Before you go out on your first camping or overlanding expedition of the summer season, you should get yourself a good portable camping shower. There’s nothing better than a good shower after hiking, fishing, spending a day at the beach, trekking, etc. You usually camp out away from civilization, but cleaning the body takes more priority when you spend the day in an outdoor activity that gets you dirty. A portable shower kit can do wonders to rid you of the exhaustion of the day and make you feel fresh. We looked at several options to compile a list of the best portable camping showers. We considered how easy it is to carry them, how long they last, how much shower time they can give you, and how easy it is to use them. The list includes the best solar shower bags, camping showers with electricity (battery or 12V) powered pumps as well as two other great options!

Portable Camping Shower Reviews


Best Solar Showers


Review of Advanced Elements 5 Gallon Solar Shower

The Advanced Element 5 Gallon Solar Shower is among the best solar showers you can get for your camping escapades. It comes with 5-gallon water storage, a solar heater with reflector panels, a temperature gauge on the side and a side pocket to store utilities like soap or shampoo. It is your solar outdoor portable shower kit, and you can carry it easily in your luggage. The solar heater apparatus ensures that you get the pleasure of a warm shower wherever you are, provided of course there’s sunlight! With this solar outdoor bag heating water takes about 3 hours, and you get the water through a gentle stream through the hose.
The insulation provided ensures that the water remains warm for a few hours. You can fill it with water and put it in the sun when you leave your campsite and come back and enjoy a warm shower when you return hours later. The on/off switch helps control the water. In order to hang the entire apparatus and use the hose as a shower you will need to find a strong branch or bar to support it.  Since it stores water, it weighs about 50 pounds when completely full. You need something really sturdy to hold it.  The hose length is only 15”, which is one major drawbacks of this outdoor or camping shower kit.

PROS:

  • 5 gallon capacity
  • Temperature gauge
  • Side pockets to hold soap and shampoo
  • Insulation to keep water warm
  • On/off switch to control water

CONS:

  • Since it holds 5 gallons of water it needs sturdy support to hang on
  • 15'' hose length
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Review of Coghlan’s Solar Heated Camp Shower

If you are looking for a cheap solution to your portable solar shower woes, then the Coghlan Solar Heater Camp Shower can be your cup of tea. It holds 5 gallons of water and the solar bag can heat the water in a few hours to give you the comfort of a warm shower. The best part of this shower is the ease of carrying it. Weighing at just a pound, you can roll it up like a sleeping bag and carry it in your backpack. You won’t even know this camping shower bag is there. The hose is almost 2 feet long. It’s not the longest, but not the shortest either. Pretty manageable is what we’d say.
The hose is a clamping type. It does not have an on/off switch, and you can press the clamp to regulate the flow of water. This is both good and bad. It’s good because you can regulate the flow of water through the clamp. It’s bad because most people who bought this item say the clamp results in water are leaking out constantly. Some even say that it’s best not to fill the solar shower bag to its full capacity to reduce the leakage. All things said it’s a good option for those with a strict budget and who don’t want something long term. You can have a shower time of around 10 minutes and enjoy the warm water for a few occasions with Coghlan’s Solar Heated Camp Shower. It's great value for money and simplicity is why this product made it to our best solar showers list.

PROS:

  • 5 gallon capacity
  • 2 feet long hose
  • Great portability
  • Price

CONS:

  • A clamp is used to regulate the water flow which may result in leakage
  • Water heats up very quickly
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Review of Advanced Elements 2.5 Gallon Solar Shower

The next product in our list of best solar showers is the smaller capacity portable solar shower from Advanced Elements. As with their 5-gallon model, this is one of the best solar showers you can get for camping. The 2.5-gallon capacity of this solar outdoor shower makes it easier to carry since it weighs less than a pound when empty. Since the capacity is less, it is also easier to hang and use as a standing shower. The lesser weight means you don’t need something that should be able to hold about 50 pounds of weight. Less than half that weight is to be supported.
The lesser water capacity does not mean that your shower time is greatly reduced. You can have a proper shower with soap and shampoo with this product. The solar heater ensures that your water is heated within a few hours, and the insulation ensures that the waters remain heated for a few hours. Like the 5 gallon offering, this product has a side pocket to house small sentries like shampoo.

PROS:

  • Easy to hang, hold and carry
  • Side pockets to hold soap and shampoo
  • Insulation to keep water warm
  • On/off switch on shower head to control water
  • 38'' hose length

CONS:

  • Only 2.5 gallons capacity
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Best Battery Powered Camping Showers


Review of Ivation Portable Outdoor Shower

Best portable camping showers

This may be one of the best camping showers since it helps you use a source of water to give out a gentle stream of water for showering. Weighing at 1.7 pounds, it is fairly easy to carry. All you have to do is put the pump into the source of water and get a gentle stream of water through the hose. You can use a tub, bucket, sink, or any other standing pool of water. A typical 2.5-gallon bucket of water will give you about 7-8 minutes of shower. You can increase it to about 10 minutes by turning the hose off with the switch while applying soap. This is plenty of time to wash at a campsite.
You can either hold the hose or suspend the outdoor shower from a hook. The hose is around 6 feet in length so you can easily hang it from a tree, etc. to get a shower on the go. The battery is rechargeable and comes with a USB charger. You can charge through your laptop, car, or a plug point. Just take care that the voltage does not exceed 5V. The only caveat is that you cannot heat water through the Ivation Portable Shower. You would need a separate heater of any type for that. 

PROS:

  • Ease of use
  • Rechargable battery
  • You can use varied source of water
  • 6 feet hose

CONS:

  • You cannot heat the water with this device
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Review of Pure Clean Portable Camping Shower

This product by Pure Clean is pretty similar to the Ivation Portable Outdoor Shower. It comes with a rechargeable pump that needs to be submerged into a source of water to get the water out of the hose. The hose length is six feet, and you can easily hang it to have a working shower whenever you are out camping, hiking, etc. The water stream is handled through an on/off switch and with a 5-gallon bucket or source of water you can get a decent amount of shower time.
The best part of Pure Clean Portable Camping Shower is its battery life. While charging it takes about 2-3 hours, you can use it for one/two showers a day for a week. The USB charger helps you charge it on the go through your car, laptop, etc. The downside to this is that there’s no source of heating the water since the shower itself holds no water. If you have a heater of any type with you, you can use the hot water source with this shower to have a hot shower wherever you are. Carrying it is pretty simple as well since it weighs only a pound.

PROS:

  • Ease of use
  • Rechargable battery
  • You can use varied source of water
  • 6 feet hose
  • Long, multiple camp showers with one battery charge

CONS:

  • You cannot heat the water with this device
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Review of Anglink Portable Camping Shower

Anglink’s portable shower is similar to two other portable showers in this listing. They are all pump based showers that require you to have a source of water like a bucket or a sink. You put the pump in the water source and use the on/off switch on the shower hose to make it release or stop releasing water. The pricing is similar as well, although there is one difference.
The difference in Anglink’s portable shower is that the charger isn’t attached to the pump. This makes it slightly easier to charge the pump through a USB cable. You may charge the 2200 MAH batter through a laptop or a car’s USB port, and the pump is charged in a couple of hours or so. Battery life is decent as it can give you a running time of 1 hour continuously at full charge, which amounts to about a week’s length of usage. Carrying it is easy since it weighs about 1.6 pounds, and assembling the parts is pretty straightforward, although you may use the manual.
The hose is about 7 feet in length, which is good enough to help you use it as a hand or a hanging shower. There are two downsides, though, according to users. The first is that the water stream is a little more powerful than they’d like, which results in emptying a gallon bucket in under 10 minutes. The second is that the suction cup only goes well on a smooth or glass-like surface. This makes it not so easy to use as a hanging shower when out in the wilderness, so that’s something you should take note of. 

PROS:

  • Detachable battery so it is easier to charge
  • 7 feet hose length
  • Shower head can be held or hung up
  • Ease of use

CONS:

  • Water stream is slightly more powerful than should be, resulting in quick water usage
  • Suction cup needs smooth surface to hold shower head
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Review of Suaoki Outdoor Handheld Portable Camping Shower

Suaoki’s Outdoor powered handheld camping shower is another good option when looking for portable showers. As with other portable handheld showers, it comes with a pump with a chargeable battery and a hook to hang the hose on a tree, etc. It differs from others in a few ways.

Apart from the version with USB charged battery, you also have the option to chose a 12V device powered from your vehicle's cigarette lighter socket. The downside of this is that you always have to set up your shower kit close to your car. The suction pump works too well and discharges water at the rate of 4 liters per minute. This gives you a shower time of about 3 minutes through a 5-gallon bucket. It’s not a problem if you’re looking for a quick shower, but other products give a longer shower time, so that’s a disadvantage.
The hose is about 6 feet in length and good enough for most people. The built is sturdy despite its outward plastic appearance, and the apparatus is simple to carry as it weighs about 1.5 pounds.

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Other Solutions For Portable Camping Showers


Review of NEMO Helio Portable Pressure Shower with Foot Pump

The Nemo Helio Portable Pressure Shower is probably the last portable shower you are going to buy. You’re not going to need another if you go for it. Although a bit pricey, you get the quality that you expect from a shower that’s priced as much as Helio Portable Shower.
There are a few factors that set it apart from other camping showers. The first is that you don’t need to hang the apparatus to use it as a shower. It sits on the ground, and the 7-foot hose is good enough to give you the experience of a proper shower. It does not require you to use both hands since the foot pump is used to regulate the water flow. You can set the shower down on the ground and press the pump with your foot while enjoying a nice stream of water. Heating water is done in a few hours, and you can easily pack the setup in your backpack or trunk. Although it weighs 1.6 pounds, it takes a bit of space due to its shape. This is why most people believe it is best suited for expeditions like overlanding or other activities and outings where you may go by car and have space to carry it in.

PROS:

  • It doesn't need to be hung, sits on the floor
  • Quality materials and build
  • No electricity needed due to the foot pump
  • Unique design that is very easy to use

CONS:

  • Large size even when empty
  • Price
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Review of Simple Shower Portable Camping Shower

Best portable camping showers

This is the ultimate portable shower. It turns any 1-2 liter bottle of water into a shower. You plug in the shower head into the bottle’s mouth and squeeze the bottle to get a stream of water through the hose. It costs you much less than other portable showers and gives satisfactory results.
A 2-litre bottle can give you about 35 seconds of shower time. The best way to use it according to those who bought it is to use two 2 liter bottles, one for washing before applying soap and one for after. This way you can get a decent shower wherever you are. If you want hot water, you can heat the water in the bottle or put it in the sun for a few hours. Then put the shower and enjoy.
Apart from the obvious downside of having to use multiple bottles or refill the bottle you have multiple times, there is another problem with too many holes in the hose. This means that the water drains out a little too quickly and you can’t use the shower effectively. The straw at the base of the hose ensures that the bottle you use doesn’t get crumbled because of pressing.

PROS:

  • Simplest and easiest to use
  • Most economical
  • Can be used nearly with any bottle

CONS:

  • Bottle runs out of water very quickly
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How to Choose the Best Portable Camping Shower

Just by going through this review article for the best camping showers you must have realized that there are plenty of options when you go looking for a camping shower. To help you make the right decision, we have chalked down a few criteria for deciding on a particular shower.

  • Portability

You will be using these showers on the go when you don’t have the privilege of a shower. Sometimes, you might go on hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, trekking expeditions for days on end through the wilderness. At such expeditions, it is important to have a portable shower that’s really portable. If it becomes a burden for you to carry, then it becomes a liability. The weight of the shower accounts for portability a lot. Also, if the shower is easy to assemble and disassemble and the individual parts take less space, carrying it becomes much easier. When you are overlanding, you have more options as portability may be a secondary factor.

  • Hose and Weight

The hoses of the best portable showers have to be sturdy as well as easy to handle. A long hose is ideal for helping people of all sizes to use it effectively and with ease. A hose with a steady flow of water allows you to enjoy a good stream while not draining your water too soon. If the whole apparatus weighs a lot when filled with water, then it’s going to be difficult to hang it on something. If you are fine with putting the setup on the ground and using it like that, this shouldn’t worry you.

  • Utility

How many problems does the shower solve for you? Does it only provide you with a spray of water through a source or does it also store and heat the water? If you are someone who enjoys hot showers then investing in a solar shower makes sense. Solar shower bags are very easy to use and provide warm, sometimes even hot showers without the use of electricity. Otherwise, you would have to buy a heater separately. While it’s possible to heat water through the sun, a shower without insulation means the water temperature will go down pretty soon once heated.

Also, if the shower you use has a way to regulate the flow, then that’s a huge benefit. Most showers only have an on/off switch so you either have the water running at full speed or not running at all. But regulating the flow shouldn’t come at the cost of water leakage, so you should take care of that.

  • Cost

Of course, the cost plays a huge role in any decision. While the Helio Portable Shower with Foot Pump checks most of the boxes, it is a bit pricey. When making a decision, look for what you get in each shower and for what cost, and then see if it suits your needs. If you can get what you want by buying an add-on separately and still come off cheaper than the other options, then it’s wise to go for a cheaper option.

best outdoor solar shower

Conclusion

When you are out somewhere without showering facilities for days on end, you start to feel the need for a shower. Having a portable shower comes to your aid at such times. When you are out looking for the best portable shower, you have a number of options. Check out what they offer. The Helio Portable Shower with Foot Pump offers the best showering facility, although it is also the most costly. Advanced Elements 2.5-gallon portable shower is arguably the best solar shower. You get hot water in a matter of hours, and the water stays hot, the hose is sturdy and of decent length, and the apparatus doesn’t weight too much to make hanging it a cumbersome task. A little research will go a long way into making the right decision.