backpack when traveling or outdoors
- 🌊 WHY WATERSTORAGECUBE? Our unique design is different than similar bags. Uses more plastic for a wider stance so it stands on its own, is more stable & durable. Largest 1.27" opening which makes adding liquids, ice or dry goods easier. Leak-proof sturdy design can withstand heavy pressure & falls. Larger comfortable wide-grip handle. Can be frozen. Food safe odorless plastic will not effect taste. Includes Name/Date label to mark contents.
- 🌊 MULTIPURPOSE- Suitable for both indoor & outdoor uses. Freezer-friendly for cooling your favorite beverages. Utilize for daily home use, leisure activities, camping, hiking, backpacking, climbing, running, sports, picnics or emergency survival cases like hurricane, earthquake, floods & tornado. Perfect for storing your favorite beverages when travelling, such as on planes, cruises or driving. Great for ALL your drink storage needs. Can also be used to store dry goods like beans or grains.
- 90-DAY GUARANTEE & 1YR WARRENTY. Ours containers are made with high quality materials, to above average standards, so that they perform better, are more reliable & hold up to the rigors of outdoor use. Perfect for survival kits, camping, hiking, backpacking, hunting, BBQ, travel, RV, sport events, car emergency, natural disaster preparedness (hurricane, tornado, earthquake, flood etc). INCLUDES our 30pg eBook "Camping & Emergency Preparedness Survival Guide".
This is another WaterStorageCube product, and it’s a great value because you can get anywhere from a two-pack to a ten-pack of these at an affordable price. They’re meant for individual use, so it’s the perfect purchase for a group of people. To make it even better, you can choose between two sizes, 1.3 gallons, and 2.6 gallons, to make sure everyone has enough clean water.
Even if you don’t plan to use it for a group, you can use it for multiple different drinks. They can withstand freezing, so you can freeze your beverages and pull them out when you’re ready.
- They can stand on their own.
- The handle is strong, thick, and durable.
- The bags can withstand freezing.
- Not available in a large size.
Bottom Line: This is one of the best choices you can make financially when you’re buying portable water containers for a large group of people.
Last update on 2024-02-21 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API