WaterPrepared Blue 55 Gallon Water Storage Tank
Best stackable rain barrel
Large capacity and stackable design make this rain barrel perfect for extensive lawns and gardens.
1 WaterPrepared B55 Review
The WaterPrepared B55 might not be the most aesthetically pleasing rain barrel out there, but it certainly is the best for heavy-duty watering. With a capacity of 55 gallons, it can hold sufficient water for small to mid-sized gardens. But that’s not it.
Its greatest feature is the fact that it’s stackable. You can easily place one barrel on top of the other to double capacity without doubling the footprint. Furthermore, the UV-resistant construction and blue color prevent algae’s growth even when you store the water for more extended periods.
This barrel is strong and resilient and comes with hassle-free access delivered by an integrated universal spigot compatible with a standard garden hose. More than perfect for gathering rainwater for your lawn or vegetables, this barrel is also suitable for storing drinking water. Undoubtedly the best large rain barrel on the market.
Good Ideas RW50-OAK Rain Wizard 50 Gallon Rain Barrel
Best rain barrel for home use
A flat back design allows you to place the barrel against your house wall for easier rainfall collection.
2 Good Ideas RW50-OAK Review
Nicknamed the Rain Wizard, this rain barrel from Good Ideas combines a high-volume container’s versatility with the convenience of a smart design. Only slightly smaller than our best in class but more affordable, it is perfect for small to mid-sized yards.
We particularly like the flat back design that makes it super-easy to place it against a wall and directly under the downspout.
Like the WaterPrepared, it’s made from durable, UV-resistant materials, and it also comes in a selection of colors. Another highlight is the attractive design that suits most yards. A universal brass spigot provides quick access to water, and overall, this is the best rain barrel for the money.
Good Ideas Imp-L50-Blk 50 Gallon Impressions Palm Rain Barrel
A design rain barrel
Dual spigot locations allow you to use a hose and the tap simultaneously.
3 Good Ideas Imp-L50-Blk Review
Coming from the same brand as our best value, the Imp-L50-Blk rain barrel suits homeowners looking for the most aesthetically pleasing rain collection solution. Impressing with a stylish design, this barrel looks more like a decorative pot than a utilitarian container.
It may not have a flat back, but still sits nicely against the walls. Like our best value, it has a large water inlet and a built-in overflow management system.
What makes it different – apart from its looks – is the presence of two instead of one fixture. A feature that allows you to either use two garden hoses or use a hose and fill a watering can simultaneously. This rain barrel has a capacity of 50 gallons, is made from eco-friendly materials, and is affordable. A great choice if you want a fancier container.
RTS Home Accents 50-Gallon Rain Water Collection Barrel with Brass Spigot
Best cheap rain barrel
Lateral fittings allow you to link several barrels between them, increasing water collection capacity.
4 RTS Home Accents Review
Cheap yet mighty, the RTS Accents is the best rain barrel for those who don’t want to break the bank. Similar to our best value in terms of volume and design, it blends beautifully in traditional yards.
Its best feature is that you can create a rain barrel network to suit any watering needs. Indeed, the barrel comes with lateral fittings you can use to link another barrel to the main one. When the first barrel is full, rainwater starts flowing in the second barrel, and so on. In this way, you can minimize rainwater waste and reduce your water bill costs.
Like our other barrels, the RTS comes with a universal brass spigot for quick water access. Cheap, durable, and dependable, it is an excellent option for homeowners on a budget.
Best Rain Barrel 2021 Buying Guide
What are the best types of rain barrels?
Rain water harvesting is one of the easiest ways to reduce municipal water consumption while maintaining your lawn or garden pristine. The first step is to choose the best rain barrel type for you:
- Plastic barrels: Are by far the most popular type. They are generally inexpensive, lightweight, easy to use, and relatively easy to clean. Available in different sizes and colors, they are ideal for harvesting rainwater and – if rated as safe – storing drinking water. Just keep in mind that prolonged sun exposure could damage them, so you should place these barrels in a shaded spot.
- Clay barrels: Smaller, heavier, and often more expensive than plastic, clay rain barrels capture smaller amounts of rain but have high decorative value. You could use such a barrel if you only have a small turf to water and want to boost your yard’s aesthetic factor.
- Wood barrels: Usually made from oak wood, these barrels look amazing in rustic gardens. They vary in size, more or less like their plastic counterpart, but are less durable. Wood will rot over time, can harbor pests, and is more likely to develop mold and algae.
- Metal barrels: Typically made from stainless steel or galvanized steel, they are ideal for harvesting rainwater and storing drinking water. They are durable and easy to maintain but typically have larger volumes than plastic barrels and are more suitable for large properties or industrial applications.
What are the best rain barrel brands?
Once you’ve decided what type of rain barrel to buy, you should learn the most reliable brands. To help you out, we put together a list of the best rain barrel manufacturers:
- WaterPrepared rain barrels: Impress with a unique, stackable design that allows you to store hundreds of gallons of water in a tight space. Made from UV-resistant plastic, they are also suitable for storing drinking water but have little aesthetic value.
- Good Ideas rain barrels: Like the WaterPrepared, are made from UV-resistant plastic. They come in a wide range of styles and sizes, including planter and wood barrel imitations. High aesthetic value.
- RTS rain barrels: Like the Good Ideas in terms of style, these barrels are a tad less resistant but more affordable. RTS barrels can also be interconnected to increase capacity.
- Vingli rain barrels: Designed for smaller homes, Vingli manufactures a range of collapsible rain barrels made from PVC. They are durable and dependable to use at home or for collecting rainwater for showering while camping.
- Kinsey Garden rain barrels: This manufacturer proposes a wide range of clay rain barrels. They come in various sizes and are very stylish. You can choose from a number of classic or contemporary designs.
- Metal Rain Tanks rain barrels: As the name suggests, Metal Rain Tanks makes metal rain barrels, typically from stainless steel. Sizes range from 80 to 300 gallons, so they are more than suitable for high-volume domestic use.
How much rain water will I be able to harvest?
Calculating how much rainwater you can harvest can help you figure out the best rain barrel capacity for you.
Typically, one inch of rain on a 1,000 square-foot roof can yield approximately 620 gallons of water. Considering the average rainfall in your area and your roof’s size, you can calculate how much water you can harvest. On average, this is around 47 gallons per year per square foot of roof.
What capacity rain barrel do I need?
To calculate the actual rain barrel capacity, you need to consider that a 30 sq. ft. garden requires around 50 gallons of water per week on dry summers.
Typically, a 50-gallon rain barrel is ideal for occasional watering of a smaller lawn or garden. If you want to use only rainwater for your turf and edibles, consider buying either a larger tank, stackable barrels, or linkable ones to create a higher capacity system.
Are rain barrels safe for children and pets?
Most rain barrels are safe for children and pets but don’t take it for granted. To prevent accidents, check the size of the stability of the barrel and size of its opening.
The best rain barrels have openings large enough to accommodate the downspout but too small for children and pets to pass, or they have metal mesh screens. You should also make sure the barrel has a broad, stable base and that is well-balanced. A full, unbalanced barrel could be a life-threatening hazard for kids and pets alike.
Can I drink rainwater from the barrel?
Rainwater can be harvested for various purposes, such as watering your lawn, houseplants, and edibles, washing your driveway when used with a pressure washer, composting, or providing water to wildlife and livestock. However, the rainwater in your collection tank could be contaminated with bird excrements and other contaminants, and it isn’t safe to drink unless you filter it with a water filter pitcher or under sink filter, in the case of very large tanks connected to your home’s water system.
Can you store drinking water in a rain barrel?
Likewise, storing drinking water in a rain barrel is only advisable if the barrel is made from food-grade materials and kept away from direct sunlight.
How can I access the water in a rain barrel?
The easiest way to access the water in a rain barrel is through a built-in spigot. The best rain barrels come with universal brass fixtures that allow you to connect a standard garden hose or pour water into watering cans.
Alternatively, you could use a rain barrel pump to transfer the water into smaller containers or link the barrel to an irrigation system.
Are DIY rain barrels any good?
DIY rain barrels are a cheaper alternative to the ready-to-use ones. Some manufacturers sell DIY rain barrel kits that allow you to transform drum tanks or large plastic containers into rainwater barrels. The main downside of this solution is that most of the containers you have around your home aren’t designed to hold water for lengths of time. Drum barrels will eventually be affected by rust and corrosion, while the plastic containers may become brittle due to prolonged exposure to sunlight and elements.
Other important features
Before buying your favorite rain barrel, also check out the essential features below:
- Front overflow valve: A rain barrel can fill up quickly on days with heavy rainfall, and a front overflow valve keeps overflow water away from your house wall.
- Mesh screen filter: It is important not only to prevent children and pets from falling into the water but also to keep insects and other pests out of the barrel.
- Portability: There could be circumstances when you’d want to move the barrel from one place to another. A lightweight model will be easy to transport when empty, while one with carrying handles and a wheeled base could even be moved when partially full.
- Flat back design: The best rain barrels have a flat back design that allows you to place them flush against the wall.
- Opening lid: It makes it easy to dip a watering can into the barrel for quicker water access. If the lid opens, make sure it also has a latch closing system to prevent it from opening accidentally.
- Number of outlets: Some of the best rain barrels have two or more outlets, including a spigot and garden hose connection.
- Design: Last but not least, consider the design. Some rain barrels combine their utilitarian nature with attractive looks, and some can even be used as planters for even higher aesthetic value.