Are you planning a camping trip? Does taking showers in an outdoor setting worry you? Then, a solar shower is what you need!

Solar showers or shower bags are a great way to stay clean even if you are traveling with a group of friends. You can avoid dirty water bodies and even public washrooms.

The efficiency and adaptability of the solar showers let you bathe in warm water amidst the wilderness of nature.

Thus, let us dive in and understand the mechanism of these solar showers and why you need to get them right away!

What is a Solar Shower System?

Solar showers are portable water heaters. They consist of an insulated PVC bag that holds the water for your shower. PVC is used in most shower bags due to its excellent heat-absorbing capacity.

It comes with a rubber hose attached to the bottom to drain water. The showerhead eases the process of bathing with adjustable features to control the water flow.

In contrast to traditional showers, solar showers harness solar energy to heat water. You save electricity and prevent harmful gas emissions.

How Does a Solar Shower System Work?

Solar ShowerThe simple mechanism of a solar shower is to convert solar radiation to heat water in the bag. The insulated cistern inside the shower bag keeps the water warm for a longer time.

You can hang the shower bag in the sun until the black-coated cistern absorbs enough energy to warm the water. Once the water is warm, you can use the hose and bathe with the showerhead.

Portable solar showers that use gravity to hold water can be hung anywhere in an outdoor place. As the water level in the bag goes down, the water pressure also reduces.

Note: A solar water shower can heat the water to up to 113 degrees, which is enough to warm your shower.

Solar Shower Capacity

A standard shower can hold 2 to 2.5-10 gallons of water. As per our calculations,  five gallons of water can last for up to 2 minutes while in use.  It will do the job perfectly for your camping trip.

Few solar shower types, like the standing one, may have the capacity to hold 10-15 gallons of water for a long bath.

A gravity solar shower system offers a shower that lasts 2-2.5 minutes for 5-gallons of water and around 5 minutes with 10-gallons.

A water pump system shower lasts 10-11 minutes with a 5-gallon container and 20 minutes with 10-gallons.

A pressurized shower lasts up to 7 minutes with a 5-gallon and 14 minutes with 10-gallons.

How to Use a Solar Shower Bag

Are you new to using a solar shower? Don’t worry! We have a guide ready to help you use this fantastic product:

  1. Partially fill the bag with water through the nozzle. As the water heats inside, the bag tends to enlarge. Hence, if you fill it to the brim, the bag may tear apart.
  2. Place the shower bag outside to heat. Ensure that the surface that absorbs heat is in contact with immediate sunlight. Avoid laying the bag on the ground as it may dissipate the heat.
  3. If you are using a gravity solar shower bag, heat the water uniformly and hang it at a height. Keep the hose straight for maximum water pressure.

What Are the Types of Solar Showers?

There are three major types of solar showers you must check out before investing in one:

Pressurized Solar Shower Bag

Pressurized showers depend on pressurized air to spray water out of the showerhead. They come in two designs — a rooftop solar shower and a pressurized container.

Rooftop System

It consists of a PVC roof surface that absorbs heat. So, while you travel, you can mount this bag/tank and leave it to do its job.


  • PVC material for maximum heat absorption
  • Best suited for regular campers
  • Easily adaptable


  • Needs a rooftop carrier to hold the bag
  • Costly shower system
  • Higher pressure can lead to bursting

Pressurized Container

Similar to the gravity shower system, these solar showers use a sealed bag attached to a pump. The airbag creates pressure and allows the water to flow while you take a shower.


  • Portable shower system
  • No need for electric power
  • Simple design
  • Adaptable


  • Leakage of air
  • Not a cheap alternative

Gravity Solar Shower Bag

These are the most commonly used solar showers that work on gravity. With this shower system, you fill the bag with water and hang it in a suitable place. The gravity will let the water flow downwards.


  • Straightforward to use
  • No need for electricity to heat
  • Portable


  • Lacks strength in design
  • Insufficient water pressure

Water Pump Solar Shower

This shower system does not directly depend on solar energy for heating. It consists of a dark-colored surface water container to which the pump is connected.

These water pumps charge with batteries to keep the water warm. A 12 V water solar shower requires no charging, allowing you to take a quick shower. Though this may be a slightly costly option, it is suitable for frequent campers.

How Much Do Solar Showers Heat Up Water?

If the solar shower bag gets exposed to full sunlight for a substantial time, the water will heat up enough for your shower. However, the water temperature can reach 130 degrees, and that can be dangerous for your skin.

Hence, it is better to shower with a built-in temperature gauge to adjust the heat. You can even mix some cold water to balance the temperature inside the shower bag.

Will Solar Showers Work During Monsoon and Winter?

Outdoor ShowerWeather plays a significant role for solar showers to operate efficiently. So, if the weather is cloudy, the water may not warm up.

With direct solar energy, nothing can stop the solar shower system from absorbing the heat. However, a few factors like external temperature and airflow can affect the water’s warmth.

The chilly breeze during winters can hugely impact the heating process. As a result, you may need to wait for an extra hour to get the desired results.

A temperature of 35 degrees Celsius and above is enough to warm the water even in cold weather conditions.

What Are the Benefits of a Solar Shower System?

Indeed, these godsent shower systems are must-haves for anyone who loves traveling. Hence, let us lay down a few benefits you will get if you invest in them:

Ease of Use

Solar showers are portable, making them convenient to use on trips. You can set them up anywhere as they only consist of a dark-surfaced bag and a hose mounted with a showerhead.

With its straightforward design and easy installation, you can heat the water by simply placing it in the sun.


Did you know you can roll up your shower bag once you finish using it? Most solar showers are compact and don’t take up much space.

They are easy to carry and can fit in any RV van or car.


Solar shower systems use sunlight as their energy source, which is considered the most ecologically viable option. Solar energy is captured and used to warm the water in your shower. It avoids using gases or electricity for heating.

Besides, you will save water as the bag has limited water storage.

Good Hygiene

With the shower’s clean and warm water, you can now get your hands dirty without worrying about ways to clean up later.


Solar showers are pretty cost-effective. Though a few pressurized solar showers may be slightly costly, a simple gravity solar shower is perfect for frequently traveling by road.


The solar showers have a straightforward design. With only a few elements required, these solar showers are easy to install and use. Hence, you can also use them on solo trips.

What Are the Downsides of Using Solar Showers?

There are not many downsides to using a solar shower. However, you need to consider a few pointers before you buy it:

Longer Time to Heat

As it depends on solar energy for heat, a solar shower may take time to warm the water. This could range from three to four hours.

Highly Dependent on Solar Energy

Since solar showers operate on solar energy, you will not warm the water on rainy or cloudy days. As a result, you may have to opt for other methods to heat water.

Not Suitable for Winters

Solar showers may not work well in cooler environments. Due to the absence of sunlight and freezing air temperatures, the heating process may not occur.

Are There Other Ways to Heat Your Solar Shower Bag?

As they depend on the sun for heating, you can still heat your shower bag with other techniques. Some ways are mentioned below:

  • Use a Dark or Insulated Surface: You can place the solar shower on a dark surface that absorbs more heat to warm the water. Asphalt or gravel make good options for this purpose. You may also use the dark surfaces on your vehicle.
  • Heat it Over a Stove: You can also boil some water on a stove to instantly heat it.

How to Maintain a Solar Shower Bag

Outdoor Solar ShowerAfter using the shower bags, it is vital to store them clean. You may choose to roll up empty shower bags. However, you can also store them with water using an open container.

Are Solar Showers Worth Your Money?

Solar showers are an excellent option for maintaining hygiene while on a road trip. Most solar showers are affordable and eco-friendly. Moreover, the high-quality build makes it worth the money.

Final Thoughts

Solar showers make a great solution to help you maintain hygiene while traveling. They come in multiple types like pressurized and gravity solar shower bags.

They are easy to use and eco-friendly, making them very useful during the summer.

These cost-effective showers are definitely worth the money. Don’t forget to get yours today!