Last Updated on December 31, 2020
If you’re looking to explore the great outdoors, what better way to do it than to jump in your van or RV and travel across the country?
In a van, you can travel through woods and the great open plains, exploring the clearest lakes, the highest mountains and the most gorgeous views.
But for some people, the more remote the better. There is a great deal of freedom that comes with getting away from all the stresses of modern life and all the accessories that it uses to trap you.
However, when it comes to hygiene, you might find that dunking yourself in a clear blue salt lake might leave your skin coarse and itchy.
No matter how far you want to be away from society and all its trappings, if you have certain skin conditions, bathing in mother nature might not always be an option for you.
This is where solar showers come in useful. These free-standing bags of water come with a pressurized hose that will give you all the high pressure of a regular shower.
These are very portable devices too, making them easy to carry and store in your van.
But there can you find the best solar shower for your van? What features and design qualities should a decent solar shower have? How much can you be expected to spend on a top-of-the-range solar shower?
Well, if you want to give yourself that top to toe clean when you’re out on your travels, then you should look no further, as we’ve compiled a list of some of the best solar showers currently available on the market.
We’ve also got a buyer’s guide to help you find the right solar shower for you, along with a few frequently asked questions.
Our first solar shower is one that comes at a very affordable price, for just a handful of dollars you can have a small and compact shower that you can store underneath the driver’s seat.
All you have to do is screw the showerhead and air piston into your water receptacle, you can even use it with a water bottle – introducing the Simple Shower Portable Camping Shower.
When it comes to having an all-purpose portable shower, you’ll want something that can adapt to your environment, and this shower unit couldn’t get more ingenious.
Grab a few bottles of mineral water from the gas station and you can use these as your clean water source. The air piston will push out the water quickly and effectively.
This portable shower is very small and easy to store, giving you enough of a blast to leave you feeling clean for a few hours, at least.
You can also use this one to rinse your surfboard, your pets and your messy crockery. This will remove all dirt from any of your camping equipment, giving you that few extra days of longevity.
- This shower unit is perfect if you’re planning on camping for longer than a week. You can use it to clean down your equipment and give your camping trip that new zest that can get lost after a few days of grime.
- This can also be used as a safety device – you can easily extinguish an out of control fire with this modestly powerful hose.
- The shower unit is easy to use, all you have to do is screw on the showerhead along with the piston and use it to squeeze the water out with what could be described as a moderate blast.
- This unit can be folded up and placed underneath your seat or in the back of the van – when it comes to storage, this is a great little unit.
- This might be powerful enough for users who want that thorough clean with every use.
- Turns Most 1 or 2 Liter Bottles (Including Platypus Collapsible Bottles & Bladders) Into A Portable Shower
- Lightweight (Only 2oz) - Makes For A Easy Camping Shower
- Easy To Use: Simply Hold It Above The Area To Be Washed & Turn Upside Down For A Steady Stream Of Water
- Made In The USA From Recycled Materials: Cleaning The World One Bottle At A Time!
- Multiple Uses: Great For Washing Pets & Sandy Beach Toys
Our next portable shower unit is another extremely affordable product, with a built-in solar charger that will heat your water to give you the same hot water shower experience that you would have at home!
It has a very generous 5-gallon tank with an option that lets you hook it from the nearest tree or your campervan – introducing the Advanced Elements Summer Solar Shower.
This shower unit is one that most closely resembles a home unit. The most striking feature is the solar charging capability that allows you to heat the water inside, so you can get a nice lather with your shower gel and shampoo – perfect for those who savor a luxury shower!
This solar shower unit can be set up and used anywhere, hang it from a tree or your van and you can have the ultimate shower experience in the space of minutes.
The showerhead also gives you that extra level of control when it comes to the direction and intensity of your water.
- The capacity of this shower is very large, so you can enjoy a very long and thorough clean, which will be important if you’re thinking of hiking through my muddy terrain. A thorough shower also gives you much more enthusiasm for the trip ahead.
- The solar charger is a great feature, giving you a luxurious, drawn-out shower that will relax you after a long day of trekking.
- The shower unit itself can be adapted for any environment and used as a shower in several different locations. Just hang it from a tree or your van and get a nice hot outdoor shower on a chilly winter’s day.
- The head on this shower unit is a lot smaller than some of the other units, although you’ll still be able to use it to rinse dirty plates and clothes.
- Camping shower; ideal for hiking, hunting, fishing, and other outdoor adventures
- 3-gallon capacity; designed to heat water fast in the warm sun; has water temperature gauge
- Extra-large filling valve with twist-off cap; wide carrying handles; Velcro straps for soap and shampoo
- Extra-large filling valve with twist-off cap; wide carrying handles; Velcro straps for soap and shampoo
- Rolls up for easy storage; covered by a one-year manufacturer
This next portable shower unit has a built-in battery unit that will allow you to pressurize any receptacle that you happen to be carrying water in – whether it’s a canister or a water bottle.
This versatility is very important when it comes to adapting your shower to a range of varying environments and this shower unit has it in spades – introducing the Ivation Portable Outdoor Shower.
The most intriguing thing about this unit is certainly the battery capabilities that you can use to pressurize most water outlets, which can be charged via a USB outlet.
If your van is kitted out with one of these ports, all you have to do is plug it in and your shower will be charged in just a few hours.
You can quickly and easily connect this unit to most water sources, the battery will suck the water through the hose and push it forcefully through your shower head.
This power will be able to blast off even the most stubborn stains from both you and your grimy dishes or mud-soaked clothes.
- This is probably one of the most powerful units on our list, which is great if you expect yourself to be doing a lot of muddy hiking and will want to get that extra longevity out of your clothes.
- You can adapt this to several water receptacles and hang it from your van. If you need to clean quickly and efficiently, then this is the shower unit for you.
- This shower unit also comes with many attachments like a suction cup holder that will enable you to attach it to the window of your van.
- The battery unit makes sure that you’ll get a powerful stream of water for upwards of an hour, the battery unit is also waterproof and you can be sure that it won’t damage upon prolonged exposure to water.
- The price – this might be deemed as too expensive for the more casual camper than might not be going into the countryside for any more than a few times a year.
- WARNING: ONLY CHARGE THIS DEVICE WITH A 5V ADOPTER OR LESS. DO NOT CHARGE IT WITH AN ADAPTOR THAT’S MORE THAN 5 VOLTS! - INDOOR/OUTDOOR HANDHELD SHOWER - Transforms Sink or Bucket of Water Into Instant Shower Stream; Water-Resistant Unit Includes One Touch On/Off Switch
- PERFECTLY PLEASING PRESSURE - Showerhead Features One Simple Flow Rate for Comfortable Bathing Experience; Gentle Enough for Seniors, Babies and Pets
- SUCTION CUP SUPPORT - Shower-Head Securely Sticks to Any Flat Surface with Provided Suction Cup; Bonus S-Style Hook Lets You Hang it Safely Overhead
- BATTERY POWERED CONVENIENCE - Rechargeable Pump Plugs into Laptop, Car Adapter or Computer via USB; Full Charge Allows Up to 1 Hour of Continuous Use, PLEASE NOTE: May include a wall plug instead of USB
- COMPACT AND PORTABLE - Small, Discreet System Packs Easily in Luggage, Backpack or Car Trunk; for Hiking, Camping, Kid Bathing and Pet Cleaning
This next shower is another black bag unit that can be used for cleaning you at a very cheap price tag.
This shower bag holds over 20 liters of water and can be quickly heated by putting it on your van roof on a hot summer day for only 30 minutes.
It can be folded up and stored very easily and is made from very durable material – introducing the KingCamp Portable Shower.
This shower unit has a more generous bag size than most of the others we’ve seen on this list, able to hold up to 20 liters of water that will allow you to have a much longer and more vigorous shower.
It also has a great solar-powered heating option that means you can have a warm water shower in under an hour.
The price of this unit is incredibly cheap, considering all the features that it has. Once you’re finished with it, simply roll it up and store it in the glove compartment of your van if you want.
- The shower unit comes with many features such as self-heating and storage. If you want a luxurious home-shower experience that you can store in your van, then this is ideal.
- The price – this is one of the cheapest units that we’ve listed, which makes it perfect for those campers who like to travel light and have a strict budget.
- This comes in a wide range of colors, so simply pick the one that you feel complements your camping apparel.
- The self-heating – some campers will refuse to even consider a shower that isn’t heated. After 30 minutes, those people will have their wishes granted and be able to enjoy a warm and relaxing vertical bathing session.
- Some users might prefer a colder shower option to wake them up in the morning.
- SOLAR SHOWERS: Without fire, without butane gas, you can also get warm water just because of the great SUN. The sun shower is great for camping trips and during emergencies when hot water isn't available.
- ENJOY YOUR TIME: You don't have to spare time especially to prepare warm water. Just fill this camp shower with water, lay it on plat surface, and expose back side to direct sunlight. Then enjoy your outdoor life! After enjoying your outdoor activities, take a shower or simply wash your hands and face, you will feel the gentle water flow and suddenly relaxed.
- DURABLE CONSTRUCTION: Strong handle for reliable hanging and carrying. Hang this sun shower in your changing tent or tie on a tree branch.
- EASY TO OPERATE AND CLEAN: Large filling valve with twist-off cap for easy filling water. The flexible shower hose with handy on/off valve makes showering a breeze. You're supposed to mix baking soda and warm water together and swish it around in the bag/run it through the hose, then hangs it up to dry out. You can roll it up to storage.
- HOLDS 5.28 GALLONS: This sun shower has enough water for multiple showers. Ideal for hiking, camping, fishing, hunting, barbecues, picnics etc. Please pay attention to the water temperature before use in order to avoid scald.
We finish on a shower unit that is often used by campers, surfers and van lifers who like to enjoy life off the grid.
It is a generous unit that can hold up to 8 liters of water and has a trigger action shower head that allows you to control how much gets let out.
Using a hand pump you can pump out the water at your desired temperature, it’s a great model – introducing the Reliance Products Flow Pro pressurized portable Shiower.
This model comes with a 6ft resistant hose with a pressure release valve, so you can fire the water at whatever pressure you like, getting off even those most stubborn of stains.
It is also good for cleaning a surfboard that has become dirty from use and frequent waxing. This is one of the most versatile portable showers on our list.
This is a shower unit that you can use to clean so many different items – surfboards, mountain bikes, wakeboards and your own van!
The power capabilities are designed for heavy-duty trekkers and van dwellers, the neoprene cover is durable and designed to last you for several years.
- This shower can be used for numerous sporting activities that you can expect to rack up a hell of a lot of dirt. You’ll need to keep your mountain bike and surfboard in pristine condition if you want it to perform at 100% on every use.
- This is one of the most versatile units, whether it’s your camping equipment or your own body, the pressurized hose will make quick work of stubborn grime and dirt.
- This is a very portable shower that carries up to 8 liters of water. If you prefer to travel light, this is a great unit that you can roll up and place in your bag with no trouble at all.
- The hand pump allows you to control the pressure at which the water inside is released.
- Some users might be disappointed by the lower storage capacity, preferring a longer shower.
- Continuous spray with trigger action shower head
- Features a 6 ft kink resistant hose
- Equipped with a pressure release valve
- Holds up to 8L/2 gal of water
- Washable Neoprene sleeve with mesh pouch for storage
Best Solar Shower For Van – Buyer’s Guide
There are a few things that you need to consider before buying a portable shower.
You’ll need a unit that is reliable and easy to store, as well as providing you with the power that you’ll need to get you fresh and clean after a long and muddy journey.
You also want a shower with enough to make you feel fresh after a few days on the road.
How Portable Is Your Shower?
A few of the shower units listed above come in a bag, allowing you to fill it with water from any water source.
If you are using this shower for hiking, you’ll want a water pouch that does not contribute to the overall size of your backpack.
Some units you can get come in a heavier plastic container, which is more durable but much more difficult to store.
How Much Water Can It Store?
This will all depend on what you’ll be wanting from your shower.
If you want a long and hot shower, you’ll need a portable unit that carries more liters of water, somewhere between 5 and 11.
If you will be traveling with numerous people and all of them will want to be using the portable shower, then you should be looking for a plastic bag container that can hold a lot of water but can be rolled up and folded for easier storage.
What Is The Design Of The Shower?
The design should suit whatever purpose you’ll be using your shower for.
It should be easy to install and operate on your water receptacle. You should also have the ability to be able to hang your shower from a tree or a van.
The water flow should be easy to operate, with a nozzle or a hand pump that you can use to control the water flow and pressure.
Controlling the pressure will be important if you want to rinse off delicate plates.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Types Of Portable Shower Are There?
Numerous types of showers can fit your hiking needs.
Here are just a few of them and what they can do:
- Solar showers – these showers rely on the sun to heat themselves. They are often made of black PVC and take up to 30 minutes to heat on a bright day.
- Car-fitted showers – these make use of the power generated by your vehicle to heat the water inside. You can start the engine and get the water in your shower heated instantly, using a hose to control the pressure.
- Compact showers – this is a roll-up shower that can be stored in your van or backpack. The water is usually pressurized with a hand pump.