When taking into account all different sorts of survival scenarios, from outdoor backpacking and camping trips to stocking a bug-out bag, one of the key items you want to have on hand is a portable shower! The perfect blend of at-home comfort and hygiene necessities, you will never regret having one of these in your survival repertoire.
Choosing the best portable shower for camping among the wide selection out there can be a challenge, but we have you covered. Read on for our roundup of top portable shower options, things to consider when picking the right shower for your specific needs, and so much more.
Our Top Picks
Camplux Tankless Water Heater
RISEPRO Portable Shower Bag
Easiest to Use:
Coleman 5-Gallon Solar Shower
Camplux Tankless Water Heater
When choosing the best portable shower for camping, there are several key factors you will likely want to consider. These include things like portability—you want a shower you can take with you anywhere, whether you are hiking and camping in the wilderness or glamping on the road.
The best portable shower for camping should also have the option of reliable hot water, be useful for just one person or a whole family, and have a good flow rate—all without sacrificing on the portability that makes this particular product so appealing. For all these reasons and more, we recommend the Camplux Tankless Water Heater as the best portable shower overall.
This shower truly has it all! It’s compact and easy to carry, battery-powered, and has great pressure flow and temperature options. You won’t just be able to shower in the wilderness with the Camplux Tankless Water Heater…you can actually enjoy the outdoor showering experience, too.
- Lightweight and compact, perfect for carrying on camping trips and hikes, or for storing in the car while driving
- Battery-powered for reliable use in all weather and seasons
- Has wonderful heat and an adjustable flow stream for a relaxing showering experience anywhere
- Built with protection from combustion, overheating, freezing, and sharp rises and dips in water pressure
- Some customers have run into issues with various parts breaking after several months of use
- Some customers report the water to be too hot for their liking
- The shower must be fully drained before being stored, as any water retention can lead to damage in the long run
RISEPRO Portable Shower Bag
Cleanliness and hygiene are a big deal when it comes to extended trips into the wilderness, camping adventures, and survival situations (take a look at our survival hygiene kit page for more info on why hygiene is so important!). Bearing this in mind, you want to prioritize keeping clean in the wilds—but that can be hard to do without breaking the bank.
When it comes to choosing the best portable shower for camping that is budget friendly without compromising on the key features that make this sort of item so important, we recommend the RISEPRO Portable Shower Bag. This handy portable shower is solar-powered and comes in at just a fraction of the cost of some of its contemporaries.
Despite its lower price tag, the RISEPRO Portable Shower Bag does not skimp on features. It’s small enough to be easily transportable but can hold up to 5 gallons of water, has an adjustable water flow setting on the showerhead, and heats the contents up to 113 degrees Fahrenheit when placed in direct sunlight.
All of these features make the RISEPRO a truly great pick for the best portable shower for camping on a budget.
- A highly affordable option, particularly in light of the features it offers
- Lightweight and easy to carry and pack in with your gear
- Has a high water capacity of up to 5 gallons
- Heats very well in direct sunlight, with a temperature display gauge allowing you to track the heat of the water
- Offers good water flow with adjustable stream
- Some customers have reported issues with leakage and cheaply made parts
- Some customers have had issues with getting the bag to heat properly if placed in anything other than direct sunlight
Easiest to Use
Coleman 5-Gallon Solar Shower
Bells and whistles can hold a great appeal when you’re on the hunt for the best portable shower for camping. But sometimes all you want is a simple shower that is easy to use without a lot of assembly required when you set up camp, or a steep learning curve at the start to make it worth your while.
For the best portable shower that is practical and reliable, comes from a trusted brand, and can be set up with little to no hassle, we recommend the Coleman 5-Gallon Solar Shower. This solar shower bag comes from camping behemoth brand Coleman, so you know that you’re getting a product that’s designed with the outdoors in mind.
The Coleman 5-Gallon Solar Shower is simple to set up and even simpler to use. It requires nothing more than filling the bag, strapping it to a tree limb or other upright rigging, attaching the hose, and waiting for it to heat. Once the bag is warmed, you are ready to go—no fiddling with various parts, complicated showerheads, or heating tanks.
Sturdy, simple, and reliable, this is the best portable shower for easy use in any wilderness or outdoor setting.
- Comes from a trusted, reliable outdoor brand
- Can be used for showering as well as for other things, like washing dishes in warm water
- Easy to assemble and ready to use just about anywhere
- The contents do not become particularly hot, even when left in the sun for some time
- Requires a tree limb or other upright rigging to function well, as the water is moved by gravity rather than any kind of inner pump mechanism
Ivation Portable Outdoor Shower
There are many scenarios to consider when choosing the best portable shower for your needs. You may be looking for one to take on a solo backpacking adventure, for example, where you will be carrying all of your own weight. Or you may want a portable shower you can stow away in a bug-out bag or survival kit, just in case the worst should happen.
For folks on the hunt for a showering option that takes up minimal room and adds very little weight at all, we recommend the Ivation Portable Outdoor Shower as the best portable shower for compact carrying.
This little showerhead and hose do a great job making use of water from all different sources. It’s the most compact, lightweight option for the best portable shower, and can be used indoors or outdoors. As an added bonus, it’s battery-powered and offers great flow as well, making it extra convenient in all sorts of different scenarios
- Easy for campers, hikers, and folks of just about any age to carry
- Can work with various bodies of water, including from a bucket, pond, lake, river, etc.
- Is battery-powered and can be used both indoors and outdoors as needed
- Does not come with its own water storage bag, so you will have to rely on water you can gather or that is already in an available source in order to use the shower
- Several customers have reported issues with the battery not holding a charge for long, even when the shower is not in use
Considerations for the Best Portable Shower
Number of Users
When choosing the best portable shower for camping to fit your needs, a big contributing factor will be how many people the shower has to serve. Different portable showers will remain functional for different lengths of time. This is true not only of their carrying capacity but of their battery life or charge if they contain electric-powered pumps.
For larger groups of people, you may need to consider a portable shower with a higher water capacity. You will also need to take into account the additional carrying weight of extra batteries you will have to carry along to keep an electric shower functional for large groups, and look at how many uses a particular shower has on average before it will begin to wear out.
When traveling solo or in small numbers, you can likely get by with a smaller, lower-capacity portable shower. Or, you might still want to splurge on a high-capacity or battery-powered shower that will last a single person a long time!
These are all factors to consider when selecting the best portable shower for your camping trips.
Every person has a maximum weight that they can comfortably carry, and anything that tips the scales beyond that—even a useful item like a small shower—can be more of a hindrance than a help. Knowing your limits and staying within them is important when choosing the best portable shower.
Larger, more upscale camping showers, like our top pick for the best portable shower overall, will add greater weight than a simple shower head and hose, like our most compact pick.
Before you choose the best of these showers for your needs, be sure to take into account the additional items you will be carrying. Make an honest assessment of how much-added weight you have the capacity for. Then, make your buying decision based on those parameters.
Season and Environment
The seasons and environments in which you plan to use your portable shower will have an effect on narrowing down which is the best fit for you.
In the summertime, you may find yourself caring less for a warm shower and preferring some cold water. So, if you are planning to use your camping shower mostly in the hot months or in prime camping season, you may find you care less to invest in a portable shower that promises high capacity heating.
On the other hand, if you are preparing for camping in cooler temperatures, you will likely find hot water to be a necessity you aren’t willing to skimp on. This may by the determining factor in your investment in a shower that can heat water adequately.
Location and weather can also be determining factors in choosing the best portable shower for you! Some portable showers require direct and sustained sunlight for several hours to properly heat the water.
If you plan to use your shower somewhere that doesn’t get a lot of sun, you might want to invest in a self-heating shower as opposed to a solar powered one.
Besides the additional weight factor of a portable shower, there is also the size factor to consider. Different small showers take up a different amount of space, from a compact hose and head to a larger, more box-like design.
Particularly if you are backpacking or preparing for survival situations, it’s wise to consider how much carrying capacity you have.
Also, take into account how much space you can dedicate to carrying along your shower and its accouterments. Saying yes to one thing in your camping gear is saying no to something else, so you want to make sure the trade-off for the space taken up by your little shower is worth it.
It is also important to consider what capacity you have for the additional needs that come with your shower of choice. This can include a storage case, extra batteries, a container to house water once you pitch camp, and more.
Always be sure to assess, not just the carrying capacity you have for the shower itself, but also for its necessary accouterments for optimal function.
Portable Shower FAQ
What additional items will I need for my portable shower?
Every portable shower is different, but there are several key items you will often need to consider in order to make the most of using your portable shower.
There are many portable showers that require the use of batteries. These can be used to heat the water, as well as to pump the water through its hose and adjust the settings on the showerhead. Various battery-powered portable showers use different types of batteries, so be sure you have the right ones, plenty of them, and enough space to carry them for the duration of your outdoor time.
For the most part, portable showers are designed to be hung upright from a tree, a side hook on an RV, or some other upright apparatus in order to maximize their function. In anticipation of this, it’s always wise to have at least some rope and a carabiner clip to rig up your portable shower.
However, you can run into a real snag if you want to use your shower and find yourself in a setting where it can’t be strung up to heat in the sunlight or dispense the water via gravity. In anticipation of this scenario, a folding stake can be a useful tool to pack along.
Look for a collapsible metal rod of an appropriate height that folds down to a good carrying size. Using this, you can rig your portable shower up even if you find yourself in an area without trees.
Leaks happen. Sometimes, despite your best efforts to care for your portable showerhead responsibly, you might find it gets perforated in your travels or while being in storage. Bearing this possibility in mind, it’s good to have along a sealant of some sort.
In many cases, depending on the design and material your portable shower uses, something like a patch used on an above-ground pool can be useful. There are many other sealants that can also be helpful in these scenarios. Just be sure to get on that’s waterproof!
Should I keep spare parts on hand for my portable shower?
Ultimately, the choice of whether or not it’s feasible to keep spare parts on hand for a portable shower is up to the individual. You have to take into account your budget, carrying and weight capacity, and even the ease of replacement for the parts.
However, as a general rule, it is certainly a good idea to have at least a few spare parts on hand. This can include an extra hose you can swap out if one becomes kinked, punctured, or compromised. Depending on the various parts your portable shower requires, things like attachments that join the hose to the bag might be good to keep in spare, just in case.
Wrapping up the Best Portable Shower of the Year
Ready to add the best portable shower to your survival gear? Don’t stop there! Be sure to check out our Hygiene Sanitation Page. This is a fantastic resource giving you lots of other ideas on things to pack along to ensure you are at your best and most prepared for any survival situation.