How to choose a portable shower

Which portable shower should you choose?

Between camping, bivouacking, and road-tripping, Decathlon helps you to maintain impeccable hygiene by guiding you in choosing your portable shower.

Going on a camping holiday? Planning a road trip? Now that you have your camping gear, it's time to turn your attention to the various additional equipment designed to make life easier during your adventure. These include the portable shower, which is ideal for maintaining a high level of hygiene even when you are away from home.

In this guide, Decathlon helps you choose the perfect portable shower for your excursions.

How to choose a portable shower

The portable shower: your ally for nomadic adventures

After a long day of effort, washing will give you a real feeling of comfort. This allows you to clean off any dirt or sweat from the day, so that you can go to bed clean and have a good night's rest (and we know how unpleasant going to bed with dirty feet can be). Not only essential, a shower will remind you of the warmth of your home, wherever you are. Installed wherever you wish, it offers a relaxation area where you will be able to wash up, to end your day well.

Whether you're hiking, camping or otherwise, hygiene is something that should never be overlooked. The portable shower will then have different functions (showering and washing up, but not at the same time... although some people have already tried!), so a portable shower will easily become indispensable during your outdoor adventures. For cleaning sand, salt or perspiration, you can't do without it. It must be chosen with care, as it is inseparable from your comfort.

Which portable shower to choose: different types

As you can see, a portable shower is an essential piece of equipment when you're on a multi-day adventure. It can take different forms and can be adapted to all situations in order to offer you impeccable hygiene, even in the open air. In order to meet your individual requirements, portable showers come in a variety of forms, which we present here for you to choose from to suit your needs.

Portable hanging shower bags

This is the simplest and most foolproof shower system! Portable pocket showers consist of a bag filled with water that is hung (often from a tree branch). Like water towers, this shower system takes advantage of gravity: no pump required! It should therefore be hung high, preferably above you, to ensure optimum pressure from the water outlet.

The advantages of this type of product: no pump to create pressure, no electricity either. What's more, it takes up little space with a tank capacity that allows you to shower several times (unless you spend hours in the shower!). Disadvantages: often equipped with a minimalist shower head (which can be replaced by a fancier model in some cases) and a short hose length (or even none at all on some models), this shower will also require you to look for a tree or a high place to attach it. Also, never attach the pocket of the portable shower to the tree so as not to damage it! You will need to remember to attach a strap between the two to avoid splitting your pouch material on the bark or on a small broken branch.

The tank capacity of portable pocket showers typically ranges from 10 to 20 liters.

How to choose a portable shower

Portable pressure showers

This is one of the most preferred models, with its manual pump system. The portable pressure shower is mainly appreciated for its versatility. Whether used in the shower or for rinsing equipment (dishes, swimming costumes, surfboards, etc.), it will prove its usefulness time and time again.

Relatively minimalist, this type of product is both practical and affordable. With a simple hose (sometimes with a compatible shower head, sometimes not), and a pump system (which works with elbow grease), you can take a quick shower wherever you are. These models also have the advantage of being space-saving, as the pump is not electric. It is also worth noting that this type of shower can be connected to a tap via an adapter (no more headaches when choosing the tank capacity!); this shower will then be recommended for road-trips and similar adventures.

How to choose a portable shower

Portable (or hand-held) showerheads

Also very popular, portable showerheads are an alternative with many advantages. First of all, it should be noted that these are not very bulky, which will make them your best allies during your outdoor adventures, whether it's a camping holiday or a road-trip.

Mobile shower units have a simple operation: With a battery or via a connection to a power source such as the cigarette lighter socket or the USB socket of your car, all you have to do is put the pump in a container of water. Easy to carry and use, this type of product will offer you all the comfort you need during your adventures. Disadvantages: its pump system is dependent on electricity and you need to remember to recharge the battery if you are on the move without a car. However, the proliferation of portable USB shower heads will facilitate access to electricity, as many trekking solar panels are equipped with at least one USB socket.

Portable solar (or heated) showers

The increasingly popular solar showers have the particularity of offering rather warm water for a very pleasant feeling after a long day of effort. Indeed, while cold water will refresh you after exercise, warmer water can relax your muscles and warm you up if the temperatures drop at the end of the day.


How to choose a portable shower

How does a portable solar shower work?

Offering a relatively simple operation, solar showers can contain, depending on the model, from 10 to several dozen litres in order to offer you a shower like at home. With a simple PVC pipe and a shower head attachment, you’ll be sure you have the most practical equipment.

But how does it heat up? By exposing the shower filled with water to the sun between noon and 6pm, the sun will "hit" the black bag (so you've noticed that solar portable showers are often black?), which will store heat. And it’s all thanks to the sun and our current knowledge in physics and chemistry. A fine example of "low-tech" (or "low-technology", the opposite of "high-tech"), for clever solutions that consume few resources or energy.

Be careful, however, not to take a shower in the middle of nature at too late an hour: One of the disadvantages of the portable solar shower is that the temperature drops as soon as the sun goes down!

Did you know? It is possible to improve the heating of the water by increasing the area exposed to the sun: Lay the shower horizontally on a table or on the floor.

Which camping solar shower should you choose? With or without pressure?

Making the right choice for your solar shower is essential for a much appreciated moment of relaxation after a long summer day. You will find two main types: the simple solar shower, in the form of a bag to be placed high up so that the water reaches you with the help of gravity, or the pressure solar shower which will save you from finding a tree (or a post) on which to hang your shower. For this type, its pump system allows you to simply place it on the ground.

In any case, you will need to expose your shower to the sun to heat your water.

What are the criteria for choosing a portable shower?

Just like your other camping or bivouac equipment, the choice of your portable shower should be based on different criteria that will determine its quality. Depending on your use and expectations, the choice of your portable shower may vary, so it is worth paying attention to the different features that the models available on the market may have.

How to choose a portable shower


Among the first criteria to consider when choosing your portable shower is its capacity. This is the amount of water your shower can store. Whether you want to take long showers, or hope to enjoy several showers for use throughout a stay, it is essential to adapt the capacity. Logically, the larger the capacity, the more showers you can have.

The choice of the capacity of your shower depends mainly on the use you will make of it. This is because a large capacity shower will, by definition, be larger and more cumbersome. It is not recommended for hikes where you have to carry all your equipment on your back.

How to choose a portable shower


Whether you go on a road-trip, camping or bivouac, you are sometimes exposed to slightly precarious travel conditions, in an environment that is not always favourable. In order to ensure that your equipment lasts for a long time, whatever the conditions in which you stay, it is essential to opt for quality equipment that will be able to resist any external attacks. Whatever your use, it is recommended that you choose a robust model, designed to withstand the various trips and adventures.


When considering which portable shower to choose, there is one final criterion that should not be overlooked: Practical matters This encompasses two facets, which we explain here.

Firstly, it is important that your portable shower is practical to use when you need to use it (logical). While some models only have a hose, others include a small, user-friendly hand shower. It is also essential that your shower is easy to install, fill and clean so that it remains hygienic at all times.

On the other hand, when we mention practicality, it is inevitable to mention the portable aspect. Accompanying you on your various journeys: whether you're hiking, road-tripping or otherwise, your shower must be practical to carry so that it doesn't weigh you down.

How to choose a portable shower


As you can see, depending on the type of activity carried out, the choice of your equipment must inevitably meet a criterion of practicality, such as that mentioned above. When you are on a summer camping holiday and transporting your equipment by car, weight and size are not essential. On the other hand, for a bivouac, it is essential to choose light equipment that will fit in your bag.

What are the best portable shower models for a road trip or camping trip?

On a road-trip or camping trip, the shower model chosen will not meet the various size and weight requirements. When transported by car, your equipment may be larger and heavier, allowing you to opt for a larger capacity shower. In short, you can do (almost) anything when camping. On a road trip, you can also opt for all solutions, even the hand shower, if you have access to water points or if you carry a can with you. Beware, however, that on a road trip, your water remains a limited resource to be managed and prioritized according to your needs: first for drinking, then washing, then doing the washing up!

Which portable, easily transportable shower should you choose for a bivouac?

If you want to find a shower for your bivouac adventures, the criteria are different from those mentioned above. In this case, it is advisable to choose a model that takes up little space and is easy to transport. It is essential that your portable shower can be taken with you wherever you go, without any hassle.

Sometimes you have to choose between a portable pressure shower (the one with the pump system) which can be installed anywhere but weighs 870 grams (for our Quechua model) and takes up space even when stored; with a 300 gram solar shower bag (more than half the weight!), foldable, but which will require you to find a place to hang it. In short, find out about the terrain you will be practicing in and calculate the total weight of your backpack to make your choice.

Nb: ultra-lightweight fans will opt for a portable shower in the form of a hanging pouch, which is much less cumbersome and lighter than all the other models ;)

How to choose a portable shower

What accessories should you use to complement your portable shower?

Have you found the perfect portable shower to accompany you on your excursions around the world? You may decide to leave with the bare minimum and that water alone will be quite sufficient. For users who are a little less minimalist, Decathlon also advises you on the accessories to take along for impeccable hygiene in all circumstances. In the first instance, you are advised to choose a multi-purpose organic soap which can be used for showers as well as for washing your dishes and clothes. In addition, it will ensure that you use it in an environmentally friendly manner.

In a second step, you can also opt for a microfiber towel. Compact, easily transportable and quick-drying, it will be your best ally when you want to take a shower in the wilderness

Need privacy? Opt for the mobile shower cubicle

So that you can enjoy real privacy when you shower, you can add a portable shower cubicle to your equipment. For a shower protected from prying eyes, you can install this enclosure in just a few seconds. The tent folds up compactly so you can take it with you wherever you go.

Whether you're into ice cold showers at the crack of dawn or hot showers at the end of the day, we hope this article has helped you find the portable shower that will keep your body clean, fresh and ready for your next adventure!

Which portable shower should you choose?


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