Camping is all about roughing it up; for the most part, a truly outdoorsy adventure entails avoiding many societal norms, including having a normal bath.
Instead, campers opt for other ways to maintain hygiene, such as taking a bath in the lake, taking a strip wash, bathing in the streams, or using toilet paper wipes.
Now, while all the hygiene habits above certainly have their charm, we can all agree it lasts for only so long. As time goes by, we start to wish we had the convenience of our home shower, or we could take a slightly more private shower near our popup tent, even if we still had to keep our bathing suits on.
This is where camping showers come in.
They may also not replicate the warm feeling of an instant home shower. However, they offer a better alternative than resorting to using a bucket of lake water.
And they’re more than just showers.
Along with offering a convenient way to keep you clean, these hand devices have also proved themselves quite handy in other ways.
For instance, the same shower you use to rinse off after a tiring day of hiking can just as useful when it comes to cleaning up pots and pans after meals.
Likewise, the showers can also help keep your gear and clothing clean, which goes a long way to maintain their durability and performance over time.
The higher level of versatility, combined with a lightweight design and better all-around performance, has prompted seasoned campers to reassess their thoughts regarding camping showers. What was initially seen as a frivolous item has all over sudden become a staple in many campsites, which is why you might consider bringing one in your next camping adventure.
Here’s a list of the top 5 camping showers to consider.
In a Hurry? Here’s Our Choice
It’s hard not to recommend the Nemo Helio Pressure.
It has everything desirable in a camping shower.
First, it features an adjustable pressure from a handy foot pump, which alongside a long hose, helps Nemo deliver one of the longest showers.
It’s also an easy to pack solution, letting you bring it anywhere with you.
It’s not the easiest to fill, but a game-changing option in any campsite.
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The Best Camping Showers For The Money
#1 Nemo Helio Portable Pressure Camp Shower - EDITOR'S CHOICE
With a lightweight construction, durability, and ease, Nemo is the perfect option for campers who love to sleep under the stars but hate the dust and dirt.
A truly versatile, and an all-around practical shower, Nemo is a useful gadget you’ll want to take with you everywhere.
Though a bit challenging to fill, it’s quite versatile, and the amount of applications you can handle with the shower is limitless.
Features and Benefits
While most camp showers rely on gravity to feed to its spigots, Nemo employs a different approach.
An attached foot pump adds air pressure to the reservoir. The generated pressure is used to create a stream of water, and the tank is self-regulating, too, so it’s impossible to over pressurize.
But is the pressure enough to get rid of suds from your hair?
Yes, the pressure on this shower is surprisingly strong enough to rid suds from human hair, dog hair, and even cloth.
The strong and sustained stream generated from Nemo means its functionality easily extends beyond showering.
Nemo is also quite a handy solution for other tasks such as cleaning dishes at the campsite, washing boots, bike, and kayaks.
Also, Nemo can give your furry friend a relaxing bath on the go.
The polyurethane-coated plastic construction offers a durable and practical cleaning solution.
It’s less likely the bag will rip or spill and doesn’t show any signs of wear even after the end of long summer camping sessions.
Likewise, other parts, such as the plastic pieces are thick and solid, giving the feeling of being a reasonably durable unit capable of withstanding a good amount of abuse.
Nemo doesn’t advertise itself as a solar shower, though the black side along a clear top facilitates effective absorption of solar energy to heat the water
Of course, unless it’s hot outside, you’re likely to shower with lukewarm water at best.
The good news is Nemo can still accept water heated on your camp stove.
Nemo has a fantastic performance, especially when compared to other showers we tested.
First, it boasts of pretty high pressure, and when combined with the massive 2.9-gallon capacity, it offers long-lasting performance, at just under six minutes- this is more than enough time to get a complete bath.
While the tiny showerhead extends the longevity of the water flow, it comes at the expense of lessened coverage. It’s not a deal-breaker, though, since the amount of pressure you can build up on the shower helps to combat any loss in cleaning power.
#2 Sea Pocket Shower - Portable Solution
Sea To Summit Pocket Shower is a lightweight, dry bag-like shower relying on gravity to work.
It’s the perfect option for the weight Winnies as it’s a lightweight and compact option.
Despite the compact size, it’s a capable solution and even outdoes some of the premium options on or list.
Features and Benefits
The greatest appeal with the Sea To Summit is the lightweight and compact design.
At just 4.7 ounces, it’s among the lightest options in the market. Even when full of water, it’s not terrible to carry.
Further, it packs down to a compact 5.5″ x 3.5″ bundle, easy to stash into your pocket.
Honestly, Ii doesn’t see any reason why you wouldn’t want to bring the Sea to Summit on your backpacking trip.
Simple To Use
Sea To Summit Pocket Shower is a simple and frill-free camping shower. It’s simple to operate and doesn’t require any knowledge or expertise.
You simply need to fill it with water, hang it from a brand and twist it open the built-in showerhead.
The showerhead on this unit has a typical width, offering a decent coverage for a gravity-powered shower.
It provides a solid pressure and coverage when in full, allowing you to lather and rinse clean.
The entire Sea to Summit operation is convenient and practical. For starters, it’s easy to turn the nozzle on and off to conserve water. On the other hand, the spigot can be opened in bits to regulate the level of water coming out.
Unfortunately, this showerhead lacks a hose to concentrate the water flow into the showerhead, meaning it has less pressurized water coming out.
Sea to Summit is purpose-built for use as a shower, and it’s not as versatile as the Nemo.
Yes, it can be used to clean dishes or gear, but it lacks serious water pressure, limiting its performance for various applications.
The Pocket Shower relies on thermal energy pulled from the sun to heat the water inside its reservoir.
However, typical of the solar option, the level of warmth on the water will depend on the sunlight’s intensity.
For extended periods of hot direct sunlight, the water can get comfortable.
However, it’s always a good idea to set your expectations accordingly as it won’t replicate a hot shower you’re used to at home.
With a capacity of 10 liters, the Pocket Shower doesn’t sound like it’s going to last for long.
However, with tapering water pressure, it outlasted our expectation by running for nearly 10 minutes.
However, as it gets to the end of the water, the less powerful and useful the flow becomes.
#3 Risepro Solar Shower Bag - Best for a Large Group
If you’re camping with a large group of people, the Risepro Solar Shower offers the perfect fit as it has a large water reservoir holding enough water for everyone.
It’s a bit bulky, though, and might not be ideal for the backpackers.
For its size, however, expect plenty of handy features to make your outdoorsy experience more fulfilling.
What won over our hearts on the Risepro Solar Shower is a large water capacity. It boasts of water capacity of 10 gallons; it’s among the largest options on our list.
The capacity on this tank should be enough to all but the largest group of campers to share, with the entire party getting a turn under the nozzle.
Ease of Use
Risepro Solar Shower doesn’t have granular control, as we’ve seen on other models, but it’s still convenient to use.
The on-off switch, along with the high-low setting, allows for easy operation.
Also, the spigot is fairly large, offering god water pressure for a superior cleanse.
Risepro Solar Shower is also attached to a long hose, perfect even for the tall guys. The hose is also easy to use and doesn’t get tangled easily.
The Risepro Solar Shower uses a smart-absorbing, which we liked. The leak-proof PVC absorbs solar energy for heating your water.
It’s an effective heating solution, and in direct sunlight, it can heat water to 113°F in just under 3 hours.
Nevertheless, like any other solar shower, it faces the same heating issues. Yes, it can heat the water inside, but the results will be lukewarm at best.
However, it does separate itself from other solar showers, thanks to a built-in thermometer, which lets you know the current water temperature. It’s a handy feature to help you know whether or not the water is ready.
Like the Nemo, Risepro Solar Shower is similarly a versatile option, ideal for usage for other applications.
Beyond showering, you can also use the shower to wash your dishes, fruits, boots, gear, pets, or even car.
The only challenge with the Risepro Solar Shower is taking full advantage of its capacity. When filled, it becomes heavy, making it awkward and challenging to move. Hoisting the full shower can also prove difficult.
Nevertheless, the size is worth it, especially considering it offers a warm shower for everyone in your camping ground and will do a good job of keeping the group nice and clean.
#4 Yakima RoadShower - Best for Cleaning Gear
Yakima RoadShower is a car-top shower and a rinse station that ticks all the boxes for the best camping shower.
It offers a cleansing action through a pressurized, thin hose-like nozzle.
But is it right for you?
Features and Benefits
When fully pressurized to 65 psi, the shower can throw water to an impressive 30 feet.
RoadShower is a fantastic asset for cleaning your gear but doesn’t feel quite right on your scalp or skin. It’s the perfect option for getting rid of excess mud off your bike or the bottom of your shoes.
You can choose to use a hand pump to maintain medium pressure for your skin, through the nozzle’s narrowness will make the stream wider.
If you must use the shower for body cleaning, you can invest in the Yakima FlexHead Shower attachment to reduce the overall pressure and maintain a good water flow.
The RoadShower has a generous capacity of 4 gallons, which is approximately 15 liters.
It’s quite an amount of water for your gear and will last up to 4 minutes 40 seconds.
If you choose to power the shower through gravity, you can use the trickle to clean dishes, or even splash your face for a whopping 10 minutes.
If you feel the 4 gallons won’t cut it, which we highly doubt, you can opt for a step up version with 7 or 10-gallon capacity.
RoadShower is built for rugged performance, and this is evident through the powder-coated aluminum construction.
All the pieces attached to the shower are also sturdy, including the food-grade hose and brass fitting.
When it comes to durability, it’s hard to point out any defects or even anything to complain about.
Sporting an oblong shape and lacking carry handles, RoadShower isn’t meant to be carried.
However, it can be mounted on top of your car’s roof, and your car won’t notice a difference, even when full of water.
#5 Hike Crew Portable Propane Water Heater & Shower Pump - Most Complete Camping Shower
Kicking it up a notch higher, we’ve the HikeCrew shower unit, the perfect appliance when you need your water heated.
It’s rich in features, and beyond the pump and heater integrations, it also has a couple of other exciting features.
However, it’s not an option for backpackers or other ultra-light campers as it’s quite bulky.
Features and Benefits
Seamless Pump and Heating Action
This boxy portable shower comes with a 12 pump and propane water heating set.
Both features’ performance is quite fantastic as the unit can heat water up to temperatures of about 125°F, after which it automatically shuts off.
It’s easy to think operating this shower is challenging, but surprisingly, it’s as easy as pressing a button.
Portability isn’t the greatest point of this shower. It comes with a dimension of 9.65 inches long and 12.2 inches wide, which makes it challenging to transport along the hefty 14 pounds.
However, the unit’s bulkiness is made up of impressive heating efficiency and ease of use.
Instant Shower with Plenty of Safety Features
Away from the automatic shut-off system, the Hike Crew features a couple of effective but subtle design features.
For instance, the stylish LCD helps you precisely monitor the shower’s performance metrics, such as temperature changes, safety cutouts, and ignition status.
The shower also has a low/high heat and faucet flow knobs, regulating the temperatures.
A true multi-purpose option, Hike Crew’s usage goes beyond showering, extending to other applications such as cleaning dishes and gear.
The showerhead attachment attaches to the faucet outlet, offering variations between a spigot and handheld showerhead.
Not to mention the unit has three unique spray patterns to choose from.
Best Camping Shower Buying Guide
Before purchasing a camping shower, there’re crucial considerations to keep in mind. You don’t want to purchase just about any camping shower, or at least without considering some points.
Otherwise, you might just end up wasting money by purchasing the wrong product.
Thankfully, in the text below, we shall highlight everything you need to make an informed purchasing decision regarding camping showers.
First, let’s look at the various types of camping showers;
Types of Camping Showers
There’re different types of camping showers, each with their unique benefits and drawbacks.
But here, we shall only look at the three common types so camping showers.
They’re the simplest shower options and ingenious.
Aptly named the solar showers, these devices harness the sun’s power to heat your water without the need for fuel or flames.
The greatest appeal for solar showers is lightness and compactness. They also don’t require any fuel to run.
Unfortunately, they take a long time to heat water. On average, you can expect them to heat water in 3-4 hours.
Again, it’s less unlikely the solar shower creates water as hot as other types of showers, even after hours in the sun.
Battery-powered camping showers are yet another popular option.
They rely on battery power to pump water.
Their greatest appeal is they create a surprising amount of water pressure without the need for big, bulky equipment.
Like the solar-powered options, they are portable and compact.
Their only drawback is they don’t heat water, so if you need warm water for showering, you’ll need to heat up with your stove.
If you need hot water for your bath, a propane shower would be the perfect option.
These options rely on propane to heat your water, though they have a battery-powered pump for creating adequate water pressure.
While they offer the luxury of a hot shower, the propane showers are bulky, so they might not be ideal for backpackers.
They’re also expensive and not economical because they require lots of fuel and require regular maintenance to stay in perfect working conditions.
Factors to Consider When Choosing the Best Camping Shower
Different camping showers come with different capacities for holding water. Some can hold 5 liters, others 8 liters, and some even more.
You first need to determine how much water needs at the minimum for a decent shower to determine the overall capacity.
But keep in mind the larger the capacity, the more bulky and heavy the camping shower is.
After capacity, you need to determine portability.
After all, camping showers are meant to be used in the wild, so you need an item that isn’t bulky to carry.
Ideally, a camping shower should be lightweight, compact, and easy to use.
The design of a camping shower determines the overall ease of use.
A good camping shower should be easy to fill, easy to hang up, and easy to make the water start and stop flowing.
The main idea is to get a practical and functional unit. There’s no need to get a shower unit that will give you a headache to set up.
It’s also a good idea to consider the ease of installation for the camping showerheads.
Some solar showers are easier to hang up, while others are downright challenging to mount.
Generally, the larger shower option might need two people to install and a strong hanging area.
On the other hand, the small and compact options are easier to mount, but at the expense of capacity. This is a tradeoff you should be willing to take.
Material and Heating Capacity
When choosing a camping shower, you would also want to invest in a durable option.
The ruggedness of a shower boils down to the material choice, so pick a tough option.
You don’t want the bag ripping and spilling when snagged on a branch or from the weight of the water.
For the solar showers, pick a material option that easily absorbs light for maximum heating efficiency.