Camping in 2019 is modernizing and fast, we now have numerous ways to make our trips more hygienic and clean. With the various portable showers on the market we are able to combine them with a shower tent, creating a home like experience. There are also other numerous health benefits in taking a warm shower before bed, it helps to relieve muscle soreness and tension after a long hike. Additionally helping you sleep better and deeper. We can also maintain our equipment by cleaning them with the pressured rinse kits. Clean off our muddy boots in a flash, surfboards, our bodies and even give our tents a quick rinse off before heading home.
With all this in mind we can agree they are a good idea. You may be thinking how do I choose between a propane, solar or pressure shower. Today we will look into the best models in each department, showing you the best features available. Saving you countless hours of monotonous searching online.
Lets check out the best performing portable camping showers on the market and discover which one is worth of your next trip.
This full shower system is a great option if you want full coverage for your whole trip. With enough power to provide 2 hours’ worth of hot water on the highest setting. The battery pack uses 4 D Cell batteries and with that, supply six 5-minute showers. So this could easily get the whole group showered in the morning and rinse off any tents, shoes and utensils.
This portable battery shower does also heat water, not just provide a water flow. It can heat up water to a 35 degrees Fahrenheit which is a decent range of temperature for most battery powered showers. The product itself has been CSA safety certified and has passed all required testing to become user friendly.
Some of its awesome safety features include a temperature cut-off system and trip switch. Basically this will totally block any scalding water passing through the system, alleviating any accidental burns. Perfect for the kids and family to use with this kind of protection. It also has a flow detector built in, to keep the water flow smooth and consistent, with a flow rate of 0.6 gallons per minute.
Another great feature here is that it’s completely cordless. Often most portable shower units leave you tied to the nearest power outlet or tap. But with this, you can just fill it up and get going. This gives you a bit of freedom to get outdoors and camp further away from facility dependent camping areas.
Mr Heater also have an upgraded version of this model. However, with upgraded features, it has a heavier price tag. We also feel that this model will suffice for the average camping group with 6 lots of 5 minute showers. But if you do need a stronger unit which can provide increased flow rate at 1.16 gallons per minute. Extended battery and power life, hotter water at 42 degrees Fahrenheit, then you can check out their BOSS-XW18 model.
This is an excellent portable propane camping shower by Zodi, a reputable company that has made heaters and portable showers for years and years. Their first products heated water in around 20 minutes, now they’ve kept up with modern times and can deliver portable hot water showers instantaneously. This has incredible synergy when you combine them with pop up shower tents. You can set up an outdoor enclosed hot water shower within 2 minutes. This is one of the best sellers on the market for propane camping showers and actually portable showers on the whole.
It’s totally self-contained shower that has a high-output of hot water, making it perfect for showers and rinse offs during your camping trip. Also ideal for use on boats, cabins and RV’s alike, any large surface unit that needs a good clean. It can also deal with emergencies very well, dousing a small risk fire instantly. It connects via the propane cylinders, which are disposable, or you can choose to connect to a larger 5 gallon propane tank. However, for this option you will need to get your hands on a bulk propane kit.
You will need to follow a short process, which is easily learned and mastered after a few uses. Like the Mr Heater model it’s powered with 4 D cell sized batteries, but uniquely within a waterproof case for this one. After these are added you connect up the propane source and drop the water pump into a preferably clean water source. Conveniently they have integrated a push button ignition, after pressing this the double burners will begin to heat up the water, at an incredibly fast rate. You will be able to take hot outdoor showers within minutes.
If you are camping in an area with an accessible water source, the travel case can double as a water tank as it can hold up to 4 gallons. The tank itself holds enough water for 10 minute showers, which is sufficient. You can also hook this up to a garden hose for an infinite water flow, although it will also need a garden hose kit for this purpose. There are various ethical practices we must remember and follow when using portable showers and toilets.
You need to be careful with this one, as it can heat up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit, which is operated by the valve and has no cut off safety feature. Please do some testing with the valve to gauge the right temperature before taking showers and then for safety you could cover the valve so someone doesn’t change it by accident and keep it out of sight.
Here we have a best seller from Nemo who have created an excellent line of utility tents and pressure showers, that have a manual use with a foot-pump. It may seem hard work, but there are a lot of benefits to these types of units. It’s super lightweight, with a shipping weight of only 1.6 pounds, and it also packs down to a very small size which is easily carried. Heated water provided by the natural light of the sun, its environmentally friendly to boot.
Surprisingly it holds more than some of the other pressurized showers, such as the shower kit from RinseKit which holds 2 gallons, while the Helio is holding 3 gallons. They both have a similar spray time though. A really nice feature of the is the outdoor solar shower feature. It heats its water by way of sunlight and it stays reasonably hot for a long duration. So feel free to leave it outside under the sun during the afternoon.
Being a portable pressure shower at heart, the water stays pressurized in the tank. By using the foot pump this provides a regulated flow throughout the system, much like your shower head would at home. After pumping up the unit with the foot pump until its fully pressurized, you can enjoy a decent flow of water that will run for around 7 minutes maximum. You can them re-pressurize and then pass it onto the next person.
You can use it almost anywhere, which opens up a hell of a lot of options in versatility. With the sunlight heating feature, its perfect for beach days or sunny afternoons at the campsite, even hiking as it folds down really well. You can also use it as a rinsing kit to clean off any dirt and dust from your tents, cars, surfboards etc etc.
3 color Choices
Minimal Set Up
Heated by Sunlight
Hands Free Foot Pump
If you don’t like the manual way, this isn’t for you.
Our last addition to this top list is the outdoor shower kit from RinseKit. It is multi-functional and can be used as a pressure spray to clean and rinse everything around the campsite. Including the car. It’s also viable as a camping shower as this is a bundle that comes with a water heating accessory. This model contains 2 gallons of water, however they do have larger models that can hold more water but we feel this is the best value purchase.
As we said, this shower kit comes with great value. A lot of sold separately items, that aren’t cheap, have been thrown in for measure which adds insane buyer value. Firstly the portable shower itself is the RinseKit Plus, which is the improved version of the Original RinseKit model. This version has an additional 2 minutes of spray time, compatible with the pressure pump and has a duel port design.
With the pressure booster pump that has been included in the bundle, you can refill the tank at your convenience. Additionally it’s used to pressurize the shower unit again and again, even if you don’t have a faucet or hose spigot in the vicinity. Meaning you have the freedom to shower and clean when required.
You may not be able to heat the water to the suns temperature like the Zodi shower unit, but a warm temperature nonetheless. It works by using the Hot Rod water heater which comes with the bundle. It’s compatible with any standard 12 volt vehicle accessory socket. After connection it’s immediately able to heat the water, which is suitable for use with portable camping toilets additionally.
Additionally it also has a removable lid that you can use as a stand to rinse off your feet, you will also see some of the storage bags used as drink holders etc. for picnics, and the kit has a lot of different uses.
Massive Value Bundle
Portable and Lightweight
Water stays Pressurized for long durations
Other portable showers have longer spray times and holds more water. Lightweight, smaller group choice.
What is a Portable Camping Shower?
Essentially a portable shower that has been manufactured to be used and carried around outside. They are usually lightweight, robust and can be used anywhere, as long as you have some kind of water supply or power source.
There are a variety of portable shower systems available on the market that perform best in different environments and for different purposes. Propane, battery, pressured and solar are the main types you will find on the market. However, all collectively serving as a portable and easy to use outdoor water unit.
Where to buy a Portable Camping Shower?
There are many places to buy portable showers. All main hardware stores have them and can be found on an abundance of online E-commerce stores like Amazon and Walmart for example. They still offer warranties and guarantees via these methods and it’s also useful for the heavier propane units, because of the delivery.
How much does a Portable Shower Cost?
In general they can range anything from $20-300 depending on the quality, shower unit system type and brand. A cheap and cheerful 2-5 gallon portable shower bag will cost you anything from $20-$40. Whereas a full featured, portable propane shower that heats the water, stays pressurized all day and can shower the whole family twice over will be closer to $200-$300.
How does a Portable Camping Shower Work?
They simply work by connecting up to the propane cylinders that will come with the units upon purchase, these serve as your water heaters and will heat the water accordingly. Secondly, they use batteries, this is to actually start the heating system itself, then when running will heat the water as fore-mentioned. These offer the best all round experience for outdoor hot water showers for all the family.
They keep pressure in different ways, as with most of the models on the market. Some are already pressurized as soon as the water enters the tank from the Faucet. Gaining pressure from the Faucet itself, and staying pressurized within the tank. The Helio for example however is self-pressurized, manually by the foot pump, like you would pump an air tent. Fill the tank up and press down on the foot pump until it’s at full pressure, it’s as simple as that. These have an equal pressure to a garden hose, so they also make amazing portable rinse kits while of course serving as good outdoor shower units as well. Without needing batteries or a power supply, they still achieve a powerful flow. They can’t heat the water themselves as they don’t have a heating system like the propane showers. However, they will heat the water somewhat by being outside by sunlight.
Solar Shower Bags
A large bag, usually carrying around 3-5 gallons of water inside, which hooks onto your shower tents interior shower attachment or shelf. They warm the water using the power of the sun’s rays, the hotter and more intense the sunlight, the better it will heat the water. It would take a few hours to warm up, if left out in the afternoons hot sun it heats faster. The flow isn’t pressurized so don’t expect the water to fire out, but when hung about head height, gravity will bring it out at a decent rate. Enough for a quick wash anyway.
How long does the water stay hot?
The portable propane showers can heat the water for hours and hours. The Zodi for example can heat the water up to 100 degrees, so you can imagine this will last the whole morning before dropping.
The shower bags and solar showers are less effective in their heating, so the hot water will not last as long. The sun heats the bag and in general there is some kind of small solar panel that will then heat the water inside.
Of course this is fully dependent on the duration and heat of the sun that day, if it’s overcast with low heat you can imagine it will not be hot for too long. The water also cannot reach the temperatures of the battery and propane shower units.
How long does pressured water spray for?
For the portable pressurized shower units, although they pressurize the water in different ways, they offer very similar results. You will get around 6 rounds of 5-7 minute showers, which is enough to get the whole camping group washed and some left over for kit and gear rinsing.
The propane and battery models keep the water pressurized much longer, in general. Just because of the nature of the system, having more power than solar and foot pump showers.
How to Maintain a Portable Camping Shower?
Make sure the shower bags and tanks have been completely emptied before compressing down into their carry bags. If there are hoses and shower heads, you can take them apart or squirt a bottle of water through them. To clear any dirt off the head and filters. This is to stop any clogging in the hose and head, which reduces the potential flow of water over time. That’s really all there is too it, just making sure everything is rinsed, cleaned and dried. For the portable showers, paying attention to dirt and debris in the heads and hoses is key. Take care of these things and you’re good as gold.
All in all a fantastic way to keep the campsite clean and your bodies too! There’s nothing like a warm shower after a long hike to aid in your sleep for the night.
If there are any portable showers you think we have missed let us know below. Share your experiences of using one below, we would love to hear from you guys.
We hope you found this list and FAQ helpful, if so please share with friends and other camping pals.