Looking for the best survival canteens?
We do our best to stay updated on current gear and gadget advances and features that do a better job of keeping us alive.
For something so important like water is for our survival, having a quality item that will keep our water pure and fresh is worth spending an extra dollar on. Like a proper military survival water bottle, especially if it has a water filter built inside the bottle.
In this buyers guide, we go over the best canteen for bushcraft purposes, overall survival in the wilderness, camping, and backpacking.
First, we’re going to cover some basic information on water bottles and canteens so you have some context on what to look for when shopping.
UPDATED JAN 6TH, 2021 I updated this buyers guide to be more helpful for those shopping around for a new canteen. We updated the best canteens on the market right now for 2020. We also provided more information on metal canteens vs non-metal.
So what makes a good survival canteen?
It depends on what you’ll be using it for specifically. Ideally, we want certain features and attributes that any water bottle or canteen should have. Like a strong material that is durable and won’t corrode.
When you’re looking for the best water canteen for survival, there are tons of options like most things today. And most of them are unnecessary and overcomplicated.
We’re trying to simplify the buying decisions and process by telling you what the most important factors are and focusing on those.
Plastic Vs Metal
The vast majority of canteens will be made of either a type of metal or plastic.
Now, which one is best? It’s mostly preference.
However, I don’t feel safe drinking from plastic canteens if I’m actually carrying it on a hike or camping trip. Anything where you’ll be carrying it with you for an extended period of time. Especially in the heat.
The better material I would say is metal. You can do more things with it if you need to. It’s more durable. And the canteen can get hot if you have a fire going so you can warm up something if need be.
Top 10 Canteens
We looked at the best bushcraft canteens and water bottles for survival out in the wild and for camping trips. We didn’t just look at a couple of reviews. We read all:
- The brand that made it
Everything was taken into consideration. Here are the five best canteens for survival that I would say you can’t go wrong with.
Overview: This has been one of the best, if not, the best metal canteen for years. Part of that being because it has the best canteen design for functionality. It’s not a thick awkwardly shaped like many canteen water bottles. It’s thin and easier to pack.
Is it the best canteen in the world? It’s as close as it gets.
This has been one of the most popular and beat selling canteens on the market for years.
Material: Stainless Steel
Rothco G. I.
Overview: If simplicity is truly what you value. This one would serve you well. It’s as simple as it gets.
It’s a standard canteen. I heard someone describe it as the best water canteen for survival simply because it’s exactly what it should be. A canteen that holds a sufficient amount of water and doesn’t have any “extra” crap that isn’t essential for survival.
Capacity: 1 Qt
Pros: Simple. Low Maintenance. No extra items to carry, just the canteen.
Cons: Made of plastic, it’s not fragile, but it’s also not made of titanium.
Military Issue Canteen
Overview: If you’re looking for the best military canteen, this is a good option. It has a strap for easy carrying while also being simple.
Capacity: 2 Quarts
- Comes with an adjustable shoulder sling
- Easy to carry
- Insulated carrier
- Canteen is Collapsible with mask drink cap
- Made in USA
Source Tactical Kangaroo
- 1 Liter size
- Comes with pouch
- Comes with hydration system
Comparing different products can be very useful when deciding which one is higher or lower quality and what they do or do not have.
This video of one of our favorite survival YouTubers, survival Lilly, compares two stainless steel canteens and explains some important details.
We went searching for the best survival canteen kits and it was definitely no easy task. In some cases, getting a kit is easier than getting the individual piece of something only to then add accessories and modification items to the item later. It saves you time for sure, but whether or not you want a kit for the specific item is up to. you.
In general, kits tend to have lower-quality items. There are a few that are high quality and near-perfect for what a canteen kit should have.
If you’re looking for more than just a mere canteen, a kit would be more optimal for you. Typically a kit would come with the canteen, a cover, a cup, and or a filter of some kind.
Here are our canteen kit recommendations.
BeGrit Canteen Kit
- FLIP-TOP LID WITH BUILT-IN SIPPING DESIGN: button activated lid and additional clasp for secure travel
- INTEGRATED ALUMINUM CANTEEN CUP WITH HANDLES: can cook directly on the fire
- Folding handle makes the cup perfect for separate use. Storage Pocket on Canteen Cover. Includes belt hooks. Holds 1 quart
- Portable and foldable stainless steel Spork Dinner Tableware. A spoonful of dual-use, that can be when the spoon, but also when the fork, the use of more convenient. Folding function, with a lock design, just a push, handle and spoon the perfect combination
- Great for traveling, camping, tour, outdoor use
TRIPLE TREE Uninsulated Single-Walled Stainless Steel Water Bottle
The “Mother” Canteen Carrier Kit
If you’re looking for a well-developed canteen survival kit, check out this one. The video below goes through it.
Klean Kanteen Survival Kit
Klean Kanteens have been around a while. I’ve used one. They’re good products in general. If you want something more where that came from.
The Klean Kanteen is not only a canteen that’s been a top seller for years, but they have an EDC survival kit as well.
If you want something simple (which is usually a much better option in general) then maybe just a good ole survival cup will be all you need. Here are the best survival canteen cups I’ve found that work well for simplicity and use.
Rothco Stainless Steel Cup
Overview: The Rothco seems to be the best canteen cup for the outdoors. It’s simple and does what it’s supposed to, hold your water.
Material: Stainless Steel
- Handle folds so it’s easier to pack
- Stainless Steel Canteen Cup And Cover
- Durable Heavy Gauge Stainless Steel
- Butterfly Handle Makes It Easy To Use
- None other than that you would have to pack and carry it.
RELATED: If you want to make your own DIY cup like this one, click here.
If you need to get something else with your canteen like a strap or holder of some kind, here are some of the top canteen accessories for your bug-out bag. I included a few popular parts below.
Having some kind of strap is the most common wanted additional part so it’s easy to carry by itself outside of your packs.
Helikon Tex Essential Canteen Pouch
As far as accessories go for canteens. This pouch or one very similar to it is essential. It’s been reviewed as the best bushcraft canteen kit bag you could have right now.
It’s perfect for storing your canteen as well as everything else you could need with your water. If you’re looking for the best canteen pouch, the Helikon seems to be the top choice.
Check out the video about it below.
Rothco GI Style MOLLE Canteen Cover, MultiCam
The Ultimate Survival Canteen
Out of all the water bottles and canteens I’ve looked at and reviewed, this seems to be the best value.
If you want the ultimate canteen, this is probably it. Watch the review of it below.
Where To Buy
When you’re looking for a canteen to buy, we want to focus on quality, as usual. Some items don’t require that much quality in terms of the build and materials used for it. But canteens are not one of them.
You want to buy one from a quality manufacturer and reputable brand. The popular brands we mentioned above work well. Amazon has quality canteens as you’ve seen in this guide. REI is an excellent source as well.
When looking for a survival canteen, keep the main things in the mind of what to look for. Also, remember to consider how often you’ll be using it and in what environments.
What canteen do you keep in your bug-out bag? If you liked this post, you may also be interested in more of the best survival gear.