4 Light-weight Collapsible Survival Water Storage Containers

There  is a reason why I post so much about WATER.


Some experts say that the next greatest world resource shortage will be WATER.  In many parts of the world, access to clean drinking water is already almost nonexistent.  The ability to source, carry, store and disinfect water should be at the top of your survival preps and skill sets.

There are all kinds of different skills and products that are relevant to a discussion about SURVIVAL H2O.  Today, I’d like to discuss 4 SMALL Collapsible Containers with BIG Potential.


In many aspects of survival, portability is key.  Containers that are collapsible make sense to the survivalist for several reasons:

  • They weigh less
  • They take us less space
  • Can be carried easily in a BOB or BOV
Collapsible containers, however, are typically not as durable as their rigid counterparts.  You will have to decide when portability outweighs durability.

Below are 4 Collapsible Water Containers that I own – each have a slightly different place and purpose in my survival tool chest of products.  I detail why I own them, what I plan on or currently use them for, and where you can get them should you decide to add them to your survival preps.

The Water Bob

As you can see in the photo above, the Water Bob is a collapsible water liner that fits in your bath tub.  In the event of a natural or man-made disaster, the Water Bob can be deployed in a matter of minutes and holds a staggering 100 gallons of water.
The Water Bob also comes with a siphon for drawing out smaller portions of water.  Sure, you can just fill your bath tub up with no liner if you are desperate, but the food grade liner protects the water from A) Your nasty bath tub and B) Dust, debris, insects and air-born particles.

If you are limited on space for water storage in your house or apartment and you have a bath tub, the Water Bob might be a good solution for you.  If you see this fitting into your survival mix, you can order one at http://www.waterbob.com/  for $24.95.

The 5-Gallon Collapsible Container

I bought this container from http://www.cheaperthandirt.com/MLT4945-1.html for $9.97.  Versions of this style container can be found in almost any camping section at any big box retailer.  I’ve seem them in hunting stores like Gander Mountain and even Wal-mart.  These are a great light-weight, portable solution for toting water from a water source back to camp or a Bug Out Location.  They can also be frozen.  This one is fitted with an easy ON/OFF spigot which is a nice feature.

The Jolly Tank

The Jolly Tank is my new favorite survival water storage container.  My friend (and occasional Guest Author on this site and owner of www.realitysurvival.com)  JJ Johnson recently introduced me to the Jolly Tank.  I’ve been in the survival biz for 15 years and have never seen this particular product.  It holds 2 gallons of water or fuel (6 hour limit on fuel) and folds down to about the size of your wallet.  And, it only weighs a few ounces.  I’ve added one of these to my BOB, my Bronco and also to my in-home safe room.  Trust me, I need one in my Bronco – that thing SUCKS THE GAS.
JJ has done an excellent review on this item at http://www.realitysurvival.com/jolly-tank/.  He also sells them for $10.  Other than his site, I don’t know of anywhere else to get them.

The Platypus Water Bottle

I’ve used a Collapsible Platypus Bottle ( http://cascadedesigns.com/platypus ) for as long as I can remember.  I use it as 1 of my 3 Bug Out Bag water containers.  I have the 2 liter version and it literally rolls up into nothing when empty.  It’s the best use of space I can think of in a BOB.  I’ve used the same one for over 10 years so I can attest to its durability.  I love that I can reduce the bulk in my pack as I consume the water in this bottle.  It is just one of those items that makes sense.

The Big Drawback

The obvious drawback of collapsible containers in their thin walled design.  Though most of them are surprisingly durable, they are definitely more susceptible to being cut or punctured.  This needs to be taken into consideration when using and packing these types of containers.  In a survival scenario where weight is critical, the pros of these containers certainly OUTWEIGH the cons.

Are you using a collapsible container that the rest of us should know about?  If so, tell us about it in the comments below.

Remember, it’s not IF but WHEN,


  1. i like the sea to summit pocket shower because you can use it to store water, as a dry bag, and well, as a solar shower: http://www.seatosummit.com/products/display/59

    i also use a camelbak bladder along with a stainless steel water bottle and the aquamira frontier pro as a gravity flow water filter system: http://www.aquamira.com/preparedness/frontier-pro-filter-system

  2. I like the bathtub buddy for home.Those who live on municipal supplies if possible should have at least a 55 gallon drum,think where you park it,close to 400 pound weight.Own water supply(private)have a hand pump for well head, rig rain barrel system ect.When power ect. goes down usually still municipal pressure for a while,fill quickly bathtub buddy or just bathtub/cooking pots ect.,anything helps.Situations go south really don’t want to be anywhere near municipal type systems personally,odds are too many people but some folks live in cities ect. and staying in at least short term may be best.With that in mind as I have said elsewhere water heating tanks/toilet tanks ect. all a source of water if necc.

  3. Hey Creek,

    I recently just purchased a Platypus water filtration system.
    It uses 2 bags that are 4 litres each, has a small inline filter, and using gravity takes about 2 mins to purify the full 4 litres.
    What I thought was great about this is that if water was difficult to come by, you could filter 4 litres, and still carry an additional 4 litres to be filtered later.
    Plus the number of accessories that you can hook into the system are seemingly endless.

    Like David, I have added a solar shower bag to compliment my system as well. It is a little more durable than the Platypus bag, and worst case scenario could be subbed in for either bag.

    Keep the great articles coming.
    Maybe one on knife sharpening options?


    • Thanks Pete – I’ve often considered that Platypus filtration system. Glad to get a good review on it! Thanks. Creek

  4. Cache Valley Prepper says:

    I have at least half a dozen or more Platypus Water Containers and Hydration Bladders. One of which is considerably older than Creek’s. Platypus makes excellent patches for them, not that you’ll need them, and you would never notice the additon of a patch or two to your repair kit. I’ve only worn one out to the point where it developed a pin-hole. I patched it several years ago and it has been fine ever since.

  5. Has anyone ever used the Nalgene collapsible pouches? They go from 32oz to 96oz and have the wide mouth design…… You can find them and the jolly tank on this site….. http://bepreparedtosurvive.com/WaterContainers.htm tons of other equipment at pretty good prices too…..I already have two solid water containers but cant decide which collapsible to go with……Any suggestions?

  6. I have one collapsible Nalgene pouches that carries 48oz and a regular Nalgene bottle that carries 48oz and a 32oz steel bottle. I will definitely get more pouches for hiking through the desert.

  7. I do not understand the Water Bob, if you get hit by a disaster that needed you to fill up the Bob, wouldn’t you not have water to fill it. I don’t get that one. can someone explain it so I understand its use better.

    • It really depends on the type of disaster you are preparing for.
      If you have an opportunity to plan ahead with some warning, say in a situation like a hurricane or some tornadoes, you have an opportunity to store a large volume of water in case municipal water infrastructure is compromised. This could be anything from backed up pipes, water pump failures, or water contamination.
      In disasters such as earthquakes you will get no warning, but you may be lucky enough that if pump stations or other water infrastructure were damaged, that there is enough pressure in the lines to get the bag filled.
      Most emergency response guides suggest that after you have eliminated all gas leaks and electrical hazards that you fill your bathtub with water, the bag just helps with keeping it more sanitary.

    • Marty- Great question. Disasters don’t always take out every utility immediately. Often, services can take several hours (even days) to go completely off grid. You are correct, though, if your water supply goes out upon impact or suddenly then you would not be able to fill the Water Bob. This, though, is just 1 tool in your Survival Water Arsenal. When it comes to WATER – everyone should have back-ups for their back-ups.

  8. When including water in your emergency preparedness you have options a few options. You can of course buy it in large quantity or store it over time. One good method for this is to get yourself a rain barrel to capture rain water. They are relatively inexpensive and can be used for years to come. You can also get a water storage tank to divert your rain water to or add clean water to it as needed.

  9. I truly do believe most of the tips you’ve got shown to your post. They’re really genuine and may undoubtedly operate. However, the posts are quite shorter for newbies. Could you desire lengthen these folks somewhat out of the next occasion? Information posting.

Creek's new survival fiction novel, RUGOSA, now available on Amazon.com!