After a long winter, warmer weather is finally settling in. You can almost hear the music playing in your neighbor’s backyard, smell the burgers on the grill, and see your kids, fresh off snowball fight season, engaging in a soaking wet, full-fledged neighborhood water gun war. Of course, they can’t do that if you don’t make sure that they’re packing the necessary waterpower: the water blasters, super soakers, and water guns that will make them the kings of the neighborhood battle. You need to know the best water gun for your kid, and we have thoughts about which are worth the cash.
From recurve-bow-style guns that shoot both arrows and water streams to bike-based turrets and clip-based blasters, the latest and greatest aquatic weapons offer a wide range of soaking styles. They’re so fun your kids will want to use them all summer, so be prepared to confiscate them once the leaves turn brown.
For when you want to do your best Legolas or simply add a little extra flair to your aqua blasting, there's this bow-shaped Nerf-Super Soaker combo. Pulling back and releasing the trigger to shoots both streams of water and arrows (dunk the suckers in water to create a soggier projectile), both of which fly up to 30 feet.
Pros: Those chunky missiles come in a pair and are brightly colored so they’re less likely to get lost in the midst of water gun warfare. The shape of the weapon is also unique, and we mean that in a good way.
Cons: Soaking the darts takes some time, and this thing only holds 22 ounces of water so it may be better for shorter rounds than epic water wars.
Consider this a modern-day upgrade to the pressurized guns of your youth. Yeah, it has the same shell, but nice upgrades abound: there's a pressure gauge on the front so you know when it's fully ready to fire streams up to 40 feet; its nozzle is adjustable, giving you three different spray styles with a simple twist.
Pros: This blaster can hit targets up to 40 feet away, so your kids can get the neighbor kids from the treehouse in the backyard. It has a two tank system with a solid 74 ounces of total capacity. The angle meter shows how much pressure your kid has built up, with different colors of short, moderate, green, and maximum distance. The cap is attached to the tank so your kid won’t lose it.
Cons: A two-feet long gun that holds over half a gallon of water might be unwieldy for smaller kids (or those with lower than average upper body strength).
Water shootouts are way more fun when they’re of the drive-by variety. This turret mounts to your kid's handlebars and oscillates 180 degrees to for maximum soakage. Controls sit near the rider's thumb — bike chime-style — so kids can fire blasts and still steer themselves away from any retaliation.
Pros: This thing is just a great idea. It’s a unique item that turns your kids bike into a mobile water-blasting machine. It’s battery-powered so your kid can focus on pedaling and firing, not pumping.
Cons: The tank is on the small side, so your kid may want to make sure the water bottle on their bike frame is full for easy refills on the go. You also might want to talk to your kid about protecting their bike chain from the water, as it seems likely that the entire bike gets soaked if it’s part of water warfare.
Perhaps long-range warfare is more your — or your kids' — style? This launcher is engineered to swaddle and then fire plump water balloons. It comes standard with 50 balloons, which should be enough to at least start a pretty epic battle.
Pros: It’s a lightweight (1.18 pounds) launcher that makes it easy to fire water balloons without throwing out a shoulder. It comes with a special nozzle that attaches to your hose and makes filling balloons easy.
Cons: Water balloons mean tiny pieces of rubber all over the battlefied, so be careful where your kids use these.and
Pros: This blaster can shoot water over 30 feet with a single pump. The twin tanks hold a full liter of water, so your kids can have longer battles with their friends in between refills.
Cons: The branding on this thing is space-themed, which is kind of bizarre. There’s an option that moves the nozzles 45 degrees in each direction when you shoot, but we’re not exactly sure how that’s a useful feature.
Unlike pretty much every other water gun on the planet, the Mizumi actually comes with a built-in defense made to deflect oncoming aquatic fire. The fist-shaped water shooter is no slouch on the offensive either with firing streams that reach up to 30 feet away.
Pros: The shield is pretty cool, and your kids will love going in for a point-blank shot knowing that their enemies can get to them.
Cons: With only a .4 liter tank, don’t expect to use this blaster for an extended period of time.
It's name sounds kind of dangerous, but it refers to the fact that this blaster is powered by electricity (not that it will electrify your kid or their opponents. It's a compact blaster with remarkable stamina that makes it unique among the guns on this list.
Pros: The battery-powered pump can fire a single stream for up to 15 seconds, so your kid won’t have an issue completely soaking their opponent. It also fires a repsectable 25 feet, no pumping required.
Cons: It uses four AA batteries, which is kind of a lot. There’s also the small size, which some kids won’t like despite the portability it offers.
This sturdy, purple and orange pump-action water gun is nice and slender, and it weighs less than a pound, so it's super portable. If you find yourself needing extra capacity it can easily be expanded to at least two liters thanks to a clever design that lets you attach a soda bottle full of water.
Pros: You can attach empty bottles, a convenient and inexpensive way to add serious capacity to this weapon. And as long as it has a standard-width opening you can attach a bottle of any size, so you could even put a variety of bottles, prefilled with water, in the garage to serve as a sort of armory for the most epic water gun battles your neighborhood has ever seen.
Cons: Soda bottles add a ton of capacity, but they also make for a damn heavy blaster. But without the bottle attached, this thing doesn’t hold enough for more than a few quality squirts.
These water launchers are fantastic if you or a generous neighbor has a pool. Instead of a tank that's designed to be filled with a hose or sink, these longer weapons just need to be submerged and extended to suck up water.
Pros: Operation couldn’t be easier — extend to load, compress to unload — and kids will have a lot of control over how much water they fire and how far it goes, up to 70 feet if they really go for it.. Loading takes almost no time at all, and if your kids are going to be in the pool anyways we can’t recommend this gun enough.
Cons: Of course, if your kids don’t have access to water they can easily submerge this thing is there isn’t much point, as it’s nearly impossible to fully load it without submersion (i.e. like a traditional water gun). And if you find yourself on a beach trip, be careful: if your kids suck any rocks or sand into this thing it can sustain permanent damage.
The big feature here is the clip system. Instead of an unattachable tank that requires kids to bring the whole gun in to be refilled, the Shotwave uses removable clips that hold 10 ounces of water each.
Pros: There’s a belt clip included that lets your kids walk around with their next water clip ready at a moment’s notice. The reloading process is fast, and a few pumps on the oversized handle is all you need to fire this blaster, which has a range of about 25 feet.
Cons: Each clip only holds 10 ounces, so you’ll probably need to invest in more for longer battles that really take advantage of the system.
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