Best camping shower
NEMO Helio LX Pressure Shower
A superb camping shower with a lighting-fast pressure system for a lifetime.
Best battery life
Coleman OneSource shower
A versatile camp shower with rapid water heating and outstanding battery life.
Best ultralight shower
Sea to Summit Pocket Shower
An incredibly compact camping shower that’ll fit any backpack, in any camping trip.
Popular myth: camping comes at the expense of your hygiene. Let’s just break it from here – it does not!
If you bring a proper camping shower with you, all the chances are that you’ll keep just as fresh as after your daily hot shower. On top, you’ll be able to skip that not-so-lovely washing part when back home: before packing up, a camping shower will clean the dirt out of your pets, cooking tools, and gear.
So, what’s the most reliable outdoor shower for your camping trip? There are a LOT of solutions – from simple shower bags to solar kits – that you can consider.
We’ve researched and tested 30 camping showers to find the best options out there. Let’s look at what we’ve found.
- Best camping showers in 2023: quick summary
- Top 3 best camping showers overviewed
- FAQ before getting a camping shower
- On a hunt for more camping gear advice?
Best camping showers in 2023: quick summary
If you don’t have time to go through all the details, let us quickly guide you through the top 3 camping showers we’ve tested.
- The winner is NEMO Helio LX Pressure Shower – 22 Liters. It’s a quality foot-pump portable shower with a large capacity for multiple hot showers.
- The second best is Coleman OneSource Rechargeable Built-in Pump Camp Shower Sprayer – a versatile camping shower that rapidly heats water and has an impressive battery life.
- And last but not least – Sea to Summit Pocket Shower – is an easy-to-use outdoor shower that stands out with its exceptionally compact and lightweight design.
Top 3 best camping showers overviewed
Now, let’s jump into the full details of our selected best portable showers in 2023.
1. Best overall: NEMO Helio LX Pressure Shower
- Weight: 2 lbs
- Dimensions: 23 x 10 in
- Max capacity: 4.8 gallons / 22 liters
- Hassle-free pack-up for easier transportation
- High-quality, durable materials
- Easy to refill
- Foot pump for increased water pressure
- Big capacity for multiple camp showers
- No shoulder strap for water carrying
- A bit bulky
- Must hold ON position for it to continue working
- The shower head could be bigger
The main reason why NEMO Helio LX was our top pick is simply that it didn’t bother us from any perspective. Foot pump – super, long enough hose – excellent. What about pressure? Amazing. This more or less sums up our conversation about this camping shower.
NEMO Helio pressure shower features a large capacity of 4.8 gallons (22 liters) which is enough for multiple hot showers. You don’t have to refill the shower and wait for hours until the sun heats it. Instead, fill it at the beginning of your camping trip and then complete the day fresh and clean.
By the way, taking a shower is not the only use case for NEMO Helio LX – it works just fine for washing the cooking gear or, if you’re off camping with your furry friend, to take the dirt off it. The foot pump adds a lot of comfort here, as you can easily control the water pressure depending on whether you need to get the shampoo out of your hair or just slightly rinse the teacup.
On top, NEMO Helio pressure shower doesn’t require any electricity or batteries – you can go as wild as it gets and still use this shower easily.
As with any solar shower, the time until it heats up to the perfect temperature depends on how well the sun does its job, how cool the water you fill in is, and what you consider a “perfect” temperature.
But be careful – NEMO Helio LX can make your water even TOO hot. Really, that’s what happened to us. We went from room temperature (around 69 degrees Fahrenheit) to over 120 degrees in 4.5 hours of the full midday sun. So, as you might suspect – 3 hours should’ve probably been enough with these temperatures.
If you don’t have time (or simply don’t want) to wait – simply mix part of near-boiling water into three parts cold water. Your shower is ready to use!
So, is it really THAT perfect? Well, almost. We struggled a bit with holding an ON button with our feet (no feet-free option here). It might get tricky when the feet get wet, and you’d find yourself dancing somewhat on the button.
Also, a shoulder strap would be really helpful when carrying the shower filled with water from the water source. Although it’s manageable, it would accelerate the setup process. The cherry on top before we jump to the next portable shower – Helio LX is protected by a NEMO lifetime warranty. That tells a lot, doesn’t it?
If you wish more privacy in your camping shower experience, a shower tent will do the work. One that pairs well with Helio LX is Nemo Heliopolis 2000.
2. Best battery life: Coleman OneSource Rechargeable Built-in Pump Camp Shower Sprayer
- Weight: 5.7 lbs
- Dimensions: 11.2 x 8.2 in
- Max capacity: 3 gallons
- Easy to set up
- Long-lasting battery doubles as a flashlight and USB charger
- Adjustable nozzle
- Decent capacity
- Strong pressure
- Durable materials
- Comfortable shower strap
- Quick charging
- Some campers have leaking concerns
- The handle could be sturdier
Why do we praise this camping shower for its best battery life? Well, because its interchangeable, lithium-ion battery just does its job SO well that you can feel Coleman OneSource is built to last. Besides lightning-fast water heating, it doubles as a flashlight and a USB charger.
This camp shower features a 3-gallon capacity, enough for two pretty quick yet comfortable showers if you’re camping with a companion (and if you’re alone – you’ll be sure to enjoy a cozy homelike shower without a rush). Water pressure is also decent, so you won’t need to worry about shampoo leftovers in your hair.
Although we saw some reviews concerning its durability, we didn’t experience anything similar while using this camping shower and are happy about its sturdiness.
Coleman OneSource’s capacity makes it quite a compact yet durable camping shower. It’s built from impact- and IPX water-resistant material for reliable and long-lasting use.
3. Best ultralight: Sea to Summit Pocket Shower
- Weight: 4.3 oz
- Max capacity: 2.2 gallons / 10 liters
- Super lightweight and packable
- Heats up well
- Easy to use
- Comes with everything you need
- Durable for this setup
- Good capacity
- Easy for conservation
- Comfortable for dish rinsing
- Low pressure – minimal flow
- Roll-top is leaky
- Can be hard to hang high enough
- Solar qualities are debatable
- Better not to fill fully for increased lifespan
And for the third best camping shower, we couldn’t NOT recognize this masterly-designed, super lightweight, and packable Sea to Summit Pocket Shower.
When you see it, you know immediately what the manufacturers meant by naming it a “pocket” one. If you have big enough pockets, this shower will fit in perfectly. That we confirm!
The combination of ease of use, portability, and durability makes the Sea to Summit Pocket shower a no-brainer when taking it anywhere. From ultralight backpacking to hiking, trekking, fishing, or car camping. You name it.
This is a dry bag-styled camping shower, so it’s hangable and doesn’t feature a foot pump. For water pressure, you’ll need to trust gravity to do its job. Indeed, you won’t be able to enjoy a decent flow that standing, foot-pumped camp showers offer, but it’ll work just fine for taking the dirt out and refreshing your body.
The Sea to Summit Pocket shower features an open top for hassle-free filling and the shower head attached straight to the bottom of the solar-heated bag. Can’t be more straightforward. Just fill it in, leave in the sun, and enjoy. No puzzles here.
With a small 2.2-gallon capacity (same as Quechua), this camping shower shouldn’t last too long. Surprisingly, it exceeded our expectations and lasted for 8 minutes! Even though the flow isn’t comparable to foot-pumped showers, there was enough hot water for us two to take proper showers.
One thing we found debatable is its solar capabilities. From a design perspective, you’d expect it to heat in no more than 2 hours. However, it took more than 4 hours to get warm enough water.
Also, its dry-bag compact style MIGHT come at the expense of durability. The materials are relatively thin – and if you overtighten the shower head – you’re at risk of leaking. You should be careful not to overfill the storage bag to increase its lifespan.
Overall, we’ve found the Sea to Summit Pocket shower a perfect value for money. Tiny yet powerful, this camp shower won’t steal any extra backpack space but will do miracles when you want to refresh after a long day of camping.
There are also other options worth attention for their unique features: either battery life, impressive heating time, or an eco-friendly design. Let’s see what’s there!
Best rack-mounted: Yakima Roadshower 7G
- Weight: 25.5 lbs
- Dimensions: 55 x 7.4 in
- Max capacity: 7 gallons / 31.8 liters
- Easy to use
- Possible to repressurize
- Doesn’t need a hose
- Durable materials
- Intense pressure
- A precipitous drop-off in pressure
- The included nozzle isn’t great for showering
- Hard to fully empty
- Won’t be useful without a roof rack
While this is not the option you’d take for a backpacking or hiking trip, the Yakima Roadshower will definitely serve as one of the best companions for a car. This metal car-top tube will mount easily on the top of your vehicle and will keep you, your gear, and your pet fresh and clean during the trip.
There are a few versions of this roadshower – 4, 7, or 10 gallons. We chose the middle, 7-gallon one.
The more water in the shower, the more pressurized it is, with the ability to spray even 30 feet when full (which is nice for your gear but might not be so pleasant for the body).
But the pressure is not set in stone – it can significantly drop when it gets emptier. However, Yakima Roadshower features an air pump that will promptly increase the pressure. By turning the end of the nozzle, you can also change the spray radius to the level you’re convenient with.
As for heating, this camping shower is also impressive. The black exterior attracts the sunshine and heats very well. A temperature gauge will save you from burning (yes, you read it right – this shower heats so well it might even turn TOO hot). Don’t forget to check it first!
One more thing we find worth mentioning is Roadshower’s durability. We literally couldn’t find anything to complain about – this camping shower is made of powder-coated aluminum with food-grade hose and brass fittings, just screaming the superb lifespan.
Easiest to use: Coleman 5-Gallon Solar Shower
- Weight: 0.5 lbs
- Dimensions: 8.7 x 6.5 in
- Max capacity: 5 gallons / 22.7 liters
- Large capacity
- Heat-locking material helps to heat up in the sun
- Strong handle for reliable hanging and carrying
- Decent pressure
- Good value for money
- Easy to set up
- A bit challenging to fill the reservoir
- The water tube kinks easily and impedes the flow
- The value that shuts off the water prone to a slow leak and isn’t sturdy
The Coleman 5-gallon solar shower is certainly a good value for money. It comes with a large capacity for a slow, pleasant shower and a strong handle that makes it easier to hang on a tree or carry the water.
This Solar Shower succeeds in heating up properly after half of the day in the sun – and the head-locking material it’s made of truly helps preserve the heat.
It’s super intuitive to set up and use and has a fair water pressure that aids in rinsing off all the dirt using soap or shampoo.
However, the value that shuts off the water is quite prone to slowly leaking, so we’d definitely love extra sturdiness. The water tube is also open for improvements, as it kinks easily and might impede the flow.
All in all, it’s a budget-friendly option that’s impressed us with its huge capacity and ease of use. A worthwhile investment!
Best budget: Ivation Battery-Powered Portable Shower
- Weight: 1.8 pounds
- Dimensions: 4.3 x 3.3 in
- Great coverage
- Comfortable and consistent pressure
- Decent battery life
- Easy to use – simple design
- Includes hands-free option
- Two mounts for a shower head
- Short hose
- Can’t empty its container
- No USB port as described
This standard-looking portable shower features an in-built foot pump, so you’re sure the gravity won’t steal the water pressure from your camping shower. It’s highly durable and packable – there’s no water bag with limited capacity; instead, you can just refill the bucket on the nearest water source.
You can use the Ivation shower either hands-free or handheld. Once recharged, it should serve up to 1-hour runtime – more than enough for multiple pleasant showers.
It’s a pretty lightweight option, weighing only 1.8 pounds as a whole unit, so it’s a nice shower to choose for all types of camping – from ultralight backpacking or hiking to car camping.
The only thing that caused concerns for us was a lack of a USB port. Though the Ivation Portable Shower is advertised as rechargeable through a USB connection, in reality, it comes with a wall plug charger. So, be prepared!
Fastest heating: Advanced Elements Summer Solar Shower
- Weight: 1.3 lbs
- Dimensions: 20 x 6 in
- Max capacity: 5 gallons / 22.7 liters
- Good value for money – quality construction
- Good capacity
- Heats up well
- Comes with a water temperature gauge
- Easy to stow away between uses
- Hard to turn off and on by yourself to conserve water (need two hands)
- Not rigid, so it has the possibility of being punctured and leak
- Hard to clean & dry out
- The temperature gauge is hard to read
While this Advanced Elements Summer shower comes in different capacities (3, 5, or 10 gallons), we’ve chosen a 5-gallon one which offers around 6 minutes of constant flow (3 gallons would be enough for a 3.5 minutes shower, and with 10 you could enjoy a 12-minute shower).
AE Summer comes with some comfy features like a small mirror, a soap pocket, and two velcro loops for holding a washcloth or towel to keep it out of the dirt. That definitely adds to a somewhat homelike showering experience.
As it’s a gravity-powered shower, you’ll need to find a tree or something alike to hang it for water to flow. While this shouldn’t cause much hassle, we’ve seen gravity-powered showers come with pretty low pressure, and AE Summer isn’t an exception. It might be hard to rinse soap or shampoo but will serve perfectly to refresh your body or clean camping cooking utensils.
AE Summer is a solar shower that needs a few hours of the midday sun to warm up. To our surprise, it heated very quickly (2 hours) – helping it win the “fastest heating” award. This shower features a temperature gauge, so you won’t waste any water while trying it out. Just check the temperature, and you’re off to go.
While we’ve seen some other campers having doubts about the durability of AE Summer, we haven’t noticed any similar issues – we’d say it’s quality construction that will serve long if taken care of.
Most eco-friendly: Simple Portable Shower
- Weight: 0.13 pounds
- Dimensions: 2.5 x 2.5 in
- High flow rate
- Good value for money
- Very easy to use
- Very portable
- Uses 2-liter bottles – easy to find
- Simply rotate your hand if you want to stop pouring
- Made from recycled materials
- Tiny capacity
- Easy to lose pieces cause there are three parts
- Durability concerns
- Holding one hand over the head is awkward to avoid spraying water
- Short capacity
This simple portable shower just screams eco-friendliness by its look. And that’s for sure – it’s made from recycled materials, which serves a huge advantage in the competition!
The little plastic tube in the middle of the head is what makes this invention so smart yet super easy to use. When you turn the bottle upside down, it draws air from the outside and sends it directly to the top of the water. This way, the water may flow out more freely without gurgling inside the bottle as it tries to replace the water that has been lost with the air.
However, if you’re not up to army-style showers and changing water bottles in between, that might not be the option to go, and you’d like to choose a shower with a bigger capacity.
Simple Portable shower weighs only 0.13 pounds and is very small by its dimensions – 2.5 x 2.5 in – making it as portable as it gets. Of course, it’s used with a 2-liter water bottle, which can make it a bit bulky. Still, the hassle-free mechanism makes it a perfect choice for lightweight camping.
Best 2-in-1: Geyser Systems Portable Shower with Heater
- Weight: 7.8 lbs
- Dimensions: 16 x 9 in
- Max capacity: 0.8 gallons / 3.6 liters
- Efficient use of water
- Easy to set up
- Simple to use
- Great for gear cleaning (multi-purpose)
- Takes up little room in your vehicle
- Doesn’t require propane
- Specific usage – won’t fit for washing your hair
- Requires a running car or portable power station
- Short capacity
- More like a nice sponge bath than a proper shower
This shower stands out from the rest by its extraordinary design. Actually, we’d like to call this Geyser camping shower more like a sponge bath than the actual shower.
Literally, a pump that delivers a water stream to the sponge at the end of the hose is powered by a 12V connection plugged into your still-running car, while a tiny 0.8-gallon tank warms the water to a pleasant 95 degrees.
Although it can’t match the cleanliness of a standard camping shower and isn’t perfect for washing hair, Geyser manages to utilize very little water effectively. This sponge approach will help you keep yourself and your equipment clean.
FAQ before getting a camping shower
How do you take a shower when camping?
You’ll wash excess dirt and oils with a simple rinse in fresh water. If that isn’t your thing or if there isn’t any water available, bring extra water and biodegradable soap so you can take a shower. Just bathe at least 200 feet from your campground and 200 feet from any existing water source.
How long does a 5-gallon shower bag last?
The Georgia Water Science Center says a typical shower uses roughly 2 ½ gallons of water per minute, so a 5-gallon bag lasts for approx 2 minutes if you let the water run constantly.
In contrast, a standing solar shower should last longer than 5 minutes and hold between 10 and 15 gallons.
What does a camping shower look like?
A durable black garbage bag with hooks or straps to hang it up and a spout for the water serves as the basic design of a solar camping shower. These bags typically store between 10 and 20 liters of water. Fill the bag with water and set it out in the sun before you leave for hiking.
How long does it take a camp shower to heat up?
All camp showers heat up the same way: You fill them with water and leave in the sun. So, you need the sun, and a warm day will help a lot. After roughly three hours under direct sunlight on a day with 80 degrees, we discovered that nearly all showers reached temperatures of between 100 and 105 degrees.
On a hunt for more camping gear advice?
We’ve got your back. Check out our detailed reviews on the best camping gear: