If you are into camping, not much can phase you. A little dust, some drops of sweat, or a touch of grime isn’t gonna slow you down. But when it’s time to clean up, you may not be quite ready to return to civilization. (We get that.) Even so, you might also want to avoid communal campground showers. (We get that, too.) Now, how you get clean is up to you, but getting to know the best camping showers will definitely give you more get-clean options.
Hey, whatever extends your time in the great outdoors, right?
Camping showers are becoming more and more popular, and they aren’t just for clean freaks or those who prefer glamping over camping. They’re for all of us. So, whether you’re looking for a simple way to splash off some dirt and mud, something to clean off you and your gear, or a way to relax and revive after a long hike, we have you covered.
Even if your RV has a built-in shower, a camping shower can come in handy to reduce water waste or to rinse off gear, pets, or feet before you track mud into your rig.
Best Camping Shower
Before looking for specific brands, it’s worth it to figure out what type of camp shower experience you’re looking for. Do you want something that just rinses off the top layer of dirt and sweat? A way to feel more at home? Or something to help you get so fresh and so clean, clean?
Considerations for the best camping shower for you include:
- Size. Will your camp shower be transported by your vehicle or will you be lugging it on your back to your campsite? Check the size and weight to ensure it fits well in your vehicle, your campsite, and your ability.
- Tank Size/Capacity. Camping showers range from a few liters to a few gallons. A two-gallon camping shower is usually enough for two people to each have up to three minutes to clean up. Gallons of water, of course, aren’t light. So, while a large capacity and faster flow might be appealing to get really clean, if you aren’t up for finding, lugging, and lifting a lot of water, you may want to forgo the luxurious shower and go for something a little more minimal or choose an option that’s a bit more stationary.
- Heating Method. If your camping shower is attached to your RV or trailer, you can enjoy a reliable way to heat the water via battery power or propane. If you don’t have that kind of setup, you may still be able to enjoy a hot shower as long as the sun is shining. Many of the best portable camping showers store the water in a bag that’s heated by the sun, so when you return to camp, you can enjoy rinsing off with warm or even hot water. Most take around three hours to heat up but could take longer if it’s partly cloudy.
- Pressure. Many camping showers use gravity to pressurize the water. You hang it on a high limb or the side of your RV, open the nozzle, and gravity does the rest. Others have internal pressure that’s created by battery, propane, or a human-generated pump (either hand or foot) to improve the flow.
What Are the Best Camping Showers of 2022?
Your choice of camping shower will depend on the size of your RV, camper, or trailer (or even tent), your shower preferences, how much room you have for gear, and your budget. A few of the top-rated camping showers to consider include:
Coghlan’s Solar Heated Camp Shower ($12.15): Perhaps the most cost-effective option, this simple shower is super compact, easy to carry, and holds five gallons. As long as the sun is shining, you’ll be able to wash off with some warm water. Some reviews suggest it can get too hot on a sunny day if you aren’t careful, so always test the temp before opening up the valve on your tender flesh.
Advanced Elements Summer Shower ($20.99 to $34.99, depending on the size from 2.5 to 5 gallons): Another affordable portable camping shower, the Advanced Elements heats up fast with sunlight and can also retain heat due to its four-layer construction. This inexpensive unit also has a temperature gauge, so you can tell how warm your water is just by looking at the gauge, and it gets hot!
Sea to Summit Lightweight Pocket Shower ($34.95): Nimble and lightweight, don’t let the simplicity of this portable camping shower fool you. It’s wear-resistant and comes with a functional showerhead for camping minimalists. But it can also be used for cleaning hands and dishes even when you’ve left the RV to go backpacking, rafting, or surfing. To enjoy a warm shower, you will need to fill it up and hang it in full sun for several hours. Alternatively, you could fill half with cold water then very carefully fill the rest with some you’ve heated on your camp stove.
Ivation Portable Outdoor Shower ($34.99): Already have access to water (from a sink to bucket to outside outlet) and just want a pressurized shower? This simple rechargeable battery powered pump can turn nearly any water source into a portable camping shower or dish, gear, or pet-cleaning station.
Decathlon Quechua 10 L Pressurized Solar Shower ($79.99): If you don’t want to hang a heavy bag of water, this solar shower sits on the ground and has a pump which pressurizes the water to improve flow. Just set in the sun to heat, and you’ll have just enough warm water to clean up after a day on the trails, at the beach, or just enjoying the great outdoors.
Nemo Helio Portable Pressure Camp Shower ($129.95 for 11 liters; $159.95 for 22 liters): Another great option for folks who don’t want to lift a heavy bag of water overhead or are camping in areas that have limited space to hang the bag of water from, this versatile camp shower comes with a pressurized sprayer to shower, rinse off gear, do a load of dishes, wash the dog, and even water plants. Simply use the foot pump to fully pressurize, set it in the sun to warm, and you’re ready to clean.
Rinse Kit PRO Portable Shower ($324.95): Meant for people who are looking for a way to clean up outside their RV, this high-power battery-pressurized camping shower provides high pressure for up to five minutes to wash off gear, clean up dishes, or rinse off after a day at the bench, on the trails, mucking through the mud, or wherever you may roam. It’s about the size of a small cooler, so it’s easy to store and take with you.
Kelty Discovery H2GO Privacy Shelter ($114.95): This isn’t a camping shower but rather a nice accessory for many people who prefer a bit more privacy. While some campsites provide some privacy, others don’t allow for any. This free-standing, fairly easy-to-set-up shower tent provides a little personal space. Plus, it even has a built-in drain for showering for a more comfortable experience in the great outdoors.
Best Camping Shower: The Takeaway
Even if you’re off—way off—the beaten path, you can still enjoy getting clean after a sweaty day at the beach, on the trail, or wandering through the wilderness. There are great options for virtually everyone who loves RVing, camping, and getting outdoors.
Whichever option you choose, don’t forget that you’ll need something clean to stand on as you rinse off and some clean flip-flops to slide those sparkling toes into afterward. It’s so easy to forget. And then, somehow, after your shower, you’ve gotta make a move with wet feet on dirty ground. Do yourself a favor, finish strong with sandals.