Going off-grid doesn’t necessarily mean you have to be dirty all the time. You also don’t need to settle for a cold rinse-off. An off-grid shower will hit the mark, letting you get clean and comfortable without actual plumbing. There are many types and brands of portable off-grid showers out there with a range of pros and cons.
This is where we come in. We’ve researched the best off-grid showers, compared them, and now the results are in: the overall best, a portable battery option, and a propane option. If you need to get clean on the homestead, one of our picks will keep you fresh.
Contents (Jump to a Section)
Simple, Effective, and Inexpensive
Get this bag of water overhead and get the job done with a surprisingly effective and inexpensive solution.
*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.
This is a big upgrade over a bucket shower for a small cost. While the water pressure won’t be knocking you over anytime soon, it’s enough to get the job done.
You will have to do a bit of planning if you want a hot shower, and it can get a little heavy to hang overhead (over 40 pounds when full of water!), but having a shower off-grid in such a small versatile package is worth it.
Here is what you get with the bag:
It’s simple, inexpensive, and effective- so it’s easy to see why this Solar Bag Shower is the best.
Pressurized, Portable, and Effective
Bring bucket power anywhere with this versatile rechargeable shower pump.
While it’s just a hose with a pump on one end and a shower nozzle on the other, it works well for a huge range of off-grid tasks. With a reach over 6′, you can use it from ground buckets, rain barrels, and cisterns.
It only takes about 5 hours to charge fully with a 5V USB adapter. It’s also surprisingly durable for being made of ABS plastic and being submerged all the time.
Here is how this little squirt measures up:
If you are looking for an inexpensive powered option, Ivation Portable Shower is what you need.
Pressurized, Hot, and Versatile
Live in the lap of luxury even when you’re roughing it with a hot shower and good water pressure.
*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.
If you are serious about your showers and want to bring the heat, this little heaven-sent water heater is for you. The Hike Crew portable shower lets you control it all and set the temperature exactly how you like it, even if that is scalding hot.
Here are the full specs:
If you are looking for the best portable hot shower off-grid, get a Hike Crew Portable Propane Water Heater and Shower Pump.
Solar Bag Shower
Where to Buy
$18* at Amazon
*at time of reviewing
Ivation Portable Shower
$35* at Amazon
Hike Crew Heater & Pump
$249* at Amazon
Our research narrowed the field down to several brands and types of showers that we compared: Coleman, Ivation, Hike Crew, GoSun, Advanced Elements, NEMO, Sea to Summit, Coghlan’s, and more.
You can see our full list of review criteria below in the What to Look For section, with an explanation for each.
We considered a wide range of portable off-grid showers. We narrowed the focus to truly portable ones with smaller, more manageable sizes.
We’re always looking for new and better equipment, so if you have a portable shower that you swear by, let us know in the comments. We review most of our tested gear annually so we can try to get it in the next roundup round and see if it will beat out our top picks.
The best off-grid showers have a few features to look for:
When you get the right blend of these, you can find a shower that will keep you clean without permanent plumbing. Below, we break down what each of these features means for the off-grid showers that truly set themselves apart.
The amount of money you spend on something like a shower shouldn’t blow out your entire budget. There are a wide range of options and almost all of them will get you clean. Stick to your requirements and don’t spend lavishly.
You never want to spend too much money on one thing when it comes to off-grid supplies. It’s better to diversify your equipment and budget to make sure you are covered for a wide range of scenarios.
Sure, showers are nice and all, but hot showers are exceptional. They are one of the luxuries that I always insist on and always make room for.
Showers don’t just get hot on their own, you’ll need a way to heat water. Here are the most common methods:
Our propane pick has the option to also be powered with AC/DC power making it extremely versatile for those insisting on having hot water available.
Gravity can only go so far, so we found ourselves appreciating the power pumps provide. The pressure ranged from less than a liter per minute for solar bags all the way to over 6 liters per minute on showers using pumps.
Depending on your reservoir size, this can limit shower time so striking a balance between the two while still having enough pressure to clean soap out of your hair is ideal.
If the shower you get is too large and heavy you’re not much better off than just roughing in some plumbing. A good portable off-grid shower should be portable, otherwise, it’s missing the point for the most part.
If you can use a portable shower for more than just showering- all the better! From cleaning dishes to washing off equipment, showers can always come in handy for more than just getting yourself clean. How well a solution works for a wide range of cleaning activities should affect your choice.
Anyone can make a DIY gravity shower with a bucket or bag, and it’s been done all over the world. The most common build uses a 5-gallon bucket and some plumbing supplies to rough in a shower attachment to the bottom.
There are also clever truck-top PVC pipes with nozzle attachments on the end so you can heat water as you drive.
With the many different ways to build an off-grid shower, our favorite DIY solution uses the military surplus 5-gallon water jug. Zack shows off the portable shower build step-by-step:
Showers aren’t absolutely necessary for survival, but they do contribute to good hygiene, which is important. Beyond just getting clean, showers can be relaxing and good for your mental state as well.
An off-grid shower isn’t for everyone- if you have plumbing you can use that for everyday use. There are plenty of ways to get clean, so we can’t recommend just a shower for emergency or camp use either. Portable showers really excel for these setups:
Still, they are worth considering for camping if you know you won’t have any other solution to get clean. They also make handy backups for emergencies and disasters.
How We Review Products: We research thoroughly before selecting the best products to review. We consult experts in the field for a better understanding of what makes the gear great. Hours on end are spent field testing gear in stressful conditions. We assign performance criteria and impartially rate each tested item. You can support us through our independently chosen links, which can earn us a commission at no extra cost to you. After our review process, some of the items reviewed end up in our giveaways.
All of our experience and the testing we do to determine the best off-grid shower are useless without listing our research sources and references. We leaned on these for the book knowledge that we paired with our hands-on testing and practical survival experience:
Biasin, K. (1991). Shower water heating with solar energy on a campsite. Elektrowaerme International. Volume 49. Issue 2. Pages 82-85. (Source)
Vannini, P., et al. (2013). Onerous consumption: The alternative hedonism of off-grid domestic water use. Journal of Consumer Culture. Volume 16. Issue 1. Pages 80-100. (Source)
Vilanova, E., et al. (2023). Study and design of a shower for people living in precarious conditions. Barcelona School of Industrial Engineering. (Source)
Showers and hygiene in general are usually not given the most consideration. I personally love a good shower and a warm shower is a luxury my family will always have on hand- both on and off the grid.
Here are a few other guides and reviews our subscribers have found helpful:
We presented quite a lot of information, but as always: if you have any questions let us know and we would be happy to help. Our research and testing found the Solar Shower Bag to be the best option given its value, heat source, water pressure, size/weight, and versatility.
Keep exploring, stay prepared, and be safe.
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By: Rusty CollinsTitle: Best Off-Grid Shower OptionsSourced From: www.trueprepper.com/off-grid-shower/Published Date: Wed, 16 Aug 2023 12:45:51 +0000