Last Updated on 15/02/2024
What Is the Best Camping Pressure Shower?
There are different kinds of portable showers available, but in this article, I am specifically looking at the best camping pressure camping showers.
When you are camping, hygiene can often slip due to the lack of washing facilities in the middle of the wilderness. Taking a shower with you can both help keep you clean and help you feel human again after a few days in the woods.
Pressurized camping showers are portable in the sense that they don’t weigh much, but many are too big to fit in your backpack for a weekend hike. They are however perfect for camping near the car or for camper vans when packing them into a backpack isn’t necessary. There are ways to take a shower while camping that don’t involve pressure, but none are quite as reliable or easy to get a quick shower.
To operate them, you simply pump air into the chamber, which builds up pressure and allows you to spray water out of the showerhead/nozzle. They are very similar in design to a weed sprayer but are more heavy-duty and built to hold hot water instead of chemicals.
Top 5 Best Portable Pressure Showers
Nemo Helio Portable Pressure Camp Shower
The Nemo Helio Portable Pressure Camp Shower is easily the best option for taking a shower in the wild and the first one I would pick to go camping with. Unlike gravity showers, you don’t need something strong to hang this from; you simply set it on the ground and pump with your foot to increase the pressure.
The bag itself is made from a thick and durable PU-coated polyester material which is designed to withstand the pressure from the foot pump and water inside the bag. This packs down into a convenient carry case that measures 5.5 inches x 8.5 inches and makes it easy to fit in most backpacks. You can get two different sizes, an 11-liter and a 22-liter which offer longer shower times in exchange for added weight and bulk.
The hose is 7 feet long and made of neoprene, so it doesn’t get kinks in it or split with the heat of the water. A simple feature I really like on the Nemo Helio shower is the elasticated strap beneath the nozzle, which can be used to turn on constant flow. This allows you to hang the nozzle above your head for a hands-free experience.
It doesn’t take long to pressurize the tank and doesn’t take much to keep the pressure flowing for 7+ minutes or until the tank is empty. The instructions do say not to overinflate with air, but I think this is more about being sensible and stopping pumping before it pops.
Thanks to the black fabric on the outside this will also work as a solar shower if filled with cold water and left in the sun. You can also just pour hot water in through the top; just be careful not to burn yourself. I love this portable shower for rinsing sand off my feet at the beach or for taking a hot shower in nature before putting on some fresh clothes. Highly recommended.
WADEO Pressure Camp Shower 15L
The WADEO Pressure Camp Shower can deliver up to 11 liters of water at consistent speed using only the foot pump. The double-action pump allows you to build pressure quickly and keep it high without much effort at all. Packing into a compact case makes this a great choice for camping with a family that needs all the space they can get in the trunk.
Made from a durable PVC material, you can lay this on the ground without fear of a puncture due to the thickness and reinforced base. I wish I could say the same about the hose, which is made from fairly thin material and doesn’t feel as robust as the Nemo camping shower. The nozzle is of good quality and doesn’t leak, which is great, but there is no option to leave the nozzle on the constant flow, so you are forced to adapt your own.
To say how thick the material is, it packs down surprisingly small, which is a plus point for camping with all your gear in your backpack. It weighs 980 g / 34.6 oz which is better than I thought it would be and makes it more justifiable to take camping.
One of the biggest benefits this pump pressure shower has over others is its price. For under $50, this is one of the best value camp showers I have reviewed, and you really can’t go wrong at that price. Their customer service seems active enough if you do encounter any issues, so it is definitely worth trying.
You can really get some nice pressure on this, and the pump is one of the easiest to use; it is just a shame the nozzle cannot be turned on without letting go of the button. Still, for the money, this is one of the better budget pressure showers for camping.
MOMOHOO Pump Camping Shower Bag
The MOMOHOO Pump Camping Shower is one of the newcomers this year and looks absolutely great. It has an abundance of extra features that make it very practical to use and easy to control. My favorite addition is the thermometer patch which displays the water temperature inside, which I think is just a great little feature.
Other benefits of the MOMOHOO camp shower are the compact but powerful foot pump, the clear panel with a volume gauge, and the side pocket to store your shampoo, soap, or razor. Again, the thin hose tubing isn’t very remarkable, but at least it is transparent, so you can see where the water is. The material is a leakproof PVC that is reinforced on the base for better durability.
You can pack this down into the carry case, which makes it very portable and packable. It can also be used to transport water to places where there is none. However, I would avoid drinking from it unless you have thoroughly cleaned it out first.
Unless you adapt a small piece of elasticated fabric to lock the nozzle on, then you are forced to hold it in your hand, which isn’t totally hands-free. Apart from this, I think this is an excellent pressure camp shower and would come in very handy at family picnics or for rinsing off the dogs before they get in the car.
POMO 5L Camping Shower
The POMO 5L Camping Shower is sold as a long-lasting, heavy-duty portable pump-action chamber that produces a high-pressure flow of up to 45 psi. It is made from industrial-grade high-density polyethylene, which is BPA-free and so can be used for drinking water as well as for showering in the wild.
The container is robust and built to last, unlike others which concentrate on being lightweight and compact once dismantled and packed away. This makes it hard to transport in a backpack, but because it isn’t too heavy, you can always strap it to the outside of your pack. Alternatively, you can carry this by the pump handle and use it as your drinking water carrier.
The hose is 170 cm long, which is long enough for most people, but if you are over 6 feet tall, you may want to raise the shower off the ground to give you extra height. While I am talking about the hose, I would like to say that it is better than your average thin tubing and resembles the kind of hose you use in your garden to water plants. Because of this, the hose never seems to kink, and there is no fear of it coming loose and leaking, thanks to the heavy-duty attachments.
The nozzle has five settings and allows you to have constant flow if you tighten the screw on the handle, which makes hands-free showers an option when you need them. Overall I really like this little tank which is very reliable, just not very portable for backpackers or hikers carrying all their gear to the campsite on their back. The fact that the hose leads from the bottom of the chamber allows you to shower until all the water has been used. Great for all tasks, including washing your pets after a muddy walk or doing the camp dishes without running water.
CLICIC Pressure Camping Shower
The CLICIC Pressure Camping Shower is most similar to weed spraying devices in that the hose is fitted to the top of the chamber along with an exhaust valve to release excess pressure. This also prevents you from inserting too much air and damaging seals by releasing any pressure over the required amount.
Much like the POMO shower above, this pressure shower can hold 5 liters of water and is of solid construction, so hard to pack into a backpack. There is a useful carry strap that comes in handy when the tank is full, and you need to transport it back to camp. The bright color makes your camp more visible to hunters if you plan on using it during hunting season, but it isn’t the best if you are trying to be discreet.
The hose is approximately 6 feet long, and because it is inserted into the top of the pump chamber, you get about 7 feet of elevation. The nozzle has a total of 7 different settings, which lets you adjust the type of spray between a fine mist and a powerful pinpoint jet. While this is a nice feature, it doesn’t get used to its fullest, and the nozzle seems very large compared to the Nemo camp shower.
You can get a variety of different sizes, and they are all very reasonably priced, which makes this a great budget pressure shower for camping and outdoor pursuits. It is ideal for keeping in the car to rinse your feet off after a swim in the ocean or for washing kids’ hands after a picnic. If you aren’t bothered about packing your shower into a backpack, then this could be an excellent addition to your kit.
Guide to Camping Pressure Showers
When looking for a pressurized camping shower, the last thing you want is a leak that prevents you from building sufficient pressure. This is why we have chosen only the best pressure showers for camping and looked at all the different specifications as well as hundreds of customer reviews so that you don’t have to. Here are some of the features to look for in a new camp pump shower.
For the most part, you won’t be taking a half-hour shower in the woods as you do at home. Instead, you will be likely using your shower for 5 – 10 minutes which is plenty of time to wash your hair, face, and underarms. A 5-liter shower provides just enough time to achieve this, whereas an 11-liter capacity will allow you to be more leisurely or serve two people showers with only one batch of hot water.
The sturdy plastic showers will allow you to get a higher pressure inside the chamber and often have a more powerful hand pump. This gives you a higher flow rate for a more thorough shower. The packable bag pressure showers still create plenty of pressure using the foot pumps but are not designed to be overpumped, as this could damage the seams.
The solid chamber camp showers are not very pack-friendly and are more suited to van life or camping in close proximity to your vehicle. If you want to take a shower camping but are traveling on foot, then the packable bag showers are your best option and don’t take up too much space or weigh you down.
There are two main types of manual pump showers for camping, the hand pump and the foot pump. Foot pumps allow you to shower hands-free and are simple to use, but they don’t produce a massive amount of water pressure. The hand pumps, which operate like a weed sprayer, can really be pressurized hard to give a faster jet of water. Both have their merits and will suit different people, so think about which is more important for your needs.
Hoses on portable showers vary from flimsy to robust. The thinner hoses typically kink easier and don’t have as heavy-duty attachments, which can enable them to leak after significant use. The thicker hoses are more robust and don’t kind very easily but are less flexible and heavier. In terms of length, you should aim for a hose length that is taller than you so that you can bring the nozzle above your head to wash your hair.
The nozzle can play an important role when looking for the best portable pressure shower; however, you don’t really need more than one setting unless you have a specific use in mind. I prefer a compact nozzle with 1 or 2 options for spray and jet, but in all honesty, the jet functions rarely get used. Being able to leave the nozzle open for a constant flow is a feature I would always look for, and if it doesn’t have one, there are ways to get around this by using elasticated straps.
The materials can make a difference in how robust, packable, and lightweight the shower is, so it is important to understand what your priorities are. If If you want to pack your shower in a backpack, then using the thinner bag-type pump showers will be in your interest. If having a higher pressure level and a more durable pump is more important to you, then a thick plastic container with a rigid pump handle will be more up your alley.
Having a cheap valve on your camping shower is the quickest way to get a leak. The valves are put under pressure once you add hot water and give it a pump, so make sure that everything is secure before use. Some containers have an exhaust valve that can prevent you from over-pressurizing it as well as release the pressure after your shower.
Most camping showers are designed to handle hot water, so temperature ratings are not entirely necessary, although it is nice to know that they have been tested. Realistically, you should never be using boiling water as this could damage the shower as well as burn you, so always let the water cool a bit before adding it to the chamber.
Even if a pressure camp shower isn’t designed to heat up using UV rays, if you leave it out in the sun, the water inside will quickly warm up. Dark colors help to absorb the sun’s heat and speed up the warming process.
Having looked into this, most manufacturers do not include a flow rate, so this is something I may have to experiment with in the future. Using common sense, I assume that a larger hose and more powerful nozzle will increase the flow rate but being able to add more pressure will surely help also.
How Long Do Camping Showers Last?
As a very rough guide, you should get at least 1 minute of flowing water for every liter of capacity. So, for a 5-liter pump shower, you should get over 5 minutes of water flow, and for an 11-liter container, you can expect 10 – 15 minutes. In terms of how many years they will last, so long as you look after them and don’t damage the seals, they will last for many years.
Can You Add Too Much Pressure to A Camping Shower?
If you over-pump your camping shower and it doesn’t have a release valve, you can, in fact, damage your shower seals. This is why care should be taken not to overinflate your shower with pressurized air and should instead look to only add more pressure when the flow rate drops.
How Do You Heat Water for A Pressure Camping Shower?
The easiest way to get a hot shower in the woods is to heat the water over a flame in a metal container and then add it to the shower chamber once it has sufficiently cooled down. Another way to get hot water into your camp shower is to use the sun to heat the water throughout the day. Of course, this method does require the sun to be out and for you to have a fixed base camp, but it is the most passive method for heating water inside your camp shower.
Thanks for reading all the way to the bottom of this article about the best camping pressure shower; I hope you found it useful.