Camp showers can provide anything from a quick, cooling rinse to a luxurious, multi-jet massage. We take a look at the options available.

What to Consider When Choosing the Best Camp Showers

Camp showers are available in a wide range of sizes, capacities, and price points. Before making a purchase, consider the following important product features.

Size/Capacity

The first item to consider when shopping for a camp shower is how much water-shaving space is available. While most showers have an inside and outside sprayer, some budget models only have a single nozzle on the spout. Other options feature a dual nozzle spout with a choice of hot or cold water.

A one-piece shower head is often the smallest option (and usually the cheapest), but these products dont have enough shaving area for a good lather. A two-piece shower head with a handheld shower attachment is a better choice for those looking for a more luxurious experience.

Dual nozzle spouts are common on midrange and luxury camping showers. These allow users to choose between a narrow stream for rinsing out shampoo and conditioner bottles or a wider spray for washing their entire body.

Material

While most camp shower heads are made from metal, plastic, and fiberglass, there are differences in quality among manufacturers. Higher-end products will be made with thicker metal, while lower-cost options may use thinner sheet metal that bends easier. Plastic parts will also vary in quality. Higher-quality plastics will hold up better to the elements than cheaper versions.

Fiberglass also varies in quality, with higher-end options using stronger, more durable fibers. Cheaper shower heads may use weaker, more susceptible fibers that can bend or break more easily.

Sprayer Nozzle

Nozzles come in different shapes and sizes, and they affect the way the shower delivers its spray. Most nozzles are either round or square, but there are a few other options including offset and mini nozzles.

  • Round nozzles are the most common type and the easiest to use. Theyre typically attached to the side of the shower rather than the top or the bottom, which makes them easier to move around if necessary.
  • Square or offset nozzles are designed to offer an extra boost of spray at an upward angle, which is useful for getting off shampoo and conditioner after they build up a bit of residue.
  • Mini nozzles are ideal for smaller spaces since they fit snugly into corners where other nozzles wont.

Water Temperature

Water temperature affects both comfort and cleanliness. Cold water is suitable for washing the body, and its easier on the skin than hotter water. However, it takes longer to rinse off, so this method is less efficient.

For a quick wash, hotter water is more comfortable. It feels like a warm blanket on the skin and helps remove dirt more efficiently. The trade-off is that the water is damper, so the shower feels colder.

Power Source

Electric camp showers are powered by electricity from a car or a generator. These showers require access to a 110-volt power outlet, and they will work as long as there is a power source.

Solar-powered showers rely on the energy from the sun to provide the required electrons to create water molecules and to keep the shower running. These types of showers are very convenient to use, but they need a sunny day to work.

Additional Features

Many camp shower heads have one or more features that add functionality. Some include built-in air dryers, which eliminate the need to use a towel or a separate air dryer.

Built-in seat belts help prevent toilet seats from falling down during a storm. Others include lights, radios, and USB chargers.

Built-in mirrors allow the user to check their appearance before going out into the world.

Installation

Installing and assembling a camp shower can be quite a challenge, especially for those who lack experience or who are working with substandard materials. Even when installing a shower in an area with plenty of plumbing experience, it can be difficult to run the required lines and drain pipes to connect the shower head to a drain in the floor.

Fortunately, many of the best camp showers come with detailed installation instructions, and some even have downloadable apps that can guide the installer step-by-step. For those buying a shower without detailed instructions or a helper app, a quick call to the manufacturer might yield the information you seek.