Stay clean wherever you are with these tried-and-tested portable showering solutions
Portable camping showers are an essential piece of equipment when you're camping without access to personal cleaning facilities. They're also very helpful when cleaning your gear, cooking utensils, or washing your pets.
There are a range of options available, ranging from the best solar showers, all the way up to full-blooded propane powered models.
We've researched and tested some of the best showers, looking at key functionality including flow rates, spray coverage, and the wait time to get hot water.
We've categorized them based on the best overall, best budget, best for RV, best for backpacking, and more to choose the one that best suits your needs.
Let's get cleaned up!
Shower Comparison Table
|Yakima RoadShower||Check Best Price - Amazon|
Best for RV
|Iron Hammer Portable Camping Shower||Check Best Price - Amazon|
|Ivation Portable Camping Shower||Check Best Price - Amazon|
Best for Backpacking
|Sea to Summit Pocket Shower||Check Best Price - Amazon|
Best Propane Powered
|MR. HEATER BOSS-XCW20 BASECAMP SHOWER SYSTEM||Check Best Price - AmazonCheck Price at Bass Pro Shops|
|Ozark Trail Instant 2-Room Shower||Check Best Price - WalmartCheck Price at Amazon|
|Advanced Elements Summer Shower||Check Best Price - Amazon|
|Geyser System Portable Hot Shower||Check Best Price - Life In Tents|
|NEMO Helio Pressure Shower||Check Best Price - Nemo|
|Coleman Solar Shower||Check Best Price - Amazon|
The Top 10 Best Portable Showers for Camping
If you love heading out of town and need a companion for your camping and outdoor adventures, the Yakima RoadShower is the best piece of equipment out there.
The Yakima RoadShower is a solar-treated off-grid camping shower that provides hot pressurized water to bathe and rinse off mud, sand, and sweat wherever you are camping and no matter the season.
The Yakima RoadShower is available in 3 sizes (4 gals, 7 gals, and 10 gals) and is designed with a welded aluminum, brass, and black powder coat finish for better sunlight absorption.
The RoadShower includes a narrow nozzle perfect for slower showers, a built-in pressure relief valve that you can pressurize with an air-pump, and can also be filled with a hose.
- Size: 4, 7 & 10-gallons
- Weight: 25.50 lbs
- Easy to use
- Durable and solid construction
- Very compact and portable
- Intense water pressure
- Can repressurize without a hose
- Great for rinsing off mud and sand
- Can't be fully emptied
- Requires a roof rack
Specs & Features
The Yakima RoadShower is durable and has a patented design with robust welded aluminum construction and a durable powder coat finish that can last longer and withstand frequent use.
This shower is a car-top shower that you mount on your vehicle roof. The internal water is heated by the effect of the sun's rays on the shower tank. It includes a garden hose adapter to fill and repressurize the tank at the same time, a built-in pressure relief valve that will automatically prevent over-pressurization of the tank and a stick-on thermometer strip for the outside of the tank.
The Yakima RoadShower is easy to set up and has everything you need to mount it to your car right out of the box, excluding a roof rack. It also comes with a thorough setup guide which makes the setup process even more accessible.
The shower is very stable and will stay up quite well for an extended period over all kinds of terrain, and refilling will become easy once you have it mounted on top of your car and fill it through the attachment at the end of the hose.
The Iron Hammer is an electric, battery-powered, handheld portable camping shower that is portable, lightweight, compact, and easy to carry in your car trunk, backpack, or luggage.
This portable camping shower is suitable for both indoor and outdoor showering, traveling, camping, pet washing, car washing, and showerhead, built-in high energy lithium battery, adjustable water flow stalls, and safety protection water pump.
The Iron Hammer is easy to carry, set up, disassemble, comes with a scientific and beautiful design and intelligent design of two water flow stalls with a conversion button (a 3 liters minimum low stall and w liters minimum high stall), and includes a flow control that allows you to shut the valve off for convenience and to save water.
- Size: 82.7inch
- Weight: 0.85 kg
- Lightweight, portable, and flexible
- Can be carried in a backpack
- High energy battery
- Excellent water pressure
- Multiple usages
- Provides the perfect washing pressure
- The flow stop valve only stops the water but not the pump, and you have to reach out and turn off the switch on the submersible pump to stop the pump.
Specs & Features
The Iron Hammer is a handy camping shower that gives you everything you need for an RV. This camping shower comes with a built-in 4800 mAh rechargeable battery that is powerful enough to heat up to three pots of water and great features that offer an enhanced camping experience.
The Iron Hammer is a portable, lightweight, unique, and terrific design and has many internal layers with a scientific layout that allows the built-in water filter to function effectively.
The Iron Hammer includes adjustable water flow stalls in the pump of the shower to provide the perfect washing pressure, a battery charge and discharge circuit for convenience and safety, plus a unique and great design that makes it portable and easy to carry.
For less than $50, the Ivation Portable outdoor shower is the best budget camping shower and comes with all the essential features needed in the best portable shower for camping.
The Ivation Portable is a battery-operated handheld camping shower that transforms water from a bucket, sink, and basin into a steady stream suitable for indoor and outdoor use, pet washing, baby showering, car washing, and camping.
This portable camping shower is straightforward to use with water from a bucket. It features an active built-in water filtration system to ensure clean water, a direct USB port to charge from a car, home, or laptop, a suction cup & hanging S-hook, and a water-resistant inline switch for easy on and off.
- Weight: 821 g
- Hose Length: 6.5ft
- Lightweight and portable
- Less noisy
- Excellent water pressure
- The battery can last for a long time.
- It can serve multiple purposes.
- Sufficient hose length
- The on/off button is on the actual pump rather than on the head and goes into the water, which you must after each use.
Specs & Features
The Ivation Portable is a waterproof battery-powered portable shower that serves multiple purposes and draws water from any bucket, sink, or basin and turns the water into a steady, gentle stream.
This portable shower has an excellent level of mobility and capability. You can use it anywhere on the go, such as indoors, outdoors, on the beach, poolside, or gentle bathtub showering for your babies, eliminating the need to use the solid overhead showering stream.
This rechargeable portable shower comes with a 2200mAh battery that lasts for up to 60 minutes on a single charge, and you can quickly charge it from your car or laptop. The shower also includes a suction cup that works on most flat surfaces to use both hands when showering your baby and a hanging hook for hanging the showerhead.
The Ivation Portable camping shower also comes with a brilliantly innovative filtering system that cleans the water while the shower is in use and does not affect the water flow rate, which is excellent when using water such as a lake or pool water you're not sure about its cleanliness.
The Sea to Summit Pocket Shower is a highly portable shower that features an exceptionally lightweight fabric, a compact showerhead, is compressible, and weighs only 0.4kg. You can carry it in your backpack without adding much weight or taking up much space.
This backpacking portable shower uses a lightweight, dry bag-like shower. It comes with a shower spout with graduated openings for an even jet of water and a simple and effective turning mechanism for easy on and off.
The Sea to Summit Pocket shower unfurls in a good size and is very lightweight, easy to use, and portable at a very friendly price point which makes it an easy pick and the best backpacking camping shower.
- Size: 10 liters
- Weight: 0.4 kg
- Lightweight and easy to carry
- Includes a zippered pouch
- Tough, rugged, and packs very small
- Heats up well
- Slow water flow
- The showerhead/valve is a bit flimsy
- Heavy when filled with water
The Sea to Summit Pocket Shower is a simple portable shower. It features a high-performance 70D nylon fabric that is lightweight, water and leakproof, and black color that absorbs heat from the sun to warm up the water.
The shower operates with an on/off twist mechanism, and you can also use the twist spout to adjust the water flow or twist the nozzle on or off to conserve hot water between lather and rinse.
The Sea to Summit Pocket Shower is very versatile with a capacity of about 10 liters which is enough for a 7 minutes shower, it packs down into a small neat pouch, is very easy to use, and you can hang it on any branch or elevated points using the attached Delrin D rings.
If you're looking for the best propane-powered camping shower, the Mr. Heater Boss-XCW20 is a CSA-certified 10,000-18,000 BTU liquid propane hot water generator that gives you all the features you need.
This water generator is the most advanced propane-powered portable shower today and can raise the source water temperature to 45 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Mr. Heater Boss-XCW20 is both digital and cordless and features an internal battery that can power up to 8 five minutes of showers to enjoy hot showers no matter where you are.
- Size: 8 gallons
- Weight: 22 pounds
- Lightweight and portable
- A long-lasting battery that can power through 8 five minutes of showers
- The most advanced propane-powered portable shower
- It comes with integrated safety features
- Well built and works great
- Have a learning curve as the safety features make it a bit difficult to figure out
The Mr. Heater Boss-XCW20 is lightweight, portable, and includes a quick connect shower head and pump assembly that delivers 8 gallons per minute.
The unit includes an ac and dc adaptors that you can hook up to a power source and a built-in rechargeable battery that can power the pump for up to 8 minutes of run time.
The Mr. Heater Boss-XCW20 comes with integrated safety features that include an over-temp cut-off and flow detector that allow you to turn the burner on and off and protect you from scalding water.
A water-resistant digital display lets you monitor water output temperature and battery level, and a lightweight, disposable cylinder that connects directly to a precalibrated regulator that delivers over 60 minutes of hot water.
If you're considering adding a shower tent to your camping gear, the Ozark Trail Instant 2-Room Shower can be a great option.
This shower tent offers excellent privacy and convenience in one tent and comes with a divided shower and changing room to take a shower no matter where you are camping conveniently.
The Ozark Trail Instant shower tent is very easy to set up. It includes a 5-gallon solar heated shower, privacy coated fabric, towel rack, toiletries holder, mesh drain in the shower room, removable rainfly, and mesh room for ventilation.
- Size: 5 gallons
- Weight: 9.14 kg
- Can withstand storms, heavy rain, and high wind
- Well designed and has a drainable floor in the shower area
- 2 room shower and changing room
- Super easy to put up, take down and put away
- Lightweight and spacious
- Provides complete privacy
- The floor can be a little too stuck when wet
The Ozark Trail Instant 2-Room is both a shower and a tent and lets you enjoy some of the comfort and amenities of home wherever you are.
This shower tent is excellent for privacy, especially if you're camping in a crowded place or need privacy when showering outdoors.
The tent features two rooms, a shower room that includes a 5 gallons solar-powered portable shower bag, a mesh drain floor, and a changing room with a rack and pouches to hang your towel and clothes and store your toiletries.
The tent walls have a silver aluminum coating for complete privacy, a rainfly to keep rain, snow, and other elements, a mesh room for ventilation, and a floor on both sides.
With a weight of just 0.6kg, the Advanced Elements Summer shower is efficiently constructed for optimal heat retention and performance to give you a stress-free camping experience.
This portable shower comes in four different sizes, 2.5 gallons, 3 gallons, 5 gallons, and 10 gallons. It features an easy-to-use temperature gauge on/off the showerhead, an easy-to-use fill valve, an integrated toiletry pouch to hold a razor, travel shampoo bottles, and a mirror.
The Advanced Elements Summer Shower is very compact and durable and comes with advanced technology and construction to ensure consistent water flow and durability. It has a 4-ply construction to withstand harsh outdoor environments to provide a durable camping solar shower.
- Size: 2.1 gallons to 5 gallon
- Weight: 0.6 kg
- Very tough and well made
- Heats water very quickly
- Pocket for soap, mirror, and shampoo
- The handle is tough and rigid
- Very light and portable
- The nozzle tends to come off
- The fill port is on the side, which can make it difficult to fill it with water
Specs & Features
The Advanced Elements Summer Shower uses a technology that ensures efficiency, reliability, lightweight and has an efficient 2-layer construction to give you a great camping experience.
The shower has a plastic quick-release buckle on the handle to hang the bag high enough to ensure adequate water flow and an easy-to-read temperature gauge to know when the battery is warm.
The Advanced Elements Summer Shower has a pocket that comes with a reflective mirror as a bonus, an on/off showerhead to save water, and an easy-to-use large fill valve with a twist-off cap to make filling up the reservoir simple.
The Geyser System Portable Hot Shower is the best electric camping shower available. The shower is a 12-volt powered shower that you can power by connecting the plug to your car or a deep cycle battery.
The shower has a clever design to maximize hot showers with minimal water usage, which makes it stand out among other camping showers and features a built-in heating system that heats water in 15-45 minutes and automatically turns off when the water reaches 95°F.
The Geyser features a control valve, an intuitive LED dashboard, a water sensor, a replaceable scrub sponge, a water level sensor, 16 feet long power cord. It can deliver a hot seven minutes shower with less than a gallon of water and no pressurization needed.
- Size: 3 liters
- Weight: 8 pounds
- Provides reliable and consistent water flow with no pressurization needed
- Less water usage and supply can last a long time
- Amazing to travel with
- Everything is in one single package
- It comes with interchangeable sponges for dishwashing or pet washing
- Short showers
Specs & Features
This best electric portable shower is lightweight, portable, and can hold almost a gallon of water depending on the flow rate selected. You can power the pump using your vehicle's battery while the engine is running to provide a stable and steady water flow.
The Geyser Portable shower comes with safety features that automatically turn off the heating system at 95 degrees Fahrenheit to prevent the water from becoming too hot and also includes a low water level shut off and a grate to prevent users from touching the heating element.
The Geyser Portable shower has a control valve that lets you choose the water flow rate for up to 15 minutes of usage, an intuitive LED dashboard that lets you know when the water is hot and ready to use, and a water level sensor that lets you know when to wrap up your shower.
The shower has an advanced pump technology that provides reliable and consistent water flow, a replaceable scrub sponge with a coarse side for general usage, and a power cord to keep messy poodles away from the car.
Best Manual - NEMO Helio Pressure Shower
The NEMO Helio Pressure is a safe, consistent, and hassle-free portable camping shower. Unlike other portable showers, you don't need to hang it as it sits securely on the ground and is pressurized by a foot pump.
This camping shower features a 7-foot sprayer hose with a spray nozzle that is long enough for you to hold overhead when taking a shower.
The NEMO Helio Pressure shower comes with a 2.9-gallon tank with a pump that keeps it pressurized for up to 7 minutes, and you can set the tank in the sun to warm up water gradually for a warm shower.
The NEMO Helio Pressure portable camping shower has a ventilated carrying case that neatly stows the tank, nozzle, hose, and pump. It also comes with folding panels for fast setup and small packed size.
- Size: 2.9-gallon / 11-liter capacity
- Weight: 658 grams
- No need to hang and sits securely on the ground
- Very handy and easy to use
- Well designed and well-labeled components
- Sturdy stand
- It doesn't require much pumping to keep the water flowing
- The tank never empties, which leads water to stagnate
- It can be difficult to fill
- Cap can not be closed
Specs & Features
The NEMO Helio Pressure portable camping shower features an 11 liters water tank, a flexible hose, a sturdy stand, and other salient features to make the shower safer and more comfortable.
This shower is very strong, durable, and features a polyurethane-coated polyester/thermoplastic urethane/neoprene tubing and comes with a sleek and presentable design.
The NEMO Helio Pressure shower comes with a foot pump that's very easy to use and pressurizes the tank quickly. It has safety straps that prevent accidental openings and for easy transport.
The shower has a sturdy stand that makes it sit securely on the ground so you can conveniently take your shower and has a horizontal design that offers stability and ease of use.
As an add-on, NEMO gives you the option to add a Heliopolis privacy shelter to your order. This shelter is like a tent that offers privacy when taking a shower and has a fitted nozzle holder for a hassle-free overhead shower experience.
You don't have to miss a shower when camping with the Coleman Solar Shower. This portable camping shower features a heat locking material that warms water even on cool days.
The Coleman Solar Shower is one of the best portable camping showers with a great price that costs less than $20.
This outdoor camping shower has a 5 gallons tank that holds enough water for multiple showers and features a strong handle for reliable hanging and transport, plus a handy on/off shower valve to save water.
- Size: 5 gallon
- Weight: 250 grams
- Heats up nicely
- Compact and lightweight
- Powerful flow to get soap off and shampoo
- Easier to fill and operate
- Great for the price
- Hard to drain entirely for storage
Specs & Features
The Coleman Solar Shower is a simple system that is very portable and offers impressive comfort and convenience at a great price, making it one of the most affordable and best solar showers.
This portable camping shower is very lightweight, easy to use, and features solar heating technology that provides warm water when left in the sun.
The system has a great capacity with a reservoir that holds up to 5 gallons of water, which is enough for multiple showers, and has a great handle that comes in handy when hanging or carrying the system.
The Coleman Solar camp shower features a short hose and a compact showerhead for convenience. With a favorable price, this portable camping shower is ideal for those on a budget who need the best solar shower for camping.
Portable Showers | Buyer's Guide
What Is a Camping Shower?
A camping shower is a simple and portable shower that campers use for showering, pet washing, or dishwashing when adventuring.
A typical portable shower has three main parts, which include a water tank, a pump, and an engine. The water tank stores water while the pump pumps water from the tank into the machine, and the engine turns the water into pressurized water.
Other features include a showerhead for consistent water flow, a nozzle for on/off, straps for hanging, a hose where water flows, and other safety features.
Portable camping showers come with different heating mechanisms; solar heated, battery-powered, electric, and there are ones that use propane gas or gasoline.
Solar heated showers are more popular and typically cost less. They come with heat-locking materials that absorb sunlight to warm up the water when put under the sun.
Battery-powered showers have a built-in rechargeable battery that powers the heating element to heat the water. Battery-powered camping showers come with a USB charging port that you can use to recharge the battery from your car or laptop.
Electric camping showers are 100% electric, and you can not power them using a battery or solar. Instead, plug them into your vehicle's charging port when the engine is running or plug them into a power source to heat the water.
Propane-powered uses propane gas or gasoline to power the engine and recharges the battery. However, they tend to be very expensive and have a learning curve due to safety features, but they work great, and their battery can last a long time.
How Do Camping Showers Work?
Camping showers work in different ways depending on the type, whether it has a tank, and the mechanism they use to warm water up water. Some use a gas system to heat the water, some use batteries, and some use solar energy.
Firstly, a bag-style storage shower has a bag full of water that connects to a pipe that connects to the shower.
Most have batteries and a pump that pushes the water through the hose to the showerhead, while other models will require you to hang it over a height for gravity to pull the water.
Secondly, a bag, there's a garden can style camping shower that doesn't have a storage tank. These camping showers use a battery to draw water from a bucket, basin, river, or lake.
Thirdly, there's a type similar to a bag-style shower but uses a mechanism to pull water from streams, rivers, etc.
Lastly, there's a heavy-duty portable camping shower that you power using your car or truck. These portable showers have a pump, and your vehicle will provide power to heat the water. After that, the pump will push water through the hose to the showerhead, where the water flows.
Types of Camping Showers
Portable camping showers fall into two major categories based on flow system type or heating method.
Flow System Type
Portable camping showers have three flow system, which includes:
Gravity-fed camping showers are the most straightforward, cheapest, and compact portable showers. They are typically a tank that you fill with water and hang on a tree or any high structure and allow gravity to do the job.
The water will flow steadily when the tank is full and then transition slowly into trickles as the tank empties.
Portable camping showers with gravity flow methods are often liked for their simplicity, ease of use, lightweight, portability, and affordability.
Manually Pumped Showers
Manually pumped showers use a hand or foot pump connected to the water supply to pressurize the water so it can spray out via a nozzle.
These types offer better water pressure than gravity-fed portable showers, but their operation can quickly get tiring.
Electric or Battery Powered
This type of portable shower uses an electric pump that you submerge in a water container to draw water through the hose. Electric camping showers offer good water pressure and better cleaning ability but tend to be bulkier and heavier to haul than gravity-fed showers.
Camping showers have three different heating methods to warm water up depending on the climate you are camping in and your preferences.
Solar Heated Showers
Solar heated portable showers are the cheapest and most popular camping showers available. Solar heated showers come with a heat locking fabric that absorbs heat from the sun to warm water up.
However, they might take longer to heat up or not work as expected in areas with little or no sunshine.
Gas Heated Showers
Gas heated showers use gasoline or propane gas to warm water up. They are ideal when there's not enough sunlight at your destination and when electricity hookups are not expected or present.
Gas-powered showers are very effective and heat water quickly but are more expensive and bulkier than other options.
Electric showers are very effective and efficient if you need a nice hot shower but are also heavy. These showers come with a USB charging port, and you can charge them from your car or using your laptop; however, you'll need a power source to recharge the batteries if you are not car camping or don't have a laptop.
Things to Look for When Buying a Portable Shower for Camping
Durability is one of the key factors to consider when buying camping gear, especially those with a high price tag. You want a portable shower that has a solid construction and is durable enough to withstand heavy use and serve you for an extended period.
Most camping showers are made of fabric or plastics, which are not durable and can easily get ripped or punctured.
Aluminum shower systems are often more durable, have a high capacity, are resilient to harsh environments, and are resistant to corrosion. However, hard-sided aluminum shower systems are bulkier, heavier, and less portable.
Portable shower systems made with high denier rip-proof fabrics with fully taped seams and waterproofing are lighter and portable options.
Another thing to consider when purchasing a portable shower for camping is the power and heating mechanisms. You should keep in mind the environment and the resources you will have access to while at the camp.
A solar-heated shower will be ideal if you are camping in a place with enough sunlight to warm up the water, or else it will become useless. Likewise, electric or battery-powered showers are only helpful if you have a power source to power the system or recharge the battery.
Water Reservoir Capacity
Some portable showers will not have a set water capacity to store water and only work by pumping/drawing up water from a container, river, etc. At the same time, other units come with a water tank to store up to 10 gallons of water.
You should keep in mind the amount of water you will need for a shower, how many people will use the shower unit, and how easy it will be to get water, fill the reservoir and take it back to your campsite because portable showers will become very heavy if you fill them up with water and become very difficult to carry.
Ideally, you want a portable shower with a capacity between three to five gallons for adequate shower time and to save Weight.
The hose is the pipe that water flows through to the showerhead. So you want it long enough to reach your entire body and for more flexibility.
Ideally, you want a hose that is at least 7 feet long to make it easier for you to use the shower system and for other purposes such as dishwashing and pet washing, among others.
It is essential to keep in mind the size of the shower unit, which is necessary depending on how you will be traveling most of the time.
If you're backpacking and going on foot, you will want the shower to be lightweight and compact enough to fit in your backpack without adding much weight.
You want a simple and integrated showerhead that you can easily control and offer various spray patterns for a better experience. You want to be able to adjust the flow rate on the showerhead with a quick motion, so it's essential to keep this in mind.
Electric and gas-powered portable showers mostly come with a temperature indicator showing how warm the water is. You can use it to monitor the water temperature so that it doesn't get too hot.
Portability is an essential factor to consider when buying a camping shower. You want a very portable shower to easily carry it in your backpack or when you fetch water.
Portable showers that are foldable and come with storage bags include integrated carrying straps and have gravity-fed flow methods that are perhaps more lightweight and portable.
Frequently Asked Questions
How Long Does It Take To Heat up the Water?
A camping shower can take anywhere between 30 minutes to 4 hours to heat the water, depending on the water and the heated mechanism the shower uses.
Are Camping Showers Any Good?
Yes, camping showers are excellent at ensuring both cold and warm water, keeping water off the ground, ensuring clean water, showering, and pet and dishwashing while you are at the camp.