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Getting a portable camping shower is a cheap and easy way to bring some comfort to your next camping trip. 

You won’t have to use the stinky public bathrooms, which can be dirty and expensive at some campgrounds. Plus, you’ll feel so much fresher than you would after a wet wipe wash. You’ll be able to give your hair a good wash, too. 

I also use my camping shower to hose down my dog before he gets in the tent. I even do the dishes with it. For me, it’s an absolute must for any car camping trip lasting longer than two nights. 

When I started my research for this article, I was genuinely shocked by how many terrible products are on the market. It seems like most camping showers will fall to pieces before you use them. 

Some good ones are out there, though. Ironically, it’s not the most expensive ones that are driving people nuts. This article will tell you about five of the best camping showers available right now.

I hope you find it helpful!

In a Hurry? Here Are My Top 3 Picks

5 Best Portable Camping Showers

Coleman Portable Shower Bag

Best Value
Coleman 5-Gallon Portable Shower Bag
$21.52
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05/17/2022 12:23 am GMT

Sometimes the simple things in life really do work the best. This portable shower bag is straightforward and super affordable, but most users are delighted with it. 

The five-gallon shower will hold enough water for a few showers if you’re sparing, and you can easily hook it up in your shower tent by the handle.

Alternatively, you can use a rope to attach it to a tree if you want a truly natural shower experience!

Thanks to the dark, heat-absorbing materials, this should give you a warm shower after it’s been in direct sunlight for three hours. You don’t have to mess around with gas bottles or try to hook up to electricity, as it works with gravity and sunlight. 

Not everyone had a positive experience with this shower. A few people had problems with leaking, and a couple of others said the handle wasn’t strong enough for the water.

But a couple of quick fixes will put those right. 

First, don’t fill it up before you get to your campsite. The idea is to fill this up when you’re already at your camp. If you go along a bumpy road with this filled up, there’s a good chance it will leak.

Second, don’t fill it to the top. If you fill it around three-quarters full, you’ll still have plenty of water for showers, and you won’t be putting excess pressure on the handle. 

For the price you pay, the quality is fair, and this shower will get the job done. But you have to be sensible in how you use it!

Pros:
  • Affordable
  • Straightforward
  • Heat-absorbing materials
Cons:
  • Weak handle

Advanced Elements Summer Shower

My Choice
Advanced Elements 5 Gallon Summer Shower
$34.99
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05/17/2022 12:24 am GMT

Personally, I’d invest a little more money in something that could last the test of time. 

The Advanced Elements Summer Shower has a reinforced handle, so you don’t have to worry about filling it to the top. It has a temperature gauge, so you know when the water inside will be comfortable to use.

It also has an extra-large fill valve, so you won’t make a huge mess when you’re filling it up. 

As with the last shower, this one naturally heats up using the energy of the sun. Its five-gallon capacity means that you don’t have to constantly fill it up and wait for it to heat again.

Plus, you can easily switch the showerhead on and off to save precious water on the go. 

Users are consistently positive about this shower. I think the slight price difference is totally worth it. 

Pros:
  • Reinforced handle
  • Temperature gauge
  • Five-gallon capacity
Cons:
  • Small shower head

Decathlon Pressure Solar Shower - Best Overall

I think the best overall choice is the Decathlon Pressure Shower because it’s super versatile. 

You can pop this in a shower tent or use it to hose down your dirty tent. You can even wash your dishes with it or keep it outside the tent door for spraying down sandy feet from the beach. 

Instead of hanging it up, you create pressure with the hand pump. Press down on the trigger when you want water to flow and release it when you want to soap up.

This will save you a ton of water, and it’s much more user-friendly than twisting a shower nozzle. 

This shower is also solar heated, so you can get a warm shower in the summer without using gas or electricity. Just don’t keep it pumped up on the move because you’ll be putting too much pressure on the valves.

Your best bet is to fill and pump it up in situ, then deflate it when you’re packing down your camp. 

Pros:
  • Nozzle trigger saves water 
  • Solar heated 
  • Versatile 
  • Temperature gauge 
  • Don't have to hang it up 
Cons:
  • Can leak if you fill up in advance

OYOOQO Portable Pressure Shower 

OYOOQO Portable Pressure Shower
$188.00
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05/17/2022 01:52 pm GMT

The OYOOQO Portable Pressure Shower is significantly larger than the others I’ve recommended, but it’s still an interesting option for car campers.

You can either plug this into the cigarette lighter in your car or rely on the lithium battery. Either way, you’ll get a nice-pressure shower by pulling the trigger on the showerhead.

Overall, I like this shower, but there are a couple of limitations to be aware of. 

First, it doesn’t heat water, so you’ll have to add warm water yourself or just take a cold shower. One way to get around this is to fill an insulated cooler with hot water before heading to the beach. Then, when you’re ready, tip it into your shower box. 

Another option is to heat a couple pans of water and pour them into the box. 

The box isn’t sealed or insulated, so you don’t want to fill it in your car. (It will spill out on the journey.) But you can fill it once you’ve arrived, and you’re good to go pretty much instantly. 

You don’t have to find a tree to tie it to or pump it up by hand, and the battery life is surprisingly long. If you understand what this shower can and can’t do before purchasing, you won’t be disappointed. 

Users say that it stands the test of time, and it has much better reviews than the more complicated, self-heating competitors. (Honestly, I wanted to recommend a propane portable shower, but the user reviews were too scathing to even go there!)

Pros:
  • Long battery life
  • Large capacity 
  • Durable
  • Good pressure
Cons:
  • Doesn’t self-heat
  • Box isn’t sealed

Geyser Systems Portable Hot Shower - Best for Overlanding

This portable shower is not cheap but for anyone who is thinking about overlanding long term, it’s worth seriously considering.

This 12V shower plugs into your vehicle or power bank, but there’s an extra-long power cord so you can use it outside without water puddling around your car.

Instead of a shower nozzle, it’s attached to a sponge, which lets hot water run through it as you wash your body. 

The sponge attachment saves plenty of water while still giving you a proper deep clean that you just can’t get from a flannel or wipe. (Don’t worry; it’s easy to switch out sponges so you don’t have to share with anyone else!)

If you plug this in, it will be ready between 15 and 45 minutes later. Then you’ll have a full 15 minutes of hot water to scrub off any grime you picked up on the trails. 

I have never seen one of these in the flesh, but I’m impressed by the product specifications and user reviews. If you’re lucky enough to have used one of these, let me know what you think in the comments!

Pros:
  • Water-saving technology 
  • Self-heating option
  • Quick to heat up 
  • Effective
  • Extra-long power cord
Cons:
  • Relies on electricity

Camping Showers Buying Guide

A lot of rubbishy camp showers are on the market, so please be careful about straying from this list.

I’m on a bit of a mission to reduce the “disposable” camp gear problem, where loads of kit get chucked away before it even makes it on a camping trip!

If you find something that you think will last, refer to this buying guide to ensure you’re on the right track. 

Solar Versus Electric

Solar showers are great for summer camping trips. You can leave them out in the sun while you get on with your day, and a warm shower will be ready for you in about three hours.

If quite a few of you are camping, you might want to consider getting more than one solar shower bag.

This is because by the time a couple of you have showered, you’ll have to refill the bag and wait another three hours before the water is comfortable enough to use!

In the wintertime, solar showers can take a long time to heat up. I get around this by placing it on my vehicle dashboard, which works like a greenhouse and speeds up things.

I’m pretty sure that goes against the manufacturing instructions, though, so you might damage your camping shower or scald yourself if you follow my hack. Proceed with caution, but I find this to be pretty helpful in the cooler months!

Electric showers can be great because you don’t have to rely on the sun. After all, a warm shower is much more critical in the winter, exactly when solar showers will be less efficient.

But this does mean that you’ll need a power source, so things can start getting pretty expensive before you know it. 

Of course, you can heat water on the stove and pour it into your camping shower, so there are ways to get around any issues you have with the weather. 

Gravity Versus Pump 

A simple shower bag working with gravity will probably be fine. These are the cheapest options on the market, and there is certainly nothing wrong with them. 

But you’ll have more versatility with a pump. Whether that’s a hand, foot, or electric pump, it means you don’t have to suspend your shower from a tree or shower tent hook. 

I like pump showers because you can use them for all sorts of things, including doing the dishes. 

Durability 

As promising as the descriptions sound, the vast majority of camp showers will fall to pieces on the first or second use. Please read the user reviews and scroll past more than the first page. 

If people are consistently saying that the product is junk, don’t be surprised if it’s junk!

The significant problems with cheaper models are constant leaking and weak valves that break quickly.

Many review articles recommend some of the worst-performing showers, so exercise sensible caution and check reviews on a few sites. 

Size 

The smaller your shower capacity, the more compact it will be. It will heat up more quickly, and it won’t waste a lot of water. 

But a small shower isn’t the best option if you’re camping as a family. 

To avoid a family fallout over who stole the last shower, make sure to get something suitable.

I would go for a five-gallon solar shower for my husband and me. If I were camping with friends, I’d probably bring a second shower to be on the safe side. 

Of course, if you invested in a fancy self-heating shower like the Geyser, one will be enough for everyone. 

FAQs

Are Camping Showers Any Good?

A lot of camping showers are junky. But some of them are pretty good, and it’s not just the expensive ones that you can rely on.

For help choosing a decent camping shower, refer to the Buying Guide in this article.

How Do Solar Camping Showers Work?

Solar camping showers are made from heat-absorbing materials. When you fill them with water and leave them in direct sunlight, they heat up in about three hours.

You can then hook them up above you so that the water flows with gravity, or you can choose a shower with a pump that you can keep on the ground. 

How Do I Survive Camping Without a Shower?

You aren’t going to die if you miss a few showers! But if you want to stay fresh on the trails, you could consider using a flannel or biodegradable wet wipes to freshen up.

I don’t recommend dousing yourself in more deodorant because you’ll become a walking bug magnet. 

Are There Showers at Campsites?

It depends on the campground you choose. Some will have lovely, clean, hot showers that you can use for a few coins. Others will be more primitive, and you won’t even have a flush toilet.

If you have any doubts, it’s a good idea to check the website or give the campsite a ring before you book. 

Final Thoughts 

Online shopping can be a bit of a minefield. So many fake reviews are out there, and many people recommend rubbishy products because they put their own financial interests before their readers’ wallets. 

In these review articles, I always put honesty first, which is why I could recommend only five camping showers for you today. 

To sum up, my budget recommendation was the Coleman Portable Shower Bag. It’s not the best on the market, but if you take some precautions, it will do the job.

But I seriously recommend investing a little more and getting the Advanced Elements Summer Shower, my personal choice. 

If you’re prepared to take another leap up in price, the Decathlon Pressure Solar Shower is probably the best overall choice considering quality and durability. 

I hope you found this article on the best portable camping showers helpful, and I wish you many happy camping adventures with kit you can rely on!

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Rachel

Rachel Horne

Rachel is a freelance adventure writer and founder of Highly Sensitive Nomad. When she isn’t writing, she can be found wild camping in the mountains and swimming in the lakes of Europe.


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