Harvesting rain water is an excellent way to save money and help the environment by conserving water. Rain water is an excellent source of healthy water for your lawn and garden as it is devoid of chemicals and minerals. There are many rain water harvesting solutions out there. Not all of them look attractive. We’ve found the best rain barrels out there that are going to look great next to your house.
Fiskars Salsa II Rain Barrel
Many rain barrels have an overflow hose to divert water when the barrel is full. The last thing you want is for that water to end up around your foundation or in your basement. The Fiskars Salsa II Rain Barrel system come with a Diverter Pro that works with your existing downspout. Rain flows into the barrel from a hose connected to the downspout. When the barrel is full the back pressure in the hose redirects water back to the downspout and continues to flow away from your house. The Diverter Pro comes in two sizes and work with standard downspouts. The diverter also comes with a filter to prevent debris from clogging the hose and a window to check if the filter needs to be cleaned.
You could also add a second rain barrel to the first using an add-on Rain Barrel Connector Kit. The connector kit allows the second barrel to fill up when the first is full rather than diverting back to the downspout.
The rain barrel is made from UV-treated, recyclable polyethylene and is aesthetically pleasing. It has a functional design with a flat back so it sits flush with your house. UV-protection ensures the plastic will not fade or crack in the sun and is made to withstand the elements. Along with the Diverter Pro it comes with a spigot, overflow hose and snap-on cover. The barrel measures 24 inches wide, 26.3 inches deep, and 39.5 inches tall, weighs 20 pounds, and can hold 58 gallons of water.
Algreen Rain Barrels
Algreen has two different stylish rain barrels with two different capacities. The Athena in Terracotta or Brownstone hold 80 gallons. The EcoCascata in Terracotta holds 65 gallons.
Both are very beautiful barrels. The neat thing about these barrels is the planter on top. The front part of the top can be used as a planter for annuals. The back part of the planter is open so the downspout can pour into it. The opening is covered with a mesh screen to prevent debris from flowing into your barrel.
All barrels comes with a brass spigot. The barrel also comes with two overflow valves to help water escape when the barrel is full. You can also connect multiple barrels using these valves. Or if you only want one barrel use one valve to connect to your downspout and the other as your overflow. You may connect to a downspout using the Algreen Deluxe Diverter kit, which is not included.
The spigot is placed high enough on the barrel so you may place a watering can underneath to retrieve water. If the water from the spigot is not flowing fast enough for you consider installing an Algreen Rain Barrel Pump Kit for pressurized water. The pump is submerged in the water and connected to a hose which is run through the top of the barrel. The pump can be used with a single barrel or multiple, connected barrels. Pump is not included.
The barrels looks as if they are made of ceramic, but they are made of durable, roto molded plastic. The plastic is weather resistant and won’t chip, fade, or crack. It is able to withstand harsh temperature changes. The Athena barrel measures 24 inches wide, 24 inches deep, and 49 inches high. It weighs 18 pounds. The EcoCascata measures 23 inches deep, 23 inches wide, and 47 inches tall. It weighs 16 pounds.
Graf Rain Barrels
The Graf rain barrels sold by Exaco Trading Company are high quality plastic barrels and offer many different styles to suit your needs. If you need a large capacity rain barrel these are the ones to look at. The plastic used is UV-protected to prevent fading, chips, or cracks and will last for many years. All Graf barrels come with a Universal Downspout Connection Kit with drill bit so you won’t need any extra tools when assembling. The kit connects the rain barrel to your existing downspout with a hose. Once the barrel is full the rain will continue down the downspout rather than into the barrel and overflowing. The top of the barrel remains closed to prevent insects and algae from thriving.
Woody Wall or Slatted Tank
There are two tank options, the Woody Wall or Slated Tank. The tanks have a pleasing wood-like appearance, but are made of high quality plastic. The tank will match any décor or style in your yard. Both tanks have a capacity of 92 gallons. They are both closed systems with no inner bladder necessary. It doesn’t even open. The tanks come with a brass spigot at the bottom with enough room for a watering can. The tank measure 40 inches wide, 16 inches deep, and 49 inches tall; it weighs 88 pounds when empty.
High Gloss Elegance Rain Barrel
The High Gloss Elegance Rain Barrel is a handsome water tank as well as a decorative planter. If you don’t like the look of traditional rain barrels, this is the one for you. With the elegant planter on top you don’t even know it is a rain barrel. The top of the tank snaps in place and is childproof in that it must be turned counter clockwise to remove. The lid is topped with a planter that is seven inches deep. This barrel comes with a stylish chrome spigot. The barrel is unique in that it is winter proof and may be left out in extreme conditions. Be sure to leave the tap open. The barrel measures 25 inches wide, 25 inches deep, and 38 inches high. It weighs 33 pounds and holds 92 gallons.
Roman Rain Barrel
The Roman Rain Barrel is another barrel from Graf with a unique and classy design. The barrel is designed to look like a terracotta vase and although it is made from high-quality plastic the surface of the barrel is made to look and feel like rough terracotta stone. It will look excellent in your backyard. The top of the barrel also includes a cup on the top to be used as an optional planter. The barrel measures 31 inches deep, 35 inches wide, and 47 inches tall and holds 95 gallons of water.
Earth Minded Rain Station
If you are in need of a rain barrel with a smaller capacity consider the Earth Minded Rain Station Barrel that holds 45 gallons. It is a small and convenient size for patios, decks, or balconies. The neat thing about the Earth Minded barrel is that it is made from 85% food-grade, recycled plastic and is very durable. The top of the barrel snaps on and can be reversed to be used as a planter.
The barrel is connected to your selected downspout using the Flexifit diverter and hose. The diverter uses gravity to redirect the flow of water back to the downspout when the barrel is full. This is to prevent the barrel from overflowing and flooding your basement or foundation.
Another great feature of the Rain Station is that it includes a bottom drain as well as a spigot. A garden hose or soaker hose can easily be connected to the drain or spigot. The bottom drain is handy when the water level is lower than the spigot. To achieve water flow through the hose by gravity the barrel must be higher than the area being watered.
The Rain Station measures 23.3 inches wide, 23.3 inches deep, and 31.8 inches high. It weighs 11.3 pounds.
Good Ideas Rain Wizard
Another barrel with a smaller capacity is the Rain Wizard Urn by Good Ideas. It is made of thick, durable plastic resin made to hold up to extreme weather with an exterior look of terracotta. It is shaped like an urn and will compliment your landscaping nicely. The back of the barrel is flat to lie flat against your house and reduce the barrel’s footprint. This is a nice feature; it doesn’t take up as much room so it doesn’t feel like it’s in the way.
The top of the barrel features an opening covered by a mesh screen that the downspout pours directly in. There is no overflow valve instead there is a channel built into the rim of the top so when the barrel is full water flows in the channel to the front of the barrel and away from your house. The top of the barrel may be used as a planter. This planter is unique in that it is self-draining and also takes excess water from the barrel to water the plants.
There are two brass spigots on the barrel. One is located at the bottom and one is on the side. The spigot on the bottom is a little close to the ground so an added stand will be need to fit a watering can under the bottom spigot. The spigot on the side can be used to control overflow or to link a second barrel. The barrel measures 23 inches wide, 22 inches deep, and 30 inches tall. It is 24 pounds and holds 50 gallons.
Adding a rain barrel to your yard is an easy way to help the environment, save water, and provide your garden with the best water available. By selecting a decorative rain barrel you can easily do this without sacrificing the outer look of your house.
Kenda is co-founder of Backyardville and a homeschool mom who has a passion for learning along with her kids. This passion extends to the outdoors where she enjoys growing food to feed her family, creating habitats to attract wildlife, and finding ways to nurture and sustain the Earth. With a Bachelor’s degree in Materials Science and Engineering from Iowa State University, Kenda uses her education and personal experiences to write and share knowledge with others. Her continuous desire for learning is evident in her blogs and the information she shares. Kenda resides in Des Moines with her husband and two sons.