Best Camping Shower of 2021
Nicole Atkins – October 16th, 2021
Best Portable Camping Showers
|Nemo||Helio Pressure Shower||Best Shower for Backpacking||$99.95*||2.9 Gallons||Solar||Learn More|
|Sea to Summit||Pocket Shower||Most Compact Shower||$34.95*||2.96 Gallons||Solar||Learn More|
|Ivation||Portable Outdoor Shower||Most Versatile Shower||$49.99*||Varies||None||Learn More|
|Advanced Elements||Summer Shower||Best Solar Powered Shower||$19.99 - $34.99*||2.5, 3, 5 Gallons||Solar||Learn More|
|Geyser Systems||Portable Hot Shower||Best Shower for Your Car||$259.99*||0.8 Gallons||Battery||Learn More|
|Coleman||Solar Portable Shower||Best Shower on a Budget||$19.99*||5 Gallons||Solar||Learn More|
Camping provides all kinds of unique benefits for your mind, body, and spirit. But connecting with nature comes with some tradeoffs. After a few days of rustic living, you’re caked in dirt, sweat, sunscreen, and other unpleasantries. But, thanks to modern science, you can have your s’more and eat it too.
Whether you’re backcountry trekking or car camping, you can take advantage of modern comforts without sacrificing adventure. Portable showers run the gamut, from simple gravity showers to advanced heated camping showers. We’ve rounded up the best camping showers, as well as what to look for when buying one.
Nemo Helio Pressure Shower
Heating Method: Solar
Capacity: 2.9 GallonsLearn More
The Nemo Helio Pressure Shower is perfect for campers who want a low-maintenance shower you can enjoy to the last drop. With just a few pumps, you can bask in a hot shower without a care in the world. All you have to do is stand there, suds up, and relish the nature around you.
- At just over a pound, it’s super lightweight
- Easy to use and versatile
- Delivers amazing water pressure
- A reliable system that won’t let you down
- The gasket between the tank and the hose can be finicky
- The tank can take a while to dry out
The Nemo Helio Pressure Shower is the mac daddy of camping showers. It’s the closest thing to a traditional shower you can get in the outdoors. Most camping showers are gravity-powered, resulting in low water pressure and substandard cleaning. But this bad boy packs a punch with its human-powered pressure system. The Nemo Helio comes with a foot pump that allows you to deliver pressure almost as good as your shower at home. The superior water pressure makes this portable camping shower a great system for cleaning other things, too, like dishes, gear, and even Fido.
Nemo has designed the Helio to make your shower as enjoyable as possible. The three-gallon tank provides up to eight minutes of luxurious bathing, with a seven-foot hose for those hard-to-reach spots. If you pair it with the Heliopolis Privacy Shelter, you can hang the nozzle for a hands-free experience. The easy-to-fill water tank sits firmly on the ground, removing the need to lug a heavy tank over your head.
And don’t worry if you’re short on space. The Helio Pressure Shower folds down to a compact size of nine inches by seventeen inches. The easy setup and space-saving features make this shower an excellent option for all kinds of campers. And the lifetime warranty isn’t bad either.
Sea to Summit Pocket Shower
Heating Method: Solar
Capacity: 2.96GallonsLearn More
The Sea to Summit Pocket Shower is as simple and lightweight as they come. It’s a great shower for traditional campers and long-distance trekkers. Calling the Pocket Shower compact doesn’t even scratch the surface of its portability. It’s a reliable shower you can bring anywhere without taking up space.
- Incredibly lightweight and compact
- Made with durable materials for a long-lasting life
- Easy-to-use twist valve for flow control
- Black tank absorbs sunlight, warming the water almost instantly
- It can be tricky to fit back into its pouch
- Water pressure isn’t optimal
- The tank can be hard to hang when it’s full
The Sea to Summit Pocket Shower isn’t just an excellent camping shower. It’s probably the best option for backpackers and other long-distance adventurers. The Pocket Shower is designed to be easy and lightweight, making it perfect for backcountry bathing. Who wants to worry about complicated shower mechanics when you’re watching out for killer marmots and honey badgers? It’s feather-light, weighing an impressive 4.3 ounces, and packs into a pouch that’s only three by six inches. The Pocket Shower won’t burden your pack, leaving you more space for other essential supplies (i.e., cheese).
Like most of Sea to Summit’s products, the Pocket Shower is built for utility and durability. The simple design features a 10-liter tank with a twist-valve showerhead that allows you to adjust the water pressure. It also comes with a twenty-foot nylon cord for flexible hanging options. You simply fill the tank, hang it up, and stand by while gravity does all the work.
You can shower for at least eight glorious minutes; plenty of time to wash off the dirt and sunscreen. The water reservoir is made with the same durable nylon as their famous dry bags. You can even use it as a dry bag if you forget to pack one. And the tank is black, so it soaks up the sun, warming the water in no time.
Ivation Portable Outdoor Shower
Heating Method: None
Capacity: VariesLearn More
The Ivation Portable Outdoor Shower is one of the most versatile options on the market. The portable design makes it an effective tool for more than bathing. You can use it to wash your car, bathe the kiddos, or water your garden. And the low price tag makes this portable camping shower an excellent choice for campers on a budget.
- Ridiculously easy to use
- One of the most compact showers on the market
- Consistent water pressure
- Long battery life
- There’s no mechanism to heat the water
- The hose may be too small for really tall campers
- You have to charge the battery to enjoy the water pressure
The Ivation Portable Outdoor Shower is the best camping shower for busy adventurers who need a quick wash. It’s a no-fuss shower with a simple, practical design that instantly transforms a bucket of water into a pressurized shower. This camping shower has a portable showerhead and battery-powered pump connected by a six-foot-long hose. Just submerge the pump into a bucket of water, add soap, and scrub away.
You can control the water temperature by filling your reservoir with warm or hot water. There’s no heating mechanism, so you’ll need to heat the water before pouring it into your bucket.
The versatility of the handheld nozzle makes it easy to reach every nook and cranny, with water left over for the dishes. If you prefer a hands-free experience, you can hang the shower-head with the included suction cup or hook. Since this outdoor camping shower doesn’t have a reservoir, you can decide how much water you use. Drop it into a bucket, a kiddie pool, or a lake. The choice is yours.
It’s tough to find a good camping shower that delivers consistent water pressure. But bathing outdoors doesn’t mean you have to sacrifice luxury. The Ivation Portable Shower delivers steady pressure throughout your entire bath. It sports a 220mAh lithium battery that carries a charge for up to an hour. When the battery does finally give up, you can quickly recharge it with the included USB cord.
Advanced Elements Summer Shower
Price: $19.99 – $34.99
Heating Method: Solar
Capacity: V2.5 gallons, 3 gallons, 5 gallonsLearn More
The Advanced Elements Summer Shower is one of the toughest camping showers available. It’s an excellent choice for all kinds of adventurers since it can handle even the harshest environments. The durable four-layer design and extra features guarantee a delightful shower for years to come.
- Heats up quickly in the sun
- Includes a water temperature gauge
- Includes a pocket for your soap and other toiletries
- Tough, durable design
- The gravity-powered reservoir delivers low water pressure
- The reservoir can be hard to hang when it’s full
The Advanced Elements Summer Shower is all business. This shower features a thoughtful design that makes it perfect for outdoor use. Don’t let the product title fool you; this outdoor camping shower is a great choice for every season. The water reservoir has four layers designed to maximize heat retention and durability, making it one of the better heated camping showers out there.
Your water will warm up in no time and—more importantly—stay warm. The reservoir’s interior boasts warming insulating layers, and the exterior is covered in reflective panels. With four layers of durable material, you can be sure this shower will withstand the harshest conditions. Best of all, it includes a temperature gauge, so you know when your water reaches peak temperature.
The Summer Shower comes in three different sizes, making it a versatile option for all kinds of adventurers. The 2.5-gallon shower is perfect for the backcountry, while the 5-gallon option is big enough for families. The large filling valve and simple roll-up design make this shower easy to use. And the wide-grip handle makes hanging the reservoir a little easier.
The most exciting thing about the Advanced Elements shower is the suite of extra features that make your bathing experience more enjoyable. For example, it includes a mesh pocket for your soap and shampoo, a mirror for shaving and admiring yourself, and a velcro strap to hang your towel. But the best feature is its superior heating capabilities. It will help you stay warm all day and night.
Geyser Systems Portable Hot Shower
Price: $259.95 – $324.95
Heating Method: Battery
Capacity: 0.8 GallonsLearn More
The Geyser Systems Portable Hot Shower maximizes heat while reducing water usage. It’s a powerful camping shower that cleans tough stains and leaves you feeling refreshed. The scrub sponge design delivers superior cleaning capabilities while conserving water. If you’re in the mood to splurge, the Geyser Systems shower will not disappoint.
- Superior heating capabilities
- Durable and easy to use
- Delivers consistent water pressure
- Eco-friendly design that conserves water
- Bulkier than some other portable showers
- Your car has to be running to heat the water
- More expensive than most camping showers
The Geyser Systems Portable Hot Shower is a different kind of camping shower. It’s more expensive than most outdoor camping showers, for a good reason. It’s a battery-powered shower that heats your water to a comfortable 95 degrees (Fahrenheit) in a matter of minutes. If you’re looking for a heated camping shower, the Portable Hot Shower is an excellent choice. They also have a cheaper, non-heated option.
Ten glorious minutes of steaming hot shower—a whole new kind of “seven minutes in heaven.” The battery plugs right into your car’s 12-volt socket with a 16-foot cord to make sure the water stays hot. And a handy LED indicator lets you know when your water is ready. In case you’re not keeping time, this portable camping shower alerts you when the water is low, freeing you up to focus on how amazing it feels.
The Geyser Systems shower is one of the most eco-friendly options on the market. It uses five times less water than most outdoor camping showers. Instead of a traditional nozzle or showerhead, the water reservoir is connected to a scrub sponge that secretes water. The sponge is tough on grime, making it perfect for all kinds of different cleaning jobs (like dishes and other gear).
You also get to enjoy consistent water pressure through an easy-to-use valve you can adjust to perfection. This portable camping shower comes with all the bells and whistles without harming the environment.
Coleman 5-Gallon Solar Portable Shower
Heating Method: Solar
Capacity: 5 GallonsLearn More
The Coleman 5-Gallon Solar Shower is a reliable outdoor camping shower that holds enough water for the whole family. With the low price tag and ease of use, this portable camping shower is an excellent option for new users or campers on a budget.
- It’s easy to use and lightweight
- Relatively inexpensive
- Includes a large water reservoir
- The reservoir can be hard to hang when it’s full
- There’s no built-in pressure mechanism
The Coleman 5-Gallon Solar Shower delivers a lot of bang for your buck. It’s one of the most inexpensive camping showers on the market and doesn’t skimp on comfort or convenience. Coleman has been a beloved outdoor brand for over a century, providing families with first-rate camping gear. This shower is no exception. It features a simple design with a durable water reservoir connected (via hose) to a twist-valve nozzle.
It doesn’t get any more intuitive than that. The flexible five-gallon reservoir is made with black PVC, locking in heat, so your water stays warm throughout your shower(s). And it includes a reinforced handle to withstand the weight of your water when you hang it.
This shower’s generous capacity makes it the perfect option for families who want to enjoy multiple showers without refilling the reservoir. You no longer need to fight over showers or wait for the water to reheat before Sally can get her turn. Five gallons is plenty of water for everyone to enjoy a relaxing shower.
The Coleman Solar Shower weighs under nine ounces, making it incredibly lightweight and easy to transport. The water reservoir rolls up into a compact scroll, so you can store it just about anywhere.
How Do You Choose the Best Portable Shower?
Choosing the best portable camping shower can be tricky. You need to know what to look for in a camping shower.
- Heating methods
- Water Capacity
These are essential factors that can make or break your experience. This handy buyer’s guide helps you look past the jargon and understand what to look for when choosing the best camping shower for you and your family.
There are a few ways camping showers can deliver water, depending on the showerhead type and water pressure. If you want something closer to a traditional shower, you’ll need a shower powered by electricity or a pump. If you’re looking for a straightforward design that isn’t focused on pressure, you’ll be fine with a gravity-powered shower.
Gravity-powered camping showers are lightweight, compact, inexpensive, and easy to use. Their simple design consists of a water reservoir, hose, and shower nozzle. Just hang the bag from a tree or other structure, and gravity does all the work. The Advanced Elements Summer Shower is a great example of a gravity-powered shower.
There’s no need for pumps or electricity, as gravity forces the water down onto you. Gravity-powered showers have low water pressure, but they’re easy to transport.
If you want a camping shower with more pressure and cleaning ability, consider an electric-powered shower. The DEDC Portable Outdoor Handheld Camping Shower is an electric shower that uses an outlet or generator to pressurize your water for a more luxurious bathing experience.
If you enjoy water pressure but don’t want to worry about electric outlets, consider a camping shower that uses a pump to deliver power. Most of these outdoor showers use a foot pump or hand pump that you press for your desired water pressure. The Nemo Helio Pressure Shower, for example, uses a foot pump to deliver consistent water pressure. If having good water pressure is your thing, a pump shower is the most eco-friendly option.
The average temperature of traditional showers sits at 105 degrees Fahrenheit. Cold showers have their place in the outdoors, but you might want to take a warm (or hot) shower. Warmer water is more effective at cleaning dirt and delivers a more relaxing bathing experience. Three primary mechanisms heat water, depending on the camping shower.
Electricity is one of the most effective heating mechanisms, but it requires plugging your shower into an outlet or generator. Some battery-powered showers use electricity to recharge a battery, but more often, the shower plugs directly into a car, wall, or generator socket.
The DEDC Portable Outdoor Handheld Camping Shower is an example of an electric camping shower. An electric shower will heat your water in minutes and deliver consistent water pressure. But it’s not going to be the most portable or convenient option, since you have to be near an electrical outlet.
There are two kinds of battery-powered camping showers: those that use traditional batteries and those that use rechargeable batteries. For example, the Stansport Battery-Powered Portable Shower uses four D batteries while the Geyser Systems Portable Hot Shower uses a rechargeable battery.
Both types use battery power to heat your water and deliver consistent water pressure, making them excellent options for campers who want a more conventional shower. And they typically work with custom water reservoirs (like buckets), allowing you to decide how much water to use.
Some camping showers use propane (or other gases) to heat your water. The HikeCrew Portable Propane Water Heater Pump is one of the more popular gas-powered camping showers on the market.
Gas-powered showers can be expensive and bulky, but they include a lot of modern features and heat your water faster than any other method. You’ll have to remember to bring fuel, but you can use that fuel to power other camping equipment, like grills and lanterns.
Most camping showers use solar energy to heat your water. They’re usually the cheapest and most environmentally friendly showers. Solar-powered showers typically have a durable water reservoir designed to absorb heat while sitting in the sun, so there’s no need to carry fuel.
The Advanced Elements Summer Shower is a great example of a solar-powered camping shower. Depending on the reservoir’s materials, some solar showers can heat your water to (at least) 90 degrees Fahrenheit within 15-20 minutes—just enough time to grab breakfast and a cup of joe.
Whether you’re roughing it in the backcountry or camping lakeside, you want to make sure your camping shower can withstand outdoor environments. The last thing you need is your shower ripping apart mid-bath. A durable camping shower should last several years, no matter how much you use it.
A good outdoor shower highlights seamless construction and long-lasting materials. A soft, flexible water reservoir won’t be as durable as a hard-sided one, but that doesn’t mean it’s weak.
For example, the Advanced Elements Summer Shower is constructed with four layers of soft plastic, making it one of the most robust bag designs on the market. But showers like the Geyser Systems Portable Hot Shower will probably last longer. In the end, you have to weigh durability against things like size, price, and utility.
Tank capacity is one of the most important factors to consider when you’re shopping for a camping shower. The tank capacity will determine how long your showers last, how many people can use the shower, and how easy it is to hang the reservoir. It can be hard to know how much water you’ll need. For reference, a typical showerhead uses two gallons of water per minute. Gravity-powered showers last longer than pressurized showers.
Most camping showers hold between one gallon (like the Geyser Systems Portable Hot Shower) and five gallons (like the Coleman 5-Gallon Solar Shower). And some outdoor showers, like the Ivation Portable Outdoor Shower, exclude a water reservoir, allowing you to decide how much water to use. Five gallons of water can weigh up to 40 pounds, so if you’re camping alone, you may want to consider a smaller tank that’s easier to hang.
Hot Water vs Cold Water System
Some camping showers can heat your water to ideal temperatures in a matter of minutes. Other showers feature a simpler design, delivering cold or lukewarm water. Hot showers can be soothing in the frigid winter, while cold showers are refreshing on a hot summer day. Depending on your price point, space, and preferences, you can opt for a hot water system or a cold water system.
Hot Water System
If you’re camping in the middle of the winter and want a hot shower, look for electric, battery, or gas-powered showers. For example, the Geyser Systems Portable Hot Shower heats your water in just a few minutes, allowing you to control the temperature.
If you want a warm, comfortable shower no matter the season, consider a solar-powered camping shower. The Sea to Summit Pocket Shower relies on the sun to heat your water, omitting unnecessary parts (and weight). If you’re in the backcountry and short on space, a solar-heating system is your best bet. But if you’re car camping and don’t have to worry about having a compact design, an electric or battery-powered shower might be better.
Cold Water System
The least expensive and simplest camping showers exclude any heating source. They feature straightforward designs, delivering your pristine alpine water directly from its source.
There’s no better feeling than stepping into a cool cascade of water after a long hike on a hot day. It’s like stepping underneath a waterfall but with more control over pressure. If you don’t need your water to be warm or hot, a cold water system will suit you well.
Water Reservoir Versus Submergible Water Pumps
There are also camping showers that don’t come with a reservoir. They usually include a portable showerhead that’s connected to a submergible water pump. The Ivation Portable Outdoor Shower is an excellent example of an outdoor shower that uses a portable nozzle and water pump.
You choose a reservoir of any size and submerge the pump to pressurize the water. These portable showers are usually more versatile since you can use any reservoir and point the showerhead in any direction.
Most camping showers include a water reservoir. Some showers come with a flexible shower bag that you can hang for convenience. The Coleman 5-Gallon Solar Shower is a great example of an outdoor shower with a soft-sided water reservoir. They come in all sizes and roll up into compact spaces, making them easy to transport. More advanced showers (like the Geyser Systems Portable Hot Shower) come with hard-sided water tanks that can stand any outdoor conditions.
Hose and Showerhead Design
Similarly, the showerhead (or nozzle) design can make or break your experience. Handheld showerheads (like the Ivation Portable Outdoor Shower) are versatile, allowing you to reach every nook and cranny from any direction. You have complete control over the water flow.
But some showers (like the Sea to Summit Pocket Shower) use a nozzle that’s connected to the reservoir. They either twist or pop open, allowing the water to drain from the nozzle. Nozzle-style showerheads offer less control and only flow in one direction: down. But they take up less space.
It may not seem like the hose and showerhead are important things to consider when buying a camping shower, but they are.
If you’re on the taller side, you want to make sure your outdoor shower has a hose long enough to reach your body. For example, the Nemo Helio Pressure Shower has a seven-foot hose. Aim for a hose that’s at least five feet long; longer if you’re hanging the reservoir from a tree. And make sure that bad boy is constructed with durable materials, like plastic and nylon.
How many people can use my portable camping shower?
Depending on the water capacity of your camping shower, you can take anywhere from one to three showers without refilling the reservoir. Smaller camping showers support about a gallon of water, enough for one person to take a shower. Larger portable showers can hold up to five (or more) gallons of water, allowing two, three, or even four people to take a quick shower.
And handheld camping showers, like the Ivation Portable Outdoor Shower, can be submerged into a reservoir of any capacity. You can use it as long as the battery holds its charge, which is 60 minutes. With that much time, your whole family can take a shower.
How long would it take to heat up the water?
Battery, gas, and electric camping showers can heat your water pretty fast. Most models will heat the water within 15-30 minutes—sometimes faster for gas-powered showers.
If you’re using a solar-powered shower you’ll have to wait a little longer. Depending on your preferred temperature, a solar-powered camping shower can heat water in about one to three hours.
How long will the hot water in a portable shower last?
Battery, gas, and electric camping showers can heat your water pretty fast. Most models will heat the water within 15-30 minutes—sometimes faster for gas-powered showers. If you’re using a solar-powered shower you’ll have to wait a little longer. A solar-powered camping shower can heat water in about one to three hours, depending on your preferred temperature.
How many gallons for a camp shower?
Most portable camping showers hold between one and five gallons of water. However, some models, like the Advanced Elements Summer Shower, can hold up to 10 gallons or more. And, handheld showers can hold as much water as you have on hand.