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Hello everyone. Taking a step out into the beauty of nature and deciding to set up camp means leaving some of your modern amenities behind. Flushing toilets, fast boiling kettles and washing machines become a thing of mystery when you decided to spend a few days in the open wilderness.
A key step in our morning routine, cleaning and refreshing ourselves, goes out the window in favour of a quick wipe down with baby wipes or, on some days, nothing at all. A trip camping with loved ones used to mean adapting to those less than favourable bodily odours that would usually confine themselves to the bedroom or pre-shower bathroom
However, with modern technology at it’s peak, showering while holidaying outside has become one step easier with the introduction of a wide variety of portable showers now available on the market. Now, no matter whether your pitched up in the middle of a vast, wooded forest or trekking across mountainous terrains, a refreshing and warm is just an arms throw away. And the whole family can take advantage of these highly sought after machines with their easy to use functionality and adjustable design.
We love the feel of showering with this easy-to-use unit from AngLink that easily took home our Best Buy award. With a wide, comfortable shower head and a battery-powered pump delivering steady, even pressure, we had no problem cleaning and shampooing anything dirty we could get our hands on. With a hanger or suction cup option for hands-free showering, this was about as close as we could get to the comforts of home with the ambiance of nature. With a long-lasting battery and available for a very reasonable price, it was a no-brainer to give the AngLink*our Best Buy award.
Testing such different showers side-by-side yielded some very interesting and telling results! The AngLink was a favorite among testers - keep reading to find out why!
Tied with the Pure Clean for the widest shower head among all the showers we tested, we love the added comfort you get from the AngLink with this full coverage. The battery-powered pump delivers consistent pressure that's just the right amount for a nice comfortable shower where shampooing and rinsing your hair is no problem whatsoever. Really, the only limit to the length of your shower is the size of your water container - we used a five-gallon bucket, which gives a shower length just shy of five luxurious minutes. The AngLink also comes with two attachments for the shower head that allow you to either hang or suction the unit onto another surface for hands-free showering. It also is easy to use to bathe the dog or wash the car in the driveway.
We adore using the AngLink because of how incredibly comfortable it is - almost as good as our home showers! Our only complaint is that the 5ft 9.5in hose isn't quite long enough to comfortably hang over the heads of tall people without also raising the bucket of water it's drawing from. Aside from that, we are quite impressed with the comfort this shower delivers.
The AngLink is a high performer among all models and outcompetes the visually identical Pure Clean in battery life. The Pure Clean lasts for about 32 minutes of continuous use, but the AngLink lasts for a whopping 46 minutes! And it performs at a flow rate of 4.3 L/min, which is the second-highest output of all the showers we tested.
One downfall of this type of shower is the heating of the water used for your shower. A 5 gallon bucket of water left in the sun will heat up, depending on the color of the bucket, but it also collects debris and bugs and other creatures from the outdoors - and who wants to shower in dead moth water? Not us! But heating water to fill a bucket that large is quite a chore, and with an open top, you'll lose heat quickly too. But if you can find that sweet spot, the AngLink is a great performing shower.
The directions of use for the AngLink are straightforward. Reading online, we were under the impression that the entire unit is waterproof, but upon reading the enclosed directions, we found that the battery unit is not to be submerged. This causes a bit of a struggle, as leaving the battery on the ground next to your shower bucket inevitably ends with the battery laying in a puddle. So what could be a simple set up is complicated a bit by the struggle of how to protect the battery from getting wet.
That being said, this unit is very easy to use - simply stick the pump into water and turn it on! A handy power button on the battery makes it easy to turn the water off when you're not using it to conserve what you have and extend your shower. And while we love the hands-free option to hang or suction the AngLink, we had some struggles getting it to stay attached to the shower head and pointing in the direction we wanted it. Working through those minor details though, the AngLink is pretty easy to use and clean up when you're finished with your bathtime.
Nearly identical in appearance to the Pure Clean shower (and actually what appears to be a large number of identical-looking orange and grey showers all across the internet), the AngLink has some advantages over the Pure Clean. The battery lasts significantly longer in use (46 minutes compared to 32), which is a major plus. Additionally, the AngLink comes with an extra O-ring for the connection between the hose and shower head. This seems minor, but as a connection that frequently needs to be disconnected and reconnected, this is important! We actually lost the O-ring of the Pure Clean during testing and had no additional piece with which to replace it, causing the Pure Clean to leak ever afterward.
That being said, the battery pack and connection to the batter not being waterproof is a major concern. More than once the battery ended up laying in a puddle of water. One of those times, the shower then continuously turned itself on and off until we removed the battery from the unit. Once the whole thing dried out it seemed to work fine again, but it was an alarming experience! Additionally, the charging cable for the battery is quite specific and would be a challenge to replace if it was lost. Overall, the durability of this unit doesn't wow us.
The AngLink is a small, easy-to-carry little shower, weighing just 1.1lbs. The catch of course, is the bucket you need to properly shower. However, the unit itself is quite lightweight and fairly packable, though it comes with no carrying case or way to keep the cords and hose wound up and not flying loose in your car or bag.
The biggest downfall to the true portability of this unit, that is likely to keep you from taking it backpacking (aside from the giant bucket, as you could use a collapsible sink unit), is its dependence on electricity. While the USB rechargeable battery is great for car camping or using in the front lawn, it's less ideal for long trips off the grid. Unless you're already carrying solar panels with you, in which case enjoy your shower too! But really, though the AngLink is fairly small and reasonably portable, it's unlikely to be a top choice for backpackers - though a great fit for car camping and boondocking!
We think the AngLink is an excellent addition to your car camping experience. You can avoid paying all those quarters at the campground, or not have to worry about the lack of showers at your favorite remote location! It's also a great addition to a boondocking setup. As #vanlife is becoming more popular, not taking showers is remaining the same level of unpopular. The AngLink offers an elegant and comfortable solution - and the suction cup practically begs to be attached to your van window!
Another area where the benefits of the AngLink are clear! This unit will only set you back about $35, and we think that once you give it a try, you'll wonder why you didn't' get one sooner! Comfortable to use and easy to clean not only yourself but also pretty much anything you would normally use a garden hose for, the AngLink is a pretty great value for what you get - clearly we think this so strongly, we awarded it our Best Buy choice!
Though it has many doppelgangers strewn across the internet, the AngLink has an edge in longevity and battery life. Compared to other camping showers, using the AngLink is positively living in the lap of luxury. Easy to use, this versatile shower is also a great value, and we think an excellent addition to your car camping or van life set up.
— Maggie Brandenburg
Depending on how much luggage you plan to take with you and how you plan to transport it to your final destination, you will need to take into consideration the overall weight of your portable shower. Those who just want to travel with a large back pack will need to seek out the lightest showers on the market to ensure they’re not dragged down by excessive weight. Alternatively, if your entire family will be packing out a camper van with equipment for a longer trip, a sturdier and slightly more weighty shower may not be an issue to you in the grand scheme of things.
Alongside the shower’s weight, it is important to think about how bulky it is when folding down for transporting. Similar to the above, if your luggage loads is very small, it would be important to ensure the portable shower you purchase is a slimline model that still leaves space for all your other camping and hiking essentials. The bulkier showers can some times have additional features to them which accommodates for the size but this would still only make them a suitable choice if you have the available transportation to get them to your final location.
Are you travelling on your own, with a few other people or with a whole hoard of avid campers? Take into consideration the capacity of your portable shower and how many times it will be used during your trip. Are the people in your party happy to keep showering down to an hour slot all together or do you have the odd person who spends the entire morning lathering themselves into an oblivion? The capacity of a potable shower will tell you how much water can be used at one given time and how many minutes of showering time you will be able to supply during use.
Consider how your portable shower heats up water. Certain showers will use rechargeable battery packs to generate the power needed to heat up water while others rely on solar energy, meaning you will need to accommodate for this when planning your shower time. Also take into consideration how long the portable shower takes to heat it’s full capacity and factor this in when dishing out shower slots for everyone in your camping party.
Is your camping site close to a source of water, whether this be a natural running stream or plumbed-in units found on official camping sites? If not, you may want to consider investing in a portable shower with a tank that allows you to run the unit using water pre-collected in a fixed container. Of course, if it’s the picturesque lakeside camping site you’ve got your eye on, take advantage of natures most precious elements and enjoy your morning shower fuelled by freshly warmed lake water.
Some portable showers come with additional nozzles for cleaning animals or storage areas to keep your toiletries off the ground. Consider whether these are important to you when making this purchase and you’ll be fully prepared for your first shower in the great outdoors.