The 9 Best Rain Barrels

Updated November 17, 2017 by Sam Kraft

9 Best Rain Barrels
Best High-End
Best Mid-Range
Best Inexpensive
We spent 37 hours on research, videography, and editing, to review the top picks for this wiki. Why pay for water when it drops out of the sky for free? Do your part for conservation and add some style to your outdoor space with one of the rain barrels we’ve listed here. Not only are they ideal for collecting and storing our most precious natural resource, but many of them also add an element of charm to your landscaping. When users buy our independently chosen editorial picks, we may earn commissions to support our work. Skip to the best rain barrel on Amazon.

9. Good Ideas Impressions

The Good Ideas Impressions is built with a routed channel that is designed to divert excess water to the front of the barrel in order to avoid flooding the foundation. It also features dual spigot locations, allowing you to connect a hose and direct the flow into a bucket.
  • mesh screen blocks contaminants
  • built-in planter top
  • has a tendency to leak
Brand Good Ideas
Model IMP-C50-SAN
Weight 21 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

8. Upcycle Gray

Made from recycled high-density polyethylene, the Upcycle Gray is quite durable and very easy to link with other barrels for filling from a single downspout. Its neutral gray color also looks nice with just about any outdoor decor.
  • water flow is easy to control
  • holds up well in the elements
  • screen on lid is difficult to secure
Brand Upcycle
Model pending
Weight 23 pounds
Rating 3.9 / 5.0

7. Great American Rain Barrel

Designed for superior capacity, the Great American Rain Barrel stores up to 60 gallons of rainwater. Its thick inner walls are designed to keep it rigid and improve its durability, but removing and re-installing the lid can prove difficult.
  • built-in drain plug
  • simple installation process
  • barrel is not food-grade
Brand Great American Rain Bar
Model pending
Weight 24 pounds
Rating 4.1 / 5.0

6. Nutristore Shelf Reliance

With its 55-gallon capacity and built-in high-grade water filter, the Nutristore Shelf Reliance is a nice safety net in the event of an emergency or disaster. However, its bulkiness makes it difficult to store or move to different locations.
  • bpa-free construction
  • filter is relatively easy to replace
  • water pump is a bit slow
Brand Nutristore
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.0 / 5.0

5. RTS Home Accents

With a sturdy authentic oak barrel construction, you won’t have to worry about the RTS Home Accents fading or rotting anytime soon. It’s designed with no sharp edges or large openings, making it a safe option if you have children or pets at your house.
  • flat back for placing against a wall
  • front overflow averts flooding
  • stand is rather weak
Brand RTS Companies Inc
Model 55100006005681
Weight 21.9 pounds
Rating 4.3 / 5.0

4. Polymart Rain Harvest

Think of the Polymart Rain Harvest as a fortress for your water. The top of the barrel features a 12-inch stainless steel strainer basket for keeping out large debris and a screened water overflow assembly for controlling flow during heavy rainstorms.
  • made in the united states
  • food-grade polyethylene construction
  • 8 color options available
Brand Polymart
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.6 / 5.0

3. Koolatron KoolScapes

The sculpture-like design of the Koolatron KoolScapes may trick some folks into thinking it’s a stylish patio decoration instead a rain barrel. It is manufactured using an innovative rotational molding plastic process that allows it to withstand extreme temperatures.
  • no assembly is required
  • resilient and long-lasting
  • spigot height convenient for buckets
Brand Koolatron
Model RBB-55
Weight 17 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

2. Enviro World

Thanks to its high quality injection molded design, the Enviro World looks like new for years with only a little bit of maintenance. The shape of the lid is ideal for directing water, with a slight angle that guides flow toward the screen in the middle.
  • powder-coated steel screen
  • child locking screws for safety
  • convenient two-sided overflow
Brand Enviro World corporatio
Model EWC-10
Weight 17.6 pounds
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

1. Good Ideas Oak Wizard

Available in five vibrant color options, the Good Ideas Oak Wizard adds a rustic element to the yard or porch in which it’s installed. Its brass-plated turn-down spigot includes a handy no-kink feature that ensures continuous water flow.
  • classic whiskey barrel design
  • resistant to mold and mildew
  • comes with plumber's tape to seal
Brand Good Ideas Oak Wizard
Model pending
Weight pending
Rating 4.7 / 5.0

Down Came The Rain

I grew up in a time and a place where we considered water a renewable resource–or, at least, we treated it like it was. We'd run the water on full blast while doing dishes, even if the phone or the television distracted us from the task at hand. We'd take long, hot showers, luxuriating in the stream of scalding water well after we'd gotten clean. We'd wash our cars and run our sprinklers day in and day out.

The water was utterly inexpensive, safe to drink, safe to cook with, and safe for bathing. There was nothing at all to worry about.

Now, of course, the facts have opened my eyes, and the eyes of most of my family, and we implement as many water conservation efforts around the house as we can. This includes a conservative flow of water for dishes, a conscientious shower length (admittedly, none of us do the navy shower), and two of the rain barrels you'll find on this list.

We actually came upon the rain barrel issue not from a water conservation angle, but from a property management angle. The runoff from one of our drain spouts was cutting a grotesque trench into and across the front lawn, which is on a slight incline. Our neighbor suggested we get a rain barrel to catch the runoff.

At first, the idea of using one eyesore to treat the cause of another didn't thrill us, but then we got a look at a few of the more camouflaged barrels on the market, we heard a little bit about what we could do with the water, and we were sold.

A rain barrel collects runoff from your roof, down your drainage spout, and into the barrel itself, and you can use that water for gardening, washing your car, or filling a cycling fountain.

For gardening, in particular, the rain water is free of all the calcium, fluoride, and other chemicals used to treat our tap water that only hurt the greenness of your lawn and the brightness of your flowers. Each barrel also has guards against mosquitoes and other insects, so they won't be able to lay any eggs in the water.

Just be sure you don't use the water for drinking, cooking, or bathing.

A Barrel Of Laughs

The thing that won us over in the story above is that there are rain barrels available that don't look like the wooden beer kegs in which daring people went over Niagara Falls, although those would probably look a little better than the horrible industrial drums I imagined when I first pictured a rain barrel on my lawn.

Realistically, it's just as important for you to evaluate the rain barrels on our list based on their appearance as it is for you to scrutinize their individual features. If the barrel you select clashes too hard with your house's exterior, you might find yourself shunning or under-using the barrel, which is, frankly, a waste of water.

It would also be a waste if you got the wrong size barrel, the capacity of which doesn't match your level of activity and enthusiasm around the yard. If your barrel is too big, you might get into the habit of overlooking it and using your municipality's water supply on your lawn instead. If it's too small, and it fills up too quickly, you'll find yourself frustrated with the whole experience.

The final variable, of course, is price, and the fancier-looking rain barrels with extra features like simpler, more durable drainage adapters and food-grade polyethylene construction, are going to be more expensive. Find the perfect balance between the features you want, the look you desire, and the amount you're willing to spend, and a big neon arrow will point straight at your perfect choice.

Conservation Through History

It's more than likely that individuals and families in ancient times had methods for the collection of rainwater. The issue back then, of course, would have been sanitation, as mosquito larvae and bacteria of all kinds would make their way into a stagnant water supply rather quickly.

The capitol city of the Roman Empire, Constantinople, had a massive structure devoted to rainwater collection around 350 BCE, and archeologists have found evidence of a sophisticated rainwater collection and storage system on the island of Crete that dates back to around 1700 BCE.

As water conservation efforts picked up steam through the 60s, 70s, and 80s, some forward-thinking architects began integrating rainwater collection into the design of sustainable homes.

In the last three decades, sustainability has gone from an idea circulating the fringes of our society to a buzz-word and an effective marketing technique for any company concerned with its public image. While the cynics among us point to this shift in public consciousness as a sign that sustainability will eventually become as meaningful as brushing your teeth twice a day–a thing that most people believe they do responsibly, even if they don't–,those of us that are willing to squash our cynicism will find that steps like these put us in line with a long history of conservation efforts that have always been a part of the solution.

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Last updated on November 17, 2017 by Sam Kraft

Sam is a marketing/communications professional and freelance writer who resides in Chicago, IL and is perpetually celebrating the Cubs’ 2016 World Series victory.

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