SHOWERING WHILE ON THE ROAD can be a significant expense. Depending on the location, individual showers cost between five and fifteen dollars. I’m testing compressed air pressure shower devices you may want to consider while traveling. If you ever had a water rocket as a kid, you know how these work. You put a little rocket on the stand, pumped it up, let it go, and way up in the air it went. The principle is that air in water in a confined space creates pressure, and pressure runs your shower.
This isn’t my final verdict over a long period of use, but it is enough to tell you my initial impressions. I won’t be quoting any prices, because they change.
Scotts Sprayer, 2-Gallon
Scotts is a big name in gardening and can be purchased just about anywhere. These work well. You get it full of water, pump it up, then squeeze the trigger to stream water. This one has a very short hose with a long wand. The wand makes getting it up to your head and hair difficult. The long wand and short hose are a bad combination for use as a shower.
You can modify it with a standard garden sprayer to work better as a portable shower. You’d buy parts from the hardware store to convert it to use a showerhead and make the tube longer. This will cost you more money, time, and know-how.
Green Handle Pressure Sprayer with 7 Spray Modes
You can use this shower if you don’t want to do what’s needed to make the Scotts sprayer a decent shower. It operates under the same principle. You pump it to build pressure. This comes ready to go with a long hose and spray nozzle. The only thing I’d do is paint it black to absorb the sun’s energy and heat your water. I love the 6-foot-long hose and can move all around to use it.
Both sprayers have a release valve that you can pull so it doesn’t have constant pressure. I gave this sixty-two pumps.
WADEO Foot Pump Blue Camping Shower
This packs down very small and has a bag for storage. Instead of a hand pump, this has a foot pump. The original brand to make these several years ago was Nemo. It is a high-quality, excellent product.
I would never pay what they charge for a bag and foot pump. This one is significantly less money. I don’t know its quality and how long it will hold up. It works fine. It must be pumped a lot, and the pressure isn’t great. Instructions say to pump it twenty-five times. The spray doesn’t last even a minute and the head isn’t adjustable. See the image below with the white nozzle. You’ll have to be pumping with your foot repeatedly to keep up even this pressure level.
Black Portable Electric Camping Shower 5 Gallons
This one has a USB compressor, so you aren’t pumping anything by hand or foot. This is similar to an air mattress with an electric air pump. Turning it on pumps air into the bag. The black bag should heat the water inside when left in the sun. A green ring is included to put under the bag and stabilize it. It does pretty well. The hose is plenty long. Because it’s a bag, it compresses and also comes with a storage bag.
—The black USB electric camping shower bag (with black and orange sprayer) is the best option for pressure. It’s easy. You turn it on, and it goes. It will pump until it runs out of water.
—The green handle pressure sprayer begins to lose pressure almost immediately. You may need to refill it during the shower due to its capacity. It pumps pretty easily when you get your body weight going into it. The shower head is excellent.
—The foot pump bag isn’t even a consideration. I’m not fond of the foot pump-type bags.
—I don’t want to fuss with the Scotts sprayer.
So there you have it. My final thoughts are that these two are viable options to consider. The sprayer seems virtually indestructible. The only thing that will go bad is the seal, which you can replace. It will last you forever. The USB bag will last as long as the compressor does. I don’t know how long that will be. So, it has a critical failure point. I’ll keep this and use it all the time, then let you know how it holds up.
If you got something out of this that helped make your life on the road easier, please let me know in the comments. Maybe it eased some of your fears about going on the road and how you’ll take a shower. I plan to discuss shower enclosures and USB rechargeable shower pump options later.