Best Solar Showers

Last Updated: 8 May, 2019 by Alin Sparkle

When you’ve been outdoors for long periods, what feels better than coming home to a nice warm shower? If you’ve ever wished for that feeling on a long camping trip, or after some muddy outdoor activity far from home, a solar shower might be just the thing to add to your outdoor gear.

Solar camping showers use solar thermal energy to heat water that you’ve collected or brought with you. This allows you to rinse off at your campsite so that you can feel refreshed and clean. It’s a great item to bring camping, especially when you will be in a muddy area.

A camp shower bag can also be used as a hand-washing or dishwashing station, allowing you to keep things clean around the campsite with ease.

Solar camping showers can be a lifesaver if you’re camping with children, who seem to be naturally attracted to mud and dirt near the campsite.

And for athletes, a solar shower can be just the answer to rinse off before getting into your car after an intense trail run, off-road biking, or after a mud race or obstacle run. Just leave the camp shower bag on top of your car, or in another sunny area before you run, and you’ll have warm water waiting for you upon your return.

Best Solar Shower Overall
Green Elephant 2-in-1 Solar Shower & Dry Bag
Green Elephant 2-in-1 Solar Shower & Dry Bag
Best Small Capacity Solar Shower
Advanced Elements Summer Solar Shower
Advanced Elements Summer Solar Shower
Sportneer Solar Shower Bag
Sportneer Solar Shower Bag
KingCamp Solar Shower 20 Litre / 5 Gallon
KingCamp Solar Shower 20 Litre / 5 Gallon
KingCamp Solar Shower 20 Litre / 5 Gallon
Best Budget Pick
Coleman 5-Gallon Solar Shower
Coleman 5-Gallon Solar Shower

The Best Solar Showers for Camping

To help you make the most of your time in the outdoors, we’ve gathered the best solar showers available on the market right now. Our solar shower reviews focus on several important features that you’ll want to look for in a camp shower: capacity, durability/quality, ease of use, heating efficiency, and price.

Here are the best solar showers available right now:

1

Green Elephant 2-in-1 Solar Shower & Dry Bag

The Green Elephant 2-in-1 is a great option for all kinds of outdoor activities. This is our best solar shower pick because of its large capacity at 5 gallons, the unique, wide opening, and its dual function capability.

One of the main problems with many solar camping showers is filling it. The spigots at many campsites are located high off the ground, and as your camp shower bag fills, the weight of the water can make it difficult to hold in place. A full camp shower typically clocks in at between 25-40 pounds, and holding that weight in just the right position to fill a tiny opening can be difficult.

But the Green Elephant shower has a wide mouth and a sturdy, round base. That means that you can put the shower bag on the ground, and allow water to flow into it, even if the spigot is placed up high. This makes filling it a breeze.

And once this camp shower bag is full, you can close the wide-mouth opening, and throw it over your shoulder with the included strap to carry back to camp.

The Green Elephant shower has a black, solar thermal back panel, and a clear front which allows you to easily see the water level as you use it. Included with the kit is a 16-foot length of rope which you can use to hoist the shower overhead for convenient showering, or leave it a little closer to the ground for washing up.

It has a screw-open showerhead, which prevents it from being accidentally opened during transit, and a clip to keep the shower hose from dragging or snagging.

Reviewers were impressed with its durability, one reviewer even stated that this model held up significantly longer than a more expensive model they had purchased at the same time.

And, because of the wide opening of the Green Elephant shower, once the shower bag is empty of water, you can reach in to dry it out, and use it as a wet/dry storage bag. This is the only choice in our solar shower reviews that has dual functionality, which can be an important consideration when deciding to add to an already full pack or gear kit.

PROS:
  • Wide opening makes it easy to fill, dump, and dry out
  • Handle and carry strap for easy transport
  • Durable, BPA-free construction
  • Large, 5-gallon capacity
CONS:
  • Some users complain that the top closure is not intuitive. Make sure you read instructions.
2

Advanced Elements Summer Solar Shower

The Advanced Elements Summer Solar Shower offers a sturdy camp shower, with a few little extras to make the experience of washing up in the great outdoors easier to manage.

This camp shower has a 3-gallon capacity, which is one of the smaller capacities in our solar shower reviews. However, there are several features which makes up for the reduced water storage.

First, it has a solidly designed thermal solar heating system which allows it to come up to temperature quickly and reliably. And to help, there is a built-in thermometer on the back which lets you know when it’s the right temperature for showering.

The shower hose is built into the bottom seam, which allows the shower to drain completely. No leftover water that won’t exit the hose.

This camp shower bag also has a large valve with a twist off cap and a sturdy, ergonomically constructed handle. This makes it easier than lower-rated models to position for filling and to carry.

This camping shower also has a velcro strapped mesh pocket, which allows you to easily store shampoo, soap or other necessities for cleaning up. And when you’re finished and ready to store it, the Advanced Elements shower rolls up easily to take up less room in your pack.

Overall, this is the best solar shower with an under 5-gallon capacity. Its quick heating and durable construction set it apart.

PROS:
  • Heats quickly due to superior thermal solar panel construction
  • Has extras like soap pocket and temperature indicator
  • Wide valve for easier filling
CONS:
  • Smaller capacity at 3-gallons
3

Sportneer Solar Shower Bag

The Sportneer Solar Shower Bag offers high capacity and great features. Because of the extra features and durability, it’s one of the most popular new models online.

The Sportneer solar shower has a sturdy handle with a reinforced rod at the top to help distribute its weight when it is carried or hung. Remember, a full camp shower bag can be 40+ pounds, so weight distribution is a key design feature of all quality solar camping showers.

The manufacturer states that this model warms fully in about three hours of full sun, which allows you to fill the camp shower early in the day and enjoy a nice warm shower when you return from hiking, fishing, or other activities.

Like the Advanced Elements shower bag, it has great bonus features like a temperature gauge and a pocket for toiletries.

However, solar shower reviews online show that the shower hose is prone to leakage at the connection points. The manufacturers seem aware of issues, as they provide two zip ties to secure the hose from leaks. It’s good there is an available fix, but it would be better to have higher quality construction from the start.

Additionally, this model of camping shower has a pull/push shower mechanism, which could cause accidental opening if the shower head is snagged.

PROS:
  • 5-gallon storage capacity
  • Temperature gauge and toiletries pocket
  • Sturdy handle system
CONS:
  • Shower hose is prone to leakage
4

KingCamp Solar Shower 20 Litre / 5 Gallon

The KingCamp Solar shower is a solid choice for camping cleanliness. It has a solid capacity, and similar features to other models, with an added bonus of coming in multiple colors.

Like other models in higher-rated solar shower reviews, the KingCamp has a large, 5-gallon capacity, which allows it to be used for multiple showers, or for extending washing up. It also features a temperature indicator and a mesh pocket for the storage of soap and shampoo.

In fact, it is very similar in appearance and design to the previously reviewed Sportneer model. It has a similar sturdy handle and stability rod. As well as a similar pocket and temperature gauge.

However, reviewers more often complained about the hose and showerhead of the KingCamp model. More than other brands, it may become kinked, or be frustrating to open or close the showerhead.

Still, this is a solid overall choice with lots of positive features that outweigh a slightly cheap hose and showerhead.

PROS:
  • High capacity of 5-gallons
  • Temperature gauge and toiletries pocket
  • Sturdy handle and weight-dispersing bar
CONS:
  • Hose and showerhead are prone to leakage
5

Coleman 5-Gallon Solar Shower

Rounding out our top solar shower reviews is the Coleman model, which provides a solid option for washing up in the great outdoors at a very reasonable price. Coleman is a powerhouse brand in the camping and outdoor industry, but their shower comes in as a basic, entry-level option compared to other models.

Like most of the other solar showers reviewed here, the Coleman shower has a generous 5-gallon capacity. But as a basic model, it doesn’t have some of the additional features of other models like temperature indication or pockets for storage.

It’s a simple, straightforward design. There is a decently-sized cap to allow you to fill the bag, and a reinforced handle punched out of the top plastic. A stabilization rod goes through the top to prevent tearing of the handle when transported or hung while full.

The shower head is a simple design with a push/pull system to start and stop the flow. The black heat-trapping exterior of the bag features easy instructions, and a handy graph showing expected heating capabilities of the camp shower bag under different conditions.

There are few bells and whistles to this model, but at a mere $12 cost, it gets the job done in a straightforward manner. This is a great choice for occasional use, or to have on hand in case of emergencies where you may need to shower without power to heat your home’s plumbing system.

PROS:
  • Most cost effective quality solar shower available
  • Large 5-gallon capacity
CONS:
  • The handle is less sturdy and ergonomic than better-rated models
6

PROS:
CONS:

How do I choose the best solar shower for my needs?

Now that you’ve seen the array of options that make up the best solar showers on the market today, you should consider your own individual needs to make your final choice. When considering the solar shower reviews above, you may want to ask yourself several questions to narrow down your choices and pick the best model for you.

How much water do I need?

If space is a big factor, then choosing a smaller, 3-gallon system might be best. This may also be the right choice if you know that you can’t reliably hold or lift a full 5-gallon solar shower. Can you lift 40 pounds above your head and maneuver it onto a branch or hook?

However, if you’re unsure, you can always buy a larger 5-gallon shower and simply fill it to a weight that is comfortable for you to use. A solar shower that is only partly full will still work. It may have slightly lower water pressure, but it will also heat up faster.

What is my price range?

Here’s the good news: a high-quality solar shower can be yours for well under $50. Most quality brands come in somewhere between the $15-$30 range. This means that unless you have a hard price point you have to stick to, it’s easy to choose based on other factors.

What extras do I need?

Is it important that the bag be easy to fill? Do I need a temperature gauge? Do I need additional pockets on the solar shower bag?

Look through our solar shower reviews to see all the extras and options available, and decide which of these extras are best aligned with your individual needs. Solar camping showers are all built to a fairly similar design, so the little extras may make all the difference in your use of it.

Stay Clean and Green at the Campsite and Beyond

No matter which of the excellent options you choose from our solar showers reviews, you’ll be well on your way to a happier and cleaner outdoor experience.

The greatest advantage of a solar camping showers is the option of having warm, comfortable showers available to you without using any pollutants or fuel to heat the water. It makes for an even greener camping, hiking, biking, or running experience. Enjoy the outdoors in comfort, while having no environmental impact by using clean solar thermal energy to heat your next outdoor shower.

Overall rating: