water barrels lined up

In Case of an Emergency, These Storage Barrels Keep Gallons of Water On Hand

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Bottled water will go quickly in an emergency situation, so it's essential have a few water storage barrels ready.

Hopefully, you'll never have to use an emergency water barrel, but it's always best to be prepared for anything. When it comes to emergency water sources, we often think of stocking up on water bottles or filtered water bottles. Those are also good to have on hand, but if you keep water storage barrels filled and stored in your basement or storage shed, you'll have extra bathing and drinking water prepared for long bouts of no power. Whether it's from a natural disaster or the water is shut off to repair pipes at your home, you can rest easy knowing you have some water to get you by until it's restored.

Not only did we pick out containers for your home, but we also included portable options for your car or for exploring the backcountry — because we'd count them among our essentials for longer camping trips or adventures where you're far away from the grid. Keeping drinkable water in your trunk or RV is important: You'd be surprised by how much water you'll end up needing on a hike or when on a hunting trip, and it's better to have more than not enough. These water storage barrels are made with materials that will keep your stored water safe and clean for a long time, so here are our picks for water storage barrels that are ideal for storing away for any kind of emergency.

1. Best Single Barrel Option

Legacy Premium 15-Gallon Emergency Water Storage Barrel - Amazon, $79.99

Legacy Premium Food Storage's 15-gallon water tank is a reasonably priced single barrel option. It's constructed from BPA-free, food-grade plastic, which makes it perfect for drinking water — and the opaque dark blue color prevents bacteria growth. The heavy-duty container weighs about 125 pounds when filled, so be sure to have some help moving it around (or have it in your desired spot before filling). It also features two carry handles and two openings for filling and dispensing water. These are made in the USA and can easily attach to a pouring spout.

2. Best Water Storage Kit With Multiple Barrels

Saratoga Farms 5-Gallon Stackable Water Storage Containers - Amazon, $341.99

If you have a large family or want to store clean water in different points of your house, consider a stackable barrel kit. Saratoga Farms has various sizes, but this 12-pack of 5-gallon tanks is a great option. They're all made from BPA-free plastic and high-density polyethylene (HDPE) — making it a safe and durable water container that claims to offer 120 days of clean water to drink, bathe, and cook with. There's also a screw-on spigot for convenient serving and a durable wrench to prevent leaks. Saratoga Farms is a family-founded company based in the USA.

3. Best Portable Containers for the Trunk

Emergency Water Storage Barrels - 20 Gallons (4 Tanks) - Amazon, $109.99

We recommend this set of four 5-gallon tanks to keep in your trunk because they already have a spigot attached so you can drink from this right away, and the kit even comes with a water purification kit. Storing water in your car will come in handy for travel, emergencies, camping, and more, and we love how convenient these are for transporting. You can stack them, they have built-in handles for carrying, and weigh about 40 pounds when full of water. The containers come with four lids, a spigot, an Aquamira water purification kit, and a lid strap wrench. The containers are an opaque blue to prevent algae growth.

4. Best Portable Container for One

Scepter 5-Gallon True Military BPA-Free Water Container - Amazon, $52.15

Here's a great portable water container for the car or travel as well. Five gallons of drinkable water is great to have on hand if you're traveling solo, and the military-grade container is impact-resistant, so it'll survive the elements. The container is BPA-free and manufactured from food-grade material to prevent any aftertastes or odors. Choose between two colors, green or sand. The lightweight container is made by Scepter, a company that's been making rugged, reliable water containers for over 70 years.

5. Best Collapsible Water Container

WaterStorageCube Collapsible Water Container - Amazon, $12.93+

Portability sometimes means you need your survival or camping products to be collapsible. This lightweight container is compact and reusable, and is truly the perfect survival product for a backpacking trip or an outdoor adventure where you're limited on space. There are soft molded handles to make carrying it simple, and this environmentally-friendly container is made from BPA-, PVC-, and DEHP-free plastic. The food-grade container is perfect for those who want odorless, great-tasting water, and the lid and spigot make it easy to dispense water while preventing leaks.

6. Best Rain Barrel

53-Gallon Portable Rain Barrel Water Tank - Amazon, $72.99

A rain storage barrel comes in handy for conserving water and gives you the ability to have an endless supply of drinkable water from the most natural of sources. Use this sustainable and eco-friendly system to save on utility bills (and to save the Earth). Amazon customers say they're buying this for a few different reasons — it's great for those who live in areas that experience droughts (like California) to conserve water for their plants or lawn, while some keep it around for emergencies. The barrel is made for the outdoors, and is UV-, heat-, freeze-, crack-, and corrosion-resistant. It can also collapse if you need to transport it anywhere, and this 53-gallon barrel is equipped with a high flow spigot, a downspout spigot, overflow hose, leakproof washers, and sturdy legs. You can connect a 3/4-inch garden hose to it. Consider an option like this to conserve water.

This post was originally published on February 26, 2021.