What type of solar camping shower should I buy?

When it comes to solar camping showers, there are so many different brands available it can be challenging to decide which is the best buy. Colemans is a well-known brand of camping equipment. So we are often more inclined to buy the brands we know.

But are they worth the money?

In our testing, for under £50, the Dr Prepare 15L is the best camping shower because it has the option of a rechargeable pump that automatically repressurises whilst you are using it. The Advance Element Summer gravity shower is available in 3 different sizes 9L, 11L or 19L. It retains heat well, has a secure handle, large water inlet filler and strong PVC material. The Colemans 22L, for under £36, is reliable but leaks from the water inlet. For under £20, RISEPRO 20L has additional straps for securing and a small net pocket for storing small toiletries. RISEPRO, for under £10, is impossible to use; not a very strong material and, due to the square design, takes a very long time to heat.

During the past year, I have tested 5 different designs of solar camping showers. Gravity-fed and pressurised, which range between £9 to £50.

Dr Prepare 15L pressurised solar shower: Good shower without the hassle

The Dr Prepare 15 ltr / 4-gallon cylinder solar heated pressurised camping shower has been re-designed to increase its performance.

Key features


  • Large water-filling valve with a screw-on cap
  • The spray nozzle has 2 settings – auto spray or quick release
  • Available with a rechargeable pump and a foot pump
  • Digital monitor for bag pressure PSI and battery life
  • The displays default setting of 5 PSI
  • The rechargeable pump automatically activates whilst used to repressurise
  • No loss of water flow
  • Hose flexible and does not buckle
  • Easy and quick to interchange between foot pump and rechargeable pump
  • You can add heated water, so you do not need to wait for sunlight.


  • Maximum 2 showers
  • It takes longer to heat compared to rectangular solar bags
  • The shower spray is not wide compared to other showerheads
  • Not able to use full 15 Litre capacity for the water as you need to leave space for air to pressurise
  • The handle for carrying is not that big and does not feel that strong
  • Difficult to dry fully for storage
  • Switch on the nozzle feels breakable (but is solid)
  • You Need to remove the rechargeable pump from the waterproof covering to recharge by unscrewing the hose connector, which can be lost easily.

Dr Prepare shower from Amazon unit is available with just the foot pump or both foot and rechargeable pump. The rechargeable pump automatically activates as the pressure reduces as you are showering. So there is no stopping and repressurising as you need to with the foot pump. The pump or recharge fits on the base adjacent to the hose connection for the nozzle. There is a protective cover for the rechargeable pump that can clip onto the side of the bag.

The hose is long enough to fit into a shower tent and leave the bag outside, and with the automatic pump, you do not need to worry about a loss of water pressure.

It compacts well for travelling, although it is unsuitable for backpacking or wild camping. The base is sturdy but not solid, it can be bent if needed, but I would not advise this.

  • Rechargeable pump on its own – 0.27 Kg
  • Foot pump, solar bag and shower host – 0.71 Kg

Deflating and folding into the carry bag is a bit of a pain, but it fits snuggly under my car seat for transporting. We use this for showering whilst camping, but we use it to wash dishes, clean muddy wellies, and water the garden during the summer.

Coleman 22L gravity solar shower: Why does it fail?

Colemen gravity solar heated shower

The Colemans’ gravity-fed solar shower from Amazon is a 22-litre bag. Considering the brand, it is not the most excellent value for money which you would expect. Lightweight for transporting only 0.23 Kg and packs well for backpacking.

Key features


  • Sturdy handle with inner tube support
  • Clear backing for viewing the water level
  • Water control on shower camp on/off
  • The showerhead is sturdy and does not look or feel cheap compared to other brands.
  • Can add heated water if need be
  • Nylon rope and S hook for hanging
  • A chart to show time to leave in the sun for set temperatures – although it does depend on your outside temperatures.


  • Water inlet cap push on only
  • Water leaks from the water inlet cap when face down for heating in the sun
  • Remove the handle support for hanging, and the bag will tear
  • Small shower head
  • No temperature gauge
  • Difficult to fill with water
  • Overpriced for quality

There are several disappointing factors for the Coleman solar gravity bag. The first is the leaking from the water inlet whilst you leave it in the sun. It is not a tremendous amount of water; however, it is annoying, and I was not expecting it. It would make a big difference if they could re-design with a screwed cap. You can avoid the leak by turning the bag over so the cap is not facing downward. This did not make any difference with the time it took to heat the water inside.

There is no messing around trying to fix the shower hose to the water outlet on the bag, but you do need to try to get rid of the kinks. The showerhead is small, and the water can easily be turned off using one hand, which helps to avoid water wastage compared to other solar bags.

It comes with a nylon rope and an S hook, allowing you to place it onto a branch or another study support, lifting the bag after. But filling the bag, like others, makes it hard to lift.

Overall, I would have been happy if I had paid no more than £20 for the Coleman solar gravity bag. However, it cost me £35. Even though the PVC material does feel better quality than others, I liked the temperature guide on the front of the bag, as it gave you an idea of how long you would need to leave in direct sunlight for specific temperatures. However, this does depend on the outside temperature.

RISEPRO gravity solar shower bag 20L: Temperature gauge for safety

RISEPRO gravity solar shower bag 20 Litre

RISEPRO from Amazon is a mid-range priced gravity-fed, 20-Litre solar shower bag. It is a perfect purchase if you want something easy to use that does not take up much space and is lightweight, only 0.43 Kg.

Key features


  • Screwed water fill cap, which helps to avoid water leakage
  • Velcro straps to help keep the water hose in place whilst packing
  • Hooks you can use to help secure against a tree using extra straps (not supplied)
  • Sturdy handle
  • Large water filler valve
  • Can add preheater water
  • Temperature gauge
  • Small net pocket at the front for storing small soap/shampoo
  • Solid tube across the top of the solar bag, which you can hold when filling
  • Clear back so you can easily see the water level
  • Natural colour
  • Strong large strap and rubber handle with clip
  • Reasonably priced
  • Clips on the base can be used to provide additional support when hanging – although you will need to buy these as an extra


  • Heavy to lift when full
  • Poor water flow
  • The showerhead switch feels and looks cheap
  • You need to gently heat the shower hose to unkink and fit it onto the water valve on the solar bag.
  • Difficult to hold and fill at the same time, even with a solid top
  • Max 3 showers

The main issue I had with the solar bag was attaching the hose to the bag itself. Pushing the hose onto the outlet valve may be effortless for some people. I had to gently heat the tube over steam to make it more flexible and unkink. The kinks are due to the way it is packed. So when you are not using it, try not to bend the hose if possible.

Once the host is connected, it is straightforward to use. However, you may need help to fill it, and it is heavy to lift high to have sufficient gravity to draw the water through the hose to the showerhead. It has a strong handle, partly covered with rubber and a clip that helps to clip around a tree branch. You can see the water level, as one side is clear. On the front, there is a temperature gauge, which is accurate.

It has a good shower head with an on/off twistable handle, and you can control the flow a small amount. The switch is stiff when you first use it, and although it does not look top quality, it is tough to break even if you are heavy-handed like me.

The velcro tabs on the front are great for lifting the showerhead to help whilst washing. The hose fits securely in the straps, and you can direct the shower stream, so you do not have to hold it all the time. Although this does decrease the flow as you raise it above the water outlet.

Overall, it is an excellent solar shower for the price. It is challenging to dry sufficiently for storage, which is essential to avoid mould buildup over time. But once fully dry inside, it folds neatly and is very easy to tuck inside a rucksack.

Advanced Elements 19L gravity solar summer shower

The Advanced Element solar gravity shower bag from Amazon is a smart-looking solar bag that makes it stand out from others. There is an option for different sizes.

  • 9 Litre
  • 11 Litres
  • 19 Litres

Key features


  • A screw water inlet valve cap
  • Large water inlet value
  • Additional insulation for retaining heat
  • The temperature gauge on the clear site for ease of viewing the temperature
  • Portable – compacts well for a rucksack
  • On / off switch on the showerhead
  • Water hose wide for water flow
  • Velcro straps to hold shower hose in place
  • Solid handle for carrying and hanging
  • Small net storage for personal cleaning items
  • Mirror attached to the front pocket


  • Higher price range
  • Small shower head
  • Water flow is not great
  • Small showerhead

The Advanced Element Summer solar shower is in the higher price bracket ranging from £38 – £49, depending on size. It is worth paying extra for the quality. Compared to the Colemans in the same price range, the quality of the Advance Element shower is outstanding. The built-in insulation reflector and solar panel layers help attract heat and retain the heat inside and keep it heated for extended periods.

The showerhead is small and controlled by an on / off, which is a push / pull action, and the hose is a reasonable diameter, providing a faster flow of water. The handle is flexible with a solid rubber handle, which has a solid pole inside to help support the weight of the solar bag when hanging and carrying.

The velcro strap is ideal for use whilst showering hands-free and for holding the shower hose in place when not in use.

Overall the Advance Summer gravity solar shower is easy to use; not mess around trying to attach the hose. Everything is ready to go once it has been cleaned before use. The oversized handle makes it a lot easier to lift high, as it has a solid grip and is strong. There were no leaks whilst waiting for it to heat in the direct sunlight.

The Advance solar shower is on par with the Dr Prepare solar shower. The only difference between them is one is gravity, and the other is a pressurised shower.

RISEPRO 40L gravity solar shower: Why should you avoid it?

RISEPRO 40L gravity solar camping shower

The RISEPRO 40-litre solar camping shower from Amazon is a low-budget, low-quality camping shower for under £10. It may seem like an ideal shower bag due to the column of water and price. However, save your money and invest in a higher-quality shower.

Key features


  • The temperature gauge on the front
  • Only used for 1 shower
  • It can use with a pump shower, not as a gravity
  • On/Off control switch allowing good water flow control
  • A screw water inlet cap


  • Not stable when full of water and placed on the floor
  • Very difficult to fill with water
  • Handles cut into your hand when you try to carry a full shower bag
  • Handles not strong enough to hold the solar bag
  • Split easily
  • It takes a while to heat due to the volume of water and density
  • Impossible to hang as too heavy
  • We needed to add handles with very strong knots

I only used the RISEPRO 40 Litre gravity solar shower bag once as it was tough to support and fill, plus lift to a sufficient height to shower. To fill it with water, you need two people or support the base of the bag. Another option is to use a hosepipe, although this is not always possible.

The solar bag is connected to nylon ropes that tie in 4 different corners of the bag. The nylon rope is attached to a centred plastic hook used to attach to a sturdy branch or item at height. However, this is pointless and needs to be thrown away. Stronger rope and fixtures are used, although there is limited space to thread through the plastic eyes on the bag itself.

The water inlet is large enough to use a rechargeable pump rather than a gravity shower. However, keeping the bag secure whilst using it is still an issue. We found that the water takes longer to heat, approximately 2 hours extra, when full because of the density of water.

Overall I do not recommend purchasing the solar bag, even though it costs under £10.


I'm a single parent who loves pitching a tent and exploring the countryside at any opportunity. I am working with a glamping pod company and helping them to set up a family campsite in East Riding Yorkshire.

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