6 Best Portable Showers. Buyer’s Guide 2021
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclaimer for more info.There are tons of portable showers to choose from. Plus the long list of characteristics that most probably make no sense. No doubt, it is tricky to pick up the right one that will suit your needs and not give up during the process of choosing.
Call It Adventure will help you out here. I did research on portable showers (don’t even ask why) and created a handy guide that will help you make an educated choice.
Here is what we are going to cover:
- The best portable showers on the market
- Questions may have about portable showers
- Characteristics and how to choose the best portable shower
- Conclusion and editor’s choice of the best portable shower
What’s the restroom and shower situation? That’s the question I ask my husband when we are about to book a campsite. We do a lot of camping, sometimes for several days. Sometimes for a whole week or more and personal hygiene is an important part to take care of so that you can enjoy mother nature. Personally, I can’t enjoy anything when I don’t enjoy myself, meaning it is crucial for me to stay fresh and clean during hiking, camping or beach getaway.
So, how do you stay clean?
Is there anything better than the feeling of freshness after a shower?
Did I just say shower? Yes, I did. With a portable shower you can have a shower wherever you want, even on campsites without shower and treat yourself with a feeling of freshness after a long day. I think it is a pretty good idea to add a portable shower to a list of camping gear.
If you read (or scroll, let’s be honest, it’s too much of information, and you probably need a decision to make) to the end of the article, you’ll find my personal tip on camp showers. By the way, if you’re reading this, good job! Means that you are very thorough and looks like you are serious about choosing the best portable shower. I truly hope that my buyer’s guide will answer all of your questions on portable camp showers and if not, please share in comments below, what questions you have.
The best portable showers on the market
Best battery powered shower and #1 Amazon Bestseller
The good: Ivation Portable Shower is #1 Amazon Bestseller with great reviews. It is compact, has no limit of water to use and has a couple of hangers to hang and stick the shower-head to a tree or to a car window.
The bad: First of all, you will need a bucket of water, which has to be bought separately. Pay attention, that Ivation Portable Shower is as basic as a pump, cord, and shower-head. So you need a source of water and need to think about it beforehand. In my opinion, it is a huge disadvantage.
Also pay attention that the turn-on button and the shower-head both are situated at the opposite ends of the cord, which is highly inconvenient to use the shower and turn it on/off.
No water heating options of course.
The bottom line: cheap, compact, easy to use everywhere with a rechargeable battery a good option. A good option for a limited budget and multiple needs, especially when you don’t have a need for a warm/hot shower.
Best Value For Your Money and Amazon’s Choice
The good: This shower is small, light-weight, easy to use, has additional pockets for soap or shampoo. It also holds 5 gallons, which is more than enough for 2 people or 2 shower sessions when it is full. The materials are good: the plastic is thick, and the whole construction is steady. It works good after months of use, which proves it’s good quality.
The bad: As long as it is a solar shower, if you want the water hot, you need sun. Plus you can’t adjust the water flow to slow down or speed up.
The bottom line: It is a great choice, proven by tons of good reviews and high quality of materials.
Best Pressurized Portable Shower
The good: RinseKit Shower is a pressured shower, it means that with pressure it is easier to wash out the dirt and the whore shower procedure can be done much quicker than with regular water flow. Plus RinseKit Shower has 6 shower settings: shower, mist, flat, cone, jet, and center that makes it possible to use for multiple needs.
The bad: It is expensive. As of today, the price is around $250.
The bottom line: It is a great choice when your needs go far beyond a simple shower. A good example of multi-purpose use is using RinseKit Shower at the beach, when you need to wash out the sand, clean the chairs, bags, gear, probably a dog, slippers, etc.
Best cheap solution
The good: Kurgo Portable Outdoor Shower is a water bottle cap. It is a no-brainer in use. All you need is a water bottle. That most of the time we carry anyway. Why is it better than just a bottle? Because it pours the water slowly and in a shower mode. Also, it is dishwater safe, so it will stay clean as long as you take care of it. Plus it has a lifetime warranty.
The bad: I don’t think this can be treated seriously as a portable shower. It is limited to a water bottle volume (some use one-gallon milk bottles) and is more for a quick wash-off-the-dirt, not a shower. Plus no water flow, no water temperature options.
The bottom line: it is a great option when it comes to the size, maintenance, price, and hustle. Perfect for washing feet, some dishes, gear and pets. And I really like the price, which is around $11 as of today.
Best solar shower under $20
The good: VIGLT Solar Shower is a great portable shower with a solar panel under $20. It has 2 options of water flow: high and low, which makes it easy to control the water usage. The bag is made of high-quality materials that are environmentally friendly. A handler makes it easy to carry around with water inside. It takes around 3 hours of direct sun to heat the water to 100 Fahrenheit.
The bad: VIGLT Solar Shower needs sun to heat the water.
The bottom line: It is a new product that is very similar to Amazon’s Choice Advanced Elements 5 Gallon Summer Shower. Honestly, I didn’t find a huge difference between these two, except for the price and amount of reviews and the fact that VIGLT Solar Shower has 2 water flow options instead of one as Advanced Elements 5 Gallon Summer Shower has.
Advanced Elements 5 Gallon Summer Shower has around 500 reviews on Amazon and costs around $30 as of today. While VIGLT Solar Shower has around 31 reviews and costs around $20. If you not afraid of giving a try to a new player on the market, I’d say that VIGLT Solar Shower is a very reliable solar portable shower that is worth buying.
Best portable shower kit under $40
The good: Equipt Streamline Portable Camping Shower is all you need in one package. It has everything Ivation Portable Shower the #1 Amazon bestseller has, plus a bucket included in the kit. I mean it’s a real deal. Easy to carry, transport, not bulky, easy to use, multi-purpose.
The bad: the same here as with Ivation Portable Shower, except for the water bucket: the turn on/off button and the shower-head are at the opposite sides of the cord. The pump is under the water most of the time which reduces the lifetime of the shower. But again, you can’t control the water temperature. You get what you get, that’s is.
The bottom line: Probably the best choice out there in terms of money, quality, easy of use and durability.
Questions you may have about portable showers
Do I really need a shower?
Honestly? No, you don’t. Like you don’t need anything from camping gear or hiking gear to get outside. You can hike in your average sneakers and sleep in the car. But if you are serious about camping or just spending time outside, in a forest, ocean, lake, whatever, I suggest getting one. The reason is to create a positive experience of outdoor life. Will you do again something that didn’t bring any joy? I doubt so. That’s why I suggest to properly prepare for camping and adding portable shower (even a small one) to the gear list.
Also, from my personal experience, it is a must-have after a day at the beach.
If you’re going to a beach for kiteboarding as I sometimes do, or just to hang out near the water, I’d say it is very very good to have a shower to wash off the sand from the feet.
I usually do need to wash off the sand, and I use water. In a water bottle. Don’t tell anyone that, ok? I mean, I do need a portable shower and instead of actually buying one I just use a water bottle. How pathetic can this be? That’s one of the reasons I created this guide and selected top portable showers out there.
Is it hard to maintain a portable shower?
No. Of course, some showers are easier to take care of, and some are not. But in general, if you read the manual to the particular one you will buy and follow it, the shower will last long. Just make sure that the shower is clean and completely dry before folding it back to the storage. Also, check for general damage. Just treat it right, and it will be your friend for a long time.
Do solar showers work?
Yes, they do. It depends on the particular model, amount of water, and sun. But it can be a great eco-choice for sustainable energy. Keep reading the guide to find out about efficient solar models.
How many people can use a portable shower?
Depends on the particular model. You can choose a small capacity portable shower for one person or a bigger one to suit the need of a bigger company. Keep in mind that an average person needs approximately 2,5 gallons o water for a shower. So choose accordingly. I’d choose something in the middle because sometimes it is only my husband and me. And sometimes we invite a bunch of our friends who are not experienced campers (read “have limited gear”), and it is good to share.
Characteristics and how to choose the best portable shower
Portable showers come in different colors, shapes, and have various characteristics. Pay attention to the features that are important to you and choose according to your needs.
Ease of use
This is the first thing to pay attention to. If any piece of gear is too difficult to use it will be left unused, believe me. You are looking for a solution to the problem of how to get a shower, not an additional challenge. After a day of camping or a day at the beach, the last thing you want to do is figure out how this thing works. That’s why a portable shower should be easy to install, fill, use, and maintain.
We are looking for a portable shower, so it has to be easy to carry around. Most portable showers are lightweight and easy to transport. But some come with bigger capacity, additional features, and weight more than less complex camp showers. Think about your needs, distances you need to go with the shower, the capacity you need, and make the best compromise between the weight and other important features. If you need to carry the shower to a campsite that is a hike from a parking lot then definitely choose the lightweight option. If there is no need to carry the portable shower around and it can be left in the car, in that weight won’t be an issue, especially when you need to cover the needs o a large group, family for example.
When you are looking at a portable shower, you need it to provide a decent amount of water. Some can provide enough water to replace a real home shower, and some are suitable for quick fresh-up, some are just a fancy water bottle I secretly use.
Some like it hot. Some are not that picky. I’d say during summertime anyone can tolerate cold water and use models that don’t have heating options. But if you more of a spring-fall or year-round-get-outdoor type than choose a camp shower with option to heat water is a very nice bonus to have. Take into consideration heating options as well.
Water. We need water. And we need to think about it beforehand. Again, think about the situation you wish to use a portable shower, and if the water supply is something that is available or it will be limited. If you have access to water, then a more simple construction will work great. If there are no options to find water around opt-out for a portable sower with a tank.
How bulky is the shower is close to the shower weight. Portable shower needs to be handy, easy to carry and transport. Some big portable showers may have additional features. But again. We need a portable shower, not a whole home-like shower. If you camped or ever got outside to a beach, you can imagine the amount of gear one needs. Now potentially add a bulky portable shower. No, thanks. Opt-out right now. That’s why read carefully the description of a camp shower to make an educated choice.
Make sure to check the quality of materials and choose quality over price. Probably this is one of the most important things to pay attention to. A camp shower can have numerous features, can be light and with a big water capacity. But if it is poorly made, it will not last long and eventually can be a waste of money. So I’d suggest investing in a high-quality portable shower that will last years.
Portable showers that are well-constructed is a great investment in outdoor hobbies. Is it a cheap poorly made shower or a high-quality model with great construction? The better the construction and the quality of the materials, the longer you will use the shower and the longer the shower will stay in good condition.
Type of camp shower
There are three types of portable camp showers: solar-powered, battery-powered, and propane-powered.
– Solar-powered camp showers are energy efficient. They are cheap and popular. The water heats up during the daylight, which is a very cheap way to heat the water. But it is also a downside. You need sunlight; otherwise, a solar-powered shower is useless.
– Battery-powered portable showers run n batteries or on a generator. It is safer in terms of weather dependency, but you need to change the batteries regularly that creates the additional hustle, and we are here to enjoy the great outdoors.
– Propane-powered portable showers can provide hot water shower in minutes, but it may be bulky. That’s the reason I didn’t add any propane showers in this guide. They are way too heavy and bulky. If you disagree and particularly in a market for a propane shower, here is Amazon’s Choice for Propane Shower: ZODI Outback Gear Extreme SC Hot Shower.
This is the second thing all of us pay attention to. First, we look at the picture and then goes the price. Sometimes it is pretty comfortable, and sometimes it makes you move to the next item. When it comes to gear, don’t look at the price, look at what you get for that price. It is the comfort, time, and ease of use you are paying for. Check the features and make a decision whether it is worth it or you need to compromise some and choose a cheeper one. Or maybe you find out that you need this feature, and this one and the total price is worth it.
I’m not a fan of additional features in anything. I like a thing to do the thing. If it is a shower, it needs to pour water. That’s it. A simple solution. But I’m an old-fashioned lazy outdoorsy girl. If you like small details and interesting tips, look for something that can provide additional benefits. Maybe a camp shower with a solar battery?
If you ask about Call It Adventure choice and my personal favorite, I’d say that I wish to have RinseKit Shower, because it has a solid construction, it is stable, meaning you can put it in the car with water already in it and don’t afraid it will leak, the shower looks very cool and had lots of great reviews. But for now, I’ll go with Kurgo Portable Outdoor Shower, because after exploring my needs and thorough research I found out that I need a shower to clean legs after sand before getting in the car. The other needs I can cover with something I’ll share a few lines below.
Bonus/experienced camper tip
Use wipes. Once a year for a couple of last years, I camp in extreme, dusty, and hot conditions with no options to shower. How do I stay clean? The answer is simple: I use body wipes and baby wipes. Yes, it is that easy, and it really works. You can stay clean without a proper shower by using good body wipes and baby wipes.
I use the Goodwipes Body Wipes, that are made with natural oils such as natural tea tree oil, cooling peppermint, aloe, ginseng, and are biodegradable and compostable.
Body wipes are a great choice, because the wipes are compact, have nice scent, and do the work. The size of one wipe measures 9.5″ x 11.5″ and can be compared to a small towel, which means that it is possible with one-two wipes to freshen up. Each body wipe is in a separate package, which makes it really easy to carry while camping or traveling.
As for baby wipes, I buy a big package and store it at home, in the car, put some packs to travel bags and backpacks. Baby wipes come in handy when you need to fresh up hands or face and neck. The reason I use baby wipes is that during outdoor activities, you most probably need a lot of wipes and a regular pack of hand wipes will end very fast. But hand wipes is a great option to have clean hands for sure.
Thanks for reading till the very end! Great job!
Hope Call It Adventure helped you to make the right choice and you’ll be happy with the new portable shower, no matter which one you choose.
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read our disclaimer for more info.