A warm shower at the beach after a surf might have sounded like the stuff dreams are made of but not anymore. That can actually be an option for you after your morning surf, thanks to portable showers. Originally designed for camping trips, they have quickly become a new surfing favorite.
Rinsing yourself and your gear off after getting out of the water will ensure that you gear lasts longer and will save you from washing the your gear when you get home. Not to mention showing in warm water is way better than cold water in the wintertime.
Showering at the beach will also allow you to carry on with your day without having to go back home to clean up. You could dash to work or run your errands without feeling the salt stuck to your skin.
Portable showers come in a wide range, offering different features which will fit right into your budget and give you the luxury of choice. But first, let’s find out what a portable shower is.
What Exactly is a Portable Shower?
A portable shower is a makeshift device that allows to shower outside. It’s pretty much what it sounds like.
Types of Portable Showers
Let’s look at different types of portable showers. We highlighted a few categories of portable showers to help distinguish features. Some categories share some features. Where this is the case let price and water capacity be your guides to help you purchase the best portable shower for your needs.
Rack-mounted travel showers
These are very convenient for those who drive to their surfing site. It is a simple contraption that is mounted on the rack of your car that you can then use a hose to shower with. The simpler versions rely on gravity but better-quality products incorporate air compressors and other devises to introduce more pressure.
Gravity Fed Portable Showers & Shower Bags
These portable showers are raised systems which rely on gravity to make the water flow. They are the most basic though in some instances, extra pressurization from compressors can be added.
Also referred to as camping shower bags, they are generally a kind of pouch or water bladder you fill up and hang from an overhead support such as a tree.
The advantage of this is that it’s simple and very cost effective. Its disadvantage while surfing is that you might not have a support to hang it from.
Foot pump portable showers
This is a very exciting option for portable showers. It gives you a steady flow of water, yet is still collapsible like the gravity bags. As the name suggests, pressure is applied to the water container using a foot pump.
It can be warmed in the sun, which is an added advantage.
Pressurized compartment portable showers
These are the most convenient and most expensive. This is category of portable shower that does not rely on gravity. It relies in pressurizing the water container to a point where the water literally bursts out of the shower head.
These pressurized portable showers are the closest thing to your shower at home. They are basically a combination of 1-part shower, 1-part hose, and 1-part warm water container.
They are pretty great if you want to shell out the cash.
Best Portable Shower
RinseKit has couple models. The RinseKit PLUS is easily the best pressurized portable showeron the market and is great for surfing and just about any other outdoor activity. It is self-pressurizing because. As you fill the tank, the air gets compressed and pressurizes the tank.
It holds up to two gallons of water and gives you up to a five-minute hot or cold shower.
It comes with a 6-foot hose and has 5 spray settings.
Razor Reef Portable Surf Shower
The Razor Reef Surf Shower costs about a third of what the RinseKit PLUS costs and is a good alternative, given the cost.
The Razor Reef Surf Shower holds 1.5 gallons, comes with a 3-foot hose, has variable pressure features and comes with a neoprene jacket on the container to help keep the water warm longer.
Other Portable Showers For Surfing
The is the lower-price point model from RinseKit. The RinseKit POD includes a pressure booster pump and sink adapter and delivers up to 3:30 minutes of a good hot or cold shower. It holds up to 1.75 gallons of water.
This model also comes with a 6-foot hose and 5 spray settings like its more expensive brand mate. It costs about $50 less than the RinseKit PLUS and is still a great product from a reputable brand.
Nemo Helio™ LX Pressure Shower
The Helio LX carries 5.8 gallons and will give you 7-10 minutes of continuous water pressure. If you are going for water volume, this is it.
You need to pump it with your foot to get the water flowing. It comes with a 7-foot hose so you can rest the container on the ground and easily rinse your head. We like this one a lot.
Nemo Helio Pressure Shower
This has a 2.9-gallon capacity, and will give you 6 minutes of steady pressure. For the price, we recommend comparing the Helio Pressure Shower with the RinseKit POD.
Big Kahuna Portable Shower (4.7 Gallons)
The Big Kahuna is an easy to operate, 12-volt powered pump. This is another large-capacity portable shower. The heater is sold separately. It’s a great option if you are looking to carry a lot of water.
It also comes in 8 and 13 gallon models. We think the 4.7 gallon is all you need for surfing.
PGYFIS Solar Shower Bag
Together with a five-gallon bag that is solar heated, it comes with a detachable hose and shower head that’s on-off switchable. It’s simple and effective
Advanced Elements 3.0 Gallon Summer Shower
This system is solar powered and holds three-gallons It has a four-layer design that ensures optimal heat retention. It also has pockets for soap and shampoo and a gauge water temperature.
It’s one of the better bag options.
Coleman 5-Gallon Solar Shower
This holds 5 gallons—which is enough for more than one shower. It has a strong handle which helps in carrying and hanging.
Reliance Flow Pro
This holds 2 gallons (8 liters) and comes with a pressure valve and a six-inch hose that is kink resistant.
Portable Shower FAQs
There are a lot of options to choose from. Given the wide array, you might be wondering which portable shower is best for your surfing needs. Naturally, it will depend on your individual needs and budget, but here are a few factors to consider:
How easy is it to setup and use the system?
You need to pick a system that is convenient for you and has relatively easy assemblage.
What is the water capacity of the system?
This means basically 2 things: Weight of the water and shower time. Make sure you pick a system that will give you longer shower time for less water.
How heavy is the system once filled?
This is a factor you will need to consider in the case of the portable shower bags as they will be lifted. The rack-mounted water storage systems also add to the overall weight of your car and pressure on your roof so you should make consideration for that.
What portable showers are most durable?
Generally, simple solutions are the longest lasting. Electronic parts are likely to break down especially if not sourced from a reputable brand.
Let us know the portable shower system you end up choosing and how it works out for you.