Best Solar Showers for Camping

Best Solar Showers for Camping

Camping or backpacking can be a wonderful way to get connected with nature and enjoy yourself outdoors, but there’s no denying we start to get a little dirty after a few days of it. Luckily, there are tools that allow us to take a quick shower without jumping in the next body of water we come across.

These tools are called solar showers. Take a look below to learn about what a solar-powered shower is, and then keep on reading for some of our recommendations for the best solar showers to take with you on your next camping trip!

What Is a Solar Shower?

A solar shower can be a great way for you to stay clean on a longer outdoor trip, so that you can enjoy yourself without feeling dirty or sweaty!

But what is a solar shower, exactly, you might wonder? This is a small, portable device that runs on solar energy. It usually has a tank of water or a bag of water attached to it, and it uses the power that it harnesses from the sun in order to heat that water to a comfortable temperature so that you can then shower in it when needed.

Different solar showers will have different-sized insulated bags or water tanks, meaning that they can hold more water. The more water contained in your solar shower, the longer your showers can be— but the longer it will take to heat up the water when you do want to shower.

Read on for some more information about solar showers and how to choose the one that is best for you. 

Also Read – Solar Camping String Lights

Water Weight

When you are choosing a solar shower, one of the things that you need to consider is water weight. Of course, a bigger tank or shower bag is going to allow for more and longer showers, as it is able to hold more water. However, there is a downside to having a shower with a larger tank, and this is not something we consider as often when making our decision.

Water does weigh a lot, and you are going to have to carry your solar shower with you wherever you go on this journey. One gallon of water weighs the equivalent of 8.34 pounds. While this may not seem like much at first, each gallon will begin to weigh on you more the longer you are carrying it!

Especially if you are hiking and backpacking, it may be wiser to go with a smaller and lighter tank or shower bag. 

Solar Shower Heat

Another thing that you should be knowledgeable about when you are selecting your solar shower is solar shower heat, and how it all works. A 5-gallon solar shower will usually take about 3 hours to fully heat up to 100 degrees Fahrenheit in direct sunlight, and a larger tank or shower bag can take more time.

Of course, if placed in the shade, then the solar shower can end up losing its heat very quickly, too. You should be sure to use the water right out of the sun so that it does not begin losing its heat before you are able to take your shower and get cleaned up.

It is important to note, also, that sometimes solar showers can get to be too hot.

This is why you should always test the water before you begin to shower so that you do not inadvertently hurt yourself. 

Best Solar Shower for Camping

When it comes to solar-powered showers, there are truly options out there for every set of needs and every budget, too. Read on for some of our top recommendations for solar showers to use on your next multi-day camping excursion or backpacking trip!

Coghlan’s Solar Heated Camp Shower, 5 Gallon

This particular solar shower is PVC-free. It comes with a black shower bag to contain the water, a hose and hose clamp to control the water’s flow, and a showerhead in a 1-inch diameter. It is also a great choice because it is easily packed down small and is lightweight for your excursions.

However, the long hose kinks up easily and the hose clamp typically only slows the water to a trickle instead of stopping it completely. Thus, this product has a few disadvantages too!

VIGLT Camping Shower Bag, 5 Gallons

The VIGLT solar shower model is one that comes with plenty of features, so for this reason, it can be a wise investment. For instance, it comes with a sturdy carrying handle made of webbing, and also has a mesh pocket where you can store travel-sized toiletries.

The webbing handle has a side release buckle, too, so that you can hang it easily without the use of more rope or cording. There is a screw-on cap for the fill port that makes this model less prone to leaking as well. 

DOTSOG Portable Outdoor Solar Shower Bag, 5 Gallons

The DOTSOG solar shower is a PVC solar shower and is supposed to be able to reach a temperature of 113 degrees Fahrenheit in 3 hours. In addition to this, the DOTSOG model comes with a PVC tube that you can attach above the carrying handle for added support.

The showerhead for this particular shower is about 1 inch in diameter. Unlike some of the other solar showers on this list, this one has an on and off valve rather than a hose clamp, which often cause leaks.

The valve location on this particular solar shower is located at the outlet of the bag, though, instead of the showerhead. 

Summer Shower Advanced Elements, 5 Gallons

The Summer Shower Advanced Elements camping shower has a 4 ply front of the bag, with one layer being reflective and insulating. The handle grip is made of rubber, rather than plastic, for better grip and comfort.

Interestingly, this model allows you to control the flow of the water by pushing or pulling at the showerhead, instead of trying to do so with a simple valve. This model is a  gallon model, but it also comes in 2.5 or 3-gallon capacities, too. This gives you plenty of options! 

Outdoor Hygiene 5 Gallon Solar Shower

The Outdoor Hygiene 5-Gallon Solar Shower is one of the best 5-gallon options on the market for a solar shower. It is made of food-grade TPU, which means that, not only can you use it as a shower, but you can use it as a water bladder, too!

It is the only bag shower on this list that has a click-on hose connector. The nozzle on this model is designed for easy operation by one hand.

However, where it is lacking is that it does not come with a built-in thermometer like some other solar showers do. 

Sea to Summit Pocket Shower

If you plan to be out for several days and need something very small and light to pack away easily, then the Sea to Summit Pocket Shower is your best bet.

This solar shower has a 2.5-gallon capacity, so you will not be able to take very long or very many showers, but that also makes it more portable and less cumbersome.

It is also one of the easier solar showers to fill and clean, due to the rolltop opening design at its top. When it comes to controlling the flow of the water, all you have to do is twist the showerhead. 

YAKIMA RoadShower Vehicle Mounted Water Tank

The YAKIMA RoadShower Vehicle Mounted Water Tank is not one that is easy to carry around. It is designed for you to mount on your vehicle’s roof rack, if you are using a camper or an RV, for example.

In addition, they offer larger water tank sizes. They come in either 4, 7, or 10-gallon tank sizes.

Each end of the tank has a water outlet, a stick-on thermometer, and a top cap for easy filling. To heat this shower tank, you will need to make sure that your vehicle is parked in the sun. 

Nemo Helio and Helio LX Pressure Shower 

Last on the list, but certainly not least, comes the Nemo Helio and Helio LX Pressure Shower. It is another pressurized shower and comes with a foot pump to help deliver the water.

You need to pump to pressurize the tank before you shower. The shower nozzle on this model is attached to the end of a 7-foot hose. The Helio has a 2.9-gallon capacity, while the Helio LX has a 5.8-gallon capacity!

Both tanks are made from PU-coated polyester, which makes them easy to pack down when on the move. 

Also Read – Solar Blankets for Camping

In Conclusion

If you are someone who spends ample time outdoors on backpacking trips, hikes, or camping, then a solar-powered shower can be a great investment for you! These devices help to utilize the free and renewable power of the sun to provide you with hot water to shower with and refresh yourself after a few days out in nature.

There are some things that you will want to keep in mind when shopping for a solar shower, though, because there are many different options out there on the market today.

For instance, you will want to get a shower with a tank or bag that is big enough to hold the water you will need for your excursions, but not too much that it will be cumbersome.

If you pay attention to factors such as these, you will have no problem choosing the perfect solar shower to fulfill your individual set of needs.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best solar camping shower?

The best solar camping shower will depend on a few things, such as your individual needs and what you are looking for in a shower. Most are designed to be portable and are great for hikers or campers on the go. Some recommended solar camping showers include the Sea to Summit Pocket Shower and Coghlan’s Solar Heated Camp Shower. 

Do solar showers really work?

Yes, solar showers do work, and they can certainly be a great addition to your tool chest when it comes to what you are taking on your hiking, camping, or backpacking trip. While they are not as great as your shower at home, they can do very well in a pinch! A solar-powered shower is usually able to heat your water to about 130 degrees Fahrenheit.

You will also want to look at the bag size of a solar shower to see how long the shower will last. For example, a solar shower with a 5-gallon bag will last about 2 minutes for a quick shower on the go! 

How long does a 20L solar shower last?

The length of a shower that a solar shower is able to give you will depend on the size of the bag that the solar shower comes with. Unlike your shower at home, there is no plumbing for the shower to access, so all of the water you use for your shower is contained in that bag.

The larger the bag, the more water is held, and the longer your shower is! A 20L solar shower gives you about 8 minutes of shower time, which is more than enough to suds up and get clean.

You can even split it into a few shorter showers if you are travelling with a small group. 

What is the best portable hot water shower for camping?

There are different portable hot water showers that you can take with you camping, and the best fit for you will depend on factors such as the size of the bag of hot water that you will need.

Some of the best portable hot water showers for camping are the Allowoll Outdoor Camping Shower Tent and the Sonnenberg Camp Shower, as well as the Risepro Solar Shower Bag. 

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