Best Kinds of Water Jugs

It may sound easy, but picking the right 5-gallon water jug really depends on how you intend to use it. Here are some helpful hints to make your buying decision easier.

As a Boy Scout leader and avid outdoorsman, I’ve used a variety of 5-gallon water jugs over the years. All have served me well, from doing makeshift lemonade stands with my kids to serving up thirsty Scouts in camp. Various designs have their advantages, however, depending on your needs. Here are three things to consider if you’re thinking about purchasing a new water jug for camping, your RV, or just having water readily available at home in case a storm threatens.

Tried and True

Coleman 5-Gallon Beverage Cooler
Look for a jug with a removable spout you can wash easily or put in your dishwasher.Coleman

I've owned a model very much like this for years. It's been knocked off of picnic tables, rolled around in the back of trucks, used as a campfire seat and manhandled by dozens of Scouts on outings over the years. It keeps 5 gallons of liquids cold or hot for hours, it's easy to transport, the screw-on lids prevents spills and keeps critters out of the Kool Aid, and it's practically indestructible.

For Passing On To Your Kids

Yeti Silo 6G Water Cooler
This bombproof water cooler with a high-flow spout will keep up to six gallons of water cold for days.YETI

You can bounce a rotomolded plastic water cooler around in the back of your pickup truck for years and never have to worry about it breaking or fading in the sun. These kinds of coolers are expensive, but they'll last forever. They make amazing gifts and look great everywhere from deer camp to the soccer field.

Perfect for Hauling

Reliance Products Aqua-Tainer 7 Gallon Rigid Water Container
These are also great for storing water should you need to hunker down for a few days if a hurricane threatens.Reliance Products

For straight water-hauling jobs, jugs with molded-in handles are hard to beat. Some models have a reversible spout for easy dispensing and a screw-on vent cap (that's attached to the jug so it won't disappear) is a great idea.

For Shop or Home

New Wave Envrio Products BPA Free Bottle, 5-Gallon
Look for models that are FDA approved and PbA free.New Wave Enviro Products

Bottle-type jugs are great for storing water and they can easily be used with water coolers or porcelain water dispensers. The beauty of these bottles is that you can use them again and again. Just give them an occasional cleaning with hot water and mild dish soap, vinegar or baking soda and you're good to go.