RVs and camper vans have become a preferred method of travel for those looking to explore the beauty of nature. As a result, there are products that allow you to do so much when you’re on the road, such as showering. You can harness the power of the sun by opting for one of the best solar showers available to take with you on your next camping trip.
While the idea of a solar powered shower might sound expensive, these contraptions are actually quite affordable and useful. They allow you to be able to wash up without needing to seek out a shower, which is ideal if you’re camping in more secluded areas off the grid. Not all solar showers are created equal, however.
Below we will explore some of the benefits of selecting a solar shower as opposed to an alternative, while reviewing some of the highest rated options available right now.
What To Look For In A Solar Shower
There isn’t much variation between many models of solar showers, as they are quite simple mechanisms in and of themselves. However, you are going to want to ensure that a solar shower bag is made with quality, non-toxic material, especially if there’s any chance you’ll be consuming the water.
One noticeable difference between solar showers includes the hose and the shower head. Many models come with some pretty basic shower heads or nozzles that get the job done, but aren’t special. The great news is if you find a solar shower bag you like but aren’t a fan of the shower head or hose, it’s easy to buy a different one that suits your preferences.
Price points can vary between various solar shower models, but they tend not to be extremely expensive. What’s nice about these particular types of camping showers is they have multiple uses. You can use them to wash dishes, wash camping equipment, or take it on the go with you to the beach or on a picnic.
How Do Solar Showers Work?
The great thing about solar camping showers is that they are quite small and compact, making them super simple to travel with regardless of how you camp. They also don’t require you to plug into a plumbing system, have batteries on hand, or put in a lot of physical effort to make the shower work.
The sun is absorbed into the solar shower which is how the water will get warm. This can take some time depending on how hot you want your water. Many of these showers will have some form of a temperature gauge on them so you can keep an eye out for when the shower is ready for you.
Once water gets warm, or warm water from a kettle is poured in, the water tends to stay warm for quite some time. This is great if you’re planning on filling it up in the morning and showering in the afternoon. Most bags will hold enough for one to two people to shower; potentially more if you’re careful to conserve water when you’re not rinsing.
Solar showers will also typically come with a handle or hanging mechanism so you can hang it from a strong hook, such as a thick tree branch. You typically have to hold the hose and shower head to direct the water onto you.
The Best Solar Showers For Camping
When it comes to solar showers for camping, there are many, many options. These showers in and of themselves are fairly affordable, especially compared to other types of camping showers, but some are pricier than others.
Given what solar showers do, not all of them are made with the best quality and ease of use in mind. The solar showers recommended below are some of the best solar showers with solid reviews and great functionality.
BEST BUDGET BUY
This inexpensive shower bag is made with strong, durable material that is meant to keep water inside until you turn on the shower mechanism. This particular solar shower is one of the best rated, not only for its affordable price point, but because of how well it holds water and keeps it warm.
It comes with a shower head that can be removed or adjusted as needed. The bag can hold five gallons of water, and the material absorbs sunlight in order to warm up the water.
Some pros of this shower bag are:
- The price is right at under £20
- You can adjust the flow and pressure of the water
- There’s a temperature monitor on the bag
Some cons of this shower bag are:
- You have to find somewhere to hang it
- The bag can get very heavy when it’s filled up
- The quality of the shower head tube could be improved
Coleman is one of the most trusted names in camping supplies, so it’s no surprise that they’ve also developed a highly rated solar shower. The mechanism is quite simple, with a bag that holds up to five gallons of water and a plastic hose attached that can be turned on and off to save water.
The material of the bag is able to absorb the power of the sun to heat up your water, and it stays warm for quite some time.
- The bag’s material is durable to hold a lot of water
- The handle to hang the bag is strong
- The water pressure is good
- The price point is expensive at £50
- There have been some complaints of leaking
- The bag can be difficult to fill without a funnel
This particular solar shower bag is made with strong, layered material that helps keep water warm. It’s much easier to fill than many other shower bags, as it has a large valve at the front that twists open. There are also straps that hold you toiletries, and a temperature monitor to see how warm your water is.
This bag absorbs the sunlight to heat up water from the back, and it can hold about two and a half gallons of water. Once you’re finished with the bag, it rolls up easily for storage.
Some pros for this shower bag are:
- Easier to fill up and hang up for use
- The material is excellent quality to hold a lot of water
- The water flow is easy to control
Some cons for this shower bag are:
- The bag is pricier than some other models
- It takes some time for the water to get warm
- Some say the water doesn’t get very warm or hot
This contraption features a large bag with a capacity for 12 gallons of water and harnesses the sun to keep the water warmed up. It only takes a couple of hours for the water to get warm, which is great considering some other bags will take all day. You can also keep an eye on how hot the water gets as well as how full the bag is.
The water and its pressure can be controlled with a foot pump. While the entire set up is fairly big, it’s easy to fold up and store once you allow it to thoroughly dry.
Some of this shower bag’s pros are:
- Holds a large capacity of water that warms up quickly
- Can sit on the ground or be held up on a hook
- Made of durable, non-toxic material
- Comes with a shoulder strap to make it easier to carry
Some of this shower bag’s cons are:
- Higher price point; costs about £45
- The whole setup is big
- It can take a few pumps before the water start coming out of the hose
Those who enjoy the finer things once in a while will like the look of this shiny gold solar shower. It’s a bit small, but is perfect for a solo camper or a couple to get in one or two showers. After you’ve filled up the water and hung the bag in the sun, you can watch the temperature go up until you’re ready for your shower.
The material is a durable plastic that can keep water warm so you don’t have to freeze during your shower. There’s a handle that makes the bag easy to transport to your location of choice, and then you can use the handle to hang up your bag. The capacity for water is about four gallons.
Pros for this sunshower bag are:
- Solid and sturdy construction
- The bag doesn’t leak
- The water warms up quickly
Cons for this sunshower bag are:
- No instructions come with the shower bag
- The bag gets heavy when it’s full
- The bag can take some time to dry after use
If you’re wanting a simple and affordable solar shower that can be trusted to work well during your camping trips, this is a bag to consider. The material has been designed to withstand leaks and wear while also helping absorb that hot sunshine. It’s also constructed with an environmentally-friendly material with a non-toxic PVC lining.
You can assemble and disassemble the shower head and hose as needed, and shut the water on and off when needed to conserve it when you’re not rinsing. There’s also a great handle with a small rope attached to make the bag easy to carry and hang up.
Some of the pros for this camping shower bag include:
- The price point is very affordable at £11.99
- The water heats up in about three hours; quicker than some other bags
- The bag is easy to pack away and store when not in use
Some of the cons for this camping shower bag include:
- The bag has a slight smell after opening the package (it is recommended you wash it in warm water and baking soda before using it to get rid of the smell)
- Some customers find the hose is too flimsy
- Inconsistent reviews for how hot the water can or cannot get
While this solar camp shower bag looks small at first glance, don’t underestimate its durability and its ability to serve its purpose. The bag itself holds about five gallons of water. What’s great about this bag is that it’s made with non-toxic material, and even though the sun helps heat the water up, UV rays won’t deteriorate the fabric.
There’s a rope that accompanies the bag to help hang the bag up for your shower, and there’s a valve to turn the water on and off at your leisure. This can also help you control how much water comes out of the shower head based on your pressure preferences.
Pros of this camp shower include:
- The water gets warmed up pretty quickly
- The model is lightweight and compact, making it easier to carry when filled
- The material is high quality
Cons of this camp shower include:
- Some customers have found the on/off valve is hard to handle
- This shower comes at a mid-range price point
Here you have a portable solar shower that is on the pricier end comparatively, but one could say it’s worth the few extra dollars. The bag is larger than many other models with a capacity of 20L, and it’s also fairly easy to carry around with its straps. It absorbs heat very well, and the material doesn’t get warped or seep harsh chemicals into your water.
The hose is quite long and flexible for easy use, and the bag opens at the top to make it much easier to fill up and clean out. There is also a foot pump that lets you control the pressure of your water, so you can adjust it to your liking.
Some pros with this solar shower are:
- The shower bag can be adapted for more than one person to use
- The water heats up pretty quickly
- The addition of a foot pump makes adjusting water pressure much easier
Some cons with this solar shower are:
- The price point is higher at just over £50
With this solar camping shower, you get a large capacity bag that is still compact and portable for ease of use. The material is durable enough to keep the water inside, but it still allows solar energy to warm up the water for a comfortable shower. The shower head is also a lot nicer and more similar to a regular shower head, making your outdoor shower much more convenient.
You can watch the temperature get higher as the sun shines down on the bag on the thermometer; typically, it takes about three hours to get the water warmed up. You can easily carry the bag around with the handle as you find a tree to hang your shower in place to use it. This bag holds about 20 litres of water.
Pros for this camping shower include:
- The water heats up pretty quickly compared to many other solar showers
- The mechanisms aren’t too complicated to use
- The price point is very affordable
Cons for this camping shower include:
- Some customers have received their showers poorly packaged, leading to some damage
Solar showers can be an energy-efficient, affordable, and simple way to shower, rinse yourself or your pets off, and do so much more no matter where you’re camping. While they can require some setup and some heavy lifting if you fill the bag to the top, most solar showers are very easy to use.
Another great thing about these contraptions is the portability, and since you can use these solar showers for so many other uses, it helps you free up some of your very limited storage. Thankfully, there are many great options for solar showers that will match your budget and your needs.