8 Best Solar Showers for Camping in 2023
You could get a solar shower with a large storage capacity, top-notch add-ons, and a quality build. But the ultimate mark of quality of the best solar shower is a fast heating rate.
The larger the storage capacity of a solar shower bag, the more water you can store for heating. At the same time, the more water you can store for heating, the more water you have for a hot shower.
Ultimately, the storage capacity of the shower you opt for will depend on the volume of water you need for a shower and how many campers the shower will serve. Of course, the more the campers, the larger the capacity of the solar camp shower you need.
Beyond storage capacity, the overall experience with solar showers is heightened by the presence of certain add-ons.
For one, having a thermometer alongside solar camping showers helps ensure you do not scald yourself with boiling water. Thermometers give you an accurate water temperature reading to know when it is warm, too hot, or not hot enough.
Besides having a thermometer, solar showers with a see-through backside are advantageous. With a see-through backside, you can see how much water you have left in the solar shower.
The quality of the materials used in making a shower is pretty vital. Good solar camp showers come with absorbent and insulated water bags. They also come with thick hoses and high-quality ABS plastic showerheads.
With these materials, you can rest assured that your solar camping shower will resist the potential damages it is exposed to in your camp.
With a fast heating rate, showers reach very high temperatures relatively shorter times. And this is great since most regions’ daily solar energy supply is typically limited.
In other words, a solar shower with a high heating rate can get very hot quickly, so you will not have to worry about the sun setting before your water sufficiently heats up.
Best Solar Showers at a Glance
- KIPIDA Solar Shower Bag – Overall Best
- RISEPRO Shower Bag – Rapid Heating
- Summer Shower – High Storage Capacity
- STEARNS Sun Shower 4 Portable Shower – High Temperature Rise
- Coleman 5-Gallon Solar Shower – Durable Build
- Coghlans Solar Heated Camp Shower – Easy to Use
- Red Rock Outdoor Gear 5 Gallon Solar Shower – Least Expensive
- Rothco Solar Camp Shower – Low Price
Solar Shower Review
The KIPIDA Solar Shower Bag takes the number one spot in our portable solar shower review. This camp shower bag is number one because it combines a fast heating rate and high storage capacity with multiple top-notch add-ons.
With the KIPIDA Solar Shower Bag, you can expect a temperature rise of up to 113℉ within 3 hours under direct sunlight. Only the RISEPRO Solar Shower Bag matches this level of heating within a similar period.
Of course, in colder seasons or when the sun is not shining very hot, you may not get a temperature rise as high as the above. So, when you go camping, you may want a backup heater, such as a solar kettle that can also be powered with a battery.
Beyond its rapid heating rate, this solar shower bag can store up to 5 gallons of water – the joint-highest storage capacity in our review. On average, this volume of water should be enough for you to take a warm shower 3 to 4 times. But this may vary depending on the type of soap/shampoo you use, the nozzle on the showerhead, and your body size.
While the RISEPRO Solar Shower has just one main value-added feature, this one comes with three. For one, it features a temperature indicator/thermometer, which helps you monitor the water temperature as it becomes warmer.
Besides the thermometer, this product has a see-through backside. With this in place, you can easily monitor water flow out of the shower bag and adjust the showerhead accordingly. You readily know if you are using too much water and how much water you have left.
Thankfully, the showerhead features a switch that toggles water pressure from high to low. The same feature also turns the water current on and off.
Apart from the see-through backside, it comes with a mesh pocket. This pocket can hold various items, including toothpaste, shampoo, toothbrush, and soap. With this mesh, you will have fewer issues moving all your showering needs to the camp bathroom and back to the tents.
These portable solar shower bags are made with PVC. While PVC is not UV-resistant, this shower bag will maintain its form for a very long time, even under prolonged exposure to the sun.
Beyond its resistance to UV rays, the bags are made from are not readily punctured. So, the thorns and sharp stems on the trees outdoors will not put a hole through them easily.
Crafted with multiple layers of material, this solar-heated shower is unlikely to leak.
You’ll be getting an outdoor solar shower that is pretty lightweight – weighing just 0.97 pounds. It is also foldable. So, overall, the product is very portable.
You get your money’s worth with the KIPIDA Shower Bag. But we believe the inlet valve could be bigger for easier filling. Then, having an outlet valve will also make draining easier when one intends to pack the bag up.
- In warm seasons, this outdoor shower bag can raise the water temperature to 113℉ in 3 hours – the fastest heating rate of any portable solar shower in our review.
- The storage capacity is the joint-highest.
- It is fitted with a temperature indicator, a mesh pocket, and a see-through backside.
- Made with multi-layer PVC, which reduces the chances of puncturing and leakage.
- The inlet valve could be bigger.
- There is no outlet valve.
Like our top choice, the RISEPRO Shower Bag has a rapid heating rate and a high storage capacity. But it falls short on the number of value-added features it comes with. Nonetheless, it is pretty inexpensive.
The RISEPRO Shower Bag can offer a temperature rise of 113℉ within 3 hours in direct sunlight and warm conditions – say if the ambient temperature is at least 77℉. The previous product is the only other portable shower with the same heating rate on our list.
Apart from its quick heating, it can store 5 gallons of water. This makes it the product with the highest water capacity alongside many other products we reviewed.
The average person can get a hot shower thrice with 5 gallons of warm water, or 3 people can get at least one shower. So, if you are going on camping trips with more than 2 other people, you may want to consider getting extra units of this shower bag, depending on the total number of campers.
You can adjust the water flow using the shower head switch if you want more showers from this bag. The said switch allows you to increase or reduce water flow and acts as the on & off switch.
This shower bag comes with a temperature indicator and a see-through backside. But it has no pocket. So, you may have to get a small bag to carry your shampoo, soap, toothbrush, and toothpaste to the camp bathroom.
This shower bag is made with PVC and has a multi-layer design, which lowers the chances of leaks. The multiple layers also resist puncturing better than single-layer bags.
The RISEPRO Shower Bag only weighs around 0.77 pounds. It is also foldable so that you can pack it for your camping trip without much fuss.
- Fast heating rate
- The water storage capacity is the joint-highest.
- It comes with a temperature indicator, so you know how hot your water is and avoid getting scalded.
- Crafted with a multi-layer design, the chances of puncturing are low.
- Relatively inexpensive.
- It has no pocket so you may carry your other bathroom needs to the camp bathroom separately.
3. Advanced Elements
The Summer Shower may not have heat water as fast as the first two solar showers, but it still packs a punch.
Beyond having a decent heating rate, this portable shower bag has a high storage capacity, multiple quality add-ons, and a rugged design.
Your water can reach a temperature of 110℉ within 3 hours of exposure to direct sunlight. Of course, this is only possible during the warmer seasons.
This portable shower can carry as much as 5 gallons of water in its bag. Only the Stearns Sun Shower has a lower storage capacity. Every other one of the products in our review has a 5-gallon capacity.
Its water capacity can serve one person for a few quick showers – typically 3 to 4. But if you want more showers, you could get more units.
Like our top choice, this shower bag features a temperature indicator, a mesh pocket, and a see-through backside.
With the temperature indicator, you get to monitor the heating progress of the water. Then the see-through backside allows easy visual monitoring of the water level, so you do not use more than you want to.
The mesh pocket is in place to help you move various bathroom needs to the shower spot in one trip.
The solar shower uses a large inlet valve. So you can fill it without spilling or wasting water. It has a double-layer design, and this minimizes the possibility of a puncture or leak.
Overall, this shower bag offers real value. But one of its flaws is that the showerhead has no on and off valve.
- Can reach up to 110℉ in 3 hours with sufficient solar energy.
- Has a water capacity of 5 gallons – the joint-highest of all showers in the review.
- The 2-layer design is pretty rugged. So, it will likely resist the harsh outdoor conditions in your camp.
- It features a temperature indicator, a see-through backside, and a mesh pocket.
- The showerhead has no on-and-off switch.
The STEARNS Sun Shower 4 Portable Shower is pretty decent all-round. It has a high heating rate, decent storage capacity, and useful add-ons.
The STEARNS Camping Shower can heat water to temperatures over 110℉ in around 4 hours if there is enough solar energy. While this heating rate is not the fastest, it is pretty excellent.
This sun shower has a water reservoir holding up to 4 gallons. While this is the lowest of any product on the list, it is still pretty okay. It should be able to give one person multiple showers.
This product comes with a built-in temperature gauge. So, you can see how hot or warm your water is at any point. It also has a see-through backside through which you can monitor changes in water level.
However, it has no mesh pocket. So, you must get your bathroom supplies to the camp shower spot through other means.
The shower head valve is one downside to the STEARNS Sun Shower 4 Portable Shower. The said valve only switches the water on and off. It does not adjust the water flow.
- The temperature rise is quite high.
- However, the heating rate falls slightly – but it is still decent.
- It has a water storage capacity of 4 gallons, and while this is the lowest of all the showers we reviewed, it is pretty decent.
- It comes with a thermometer to monitor changes in water temperature.
- The see-through backside makes for easy water level monitoring.
The Coleman 5-Gallon Solar Shower offers a decent heating rate, a high storage capacity, and a durable body. Plus, it is pretty inexpensive.
Our estimate shows that the Coleman Shower can reach 100℉ within 3 to 4 hours when exposed to direct sunlight. While this is not as hot or as fast as the top product, it is still decent, especially since you can get 4 hours of sunshine during the warmer seasons in most places.
While the heating rate of the Coleman 5-Gallon is decent, the storage capacity is perhaps its top feature. As the name says, this product can take up to 5 gallons of water – about the same as the other products in our best outdoor solar shower review, except the Advanced Elements SS671.
If you are going camping with 2-3 other people, each one of you should be able to get a refreshing shower from one fill of this camp shower.
The design of the Coleman 5-Gallon is plain. It has no temperature indicator/water temperature gauge and no mesh pocket. However, it comes with a see-through backside, so you can monitor the water level visually as you use it.
You can make up for the absence of a temperature indicator by getting a thermometer. You can almost get a small bag to carry your bathroom supplies.
Then again, it features a shower head with a switch that does not control water pressure. The switching mechanism of the Coleman 5-Gallon only turns water on and off.
Made with flexible PVC, this product will not readily break when pricked. Plus, the seals are air-tight, so you would not have to worry about leaks with proper use.
- The heating rate is pretty decent at a price.
- Water storage capacity of 5 gallons
- Made with flexible PVC and airtight seals, the overall build of this camping shower is pretty durable.
- Does not have a water temperature gauge. So, you cannot monitor the changes in the water temperature.
- It does not come with a pocket.
6. Coghlans Solar Heated Camp Shower
The Coghlans Solar Heated Camp Shower is a relatively plain solar shower. We call it plain because it does not really have any special features beyond what it is expected of a solar shower. But then, it has a great capacity.
The Coghlans has a 5-gallon capacity, which is the same as the largest solar showers we reviewed. So, on the capacity front, it is excellent. With this, one person can have multiple showers – about 3-4 showers.
This shower comes with a clip-like control that regulates the flow rate from the water reservoir. The control is simple to use as you only have to put some pressure on it. But then, to maintain your desired flow rate, your fingers have to remain on the control.
You may also have to hold the shower head with your other hand. So, if you need one hand free while showering, it could get a bit complicated.
Away from that, this solar shower is quite durable. It is easy to hang, thanks to the handle that comes with the bag. The shower head holes are of just the right size. So, the water doesn’t come out all out once, leading to wastage.
- It has a large capacity.
- It is easy to use.
- The control might keep one of your hands busy.
7. Red Rock Outdoor Gear 5 Gallon Solar Shower
The Red Rock Outdoor Gear 5 Gallon Solar Shower offers a decent maximum temperature rise on a sunny day. It is also durable with an impressive capacity.
The Red Rock may not get as hot as the KIPIDA shower bag. But then, doing 105 ℉ in 3 hours is still pretty great. It isn’t far off 113 ℉, which is the highest we’ve seen. Also, if you prefer water that isn’t too warm or hot, you might enjoy showering under the 105 ℉ water.
With this shower bag, you can heat up to 5 gallons of water. None of the solar showers we reviewed has a higher capacity. When full, this solar shower can give you as many as 4 showers, which should you last you for at least a day.
Hanging this shower is simple as the handle is big enough. The control is also easy to use, and unlike the Coghlans, you wouldn’t need more than one hand for the control and shower head.
This product does quite well on the durability front. It resisted being puncture by pointy branches, thorns, and spines. Even at that, you should handle it with care as it isn’t indestructible.
We would have loved if it came with a built-in thermometer. But that aside, it is quality overall.
- It has a relatively larger reservoir.
- Easy to hang
- The control is easy to use.
- Decent temperature rise
- No inbuilt thermometer.
8. Rothco Solar Camp Shower
We loved the control of the Rothco Solar Camp Shower. But that wasn’t the only highlight as the capacity was also impressive.
With a 5-gallon capacity, the Rothco Solar Camp Shower is as big as they come. You can expect up to 5 regular showers with it.
The control of this solar camp shower comes with an on/off switch. Unlike showers with a clip-like control, you do not have to hold the control of this solar shower. This way, you can have at least one of your hands free.
But then, it does not control flow rate; it only opens and closes the flow of water from the bladder.
You can readily hang this solar shower, thanks to the wide handle. But then, the hole for filling water into the bladder could be bigger. The holes on the shower can also be bigger. The water in the bladder only drizzled out a tad slowly when we left the flow to gravity.
Overall, the Rothco Solar Shower is quality.
- Great control
- Large water capacity
- Durable body
- The fill hole and shower head holes could be bigger.
What Is a Solar Powered Shower?
Solar-powered showers are basically portable camping gears that make it possible to shower with warm water heated by the sun. They are typically made with materials that absorb and retain heat following sun exposure.
On absorbing heat from the sun, the solar shower material transfers the heat to the water and raises the water temperature. Then the elevated water temperature is maintained for a few hours thanks to the insulating properties of the shower material.
Besides their heat-locking material, solar showers typically come with a hose that channels water from the portable shower bag. Then they also feature a showerhead, which releases the water on your body.
The design of solar-powered showers is as simple as we have described. In fact, if you want, you can create your own DIY solar shower for when you go camping.
The best solar shower bag can reach temperatures of over 110℉ within a short period. But the heating rate varies across products. So, while some shower bags can heat to higher temperatures, some only get to lower temperatures.
How Do Solar Showers Work?
Instead of absorbing photons from solar radiation, solar showers only absorb the heat component. Then they transfer the absorbed heat to the water within them. It is that simple.
The heating rate of a solar camp shower basically defines how fast the shower can heat water. You could say the potential temperature rise per unit of time a solar shower bag can provide to the water contained in it.
Solar showers depend on the sun to give you warm water. But since the sun will not always be out, it is vital to get a solar shower that heats to high temperatures in concise periods. This is why the heating rate of your selection is significant.
On average, you will find showers that heat water to 100-110℉ within 4 hours. But you may also come across that it can heat water to 133℉ within 3-4 hours. Of course, of the two classes of showers we just described, the better option is obvious.
Water Storage Capacity
Most solar showers have a water capacity of up to five gallons. But sometimes, you may find those that can contain 10-20 gallons of water.
The water storage capacity of the right solar shower depends on the number of people going camping and how much water each person uses per shower.
On average, a 5-gallon shower should suffice for up to 4 campers taking a quick shower. But for longer showers, you will need a shower with a higher water capacity.
A 4-gallon shower would be enough for 1-3 campers taking a quick shower. But for longer showers, you may want to get two units.
For a group of over 4 but less than 8 campers, a 10-gallon shower should suffice for quick showers. But you may need more if the showers are longer.
While a solar shower bag with a large storage capacity might offer you more water for a warm shower, it may also be less portable. So, while making your choice, ensure you balance water storage capacity with portability.
Also, note that showers’ heating time with larger capacities may be slightly longer than those of showers with lower capacities. But the difference is usually not very significant.
Still, if you are bothered by the said difference, you can get multiple small-capacity showers with a total capacity equal to that of the single large-capacity shower. However, they may cost more than the single large-capacity shower.
While they are not part of the basic structure of a solar shower, features like a transparent backside, a thermometer, and a pocket can elevate your overall solar shower experience.
With the thermometer, you can monitor the water temperature so you know when it is warm, hot enough, or not too hot. The pocket allows you to pack all the bathroom supplies you need to the camp bathroom at once. Then the transparent back side makes it easy to know how much water you have used and how much you have left.
The heating rate ultimately defines your experience with a solar shower. Except you want a cold shower, the heating rate of a shower tells you how hot the water can get and how fast it can get to that temperature.
Besides the heating rate, you should also pay attention to the water capacity. If the volume of water the shower can hold falls short of what you and your fellow campers need, your shower experience will certainly not be satisfactory.
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