Best Solar Showers Money Can Buy in 2020
Solar showers are a camper’s best friend. Whether you’re out camping for a long weekend or roughing it on a cross-country journey, you’ll want a solar shower. No one wants to be a sweaty Betty! After a night or two out in the wild, that awful funk is sure to set in. So, especially if traveling with others, do them a favor and bring along a cool-tech solar shower! In fact, even if traveling alone, keeping up with personal hygiene means you’ll stay healthier, enabling you to … well, carry on traveling, of course!
Solar showers are great not only because they keep you clean and smelling fresh, but also since they create a source of extremely useful heated water. Of course, if you’re camping in the summer, you may get away with bathing in natural bodies of water–but in the spring or fall, you may not be so quick to dive into the deep end. That’s where your solar shower comes in. Even if showering outside, at least you won’t be quite so frozen as you’d be without your solar-powered shower gadget.
Fill the bag and you will have enough water for multiple showers. Whenever there is water in the bag, a solar-powered shower will collect solar energy and transfer it into heating the water to a comfortable temperature. This makes all the difference on chilly camping mornings but can also be a great way to relax tired muscles after a long day’s hike.
If you’re interested in a solar shower, but you’re not sure how to find a quality product or brand, here’s a list of some of the best solar showers money can buy this year. Read up a bit on each and find out which works best for you.
Advanced Elements 5-Gallon Summer Shower
This product is at the top of our list of the best solar showers for a reason. The 4-ply construction heats water quickly–and then keeps it insulated. It has a built-in temperature gauge so you know when the water is warm enough for your shower, and it’s also designed with an easy on/off showerhead, extra-large filling valve, and a side pocket for soap or shampoo. And of course, although it’s advertised as a summer shower, there’s no reason why you can’t use it anytime; its insulation would make it ideal for the cold. This is super-cool tech at its best; plus, the 5-gallon capacity means you get a better drenching!
Advanced Elements 3-Gallon Summer Shower
This solar shower is a smaller version of the last one. Its more compact size is better for single-person use, also making it easier to pack away if you’re concerned about the weight of your pack or camping materials. Because this summer shower has a lower capacity and holds less water, the water heats more quickly. This is a nifty solar shower for all occasions.
RISEPRO Solar Shower Bag
This camp shower is made from high-quality, leak-proof material that is sure to survive even your most adventurous camping trips. Exposed to just three hours in direct sunlight, the water in this bag can heat up to 113°F or 45°C. You can check the temperature with the gauge built into the side, so you know exactly when it’s ready. This solar shower also comes with hose, showerhead, and a water tap attachments that can be swapped out depending on what you’re using the water for.
FeChiX Solar Shower Bag for Camping
The FeChiX Solar Shower Bag has a more stylish and attractive design than the previous ones on this list. It comes with attachments of a hose, showerhead, and water tap so that you can use the water however you want. How about washing the stubborn mud off your shoes before getting back in the car? Want to clean your vehicle windscreen?
The showerhead also features an easy on/off switch so you have some control over the water flow, while the front of the bag sports a built-in pocket for toiletries or small items while showering.
RISEPRO Solar Shower Bag (10-Gallon Capacity)
This is one of the best solar showers you can use if you’re traveling in a group or with family. Or, maybe you just love a long and indulgent shower. Ten gallons is a whopping capacity compared to most solar showers, and as the largest on this list so far, it stands out. It’s perfect for preparing multiple showers at once or to fill and transport through remote areas that may not have a water source. Just fill it up, set it in direct sunlight, and watch the integral temperature gauge rise. Fabulous!
Dr. Prepare Camping Shower
This solar shower has a unique design compared to others on this list. It comes with a convenient spray nozzle hose and a foot pump so you can create higher water pressure for a powerful spray. The shower bag has a window built into the side to monitor how much water is left. When it’s empty, it conveniently packs away into an easy-to-carry compact bag.
Sportneer Solar Shower Bag
Sportneer’s solar shower is another with a capacity of 5 gallons that’s able to warm enough water for multiple showers. You can monitor the water level and temperature with both the built-in gauge and side window. It is also designed with a pocket to store toiletries while you shower. Pack the empty shower bag in the breathable mesh carrying bag for easy transportation.
Ruipoo Solar Shower Bag
This shower bag features a design that’s very common and seen multiple times on this list, but it’s been designed with longevity in mind. It has a sturdier carrying handle to make transportation easy, but can also be used to hang on tree branches or hooks while showering. The shower attachment comes with an on/off switch to control the flow of the water and not waste a single warmed drop. The inlet hose has been strengthened too, eradicating some of the problems surrounding water-bladder product types and leakage. We also love the great khaki color shown–no one wants to draw public attention to where they are showering in the woodlands!
ASANMU Solar Shower Bag
ASANMU’s solar shower bag is again constructed of four insulating layers to help heat water and keep it warm while you shower. It is a bit more affordable than previous products on this list, yet it still delivers. It also has all the features you’ve come to expect: a toiletry pocket, sturdy handle, thermometer, and a showerhead with flow switch. It’s perfect for hiking, camping, or even just days at the beach.
Advanced Elements 2.5-Gallon Summer Shower
This is the smallest solar shower on our list so far, with a capacity of only 2.5 gallons. It has a very basic design with a sturdy handle, large filling nozzle, and a small hose with a showerhead. It doesn’t have a temperature gauge, side window, or pocket for toiletries. It’s biggest draw is that it’s so easy to pack away and transport, so it certainly has its niche and not everyone has masses of storage space.
Advanced Elements 3-Gallon Summer Solar Shower
This is a slightly larger option from Advanced Elements. It is essentially the same as the previous product but can store that extra half gallon. There is still no pocket, extra attachments, thermometer, or side window with this version. Both of these products come with a one-year manufacturer warranty so you can give them a try risk-free. And it’s evident buyers love this item; at the time of writing, it has masses of top-rated user reviews. Cool (warm) tech indeed!
Nemo Helio Portable Pressure Shower
This 2.5 or 5-gallon solar shower really looks ‘the business’ and comes with a foot pump so that you can create some water pressure for your showers, especially useful if you have nowhere to hang one to use a gravity system. It’s also good exercise at the same time, especially after sitting down driving all day! Once fully pressurized, it will give a steady flow of water for 5-7 minutes. The shower attachment additionally boasts a 7-foot hose so that you can rinse off more easily and reach your grubby walkers’ feet–or shower the dog. This solar shower stays warm for hours after being in the sun, so is ready whenever you need it. We also love its unusual esthetic–somewhat resembling a punchbag and probably quite attractive to the sports enthusiast. Although sitting in the upper price bracket, it has impressive features.
PGYFIS Solar Shower Bag
PGYFIS’s solar shower brings us back to the hanging bag design. It comes with all of the basic features like a see-through back panel to monitor the water level and a built-in temperature gauge for easy monitoring. It also sports a front mesh pocket to hold toiletries and other small items and packs away into a super small roll so it’s easy to take with you wherever you go.
Facelink Solar Camp Shower Bag
If you’re looking for something with no frills that can be tightly packed away, this is one of the best solar showers for you. It has a plain and simple design with a removable PVC hanging aid and a detachable shower hose. Once the hose and pipe have been removed, the bag simply rolls up and can be packed away with the attachments. This is perfect for long-trip campers and limited space-backpackers.
Beaucares Solar Shower Bag
If you’re looking for all of the basic features at a lower price, this solar shower from Beaucares is a good option for you. It comes with multiple attachments, including a showerhead, a water tap, and a hose. It also has the see-through backing, temperature gauge, and toiletry pocket and packs away into a small, mesh bag for transportation.
VIGLT Solar Shower Bag
This shower bag holds the standard 5 gallons and can heat water for 2 or 3 showers in a single fill-up. Enjoy a customizable water flow by using the on/off switch built into the showerhead. Once full, the water heats up to 113°F (45°C) in 3 hours. It also comes with a built-in toiletry pocket for easy organization while you shower.
Green Elephant 2-in-1 Solar Shower & Dry Bag
The Green Elephant solar shower is a great option for light packers. When it’s not filled with water, it doubles as an airtight dry bag to protect electronics and other valuables from the elements; that make this a great design. Unlike some other self-supporting shower bags, this one also comes with a sturdy handle and buckle so you can hang it too. It’s even accompanied by a rope so you can hang it from higher branches if you need to! This is the company that has thought of everything.
Coleman 5-Gallon Solar Shower
Coleman is a brand that many campers and hikers trust. If you’re looking for a brand you’re familiar with, this Coleman solar shower might be just right for you. It features a very simple design and has only a small hose and nozzle for showering. This product also comes with two small camp towels.
Stearns 2000005826 Sunshower 4.0
The Sunshower from Stearns has a capacity of 4 gallons and the PVC pipe handle design that’s perfect for hanging from branches or hooks, and it’s easy to pack away. The only attachment is the showerhead and hose. The showerhead has an easy-to-use on/off valve so that you can control the water flow.
URPRO Solar Shower Bag
This is a 5-gallon solar shower with all the basic features you could want, including a see-through panel, temperature gauge, toiletry pocket, showerhead, hose, and sturdy handle. The water flow can be started by pulling the showerhead out and stopped by pushing it back in. The bag is made from sturdy, non-toxic PVC material that won’t leak.
Huien Camp Shower
This solar shower from Huien has a removable PVC pipe handle so it can easily be transported once empty. The shower bag and hose are also made from non-toxic PVC material that won’t leak or kink. A simple valve at the base of the hose controls the water flow while you shower. This product comes with a 12-month warranty and a 30-day money-back guarantee as well.
How to Choose the Best Solar Shower for You This Year
Choosing the best solar shower this year depends on what you plan to use the product for. Will multiple people be using it? Will you use it to shower or simply to wash up? Will it be coming with you on long trips? Will you be getting super muddy and cold? Will you need to carry it far?
All of these factors will influence the size, shape, and features of your solar shower. Answering these questions for yourself will help narrow down hundreds of products into a few quality ones. Of course, there are also some basic features that everyone should look for, like leak-proof material and robustness. Also, do look at the user reviews.
Let’s look at some of the characteristics that define each solar shower so that you can decide which one would be best for you.
As you can see from the products on our list of best solar showers, a few different sizes are available to choose from. These range anywhere from 2.5 gallons to 10 gallons.
When trying to decide on a size, the first thing you should consider is where you will be using your solar shower. If you want something more stationary, like a shower at a campsite where you’ll stay for an extended period of time, something larger may fit your needs better.
If you choose a solar shower with a larger water capacity, that means fewer trips to a water source and less downtime waiting for the water to heat up.
However, large solar showers are difficult to transport full. That’s why it’s a better option only if you’re going to be staying in the same place for a while. You wouldn’t want to lug 10 gallons of water from one campsite to another.
Another factor to consider is the number of people who will be using the solar shower. If, say, five people need to shower from a single bag, a large solar shower can still be a good option even if you plan to move it around frequently. And at least you can take turns carrying it!
To help you out, a 5-gallon solar shower, the average capacity, can warm enough water for about two or three average showers. If you’re using the warm water for other things, however, such as washing hands or light clean-ups, even less water is left for showering.
So, if you have a large party, consider a large solar shower regardless of how frequently you’ll be moving it. It will save time warming water and can provide enough hot water to suit everyone. Or, of course, you could buy two or three smaller variants and this may help if there are multiple users.
On the flip side, a 5-gallon solar shower, or even a 2.5-gallon solar shower, would be plenty enough for a single person to use for a full day. It’s also much easier to transport full and to pack away when empty.
A couple of shapes and designs are common on this list: a bag with a built-in handle; a bag with a hole in the top and an insertable PVC pipe; and a stand-up cylindrical bag. Choosing the right design for you depends on the way you plan to use the bag, both when it’s full and when it’s empty.
The largest and most difficult-to-transport solar shower would be the stand-up cylindrical design. It’s bulkier when full, doesn’t pack away as small, and usually comes with attachments like long hoses and foot pumps.
These are great for situations where you plan to stay in the same place for a while or where you don’t have a place to hang a shower bag. You’ll create your own water pressure via the foot pump, so hanging the bag isn’t essential.
The most common design is the bag with a sturdy handle integrally. This is perfect for the everyday camper as it can hang from hooks or tree branches to create a water flow into the shower hose. It’s fairly easy to pack away too.
If you’re looking for the solar shower that packs away into the smallest possible bundle, the bag with the insertable PVC pipe is your best option. Unlike the bag with the handle, that top, stiff pipe can be removed so that the bag will roll up smaller and pack away easier. This is good for backpackers and others traveling on foot.
A few features are common among solar showers but aren’t necessarily seen with each product. These include:
- See-through panel
- Foot pump
- Temperature gauge
- Toiletry pocket
- Showerhead and hose
- Water tap.
If you only plan to use the solar shower to wash hands or clean up after a day at the beach, you may not need features like a temperature gauge, toiletry pocket, foot pump, or see-through panel. You can get away with a more basic design that includes just a water tap or simple hose. For those planning to use it every day to shower, that’s when those extra features become more important.
Of course, quality construction is important no matter what product you’re buying. To discern whether the solar shower you’re looking at is of quality construction, here are some things you can look for:
- Leak-proof, safe bag material. This one is obvious. The most important feature of your solar shower is that it actually holds water. Also, ensure the material is environmentally-friendly as you will be using it outdoors frequently.
- Sturdy hanging material. If it’s to be a hanging bag, you want a handle you can trust. Water is heavy, and you don’t want a bag falling when your hair’s all soaped up! Look for reinforced handles or solid, easily replaceable PVC pipe handles.
- Heat-absorbing material. You want something that will heat water up in a timely manner to a comfortable temperature. Look for black PVC material that absorbs heat quickly and holds it. Also, look for bags that are designed with 4- or 5-layer insulation to keep your water warm once heated.
Choosing the right solar shower for you is all about thinking forward, knowing precisely what you’ll use it for, when, with whom–and so on. Also, think about how long your traveling (or other useful purpose) will last. Maybe you don’t need the one that costs the most but will last five good years if it’s a one-off trip.
Shop with a specific purpose in mind so that you can find the best solar shower for you this year. We hope some of the quality items on this list will give you inspiration.