A rain barrel is a great investment, particularly for people who have outdoor gardens or large lawns.
There are a lot of benefits to having a rain barrel but it’s not always easy to determine which one is best and what to look for when choosing one.
If you’re wondering how to find the best rain barrels for you, it helps to know what to look for and what brands are worth investing in.
Table of Contents
The 6 Benefits of Having a Rain Barrel
There are a lot of reasons why having a rain barrel is a good idea. Here are six important benefits of having a rain barrel.1
It reduces runoff and improves water quality. Because rain barrels collect rainwater that would otherwise runoff into the sewers, taking with it pesticides, fertilizers, and other pollutants that it picked up traveling through lawns and along driveways and streets.2
It’s healthier for your plants. If you have outdoor plants, they’re already getting rainwater the natural way. But using water from a rain barrel for your plants even on dry days is much better for them than municipal water.3
It prevents the soil from eroding. Collecting rainwater from your gutters prevents excess water from going through your yard when it’s raining. Slowing this down helps reduce the amount of erosion that’s happening and prevents all the nutrients from being washed away.4
It conserves water. By collecting and using rainwater to tend to your garden, wash your car, clean your windows, or even give the dog a bath, you’re saving the tap water you’d usually use for these tasks.5
It comes in handy in a drought. If you live in an area where water is scarce in the hot summer and are underwater conservation restrictions, having a rain barrel full of water comes in really handy.
While you can’t drink it, you can use it to do multiple chores around the house and keep your garden and lawn moist when water is scarce.6
It saves you money. Since you’re using less municipal water, your water bill goes down. Imagine not having to pay for the water you use to tend to your lawn or garden by collecting enough from the sky on those rainy spring days!
The Best Rain Barrels For Your Garden & Backyard
You have a lot of different options when it comes to choosing a rain barrel. To help you find one that suits your garden and your style, here are ten of the best on the market.
|Good Ideas RW50 Rain Wizard Rain Barrel
|RTS Companies Inc Home Accents ECO Rain Water Collection Barrel
|VINGLI Collapsible Rain Barrel
|50, 66, 100 Gallons
|Enviro World EWC FreeGarden Rain Barrel
|Augason Farms Water Storage Barrel
|Suncast Rain Barrel with Hose
|Gardener's Supply Company Rain Barrel
|FCMP Outdoor RC4000 Home Rain Barrel
|Upcycle Black Rain Barrel
|Good Ideas Imp-L50 Impressions Palm Rain Barrel
Rain Barrel Reviewed
1. Good Ideas RW50 Rain Wizard Rain Barrel
The Good Ideas rain barrel has a 50-gallon capacity and is made from the strongest UV-resistant polyethylene resin available. It’s BPA-free and won’t mold, rot, or rust. A ¾-inch brass spigot is included so it’s easy to fill up buckets or attach a hose to water your plants.
You can put the barrel flat against the wall of the home. This makes setup easy because you don’t have to worry about getting an extra downspout. The flat-back design gives it a smaller footprint and you can easily link several barrels together if needed.
A plastic mesh screen keeps out bugs, debris, and animals. It’s also easy to remove for regular cleaning and maintenance. There’s also a front-side overflow that prevents water from leaking from the back of the barrel and affecting the outside wall of your home.
One of the best things about this barrel is how great it looks. The distressed wood-grain texture is available in four colors so you can get one that matches the look of your home. Choose from oak, khaki, black, and green.
2. RTS Companies Inc Home Accents ECO Rain Water Collection Barrel
Collecting rainwater to be more environmentally conscious is one thing but using this 50-gallon rain barrel from RTS Companies takes it to the next level. Why? Because this product is made from 100 percent recycled plastic that won’t fade or rot.
Since this rain barrel has a flat-back design, it sits flush against the outside wall of your home, taking up less space and making setup a little easier. A plastic screen keeps out debris and insects and the plastic spigot makes it super easy to hook-up a hose and water your garden or hanging plants.
This barrel has an authentic barrel texture molded into the plastic for a rustic, realistic look. You can link them together to increase water collection capacity and the front side overflow prevents water from overspilling against the wall of your home, preventing possible damage.
You can buy a matching barrel stand separately which raises the barrel off the ground, making the spigot easily accessible. It works great without the stand but it’s a nice thing for added convenience.
3. VINGLI Collapsible Rain Barrel
If you’re looking for a collapsible rain barrel, check out this product from VINGLI. It features a strong PVC frame covered in PVC mesh fabric. This material won’t corrode and is safe to use even in the winter as it’s less likely to crack than typical plastic barrels.
This rain barrel features both a spigot and a water outlet, each of which comes with two rubber valves to prevent leaking. There’s also a mesh-covered top that prevents leaves, bugs, and other debris from getting in.
Although you can use this rain barrel in just about any weather, you can easily collapse it and store it away until the rainy season comes around again. Assembly is easy, too, so you’ll be up again and running in no time.
Another great thing about this design is you can link barrels together if you need more capacity. This design is also available in multiple sizes. Choose 50, 66, or 100-gallon capacity.
4. Enviro World EWC FreeGarden Rain Barrel
This rain bucket from Enviro World is tough, durable, and built to last. It’s made of high-quality injection-molded plastic and holds 55 gallons of rainwater. There are child locking screws for safety and a powder-coated steel screen to keep out dirt and debris.
The durable brass standard-size spigot works with standard-sized garden hoses and is located at a height that’s ideal for filling a watering can. At the top of the barrel is a two-sided overflow with an extension hose so you can connect multiple barrels together or run the overflow into another container.
Another great thing about this one is the square design. It makes it easy to place against the outside wall of your home and can even fit snugly into a corner and no base is needed. Plus, it’s available in beige, black, or green so you can choose the one that looks best for your home.
5. Augason Farms Water Storage Barrel
The Augason Farms rain barrel holds 55 gallons of water and is made from food-grade polyethylene. This barrel is BPA-free and meets the strict EPA standards for water storage. It’s a great choice for emergency water storage in the event of a natural disaster or contaminated water supply.
When used properly with the right water treatment, this barrel leaves behind no aftertaste. Note that treatment drops are available but not included. The closed system has two plug fittings on the top for easy filling.
These rain barrels are about two feet wide and three feet high. If you’re using them to store water, they’re stackable and can be kept safely in temperatures between 55 and 70 degrees F. Augason Farms has been in business since 1972. Their products are made in the USA and they offer a satisfaction guarantee.
6. Suncast Rain Barrel with Hose
Suncast makes this tough resin rain barrel that’s designed to last for years. It holds 50 gallons of rainwater and has a square design that easily fits against any wall or corner of your house. It’s easy to tuck it in under your gutter spout, no matter where it’s located.
This barrel comes ready-to-use with minimal assembly required. All you have to do is attach the hose. Filling a watering can or bucket is easy since there’s no difficult-to-reach spigot close to the ground. The extra length the hose provides is extremely convenient and the shut-off valve keeps you from making a mess or wasting water.
If you live in an area where there’s a lot of rain and need something with more capacity, you can quickly and easily link two of these barrels together. They do not require a stand and fit nicely together.
7. Gardener’s Supply Company Rain Barrel
If you’re looking for something a little more stylish, check out this product from Gardener’s Supply. It features an elegant, contemporary design that is made of UV-stable polyethylene that’s able to withstand extreme temperatures.
This rain barrel holds 75 gallons of water and the brass tap makes it easy to fill up a watering can or attach a garden hose. There’s a childproof top with a non-corroding screen to keep out dirt and debris as well as curious little ones.
The overflow spout can also be connected to a second rain barrel which comes in handy if you live in an area where there’s a lot of precipitation. If you don’t care for the typical whiskey barrel look, the faux sandstone finish and decorative feet are a welcome change. It’s shaped like a large stoneware olive jar and looks great next to any home.
8. FCMP Outdoor RC4000 Home Rain Water Storage Catcher Barrel
This simple, practical rain barrel by FCMP Outdoor has a flat back design and a large top opening that makes installation simple. This barrel holds 45 gallons. If you want to expand your collection capacity, side spigots make it easy to connect multiple barrels using a linking kit.
There’s an aluminum mesh screen that keeps insects, leaves, and other debris from contaminating the water and the hose extension makes it easy to fill your watering can or add a garden hose without making a mess or losing too much water. Other great features include a hanging hose clip, shut-off valve, and overflow hose.
It’s designed to look like a traditional wooden barrel but the solid black color adds a sleek look that blends easily into the landscaping of your home. Plus, the recycled BPA-free UV-resistant plastic is durable and should last season after season.
9. Upcycle Black Rain Barrel
The black rain barrel from Upcycle is made of high-density, food-quality, recycled polyethylene. This rain barrel holds 55 gallons of rainwater but you can link them together if you need more capacity. The top has a mesh screen that filters out any debris and keeps insects and animals from getting in.
What’s really cool about these barrels is that each one used to be a plastic barrel used for shipping food products like peppers and pickles. Each is modified with a spigot and overflow and repurposed as a rain barrel.
This material will never rot or rust and the black color blends nicely into the surroundings. The plastic spigot is located at the bottom of the barrel and is compatible with any standard garden hose.
Keep in mind that these barrels are recycled so, if you buy more than one, the colors may not match exactly.
10. Good Ideas Imp-L50 Impressions Palm Rain Barrel
The Good Ideas Impressions rain barrel is a perfect choice if you want a rain barrel but are looking for something a little more subtle. This rain barrel has a unique planter top that self drains and makes the perfect home for a variety of outdoor plants.
Under the planter top is the collection barrel itself. It holds 50 gallons of water. A screen keeps out any dirt and debris and the built-in overflow helps prevent messes and wasted water. Plus, it’s made of BPA plastic which is safe for the water and your plant.
This barrel has two spigots, one at the bottom that works well with a garden hose and one about half-way up that’s convenient for filling watering cans. You can also use both spigots at the same time if needed.
One of the best things about this rain barrel is the palm trunk finish. It’s a nice alternative to the standard barrel design and is available in nine different colors.
Accessories You’ll Need For Your Rain Barrel System
1. Fiskars Rain Barrel DiverterPro Kit
One must-have accessory for your rain barrel is this diverter kit from Fiskars. It features a patented overflow design that keeps any excess water away from the wall of your home to prevent foundation damage. It also improves collection during heavy downpours.
This kit works by rechanneling overflow back into the downspout instead of allowing it to spill out against the wall of your home. It fits a standard 2×3 or 3×4-inch downspouts and comes with couplers, a connector hose, and a rain barrel connector. Plus, it’s covered by a three-year warranty.
Another great thing about this diverter kit is that it comes with an easy-to-clean filter. If your rain barrel also has a filter, this keeps the water as clean as possible. The simple black design doesn’t stand out against your other outside decor. It’s practical without attracting too much attention.
2. Oatey Mystic Rainwater Collection Residential Downspouts
This kit lets you add direct water from your home’s downspouts into your rain barrel or barrels. It features built-in reservoir channels that divert rainwater from the sides of the downspout, filtering out leaves, dirt, and other debris.
The design fits standard 2×3-inch downspouts and a four-foot hi-flow hose is included so you can run it right into the top of your rain barrel, even if it’s not right under the downspout. The two-piece design is easy to install and results in collecting more water with less sediment and debris.
One of the great things about this product is that it’s made of durable UV-resistant plastic that’s extremely durable. Plus, you can paint them to match your existing gutter or the exterior of your home. Installation is easy and step-by-step instructions are included.
3. EarthMinded DIY Rain Barrel Diverter and Parts Kit
This kit from EarthMinded has everything you need to set up your rain collection barrel. It includes a FlexiFit converter, a 31-inch fill hose, winter hole cover, drain, cover, spigot, hole saw set, screw, water seals, and a detailed instruction manual. All you need is the rain barrel and some tools.
The FlexiFit diverter allows excess water to bypass the rain barrel and head back into the downspout so it doesn’t overflow. This keeps excess water away from your home, preventing foundation damage and it makes the system better able to handle heavy rains.
Installation is easy and the kit works with standard 2×3 or 3×4-inch downspouts. This kit is compatible with any top-fill rain barrel so you can use it with any of our recommended products. It’s also available in packs of two so you’re all set if you have more than one rain barrel.
What to Look For When Choosing a Rain Barrel?
Here are the things to keep in mind when deciding which rain barrel is right for your yard.
1. Make sure that the water is safe. Most newer homes are fine but some older builds may use lead paint or other materials on the roof or gutters that are unsafe. Consider the type of shingles on your home, too. If tar or gravel are going to be a problem, a rain barrel might not work for your home.
2. Decide how much water you’re able to collect in your rain barrel. Look at your water bill to get an idea of how many gallons you use in a month. You should also consider how much rain falls in your area. If you live in a rainy climate, you might need a larger barrel than someone who lives in a dry area.
3. Make sure you choose one with a filter and a secure lid. The last thing you want is for a lot of leaves and debris to collect in your rain barrel and contaminate the water. You also don’t want curious animals to be able to get in, either.
4. Choose something that has UV protection. Think about it. Your rain barrel is constantly outside in the sun. The better protection it has against the sun, the longer it will last.
5. Make sure that the barrel you choose has some kind of overflow system. If the barrel fills and there is no overflow protection, the water will spill out of the bucket against the wall of your home and it could pool around the foundation. This can cause extensive damage over time.
How to Install a Rain Barrel?
Every rain barrel is a little different so make sure to follow the instructions that come with the product that you chose. That said, here’s a general guide for installing a rain barrel.
1. Pick the location. The main thing to remember is that it has to be located within a few feet of a downspout. You can place it in your garden to make it more convenient to use or tuck it in an out of the way place in the back of your house.
2. Make sure you have a level, sturdy base. When rain barrels are full, they are extremely heavy. If the ground beneath it isn’t stable and level, the whole thing can topple over. Putting down concrete pavers is a good idea to add stability, just make sure they’re level.
3. You may want to elevate the barrel on a stand, depending on where the spigot is. Some of these barrels have a spigot all the way at the bottom which can be really inconvenient if you’re trying to fill a bucket or watering can.
4. Determine the height of the rain barrel, accounting for a stand if you choose to use one. Lay a long level across the top of the barrel toward the downspout and mark the spot on the downspout at the level of the top of the barrel. Then, measure down three inches and make another mark.
5. Drill a hole into the downspout. Sometimes, the rain barrel includes hole saws to make this step easy but some don’t so you may need to provide your own.
6. On the rain barrel, choose where to drill the hole for the other end of the drain pipe if you have this option. Pick a spot closest to the downspout.
7. Insert the diverter into the downspout and secure it with screws. Then, connect the diverter to the rain barrel using a flexible hose. This should be included. The hose should sit below the diverter but should not have too much slack.
8. Put on the lid and wait for rain.
How to Use Water from Rain Barrel?
Water from a rain barrel is ideal for tending to your garden, washing your car, cleaning off lawn furniture, or watering your lawn.
You shouldn’t use rainwater for cooking or drinking unless the rain barrel is specifically designed as food safe. Even then, you have to filter or purify the water. You should never ingest any water directly from any rain barrel, no matter what it’s made of.
There are a lot of benefits to using a rain barrel. This type of water collection is good for the earth and can save you money on your water bill. Your plants and your wallet will love it.
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