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Published Dec. 21, 2020

If you prefer to rough it on your camping trips, foregoing an RV for a sleeping bag and a heated cabin for a tent, you know how challenging scoring a decent shower can be. Either you’re throwing a stream of endless quarters into a public shower or you’re hopping in the lake to get clean. Sure, it might be efficient and a throwback to the days of old, but there’s a reason hot showers are so popular — and, with these camping showers, you can bring the comfort of home with you wherever you travel. 

Of course, the convenience relies on you choosing a good option (one that won’t break, will heat efficiently, and perform consistently). To help, we’ve tracked down the best camping showers around so you can find the perfect fit.

If you want something heavy-duty, then the Hike Crew Portable Shower is worth checking out. It comes with a monster propane-heated tank that quickly gets your water warm. Featuring a knob for efficient heat control, it’s easy to meter out the warmth as you see fit. The unit is powered by multiple sources, including a 12-volt car adapter and an AC plugin. Once it’s set up, the device heats up water quickly. The well-crafted shower provides significant water pressure, and with three settings for the spray, you can either use the water liberally or preserve it for longer rinses. With a shutdown feature for safety, the heater automatically turns off when the water gets to the proper heat. Ideal for serious campers, this portable shower is an awesome way to go.

Is the main focus of you camping shower to get the water pressure you know and love? In that case, the Innhom Portable Camping Shower is a worthy candidate. Especially useful in warm environments, this selection doesn’t heat the water, but uses a battery-operated system to achieve strong water pressure. Powered by a rechargeable battery, you can keep it going using a 12-volt adapter or any USB connection for a full 45 minutes of use, more than enough time for a good shower. Flowing over three litres per minute, this shower results in substantial pressure. Plus, since it weighs less than two pounds, you don’t have to worry about it getting bulky on a hike. The compact size pairs with the water filter to make a convenient way to stay clean on your camping trip.

Honorable Mention

Need something that’s designed for the great outdoors? The Camplux Outdoor Water Heater is crafted for both performance and durability. It works without a water tank, leaving it compact enough to take with you on your camping excursions. It also offers a water pressure of at least three pounds per square inch and is compatible with most pumps on the market. The propane-powered heater raises the water temperature to as high as 114.8 degrees. Flowing at a rate of 1.3 gallons of water per minute, you get excellent water pressure and warmth from the same unit. Energy-efficient by design, this water heater incorporates failsafe protection to prevent the risk of fire and freezing. With a high-utility value, this is an ideal camping shower accessory for those who want the comfort of home.

It can be tricky to get the grime off your skin without decent water pressure after a long day of hiking, and that’s where the Ivation Portable Outdoor Shower comes into play. Convenient enough to tuck in with your other camping gear, it’s powered by a rechargeable battery. One full run gives you one hour of shower time; if it needs a recharge, you can run it on a low-voltage adapter (ideally a USB). It’s small size and lightweight design makes the shower easy to pop into your camping backpack. Easy to operate, you can use any water source to run the shower. Plus, with the one-button controls, you get the all benefits of utility, value, and convenience.

Want a camping shower that can keep you warm without needing to haul around a propane tank? The Dotsog Portable Camping Shower may be just what you need for your next trip. It features a large PVC bag that is designed specifically to absorb heat from sunlight. After only a few hours left in direct sunshine, your shower water can heat to 113 degrees. Equipped with a removable hose and reliable closures to fill the bag, you can use any water as your source. The base of the bag includes two openings that close with reliable plastic parts. You use these to attach to the showerhead, which then supplies you with warm shower water. Meant for durability, the tough material is sturdy and reliable. When empty, you can fold the camping shower bag down and fit it pretty much anywhere.

Depending on the areas where you travel, you are going to need a shower that can withstand some rough outdoor elements. Whether your environment is hot or cold, arid or humid, the Viglt Portable Camping Shower is worth checking out. The bag itself is thick and incorporates a dual switch at the bottom to improve leak protection. The bag holds five gallons of water and incorporates a built-in hanger so you can place it pretty much anywhere. The bag comes with a pocket for shower accessories and easy-to-use controls. With transparent openings to let you see the water level, this camping shower supplies a significant amount of water pressure. Complete with durable hoses to improve the water flow, this camping shower is a convenient accessory to keep around.

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I come equipped with three years of experience as a news correspondent, along with five years’ product review work. Drawing from my academic background in the sciences, I objectively analyze each item’s merit. Focused mainly on tactical supplies, outdoors gear, and automotive products, I use a blend of research, expert advice, and firsthand insight to offer actionable advice. Much of my work is featured on Car Bibles, The Drive, and Narcity Media. Among the most recent pieces I’ve done for Task and Purpose include reviews of folding knives, wall tents, and other camping essentials.

How we chose our top picks

Lakes and rivers are perfect for a warm-weather dip, but they won’t get you shower-level clean. Of course, convenience shouldn’t mean breaking the bank. So, to find the best camping showers, we first looked for the essential features and necessary benefits.From there, we tracked down well-reputed brands with a proven track record of success in the camping industry. Armed with these details, we scoured the internet for the best camping showers. Whittling the list down based on firsthand experience, user-feedback, we narrowed it down. The final list represents solid camping showers that expertly balance budget with benefits. Designed to last, these showers can keep you clean while camping.

Types of camping showers

The type of camping shower you’ll get the most benefit from depends on a lot of factors. If you are going for a lengthy excursion in a warm environment, compact, battery-operated models are a good way to go. These use rechargeable batteries to create water pressure, though they don’t generate heat. Conversely, there are propane-powered heaters that, while a bit pricier, emulate all the virtues of a good-old home shower. There are also shower bags that use sunshine to heat the water. These are ideal for their lightweight and compact design, in addition to durability. You can separate the showers into those with heat and those without. In each of these categories, the options have different features. 

Key features of camping showers

  • Water source: Regardless of the type of camping shower, it will need some kind of water access. This could be in the form of a container, like bag showers that let you fill them up and transport the shower elsewhere. Other showers use a hose that connects to the water source, pumping it through a filter and into the showerhead.  
  • Heating: Not all camping showers include a heating feature. Since it often requires propane, if you prefer to travel light, it may not be sufficiently convenient. However, for those who can, a propane heater can reach comfortable temperatures and improve the shower experience. There are some options that absorb heat from the sun to warm the water, though these won’t work on cool days or if there is too much cloud cover. 
  • Pressure: The real reason so many rely on camping showers is the pressure. It’s what forces the dirt and debris off of your skin, resulting in the clean you are looking for. Depending on the quality of the pump and the type of showerhead, you can expect different pressure. Many models have several flow settings, which give you a bit better control. Higher pressure usually results in less wasted water, which can be a helpful feature when dealing with nature. 
  • Controls: Both analog and digital, controls refer to the parts you need to interact with in order to get the shower to work. High-tech options include button controls that let you adjust the temperature and flow rate. Battery-operated models will have a simple on/off switch for you to activate the pump. Even low-tech options have twist-off openings where you use the valve to control the flow of water. 

Benefits of camping showers

Cleanliness isn’t the only benefit of camping showers, but it is a pretty significant one. Especially if you are camping for several days, it’s important to keep your skin clean. Everything from smoke to dirt to bug spray settles into the skin. A short period left unshowered isn’t a big deal, but the longer you go, the higher the risk for infection and irritation. Plus, if you are near an unreliable water source which can’t be used for cleaning yourself, this is even more important. Finally, the comfort of a shower is worth a mention: nothing is quite as refreshing as a pressurized blast of water to keep your spirits high while camping. 

Camping shower pricing

The price range for camping showers is incredibly diverse. It all depends on your budget. You can get a high-end, propane-powered model for upwards of $200 — a great option if you travel with a lot of gear. On the other hand, you can get a simpler and more compact model for under $40. In this range, you can get battery-operated and bag-style showers that are durable and effective. So, whatever your preferences, there’s a camping shower to suit your style.

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