If there’s one thing that no one likes about camping, it’s feeling like you are never really clean.
Whether that’s because you’re showering in cold water and want to rush, or you’re using communal showers that are well, kind of gross.
Nothing can beat a hot shower after sweating all day on a hike, a long day on a sandy beach, or a trek through wet mud.
So, why not get yourself a portable hot water shower to make sure you end the day in warmth, comfort, cleanliness and bliss?
In a hurry? Here’s our top 3 picks for the best portable hot water shower for camping.
Best portable hot water shower for camping
Best all-round portable hot water shower
The Hike Crew portable hot water shower is the perfect option if you have access to power via a generator, electrical outlet or a car cigarette charger and don’t want to depend on a battery that may run out mid shower.
While battery powered showers have their advantages in terms of placement, a mains powered shower means you’ll never get caught short.
The Hike Crew portable hot water shower is also much more technologically advanced than any other currently available on the market.
The LCD display offers clear information regarding water temperature, ignition status (whether the gas burner is on or off), and safety cutout indicator (whether the gas burner has been turned off for protection).
The safety cutout feature uses smart technology to turn off the gas burner if the water reaches 125°F, though this should never happen if you have set the heat correctly with the heat control knob on the top of the unit.
In terms of the heat of the water itself, it’s by far the best on the market at producing consistently hot water that is comparable to your shower at home.
The pump delivers a good enough water pressure to properly wash all the shampoo out of long hair. A major plus for all long haired folk who love camping.
There is also a hand faucet/spigot on the back of the unit to wash your hands or clean dirty dishes.
The shower comes supplied with everything you need (minus the 1lb propane) including – adapters, hoses, shower head accessories, carry bag and three attachments for AC/DC and car cigarette lighter.
Best battery powered portable hot water shower
A battery operated hot water shower is the perfect option if you don’t have easy access to a wall outlet or generator and/or you want to shower somewhere that isn’t located near one.
The Mr. Heater BOSS XCW20 is the best battery powered hot water shower currently available on the market.
It features a light up display that tells you how much battery power you have left, whether the burner is currently on or off, whether its currently set to dispense water out of the spigot or the shower head and much more.
There is also a temperature control knob next to the display to adjust the heat level, plus an on/off switch and a switch to turn the pump on or off.
While it’s the best battery powered unit on the market, it doesn’t quite live up to the standard of the Hike Crew portable hot shower, and it’s for one very important reason.
For the heater to produce hot water you need to leave the shower head in your bucket of water for a while to re-circulate the hot water, making it hotter on each pass through, until it’s at a temperature that suits you.
The flow rate of the water however, is just as good as the Hike Crew, so you don’t need to worry that you won’t be able to effectively wash your hair.
The built-in rechargeable battery lasts for about 40 minutes of run time and can be charged within 8-10 hours (AC) or 4-6 hours (DC).
Complete kit includes – quick connect shower head and pump assembly, AC and DC adaptors, and carry bag.
Best budget portable hot water shower
If you’re looking for a cheap, no-frills shower but still want something warm, the Mr. Heater BOSS-XW18 is your best option.
While it features no display screen and less control than the XCW20, the heat and battery capabilities remain the same.
Similar to the XCW20, it also features a spigot for washing dishes or washing your hands.
Also similar is its limited capability to heat water to a comfortable temperature. If you like your shower hotter than luke warm, you either need to keep your water supply out in hot weather to naturally heat it, or stick the shower head in the bucket and allow for it to re-circulate until it reaches a temperature you like.
It comes supplied with a quick connect shower head, pump assembly and a DC adaptor. The battery lasts up to 40 minutes and requires 8-10 hours – AC/ 4-6 hours -DC to fully charge from empty.
The Jackery 240wh generator is perfect for use with both Mr. Heater showers and the Hike Creek. You can run the Hike Creek directly off of this generator or as a charger for the Mr. Heater showers.
It can be charged via wall outlet, car cigarette lighter or solar panel. It comes supplied with the cables necessary for car and outlet charging, but requires you to purchase a separate solar panel if you want to charge via solar.
All of the portable hot water shower models listed above require a 1lb propane tank to heat the water. This Coleman supply comes in a pack of 6 1lb bottles for a seriously good price.