To improve knowledge of this matter, the potential application of two gridded meteorological products (GMPs), the China Meteorological Assimilation Driving Datasets for the SWAT model (CMADS) and Climate Forecast System Reanalysis (CFSR), are compared for the first time with data from ground-based meteorological stations over 6 years, from 2008 to 2013, over the Cau River basin (CRB), northern Vietnam. Statistical indicators and the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) model are employed to investigate the hydrological performances of the GMPs against the data of 17 rain gauges distributed across the CRB. The results show that there are strong correlations between the temperature reanalysis products in both CMADS and CFSR and those obtained from the ground-based observations (the correlation coefficients range from 0.92 to 0.97). The CFSR data overestimate precipitation (percentage bias approximately 99%) at both daily and monthly scales, whereas the CMADS product performs better, with obvious differences (compared to the ground-based observations) in high-terrain areas. Regarding the simulated river flows, CFSR-SWAT produced “unsatisfactory”, while CMADS-SWAT (R2 > 0.76 and NSE > 0.78) performs better than CFSR-SWAT on the monthly scale. This assessment of the applicative potential of GMPs, especially CMADS, may further provide an additional rapid alternative for water resource research and management in basins with similar hydro-meteorological conditions.