What Is The Best Portable Shower In 2017?

What Is The Best Portable Shower?
Portable Advisor

Boondocking in the early 90's were smelly times....for me anyway!

I simply didn't have any means of showering on our off-grid adventures. Occasionally i could be found waist deep in a remote stream but it really was not the same!

Thankfully, portable showers have become commonplace for us boondockers to the delight of my family who had to endure the smellier times​!

To save you the hassle, I have reviewed some of the best portable showers ​on the market. Depending on the way you plan to travel, and your budget, there are many factors and options for you to consider which I covered below:


Advanced Elements

Eccotemp L10


Eccotemp L10




Ivation Portable Shower


Coleman 5 Gallon




Zodi Outback Gear



Ivation Portable Shower
Coleman 5 Gallon
Zodi Outback Gear

Best Solar Shower

Premium Quality

Indoor Use

Under 10 Dollars

Best For Camping

4.4

5.0

5.0

3.6

4.0

Advanced Elements

Best Solar Shower

4.4

Eccotemp L10

Premium Quality

5.0

Ivation Portable Shower

Ivation Portable Shower

Indoor Use

5.0

Coleman 5 Gallon

Coleman 5 Gallon

Under 10 Dollars

3.6

Zodi Outback Gear

Zodi Outback Gear

Best For Camping

4.0

The Best Portable Shower - What To Look For?

Hot or Not?

Can you source heated water from somewhere else like a kettle or solar bag? Or maybe you are able to happily sit through a cold shower. If your answer to these questions is no (Like me!) then you will be reliant on the portable shower itself for heated water.

The best portable showers with this feature are you usually more expensive than just getting a plain portable shower head attachment so consider whether you can source hot water from somewhere before purchasing.

Water Source

Will you have easy access to a water source?

Where will you use the shower most often?

If you are using the portable shower off grid, away from the camping site and any lakes or rivers than a lot of these portable showers will be useless to you.

If you have no access to water you should be buying the solar portable showers which have shower bags as their main feature. They can carry up to 5 gallons and will last you a decent amount of time provided you have short showers.

How Long To Wait For Water To Heat Up?

Are you willing to wait a couple of hours for your shower to heat up?

If you are going for the solar showers you will need this patience as they are heated by the sun. This takes planning as you will be need to start heating the water in advance. I just like to fill the bag early in the morning and let it sit there all day.

If you don’t want to deal with this planning, the water heater portable showers would be a better fit for you.

If you want instantaneous hot water outdoors, the ZODI could be the right fit for you. 

Shower Pressure

Low Flow!

Can your hair handle low flow?! The effects of low pressure showers are plain to see with Kramer and Seinfeld here and some of these portable showers can produce similar results due to their lack of water pressure! There are a few benefits however.

Some models will come with an adjustable nozzle to increase water pressure but I would recommend the battery powered (insert internal link here) option if you need your hair to have that thick look!

Does It Come With Water Tank?

Keep in mind before buying that some of these portable showers do not come with a water tank or a containment source.

For these models, it is up to you to rig your own water tank either through a bucket, ice chest or something more creative.

Space Available

Some of the models like the Ivation are just a nozzle and hose which can be packed up in most small spaces. Other like the ZODI have a number of different attachments which are more awkward to pack tightly.

Consider the space you have to store in your RV or camper before buying.

The DIY Option

For the handymen out there you can always making the shower yourself. Check out this article from the team at Permaculture for some ideas on creating your own. 

Portable Shower Stall

Privacy is important for nearly all of us! You can either go all out and buy a portable stall or you can try your hand at DIY and make one yourself. Using the below how-to video, I was able to save some cash and it still hides my shame today!

Individual Product Summary

We have tried to cover all the bases in our individual best portable shower list. 

If you are looking for the best portable shower for hiking/ camping, indoors or solar powered shower then we have you covered below. 

Advanced Elements 5 Gallon Summer Shower / Solar Shower

Our Favourite Feature

Solar design made for hiking trips

Price

Our Rating

If you need to shower far from any water source – say on a hiking trip then this solar shower is your best option.

Filling up the 5 gallon shower bag before you leave, this model allows for 2/3 people to all have 2 minute showers before it runs out. For me, the durabililty of the shower bag gives it an edge over other cheaper made brands and the insulator panel allows for the water to be heated faster than standard shower bags.

Pros

  • Long lasting, sturdy shower bag.
  • Insulator panel heats water quickly.
  • Useful added features like temperature gauge and side pocket for shampoo.
  • Large capacity. 

Cons

  • Bag can weight 40 lbs when full which might be too heavy for some.
  • Velcro holding hose up could be stronger.
Eccotemp L10 Portable Outdoor Tankless Water Heater

Our Favourite Feature

Strong Water Pressure Like Home Shower

Price

Our Rating

The Eccotemp is our premium recommendation on the list and most appropriate for you folks who are looking for a longer term outdoor shower.

The Eccotemp is commonly set up on campgrounds or at the side of summer homes or cabins and is the closest you will get to your standard indoor shower. The strong water pressure and high heat (max 150 degrees) are far superior to other models on this list and add to the justification for the higher price.

Pros

  • Instant High Temperature.
  • Strong water pressure.
  • Installation takes less than 30 minutes.
  • Easy to hang.

Cons

  • Price.
  • Sometimes you have to do the water dance as its either too hot or cold!
Ivation Portable Outdoor Shower, Battery Powered - Compact Handheld Rechargeable Camping Showerhead - Pumps Water from Bucket Into Steady, Gentle Shower Stream

Our Favourite Feature

Use Indoors

Price

Our Rating

The Ivation portable shower is a great indoor option and also good for those who don’t have a gas canister to produce power.

Using lithium battery power, it can produce water flow from a bucket/bath/sink. This makes it useful for washing pets and it is also the most storage-friendly and portable shower on our list.

Essentially it’s a 7 foot hose which can easily fit in the corner of any trunk to be forgotten about until needed.

Pros

  • Extremely portable.
  • Can be used indoors safely.
  • Rechargeable USB batteries.
  • Simple Set up.

Cons

  • Low water pressure.
  • Difficult to turn off/on.
Coleman 5-Gallon Solar Shower

Our Favourite Feature

Under 10 Dollars

Price

Our Rating

At under 10 dollars the Coleman solar shower provides your basic need of a hot shower without any frills.

It’s the smart purchase for a weekend camping trip where you’re not reliant on the portable shower for longer than a few days. This is a more economical design than our other recommended solar shower bag , Advanced Elements.

While you would expect Advanced Elements brand to last you through the summer, the Coleman should be looked at as a short term or short trip solution.

Pros

  • Reasonable price. 
  • Same large capacity as more expensive brands.
  • Warms up easily.

Cons

  • Handle/Hose can be flimsy.
  • Can be difficult to hang when full to 5 gallons.
Zodi Outback Gear Hot Tap Travel Shower

Our Favourite Feature

Hot Water In All Conditions

Price

Our Rating

The Zodi is a portable shower that’s equally effective in winter and summer. That’s what makes it the best portable shower for camping in our eyes.

Here's why:

Unlike the solar showers or the battery powered travel showers mentioned in this list, the Zodi Outback can produce hot water on its own through its propane gas water pump. This makes it ideal for boondocking in winter when there is little or no sunlight.

Imagine being stuck in the wilderness with just a solar shower – the lack of sun makes the solar models useless!

Its true that our premium model, the Eccofront can also produce heat on its own but its design isn't very suitable for the rough terrain of the wild.

Pros

  • Hot shower in all conditions.
  • Took takes a couple of minutes of water re-circulation for heat.
  • Ideal for camping trips in unpredictable weather.
  • Powerful, reliable water pump.
  • Easy to transport.

Cons

  • Rubber outlet hose can become damaged if exposed to heat too long.
  • Windy weather can impact heating of water delaying process. 

About the Author Rick Rose

Irish-American husband, dad of three and gadget enthusiast! Sandy and I have been RVing since the mid-nineties after embracing the boondocker way of life. We now practice what we call the 'Portable Lifestyle' - the ability to ‘get up and go’ and explore new places throughout the year while maintaining our income.

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