Last updated: 17/10/2022

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We all appreciate a continuous fresh water supply. Water containers are used for this purpose. The range of water containers is versatile. This guidebook refers specifically to drinking water containers that are used by their users, especially during outdoor activities.

With our water container test 2022 we want to provide you with relevant information on the topic of water containers and help you find the most suitable water container for your needs.

We have compared fixed and foldable water containers and listed the respective advantages and disadvantages. This should make your purchase decision easier.


  • Water containers are used to store and transport water or other beverages. They are usually used during outdoor activities, be it during trekking tours or camping holidays.
  • Basically, a distinction is made between fixed and foldable water containers. Both versions are available in different sizes.
  • An alternative product to conventional water containers is the waterproof pack sack, the so-called dry bag. In this guide we suggest a different use of Dry Bags than the usual use.

The Best Water Container: Our Picks

Buying and evaluation criteria for water containers

In the following, we will show you which aspects you can use to decide between the possible water containers. The criteria you can use to compare the water containers include:

In the following paragraphs we explain the importance of the individual criteria.


One of the most important factors when buying a water container is its capacity. There are water canisters with different capacities on the market. Depending on the intended use, you will need a larger or smaller container.

The capacity of most water containers is 5 – 10 litres. These containers, which are available in both fixed and foldable versions, are particularly suitable for holiday purposes and everyday use.

Due to their weight, they can still be carried by a single person and they also take up relatively little space. If you need to store larger quantities of water, there are also water containers of 20 to 50 litres that are mainly placed in a fixed location, e.g. mobile home.


Both fixed and foldable water containers are usually made of lightweight plastic. The preferred materials are polyethylene (PE) and polypropylene (PP).

Water containers should be free of pollutants so that they cannot be transferred to the water.

It is essential that the canisters are suitable for storing water or other beverages. This means that the material used to make water containers should be free of any harmful substances, such as the chemical bisphenol A (BPA).

Otherwise, by heating the packaging material, these toxic substances can contaminate the contents in the containers and possibly endanger our health. For example, diseases such as diabetes, obesity, developmental disorders (especially in children) and infertility can result.

For the reasons mentioned above, we recommend that you look for BPA-free water containers when buying. The corresponding products are marked with the label “BPA-free”. Below you will find some basic characteristics of plastic containers:

  • tasteless and odourless material,
  • lightweight yet resistant,
  • unbreakable unlike glass.


For a more comfortable transport of water, other drinks or even the empty water container, it is important that your water container has a low dead weight. This should generally be the case with plastic containers.

Carrying handle

A water container that is equipped with one or more sturdy carrying handles can on the one hand be carried around comfortably and on the other hand can also be hung up anywhere.

Water tap

Like the carrying handle mentioned above, a water tap also makes it easier to use a water container. With this accessory, you don’t have to constantly bend the water canister to take out water.

As a result, drinks can be dosed precisely and loss of liquid can be avoided. For convenience, we therefore recommend that you buy a container equipped with a carrying handle and water tap.

Decision: What types of water containers are there and which is the right one for me?

If you want to get a water container, there are two types of products you can choose between:

Product type Description
Fixed water containers By fixed water containers we mean containers that cannot be folded. You can choose between square or round water containers.
Foldable water containers Foldable water containers can be reduced to a handy size. Consequently, they take up little space. You can choose between square or round water canisters.

Both types have certain advantages and disadvantages. In the next sections you can learn more about the different types of containers.

Fixed water containers

Fixed water containers

Since fixed water containers are made of hard material, they cannot be folded. For this reason, they always take up a lot of space, even when empty. However, it is an advantage that such a water container is very stable and resistant.

Furthermore, the more robust of these models are additionally equipped with a recessed area that allows several to be stacked. There is a choice of square or round water canisters.

  • Sturdy and resistant
  • Stackable
  • Easy to transport
  • Always need plenty of space
Foldable water containers

Foldable water containers

Because empty foldable water containers can be reduced to a handy size, they take up relatively little space and are easy to transport, especially when empty.

  • Space-saving
  • Easy to transport
  • Can be hung up
  • Not very stable and resistant

Guide: Frequently asked questions about water containers answered in detail

In this guide, we would like to answer the most important questions on the subject of water containers in brief.

What do I need a water container for and in what size?

As mentioned above, a drinking water container is used to store and transport water or other drinks. If you are planning a trekking tour or a camping holiday, we recommend that you get a water container.


Water containers are especially useful for outdoor activities, be it during a trekking tour or a camping holiday. (Image source: Simon English / unsplash)

The required size of a water container depends on the amount of liquid to be stored. This in turn depends on the purpose and the duration of use. Manufacturers offer different sized water containers for each purpose.

How much does a water container cost?

In general, fixed water containers cost more than foldable containers. The larger the container, the more expensive it is. In the following table you will find some guide prices, depending on the type of product.

Product type Price
Water container 10 l 10-20 €
Water container 20 l 20-30 €
Foldable water container 5-10 €

How do I clean a water container?

After several uses, your water container is probably dirty or calcified. It is especially important to clean the inside of your canister regularly, as it comes into direct contact with the drinking water. The easiest way to do this is as follows:

  1. Method and tools: Fill your canister 2/3 full with 60 degree warm water and a little food safe detergent. We recommend the use of citric acid. Alternatively, you can use disinfectants suitable for water disinfection (such as the Micropur product line).
  2. Leave for 12 to 24 hours.


Citric acid has all-purpose qualities. Due to its acidity and antibacterial effect, it is also suitable as a health-friendly cleaning agent. (Image source: Han Lahandoe / unsplash)

In the following, we will show you another way to clean the water container:

  1. Fill your water canister with a 3 cm layer of rice grains.
  2. Dissolve a cleaning tablet in warm water and pour the solution into the water canister.
  3. Stir the contents generously and fill the water container completely with warm water.
  4. Let it soak for a few hours.


Rice is also a natural tool that can be used to clean dirty items. (Image source: Matthew Lakeland / unsplash)

What is the shelf life of water in a water container?

The shelf life of water depends on several factors. As a rule, water can be kept in the container for two years. However, if the water canister is in a cool, dry place protected from light, longer-term storage is quite possible.

What liquids can I store in a plastic water container?

Plastic water containers are not intended for storing every kind of liquid.

You should not store harmful or corrosive liquids in plastic containers.

As mentioned above, the purpose of such a container is to store and transport water or other beverages (i.e. food). Petrol and other harmful or corrosive solutions have no place here.

Otherwise, the container material could even dissolve. If you need to store liquids that are not water or basically beverages, we recommend that you buy a container made of another material, such as metal.

How can I repair a leaking plastic water container?

You can certainly find other ways to repair leaks on the internet. However, since a new water container is not very expensive, we recommend that you buy a new one.

What are the alternatives to a water tank?

Usually called dry bags, waterproof pack sacks are an interesting alternative to traditional water containers.

The use of a dry bag is appropriate where items need to be stored in a waterproof manner. Even when swimming, the contents in the bag remain dry.

However, the Dry Bag can also serve as a water container. Because only the weight of the water has to be taken into account, so to speak, this article is ideal for carrying water and other liquids around.

What should I look for when buying a water container?

In the following, we list the features and accessories that we believe a water container, both fixed and foldable, should have. These correspond to the purchase and evaluation criteria already mentioned.

  • The water container has the right capacity for you,
  • is made of food-safe material,
  • has a light weight,
  • has a carrying handle
  • and water tap.

Of course, we recommend that you consider buying the products presented above. These are some of the best models you can find on the market.

Image source: Ranmai/