The 5 Best Camping Showers

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Getting back to nature is fun. But you know what’s not as much fun – and what tends to deter people from enjoying the great outdoors? Not being able to take a shower. Today we help you pick the Best Camping Shower for your next Camping Trip.

Sure, part of the fun of camping is being able to revel in nature – and that includes your natural, unwashed state. However, after a few days, the stink can become quite unbearable. If you’ve already invested in other camping luxuries, like a tent heater, a camping shower might be a smart upgrade.

With many different models available, it can be difficult to decide which one to choose. We’ll tell you everything you need to know about the best camping shower in this article.

Unless you are camping at a campsite that has its own showers available to campers, then you are going to want to take a camping shower with you on your next outing.

Powered by a variety of sources – including solar energy, batteries, and propane – camping showers allow you to stay clean without having to resort to splashing cold water all over yourself.

Often, these showers will consist of some kind of insulated reservoir, bag, or container that will hold and heat water. They will also have a hose that will allow the water to drain and some kind of showerhead.

Camping showers can be made out of all kinds of materials. You might find some with components that are PVC, stainless steel, plastic, or even rubber. The instructions for using a camping shower will vary depending on which type of shower you select, as well as where you are actually camping.

However, in most cases, a camping shower can heat up to about 113 degrees with no problem. This is roughly as warm as the temperature you enjoy in your regular hot showers at home. Many camping showers come with built-in temperature gauges so you can eliminate the likelihood of burning yourself with scalding water, too.

What to Look for in a Camping Shower

Power Method

First and foremost, you will need to consider what kind of camping shower you want. There are essentially three major types.

The first is a solar-powered camping shower. This one will be the easiest and least expensive to run, as all you will need to power your shower is the heat of the daylight. These are usually black bags made out of PVC with a hose connected. You can also get more expensive options that do not use PVC or that offer larger capacities.

The obvious disadvantage of choosing a solar-powered camping shower is that it, of course, needs sunlight. You aren’t going to get a quick, hot shower on a chilly overcast day.

Another option is a battery-powered shower. This one generally uses one or more 4D cell batteries, although there are other models available that use different types. These essentially consist of a pimp and hose with a showerhead that draws water from a container. One of the most profitable types of camping showers, you will need to replace the batteries on a regular basis.

The final option is a propane-powered shower. This kind of shower will be the most similar to the one you use at home, allowing you to get hot water in a matter of minutes. It won’t be quite as portable as a battery- or solar-powered shower, however.

Capacity

What kind of storage capacity do you want your camping shower to have? These can vary, with options ranging from two to ten gallons. When you add volume, you might add some weight. However, the greater volume can be helpful if you are going to have lots of people that need to shoer – or you like to take long showers of more than five or six minutes at a time.

Durability

Once you’ve decided what kind of camping shower you want, you then need to consider how well-built your piece of machinery is. Look at the workmanship as well as the material out of which it is crafted. While materials like steel are often used to make camping showers – and result in strong, durable products – they are going to be much heavier than those made out of things live PVC.

Think about your budget and how many years you hope to get out of your camping shower. Even when you purchase an inexpensive unit, it should last you at least a couple of years.

Weight And Portability

Where will you be using your camping shower? While most camping showers are designed to be transported wherever you need to go, not all of them are going to have the compact features necessary for traveling deep into the backwoods. Consider a kit that’s compact and lightweight, but take some comfort in knowing that, unless you plan to trek deep into the woods, a camping shower that’s under five pounds should be plenty light enough.

Hot vs. Cold

Unfortunately, many people don’t pay attention to whether the camping shower they plan to purchase uses hot or cold water. While you might not mind a surprise cold shower in the heat of the summer, this can be unpleasant and downright dangerous if you’re camping in the winter.

Hose Length

Hose length is important when you’re buying a camping shower. Look for one that’s at least a few feet long, or you’re going to find that you have trouble reaching all areas of your body when you have the shower positioned in place. Most camping showers have hoses that are at least seven feet long, but this will vary.

Water Control System

When you purchase a camping shower, you will have the option of a system with a water reservoir, which will allow you to have total control over your water or submersible water pump. While a water reservoir is nice because you will know the exact quality of the water you are using, a submersible water pump allows you to bathe directly in a lake or stream, using the shower as a method of heating the water that’s already around you.

The 5 Best Camping Showers to Consider

The Sea to Summit Pocket Shower is one of the most compact camping showers you will find. A lightweight unit, it only weighs about 4.25 ounces. This means you can zip it into a tiny pouch (you need less than 3” of available space) to store it.

With a gently contoured shower head, it has unique apertures that allow for even and equal spray dispersion. With this head fully open, you can enjoy a shower that’s more than eight minutes long. It has a simple twist mechanism to turn the shower on and off and to adjust the rate of flow.

Another benefit of this camping shower? The carrying case can also be used as a regular dry sack to transport clothing. Win!

What We Liked

  • Comes with a 20-foot cord
  • Has a polyurethane coating for interior visibility
  • Has easy to use twist mechanism for flow adjustment

What We Didn't Like

  • Can be difficult to hang

What We Liked

What We Didn't Like

  • Comes with a 20-foot cord
  • Has a polyurethane coating for interior visibility
  • Has easy to use twist mechanism for flow adjustment
  • Can be difficult to hang

Although this camping shower isn’t quite as portable – and is, in fact, a bit bulkier – than some of the other camping showers we will review, it is nonetheless one of the best camping showers on the market.

Made by Ozark Trail, one of the leading manufacturers of camping gear, this shower is one of the best because it can be used as a full shower or as a changing room. If you’re camping with a group of people, that’s a major advantage.

With a five-gallon solar-heated shower, it even includes a towel rack and pockets for toiletries. It has a mesh room for added ventilation along with a mesh drain. It even comes with a removable rainfly!

What We Liked

  • 2-in-1 design makes it perfect for large group camping
  • Five gallon capacity
  • Excellent ventilation and drainage to prevent moisture and mildew accumulation

What We Didn't Like

  • Not super portable

What We Liked

What We Didn't Like

  • 2-in-1 design makes it perfect for large group camping
  • Five gallon capacity
  • Excellent ventilation and drainage to prevent moisture and mildew accumulation
  • Not super portable

The Simple Shower Portable Camping Shower is incredibly handy and has a unique design that allows you to transform any one- or two-liter bottle into a portable shower! All you need is a water bottle on hand – you can even use most types of collapsible bottles or bladders, too.

Lightweight and portable, weighing less than 2 ounces, it allows for an easy-breezy camp showering experience. It’s also easy to use. All you need to do is hold it above the area that you want to be washed and turn it upside down. You’ll enjoy a steady stream of water in no time.

Made in the United States from recycled materials, it can be used for camping as well as for other purposes, like washing sandy beach toys or dirty pets before they come into the house. 

A word of caution, however – it doesn’t heat up on its own. You’ll need to let the bottle you are using remain in the sun to warm itself up or use water that has already been warmed.

What We Liked

  • Portable and convenient option
  • Made of recycled materials
  • Can be used with any type of bottle

What We Didn't Like

  • Does not heat water up for you

What We Liked

What We Didn't Like

  • Portable and convenient option
  • Made of recycled materials
  • Can be used with any type of bottle
  • Does not heat water up for you

If you’re in the market for a top solar shower, then this is the best camping shower for you. It has a five-gallon capacity and is powered by solar energy. With a state-of-the-art 4-ply construction, it has a separate reflector and insulator panels. It also has an easy-to-use on/off switch for the showerhead and an extra-large filling valve.

This shower is not only affordable, but it’s also convenient. It’s equipped with Velcro straps for your washcloths or other cleaning gear. It also has side pockets for your soap and shampoo and a built-in water temperature gauge.

 

At less than a pound and a half, this lightweight camping shower is one you need to consider if you’re hoping to harness the power of the sun for your next backwoods showering experience.

What We Liked

  • Offers shower gear storage features
  • Has four-layer construction for heat retention
  • Lightweight and portable

What We Didn't Like

  • Hose length is 15”, which some users find too short

What We Liked

What We Didn't Like

  • Offers shower gear storage features
  • Has four-layer construction for heat retention
  • Lightweight and portable
  • Hose length is 15”, which some users find too short

At 15 lbs, this behemoth camping shower might not be the lightest shower on our list, but it’s definitely one of the most efficient. With a 34,000 BTU burner, it allows you to use one standard propane tank for about eleven hours. You’ll need two additional D batteries for ignition, too.

Made out of steel, this durable camping shower has four settings on its showerhead: mist, jet, and shower. Its water temperature can be adjusted from 80 to 150 degrees. It has a maximum flow of a gallon and a half per minute and can even be attached to a wall. It comes with an eight-foot water hose and even has an easy-turn brass garden hose connector.

What We Liked

  • Comes with brackets for hanging or can be self-standing
  • Has a carry handle for transportation
  • Heating unit ignites automatically when water is turned on

What We Didn't Like

  • Some customers report minor leaking

What We Liked

What We Didn't Like

  • Comes with brackets for hanging or can be self-standing
  • Has a carry handle for transportation
  • Heating unit ignites automatically when water is turned on
  • Some customers report minor leaking

How to Find the Best Camping Showers for Your Needs

Cleanliness is next to godliness, as they say, but it goes without saying that when you’re out in the wilderness, you’re bound to get a little filthy.

While a little bit of grit under your fingernails isn’t necessarily a bad thing, it can certainly get annoying if you plan on staying at your campsite for several weeks. Buying the right camping shower isn’t a matter of indulging in a luxury, but instead investing in a piece of equipment that will make camping more enjoyable and more convenient for you to do.

Consider the features we mentioned above when you’re trying to settle on the best camping shower for your needs. Then, get shopping – the great outdoors awaits.

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