Looking for a way to hose off after a dirty day of camping?
Portable showers for camping have been getting better and better over the last few years. With this in mind, we’re having a closer look at the Best Portable Showers for Camping. We will look at a few different styles of showers, including both compact surf showers and larger battery-operated models.
Afterwards, we’re going to share some of the things that we learned along the way. By the end of it, you’ll have a better idea of how to choose the best portable shower, whether it’s for a day on the beach or a weekend in the wild.
Best Battery-Operated Personal Camping Shower
#1. Mr. Heater BOSS-XB13 Basecamp Battery Operated Shower System
The BOSS-XB13 is what we would call a top of the line portable shower system. As opposed to solar-heated bag kits, the BOSS is capable of putting out nearly 12,000 BTU of power with a flow rate of .6 gallons per minute.
Addition features like scald protection, flow-driven ignition, and a tip switch add to the overall value. The BOSS is available in three different BTU versions, 12,000, 17,000, and 18,000 depending on how much heat you are going to want to create.
There is no question that this is the most expensive camping shower on our list. However it is also the only one with a built-in propane heating unit, making it more than worth it.
- Built-in propane heating element
- High-pressure battery-operated pump
- More pricey than simple pump-style surf showers
- Requires both batteries and propane to operate
Best Compact Surfing Shower
#2. Innhom Portable Camping Shower
Unlike the BOSS that we looked at above, the Innhom Portable Shower is what can be called submersible-style. This means that it is designed to be submersed in a water source such as a tank, bucket, or even river. A small 12V pump with a rechargeable battery is what creates the pumping action.
While not as powerful as the battery-operated model above, the Innhom still manages to produce an adequate flow for quick rinse-offs. There is no heating element here … the temperature of the water source is going to be the temperature of your shower. For this reason, the Innhom shower pump is the ideal way to rinse off all that sand after a day of surfing.
- Very compact and portable
- Can be charged from a car battery
- No on-board heating element
- Not as powerful as larger battery-operated pumps
Best Submersible Shower Pump Kit
#3. JAYETEC Portable Outdoor Shower Set
Like the Innhom Portable Shower that we looked at above, the JAYTEC shower utilizes a submersible pump. This means that a separate water source is required, such as a tank, bucket, or creek. The stream is a bit gentle compared to larger battery-powered pumps. But it is larger and more powerful (slightly) than the Innhom model.
A few added bonus features include LED lighting for night operation and an easily rechargeable 4400mAh battery. The unit is entirely waterproof and does seem quite durable compared to smaller surf showers.
- Built-in LED lighting makes night showering easy and safe
- Larger pump & battery than similarly priced models
- More expensive than the Innhom camp shower
Value Pick Camping Shower
The really impressive thing about the VIGLT camping shower bag is how it manages to combine natural solar heating with gravity-powered water pressure. The result is an ingenious design that doesn’t require any batteries or gas to operate.
Another benefit that comes from the simplicity is the price savings. The base level of this camping shower is less than twenty bucks, making it the most affordable pick on our list. There is also a slightly upgraded camouflage version that includes a cover and a better hanging strap. That one is about twice as much, but is worth it for the added protection.
- Very affordable camping shower
- Utilizes nothing but gravity and solar energy
- No built-in heating element
- Lower operating pressure than other models on this list
Shopping for Portable Showers for Camping [Buyer’s Guide]
The four different camp showers on our list represent only a small fraction of what is available online. Indeed, it seems like there are hundreds of different options these days, each with their own pros and cons.
If none of the models we looked at tickled your fancy, here are a few things to consider as you continue your search for the best portable shower.
Heated vs. Non-Heated Camping Showers
There are two ways a portable shower can be heated: propane, and solar. Both are effective ways to create a hot shower while camping or hunting. Propane systems, however, have the added benefit of operating with a continuous stream of water. This is in contrast to solar camping showers, which almost always utilize a built-in water reservoir with a limited capacity.
Submersible Pump Showers vs. Reservoir-Style Camping Showers
The most affordable portable showers do not feature heating elements at all. Instead, they are only intended as small, relatively low-flow pumping systems. These feature a battery-operated submersible pump on one end and a shower head on the other. This type of shower is ideal for surfing, where a hot shower is less important than simply rinsing sand off your body.
A reservoir-style camp shower is also known as bag style, because it most often uses a flexible bag of water as its source. By leaving one of these bags hanging on a tree or off the back of the RV, it’s possible to heat the internal water with nothing but natural sunlight.
Frequently Asked Questions (F.A.Q.)
Similarly, battery-powered and propane-heated camp showers will have limitations with both fuel and water supply.