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Gift Buying Guide for 7-13 year old boys: Nerf Water Gun review

Updated on May 18, 2017
VirginiaLynne profile image

VirginiaLynne is a mother of five. She writes about parenting, crafts and games for children, family fun, and Christian ministry ideas.

Get Wet, Have Fun!

In our neighborhood, water guns have gone big time. Eager to get our kids outside in the summer, parents have gladly bought lots of the latest models so that the children can have water gun wars.

Dividing up into teams, the kids run all over our yard, and even up and down the neighborhood in games that last for hours as they duck behind bushes, shoot the opponents and then run to fill their guns.

Our Favorite is Still Available on Amazon

Money Well Invested

These water gun fights give everyone a chance to cool down in the afternoon heat and offer a chance to compete in real life rather than a video game. Since pressure water guns can shoot a long distance, even my little seven years old can compete with her 13-year-old brother Brendan and his friends. In fact, because she is so short and can hide better than anyone else, she is actually a sought-after member of the team.

I love the fact that fun games like water gun wars allow both boys and girls and kids of all ages to play together. It has been well worth the investment to get a compressed air water gun for each of my kids and a couple of extras for friends.

However, compressed water guns are not just for kids! My husband likes to join the action and even high school and college age kids like to use them to cool off. In fact, the Nerf ad uses college age guys in their video advertisement.

Great Gifts for a Birthday


Super Soaker Review

What makes these new compressed air water guns special? Unlike the old-fashioned squirt guns we used that you had to fill by immersing in water or slowly water in a small hole, these new guns allow you to attach directly to a hose or pull up water from the tank. Some of them even offer:

  • re-fill tanks
  • pump-load handles
  • rapid fire action
  • high-capacity water tanks
  • long range shooting

Our Recommendation

You can still buy those old-fashioned clear plastic water pistols for a buck or two, but after seeing the new compressed air water guns, most kids don't want to turn back. However, high powered water guns are more than a buck or two and many of them claim to have the same features.

So which is the best water gun on the market right now? Does more money equal a better gun? Not necessarily.

  • All of the Nerf Super Soaker guns work great. And the Nerf brand tends to make guns that last longer. Especially with water guns, that is important because these tend to get a lot of hard play.
  • All of the Nerf guns have some special features kids like but the Soaker Wars Bottle Blitz and Thunderstorm stand out.
  • The Bottle Blitz is great because it lets you attach any ordinary soda bottle to fill it up. You can have a whole ammunition pile of water bottles ready for the battle!
  • However, for real power shooting, the best compressed water guns are the automatics, which use cartridges and battery powered shooting rather than pump-pull action.

Still the Best 2017 Gift Idea

My son Brendan and his friends are now in college. They still like to have fun with water wars. They have tried out the new models and compared them to some of the ones they used before. His conclusion? For the best water gun on the market right now, buy the Thunderstorm. Why is it the best?

  1. Clips for storing water make it faster to change out than other guns.
  2. Automatic shooting means you don't have to pump.
  3. No pumping means faster shooting.
  4. Long range shooting of 20 to 30 feet.
  5. Smaller size means it can be used even by younger kids.

The Thunderstorm has unfortunately been discontinued by the manufacturer but is still available on Amazon. It is not the most expensive water gun on the market, but it offers the best playing experience. At around $15.00, it makes a great birthday present for friends or a beginning of the summer investment for keeping the kids or grandkids outside and exercising. For a close-up look at how this gun compares to the competition, check out my son Brendan's video above!

A Dad's Opinion

Extra Features

One feature that isn't advertised is that any of the guns that don't have an automatic feature (batteries) can have their bottom part taken off so that the tube which takes in water is exposed. That way, they can be used at the pool by sticking the tube into the water and shooting away.

I'm looking forward to the water wars in my neighborhood this summer. In fact, I'm thinking about hiding an extra under my sink so I can join in the fun too!


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    • profile image


      5 years ago

      Nerf guns are reallt popular, my 10yr old loves them, he doesn't have the water gun but it looks fun.

    • VirginiaLynne profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Kearney 

      6 years ago from United States

      Thanks J.S. You are absolutely right! What really impresses me is how well these water guns hold up. They do make a great gift at a summer birthday party too. Just the right price for a nice gift.

    • VirginiaLynne profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Kearney 

      7 years ago from United States

      We live in Texas, where it is now 90-100 F most days, so believe me, no one minds being hit by a water gun! Actually, I like to play too--just so long as I have a good supply to shoot with!

    • whoisbid profile image


      7 years ago

      Yes! The kids are playing too many video games. They can end up strange like me if they spend too much time in a cyber world. I would like to play water gun games in my neighbourhood !

    • VirginiaLynne profile imageAUTHOR

      Virginia Kearney 

      7 years ago from United States

      Fabo--you are right that the Thunderstorm isn't meant to be the most powerful shooter. I guess I would say that the Thunderstorm is best in a running game when you want to carry something that isn't too heavy. Because you have the clips, you can carry some with you and reload fast, or else have several you can pick up. In a really big water fight, if everyone has clips, you can have them all stored someplace and then have someone designated to fill them up (like a little sister!).

    • SharkFuel profile image


      7 years ago

      The water gun is definitely one of the best toys for guns. When I was a child I liked this toy very much. Now water guns become much better!

    • J.S.Matthew profile image

      JS Matthew 

      7 years ago from Massachusetts, USA

      The water gun technology has certainly improved over the years! Great Hub. Voted Up and Useful.



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