Anyone who has been overlanding knows how much fun it can be, but you’re also familiar with the need for a good shower after a long day of exploring through all sorts of weather. With that in mind, you might want to know what the best shower tent is for a better camping experience.
If you’re interested in the pros and cons of a shower tent, what to look for when you’re shopping, recommendations of the best quality shower tents on the market, and a couple of alternatives that might help, you’ve come to the right place for the best overland shower tent.
Pros and Cons
While a shower tent can be extremely handy when Overlanding or off-roading, it’s also important to understand the negatives so you can make an informed decision.
- Obviously, the biggest pro of owning a shower tent is the ability to take a shower when you’re out in the wilderness. Being able to get clean can not only offer a relaxing time physically but a nice mental break also.
- One of the overlooked pros of a shower tent is privacy. A shower tent is great if you need to change out of wet clothes or put on a bathing suit. It can also become a toilet for your campsite with a removable floor.
- Since hygiene is a major reason that a lot of people don’t like camping, a shower tent can be a great way to introduce someone to the experience without taking them away from a way to stay clean.
- The rest of the pros depend on the shower tent you choose, from durability and flooring to accessories and purpose. Some shower tents can last for years, have good clothing storage, or block sunlight.
- Some shower tents are heavier than others, with a few weighing just under 10 pounds. Having to carry that around can be exhausting after enough time or make your back sore.
- There are shower tents that are made with lightweight materials but are prone to rip or tear with wear, which means they’ll need to be replaced or fail at their purpose. Not only that, but some are so light that a strong breeze can take your tent off the ground.
- Some of them can be difficult to fold down to an easy-to-carry size or shape, which can be frustrating considering you’ll have to lug your shower tent around from one campsite to the next.
- Shower tents are generally made with flammable materials because these fabrics are usually lighter and easy to fold or unfold. This means you can’t smoke or cook anywhere near them and a thunderstorm can be dangerous.
- One major con is that a shower tent simply isn’t as good as a real shower. While it can be relaxing, it can also remind you that you’re not home. Not only that, but a shower tent requires a source of water to work, and that’s not always readily available.
Depending on what you’re looking for, pros and cons might not be enough to help you decide on a shower tent, so here’s what you should look for when shopping.
What to Look For in a Shower Tent
When it comes to the search for your ideal shower tent, it can depend on a number of factors. Your location and preferences will largely affect what you’re personally looking for in a shower tent, but here are some general basics that any shower tent needs:
- You want it to be lightweight but not too light.
Essentially, you want to make sure that you can comfortably transport your shower tent from one campsite to another without breaking your back, but you don’t want it to be so light that the wind can sweep it up.
- Your shower tent needs to withstand some punishment, so make sure the tent you choose has strong poles to hold it up. As far as the material, a thick fabric is ideal. It helps to be waterproof since it’s for showering, but don’t expect to find any fire-retardant shower tents.
- Height can be an issue, especially for the taller campers. Keep that in mind when looking for a shower tent, because the highest point will be how much you can stand comfortably unless you want to duck for the entire shower.
- Unless you plan to always take cold showers, hot showers produce steam, so some form of ventilation can be useful. Depending on the tent you find, some will have mesh roofing or windows that are usually darkened for privacy. Of course, the flooring can also act as a ventilation system.
- Most shower tents are equipped with a floor of some sort for you to stand on, whether it’s fixed in place or removable. Fixed floors are nice because they require one less step to set up and keep out any bugs, but the closed floor can cause a drainage issue.
- Of course, removable floors have their own problem because the gap between the tent and the floor can let those same bugs in while you’re showering.
- The benefits, though, are better drainage of water and ventilation of steam that will likely keep bugs away.
- While this is almost a standard-issue amongst shower tents, make sure that your tent is a pop-up design. This makes for quick setup without any hassle, and they usually collapse just as easily into their original shape for transport.
- Depending on the size you’re looking for, shower tents can come with a caddy, a shower bar to hang towels on, or even an additional room for changing or storing clothes.
- As mentioned before, your location can also affect your decision. If you’re camping in a sunnier area, some shower tents are designed to block UV rays, which can help avoid sunburn. Colder locations may call for thicker fabric, while windier places would need a heavier tent.
- Make your decision with these things in mind, but also keep in mind how you feel about the shower tent. Some people are more introverted and might lean toward the darkest-possible material for the idea of privacy because shower tents are already not see-through.
Other Benefits of Shower Tents
Overlanding is a great experience to get in touch with nature and explore the world alone or with friends, but one of the biggest problems is finding a good place to take a shower. Shower tents are the portable answer to this issue.
Not only do they allow you to get clean on the go, but they can offer a way to relax after a more rigorous day of hiking or climbing. This can help you get your mind right and be in a better mood for the day ahead, which can sometimes affect the whole experience.
Best Overland Shower Tents:
Now that you know what to look for in a shower tent and how useful they can be depending on your camping situation, it’s time for some recommendations of the best shower tents. Keep in mind where you are and what you personally want your tent to be capable of.
WolfWise Pop-Up Shower Tent
A WolfWise-brand tent is at the top of almost every list of shower tents available and, if it’s not first, it’s second. That’s because WolfWise understands the best things about a shower tent while addressing the cons.
This WolfWise Pop-Up Shower Tent costs around $40 on Amazon, but it’s well worth the price. Weighing just over 4 pounds and folding to an easy-to-carry size, the pop-up tent does just that without any trouble for one person.
The heavy-duty ripstop fabric doesn’t tear easily, and the polyester material has a built-in sun-blocker at 30 SPF. It’s also water repellant, so you don’t have to worry about drying out the fabric after use.
If that’s not enough, the taped seams will help with the UV protection and durability of the shower tent. It’s also got a side bag for storing clothes, a clothesline, and a removable floor. The pop-up shower tent stands at 74.8 inches tall, so most people will be able to shower comfortably.
The biggest cons to this tent are the weight, which is an issue if you’re in high winds, the flammable material, and that it can’t be solar-powered. Most shower tents will be flammable, though, and you can weigh down your tent with bags or rocks if necessary.
There is an upgraded WolfWise product, the WolfWise Pop-Up Privacy Shower Tent, that costs around $60, but it’s slightly heavier at 4.8 pounds and has a higher SPF at 50. While this doesn’t solve the power issue, it can be more effective.
- Super value
- Good insulation
- Reinforced knee
- Velcro shoulder connectors are not the best
Green Elephant Camping Shower Tent
At $80, the Green Elephant Camping Shower Tent has all the amenities you could want in a shower tent. Made of the same tough polyester as the WolfWise tent, Green Elephant is tough and spacious.
Standing at almost 6’11”, the Green Elephant is perfect for changing, showering, or restroom privacy. While it weighs 5.5 pounds, this shower tent knows the effects of wind and comes with four sandbags to weigh down your shower tent properly.
If that’s not good enough, the built-in eight tent pegs will help secure your tent to any ground, and the four guy lines will keep it standing strong in the harshest conditions. That’s because of the additional rain cover, which will further protect your tent.
This Utilitent design has a hanger for almost everything, from towels and clothes to a flashlight hook and toilet paper holder. It even has a storage pouch for keeping clothes dry while you get clean.
It also comes with mosquito netting for ventilation while keeping out bugs, and it all folds back down into a small carrying bag.
It should be noted that the Green Elephant Utilitent doesn’t have a floor, which is perfect for bathroom needs, but for showering, it can easily be fixed by laying down a shower curtain or similar material. If not, that’s one of the only cons to this great shower tent.
- Quick pop-up privacy
- Fits really tall people
- Comes with 8 anchoring pegs and 4 sand bags for stability
- Includes many hangers for towels, clothes, etc.
- No customer service
- Very thin material
Gigatent Pop Up Pod
For a cheaper option without sacrificing quality, the Gigatent Pod is a great choice. Made with lightweight polyester, the Pod fits inside a convenient carrying bag and can be set up in a matter of seconds.
The Pod also has a solution to the wind factor with its sewn-in pockets for sandbags, rocks, or something small to weigh it down. If you plan to be somewhere with stronger winds than that, the Gigatent has multiple loops on the exterior for a stake to pin it to the ground.
It does come with 4 stakes in case you need them, which is possible because it only weighs 3 pounds. The interior stands around 6’ at the center, so a tall camper may have to duck slightly, but it’s good for changing or using the bathroom in private.
Overall, for around $21, the Gigatent Pod is a solid starter shower tent if you want to give it a shot.
- Heavy duty material
- Lightweight build
- Comes with carry bag
- Very thin material
- Not a lot of space inside
Your Choice Privacy Tent
If you want a great shower tent for the $40 price, the Your Choice Privacy Tent is a good place to start. The steel frame of the tent is rust-proof and sturdy, weighing under 6 pounds and standing 6’2.5” at the center.
Not only is the material of the tent made to be UV-resistant, but the lining on the inside absorbs and expels sunlight for added protection. The roof of the shower opens to let light in or vent steam, as well as two small zipped openings inside.
The shower itself has a towel strap and a pocket inside for toiletries or personal items, but one of the cons here is the lack of a floor.
While this is meant to keep the shower cleaner, it can mean some discomfort unless you provide your own floor.
The other main con could be a pro, depending on your security, because the zippered window of the shower doesn’t have any mesh or netting. While this leaves you slightly exposed, it also would allow you to reach through or feed in a shower line from a nearby tree or camper.
There is a $79 version of the Your Choice tent, with the major difference being the addition of 4 pockets on the exterior for sandbags to weigh it down, but it doesn’t come with the sandbags included.
For the most bang for your buck, you should stick with the $40 model.
- High UV protection
- Comes in many color choices
- Window on top for ventilation
- Two shower head straps
- The camera only supports up to 64GB microSD
Ozark Trail Instant 2-Room Shower
With a solar bag to heat your water, the Ozark Trail 2-Room Shower is a fantastic shower tent for just over $170. The first room is for the shower, obviously, but the second is for changing or restroom needs.
The fly covers a mesh roof over the shower area, so taking it off will allow your solar bag to convert energy. Even if you leave the fly on, the Ozark Shower tent provides great ventilation and drainage thanks to the mesh edges around the floor of the shower.
The interior also has dual pockets for toiletries and a towel rod for drying off. You probably won’t need to worry about winds since the spacious tent weighs about 20 pounds, but you could probably weigh it down if necessary, thanks to so much room inside.
- Sturdy build
- Spacious 2 rooms
- Solar water heating
- Floor a little slippy when wet
CORE Instant Camping Utility Shower Tent
Another shower tent with 2 rooms, the CORE instant shower tent has a zippered door separating the shower area from the changing room. This will keep your clothes dry from steam and water while you bathe.
A clothesline and built-in storage are also present for your possessions, and a zippered lock on the main entrance flap will keep them safe. The padded floor is nice and relaxing after a day of hiking with the 21-pound tent, but the weight keeps it grounded through the worst conditions.
This waterproof floor is surrounded by mesh for easy runoff and ventilation during your shower. With a 5-gallon solar-heated bladder for water, the shower comes with a shower head installed that’s easy to use after the 1-minute tent setup.
In case the weight isn’t enough to give you comfort, the CORE shower tent comes with four steel stakes to hold it down. Coming in at $180, it’s a more expensive option, but the UV-blocking fabric and the almost-7’ height make a compelling argument.
- 2 rooms
- Thick material for more privacy
- Good ventilation
- 1 year limited warranty
- No drainage holes
Texsport Portable Shower Tent
While not the most attractive design, the Texsport shower tent is a solid design for $100. With a rust-proof steel frame and strong polyester material, it can withstand serious wear and weather, so it’s great for the avid camper.
The shower comes with a 5-gallon solar-powered bladder and a mesh caddy inside to store your showering necessities. A towel rack on the outside is removable in case you want to move it around, and the removable floor mat provides excellent ventilation.
Speaking of ventilation, this shower tent has two zippered windows with mesh designed not to be see-through, as well as four mesh windows along the roof to allow ventilation and sunlight. Basically, Texsport went all-out on ventilation.
Because of the lightweight material, this shower tent comes with four stakes and loops to hold down the 4-pound carrying weight.
- 5 gallon shower
- Rust-resistant steel poles
- Fine mesh on windows
- Great for tall people
- Includes carry bag
- May be difficult to assemble
- Not very concise installation instructions
Vidalido Outdoor Shower Tent
The last recommendation has to be the Vidalido Outdoor Shower Tent because no list would be complete without it. At 86” tall and 55” long or wide, this spacious tent is perfect for showering, changing, or using the restroom with privacy.
The high-density mesh around the fixed floor provides great ventilation without allowing mosquitoes through, though it does have a zippered mesh window if you want to look out or let in sunlight. For privacy, the tent fabric is thick enough not to show silhouettes.
This material is also waterproof with a fly that blocks sunlight. The interior of the shower has two pockets to hold things, as well as a hook for a water bag and another hook to hold your flashlight during the shower.
The $110 Vidalido shower tent weighs around 13 pounds, but it’s an extremely solid design meant to withstand winds of 60 miles per hour or hold the water bag without collapsing. It definitely earns a spot on these recommendations.
- Holds up to 5 gallon water tank
- Removable floor
- Towel/clothes rack
- Perfect for tall people
- Metal poles are a little bit loose
Roof Rack OVS Shower Tent
Sometimes having a roof rack shower tent is just more practical. They are easier to set up and take down and are a lot more convenient on windy days.
This roof rack shower tent by Overland Vehicle Systems aims to be more practical than pop-up shower tents.
It’s quickly set up in 1-2 minutes and offers ample privacy by clever use of 420D Oxford Rip Stop fabric.
The tent is quite spacious, offering 9 sq ft of space which is more than most overlanders would have ever used.
There is a space for installation of an LED strip inside the tent to illuminate your showers on dark nights.
Overall the tent is well put together and backed by the brand reputation of Overland Vehicle Systems.
However, there are two major drawbacks that might put you off buying this tent.
- It’s a much higher price tag than any pop-up tent, although we feel it’s worth it.
- It’s hard to get your hands on one, the tent is usually sold out on most major sale platforms.
- Space for an LED light strip
- Thick nylon material
- Easy to use
- No installation manual
Overland Shower Curtain
One alternative to a shower tent is to create an enclosure by hanging a shower curtain or multiple curtains. This can be a cheap alternative, but it definitely has its drawbacks, so there are a few things you might want to know.
Shower curtains are light, fold down to a manageable size in your camping pack, and give privacy between you and anyone you’re with.
Shower curtains also have a number of survival uses in the wild that might come in handy.
However, hanging a shower curtain doesn’t guarantee privacy since a breeze could cause it to shift, or only hanging one could leave you exposed to the rest of the world if someone were to come along.
There are hoop-style shower curtains with this problem in mind because they wrap around you in a cylindrical shape, but then the other issue becomes obvious: No floor.
While a few shower tents don’t have flooring, most do because your shower will make the ground muddy.
While the shower curtain can be a good alternative to shower tents if you’re looking for an inexpensive option to get clean in the outdoors, decide how important privacy and having a floor is to you beforehand.
Still, it’s always a good idea to have a shower curtain in your gear.