on October 8, 2014
The "squeeze the hose" clamp is the best one can do with these cheaper level bags. Other models have a lever type valve at the bag (extreamly difficult to use as it is far away from the shower head) and the same type of lever valve ON the shower head. These both involve using two hands to control the water flow, which is either on or off, as no one wants to waste water. A third type I haven't seen around for a while is the showerhead being the valve, as you push/pull the showerhead. That one needs two hands also. Another problem with the lever type valves is they can become gummed up and very difficult to twist. Therefore, after using all types for years, I have to say the clamping type, where the hose is compressed, is one handed, and will not fail. Good design on them.
However, one should know that ALL of the "black" relatively cheap bags have a major flaw, and that is the handle. There are a few different styles, and the vinyl bag will rip around the handle....it happens a lot. The best way to avoid this is to never fill it completely full. Never more than 4 gallons. To make these bags last a long time, get two and never fill them more than with three gallons. The bag ripping at the handle makes it unrepairable and useless...DON'T fill them completely.
Also interesting is that the instructions to place the black side facing the sun is wrong. I have had bags the instructions printed on them to place the clear side to the sun, and that is correct. I've made tests, and the science we learned in 5th grade is correct. Yes, the "black up" will heat the water AT THE TOP, whereas, if the sun has to "go thru" the clear so it can be absorbed by the black, the hot water resulting will RISE, heating water as it rises. The "black up" will leave the cooler water at the "bottom". My measurements showed a 5degree increase for "clear side up."
on August 23, 2012
I am an avid car-camper, who is really particular about having "running water" for purposes of a shower or handwashing station. This is a good product. If you camp during the summer, it only takes around an hour for the water to warm up. The hose is also good because you can control the difference in flow of the water, as opposed to other camp showers where there is only one flow of water. I gave it one star less than perfect because it is not. The clamp for the hose to turn it on and off is sometimes hard to work with. You have to really make sure to squeeze the clamp super tight in order to seal the hose, otherwise, the water will drip out. Also, one minor criticism is that the hose is somewhat flimsy so when you store the shower, make sure the hose is not folded, otherwise, the next time you use it, the hose will be bent. Bottom line: if I needed another shower, for the same price, I would choose this one again.
on May 9, 2012
After picking a camping spot that forced us to hike in a bit, we were lucky to have restroom amenities close by (however disgustingly terrible the smell), but of course, no showers.
I can be high or low maintenance, but as a woman, this shower rocked my world. The 'grimy' feeling you get after a day or two of camping can be completely solved with the use of this basic contraption.
You do have to plan ahead and hope for a sunny day, but when the day is done, it is all well worth it.
After a day of swimming, I went to the shower that I had filled and positioned that morning below a tree branch and right next to the clothesline. I asked everyone else in the group if they wanted a shower and no one did (silly people, they did NOT know what they were missing out on). I sat there and soaked up nearly all 5 gallons of that delightfully warm shower, which was WAY more water than I really needed. If someone else, or even more people wanted to utilize it, I suspected that it would have been quite sufficient in regards to the amount of water necessary.
I've seen other products out there that require batteries, etc, etc, but as long as you have the power of the sun, this little beauty made me feel like I quickly went home to freshen up and then just tele-ported back for more camping fun!
on September 2, 2010
I went camping for 3 days and this was excellent for washing hands, dishes, rinsing off after a swim. The plastic of the shower held up very well, had absolutely no problems with that. One problem though, because it uses gravity for water pressure, kinda sucks if you're trying to get really clean. Other than that, HIGHLY RECOMMENDED
on August 8, 2015
I actually have 2 of these and one more by another manufacturer. I use them in a stand up shower tent hanging by their handles.
In TN in the summer, this thing will heat up water to near-scalding temperatures in a few hours (though the initially cold water surely reached ambient temperature before sun-up because I filled them up before bed). We take one out of the sun early to mix in to COOL the water.
These *definintely* work but the whole clamp method for stopping water flow is really crappy. The other model that I have has a nice little toggle switch right on the shower head. It's easy to use and reliable. Coghlans just uses a little "clip" doohickey that you squeeze tight and it sticks closed using friction. It's not HARD to use, but compared to the other alternative, it's a pretty big disparity in ease-of-use and quality feel.
Both of my Coghlan camp showers have lasted multiple camping trips. The other manufacturers developed a rip near the handle in one trip and failed during the next one. Coghlans handily wins in the build quality department, even if the clip/water control is inferior.
Overall, it's super cheap and makes you feel like a million bucks when you can take a nice warm shower when your stuck out in the dirt. I wouldn't hesitate to recommend it.
on May 8, 2014
Let's face it. You're at a campsite with no showers, but if you have this thing, you can get clean!
It's not fancy, it's not easy to use, it's not that convenient, 5 gallons of water is heavy and you have to find a place to hang it, gripe gripe gripe, but bottom line is you can get clean!
We used this on a weekend camping trip and, after hiking up a mountain, my husband and I were in so desperate need of a shower that this thing was like a hallelujah chorus sung by 10 feet tall angels all serving caviar, LOL! I washed my hair, I smelled like a person again, I put on clean clothes. It was a miracle!! We live in such an age of luxury that we forget what incredible difference something as simple as a bath can make in a day. This will remind you.
Our campsite was quite shady and the temperature didn't get much over 75F so my husband had to heat some water on the campstove and add it to the cool water in the bag. Other reviewers have said that if the water gets too hot in the sun, you may have to add some cool. Give or take temperature fluctuations while you're camping, you may have to put in extra work. But, bottom line, you can take a shower, you can get clean. My husband and I both got a shower out of the same bagfull of water, with plenty left over, and I didn't feel like I was sparing with the water at all. Felt like I wasted a lot of it. Careful use and a family of four might all get a shower.
Also, if you don't have running water at your campsite, and you have a place to refill this, you essentially have some running water to do things like wash and rinse dishes and wash your hands. Very handy to have around. Even if you never plan to bathe with it.
Privacy is another matter completely. We couldn't think of any way to get a privacy curtain around us so we didn't shower in the daytime. There were campsites around us, and even in swimsuits, the act of bathing requires some privacy, reaching inside the suit to scrub. Not something you want an audience with. We waited til night. Then, it took some trick of the light, putting the lantern nearby but on the ground behind something, the built-in stone barbeque fire circle, so that we had just enough light to be able to find the soap, but the light was coming from behind me, so people approaching from either direction (the road in front of us or the path to the porta-johns behind us), at best all they'd see was perhaps a dark silhouette of a person standing under water. It's that kind of ingenuity challenge that makes camping fun. How do we make do???
My husband is unhappy with the material the hose is made of. When it bends at all, it kinks the water supply and you sorta have to bend it when you direct it toward your body. He says if it were made of rubber, that wouldn't happen. Also, you want to get the bag hanging high enough so that, with the short hose, it can reach all your major body parts, especially high enough so that you don't have to bend too low to get your hair wet, but the hook at our campsite that you hang your lantern from was just about the right height so that didn't turn out to be too bad a problem. Also takes a bit of getting used to, how to turn the water on and off, and it's not exact, but I was so incredibly happy with this shower bag that I swear the angels sang me to sleep that night.
A nice, clean, good-smelling, non-sweaty sleep. In clean clothes. Feeling like a human being.
If you require much more than that, why are you camping anyway, LOL? Just go stay in a four star hotel, bask in a jetted tub with egyptian cotton towels and boutique shampoos, and be done with it. Order some room service and a fine bottle of wine. Wanna rough it? Then, this is as good as it gets for a $10-$15 bag.