Storing water is a very tricky thing to do. Shelf life is the biggest challenge. You can store water in large barrels, smaller 5 gallon containers and even with bottled water. Each method has different challenges, advantages and shelf life issues. Water that is stored by you out of the tap should be rotated annually. Bottled water purchased at your local retailer has about a 2 year shelf life. I recommend that you have some bottled water in your home if you are using it on a daily basis. Your price per ounce for bottled water is relatively inexpensive.
But the biggest problem with storing water is that people do not rotate the water as often as they need to. So when it comes time to use it, the water is not safe to drink and needs to be treated or filtered. Therefore, finding stored water that has an extended shelf life becomes very important for your emergency supplies. There are two options that I really like for portable, water storage. They are pouched water and boxed water. Both packaging options have a 5 year shelf life and are an excellent choice for portable, easy to store and carry water. I do not recommend pouched water for bulk water storage as your price per ounce becomes very expensive.
Let me give you a quick comparison of the water pouches and boxed water. Both taste great and don’t have any kind of aftertaste. Like I said both have a 5 year shelf life, which is far better than other water storage methods. So the difference boils down to packaging.
The Datrex water pouches are come in a 4.2 ounce foil pouch. These pouches were originally designed for use on lifeboats. 4.2 ounces is the recommended amount of water to drink with each meal during an emergency according the American Red Cross, so the portion is the right amount. The pouches are extremely durable and can take up to 600 psi before bursting. They can be frozen without bursting which allows them to be used for first-aid purposes. The shelf life is not affected by temperature and so they can withstand a large amount of temperature fluctuation. The pouches are about 6”x4” and are about ½” inch thick. Their biggest drawback is that after they are opened, you need to drink the whole amount. Normally, with 4.2 ounces that is not a big deal, but it might be with smaller children. There is a tare notch at the top of each pouch to make the easy to open.
AquaBlox is the boxed water brand and the small box contains 8.5 ounces of water. Think of juice box full of water instead of juice. Each box comes with its own straw attached. The box is 4” x 2 ½” x 1 ½” inches in size. AquaBlox shares all the same attributes as the Datrex water pouches except that it comes in this small box. The two biggest drawbacks with the boxed water is durability and portion size. Like most juice boxes, boxed water can crush easily. So if it is in a 72 hour emergency survival kit with other supplies it can get crushed and leak. The portion size is a plus and a minus. It is more water than you would need at one meal, but is also more water than what comes in the Datrex water pouch. The advantages are that they come in an easy use box with a straw and are very simple to use for children. AquaBlox work very well in institutional settings like a school where children will be using the product.
Food Storage 101 - Where Do I Begin?