Best Rain Barrels For All Your Gardening Needs
Your garden and lawn require an ample amount of water to stay fresh and green, and this especially rings true during the hot summer months. It is, therefore, never a bad idea to have a reserve supply in case your tap water goes awry, and the rain barrel is just a perfect item for that. Tune in with us as we help you find the most suitable model available on the market.
There is a wide range of products available on the market today, and below I have reviewed 5 of the very best options.
**Below, you will find more detailed reviews, but you can also click the links above to see current prices and read customer reviews on Amazon.
Things You Should Consider When Purchasing a Rain Barrel
The Benefits of a Rain Barrel
Many plant species such as the mint or those in your lawn are quite fragile and requires tons of water as well as a specific watering schedule to stay in top form. The amount needed to maintain them may account for as much as 40% of your total household water use, and this is where the rain barrel comes in. It is estimated that a rain barrel can help save up to 1300 gallons of water a month, depending on the barrel’s size and how it is used. Another plus is that water saved in the barrel rain has not been sterilized like it’s tap water counterpart, and may contain minerals and salts essential for your plants, which is especially helpful if you plan on growing your vegetables.
Installing the Rain Barrel
To effectively set up a rain barrel, the first thing you should consider is finding a reliable source of rainwater. Just waiting for each drop of rain to fall into your barrel is not going to do well on the effectiveness scale.
Fortunately, your house already comes equipped with the best source of rainwater holdup: the roof. Depending on your town’s average rainfall, as much as thousands of gallons of water may pass through your roof with each time the weather goes gloomy.
For maximum effect, you should have your barrel connected to a downspout, as that is the place most of the rain from your roof goes to. Most downspouts are attached firmly to your house so that some editing will be required.
No need to worry if your house doesn’t include rain gutters, though. All the water has to go down somewhere, and the only thing you need to do is to find the spot where they concentrate the most.
Safety and Maintenance
Mosquitoes carry deadly diseases, and the calm water of the rain barrel gives them a perfect breeding spot. An open body of water may also present a drowning hazard to nearby animals or even children, so it is important to keep your rain barrel covered all the time.
You should also try to empty your barrel after a week or so to prevent any lucky mosquito larvae that got in from having enough time to morph. After all, better safe than sorry!
It is also of paramount importance that you do not use water from your rain barrel for drinking, bathing or cooking. Your roof, as well as rain gutters, may contain contaminants such as bird droppings, dust or chemicals from nearby industrial facilities that will be carried along with the rain.
Using unsterilized rain barrel water for any purpose listed above may cause serious damage to your health!
Choosing a suitable rain barrel for your home
Rain barrels can come in all shapes and materials, but most household models have a capacity of about 40 to 60 gallons of water. Each type of materials has their pros and cons:
- Rain barrels made from wood, stone or ceramic clay can be quite decorative for your garden but is usually heavier and more expensive than barrels made from other materials.
- Rain barrels made from plastic or polyethylene comes in all shapes and designs, as well as being suitably light and cheap. These barrels don’t last long under extreme heat or cold, however, so you will need to place them under protection of shades
- Rain barrels made from metal, on the other hand, can be very durable as well as flexible for editing. They don’t do well in the looks department, though.
Because of the material diversity, the price of different rain barrel models can vary greatly, from a few dozens to hundreds of dollars each.
Product Reviews – The Best Rain Barrel
Like most models on the market, the Good Idea RW50-BLK has a capacity of 50 gallons of water. The barrel is rotationally molded from ultra-tough and BPA-free polyethylene, making it light and compact while also being quite a durable product.
The product’s resemblance to a wooden wine barrel, along with the high editability of polyethylene means that you can easily turn it into a decorative feat for your garden.
The barrel also comes equipped with a filter screen that keeps out bugs and garbage. You need to connect the barrel firmly to your house’s downspout, though, as the filter holes are very small and without a sealed connection; some of the water may run outward instead of inside the barrel.
Moreover, it also has a relatively low price compared to other products on the market.
- Light and pretty durable
- Flat-back design, helping you save space
- Decent Appearance
- 5 color options
- Weak spigot. You will need to prop the barrel up on a stand to have a hose connected.
- It requires sealed connection to a downspout for maximum effect.
What strikes my interest the most about the Kyoto Koolscape is its unique design. Even though the product has a natural stone look, it is made of UV-resistant plastic. It has a very high water capacity of 75 gallons. The barrel comes equipped with an overflow spout as well as a very wide opening, giving you more flexible options to position the barrel. You will need plenty of room, however, as the bulky design takes up a lot of space.
Instead of the user debris filter, this model is covered by a plastic lid with several holes. The lid is not very effective, though, as mosquitoes and other insects can still get in through the holes, nor does it adds to the overall appearance of an otherwise attractive product.
Another issue with the barrel’s accessories is the spigot. The product includes a low-quality spigot that can get clogged very easily, especially when the ineffectiveness of the lid comes into effect. You will need to get your hands on a separate spigot to be able to use this barrel, which is very questionable as the Koolscape is quite expensive compared to its counterparts.
- High capacity of 75 gallons
- Unique stone-like appearance
- Wide opening with an overflow spout
- Bulky, takes up a lot of space
- Low – quality filter and spigot
- Questionable price
What’s most special about the Enviro World Barrel is that its made from high-quality injection molding, creating a very durable and easy to clean or maintain the product. The barrel has the usual water capacity of 55 gallons. It has a square, flat-back design, which will fit easily into most of the space in your home.
It also comes equipped with four different spigot mounting locations, allowing for more versatile use. The design of the plastic lid on its top also helps to direct water to the center filter screen, so you don’t need to do much downspout customization with this one. For a product of such quality, the price is also very reasonable.
The only problem I had with the Enviro World Barrel is the spigot. Instead of the brass spigot advertised in the images, the product comes equipped with a plastic one, and it won’t take long for the spigot to be rendered unusable. You will have to, once again, get a separate spigot.
- Very durable
- Easy to clean and maintain
- Light, compact and effective flat-back design
- Comes equipped with a low-quality plastic spigot
- Not as attractive as some other products
Like the Good Idea model, this model is made of rotationally molded plastic, making it quite durable and free from cracks or fades. It has a unique appearance compared to other rain barrel models. With an elegant design of pottery-like shape and textures, the model will no doubt make a clear statement in your garden.
It also comes with a planter attachment to further increase the attractiveness. Unlike the previous products, the Cacasta also includes a high-quality brass spigot complete with a short hose that can easily be attached to the spigot. The product also has dual water-overflow feature and can easily be linked with another Algreen barrel for more capacity.
This product is not without its issues, however. The planter attachment doesn’t include drainage holes, making it a potential mosquitoes breeding ground. The product also gets dirty very easily, which can be quite a problem with the planter put to use. The price is also quite steep for a plastic barrel with a capacity of roughly 65 gallons.
- 3 color options
- Very attractive
- Includes high-quality spigot and hose
- Planter Attachment
- Dual overflow valves allow for easy excess water redirection
- Planter attachment is a potential breeding ground for mosquitoes
- Gets dirty easily
- Questionable price
The first thing you should notice about the Rain Harvest is that it has the highest capacity of all the models recommended, storing up to a hundred gallons of water. The barrel is made from stainless steel, making it extremely sturdy and the barrel can withstand all kinds of harsh weather without so much as a scratch.
It also contains many spigot installation spots to suit your needs. The barrel is considerably much larger than its competitors so that you will need plenty of space for the product. While the design is not at all attractive, the Rain Harvest does come with a whopping eight color options.
The strainer basket on top of the tank encounters the same problem with the plastic lid of the Koolscape: Mosquitoes and other insects can still get in, so that is something you should put into consideration. The price may seem a bit expensive at first, but considering the Rain Harvest’s capacity to be double those of its competitors, I think it is an acceptable one.
- High water capacity of 100 gallons
- Extremely durable
- Quite Customizable
- Not attractive
- Filter basket doesn’t prevent mosquitoes from getting in
When purchasing a rain barrel, I always try to find the most compact and efficient model that also comes with a reasonable price. That is why my top pick would be the Enviro World Corp. Rain Barrel.
Despite some drawbacks, the product is as good as a rain barrel can get, providing durable material combined with a sleek design, which helps you capture rainwater efficiently while still allowing for flexibility. If you want a more attractive model to decorate your garden, the Good Idea RW50-BLK Rain Wizard might just be the one for you.
Want to know more about supportive gardening equipment? Feel free to follow our posts for more gardening tricks and tips. For instance, you can take a look at our guide for the best lawn edger or the best pole saw for trimming trees and cutting undergrowth.