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The Best Overland Water Storage Containers for Long-Distance Travel

Water is critical to a successful and enjoyable adventure. We got our hands on three of the best and most common overland water storage containers to find out what they're all about.

overland water storage(Photo/Mercedes Lilienthal)
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Having plenty of water storage when traveling is critical. You can certainly fill up canteens from home or buy a few single-serve water bottles at a gas station. But, what happens if you run out of water or have an emergency and need more H2O?

Water is everyone’s lifeline, and it’s best to have an ample supply — especially if you are traveling to remote areas. Not having enough could potentially mean the difference between life and death. That’s why we put together these great overland water storage solutions for you.

3 Best Overland Water Storage Options

We reviewed three unique on-the-go water containers to help keep you hydrated on your next adventure. Each option is made in a different country with a different design. However, their main purpose is the same: to safely and securely transport water when you’re traveling.

Whether you plan to go off-roading, camping, or are simply taking a long road trip, one of these overland water storage solutions will ensure that you have enough water for your next adventure.

  • Wavian Water Can
  • WaterBrick Stackable Water Canisters
  • LifeSaver Jerrycan

Wavian Water Can — 5 Gallons

Wavian water container

Australian-made Wavian makes heavy-duty 5-gallon plastic water canisters. These BPA-free containers incorporate UV protection. This helps guard against degradation if you plan to use or store them outdoors for extended periods of time, like on the roof or bumper of a vehicle.

Wavian canisters are made with an orange-peel-type exterior texture for improved grip and are constructed with an opaque resin that inhibits bacterial growth.

They also feature a built-in breather vent to help prevent spills and ensure a constant, uninterrupted water stream.

Wavian overland water storage
(Photo/Mercedes Lilienthal)

The Wavian water can comes with a detachable spigot that resides underneath the fill cap. A same-threaded plug or “bung” is found at the base of the Wavian canister. It can be changed out quickly in order to thread in the spigot.

Tip: Wavian containers must be laid sideways to thread the spigot, otherwise, water will spill out.

Is Wavian Wonderful for Overland Water Storage?

This 5-gallon water canister is ideal for overland water storage while traveling and is the perfect fit for most jerry can holders. It’s easy to store, haul, and use. The breather vent is a cinch to open, and its cap is tethered on via a plastic cord. The main fill opening is oversized and easy to fill.

Wavian bung and bottle opener key chain
(Photo/Mercedes Lilienthal)

The water spigot can be quickly loosened from the filler cap. But its counterpart, the bottom plug, is another story. We tried using multiple items to loosen it. We marred its surface when using coins or a wide screwdriver to unthread it.

Finally, a bottle opener on our keychain did the trick — the plug popped right off. Replacing the plastic plug with a metal one may help with this issue.

Tricky Spigot

Wavian spigot
(Photo/Mercedes Lilienthal)

Screwing in the spigot was a cinch. However, there wasn’t a good terminating point to indicate when to stop tightening it. The spigot popped out of its thread and became slightly loose again. We discovered you don’t have to overtighten the spigot as it won’t leak.

Using the water spigot was a bit of a challenge as well. It is not designed for easy one-handed operation. The handle controlling the water flow follows the same direction as the spigot’s threads. Simply put, you can’t hold a cup underneath it in one hand and twist the spigot handle with the other. The spigot nozzle will twist away from the cup as you try to open its valve for water.

However, two-handed operation was a breeze. Set the cup down. Hold the spigot with one hand and twist the spigot handle with the other. Just make sure your cup is in the right spot so you don’t waste water.

If you’re looking for a well-constructed, BPA-free, 5-gallon water canister that can help haul H2O, then the Wavian jerry can may be your answer. You’ll need a tool to twist open the plug. Or you could also purchase Wavian’s water can wrench opener and you’ll be set.

Wavian container dimensions: 13-3/4″ x 6-7/8″ x 18-1/4”
Capacity: 5 gallons

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WaterBrick Stackable Water Canisters — 3.5 Gallons

Waterbrick overland water storage
(Photo/Mercedes Lilienthal)

Next on our list is U.S.-based WaterBrick with its sturdy 3.5-gallon stackable water canisters. WaterBricks have an easy-grip, oversize handle and are made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE).

WaterBricks can be stacked and stored in a multitude of ways. Each container has a large 3¼-inch opening on one end. You can store water, food, or anything else you’d like to remain contained and away from the elements.

Each container weighs 2.52 pounds empty. They can be stored either lying flat or upright. WaterBricks can also be ratcheted down on a roof rack because of their stout construction.

Waterbrick nesting containers
(Photo/Mercedes Lilienthal)

Is WaterBrick Worth It?

WaterBricks are smaller in size than Wavian jerry cans. But they can easily nest together to haul more water. Although the screwtop opening is easy to use, the interior gasket is floppy and can pop out at times.

If not secured properly, WaterBricks can leak. After some research and a call to the company, they advised us to wipe vegetable oil around the gasket edge to solve this problem.

WaterBrick offers replacement parts should you lose a gasket or screw cap. It also sells a replacement cap with an integrated spigot, perfect for camping. However, this cap doesn’t nest into the container and must be stowed separately. You can easily control the WaterBrick’s spigot using one hand.

If you’re looking for a compact, nesting water-holding solution, then consider WaterBrick containers. Be sure to coat WaterBrick gaskets with vegetable oil to prevent leaking and stash your spigot in a safe place.

Dimensions: 9″ x 18″ x 6″
Capacity: 3.5 gallons

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LifeSaver Jerrycan — 5 Gallons

LifeSaver overland water storage
(Photo/Mercedes Lilienthal)

Made in the U.K., the LifeSaver Jerrycan is not only a water holder but also a water purification system. It’s the perfect size to filter up to 5 gallons of water at one time. The LifeSaver filter is capable of filtering 10,000 L (2,641 gallons) of clean drinking water. It eliminates bacteria, parasites, and other viruses.

Lifesaver water filter
(Photo/Mercedes Lilienthal)

This jerry can-style container is easy to carry. It has integrated depressions for straps to secure it atop a roof rack for overland water storage. The top of this unit features two openings. One is for the built-in hand pump. The other houses the spigot. The spigot is attached to a long, cylindrical water filter.

The LifeSaver Jerrycan boasts purification of approximately 99.9999% of bacteria, viruses, and cysts. The LifeSaver Jerrycan will fit just about any standard jerry can holder. It can purify water from lakes, lagoons, rainwater, or even a mud hole.

Are You a LifeSaver Lover?

overland water storage
(Photo/Mercedes Lilienthal)

The LifeSaver water filtration system is a cinch to use. Prime the system with the hand pump, and then turn the spigot to the “on” position. Be aware that it delivers water slower than the Wavian and WaterBrick canisters. And keep in mind that LifeSaver filters and houses water versus just housing water as a stand-alone H2O carrier.

The filter in the LifeSaver stops delivering water when it no longer can effectively filter the water. This is a nice automatic indicator of when it’s time to replace the water filter. The LifeSaver jerry can weighs just over 9.5 pounds.

The filtration system reduces water pressure, however, if you use the LifeSaver correctly, you’ll have clean, crisp water. If you’re in the market for a 5-gallon overland water storage can that filters and stores your H2O, then LifeSaver is what you need.

Dimensions: 14.17″ x 7.09″ x 20.08″
Capacity: 5 gallons

Check Price at Amazon
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