Best Off-Grid Shower Options

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)

KIPIDA Solar Shower Bag

The Best Off-Grid Shower

Solar Bag Shower

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:

  • 0.9L/min flow
  • 5-gallon capacity
  • 113°F when heated in direct sunlight
  • Includes hose and shower head
  • 19″ x 20″ x 2″
  • 0.9 pounds

It’s simple, inexpensive, and effective- so it’s easy to see why this Solar Bag Shower is the best.

Battery Powered Off-Grid Shower

Battery Off-Grid Shower

Ivation Portable Shower

Pressurized, Portable, and Effective

Bring bucket power anywhere with this versatile rechargeable shower pump.

*Price at time of publishing; check for price changes or sales.

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:

  • 2.5L/min flow
  • 2200mAh Lithium Battery (1-hour continuous use)
  • Includes hose and shower head- requires an exterior water source
  • 6.5′ long
  • 1.4 pounds

If you are looking for an inexpensive powered option, Ivation Portable Shower is what you need.

Hike Crew Propane Shower

Propane Off-Grid Shower

Hike Crew Heater & Pump

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:

  • 2.2L/min flow
  • Propane, AC/DC, and 12V adapter
  • 140°F Max (safety switch)
  • Includes hose and shower head- requires an exterior water source
  • 10″ L x 12″ W x 12″ H
  • 13.2 pounds

If you are looking for the best portable hot shower off-grid, get a Hike Crew Portable Propane Water Heater and Shower Pump.

Everything We Recommend

KIPIDA Solar Shower Bag

Solar Bag Shower

Get this bag of water overhead and get the job done with a surprisingly effective and inexpensive solution.

Where to Buy

$18* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

Battery Powered Off-Grid Shower

Ivation Portable Shower

Bring bucket power anywhere with this versatile rechargeable shower pump.

Where to Buy

$35* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

Hike Crew Propane Shower

Hike Crew Heater & Pump

Live in the lap of luxury even when you’re roughing it with a hot shower and good water pressure.

Where to Buy

$249* at Amazon

*at time of reviewing

The Showers We Compared

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.

What to Look For

The best off-grid showers have a few features to look for:

  1. Value
  2. Heat/Energy Source
  3. Water Pressure
  4. Size & Weight
  5. Versatility

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.

Value: Cost vs. Benefit

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.

Heat/Energy Source

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:

  • Solar – plenty of camp showers have large surface areas that you make sure the sun is hitting at its peak to warm the water inside. They can take a while to warm up, so you’ll need to time your showers to the time of day or weather conditions.
  • Battery – not very common due to the energy requirements, but there are a few camp shower models that heat using rechargeable batteries. These are not very practical.
  • Electric – using DC or AC power to heat showers is common and some residential water heaters work the same way.
  • Gas – while natural gas is more common residentially, propane is more common off-grid.

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.

Water Pressure

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.

Size & Weight

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.

DIY Off-Grid Shower

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:

Who Needs an Off-Grid Shower?

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.

Sources and References

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)

The Final Word

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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The Best Off-Grid Shower

Rusty Collins

I am an engineer, Air Force veteran, emergency manager, husband, dad, and experienced prepper. I developed emergency and disaster plans around the globe and responded to many attacks and accidents as a HAZMAT technician. I have been exposed to deadly chemical agents, responded to biological incidents, and dealt with natural disasters. Check out my full story here: Rusty's Story

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