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Last updated: June 13, 2021
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The portable solar shower allows campers to take care of their hygiene during their stays in nature. The solar camping shower is not only transportable but also foldable and easy to store. This type of equipment is essential if you want to clean or rinse yourself during your outdoor activities. Some models can even keep the water hot. Another big advantage of this item is that it is not exclusively intended for showering at the campsite. Depending on the model you choose, you may use it for grooming your pets, watering plants, or washing your car.
So, what is the best solar shower on the market? We have cherry-picked the 6 best solar showers and will therefore review each product one after the other. In any case, the criteria essential for selecting outdoor solar showers are the water capacity, heating time, type of material, among others. This consideration is what facilitated our product picks, which you can compare in the table below.
Our best solar camp shower and the Editor’s Choice is the Coghlan’s Solar Heated Camp Shower. This solar shower turns out to be very practical since it is easy to carry and heats up quite quickly. This solar shower is characterized by a relatively interesting foldable side. It saves time and space. You can easily store the solar shower when you are no longer using it. This solar shower can be used in a traditional camping setting, to wash yourself or to cool off when it’s hot.
The presence of the sun is essential to heat the water. In good conditions with a constant ray of sunlight on the solar shower, you can end up with a duration of 3 hours approximately to heat 5 gallons to around 45°C. This data varies from one place to another and from one day to another.
What are its best features? We like the hanging cord included with it. With this, the bag can be tied anywhere. It’s easy to use and you can shower in more unusual places than the others with this inexpensive solar shower.
What could be improved? It is not an effective shower in the long term. It deteriorates after several weeks of use. It is not designed with environmentally friendly materials.
The Advanced Elements is a 2.5-gallon solar shower with 4-layer construction material. To use the shower bag, you must first fill it with water, from any source within easy reach. You can even fill it up before you leave the house. Then, to reheat the water, just leave the bag in direct sunlight for a few hours, assuming the weather is right.
The manufacturers of most of these showers warn that depending on the outside temperature, the water in the tank can heat up to the point of becoming hot.
When you’re ready to use the Advanced Elements Shower, hang it somewhere above your head so that water will flow easily to the showerhead. Pull on it to open the water inlet. Push it back the other way to stop the flow. It’s simple.
The Advanced Elements solar shower works for 5 to 7 minutes. That’s enough to clean your gear after a dip in the ocean or to rinse your kids off before they get into the tent. The spray is powerful enough to wash off dried mud from hiking boots. But like most portable showers, this one isn’t pressurized – you’ll need gravity to drag the water away. Hang it high enough so that the pipe hangs down above your head: this is how you get the best flow.
The Advanced Elements shower offers a few extras, such as a mesh pocket for carrying toiletries and a small mirror. We are certainly not talking about overwhelming features here, but these are very practical details.
Considering its low capacity, it only provides approximately 3 minutes of running water, which is insufficient.
What do we love it for? It’s easier to transport and heats up a little faster. Small and light, it’s the best portable solar shower.
What were we disappointed with? The Advanced Elements’ push/pull knob works great, but it’s not as precise as other models we saw.
The third best solar shower we found is this 5 gallons solar shower. It is a good product made of good quality material. Using it is easy. Just place the bag in the sun to heat the water. Depending on the weather conditions and the geographical location where you are located, this solar shower can reach a temperature of 45°C in less than 3 hours.
The materials used for this solar shower are durable. It is a PVC material derived from recycling which allows giving a second life to PVC and to the material. It is an approach that respects the environment. This inexpensive solar shower is strong and durable. It includes a small plastic tube which can be placed at the level of the handle. It is relatively easy to transport and can be placed easily everywhere. It could as well be in trees, on suspended bars… all solutions are possible.
What makes it stand out? It heats up in around an hour and its price of less than $15 makes it a good inexpensive solar shower.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind? Nothing to report, but could’ve been made with a better design.
Offering the best accessories, the WEIYII Solar Shower Bag is an item dedicated to people who love to go camping, hiking, and rock climbing. Mainly made of PVC, the materials used in the design of this solar shower bag are of good quality. They are strong and will be great for outdoor use. It is a shower bag that will be effective for adventure enthusiasts who want to take care of their bodies with products that respect the environment.
According to the manufacturer, this solar outdoor shower can be effective in the long run. The bag is durable and there are mesh pockets.
The capacity is 5 gallons, approximately 20 liters. This is good for a single person or a couple who want to take quick showers.
The heat of the water rises quickly. In less than 3 hours, you can have an ideal temperature for taking a shower of 45°C.
What makes it stand out? Good quality and durable construction material without reducing heat-up time. It includes a shower head and is suitable for hikers and campers.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind? Filling the bag is challenging.
The capacity of this solar-heated outdoor shower is 15 liters or 4 gallons. This should be enough for two people. This solar shower is made with durable PVC. It contains water well and when it heats, it is well stored at the right temperature.
To reach the ideal temperature, you’ll have to wait for 3 to 4 to get there. It’s a lot of time, we can imagine. But there’s a temperature indicator to show you how far it has gone. Obviously, depending on the exposure to the sun, this data will vary. The water may even take longer to heat if there is no or very little sun.
When the solar shower is not in use, it must be cleaned and dried to limit any risk of mold that may exist. To store the inexpensive solar shower, you can roll it up. It’s very easy to store!
The solar-powered shower has a shut-off valve and it comes with a showerhead. This faucet turns out to be a bit fragile.
Why are we impressed? The long-lasting PVC film that serves as a reservoir for the shower is something we like with the STEARNS shower bag
What negatives must you be aware of? A few users report leakage problems.
We round up the review of the best camping solar shower with this portable solar shower from Beaucares. This shower bag is made from quality materials that ensure great durability. Several layers reinforce its anti-leak property. This is an important criterion to consider because there are bags that leak after just two uses.
The on/off switch facilitates the activation of the jet. The water flow is adjustable. Its total capacity is 20 liters. That’s more than enough for two or even three good showers.
Its heating system is done through the absorption of solar energy. You get water heated to 45°C after 3 hours of direct sunlight. A temperature gauge informs you at all times of the water temperature.
What are our favorite features? For optimal use, you have with the shower bag a suspension strap, a plastic tube, and a flexible hose with a showerhead. The bag has a front pocket in which you can store your shower accessories.
What could be better? A few users discovered that the solar shower bag leaks at the thermometer level.
Things to Consider
A solar camping shower gives you a warm or hot water shower in the outdoors. It can be folded up to a small volume and easily taken with you on every camping trip, a hiking trip, or climbing adventure. With the camping showers you’ve discovered in our solar shower reviews, you can be sure that you don’t have to do without personal hygiene or that you have to share an unclean shower with strangers. However, the rest of the article will provide you with all the information you need to buy the best product.
What is a solar shower anyway?
An outdoor shower, also known as a solar shower, is probably the simplest way to treat yourself to a shower outside. A bag, often made of black PVC, is filled with water and placed in the sun, which heats the water.
For faster heating, some bags have a special coating, which means that the majority of outdoor showers can reach a water temperature of over 50 ° C – which is well above what is desired and healthy – so it is better not to leave them in the sun for too long. Since solar showers manage completely without electrical energy, water pressure is only possible by hanging the outdoor shower.
Most solar shower includes a 20-liter water tank, a removable hose, and a durable material. It is more reminiscent of a backpack than a camping shower. In addition to a water level and temperature display, it is equipped with small front pockets. An extra carrying bag is usually included with the solar shower for transport when it is not filled.
Who might need a solar shower?
The different solar camping shower variants enable a high level of comfort, despite the minimalist shower environment. A solar shower is ideal for campers, hikers, and climbers who can’t do without personal hygiene. Warm to hot water facilitate cleaning, and this is why you should consider solar-powered bags.
Many people think of the word camping as a renunciation of comfort, unisex toilets, and unkempt shower houses on the campsite. But now there are a lot of solutions for private showering pleasure, even when camping, that are in almost no way inferior to bathing fun at home.
Every camping enthusiast can now find exactly the right model with the right system for their needs. Solar showers are not only meant for camping. Such a camping shower can also be used as a garden shower in the allotment garden. No matter where and how, there are no limits to your imagination.
Features to consider before you buy a solar shower
Choosing a solar shower cannot be done on a whim. There is a checklist each product you come across must meet. Below are some of the features and criteria to consider before buying a solar shower.
First, if you have to travel on foot, consider smaller capacity showers. We would like to remind you that it may happen that you have to transport a previously filled tank. You can imagine that it will be quite delicate to drag a bag filled with 50 L of water on foot. If, on the other hand, you are driving, you can afford large capacity bags. The models on the market have a capacity that can vary from 2 to 10 gallons, the choice is wide. The Advanced Elements has just 2.5-gallon capacity while models such as the WEIYII Solar Shower Bag and the Beaucares Solar Shower Bag.
Secondly, adequate capacity depends on the number of people planning to shower.
A shower with a 20 to 40 L tank will do the trick for 3 to 4 people. Large-capacity solar showers also serve as a reserve for long-term campsites.
Thirdly, if you are going camping in a place where water is scarce, go for the large reservoirs. If, on the other hand, you only plan to wash your hands and remove the mud from your shoes, a small tank is sufficient. You must therefore clearly define your needs to choose the optimal capacity.
Heating time and showering intervals
There are several variations for heated showers. Heating with battery, gas, battery, by exposure to the sun, by photovoltaic plates, or even by a cigarette lighter. But the solar-powered models are not only environmentally friendly but also easy to use and compact. They are very practical and ideal for when you don’t have access to electricity. If you have time, you can also preheat the water before filling the tank. The average heating interval for solar showers is around 3 hours. The lesser this interval is, the more fragile the construction may be. Shower bags with longer heating times tend to have durable, multiple, and strong layers of construction. But they retain the temperature for a longer time.
Layers and materials used
This criterion determines the resistance and durability of your shower. Portable showers, especially hanging shower bags, have to support a certain amount of weight when filled.
You need to ensure that the handle of the shower bag is strong enough to support this weight. In terms of design, choose models made of PVC or rubber. Also great are plastic camping solar showers. They are light and resistant, the ideal combo.
Choose models with layered materials if you want something you can keep using even after a few outdoor activities. For example, the Advanced Elements has a four layer construction.
Weight and size
The weight is not a concern if you are in a vehicle. Otherwise, it is better to choose light models weighing less than a pound if you are going to tuck it in a small travel bag.
The reasonable limit for the weight of the filled device should be around 8 to 15 kg if you are on foot. Opt for a lighter model if you plan to go up high. Also, think about the place the portable shower will take during transport. Always bet on light, compact but resistant models.
It is in your best interest to choose models that allow easy water flow adjustment. This not only saves water but also makes showering more pleasant. You won’t feel like water is pouring out all at once. We, therefore, advise that you check if the knob allows adjusting the flow.
The extra features coming with the shower facilitate the use of the equipment and possibly offer more comfort. We, therefore, recommend the complete models like the WEIYII Solar Shower Bag even if they are a little more expensive. Some accessories, such as the spout and the showerhead, are essential. The models with on / off lever remain the most practical for simply activating the water jet. The use of a button in traction is a little more delicate when washing the body. There are shower bags with storage pockets for storing shower products. Also, some models even have a system to adjust the temperature of the water in the tank. You have a choice of accessories, but be careful not to be seduced too much by trifles that do not add much to the whole. This will only increase the price and weight of the lot.
In general, the price of a solar camping shower remains affordable. You can find a model that meets your needs without paying an astronomical sum. It is true that as with any other product, you will find high-end versions on the market. Some of these models cost over $100. However, models like the CAMP SHOWER costs less than $15. Beyond the manufacturing, the brand also influences the price. Some brands combine design, quality, and ease of use, but you have to pay the price.
Tips for using a camping solar shower
Those who cannot do without hot water will be happy with the solar shower bag. It must be suspended from a solid support and be hung up high.
We would also like to remind you that it is essential to maintain your camping equipment to ensure its durability. This is also a matter of hygiene as you use the contents of the tank directly on your body. It is therefore in your interest to keep the bag clean by cleaning it regularly.
For convenience, the supply hose should be long enough to ensure your chances of connecting the tank to all faucets. Note, however, that it is forbidden to draw water from certain terminals. Regarding wastewater, be careful not to throw it in public places.
You can, but it’s not necessary. For first time use, you may need to flush the solar shower with hot water. But it doesn’t necessarily have to be boiling water. The purpose of solar showers, unlike other classic models, is for you to have on-site heater water. Since boiling water tends to cool after a few hours of hike, this may not be advisable. But boiling water should in no way affect the material or cause leakages.
While some solar showers come with a few months or one year warranty, not all models come with this coverage. It’s solely down to the brand and the cost of the product. But this is something you can watch out for while shopping for one.
A camping shower enables you to not have to forego the comfort of showering on your tours, be it with a vehicle, bike, or on foot. Unlike other types of camping showers, solar shower bags are light, compact, and ideal for one to two campers or hikers. Are you still unsure of which model to choose? Then check out our final verdict.
Our Editor’s Choice is the Coghlan’s Solar Heated Camp Shower. We like the fact that there’s a hanging cord included with it. With this, the bag can be tied anywhere. It’s easy to use and you can shower in more unusual places.
The Advanced Elements has the best value for money among the six products selected. It’s a 2.5-gallon solar shower with a 4-layer construction material and one of the best outdoor solar showers on the market.
If you want the best solar shower for a low price, choose the Camp Shower. This shower bag heats up in around an hour and its price of less than $15 makes it a good inexpensive solar shower.