Best Water Containers To Survive A Deadly Drought

By "Just In Case" Jack | Updated: 03/11/2024

Water ContainersToday I’ve got something really important to share…

A Complete Guide To Finding (& Using) Water Containers For A Crisis

Because of all the things you need to survive, none is more crucial than drinkable water.

Without it, you’re toast!

And most people can only survive for around 3-5 days without it.

But to stay healthy, you must drink around half a gallon per day!

That’s why high-quality water containers are essential for ALL every responsible adults.

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Group of plastic water tanksTypes Of Containers For Water – Pros & Cons

Looking for the best water containers can be intimidating.

There are many options, 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 containers you can find 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 ton 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
  • Won’t hold much
  • They are not stackable

2. Military Jerry Can

These cans are great for storing and carrying.

And they were initially used in WW2 by 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.

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 containers equate to more capacity.

And this is wise for longer trips or emergencies.

But the large water tanks are not portable.

Instead, these modular type of containers are stackable and fits together nicely.

However, they are slightly heavier and bulkier than jerry cans, so ensure you have room.


  • It holds enough several days
  • Stackable


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

3. 55 Gallon Drums

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

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

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

Drums are containers that must already be in place and filled.

So they’re not quickly coming on the road with you.


  • You can store a large quantity
  • 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

4. Bladders

WaterBOB Bathtub Storage

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

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

One of the most convenient options is the Bathtub bladder.

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


  • You can have a large quantity at home
  • Bladder packs are hand free


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

5. Larger Capacity Storage Tanks

For extensive 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 water supplies get cut off for an extended period.

These tanks are ideal for hunkering at home or in a bug-out location.


  • The ability to store a large volume
  • Stackable design and connectable


  • You should put them into position and leave them there
  • Not for bugging out or camping

Best Water Containers On The Market Today


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

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

1. Our Top Recommendation
Legacy Emergency Water Containers

If you are looking for the best H2O containers for the whole family, Legacy is it!

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

Yet small enough that 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 containers!

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

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

This weight means you can easily take a few with you if leaving your home or going camping.

They are stackable up to 3 high, so buying a bunch won't take up much space.

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↓ 5-Gallon Container – Stackable

Scepter Military Water Container - 5 Gallon

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

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.

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↓ Scepter Military H2O Can: Emergency Must-Have

Reliance Products Aqua-Tainer 7 Gallon Water Container

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

This plastic container can hold up to 7 gallons of water.

So it is bigger than the first few but still portable because you can move it around at 58 lbs full.

The design is stackable and blue 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 and leak-proof.

Plus, 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:

  • picnics
  • beach days
  • camping
  • hunting

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

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↓ Reliance Product Aqua-Tainer 7 Gallons

AquaBrick Emergency Water Storage Containers

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

It's portable and stackable, so you can 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 emergencies.

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:

  • beans
  • rice
  • sugar
  • or even pet food

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

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↓ AquaBrick Vs. WaterBrick. Which Is The Best For Portable Long-Term H2O?

WaterStorageCube BPA-Free Collapsible Water Container with Spigot

You may be familiar with this collapsible liquid 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 are in 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 5 a gallon capacity, you will readily have drinking water for several days.

They don't look as cool as the water bricks or Jerry cans.

But no one cares whose container looks the trendiest in an emergency!

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↓ WaterStorageCube Product Demonstration Video

LARGE Emergency Containers

Here we have some large stationary containers.

However, they are no less important because they have a large capacity.

These can make all the difference in a more prolonged end-of-day scenario:

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 large plastic 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, these high-capacity emergency storage tanks must be used.

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

With the advantage of stacking them 2 high, your water problems are over.

You can still fit them through a standard doorway as big as they are, 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.

You get a 330-gallon water storage treatment kit when you order them because you must also purify your water.

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

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↓ Emergency Water Storage Tank Review

AquaPod Kit 2.0 - Bathtub Bladder BPA Free Water Storage Container

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 AquaPod is one answer.

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

With this setup, you won't have to wait in line to get bottled water.

Why? Because these will hold 65 -100 gallons of fresh drinking water.

A tub is perfect 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.

Twenty minutes later, it's full.

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

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↓ WaterBOB: Emergency Drinking Storage

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, providing 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 closed blue 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.

Once the emergency is over, you can use them for rainwater collection and other storage means.

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↓ 55 Gallon Barrel – Long Term Emergency Storage

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 15 to 300 gallons, so 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 easily with inlet and outlet tubes and is also great for camping and cabin/bug-out locations.

You fill it up on-site and 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 packing up your gear and heading out fast.

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

While fragile neighbors scramble to fill 5-gallon containers, you'll be all set!

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↓ Aquatank II Water Storage Bladder – Unpack & Demo

↓ Drinking Storage Tank Bladder Aquatank 2 Video

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Full Water Barrel

6 Reasons To Invest In Emergency H2O Containers

Let’s start 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 container you choose could contaminate it!

For example:

Storing non-drinking (for sanitation) in old laundry soap bottles is fine.

But label them for cleaning use only!

If you use the wrong type of container, you could end up with uncontrolled algae growth.

This will quickly ruin your supplies.

Instead, use only food-grade plastic containers to keep your H2O safe and clean.

Here are 6 reasons why you should spend your hard-earned money on emergency H2O containers:

1. They Are Safer Than Bottles And Milk Jugs

When buying water at the store, they come in safe containers.

But they’re generally one-use items and not one of the best long-term water storage solutions.

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

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

You’ll also want to use proper resealable containers.

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 when a flood, earthquake, or hurricane will come to town.

City water lines can easily be disrupted, meaning 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’s expensive.

3. They Have Multiple Uses

Having emergency H2O containers on hand is just plain smart.

If SHTF, 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:

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

For all these outings and adventures, you need to take 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 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 Storage Space

Storing water doesn’t have to be bulky and create clutter in your basement or garage.

Instead, you can buy a stackable, portable water container for small spaces.

Or even get collapsible containers for backup.

5. Easy To Transport

If forced to relocate fast, you’ll need something you can lift 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, then a 10-gallon water container is still portable.

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

You may also want one with a spout, so it’s easy to pour.

6. Immediate Resources 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 daily for all your drinking, eating, and hygiene needs.

That can add up FAST.

It’s incredible how much we use when we cook.

This usage includes washing fruits, veggies, and dishes after the meal.

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

Ensure you have enough to take care of these other needs.

You may not know when you will find a new source next.

Row of colorful Jerry Cans on the street

Best Water Container Features To Look For

Here are some key features:

1. Quality Construction Materials

You want your water to be safe and free from contamination.

Most are hard, BPA-free plastic.

Make sure you buy the best you can afford.

2. Durability

Get the best design for the situation at hand.

If you need to stack multiple containers, ensure they can meet the task.

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

Your emergency water containers must last and not degrade over time.

3. Solid Sealing System

Different styles use different seals.

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

4. 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 it?

Here’s the math:

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

5. Ease Of Use

Make sure yours come with spouts.

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

6. Storability

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

We all have little space for a bunch of ‘extra’ containers or barrels.

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

Stacking containers work well for this.

Three large bottles for fresh water close up

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.

Get some water containers and rest easy, knowing you’ll never die of dehydration.

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