Scepter Water Container Review – Full Test Results

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This is our Scepter Water Container review.

I purchased a Scepter 5 Gallon Water Container for my own use and put it through a series of tests for the past 3 months. Instead of just putting water in it and using it for camping, my tests were much more demanding than normal use.

While my primary use will be storing water long-term for emergencies, I wanted to ensure this container would meet tough demands.

Scepter Water Container Review
Scepter 5 Gallon water container sitting outside beside a tree
The Scepter 5 Gallon Water Container

This water container is perfect for long-term storage, camping, hiking, hunting trips, and emergencies. The durability and portability can’t be beaten.

In this review, you will find the results of my real-world tests and why this container is right for you.

Let’s get to it.

Scepter Water Container Review Overview

The Scepter 5 Gallon Water Container is a heavy plastic container that resembles a gas can. It is often used by the military and stored on the back of military vehicles. It is a tall container with a handle on the top and a large fill hole beside the handle.

The cap is permanently attached to the can and has a smaller pour and vent opening. The caps for these are also permanently attached.

This water container is great for long-term storage, emergency evacuation, and recreational use. The military trusts it to keep our soldiers hydrated. Its material, size, durability, and combination cap make it the best choice for storing water.

Scepter 5 Gallon Water Container

Scepter Water Container Features

After testing the scepter water container, here are some of the benefits of using these containers.


Water should only be stored in plastics of types 2, 4, and 5 (HDPE, LDPE, PP). Avoid plastics of types 1, 3, 6, and 7. These plastics can leach dangerous chemicals into water over time.

The Scepter container is made from BPA-free HDPE plastic, so it only features safe plastics. This feature means that the container will not affect the taste of the water or contaminate it with chemicals.


The walls of this container are thick and reinforced in the corners. Normal gallon jug-type containers are very thin; they can leak even if you don’t move them around.

I had a few gallons of water in storage, and one of them leaked slowly over time. My shelf was always wet, and I thought I had a plumbing leak somewhere! This container will not leak over time. As you can see from my testing, it can withstand drops on hard surfaces.


This container is the perfect size for long-term storage yet is portable enough to keep in your car. It is also great to keep beside your bug-out bag and throw in your car if you need to evacuate. 

Fully filled, it weighs nearly 50 pounds. The 5-gallon size is a good compromise between weight and the amount of water. 5 gallons is enough water for about 8-10 days for one person. Any larger and it would be too heavy. Any smaller and it would not be as space efficient.

One disadvantage is that you can’t stack these very easily. Keep that in mind if you plan to store a lot of water.

It packs well into the trunk of a car, the back of a truck, or a jeep’s roof rack. The tall design saves horizontal space for other items.


The container has one large main cap that includes two smaller caps. All caps are attached to the container, so they won’t get lost. This is a very nice feature. I have lost my share of caps, for sure. A container without a cap is practically useless.

Scepter Container Lid with diagram showing what each lid is for
Detail of the Lid

The main large opening is big enough to reach down into the container to clean it. This is a big advantage over containers with a smaller opening. They are impossible to clean. This large opening also allows you to quickly fill it in a bathtub or outside faucet.

The two smaller caps on the main cap are for more precise pouring. The smaller one is a vent. Open both, and you can easily pour water into a cup or bottle.

The main cap also has an O-ring to prevent leaking if the container is turned over.

There are also no extra or external spouts needed. This is a nice feature as there is no extra cost for a spout, and you don’t have to worry about losing another item.


This container is more expensive than some of the others available. However, the durability of this container carries more value. Suppose you depend on this container for an emergency or plan to use it on a trip deep into a remote area. In that case, you certainly can’t afford it to fail.

Spare Parts

If you break the cap, spares are available on Amazon and other retailers. This is nice since you don’t have to buy another container. The caps are easily stored and inexpensive, so I recommend having a few extras.


These water containers are available at many retailers and are Amazon Prime items. I received mine in two days. You should have no trouble finding one and getting it quickly.

Long Term Storage

If you plan to store water long-term, your main concern should be mold buildup in the container over time. Before you fill it, the inside of the container should be cleaned thoroughly with dishwashing soap. The larger hole on the Specter water container makes this job much easier.

Don’t forget to also clean the inside of the cap. If you have chlorine-treated municipal water, there is no need to treat the water yourself. Make sure to not touch the inside of the cap when you close the container.

If you have well water or another source that is not treated, add two drops of non-scented liquid chlorine bleach for every gallon (for a total of 10 drops for this container).

Attach a tag to the container (a piece of tape) and write the date on it. Replace the water in the container every six months.

How Much Water Should You Store?

The CDC recommends to store at least 1 gallon of water per person per day for at least three days. Three days is the minimum amount. They note that everyone should have a two-week supply if possible. Below is a table to help determine how many containers you need.

Number of PeopleGallons Needed for 2 WeeksNumber of Containers Needed


Here are the tests that I ran the Specter water container through. After all, the only way to really know how well a water container works is to test it out.

Taste Test

After rinsing and cleaning my container with dishwashing detergent, I rinsed and refilled it with water and left it overnight. The next day, I emptied and refilled it and waited one week. I plan to run a longer-term test and will update this over time.

After one week, I filled one cup with the water from the container, and another from my faucet. I let both sit out for a few hours until the temperature was the same. Performing a blind taste test, I let my family try each.

No one could consistently pick which one was from the container.

The container doesn’t seem to change the taste of the water all that much. These results also indicate that plastics and chemicals aren’t leaching into the water from the container.

Blind taste test setup, two cups, one marked with "A" and one marked with "B"
Blind Taste Test

Leak Test

No one wants a leaky water container. To test this container’s dependability, I filled it and laid it on its side. I then placed two 45-pound plates on top of the container and left it overnight. I found no evidence of any leakage.

I doubt anyone would store this container on its side and place 90 pounds on top, so I would say it is pretty much leakproof.

With this container, you shouldn’t worry about the water leaking out over time, even if it is not upright.

Scepter water container leak test - container laying down on the ground with 90 pounds of weight on it
90 pounds of weight on the container

Pour Test

Could I pour water into a plastic solo cup if the container was full? This container pours a nice steady stream with the pour cap and vent. Therefore, in a real-world situation, the water is readily available to use.

GIF of water pour from the Scepter water container
Pour from a full container

Drop Test

With the container full, I dropped it both onto soft ground and onto the pavement from 5 feet in the air. The container withstood both drops with minimal damage. You could beat this container up without worrying about it breaking or leaking everywhere.

For this reason, it makes a great travel water container for camping, overlanding, or any other rough outdoor activity

GIF of Scepter water container dropping from a ladder
Drop from 5 ft onto pavement
Damage on bottom of Scepter water container after it was dropped
Minimal damage to the bottom of the container


You may want to keep a few accessories with your Specter water container. Of course, choosing which accessories largely depends on your preferences.

Replacement Cap

If you break the cap, you can easily get a replacement. They’re inexpensive and easy to store. Therefore, purchasing a few to have around is recommended.

Replacement Cap

Replacement Cap

Original Replacement


Tightening the cap can be tough, especially if your hands are wet or your hands are small. This wrench makes it easy.

Cap Wrench

Cap Wrench

Easy to Use

Prevents Leaks

Rechargeable Water Pump

To easily pump the water out of the container without having to tip the container, try a water pump. The small rechargeable water pumps for office water containers work great. This water pump is featured in the video review below.

Rechargeable Water Pump

Water Pump


Makes Pouring Easy

Video Review

This video has some great tips, and demonstrates a handy dispenser.


Aqua-Tainer 7 Gallon Container

This container is a cheaper alternative for those with a lower budget. It is not as durable as the Scepter and does not have a larger opening that allows you to clean the inside of the container. Therefore, you’ll find that the container isn’t as practical for long-term storage. Its low durability also makes it less capable of traveling.

It also requires a separate spout for a controlled pour. Purchasing this separate spout will push the price up (at which point you may just want to purchase the Specter water container, anyway).

It holds 7 gallons, so it will weigh over 60 pounds when full.

Aqua-Tainer 7 Gallon Container

Aqua-Tainer 7 Gallon Container

Good Price


Waterbrick 3.5 Gallon Container

This container is designed to allow easy stacking. You can stack 10 of these to make a 4-foot-high cube. It does have a fairly large opening for cleaning but requires a spigot for easy pouring. The availability of these seems to be somewhat limited.

While I love the idea of stacking containers, I already have shelving for water storage, so this isn’t a huge plus for me (but it may be for you).

Waterbrick 3.5 Gallon Container

Waterbrick 3.5 Gallon Container

Easy Stacking

Easy to Carry

Scepter 2.5 Gallon Container

If the 5 Gallon container seems too heavy or large for you, a similar 2.5 Gallon container is available. It looks like the 5 Gallon container but is only half as tall. However, the price is nearly the same as the 5 Gallon container.

Therefore, I generally recommend purchasing a bigger container. The only reason you should purchase the smaller container is if you have mobility difficulties that make it hard to transport the bigger containers. Smaller containers may also work better if you have little storage.

Scepter 2.5 Gallon Container

Scepter 2.5 Gallon Container


Lighter Weight


The Scepter 5 Gallon Water Container’s durability and portability make it the best choice for long-term water storage, emergency evacuation, and recreational use.

Water is the primary element you need for survival and emergency preparedness, and storing it long term is one of the first steps you should take. Don’t forget get enough containers to cover your family as shown in our table above!

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Jason has an engineering and problem solving background. He is an avid outdoorsman, survivalist, and competitive shooter. He enjoys researching the best and most practical solutions for the problem at hand, studying stoicism, and finding innovative ways to be prepared.