Last Updated on September 1, 2020
Are you searching for the best water storage containers?
Maintaining safe, clean, and ample water supplies can be the difference between surviving and death when faced with a significant emergency. I take this seriously and have reviewed the top models on the market and after reading this article you will know my recommendations.
Check out the quick list below for links to customer reviews and prices for my best water storage containers picks, or read on for the full review:
- Augason Farms Emergency Water Storage Supply Kit
- Blue 55 Gallon Water Storage Tank by WaterPrepared
- 5 Gallon Samson Stackers, Blue, 6 pack
- Saratoga Farms 5 Gallon Stackables
- Emergency Zone Long Term Water Storage System
There are numerous reasons why you should consider getting a water container, whether it’s for an emergency, natural disaster or even a nuclear war. Having a clean, contamination-proof source of water that can last for a week or two is essential to be prepared for the unexpected.
How Much Water Do You Need?
A general rule of thumb is that the average person needs 1 gallon of water per day, half of that for drinking and the other half for cooking and washing. It’s widely advised to store two weeks supply of emergency water; for an average family, that means you need a minimum of about 50 gallons of clean water stored away. Adjust this according to your family size and for emergency duration that fits your location.
Selecting the Best Water Storage Container
When an emergency goes down, you will need clean water ready. To make this possible, you need to be aware of certain water storage and treatment practices:
- Store the containers in a safe and cool place away from direct sunlight.
- Clean the container well before using it. Use soap and water then drain, rinse and add chlorine bleach with some water; shake the container and then drain and rinse again.
- Use water treatment products to treat the water before storing it, most containers come with water treatment bottles already included within the package.
Water Storage Container Options
Water containers come in a wide variety of sizes, materials, and shapes. Ideally, a reliable water container should be sturdy, light-weight, leak-proof, easy to handle and safe. However, choosing a suitable water container highly depends on your needs and how you are planning to use it.
Factors to consider
Generally, you would want a water container to hold enough water while also being light and mobile. During a natural disaster, you need to move as quick as possible so you don’t want a building-sized water container to hinder your movement. You probably need to put it in your car too so keep that in mind. Available storage space can also be a challenge. The number of people that would use the container is an important factor to consider too.
Plastic is cheap and can easily be produced and formed into a wide variety of shapes, making it the most popular choice for container manufacturers. It’s also light and tougher than other materials, not to mention being recyclable. When considering buying a plastic water container, make sure it’s made of food grade, BPA-free plastic, most commonly HDPE(High-Density Polyethylene). Check the resin code (a number ranging from 1 to 7) on the water container; HDPE products have the plastic code 2.
The advantage of glass as a material for water containers is that water tastes better out of a glass container. Unlike plastic containers, glass water containers don’t leach when exposed to heat or sunlight. However, obviously, glass containers are easily breakable and storing them can be troublesome. You don’t want a container that breaks the moment doomsday is here.
Polyester resins (mylar bags)
Mylar bags help against heat, light, moisture, and have high strength and durability especially when reinforced with aluminum foil layers.
Why Bottled Water is Not Your Best Bet
In case you were wondering why you shouldn’t just buy dozens of water bottles and store them away, this isn’t really a good option to consider. Problems with bottled-water are:
- Short shelf life. Water bottles have short expiration dates and are not intended to be stored for a long time.
- Takes up more storage space than a container. Water containers are usually designed to be compact and stackable.
- Not an economic long-term solution. Why not just use tap water?
- Very hard to handle and move around in bulk.
- Easily damaged.
Moreover, water bottles are usually made of a type of plastic that is permeable and allows nearby odors to get to the water. They also allow light through which encourages bacterial growth. Therefore, a water container is a more convenient method for long term water storage.
Best Water Storage Containers
Whether you live in an area prone to droughts or want to prepare for an extended power outage or grid down scenario, securing ample safe water storage is a must. To make the process of buying a suitable water container for your needs a little easier, I reviewed the most popular water storage systems available on the market today and here are my picks:
Augason Farms Emergency Water Storage Supply Kit
The water container from Augason Farms is a suitable all-around option for those looking for a reasonably priced container. It’s a 55-gallon barrel-shaped container and it comes with a siphon hose, a barrel opener, and 2 water treatment bottles so you don’t need to get anything extra to set it up and do the treatment. However, a few users reported leakage with this container but it doesn’t seem to be a common problem. Just store it carefully in a suitable place where leakage wouldn’t cause any problems if it were to happen.
- Good capacity.
- BPA free.
- Water treatment bottles included.
- Easy to set up.
- Thick walls.
- Prone to leakage.
- Can get dented.
- Unattractive design.
- Not very portable.
Blue 55 Gallon Water Storage Tank by WaterPrepared
WaterPrepared’s offering is a compact water container that is made from UV-resistant HDPE plastic. It also comes with a spigot and a large vented cap which makes access to the water an easy task, or in case the water needs rotation. Just stick a garden hose to it if necessary and you are good to go. In case you need to buy 2 but storage space is a concern, no worries; the stackable space-saving design’s got your back.
- Very Sturdy.
- High capacity.
- Compact & ergonomic design.
- Comes with a spigot.
- 4-year shelf life.
- Not very portable.
5 Gallon Samson Stackers
The best of both worlds! This product offered by Samson is basically a big container that is divided into 6 small stackers so you get 30 gallons of stored water while also having the option for improved mobility of smaller quantities. This also makes it easier to transport by a group of people. An added benefit other than preparing for an emergency is that you can easily take one or two of those in your car when you go on a camping trip with the kids. Not to mention that they’re stackable which saves a lot of space.
- No “plastic smell”.
- BPA free.
- Comes with a spigot and a wrench.
- Relatively small capacity.
- The spigot is difficult to use.
- Expensive. You can get a 55-gallon container for a little extra cash.
Saratoga Farms 5 Gallon Stackables
Just like Samson’s product, these 5-gallon stackable water containers from Saratoga are a convenient solution for those looking for capacity without sacrificing portability. They’re available in multiples of 4 depending on how many gallons you need. We recommend that you get at least a 40-gallon 8-pack. However, unlike Samson’s product, they don’t come with a spigot or a wrench. They’re also not budget-friendly; it would be more economical to get a large high capacity container instead. Nevertheless, this is still a good option to consider.
- BPA free.
- No instructions sheet
- Water trapping when emptying
- No spigot or wrench
Emergency Zone Long Term Water Storage System
This budget-friendly product from Emergency Zone is a bit different. Unlike the usual thick-walled polyethylene containers on the market, water is stored in 5-gallon BPA-free multi-layer laminated mylar bags that prevent moisture and bacteria from contaminating your water. These bags are designed to be tear and puncture resistant. They’re placed inside compact double-walled boxes for extra protection and hassle-free storage. The boxes can be stacked and they’re collapsible, making them more affordable since they can be shipped at a much lower cost than plastic containers. However, don’t expect the boxes to be as sturdy as the polyethylene containers but they get the job done. The package also contains 2 water treatment bottles.
- High Capacity
- Low price
- Good water taste
- Boxes are compact & stackable
- BPA free
- Light and portable
- Water-treatment bottles included
- Up to 5 years shelf life
- Bladder and spigot for each box
- Boxes are not sturdy enough
For more water safety guides and tips check out these articles:
- Best Water Test Kit
- Best Whole House Water Filter
- Best Under Sink Water Filter
- Best Portable Water Filter
- Top Water Distiller
- Top Shower Water Filter
- Top RV Water Filter
- Top Refrigerator Water Filter
- Top Faucet Water Filter
- Top Countertop Water Filter
There’s no clear winner on our list since as we already mentioned, the choice highly depends on your needs and the available budget. Our favorite pick would be the bags and boxes combo from Emergency Zone. They’re portable, light-weight, cheap, space-saving and hold 50 gallons of water which is a pretty high capacity at this price point, not to mention that you give up the funny water taste that is often associated with storing water in plastic containers. Whatever your choice is, considering to store water for an emergency should be on the top of your survival kit list.
Fred is the Ready Zeal owner and editor. He has been passionately pursuing all things emergency preparation since working alongside his grandfather as a boy growing up in the Midwest. When not working on the family homestead he can be found brewing coffee and reading a good book or backpacking in the wilderness. Contact Fred at firstname.lastname@example.org