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5 Best Outdoor Solar Showers for Getting Clean While Camping

There’s nothing better than getting dirty, except for getting clean with an outdoor solar shower. With so many varieties on the market, you don’t have to wait until you get home to take a shower. You can clean off and feel fresh before dinner.

Let’s look at five of the best outdoor solar showers for getting clean while camping.

How Does a Solar Shower Work?

Most solar showers work off the power of the sun. They use materials that capture the sun’s heat, giving you a hot shower in minutes.

However, some outdoor showers use a battery, so you can still get clean when that sun doesn’t shine. However, instead of waiting for the sun to warm the water, you can always fill the container with hot water from another source.

Once the water heats, you’ll need to hang most above your head on a sturdy tree branch or pole. Gravity is your friend. Then you simply turn on the spray mechanism and wash clean.

Camping Shower, Battery Operated vs Solar Bag, which one is right for you.

How to Use Outdoor Solar Showers When Camping

Whether you camp in a tent, van, or RV, you can use an outdoor solar shower. You can easily pack and store it.

You can also use it to wash dishes and rinse off sand and dirt from your gear. Whatever you need to clean, solar showers may just become your favorite outdoor tool.

Pro Tip: Stay sweet smelling with these 15 Essentials That Need to Be in Your Camping Toiletry Bag.

How Much Water Does a Solar Shower Use?

Most solar showers will hold around 5 gallons or 20 liters of water. However, some will hold less, about 3 gallons, and a few can hold up to 10. However, water is heavy. Ideally, you’ll want 5 gallons or less.  

But can you take a shower with only 5 gallons of water? Of course you can, as long as you realize that you don’t have unlimited water and unlimited heat.

Typically a 5-gallon unit with conservative use can provide three showers. Now you and your friends can get clean and fresh for dinner.

friends hanging out around campfire
Freshen up on your next camping trip with an outdoor solar shower.

The 5 Best Solar Showers for Your Campsite

Are you wondering what solar shower to take with you on your next camping trip? We’ve got five of the best ones for you to choose from. 

1. NEMO Helio LX 

About the NEMO Helio LX:

The NEMO Helio LX is a high-end outdoor solar shower with a water capacity of 22 liters. It conveniently comes with its own carrying case to store the tank, hose, nozzle, and pump. The 7-ft hose works great for overhead use and any angle.

How It Works:

Either fill up the tank with water and allow the sun to heat it, or fill it with hot water for an instantly warm shower. With almost 6 gallons of water available, you can easily access the water you need. It has a foot pump to keep it fully pressurized, so you’ll have a continual spray of water for an average of five minutes.

Helpful Features:

Because of the pump, you won’t have to hang this outdoor shower overhead unless that’s where you want it.

Another helpful feature is the nozzle sleeve. This keeps the trigger in the spray position, keeping both hands free. This makes it much easier to wash dishes, your hair, or your dog.

Pro Tip: No shower? No problem! Learn more about Body Wipes for Camping.

Nemo Helio LX Pressure Shower Review

2. Advanced Elements Summer Shower

About the Advanced Elements Summer Shower:

This outdoor solar shower comes in various sizes allowing for 2.5 to 10 gallons of water storage depending on which size you choose. Since it has a four-ply reflector and insulator panel, the water heats up quickly in the sun and stays hot longer. Plus, you can easily fill it using the large opening and twist-off cap.

How It Works:

To prepare for an outdoor shower with this unit, fill the vessel with water and place it in the sun, clear side up. In less than three hours, you’ll have a hot shower, up to 110 degrees of warmth.

Hang it from a sturdy branch or pole and turn on the showerhead. With the on/off option, you can conserve water while showering.

Helpful Features:

The best feature of this solar shower is the temperature gauge. There’s no need to waste water to test the temperature.

The indicator will tell you when it reaches the temperature you want.  Another great feature is the pouch on the bag, making it quite convenient to grab whatever you need.

Advanced Elements 5 Gallon Summer Shower / Solar...
  • Construction - 4-ply construction with reflector panel and...
  • Capacity - This summer shower has a large 5-gallon capacity and...
  • Temperature guage- Easy-to-read temperature gauge to know when...

3. Geyser Systems Portable Shower

About the Geyser Systems Portable Shower:

The Geyser Systems outdoor shower has a pump to control the water flow and is battery powered. This is a great shower system for boondockers who need to conserve water but still want to stay clean while camping.

How It Works:

To use the Geyser Systems, you’ll need a 12V power source. Your car or camper will work just fine. Turn the engine on when using the shower, though, as it will drain your battery if not on.

Once you plug it in, add three liters of water and wait a few moments for it to heat up. The sensor will tell you when the water reaches 95 degrees. With a 16 ft long cord, you can take it away from the power source for a private shower.

This one has a scrub sprayer instead of a showerhead for water conservation. However, if you still need a spray nozzle, you simply detach the scrub from the hose.

Helpful Features:

While this system can hold three liters of water, you can easily scrub away the day’s dirt with less than 1 gallon because of the unique scrub system. It comes with three different colors of scrub brushes, so you’ll know which one is yours, which one is your friends, and which one is for the dishes.

With two automatic easy to read sensors, you’ll also know when the water temperature reaches 95 degrees and when the water level gets low.

5 gallon solar shower
Enjoy warm showers on your camping trip with a solar shower.

4. Coleman 5-Gallon Solar Shower

About the Coleman Solar Shower:

The Coleman Solar Shower is a basic, easy-to-use outdoor shower made with material meant to heat water by simply placing the unit in the sun. It holds 5 gallons of water, giving you enough for several showers without replenishing the water supply. If the water cools down between showers, simply set it in the sun again until it warms back up.

How It Works:

This device locks in warmth even on cooler days. All you need to do is fill it with water and place it in the sun to warm up. Now you get ready to shower.

Helpful Features:

Because this outdoor solar shower relies on gravity to work, it comes with a strong handle for hanging. It holds 5 gallons, ready for several showers. It also comes with an on/off showerhead, so you only use the water you need.

Coleman 5-Gallon Solar Shower
  • Product is manufactured in China
  • Sport type: Camping & Hiking
  • Country of Origin: China

5. VIGLT Portable Solar Shower

About the VIGLT Portable Solar Shower:

While this 5-gallon solar shower has a simple design, it also has durable materials for a strong bag, handle, and hose. Leakproof and environmentally friendly, the VIGLT Solar Shower has all you’ll need to stay clean in the outdoors. 

How It Works:

Fill the bag with hot water for immediate use or fill with water and let the sun warm it. Plus, it has a built-in temperature indicator, so you’ll know right when your shower is ready.

Helpful Features:

This outdoor solar shower bag holds water and has an integrated pocket for all your shower toiletries. You’ve got convenience and conservation in this design with a head that gives you an on/off switch and low/high water flow options.

VIGLT Portable Shower Bag for Camping 5...
  • Portable Shower Bag Double Switch Design: the bottom switch of...
  • Camping Shower Bag Wide Application: Our summer camping shower is...
  • Outdoor Shower Bag Durable and Portable: The portable shower bag...

Pro Tip: Keep your privacy while showering by using one of these 7 Best Camping Shower Tents to Avoid Awkward Stares.

shower tent with small rv trailer
Outdoor showers don’t have to be awkward. Many people use shower tents with their solar showers.

Can You Make Your Own DIY Solar Shower?

For the DIY and maker-types, you can also make your own DIY solar shower. It’s a relatively simple thing to do once you’ve purchased your supplies and have the right tools out. The nice thing about creating your own is that you can design it to fit perfectly into your rig and shower preferences.

Pro Tip: Pair your solar powered shower with a solar powered tent on your next camping trip.

Solar Showers Wash Away the Dirt, Not the Adventure

An outdoor solar shower perfectly washes away the dirt from the day’s adventures, while keeping the adventures intact. You’ll feel refreshed and energized enough to conquer dinner around a campfire. 

And since you have enough water for three showers, you can also wash away the campfire smell before going to bed. This tool may just be the best ending to your camping adventure.

Do you have an outdoor solar shower? Tell us about your experience in the comments below!

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About Tom Morton

Tom, a Pacific Northwest native, is our technical genius. Born in Washington and raised in Alaska before settling in Michigan. He's the man who keeps our operation running, both figuratively and literally.

With a background in Electrical Engineering, Tom specializes in RV solar systems and lithium batteries. He made history as the first documented individual to use a Tesla battery module as an RV battery. Tom has personally assisted countless RVers with system installations and has educated thousands more through his videos and articles.

Cinematography is another of Tom's passions, showcased in his work on the Go North series. You can see his camera skills on display in The RVers TV show on Discovery Channel and PBS where he also stars as a co-host.

Tom's mechanical expertise extends beyond RVs to boats, planes, and all things mechanical. He's renowned for taking on maintenance and repair projects single-handedly and is often spotted underneath RVs, making him the technical backbone of our endeavors.

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