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.