Collapsible fabric (Onion, Bladder, Pillow)

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Pillow bladder to hold water. Photo: ATL.

There are numerous brands of portable water tanks that include different shapes, as well. A bladder or pillow tank is square or rectangular-shaped and lies flat on the ground, then rises to look like a "bed pillow" with added water. An onion tank looks like a flexible cup full of water with the top of the tank showing water exposed.

Below are a few commercial tanks to choose from, although note that there are many, many brands available as these are just a few. Below these commercial tanks is information on onion tanks.

Aero Tec Laboratories

For over 40 years, Aero Tec Laboratories has produced a wide variety of collapsible fabric tanks, also known as Flex-Tanks™ and Pillow Bladders. These reinforced rubber tanks hold fuels, chemicals, dielectric oil, gases, water, effluents and slurries. Capacities from 25 gallons (100 liters) to 100,000 gallons (400,000 liters) are available in both industrial and defense specification. Whether it be the scorching temperatures of the desert or the bone-chill of the arctic, ATL Flex-Tanks withstand most any environmental extreme.

Flex-Tanks by ATL are in use worldwide for disaster relief, homeland security, emergency response, power utilities, remote work camps, exploration and mining facilities, farms, hotels and resorts, hospitals, refineries, chemical plants, water works, harbors, concerts and sporting events, construction sites, spill clean-up locations and many U.S. and foreign defense installations. Flex-Tanks are also perfect for storage of temporary municipal water in case of a wide spread emergency. Flex-Tanks can be used for containment of DECON wash-down fluids, and as a component of mobile HazMat trailers.

Replacement parts: Water tanks, bladder. ICRC.

Replacement parts: Water tanks, onion. ICRC.

Water transport tank, bladder: Tank. ICRC.

Repair kit, for flexible water tank: Repair kit. ICRC.

To inquire or purchase

To browse or purchase a bladder(s): Aero Tec Laboratories


The Flexxotank pillow tank is used for water storage. Photo: Flexxosolutions.
The Flexxotank pillow tank is strong and comes in many sizes. Photo: Flexxosolutions.

The Flexxotank is a high quality flexible storage tank of the pillow type, which can be used for storage of almost every liquid.

Based on the technical specification of your liquid and it's chemical activity we design the Flexxotank with the optimum foil, either a PVC, TPU or otherwise coated fabric. Our engineers design and calculate by use of modern 3D-CFD computertechniques your optimum storage solution.

The Flexxotank can be used as a temporary or permanent solution for your storage problem. A Flexxotank can be put on the ground without any special measures and doesn't need support on the sidewalls.

Benefits of Flexxotank:

  • Suitable for most liquids, from (drinking) water to oil or fuel.
  • No assembly required, just unpack and ready-for-use.
  • Can be equipped with numerous different types of connections.
  • By use of gamma radiation the tank can be made 100% sterile for drinking water storage.
  • Available in sizes of 1 till 2000 m3. Other dimensions on request.

To inquire or purchase

Flexxolutions BV
Faradayweg 4
7591 HD Denekamp

T: +31 (0)541 760400
F: +31 (0)541 760499

Onion tanks

An onion tank. Photo: Seventh Framework Programme

Flexible, self-supporting tank intended for the storage, chlorination and distribution of drinking water, as well as for the treatment of turbid water by (assisted) sedimentation.

Advantages Disadvantages
Can be used for all water treatment processes, easy to set up transport and pack.
Durability, cost, fragile. Can easily role over if not on truly leveled ground. Children love them!

Number Source Volume
(water storage/ packaging)
Weight Price Plugs and openings Liner + additional info.
2a MSF 30 m³/ 1993.98 dm³ 242.5 kg €4017.16 2 gate valves 3", 4 Guill. + lock Resistant PVC, thickness unknown

Top sheet with float and elastic straps

2b OXFAM 30 m³/ 1.298 m3 173 kg approx. €2100
3" BSP UV resistant, food grade
PVC coated polyester fabric (minimum 1100 g/m2)

All seams to be either heat or high frequency welded.

2c IFRC Available in 5, 10 and 20 m3. Example given for 10 m3/ 1,05m³ 115kg approx. €2.700
2 x 2″ BSP threaded outlet (ICRC standard)

2 x 3″ BSP threaded outlet (Federation ERU standard)

Heavy-duty, drinking-water quality, PVC-coated polyester. Includes PVC cover with attachment hasps and ropes

Other water tank links

  • International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies (ICRC) - water tanks available: Emergency items catalog