The 10 Best Collapsible Buckets

Updated February 16, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

10 Best Collapsible Buckets
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
Whenever you need to save space and weight, whether hiking, camping or on trips to the beach or park, one of these collapsible buckets will fit into just about any carrier, from a rucksack to a beach tote. They provide a handy, lightweight receptacle for water, sand, ice, tools, and more, and they're especially great for washing dishes and clothing while in the wilderness. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best collapsible bucket on Amazon.

10. OneTigris Camping Organizer

The OneTigris Camping Organizer is a convenient, space-saving solution for all your light hauling needs. Its simple yet efficient design easily folds down flat when not in use and pops back out when needed to store anything from tools to trash.
  • works well as a car garbage can
  • 1-gallon capacity is a bit small
  • handle isn't very sturdy
Brand OneTigris
Model CE-022
Weight 7.2 ounces
Rating 3.8 / 5.0

9. Camco 42973

Turn to the Camco 42973 for all of your extra large cleaning needs. It boasts a huge five-gallon capacity, making it perfect for washing your car, or bathing, doing dishes or some light laundry when out camping in the wilderness.
  • includes a carrying bag
  • folds down to under 3 inches tall
  • lining may develop leaks
Brand Camco
Model 42973
Weight 2.6 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. UST FlexWare

The UST FlexWare is a great choice for carrying water, tools, or other small items without any hassle. Its flexible heat-resistant body is reinforced with a sturdy plastic rim and base for stability, and its handle stays out of the way when not in use.
  • indented lid for easy pouring
  • bpa-free and dishwasher safe
  • can be difficult to fold down
Brand UST
Model 20-02078-08
Weight 16 ounces
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

7. Tcamp Portable

The ultra-lightweight Tcamp Portable is a handy accessory that's easy on your wallet. It is designed with a two-tier structure made of 600-denier Oxford cloth that can withstand rugged use, and has a waterproof PEVA lining that makes it ideal for holding water or ice.
  • durable reinforced stitching
  • includes a stuff pouch for storage
  • prone to spilling when full
Brand Tcamp
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

6. KevenAnna Basin

The KevenAnna Basin is an affordable option that can travel easily with you on your next camping, fishing, or hiking trip. It's double-belted to keep its shape when full, has a Cordura lining, and can withstand high temperatures up to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • wide-mouth design
  • quick drying and tear resistant
  • not completely water- or leak-proof
Brand KevenAnna
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

5. Freegrace 16L Premium

The Freegrace 16L Premium is a must-have for a variety of needs. It is extremely easy to set up and pack down and has a padded carrying handle for maximum comfort while in use, plus it comes with a convenient mesh pocket to hold any supplies or accessories.
  • secondary handle built into lid
  • weighs just 10 ounces
  • not safe for drinking water
Brand Freegrace
Model pending
Weight 1.1 pounds
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

4. Seattle Sports 032902

If you love to camp, look no further than the Seattle Sports 032902. It is ideal for hauling water to your campsite, washing dishes, and other outdoor chores, plus the lightweight design conserves space and weight in your pack when it's time to get a move on.
  • rugged vinyl coated nylon
  • durable rf welded seams
  • tips easily on uneven ground
Brand Seattle Sports
Model 032902
Weight 5.6 ounces
Rating 4.2 / 5.0

3. Favson 11L

Take the Favson 11L along if you're camping, tailgating, or playing in the backyard. It's made of a water-resistant, PVC-coated tarpaulin fabric that prevents any liquid from seeping out, and has two soft handles that make it easy to carry.
  • durable reinforced bottom
  • folds down to size of a dinner plate
  • includes a lid and mesh side pouch
Brand Favson
Model 6256564
Weight 6.4 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

2. Colourwave Colapz

The Colourwave Colapz combines style and function at an attractive price. It comes in seven eye-catching colors to suit your taste, boasts a UV-resistant coating that can handle the harsh sun, and folds down easily with a simple twist.
  • sturdy handle makes it easy to carry
  • elastic band keeps it flat
  • won't crack if frozen
Model CW-0399
Weight 13.6 ounces
Rating 4.4 / 5.0

1. Infusion Living Reforms

The Infusion Living Reforms is a multifunctional option that provides convenience and flexibility for all of your chores, whether at home or in the wilderness. Its modular construction can be easily adjusted to four different heights for a maximum capacity of 2 gallons.
  • durable silicone walls
  • sturdy stainless steel handle
  • simple to clean with soap and water
Brand Infusion Living
Model 7169
Weight 1.9 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

The Many Uses For Collapsible Buckets

A collapsible bucket may look like a novelty or non-essential item at first glance, but in reality, these lightweight must-haves offer a wide range of uses that provide convenience, efficiency, and practicality. They’re better than regular buckets in many ways, too, since they’re more portable and, in many cases, lighter, which means that a foldable bucket fits in with your camping gear or small living space much more easily than does a normal bucket. You can get the most out of a collapsible bucket by using it in some of the following ways.

A collapsible bucket will help you be comfortable and could possibly save your life when you’re backpacking or camping, making it an excellent take-along even when space is at a premium. Use it to bring water back to your camp for bathing, doing laundry, or washing dishes, which saves you from having to crouch uncomfortably at water’s edge. You’ll also be able to heat the water, keeping you from a cold and unpleasant dip in the stream.

In water scarcity situations, you can use a collapsible bucket to collect water from a slowly dripping source or rain. Even if you do have plenty of water for drinking, a collapsible bucket can help you make the most of this. For example, you can put the non-filtered water in the bucket and save your bottles for clean, potable water so you don’t risk getting any nasty bacteria in the drinking water. You could also use a collapsible bucket to gently scoop water off the top of a lake or pond for filtering so that you don’t kick up silt or muck.

Of course, there’s no reason that you must only put liquid in a collapsible bucket. You could use it for berry picking, food gathering, or holding trash. Or, at the beach, a collapsible bucket functions as a sand toy, then transforms to a foot-rinsing station. Gardeners can use collapsible buckets to carry soil or plants, while party throwers might use them to hold ice and drinks.

Choosing A Collapsible Bucket

Because collapsible buckets have so many uses, they’re virtually a household staple. You’ll want to choose one that will best support the way you’ll use it the most, though. Different models have features that function better for some uses than for others.

First and foremost is size. Most of these items range from one to 2.5 gallons, which makes them easy enough to carry for most capable adults. If you plan to do a lot of washing and cleaning, however, then you might want a larger capacity — some models go up to five gallons and beyond.

Next, you’ll want to think about the materials and the construction, which will impact how you can realistically use the collapsible bucket. Silicone is relatively sturdy yet flexible, won’t leak, and can withstand heat. Models with heavy-duty fabrics, including Cordura, offer excellent packability, but their sides may be too flexible for some tasks, such as washing dishes. Vinyl-coated nylon is another popular choice that combines sturdiness with portability.

Cleaning is also an important factor to consider. Many collapsible buckets nowadays wash up with soap and warm water, while other models are actually dishwasher-safe. Fabric models may not be able to handle harsh soap, though, so be sure to look at the washing instructions — and perhaps don’t use these models for holding fish or dirt.

Finally, don’t forget to evaluate a collapsible bucket’s handles. Fabric handles tend to be more comfortable in the hand than plastic or metal, but they may not be as durable. You’ll want to think about how long the handles are from where they meet the bucket to their peak, which is called the drop. It may be possible to carry a collapsible bucket like a shoulder bag if the drop is tall enough.

Culture And The Collapsible Bucket

A bucket isn’t necessarily only a utilitarian item for hauling water or dirt around; this humble item has actually developed several interesting cultural applications. Remember the Ice Bucket Challenge? People would film themselves having a bucket of ice water dumped over their heads, then ask three others to do the same. A donation to the ALS Association was supposed to have accompanied each dousing, and sources show that people did indeed donate, with over $100 million being raised to help combat the disease. If you’ll perhaps take the challenge in the future, a collapsible bucket could be perfect, since these tend to be smaller and so will soak you less.

Or, how about the now-ubiquitous bucket list? Most sources agree that the term comes from “kick the bucket,” a dysphemism (or negative phrase) for dying, and that it was popularized by the 2007 film The Bucket List, starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. A bucket list contains all the things that you feel you must do before dying in order to make your life complete. Some common items for a bucket list include seeing the Taj Mahal, running a marathon, visiting wine country, raising a puppy, going skydiving, and learning to do the tango. Perhaps a collapsible bucket list would be perfect for those whose list is constantly growing and shrinking in size.

Those who live in big cities will probably be familiar with another cultural use of the bucket, bucket drumming, which is when buskers use empty plastic buckets as a percussion instrument. Many people credit Larry Wright, a street musician from NYC, as the first person to use big plastic buckets as a rhythmic instrument. Inventor or not, he has certainly gained fame from his skill; he’s been in commercials, a Mariah Carey music video, and a short film. The creative genius to come up with a way to use a collapsible bucket as a musical implement hasn’t yet come along.

And no discussion of buckets in the zeitgeist would be complete without a nod to KFC and the bucket of chicken. Created in 1957, the family-size bucket first contained chicken, gravy, and biscuits, all packaged in the now-iconic red-and-white bucket featuring Colonel Sanders’ portrait. If, however, you aren’t into fast food or disposable packaging, you could use a collapsible bucket as a reusable fried chicken carrier.

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Last updated on February 16, 2018 by Brett Dvoretz

A wandering writer who spends as much time on the road as behind the computer screen, Brett can either be found hacking furiously away at the keyboard or perhaps enjoying a whiskey and coke on some exotic beach, sometimes both simultaneously, usually with a four-legged companion by his side. He hopes to one day become a modern day renaissance man.

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