Showing results for 
Show  only  | Search instead for 
Did you mean: 
Welcome REI Co-op Members!
We're glad you're here. If you can't access the Co-op Members section of the community,
click here for instructions on how to join the section that's just for you.

recommendations for collapsible water storage

Reliant collapsible jug used to be great for caching water but they changed the plastic recently and the new ones leave a ghastly plastic taint making the water undrinkable. I need to cache spare water for many days at a time for resupply on long desert backpacks. I require a collapsible jug that does not leave a plastic taint in the water. Any recommendations?


5 Replies

For carrying, if you use a Sawyer Squeeze the mylar bags it comes with can be used for water storage. I recommend using a CNOC Vecto as the squeeze bag since the provided bags are hard to fill and tend to split if worked too much.

The other collapsible bottle I like but have not used are the Evernew ones.  Their thread is supposed to work with the Squeeze.

Many people use disposable water bottles such as SMART although they are not collapsible. 

I don't have experience caching but any PET (aka PETE) disposible bottle or jug should work at least for a month or so. PET imparts very little taste although it does degrade with UV and other outdoor conditions so a protected location is prefered.  They will deform at about 140F which might be an issue in some places.  Death valley recorded 130F last year.  They are light but do not "collapse".  However, you could crush them or cut them up to carry them on. Since they are"free" you can test all this at home to get a basic idea.

Returning to your cache to pick up the empties after your hike would be another option.  You could use glass in that case. This has the added benefit of being rodent proof which can be an issue with plastic.

Storing bottles in 5 gal "Paint" bucket could protect from breakages, rodents, UV etc.

Using a Tomcat rodent repellant trash bag might be an option to discourge rodents if returning to the cache is not an option and you have to pack it on. This would also provide some short term weather protection. 



Platypus has collapsible water containers, although I would use sport beverage bottles or similar - much cheaper and easy to carry out.

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

Is this a good memory, or a bad memory?

One backpacking trip had me traversing the Front Range in Pusch Ridge Wilderness in Southern Arizona. In preparation for the trip I day hiked to all of the potential water sources in the uppermost canyons along the route in the two weeks before the trip. One canyon usually did not have water and I was prepared by bringing a gallon of water to stash. I used Nalgene water bottles.

Afternoon of the 3rd day on the traverse I am within 30 yards of the water stash and I see a Ringtail. Only see a handful of them!

Second thought: I stashed the water in this genius creature's home. I hope...

Both of the bottles have been chewed open quite close to the bottom. There was only a couple of tablespoons of water for me, which I wasn't interested in anymore because of someone else's lips had touched it.

I have stashed water in less secure bottles than this before in the past. I don't think I will ever stash water in a way that it cannot be chewed again. I think I'll bring one of my bear canisters to put it into.

I was able to get by on that trip. I was a little short of water when I hit the spring the next morning. I was up at first light, motivated to get moving down the mountain. Water never tasted so good.


My go-to is my CNOC Vecto dirty water bag that I'll use to carry water if I have a long water carry.  I typically also have 2 1L Smart Water bottles with me for clean water.  I recently had a need to carry more water and picked up the Waterdrop Gravity bag below on Amazon.  It was cheap and works well and doesn't have the taste that you mentioned (I'm pretty sure I've had the same experience with stored water).  It is a little more weight (wet and dry) than I'd like but its durable and it works.

Here is a picture of it hanging on the Hawk Mtn Shelter last weekend.


Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.

@DouglasGreen such a great question! I, too, have found many instances in which I need to store water for days on end in the desert. My all-time favorite water reservoir is the MSR DromLite Bag. There are various sizes, but I typically use the 6L. This container is extremely durable, lightweight, easy to fill and use, and very compactable. It is easy to squeeze out excess air, and I can store this in my pack underneath gear without worrying that it will break. I have never tasted plastic when drinking water stored in these containers. The fact that it's semi-opaque also helps because you know exactly how much water you have left inside!


Hope this helps, and good luck on the trails!

Superusers do not speak on behalf of REI and may have received
one or more gifts or other benefits from the co-op.