Searching for the best portable camping shower to enjoy hot water in the great outdoors? Look no further, as we’ve rounded up the 5 top off grid shower models. Whether you need solar, gas or electric heat, we’ve got the right portable shower for you.
There’s nothing like the great outdoors, where you can commune with nature while building up your endurance and confidence. It is a place of adventure, friendships, and learning. However, the refreshing excitement of backpacking can quickly fade at the end of a long day, when you roll up to camp beat, wet, and exhausted.
But you don’t have to completely miss out on the creature comforts of home! A portable hot water shower can help you soothe your tired muscles and keep the sink of the day’s exertion at bay.
Of course, outdoorsmen aren’t the only ones who can appreciate a warm shower, as digital nomads and vanlifers also frequently include them as part of their travel kits.
Today, we’re covering five of the best outdoor camping showers, reviewed for capacity, portability, fuel type, and bang for buck.
Top 5 Portable Outdoor Camping Showers
So you’ve decided you need a portable shower for your outdoor ventures. The question is, which one should you pick out of the numerous brands in the market today? Have no fear; we’ve done the hard work and selected five of the best portable hot water showers for camping, hiking, and road tripping.
Ivation’s ultra-portable heated camping shower is a feat of off-grid design genius, with incredible battery-powered versatility and functionality.
This outdoor shower’s gentle and consistent shower pamper you while roughing it. It’s not just good for humans; the Ivation’s numerous water holes make this a gentle, comforting spray pattern for pets, as well. You can even use it as a mild shower for babies or a water stream for your garden, car cleaning, or house cleaning. The possibilities are endless because this battery powered shower can draw water from any tank, pool, spring, or pond via its rechargeable pump.
It draws its power from a generous 2,200 mAh lithium battery, which is easily rechargeable via USB or the standard 12-volt wall adapter. With a full charge, you’ll enjoy an hour of continuous use.
The Ivation portable hot water shower is also lightweight to enhance mobility. Weighing only 1.4 pounds, it is compact for any application. You can also hang the shower head up by the supplied S-hook or suction cup. From pump to showerhead is a full 6.5 feet, which will comfortably accommodate all but the tallest of weary hikers.
The Coleman 5-gallon solar shower bag is a staple amongst outdoor enthusiasts, and for a good reason. An ultra-lightweight portable hot water shower, its reliability has withstood the test of time.
Weighing a paltry 8.8 ounces when empty, the Coleman Solar Shower is an easily compressible pack-and-go item. Yet, you will love the fact that it can hold 5 gallons of warm solar-heated water. This is an ample amount for an extensive calming shower out in the wild after a long day of fun.
The Coleman 5 gallon solar shower may be lightweight, but it is a durable solution. You can range with it in tow in the wild, and its tear-resistant material will survive all the wild bush and tree branch snags. Moreover, Coleman products benefit from a legacy of quality workmanship, testing, and fair warranties.
This portable hot shower has a transparent front panel that allows the solar rays to the water chamber. Its back panel is dark, absorbing all the rays and keeping heat. Coleman outdoor shower users love it because it reliably heats water to surprisingly hot temperatures.
The shower nozzle also supplies a decent water pressure while its handle is strong. Unfortunately, this Coleman portable hot water shower does not have a temperature gauge for safety. So, always double-check water temperature before use.
The Sportneer portable hot water shower is a large capacity shower bag, which will provide 5 gallons of warm water at a go. It heats its water via solar energy to a pleasant 113°F (45°C). Just find a spot that has direct sunlight, hang it on a tree or RV its green side up, and you will have warm water in three hours tops.
Sportneer’s portable heated camping shower lightweight and easy to transport, weighing only 1.2 pounds. This bag is also very compact, so you can take it along on your river camping, hunting, boating, or backpacking trips with ease.
Its sizable water holding and heating capacity can supply enough water for a group of 5. Just take it out first thing in the morning to ensure you have enough water by evening when everyone is grimy and craving a hands-free hot shower.
The Sportneer solar shower bag is so versatile that you can also use it at home if you live off the grid or have plumbing problems. Just hang it on your porch to get its solar warming mechanism going. It also makes an excellent pet shower. If your furry friend is averse to cold water (as they tend to be), simply fill the Sportneer portable hot water shower up, and it will give your furry friend a nice, comfortable rinse.
Another great thing about this shower bag is its hardy PVC construction, which will not easily rip when you hang it on a tree. You will love its easy-to-use water control switch, making it easy to turn the water flow on or off, with soapy slippery hands.
The temperature indicator is yet another of its very handy features. Finally, the Sportneer solar shower bag has an inbuilt storage basket for all your shower essentials.
Advanced Elements has many other portable hot shower products, but its 5-gallon Summer Shower is the most popular. A user-friendly, lightweight bag, it can fold down into the size of a book. It only weighs 1.4 pounds empty!
Its four-layer construction is its most outstanding quality. The Summer Shower bag will last for years, and you never have to worry about the weight of the water tearing it apart when you fill it to the brim.
The bag’s hardy material holds its solar, insulator, and reflector panels for optimal water heating and heat retention. To enhance safety, the portable hot water shower has a temperature gauge to prevent overheating.
Summer Shower’s handle is as durable as its reinforced panels, and it has convenient inbuilt soap and shampoo pockets for convenience. There are also Velcro straps attached that can hold on to your washcloths and other smaller garments after a shower.
Filling up the bag is a breeze with the generously large valve opening, completely with leakproof twist cap.
To keep up with your need for comfort while in the great outdoors, the good people at Hike Crew have an excellent propane portable hot water shower available at an attractive price point.
A compact unit, it has zero hanging hardware and uncomplicated hookups. All you need is a large bucket of water to drop its pump into. Alternatively, use a portable shower bag full of water and enjoy 5 gallons at 115° F within an instant.
This propane water heater is compatible with large 25-gallon propane tanks or the smaller Coleman types. It also has a DC/AC outlet that ignites its heating function. The adapter is 20 feet long, allowing you to place your portable hot water shower in any location you prefer. This combination heater and shower pump has an LCD water temperature display and a safety cutout feature that prevents overheating.
Overall, the Hike Crew portable hot water shower is excellent solution for the off-grid cabin user. It is also a godsend for boat and RV users.
Buyer’s Guide: Choosing the Right Outdoor Camping Shower for You
Before parting with your cash and springing for a portable hot water shower, there are some important features to look out for to ensure your satisfaction.
Ease of Use
After an active day hiking in the woods, you look forward to a refreshing evening shower before you can fold into a cozy camping blanket. The last thing you’d want to encounter is an arcane and complicated set-up procedure for your hot water shower.
Setting up your hot water shower should be an effortless affair, not a stressful enterprise. It should be easy to install and use the shower for a quick shower. That means good handle ergonomics, a long shower hose, hanging hooks and suction cups, easily manageable pumps, large fill valves, and other quality of life features.
Otherwise, you’ll find yourself naturally avoiding the shower, which defeats the point.
The ideal capacity is dictated by the amount of water you’ll require. Are you looking for something that’s more or less what you get from your home shower or a quick refreshing sprinkle?
The capacity of most portable showers averages at 5 gallons. That should be sufficient for two campers. A lone camper can do with a 2-gallon portable hot water shower while a group will be at home with a shower bag of 10-gallons or more.
Propane and battery-powered pumps often don’t have bags at all, but slot into an existing water source. In such cases, the fuel is the only limiting factor in how much hot water you can enjoy.
Although the typical portable outdoor shower tends to be lightweight, some are heavier than others. This will include those showers that have a bigger capacity, those with extra features, or those which require external fuel sources like a propane tank. Thus, you’ll want to assess your needs in particular, to settle on the shower that’s appropriate for you. If your camping grounds are a substantial distance from where you park your car, it’ll be wise to choose a lighter shower that compacts down easily into a backpack.
How about when you need a shower with a big capacity to serve a large group, let’s say a family or a team? You’ll just have to exercise situational judgment on what works best for your particular needs, then make the necessary adjustments and compromises.
Whereas some can do with a cold shower over a camp during summer, a portable hot water shower becomes a necessity as the colder seasons kick in. That means the shower should be one that can heat your water effectively and quickly. You don’t want the hot water suddenly running out when it’s freezing out, nor do you want to be kept waiting for it to heat up. Nor do you want the temperature fluctuating throughout your shower.
Before rushing to make your purchase, do some thorough product research. Pour through customer reviews to ensure the shower you’d want to purchase can actually heat water and do so effectively.
Availability of Water
Where water flows freely, the simplest of portable hot showers can do the job. But where water is scarce, a portable shower with additional features such as a tank becomes inevitable. Think of the prevailing conditions where you mostly go camping.
At the same time, remember that a more sophisticated water shower with additional features is usually weightier and occupies a larger space. Factor that in as you pack.
A portable shower should be light, easy to carry and move around with. That could mean cutting out a few extras associated with the bulkier portable showers, but that’s fine. In any case, you’re out in the wild camping and can forgo some of the luxuries that you’d enjoy at home. Bare-bones will do.
A lightweight and easy-to-transport camping shower will go a long way in reducing the amount of gear you’ll need to carry on your camping trip.
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Durability is perhaps the most vital consideration. Go for a portable hot water shower made from high-quality material with sturdy construction if you want it to feature as a staple item on your outdoor packing list for many years to come.
A durable hot water shower is particularly useful so as to withstand the harsh outdoors associated with camping. A poorly constructed item will need to be replaced sooner than later, and that will be money down the drain.
As a rule of thumb, a higher price tag is a usually a reflection of high-quality materials and great workmanship. That said, when shopping, always look for value for your money rather than the price tag in isolation.
Does the water shower deliver the benefits that it promises? If you’re paying a lot more, then the gear should be more durable, convenient to use, have additional features, and so forth. See if there are cheaper alternatives that can serve you well. You could save a few bucks by settling for a simple water shower that may be lack extra features that you don’t really need.
Types of Hot Water Shower
Portable hot water showers can be powered by solar, battery, or propane. Each of these types of camping showers have certain advantages and disadvantages.
- Solar Shower Camping Bag – They’re the most popular and depend on daylight to heat the water. Moreover, they’re efficient and are cheap. The main undoing is that you need sunlight to power them. That means without daylight, your device might be useless if it doesn’t also feature some king of battery storage.
- Battery Powered Shower – Like the name suggests, portable electric showers are powered by batteries or a generator. Highly reliable as it doesn’t depend on weather conditions. The main disadvantage is that you need to frequently change or recharge the batteries. Many also are pumps alone with no tanks or bags, meaning you’ll need a bucket or some other water source handy.
- Propane Camp Shower – An efficient water heater type, but tends to be rather bulky. You wouldn’t want such a weighty and cumbersome camp shower unless you plan to operate it from the vicinity of your car.
A portable hot water shower can turn the toughest of days in the wild into a pleasant experience. Its warm, relaxing water will feel like heaven after a cold rainy day–especially when the last thing you want to do is dive into an icy lake to clean up.
We’ve reviewed several of the best types of camping showers, from electric to propane and solar showers. Which one best fits your style and budget? Have you ever used one of our recommendations before, or do you have one of your own? Sound off in a comment below!