Buying a Water Gun in 2021 – A Helpful Guide

Unless you’re one of those wimps who refuse to live in a place with discernible seasons, warm weather is just around the corner, and you’ll soon be spending as long as possible outdoors. That means pool parties, cookouts, pickup games and…water guns?

Super Soakers Fun for Any Age Shooter

I realize that H20 cannons are generally marketed to boys aged 6-14 (approximately) as a safe way to blast the hell out of their friends. Older kids who retain the desire to commit harmless violence against their peers generally will be ready to step up to paintball or airsoft guns. But is it possible you never outgrew them? Of course! Ain’t nothing wrong with packing a nostalgic toy along to the beach or the lake, because they’re still fun. And cheap.

How Much Does a Water Gun Cost?

While you may have begged mom and dad for an $100 Nerf Super Soaker Bazooka 9500 complete with a two-gallon reservoir and under-barrel pump-action shotgun attachment, you can find a water handgun that costs even less than $10. But if you want to splash around some cash to buy the Super Soaker you inner kid’s heart always desired, Nerf is still making the Cadillacs of the segment, complete with those crazy monikers that sound like Star Wars weapons.

Not Just for Kids – Adult Uses

Again, I maintain that squirt guns can be fun at any age. But there are some alternative “adult” uses (get your mind out of the gutter) that I’ve come up with:

  • 1. Varmint repellant: Seriously! This one comes from many customers who use water guns to deter rabbits, squirrels, and other critters that are wreaking havoc on bird feeders, gardens, etc. Water guns work well as non-lethal alternatives to pellet guns.
  • 2. Drink delivery apparatus: Fill her up with a spirit or strong cocktail and let her rip right into the mouth of your bro or romantic hopeful at a pool party.
  • 3. Lube: In case your mind did go to the gutter. No need to explain. If you know, you know, you hedonistic scoundrel.

We’ve rounded up six affordable water guns that carry a 4.0-star or better rating on Amazon based on hundreds of customer reviews. Blast away!

Hitop 600CC Water Guns (Two-Pack)

Hitop 600CC Water Guns (Two-Pack)

4.1-star average out of 332 ratings.

This is your run-of-the-mill water pistol. Nothing fancy—pump to shoot a stream of water up to 27 feet. A relatively low capacity of 600cc (about 20 ounces) makes the Hitop best-suited to use in-or-around a body of water. And you can get two for less than $20.

Amazon reviewer FrodinCo. writes, “My son loves water guns but most guns are too difficult for him to squirt. He is 5 years old. These guns are great! They have a wide spout to fill the water tank. It’s light weight and you pump it to squirt which is so much easier for my son to handle. They squirt super far too which is great for across the yard play. Lots of fun for Dad and boy to play with.”

Nerf Supersoaker Hydra

Nerf Supersoaker Hydra

4.6-star average out of 503 ratings

With 74 percent of over 500 users giving the Super Soaker Hydra 5 stars, this is tied for highest-rated option on he list. This nearly two-pound beast packs 65 ounces (nearly 2 liters) of liquid firepower with every fill. In fact, it’s so large, don’t consider for children under the age of 12. It also boasts a relatively mean aesthetic and a beloved brand name.

Reviewer Ryan writes, “This gun is LARGE. It’s not particularly large for a man my size, but in the hands of a child the full weight of this product may be too much. The plus size is that it does hold a good amount of water. There are a number of negatives, though. First, since it’s not a pressurized reservoir, there is a pressure release hole at the top of the filling cap. This means water can and will leak out of it if not held upright. The size/length of the gun also makes it hard to fill in an ordinary sink. A hose wouldn’t be a problem, but most kitchen sinks wouldn’t accommodate it.”

“So the important things I wanted were: Range, capacity, ease of use. There was no listed range on the product page, but I tested it out and would say I can shoot roughly 20 feet, up to 25 feet with a high arc and a strong pull. Pulling back on the pump mechanism isn’t hard, and doesn’t really affect the ability to aim. Last is capacity. This one is tricky. It DOES have a large reservoir. The other water guns I bought grossly exaggerated how much they could hold, but one seems to be roughly accurate. The issue is that this water gun literally DRENCHES when it’s used. Do you want to absolutely drench someone? Then this is for you.”

This savage actually made a substantial modification and edited his original review: “It’s fairly easy to disassemble this item, as most of it is held together with screws (the reservoir half is welded). I wound up taking it apart and attaching an external hose on to the internal hose/water inlet. Then I secured the hose to a 10 Liter dromedary bag. It effectively increases the capacity from 1.9L to 10L.”

Nerf Super Soaker Soakzooka

Nerf Super Soaker Soakzooka

4.5-star average out of 2,239 ratings

With a 55-ounce tank, top-carry design, and a more compact package, the Soakzooka allows for younger users of a smaller size to operate without a hitch—Nerf recommends ages 7 and up.

Buyer D. Black came up with a very creative use for the Soakzooka, though we’d take it with a grain of salt.
“I purchased it to deal with the missus – who has a wee drink of an evening and falls asleep in front of the TV – and, unfortunately, snores loudly – – – very irritating as I have a tracheostomy and cant shout at her to wake-up. This God-send has changed my life – I point it at her and let go with a generous blast of water (cold). THAT does the trick! (quite fun too). However, she says she no longer loves me. I suspect there are a few wives out there with a similar problem – THIS, ladies, is your answer!”

Nerf Super Soaker Thunderstorm

Nerf Super Soaker Thunderstorm

4.2-star average out of 476 ratings

Perhaps the highest-tech entry on the list, the Thunderstorm doesn’t require any hand-cranking to operate. Instead, a motorized pump that runs on AA batteries squirts for 50 seconds at up to 25 feet from a 10-ounce detachable magazine—a separately sold drum mag ups the capacity to 37 ounces. Though very compact, the addition of a motor means it tips the scales at a whopping 10 pounds.

Amazon reviewer Anne Eaton writes, “This is a really good water gun, and we’ll worth the price. We love it at my house, we bought two. It shoots about 15 feet, 25 if you aim up and let the stream “fall” down on your opponent. The clip size is pretty good, it runs out at about 50 seconds of nonstop fire. If you are a hardcore water gun fighter, then you might want to buy extra clips, but you can have a fun water fight with just one. The gun doesn’t leak at all, and can take a beating. The batteries last for about 3 months of weekly water fights (2 AA). My only complaint is that there is no stock. There’s a place where you can attach one, but the stock itself isn’t included. BTW the gun is trigger action, so it’s good for toddlers who have trouble with pump ones.”

JoinJoy Water Gun

JoinJoy Water Gun

4.1-star average based on 913 ratings.

A sub-$10 water gun with a solid Amazon rating and a large 62.7-ounce capacity does exist. It’s simple—pump the action to shoot at up to what the company (somewhat dubiously) claims 32 feet. Though the reviews are great, you’re only out the cost of a pack of smokes if it breaks.

Rachel W. writes, “Absolutely brilliant purchase for my little one. She loves this water gun. It is great and safe for her to play in the backyard. The quality is good. Easy to set up. Holds a lot of water and shoots far away. So glad I got it during this quarantine time.”

Gel Blaster Surge

Gel Blaster Surge

4.6-star average out of 216 ratings

The Surge is nothing short of an innovation for water guns, but you’ll pay a premium to buy it even at a discounted price of $59.99. It’s like a paintball gun minus the “pain,” except it electronically fires proprietary projectiles dubbed “Gellets” that need to be soaked in water before use. What’s most noteworthy is the range and velocity: 100 feet at 150 feet per second. No other water gun comes close. The hopper holds 800 Gellets per load, and the pistol is recharged via a USB C cable. Included in the package is a Gel Blaster SURGE, two hoppers, 2 feednecks, USB C charging cable, safety glasses, 5,000 rounds of orange Gellets, 5,000 rounds of blue Gellets, and an instruction sheet with a paper target.

JKal writes, “This product is a godsend! It’s all the fun of paintball, water guns, airsoft riles and nerf…but optimized to give you the best of each! What an incredible concept and design. The cleanup is a non-factor unless you play in your house and then it’s minimal and easy…yes, YOU CAN PLAY IN YOUR HOUSE!!! The impact is just enough to let you know you got hit but doesn’t hurt a lick. And it’s more powerful than a nerf gun, so you can actually get lit up and feel it (but again, without any bruises, welts or the like).”

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