The winter season is a great time to buy one of the best water guns on the market as makers and retailers, funnily enough, struggle to shift stock in the colder months. And that leads to discounted price points and plenty of Super Soaker bargains.
Grab a great water pistol now and then, come the warmer months of the year, you'll be set to wreak watery carnage upon your friends and family.
Water blasters are also great birthday gifts, too, so it really does make sense to shop while prices are low.
T3's water gun expert, Robert Jones, has got more soakings than he likes to remember from his offspring in pursuit of finding out what truly is the best water gun on the market, and right here he guides you through the best options.
We've picked something for everyone – from the low-budget pistols to the top-of-the-range blasters that are sure to give you the upper hand in any stand-off.
However, if the thought of being outdoors and getting wet doesn’t really appeal to you, why not battle it out indoors instead with the best Nerf guns. Or if action isn’t your thing, then the best board games or the best Lego sets might be more up your street.
What's the best water gun for adults?
Unlike the pump-action varieties of water blaster suitable for kids, adults need more serious H2O-spewing firepower.
The best water gun for adults is the SpyraTwo water gun, which is capable of firing water bullets up to 50 feet. You can check out the SpyraTwo in T3's best water gun buying guide.
Best water guns and Super Soakers 2023: the list
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Sending a steady stream of water up to a satisfactory eight metres or so, this blaster should form the basis of your aqua unleashing arsenal. The pump action gets the flow in motion and with a generous two-litre capacity, targets will get wetter than the average washing machine rinse cycle.
This Super Soaker is also the ideal and highly entertaining method of deterring un-wanted critters from your back garden. No, we’re not referring to BBQ guests. The only downside really is that you might want something smaller for younger kids, and the cap that seals it is quite stiff (which means no leaks, at least). Read more in our full, five-star Super Soaker Floodinator review (opens in new tab).
Water fights tend to be more fun with a second participant, so this two-pack makes it more economical to pick up multiple guns at once for a big spraying battle. They should be small enough for most kids to handle, as long as no one minds have unbranded guns instead of 'cool' Super Soakers.
The pistols here themselves are standard pump-action stuff, with a water capacity of 739ml (not bad for the size), and a promised reach of around 36 feet, which is a long way. As starter water gun packs go, it's perfect – as our full JOYIN 2 Pack Water Pistol review (opens in new tab) will tell you.
Bring Fortnite from the screen to outside! It's a pretty solid design in general, even beyond the branding – it offers a full litre of water to spray through pump action, reaching around 10 feet/3 metres.
This makes it all a bit less extreme than the Floodinator above, which may be very welcome news to parents. Less water is easier for kids to handle as well – this is generally a great middle ground between water pistols and bigger, beefier spraying options.
After a casual “would you like ice with that” comment from the host of the annual Super Soaker creative team’s BBQ, one attendee still had his work hat on. Within weeks the Freezefire was created, an oversized filler cap in which to stick cubes of ice and the ability to send a shivery stream during water gun wars. It’s a tidy little Super Soaker, and one small enough to conceal into a surprise soaking session. It is the most likely to be turned into a receptacle containing sangria, mind.
As much as we love big water pistols, sometimes the trick to winning a water fight is to have something so small that If your opponents notice it at all, they dismiss it as a little toy. That's when you blast them. This little and eminently affordable Super Soaker packs an impressive punch: it can shoot water up to 33 feet, enabling you to soak your target from a good distance. The combination of long range and the element of surprise means you can usually shoot and get away again before the other person has even had time to react.
The downside to a small, stealthy super soaker is capacity: this little pistol can only hold about 10 fluid ounces, which is just short of 300ml. On the upside the filling hole on the reservoir is nice and wide so you can refill it with a quick dunk into a bucket of water or a few seconds under a running tap.
Look familiar? The original Super Soaker is back, baby! In a slightly tweaked new form, but still with that all-important green removable bottle. This is also a water gun that doesn't just rely on pumping – you pump to prime it, and then pull the trigger to actually fire, which is more convenient than pumping alone.
It promises decent spraying power, and the capacity of 1.2l is good – plus it's not too large for most kids. There is a bit of a leak issue, but maybe you won't mind that – our full Super Soaker XP100 review (opens in new tab) explains it all.
If soaking your opponent isn't enough for you, then you should consider the Super Soaker DartFire, which not only can fire jets of water at your foes but Nerf darts, too. You don't get a lot of darts to fire (just 5 in fact), however you can switch modes on the fly and once your opponent is thoroughly wet through, you can finish them off with a foamy coup de grâce.
Some good value here for those who are buying for multiple kids. The Super Squirt Guns Water Soaker 2 Pack delivers two H2O cannons that can fire 10 metres. The water guns are fed by bottle-shaped reservoirs, that can be quickly filled at a tap and then slotted in the back of the blaster. The reservoir isn't the biggest on the market but still a quite sizeable 750ml, meaning you'll be able to get some serious drenching in before needing to refill.
If you're more of a big kid and want, officially, the world's most powerful water gun then you need to buy a SpyraTwo.
This water blaster comes in two colourways, blue and red, and features a state-of-the-art battery powered firing mechanism and maximum range of 50 feet. This means all you have to do is pull the trigger to send a stream of water flying out of the gun.
And, what's even better is that per water charge the SpyraTwo can fire 100 water rounds before needing a recharge.
But then, when you do need to recharge, you can do it in just 10 seconds thanks to this water gun coming with an ingenious and super-fast recharging system.
This is a seriously next-level water gun.
Best water gun: bonus water balloons!
If you’ve attempted filling regular balloons with water in the past then you’re already halfway to hitting the buy button. Whilst the satisfaction of hearing the drop of a normal latex water filled sphere is satisfying enough, the process of loading it is tedious. Step up Bunch o Balloons, three bunches in each pack, complete with attachment for hose attaching. Just turn on the tap and watch them fill up, get all 105 done in under a minute. This replenishing speed means you can now rely on them as part of your strategic water warfare arsenal. Time to darken the skies and rain down on your recipients with your H20-infused spheres of watery doom.
How we test water guns
T3 tests water guns by buying them from retailers, filling them with water, and then shooting our friends and family with jets of H2O.
During testing we rate Super Soakers and other water-spewing weaponry on build quality, water capacity, features and range, which we feel are the most important elements to a good water gun.
We're looking especially to see if manufacturer claims prove accurate in the real world, so if a product is advertised on its ability to fire water jets far, but in reality they go just a few meters, we'll tell you.
Each year during the summer T3 also has a big water gun battle royale, where the team lock and load before engaging in watery combat.