Top Showers Reviewed

Portable camping showers are a luxury on the trail and can make backpacking and camping a much more enjoyable experience.

It’s a given on the trail you’re going to get filthy, and that’s a lot of the fun.

However, at some point, you just want a shower.  That’s where portable showers come in.

There are plenty of different kinds of showers no matter how you are camping.

There are showers that can provide hotel-quality showers on the higher end, while even a good lightweight shower bag can give you a good quality rinse.

With so many different styles of portable showers you need to know all the possible features you can get, especially whether to go with a propane shower vs solar camping shower.

Be sure to check out our ratings and reviews of the best portable showers below, along with a buying guide shower buying tips.

 

Top Showers Rankings

  1. Camp Chef HWD5 Triton Water Heater

  2. Editors Rating:
    (4.9 / 5)

    Best High-End Option

    Weight 14.6 lbs
    Heat Source Internal Electric
    Water Pump No
    Power Source Battery
    Current Price $127.13
    Pros Instant hot water, Perfect for camp sites or any outdoor use, Great water pressure and water flow, ,
    Cons Cant use indoors, Need your own pump for water, , ,
    Our Take:

    The Camp Chef HWD5 Triton Water Heater is a simple yet powerful camping shower that will take your outdoor shower game to the next level.

    The Triton will give you up to 80 PSI of hot water with a flow rate of 1.5 gallons per minute.

    The water also heats up within seconds so there’s no waiting around. Its easy to setup to a water source and as long as you have a propane tank you’ll get a hotel quality shower in the great outdoors.

    As great as this shower is one of its biggest limitations is that you can’t use it indoors because of the emitted exhaust.

    However, if you have the ability to run a vent line out a window for instance then you should be ok.

    Just be aware the manufacturer doesn’t recommend using it indoors.

    The 4 water settings also add a nice touch of luxury for a more custom controlled experience.

    Get yourself a private shower tent to really pamper yourself.

    Unfortunately, this unit doesn’t come with a pump so make sure you have some sort of pressurized water source of at least 25-30 PSI to feed into the Triton.

    It does, however, come with a set of brackets for easy hanging.

    Love this portable shower water heater.

    Read our full review of the Camp Chef HWD5 Triton Water Heater


  3. Camp Chef Triton 10L Portable Water Heater

  4. Editors Rating:
    (4.8 / 5)

    Best Overall Option

    Weight 26.5 lbs
    Heat Source Internal Electric
    Water Pump No
    Power Source Battery
    Current Price $220.15
    Pros Instant/consistent hot water, Works in cold temps and bad weather, Easy setup, Great water pressure,
    Cons You may need to mess with the configuration to minimize wind interference, , , ,
    Our Take:

    The Camp Chef Triton 10L Portable Water Heater will work great for campers and emergency situations with no running water.

    The heater gives you easy adjustability of both heat and pressure with 4 different settings so you can really set the water to your liking.

    Maxed out this shower will give you both powerful water pressure and hot water.

    It also gives you instant hot water, so there’s no waiting around for it to get hot. One of the coolest parts of the Camp Chef Triton 10L is its ability to be used in cold weather.

    You’ll still get a nice, steady flow of warm to hot water even in frigid temps.

    This is incredibly refreshing on those cold camping days.

    The only catch is the propane flame will blow out in the wind. You can find ways to minimize this like covering the unit with a towel or placing it where it’s not so exposed.

    The overall setup is very easy and the unit runs on 2 D-batteries.

    This is a great, dependable unit that will keep you clean on the trail.

    Read our full review of the Camp Chef Triton 10L Portable Water Heater


    Weight 22 lbs
    Heat Source Internal Electric
    Water Pump Yes
    Power Source Battery
    Current Price from $178.99
    Pros Good water pressure and hot water temps, ,,, Light enough for camping, No extra garden hose or pressurized water source needed, Adjustable shower head with good hose length,
    Cons The battery can be fickle and run out quickly if not fully charged, , , ,
    Our Take:

    The Mr. Heater BOSS-XCW20 Basecamp Battery Operated Shower System is a beast of a portable shower unit delivering high quality, warm showers to even the most remote campers.

    The best part of Mr. Heater is that you get steaming hot water in minutes even when the outside temperature is in the 30’s and 40’s.

    The temperature is easy to set with the digital temperature display.

    The unit seamlessly includes a small propane tank with a shower head that provides a modest flow up to 1.18 gallons per minute.

    There is a pump included which makes this one of the more convenient, high pressured portable showers available.

    The adjustable shower head is a really cool feature as you can add on as aftermarket shower head for a more ideal shower.

    Its very conservative on both water and propane and should offer you 3 decent showers out of 5 gallons of water.

    The battery is also quite conservative and will offer 5 or 6 showers before you’ll need to recharge.

    This will also work great for hosing off items around your campsite like dishes, gear, kayaks etc.

    This unit is great for any pampered camper looking for an advanced shower solution.

    Read our full review of the Mr. Heater BOSS-XCW20 Basecamp Battery Operated Shower System


  5. Nemo Equipment Helio Pressure Shower

  6. Editors Rating:
    (4.8 / 5)

    Weight 1.3 lbs
    Heat Source Solar
    Water Pump Yes
    Power Source Manual- Foot Pump
    Current Price from $99.95
    Pros 7 feet of nozzle slack, Water stays hot in the unit, Easy to set up, Weighs less than 2 pounds when packed up,
    Cons The fill hole cap is small making filling and emptying the unit a bit inconvenient, , , ,
    Our Take:

    NEMO Helio Portable Pressure Shower with Foot Pump is a great lightweight portable shower that works great despite its super simple functionality. The unit could not be any easier to use, simply fill the NEMO and leave it in the sun for a few hours. If your car camping, you can even leave it in your hot car or in your tent on the side receiving most of the sun’s rays for even hotter water. Of course, you can always just heat up some water in a kettle over a fire and add cooler water to manually adjust the temperature for faster results. The water flow is pressurized by a foot pump that will give a nice steady stream of water for about 5 minutes. Keep pumping for a longer shower. The foot pump is incredibly convenient and is connected to the unit by a line with enough slack that you can have some distance. The spray nozzle itself is connected with 7 feet of tubing to the unit so even taller campers can get a nice wash without having to duck or squat. The unit itself weighs less than 2 pounds and shrinks down easily to fit in a backpack so you lightweight backpackers need not fear to live for days without an adequate shower. Filling up the unit is easily done by pouring water from a jug or simply even just dipping it into a lake. The Nemo has your back.

    Read our full review of the Nemo Equipment Helio Pressure Shower


  7. Nemo Helio LX Pressure Shower

  8. Editors Rating:
    (4.8 / 5)

    Weight 2.25 lbs
    Heat Source Solar
    Water Pump Yes
    Power Source Manual
    Current Price $149.95
    Pros Ultralight backpacking shower that compresses down small enough to fit in your pack, 7 feet of nozzle slack, solar powered and heats up nicely, , ,
    Cons Materials on the unit can be problematic and some seams can break easily on some units., , , ,
    Our Take:

    The NEMO Helio LX Portable Pressure Shower is a great solar-powered portable shower unit that works great for lightweight backpackers who want to stay clean on the trail, without sacrificing any extra weight and space in their pack.

    At only 2 pounds and the ability to shrink down to 10 x 6 inches, the Nemo is easy to carry around.

    The water pressure is great and at the end of a hot day of hiking will deliver around 7 minutes of continuous flowing warm water.

    The unit delivers water through a pressurized foot pump which is incredibly convenient and gives you about a foot of slack to work with.

    The sprayer hose is about 7 feet in length so taller campers don’t have to worry about leaning over.

    Since the Nemo is solar powered the big thing to remember is to leave it in the sun long enough to heat up.

    Especially on a sunny, warm day, the water can get quite hot, even to the point where you may need to add cooler water to cool it down.

    For lightweight backpackers, the Nemo packs away very tightly to take up minimal space in your pack.

    Highly recommended for any backpacker and camper.

    Read our full review of the Nemo Helio LX Pressure Shower


    Weight 12 lbs
    Heat Source Internal Electric
    Water Pump Yes
    Power Source Battery
    Current Price Price not available
    Pros The Camplux delivers instant hot water up to 114 degrees, Oxygen depletion sensor 5, 6L water pump included, Anti freeze protection, ,
    Cons Too heavy for backpackers, , , ,
    Our Take:

    The Camplux 5L 1.32GPM Ventfree Outdoor Portable Propane Gas Tankless Water Heater With 6L Water Pump is one of the newer portable showers on the market and is quickly making a name as one of the best.

    It instantly delivers hot water up to 114 degrees while making it easy to adjust both water temperature and flow rate maxing out at 1.32 gallons/minute.

    This unit also comes with a 6L water pump for those campers that have no access to a hose or pressurized water.

    Camplux really wanted to ensure the safety and dependability of the unit by adding anti-freeze protection so it can be used in frigid temps where hot showers are the most needed.

    There’s also an oxygen depletion sensor which shuts the unit off when surrounding O2 is low which will keep any toxic fumes from polluting your space.

    Keep in mind that the Camplux was made to be used outdoors as it does emit some exhaust.

    However, it can be used indoors as long as the area is well ventilated.

    The unit itself weighs about 12 pounds, so it’s not great for backpackers, although car campers will find the Camplux convenient.

    The unit takes only a few minutes to set up and can be used by both campers and as a backup home water heater.

    Highly recommended unit.

    Read our full review of the Camplux Outdoor Portable Propane Gas Tankless Water Heater


  9. Big Kahuna Portable Shower

  10. Editors Rating:
    (4.3 / 5)

    Weight 6 lbs
    Water Pump No
    Power Source 12 Volt Plug
    Current Price from $147.00
    Pros Easy unit to use for rinsing off gear and light outdoor showers, BPA free, Gives decent water pressure while conserving the water inside, ,
    Cons No heating unit, must be hooked into a 12 volt connector, , , ,
    Our Take:

    The Big Kahuna Portable Shower is a super easy to use portable shower that works best for car campers.

    It was originally designed for surfers to rinse sand off from the beach but has since been adapted to work for most other outdoor activities.

    It’s powered by a 12-volt connector that goes right into your car, so not gonna work for backpackers but if your camping out of your car then this is for you.

    The sprayer is connected to the main unit via an 8-foot hose which is nice for taller folks.

    The unit comes in 2 different sizes, 4.7 gallons or 8 gallons.

    The 4.7-gallon version measures 12″x12″x9″ and weighs 6 lbs while the 8-gallon model measures 14″x14″x14″ and weighs 8 lbs.

    When filled all the way up they each hold enough water for 2 people to get a decent shower in.

    It will also work great for rinsing off any dishes or dirty gear around your campsite like boots, kayaks, etc.

    The only downside is there is no heater with this unit so unless you put hot water in, you’re going to shower with whatever water is available.

    Not a deal-breaker for most, but just know its pretty basic.

    Read our full review of the Big Kahuna Portable Shower


    Weight 1.3 lbs
    Heat Source Solar
    Water Pump No
    Power Source Manual
    Current Price from $34.99
    Pros Tough/durable construction, Lightweight to carry, Holds enough water to take longer showers, The water gets Plenty hot over 100 degrees,
    Cons Slow water pressure, Very heavy once full of water, Sometimes the water gets too hot, ,
    Our Take:

    The Advanced Elements 5 Gallon Summer Shower / Solar Shower is a more “high tech” solar shower that will get you a hot shower without having to lug a tank of propane.

    The 4-ply construction of the shower bag really helps to get the water inside nice and warm.

    It includes a reflector and insulator panel along with a solar panel to use the heat from the sun to get the water inside as hot as possible.

    You’ll even surprise yourself when you look at the temperature gauge, yes there is a temperature gauge on the bag, and it reads over 100 degrees.

    The carry weight of the Advanced Elements bag is a little over a pound, however, once its filled the weight will go to about 40 pounds.

    It can hold enough water to easily take a 10-minute shower with some water left over. It works great for the solo backpacker or couples who can take fast to moderate showers.

    The shower also includes velcro straps to hold soaps and washcloths and is extremely durable.

    Keep in mind that the water pressure can be kind of slow because it is gravity fed, but the hose is durable and easy to activate.

    We loved this portable solar shower bag!

    Read our full review of the Advanced Elements 5 Gallon Summer Shower / Solar Shower


  11. ZODI Outback Gear Extreme SC Hot Shower

  12. Editors Rating:
    (4.2 / 5)

    Weight 11.8 lbs
    Heat Source Propane Stove
    Water Pump Yes
    Power Source Manual Hand Pump
    Current Price $168.00
    Pros Comfortable hot water, Included temperature gague, 10k BTU burner included can double as a cooking stove, ,
    Cons Unit on the stove can be a little unstable, A little on the heavy side for lightweight backpacking, , ,
    Our Take:

    The ZODI Outback Gear Extreme SC Hot Shower is going to give you that shower that you so desperately want on the trail.

    The stainless steel water tank will hold about 3 gallons of water, the 10k BTU burner will give you 100+ degree water in 5 minutes.

    The unit alone weighs close to 12 pounds, but at the end of the day getting a real 2-4 minute HOT shower is well worth it.

    The 6-foot hose is also nice so you don’t have to worry about propping the main unit up too high and let’s not forget to mention the stove doubles as a cooking stove.

    Once heated all you have to do is use the pump on the top of the Zodi and you’ll get a steady stream of water for about 5 minutes.

    Another nice feature is the temperature gauge.

    Be sure to keep your eye on this while heating, especially if using it with a higher BTU burner as the water can get too hot to fast.

    Also, beware that when the water tank is on the stove it can be a little unstable, but as long as it is propped up on a flat surface you should be fine.

    One of my favorite outdoor shower.

    Read our full review of the ZODI Outback Gear Extreme SC Hot Shower


    Weight 6.7
    Current Price $129.95
    Pros Great water pressure, Water gets up to 100°F, Water heats up quickly, ,
    Cons Not great when its colder out, Water flow can be weak at times, Cant use for lightweight backpacking, ,
    Our Take:

    The ZODI Outback Gear Zip Instant Hot Shower will give you the hot shower you need after a long day racking up dirt outside.

    The unit includes a propane burner that will last you 20+ showers and help deliver very hot water, up to 100°F with a steady stream of water pressure coming from the nozzle.

    The nozzle itself is connected to an 8-foot hose that makes showering more convenient for taller campers.

    If you need more length its easy to attach a longer hose.

    The whole unit including the water tank, burner, battery, and hose is around 9 pounds so it’s not too bad to carry or move around a campsite.

    You probably don’t want to travel with it for long distances but definitely useful for car campers and RV campers.

    The unit runs on 4 D-batteries that are stored in a waterproof case to help minimize any accidents.

    The overall setup is incredibly simple.

    As opposed to the Zodi LX the Outback Gear Zip Instant shower’s propane cylinder is built with longer snap in legs that lie flat on the ground for better support.

    The water pressure is kind of weak, but for an outdoor shower, it’s adequate enough.

    You won’t be making any compromises with this unit.

    Read our full review of the ZODI Outback Gear Zip Instant Hot Shower


Last update on 2019-09-19 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

Showers Buying Guide 2019

How to Pick

What Features To Look For In A Good Portable Camping Shower

Features To Look For Include:

  • Water flow rate:  This will include the PSI and how strong the water pressure releases from the unit.
  • Heating and temperature settings:  More advanced showers will give you the ability to get a more precise temperature vs less advanced units that may only give a general hot and cold, or maybe even just lukewarm.
  • Water storage capabilities:  This applies more to the shower bag units as the more advanced units come with hoses that feed from a water source like a bucket.
  • Time it takes to heat up: The shower bags typically use the sun as their heating source and can take up to 3 or 4 hours to heat up, while the more advanced units heat up right away
  • The ability to hang: You need to be able to hang the shower from a space higher than where you stand for gravity to be able to send the water down and out of the nozzle.
  • Weight:  Remember, you have to lug this thing around both empty and filled with water.

 

 

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Nick P

Nick spent his mostly unsupervised youth raising hell in the woods and ponds of 16 Acres in Springfield, MA (AKA Hell's Acres). He currently lives in Brooklyn, NY and loves hitting the northeast trails when his schedule allows and camping on his roof deck when it doesn't.

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