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Camp & Hike Climbing Reviews

Review: Top 5 Climbing Rain Jackets of 2020

 

Here we present you four relatively inexpensive, waterproof jackets, which are also light and small packable.

For most climbers, boulderers, and also alpinists, the rain jacket will hopefully spend most of the time as a backup in the backpack. Then you have done everything right when planning your mountain tour or trip, at least as far as the weather is concerned.

But if a surprising thunderstorm hits or the tour is not finished before the rain front, the jacket has to protect reliably against rain and wind. But in order to only occasionally survive a shower or a sudden fall in the weather, you don’t need a high-end jacket suitable for expeditions. One size smaller is enough. Here we present four relatively inexpensive, waterproof jackets, which are also light and small to pack.

Different approaches, same goal

Tight and at the same time as breathable as possible: this is what is required of a functional jacket. The four manufacturers achieve this with four different membrane technologies. Black Diamond relies on Gore-Tex Paclite, Marmot, and Patagonia on the in-house developments EVODry and H2No, Salewa has always relied on Powertex. All four work well with small differences. None of the jackets showed any weaknesses in terms of tightness.

When it comes to climate control, Salewa’s Agner Jacket is slightly in the back because of the missing pit-zips (= ventilation openings with zips under the arms). The jacket scores in terms of abrasion resistance. The latter is somewhat reduced in Patagonia, but the Stretch Rainshadow Jacket is extremely light, soft and very comfortable to wear. With the Eclipse Jacket, Marmot shows that functional jackets can also be produced in an ecologically compatible way.

Black Diamond and Salewa are convincing in terms of climbing performance – which is what they have to be good for when in use. Both jackets follow every move. The fully helmet-compatible hoods of the Liquid Point Shell and the Agner Cordura 2 PTX can be adjusted quickly and easily with or without a helmet.

Review of 4 Rain Jackets

We put together a list of 4 rain jackets that were produced with climbers in mind.

Review: Top 5 Climbing Rain Jackets of 2020

Black Diamond Liquid Point Shell

With the Liquid Point Shell, the company from Salt Lake City is launching a classic hardshell with a Gore-Tex membrane. The Gore-Tex-Paclite used dispenses with a protective layer on the inside of the jacket, which saves weight. All seams are taped, and the zippers are water-repellent. The cut of the jacket is designed for climbing: If you put your arms up, there is no draught anywhere, and the jacket slides up only minimally – even without a harness. The hood fits loosely over the helmet. The front pockets are accessible with a strap over the jacket but are not fully usable. The jacket is quite big.

Conclusion: Light, tight, and breathable – with the blue one, everything is in the green range.

We like that:
Relatively light jacket; good cut for great mobility; very vapor permeable and waterproof; helmet-compatible hood; main fabric “bluesign approved

We like that less:
Depending on your physique, a slightly protruding wrinkle forms in front of the stomach.

Specs:
Material: 75D Gore-Tex Paclite
Features: 2 large front pockets with zip, 1 front zip, adjustable hood, cuffs with Velcro closure, pit-zips
Weight/pack size: 405 g (size L)

Review: Top 5 Climbing Rain Jackets of 2020

Marmot Eclipse Jacket

Marmots EVODry technology is based on a PFC-free membrane laminated to a recycled nylon outer fabric. Marmot also dispenses with PFCs in the impregnation and water-repellent zippers. With 20.000 mm
water column and high vapor permeability (20,000 MVTR), the jacket cuts a fine figure even in really bad weather. The pockets are also accessible with a belt (although not completely usable), the cut should be a tuck further down the sleeves. A helmet fits only just under the hood.

Conclusion: A lot of eco and the really good breathability are pleasing. For climbers, the cut is a little tight in places.

We like that:
Pleasantly soft jacket; without helmet good hood; very vapor-permeable; waterproof even in heavy rain.

We like that less:
Sleeve cut a bit tight (can pull at elbows); hood with helmet tight; after longer use, the impregnation seems to decrease a bit

Specs:
Material: 100% recycled nylon
Features: 2 large front pockets with zipping, 1 front zip, adjustable hood, cuffs with Velcro closure, pit-zips
Weight: 410 g (size XL)

Review: Top 5 Climbing Rain Jackets of 2020

Patagonia Stretch Rainshadow Jacket

Tailored from our own material, Patagonia produces a very soft, comfortable jacket. The relatively wide cut allows full freedom of movement when climbing. The climate comfort convinces with a very vapor permeable material and pit-zips. The hood fits easily even over bulky helmets. It can also be easily adjusted without a helmet. The shield of the hood could be a little larger, however. Jacket and pockets are tight. But the front pockets are too deep for a climbing harness. The low weight is also somewhat at the expense of the robustness of the material.

Conclusion: Very light wind and weather protection for less extreme use.

We like that:
Very light, a waterproof jacket made of pleasantly soft material, good freedom of movement due to stretch and wide cut, very good climate, helmet-compatible hood

We like that less:
Less robust material, front pockets are covered by the climbing harness

Specs:
Material: 2.5-layer H2No Performance
Features: 1 chest pocket, 2 front pockets with zipping, front zip waterproof, adjustable hood, Velcro cuffs, Pit-Zips
Weight: 300 g (size L)

Review: Top 5 Climbing Rain Jackets of 2020

Salewa Agner Cordura 2 PTX

Salewa has been using Powertex as a breathable, waterproof material for years. The Agner Jacket has Cordura fibers incorporated, which makes the jacket very abrasion-resistant in relation to its low weight. In terms of climatic comfort, one has to make slight concessions, also because of the lack of pit-zips. The fit with a body-hugging cut and pre-shaped sleeves is excellent. Even with a climbing harness, the full freedom of movement is maintained. The very well adjustable hood with its stiff shield is fully helmet-compatible. A gusset with zipper in the neck allows for additional volume adjustment.

Conclusion: light, robust, tight – the jacket from Salewa can cope with even harder demands.

We like that:
Very light, waterproof jacket, very good body-hugging cut and best freedom of movement, robust material, excellently adjustable, helmet-compatible hood with a stiff shield.

We like that less:
worn directly on the skin slightly uncomfortable feeling.

Specs:
Material: 2,5-L Powertex Extreme Cordura
Features: Breast pocket with waterproof zipper, front zip with cover strip, adjustable hood, elasticated front pocket, adjustable hood. cuffs, packing bag
Weight: 325 g (size L)

Conclusion

These 4  rain jackets all do a good job keeping you dry and warm when it’s raining, and you still want to send some routes. But they do differ in sizing and some other aspects. Pick the one that suits your needs best. You cannot really go wrong with any of them. For us, the Black Diamond model is the winner.

For more reviews:

Best Crashpad in 2020 for Bouldering

Best Climbing Pants 2020

Best Climbing Helmets 2020

Categories
Camp & Hike Reviews

Best 10 Bear Canisters in 2020 for Hikers – The Complete List and Review

Do you love hiking, backpacking, and other outdoor activities where you stay outside for a couple of days? If yes, you came to the right place.  If you plan to go backpacking or camping in northern America, you definitely might need to care about bears, at least if you plan to go to the western United States or Canada. Chances are you won’t even see a bear, so don’t panic, but a grizzly bear or black bear can be a dangerous animal if you encounter it. A bear canister is obligatory to store food, to minimize the chance of a bear encounter. Bears are popular for having one of the strongest senses of smell on the globe. It is said that grizzly bears can track animal carcasses even from 20 miles away. Therefore, you must be responsible enough to protect your food from these hungry bears. The best thing to do is to get the best bear canister for your adventure. Meanwhile, there are several brands available in the market, and you’re not sure which one is the right for you. Worry no more because we are here to help you find the right bear canister for you. The following is a comprehensive list of the best  10 bear canisters in 2020 for hikers that you can select from for your individual needs, we reviewed them and give you detailed pros and cons of each model. Some of them have been upgraded for 2020. Some are still what they always used to be: A big plastic jug for your belongings.

Why should I bring a bear canister?

No, I am not saying that bears are the biggest threat when you go hiking. In fact, you are way more likely to suffer from hypothermia or a sprained ankle or just get lost when you go hike. But a bear threat is something that also keeps you tense psychologically, so it’s a smart idea to prepare. Besides: You can use bear canisters perfectly for storing food away from other animals who might like your leftovers – like raccoons, mice, etc.

The bear canister is a thick container that is used for the protection of your scented items and food from bears and other animals during your outdoor trip. It is also called a bear barrel or bear bin. The bear has the strongest smell sense on the planet. So, it can smell your food even you are miles away from them.

If you don’t want the bear to eat your packed food on your outdoor adventure, the bear canister is the perfect solution. Even more important, the bear canister is also beneficial for the bear’s safety. If the bear eats human food, they can grow dependent.
With the bear canister, you can store your food, toiletries, trash, dishes, and other items during your outdoor getaway. The canister can prevent the bear from eating your food. You don’t have to worry because the container can airtight seal avoiding the strong smell which can attract the bear.

Review of 10 Of The Best Bear Canisters in 2020

We put 10 of the hottest bear canisters on the market through our review procedure, so you can decide which one you want to buy.

Best 10 Bear Canisters in 2020 for Hikers – The Complete List and Review

Backpackers Cache Bear Resistant Container

The Backpackers Cache Bear Resistant Container is among the top bear canisters you can avail in the market. It features an opaque exterior that can avoid the bear and other animals to see the contents of the canister. It is an effective and huge bear canister for intelligent camping. You don’t have to fear because it meets the National Park Service’ regulation requirements. It makes a good seat too. Meanwhile, it can be a little bit heavy for some hikers. It weighs about 2 Ibs. 12 oz. If you are camping in areas where smart bears are present, it can be a good option. You can buy a carrying case separately to attach the canister on the exterior of your pack. The money and time you invest in this product can give you a satisfying return.

Pros
• It features an opaque exterior that avoids animals to view the contents of the canister
• This bear canister makes a good seat, too. If you want a functional bear canister, it is the best choice
• It adheres to the National Park Service’ regulation requirements, so you can expect the best quality you need
• This comes with a strong build so that you can expect greater efficiency from this bear canister
• Smooth exterior that makes it almost impossible to open by bears, this can make your food and valuable items secured and safe for your peace of mind

Cons
• The bear canister can be a little bit heavy for some hikers.
• It can be a pain to fit in your pack because of its size and dimensions
• Some complain that it is not waterproof, so you must be careful and don’t place it near the water

Best 10 Bear Canisters in 2020 for Hikers – The Complete List and Review

Bear Vault BV500 Bear Resistant Food Canister

The Bear Vault BV500 Bear Resistant Food Canister can be your great companion for fishing, hiking, hunting, backpacking, canoe, and kayak trips. It can be purchase in different sizes, so you can get the best for your needs. It comes with a huge capacity that is perfect for an extended trip. So, you can store your food and other items in the best possible way.
It is very easy to handle because of its exterior ridges. It has a lightweight design, which makes it a top choice for adventurers. It only weighs about 2 Ibs, 9 oz. However, it has a transparent exterior that enables other hikers and bears to see its content. It is designed from transparent, robust polycarbonate material. If you want to unload, load, and locate items faster, this is the best bear canister for you.

Pros
• This bear canister is ideal for hunting, backpacking, fishing, and other outdoor adventure
• It has a lightweight design, so you can carry it with more convenience
• It is easy to handle because of its exterior ridges, so you can have hassle-free experience upon its usage
• Big capacity for extended outdoor activity, it can store enough food for your outdoor adventure
• Different sizes you can choose from for more customized experience
• It was designed from sturdy, transparent polycarbonate material
• Perfect for locating, unloading and loading items faster, so you can have a hassle-free experience in using it
• It is approved to be used in State and National Parks, so you have nothing to doubt with its efficiency
• Available with built-in straps, so you don’t need for additional carry case, you can easily handle it during your hiking or camping trip

Cons
• It is quite challenging to open during cold weather, so you can make sure that your food is secured from bears and other wild animals
• One drawback of this product is its transparent exterior that allows others and bears to see the content inside -this applies to most transparent containers

Best 10 Bear Canisters in 2020 for Hikers – The Complete List and Review

Lighter1 Lil’ Sami Bear Canister

If you want a unique bear canister, the Lighter1 Lil’ Sami Bear Canister is for you. The canister cap can be used for cooking like a pan. Meanwhile, you must remember that this frying pan can heat up faster and doesn’t have a non-stick coating. This canister is designed from strong polycarbonate. It comes with lightness and high strength.
Lighter1 bear canister comes with great durability and can be used as a seat. It can accommodate a person about 200 pounds safely. You can lock using a special stop valve. If you want a canister with a huge capacity, this can be a good choice. It has a capacity that is enough for 4 days. If you need family use, this product can be the perfect one. It can store your food safely during your hiking and other adventures.

Pros
• The canister cap serves as a cooking pan, making it perfect for those who love cooking while on a trip
• It is lightweight and durable for more convenient use
• You can use it as a chair when you need to rest during your hiking
• Its capacity can be enough for about 4 days, so you don’t have to worry when it comes to your food and other items storage needs

Cons
• It is a little bit pricey. If you are conscious to budget, this may not be the perfect bear canister for you
• The canister cap is very light, so the handle can tip the pot

Best 10 Bear Canisters in 2020 for Hikers – The Complete List and Review

Counter Assault Bear Keg

The Counter Assault Bear Keg is made from sturdy polymer plastic in garish yellow. You must not doubt in this bear canister since it is approved to use in US National Parks. It comes with a big capacity that can contain about 4 days of food. With its opaque plastic, you can prevent other hikers and animals from seeing your food. It has 700 cubic inches capacity. However, it doesn’t come with a free carrying case, so you can buy it separately.

Pros
• It features opaque plastic that avoids others and animals to view your food
• Big capacity which can contain food for 4 days, so you can make the best of your outdoor getaway without being worried about your food
• It is approved to use in most US National Parks, so you can expect great quality from this product
• This bear canister is made from tough polymer plastic in garish yellow. It can be your powerful tool to keep your food and toiletries safe against bear and other wild animals during your camp or hiking
• It is robust and durable that can secure your food from a bear and other animals

Cons
• It doesn’t have a free carrying case, so you need to buy it separately
• The canister weighs 3.5 Ibs which is a little bit heavy. It can be a pain if you have extended trips
• It has a lid that is a bit fiddly

Best 10 Bear Canisters in 2020 for Hikers – The Complete List and Review

UDAP No-Fed Bear Canister

The UDAP No-Fed Bear Canister is among the best bear canisters you can buy in the market. It comes with great quality that can satisfy your camping and hiking needs. If you’re a camper and outdoor enthusiast, this bear canister can be your great companion.
The bear canister is safely tested, even for extreme environments. It is a durable and reliable food container for your outdoor activities. It is made from durable plastic. The bear can leave scratches on the canister, but they can’t open it. With its rugged body, you can use it as a camp seat. It weighs 2 Ibs 4 oz, which comes with great strength and reliability.
It was approved by the Yosemite National Park. In addition, it also meets the standards of federal and CA state camping. You can lock the canister using 2 screws. You need a knife or coin to close and open the canister. However, the bear can’t open the canister, but they can push it into water. This can make the content wet. Therefore, you must not place it near water. With its features and functions, you can have the assurance that it is a good value for your money and time.

Pros
• It has a high level of reliability and strength to withstand even tough conditions
• The canister meets the requirements for federal and CA state camping, so it has a reliable quality you can trust
• The item has a volume of 500 cubic inches which can contain food that is enough for 4 days
• It can be locked with 2 screws, so your food is secured from bear and other animals
• The bear canister is ideal for motorcycle adventure trips
• The product works well even on tough environments

Cons
• It can be a bit heavy for some outdoor enthusiasts, so you must find a great alternative
• Some complain that it doesn’t work well on temperature below 50 degrees

Best 10 Bear Canisters in 2020 for Hikers – The Complete List and Review

Lighter1 Big Daddy Bear Canister

The Lighter1 Big Daddy Bear Canister can be your efficient tool for your outdoor activities. It is beneficial if you want to store more food for your adventure. It weighs 2 Ibs 4 oz. It has a maximum volume capacity of 650 cubic inches. It can be enough for 7 days. However, it can be a little bit heavy. One drawback of this bear canister is that it has a transparent exterior, so other campers and animals can see the foods and items inside the canister.

Pros
• Excellent quality and reliability for your outdoor activities
• It has a huge capacity of 650 cubic inches, so you can take your foods with you which can be enough for 7 days

Cons
• The bear canister is quite heavier for some hikers and outdoor enthusiasts

Best 10 Bear Canisters in 2020 for Hikers – The Complete List and Review

Bear Vault BV450 Canister

The Bear Vault BV450 Canister can be your best equipment for camping, backpacking, hiking, and other outdoor adventures. It weighs 2.1 Ibs and has 440 cubic inches volume. This can be perfect for short backpacking trips that can last from 2 to 4 days.
You don’t have to doubt because the Bear Vault BV450 Canister is approved as a certified bear-resistant by IGBC (Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee). It is lightweight so you can easily take it with you in your outdoor activities. It is easy to use and comes with great durability. However, it has a transparent exterior that allows other hikers and other animals to view the inside content.

Pros
• Durable and simple to use
• You can also use it as a seat
• It comes with a tool-free lid
• The canister is a black bear, and grizzly tested
• The product is also approved by Sierra Interagency Black Bear Group and Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee
• It is also approved by National Parks and National Forests
• The bear canister is also available with a lifetime warranty

Cons
• One negative thing we can say about this bear canister is that it has a transparent exterior that enables other hikers and animals to see the inside of the canister

Best 10 Bear Canisters in 2020 for Hikers – The Complete List and Review

Ursack Major

Ursack Major can be your essential tool for your food protection when backpacking. It comes with 10.65 L capacity, which can hold your food that is enough for 5 days. It is lightweight and weighs only 7.8 oz. This product is ultralight and spacious. Ursack Major is designed from woven Spectra fibers that are used for bulletproof fabric. It is made from a tough material.
The Ursack Major is durable and bear-resistant. It is certified by IGBC, so you can use it in your different outdoor activities. Unlike other products in the market, it can compress and can be fit inside your pack while you’re eating your food. It can be easily packed for more convenience in your outdoor adventure.
The downside of this bear-resistant container is that bears can crush the food on the inside. Furthermore, it is also not allowed in some areas, so you must first check the regulation of your destination before purchasing the product.

Pros
• Lightweight and spacious which is ideal for camping, hiking, and other outdoor activities
• Big capacity which can hold food that is enough for 5 days trip
• IGBC certified and bear-resistant
• Can be easily compressed and fit inside your pack while you’re eating
• It is made from a bulletproof UHMWP fabric material that avoids bears from getting your food
• It was flexible equipment for a hassle-free outdoor experience
• Water and torn-resistant and provides critter protection
• It comes with aluminum liner for more comfortable use

Cons
• Some complain that water gets in with this bear-resistant container

Best 10 Bear Canisters in 2020 for Hikers – The Complete List and Review

Frontiersman Insider

The Frontiersman Insider weighs 48 ounces (3 pounds). It is available in tapered shape for equal weight distribution and easy storage. If you are a budget-conscious outdoor enthusiast, this bear canister, this can be a good investment for you. It has an airtight lid that can be easily closed and open using a screwdriver or coin. It can hold about 11 liters of toiletries and food.
If you want a quality bear canister, the Frontiersman Insider bear canister will not fail you. It can preserve the freshness of your food and avoid foul odors. It is an airtight seal, so it can avoid attracting bears. It is a no-break and malleable polypropylene container that comes with a tight lid using 3 solid screws. You don’t have to doubt because it is field certified and tested. It passed the testing of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee’s bear-resistant products testing program.

Pros
• It can preserve the freshness of your food and avoid odors which can prevent attracting bears
• It has no-break, malleable polypropylene container which has a lid that can tightly secure with 3 solid screws
• The bear canister is field certified and tested
• The product passed the requirements of the Interagency Grizzly Bear Committee for bear-resistant products testing program
• It can withstand up to 60 minutes of bear’s attempt to open and break the canister
• This product is lightweight, slim and easy to carry with you everywhere you go
• It has a huge capacity which is perfect for family use
• The product is designed for comfortable and easy use

Cons
• Some find its lid hard to secure and remove
• One drawback of the bear canister is that it is not waterproof

Best 10 Bear Canisters in 2020 for Hikers – The Complete List and Review

Garcia Bear-Resistant Container

The Garcia Bear-Resistant Container weighs 33 ounces. If you want a functional bear canister, this product can be your top option. It is lightweight, durable and odor, and water-resistant. It can be your reliable canister for your hiking, camping, and other outdoor activity needs.
It can hold up to 10 liters of toiletries and food. It has a food-grade plastic bag wrapping for an additional layer of protection. The Garcia Bear -Resistant Container is designed from sturdy ABS polymer that comes with rounded edges and smooth sides, so the bears can’t grip on it. It features stainless-steel locks that are easy for humans to open using a screwdriver or coin. On the other hand, it is difficult for bears to open the canister. It was made in the USA and offered you great quality for your storage needs. However, it can also be a bit heavier for some backpackers and hikers.

Pros 
• It comes with a huge capacity of 10 liters that can secure your food and toiletries during your trip
• The bear canister also comes with food-grade plastic bag wrapping for an additional layer of protection
• It has a smooth side and rounded-edged which make it difficult for bears to grip on
• It was made in the USA and can offer you a high level of quality for your storage needs
• The product comes with stainless-steel locks that you can easily open, but difficult for the bear
• This item is very durable and lightweight for your convenience

Cons
• The downside of the Garcia Bear-Resistant Container is that it is a little bit heavy for some hikers and outdoor enthusiasts

Here we go, now that you have learned about the best 10 bear canisters in 2020 for hikers, you can pick the best one that suits your individual needs. With each bear canister’s features, advantages and disadvantages, you can make a wise decision on which one works well for your hiking, camping, and other outdoor activity needs.
Meanwhile, let us talk about why bear canister is important for your hiking and outdoor trips.

Quick Buying Guide for Bear Canister for Hikers

There are different bear canister brands available in the market, so you must be careful in choosing the best one for your specific needs. Worry no more because, in this section, we will provide you the list of factors you must consider in buying your bear canister.

Opening procedure

Before you buy your bear canister, you must know how to open it. Make sure that you can easily open it, but difficult for bear and wild animals to open. There are bear canisters that can be open using additional key or coin or screws.

Weight

Another important factor to consider is the weight of the bear canister. Make sure you can’t find it heavier as you go on your hiking or camping habit. It is advisable to purchase a bear canister that is not more than 3 Ibs. It can be heavy and bulky, which can provide you with pain and inconvenience. You must choose the weight that you can manage to avoid regrets in the end.

Approval

You must take note that not all bear canisters available in the market are sturdy enough to resist the bear’s break-in. Therefore, you must check its approval. Does it pass the National Park Service list? Can it make your food safe and fresh? You can check the IGBC’s certified list. With that, you have the assurance that the time, effort, and hard-earned money you invest for the bear canister are all worth it.

Mouth opening

It is necessary to choose a wide and big mouth to avoid the black hole effect. You can also opt for a transparent bear canister, so you can easily view the food on the container. However, it can allow other hikers, bears, and other animals to see what is inside of it.

Volume

You must check the volume capacity of the bear canister before you buy it. You can decide based on your trip’s number of days. For example, you can get 600 cubic inches bear canister for 6 days hiking trip. If you need family use, you must choose a bigger capacity to bear canisters.

Quality

You must choose a quality bear canister, so it can bring you the highest level of satisfaction you need. More importantly, you can make sure that you’re not wasting your budget and time for an ineffective bear canister. If you want to secure your food and other items from bear and other animals during your outdoor trip, get a bear canister with superior quality. You can check the materials used in the bear canister and if it comes with great durability.

Price

Different bear canisters come in different pricing. So, you must pick the bear canister that perfectly matches your budget. If you are a budget-conscious outdoor enthusiast, there are many affordable but quality bear canisters you can choose from for your needs.

Conclusion

By simply considering these essential factors, you can buy the best bear canister that will offer you with convenient storage for your outdoor activities. It is quite disappointing if a bear has eaten your food and you get hungry. Don’t let this problem happen. What are you waiting for? Choose the best bear canister today!

For more reviews, check out these posts:

Best Camping Lantern with Gas or Fuel

Best Bear Sprays in 2020

Best Camping and Hiking Shower 2020

 

Categories
Camp & Hike

Should i buy a gas camping lantern or led camping lantern?

Sitting around a campfire, sharing beer or stories while staring into a dark night sky is what makes camping so enjoyable, among other things. If you want to have a good time, grab your family and best friends, and plan a camping trip, it’s a wonderful occasion to make good memories. I still remember the smell of burning pinewood and the pitch-black night skies of western Canada when I was 10 years old, and my parents took me on a 3-week camping trip.

But, as fire gives you warmth and comfort, I know many scenarios where the light of a camping fire is not enough. Especially if you go on activation oriented camping trips like backpacking, mountaineering, or kayak expeditions, there might be times when you need more light than a fire can provide. Or you go on a camping trip while a drought happens, making fires a no-no. There are many backcountry campsites in Europe where fires are not allowed anyway, which makes a good camping lantern important. But should you buy a gas or led camping lantern? Let’s talk about the pros and cons of the different styles of camping lanterns in this article!

In 2019, the time when I write this article, you can find many different options for camping lanterns. Lanterns are generally hands-free and have a good amount of light that they emit, plus they are easy to use. But things like size and weight, power source and durability as well as ergonomy, price and safety, and water-resistance are varying from lamp to lamp.

What Types of Camping Lanterns Are There?

We differentiate 3 main types of camping lanterns: Electric camping lanterns using LED lights, fuel-burning lanterns, and candle lanterns.

Electronic Camping Lanterns

Most electronic lanterns today are battery-powered LED lights. LED means light-emitting diode, and these lanterns usually use alkaline or lithium(-ion) type batteries to power a bright lamp that is very energy efficient. Some are rechargeable, and some are not.

You can also refill some LED lanterns with external battery packs via a USB charging port. LED lights have more or less replaced the typical lightbulbs from the 1990s and before.

Pros of LED camping lanterns

  • Safe: LED lanterns are inherently safe. You won’t have to worry about flammable materials around the lantern, and they can be used by children and pets too.
  • Convenient: Rechargeable batteries are easy to carry and reuse, and can be bought at any gas station. They are also easy to pack inside a backpack
  • Lightweight: Most LED camping lanterns are pretty light
  • Durable and water-resistant: It’s not hard to make a water-resistant electrical device today, thanks to integrated circuits and sealing. Thus most LED camping lanterns are also water-resistant
  • a tent, near flammable materials, attached to a pack,
    Cons

Cons of LED camping lanterns

  • Non-rechargeable batteries are wasteful
  • Batteries might not last for multi-day trips
  • Light amount emitted not enough to light a large area

Fuel-burning lanterns

The lanterns all burn fuel. Some use butane in disposable canisters, some use liquid-fuel which is a refillable white gas or even unleaded fuel. Propane burning lanterns come with refillable tanks and are very efficient. Fuel-burning camping lanterns use a mantle as a medium to make the lamp function. This medium is covered by a film of the burning fuel, and when ignited starts to glow and emits light. Did you know that the mantles of gas lanterns where slightly radioactive in the past? It sounds weird, but you can read about it here.

Pros of fuel-burning lanterns

  • Brightness: You won’t find a much brighter lantern than a fuel-burning camping lantern when it comes to how much area you can light with a small footprint of a camping lantern.
  • Adjustable: Fuel-burning lanterns are super adjustable
  • Long burn time: One canister can last for up to a full day of light
  • Warm light: As you burn something, the light emitted is nice, warm and cozy
  • Reliable: No need to worry about broken circuits or malfunctions. As long as the mantle is intact and you have fuel, there won’t be much trouble with a fuel-burning camping lantern

Cons of fuel-burning lanterns

  • Needs fuel: If you want to restock, you need to carry extra containers with fuel or propane gas
  • Fragile mantles: It’s easy to break the mantle if you are not careful, so bring replacements
  • Heavier and bulkier than electric lanterns
  • More expensive than electric lanterns
  • Needs ventilation: Don’t use in tents etc.
  • Hot to touch
  • Sometimes loud (hissing noise)

Candle Camping Lanterns

Candle camping lanterns are basically nothing more than candles surrounded with protective housing and some deflectors to spread the light emitted by the candle. The light is very soft and natural, but due to their nature (candles are candles :D), they don’t emit a ton of light. Some of candle camping lanterns use multiple candles.

Pros of candle lanterns

  • Soft light, creating a wonderful camping atmosphere
  • No noise
  • Enough light for simple tasks

Cons of candle lanterns

  • Safety: You should keep candle lanterns away from sleeping bags, children and other flammable materials
  • Can burn your skin when hot
  • Does not give a lot of light, making them unsuitable for lighting up larger areas

Finding The Right Lantern for Your Activity

When you read the text above, it becomes clear that any lantern type offers some unique advantages. Weight, power source, and light output can be important on different scales. If you set up a base camp with a large kitchen area, you might need a powerful light to light up the kitchen, and that’s where a fuel-burning light shines. If you want to play cards with your friends in a cabin, candlelight might be enough.

Backpacking trips: Perfect for LED lanterns

If you just want to go on a short backpacking trip, an electronic LED lantern is perfect. The small size and lightweight mean it is good for stowing away in your backpack, and if you have a hook or lanyard, you can easily hang the lantern inside your tent as a reading light. You might need to bring some replacement batteries, depending on the length of your trip. The added water resistance is another great benefit – you never know what weather you run into, especially when hiking in autumn or spring! There are some great multifunctional lanterns with USB chargers, too, and if you buy a solar panel, you can even recharge them on the go.

You might even consider a candle lantern, although we always recommend people to bring some sort of headlamp as a replacement light. It’s not a good idea to bring a candle lantern as the ONLY source of light on an outdoor trip.

Longer Backpacking trips

Get a bigger LED lantern or a compact fuel-burning lantern ff you plan to venture into the backcountry for more than two nights. You will need a lantern with a longer average burn time. In general, greater lumen output also means that your lantern is brighter and has a larger battery. A larger battery makes the camping lantern heavier.

If you want to make sure you are on the right side, do this simple calculation: Count how many nights you will be hiking, find out the sunset time in the area you plan to hike in. Now estimate how many hours per night you will need light – 8-hour darkness does not mean you need 8 hours light as you will be sleeping for some hours. Multiply this number with the number of nights you will be out camping, and add 5 hours for emergency extra time. Example:

A hiking trip of 3 nights, with sunset at 8 pm, means you need ca. 3 hours of light per night. That makes 3×3=9hours + additional 5 hours extra for an emergency extra. So you need 14 hours of light. Now when you choose a camping lantern, make sure to have a look at both runtimes for low and high light output settings if the lantern has an adjustable light output. If you need more than one set of batteries, use the calculation to find out how many batteries you need: If your lantern has a 7-hour runtime with one set of batteries, you need an additional set to get up to 14 hours runtime and so on.

You can also bring multiple lighter lanterns if you have more than one backpack or have more than one tent in your backpacking group. Sometimes it’s also smart to just bring a backup lantern in case the main lantern breaks down.

Car Camping

If you are into more comfortable camping styles, such as car camping, you can also bring heavier lanterns. Car camping is common for mountain bikers, trail runners, and family vacations.

Your car is a perfect place to store a heavier fuel-driven lantern or a big battery-powered lantern. Because you don’t need to pack gear in your backpack, you have more options to choose from. You can pick any lantern, no matter how bulky or heavy it is, and you can bring plenty of extra fuel if you want to use the lantern on the highest intensity.

 

RV Camping

RV Camping is a special niche: most of the time, you will have plenty of light inside the RV, and some even have outside lamps installed. But as soon as you need more light outside or for the walks from the RV to other places on the campsite, a good lantern can still come in handy. And for storing fuel and extra backup batteries, the rules are the same as for car camping: A RV has plenty of space for a bright but bulky camping lantern!

 

Conclusion

Each camping lantern type has some advantages, and it all depends if you go on a backpacking trip or have a car or RV. If you need more information on the best fuel-driven camping lanterns read our guide with the best fuel-powered camping lanterns in 2020, you can find it here.

If you want the best camping lantern, check out our guide on the best portable lanterns.

Categories
Camp & Hike Reviews

Best Gas Camping Lantern and Liquid Fuel Camping Lantern in 2020

Camping and hiking is a lot of fun, but without light and a good camping chair, a night in the wood becomes pretty boring. For years,  a gas camping lantern or a  fuel camping lantern was the defacto standard in camping lighting, but the advent of powerful LED lights replaced them.

Nowadays, most people consider gas camping lanterns as bulky, heavy, and outdated, especially with the recent improvements to LED tech and battery technology. But there are still really good options to chose from if you need a flame driven camping lantern. In this article, we review the best gas lanterns for camping in 2020. Read on for more details, but the COLEMAN Dual-Fuel 2-Mantle Lanternis our overall winner if you want the quick answer! For a more compact lantern, stick with the PRIMUS  MicronLantern; it’s a powerful and compact gas camping lantern that’s super bright!

The reviewed lanterns are best for campground stays and hanging out with friends and family around the campsite!

Anyone who likes to go hut-to-hut hiking trips enjoys hunting or kayak excursions, and even snow sled expeditions in the winter will know the benefits of having a fuel-powered camping lantern.

I am looking for a portable, bright lantern that would do admirable service for hut-to-hut ski trips or sea-kayaking excursions. Is there one available that runs on liquid fuel?

What types of Gas Powered Camping Lantern are there?

If you want to buy a gas or fuel-powered camping lantern, there are two basic types: Either you stick with a liquid fuel camping lantern or a gas-powered camping lantern. Gas, in this case, means some mix of propane or butane, and liquid fuel means either white gas or unleaded fuel. Both methods have pros and cons; we will discuss them below.

What is a dual fuel camping lantern?

Some liquid fuel-driven lanterns can be driven with liquid lantern fuel and even unleaded fuel from the gas pump. Note: Dual fuel does not mean that you can drive these lanterns with Propane type fuel or liquid fuel. It just means you have a wider selection of liquid fuel to choose from.

What is a duo valve camping gas lantern?

Some of the camping lanterns come with a dual valve, which means you cannot just use the manufacturer’s gas cartridges, but any duo valve equipped gas cartridge. It’s a nice feature, and if you have the money, I would always prefer a duo valve equipped lantern over the single valve version.

Pros and Cons of liquid fuel camping lanterns

  • PRO: Fuel-efficient
  • PRO: Most can be used with automobile gasoline or white-gas
  • PRO: Tanks hold a large capacity
  • PRO: Heat can be generated can be nice in winter
  • PRO: Super warm light
  • PRO: Large lighting radius
  • CON: Noisy and bulky
  • CON: Generates heat and need ventilation
  • CON: Careful with children, the lantern is hot
  • CON: Refueling can be messy, especially with automobile gasoline

Pros and Cons of gas camping lanterns

  • PRO: Fuel-efficient
  • PRO: Most can be used with automobile gasoline or white-gas
  • PRO: Available with propane and butane
  • PRO: Some tanks refillable, some disposable
  • PRO: Very high light intensity
  • PRO: Heat can be generated can be nice in winter
  • PRO: Warm light
  • PRO: Compact
  • PRO: Large lighting radius
  • CON: Generates heat and need ventilation
  • CON: Careful with children, the lantern is hot

Pros and Cons of  LED camping lanterns

  • PRO: Long battery lifetime
  • PRO: Put out a lot of light
  • PRO: Rugged and can handle abuse
  • PRO: Quiet and clean
  • PRO: Safe for kids (LEDs stay cool when used)
  • CON: Battery use
  • CON: Can be problematic in wet conditions
  • CON: Disposal of batteries
  • CON: Light is cold, not great for large areas

What Types of Gas and Fuel Powered Lanterns Did We Review for This Article?

We focused on Campingaz and propane-powered lanterns as well as gasoline-driven lanterns. All these types of lanterns are what we consider as gas or fuel camping lanterns. For this review, we didn’t include candle lanterns as they are very different from fuel-driven camping lanterns both in terms of light output and fuel method.

Best Gas Camping Lanterns – Our Complete Review

COLEMAN Dual-Fuel 2-Mantle Lantern: A very bright liquid fuel camping lantern – Rating 4.8/5

Colemans Dual Fuel 2-Mantle Lantern is somewhat of a classic. You can use Coleman liquid fuel or unleaded gasoline straight from the pump. This lantern has really good fuel efficiency, a gallon of fuel (around 4 liters) will last as long as around 5 cylinders of propane or butane gas will last on an ordinary gas lantern. That means you can bring more fuel with you or save packing space compared to gas lanterns. The lantern is really bright too, a steady glow of 700 lumens is enough to lighten up even large campsites.

You need to bring your own matches, as this model has no piezoelectric ignition switch. Light reaches up to 16m (around 50 feet), and you can finely adjust the light intensity with a control knob. The fuel tank provides a steady base for the lantern as well, and you can hang the lamp with the handle as well. No assembly needed, making it quick to stove away too. When you set it to low, you can get 14 hours of light with one tank of fuel.

COLEMAN Northstar Propane Lantern: A giant super bright lantern –  Rating 4.7/5

Wow, Coleman makes a huge lantern with the Northstar. This lantern is no joke, it is pretty large and is very bright. Due to the size, this lantern is more suited for car camping than for backpacking and hiking. In terms of lighting, it’s the brightest lantern in the test, reaching 1500 lumen. If you want a lantern to light up your whole campsite, the Northstar really gets the job done. The name is not just a pun, but this lamp really shines. It comes with a plastic base set and a single mantle.

Coleman makes this model with a metal guard to protect the lamp globe, and it works well in wind and rain. The wire metal cage also protects the glass dome, and you can remove the glass easily with a metal lid when you need to replace the mantle!

One canister of gas, in this case, propane, is 16oz (480gr) and will last you for five hours on high intensity and eight hours on low intensity.

PRIMUS  MicronLantern: Most versatile, powerful little gas lantern – Rating: 4.7/5

The Micron Lantern provides very atmospheric lighting – and s is the perfect outdoor lighting for everyone for whom the light from LEDs is too cold. Brightness can be infinitely adjusted via the gas valve and achieves a luminosity of up to 360 lumens. Thanks to its minimal packing size and low weight, the lamp can be easily transported in a backpack – the plastic box supplied protects it from damage. The EasyTrigger system with piezo ignition allows uncomplicated ignition; the burner is optimized for low-noise operation and low gas consumption. Whether cooking, pitching a tent, or playing cards – the MicroLantern provides light in all situations. The mantle is relatively sensitive, something we didn’t like so much, but its a super compact and light lantern, and that gives extra points for versatility!

PRIMUS Mimer Duo / Mimer Lantern: Good allrounder gas camping lantern – Rating: 4.5/5

Primus Mimer comes in two versions: A duo version, for use with primus gas cartridges and other gas cartridges, and a single valve version. Go with the duo version if you can!

Mimer without Duo Valve

If you have always been looking for a simple and inexpensive gas lamp for your next camping holiday, the Mimer Lantern from Primus is the right choice for you. The lamp is adjustable up to 330 lumens via the gas supply, burns almost silently, and leaves no residue. A rugged stainless steel housing protects against incoming wind. For unrestricted compatibility, Primus recommends the use of the in-house valve gas cartridges (with screw valve) in the sizes 100 g, 230 g, or 450 g. This makes the Mimer Lantern not only a handy light source but also a heat source on boats or in larger tents in case of doubt. Our only concern is that it is not 100% waterproof.

Mimer Duo

Primus Mimer Lantern with duo valve is really an all-rounder among the camping lights. The gas-powered lamp burns soot-free and almost noiselessly. It works exactly like the non-duo version of this lantern, but Primus gas cartridges with screw valve are suitable for operation as well as most other commercially available screw gas cartridges, here with Duo valve. Whether as a heat source in cool rooms or as a light dispenser when playing cards on the campground in the evening – the Mimer Lantern definitely brings light into the darkness.

CAMPINGAZ Lantern Camping 206 L – Rating 4.5/5

The Camping 206 L lantern from Campingaz is used with a cartridge that disappears completely under a protective bell. The cartridge must not be removed until it has been completely emptied. This lantern can be used with Campingaz C206GLS cartridges. The glass protection grille of the lantern and the integrated handle complete the lantern. It is simple to use, and one canister gives 5 hours of light with. That’s not super long, but the small form factor and low price make up for it, which is why this classic can still be recommended!

Replacing a mantle can be fiddly, but canister change and replacement are easy enough even inside a dark tent.

PRIMUS Easy Light Duo / Easy Light: Not robust enough for backpacking – Rating: 4.4/5

The EasyLight from Primus provides a pleasant light when camping – ideal for all those who find the light from LEDs too cold. The brightness is infinitely variable and reaches a luminosity of up to 490 lumens. The valve of the EasyLight is specially designed for use with Primus gas cartridges. Thanks to piezo ignition, matches, and lighters can be safely left at home; the electric ignition works under all conditions. The burner works noiselessly and economically. The EasyLight is supplied in a sturdy plastic box so that the lamp is not damaged during transport. While the lamp is sturdy enough for daily use, it’s not super robust, and we wouldn’t recommend stuffing it in a backpack. The glass is not breakproof! It’s bright enough thanks to 490 lumens. Wind proofing of the lanterns is not super great, which means there are better lanterns for sitting out a storm!

CAMPINGAZ Stellia CV Gas Lantern – Rating 4.3/5

The Stellia CV gas lantern from Campingaz is a practical and sturdy lamp that you will love to have with you when camping or hiking. It is compatible with Campingaz valve cartridges of the CV Plus line and is therefore particularly practical to handle, as the device can be removed from the cartridge even if it is not yet empty. The lamp is equipped with two glow plugs so that a strong light output can be provided. The PerfectFlow system with an integrated pressure regulator ensures constant output in all weather conditions, regardless of the amount of gas in the cartridge. The stand ensures that the lamp stands securely and stable even on uneven ground.

We think the Campingaz Stellia is more than bright enough, even for larger campsites, and when you use it in smaller areas, you will likely even have to dim the light, like with other powerful gas camping lanterns. Things we didn’t like about it are the on/off knob, which doesn’t click in the off position, meaning its easier to turn it on accidentally.

CAMPINGAZ Lantern Lumostar Plus – Rating: 4.2/5

The Lumostar Plus lantern from Campingaz can be used in conjunction with Campingaz CV Plus valve cartridges. It is particularly practical as you can remove the lantern without having to empty the cartridge completely. The Easy-Clic system allows the lantern to be mounted quickly and easily on the cartridge. Simply press the device onto the valve and then turn it 45°. Then the lantern is ready for use. A practical detail is the attached chain with which the lamp can be hung everywhere.

We feel that the Campingaz Lumostar Plus is bright enough to lighten up a 30 square feet campsite, but not for larger areas. One canister of gas gets you between 6 and 12 hours of light, and that’s not a great performance. Be aware, there have been many people complaining about this lamp in the past for malfunctions, but it seems Campingaz addressed many of the problems in the newer versions. It’s cheap enough to give it a try!

Things to Consider when Buying a Gas or Fuel Driven Camping Lantern

When you want to buy a gas or fuel camping lantern, it’s good to keep some of the following thoughts in mind. In some regards, gas camping lanterns are a bit different from your standard LED camping lanterns. Mainly this involves the fuel or handling gas cartridges, but also other things like how to properly position and handle a gas camping lanterns can be interesting. Let’s have a look at some of these points now.

Advantages of gas camping lanterns

Gas camping lanterns are super bright. And they have a very wide range, which makes them ideal to light up large campsite areas, cooking tables or group tables where you want to plan routes with a map or play cards. Moder gas and liquid fuel camping lanterns also can reach burn times of up to 20 hours, making them really fuel-efficient.

 

Gas camping lanterns are ideal if you need large areas lightened

LED headlamps and camping lanterns are replacing gas camping lanterns. But sometimes, you just need more light. If you need very intense bright light, you will quickly reach the limits of LED lanterns. The luminosity of gas and liquid fuel camping lanterns, on the other hand, can be finely adjusted. The light itself is often perceived as a warmer and pleasant light compared to the light emitted by LED lanterns. This is not just perceived, camping lanterns powered by gas or liquid fuel actually emit heat as well, and can be used as a small source of heat when used inside a tent or small cabin. Gas and liquid fuel cabins burn fuel, and like with any burning; this immediately creates a warm and cozy camping atmosphere.

How to set up a gas camping lantern

You can place a gas camping lantern on a table, chair, or hang it up in the air with a chain. The higher the position of the lamp, the wider is the area it illuminates. A nice thing about gas and liquid fuel camping lanterns: They deflect mosquitoes quite well!

What and how much fuel should I Bring for a gas camping lantern?

You should always bring 3-5 canisters of gas if you have a propane or butane powered camping lantern. If you have a liquid fuel-powered camping lantern, bring an extra tank of gas with you or make sure that you have a gas station near your campsite to refill the lamp.

Always bring a replacement mantle with you

Most of the modern camping lanterns, no matter if gas-powered or liquid fuel-powered, can be easily stowed in your luggage. But there will be the time when you need to replace the mantle of the lantern. That’s why you should always bring a spare mantle or two with you!

Camping gas lanterns have a piezoelectric ignition, so you never have to worry about lighting them with a lighter

Most modern camping lanterns with gas or liquid fuel are using a piezo ignition. It makes switching it on and off really easy. If the lantern doesn’t have a piezo switch, you will need to use a match or a lighter, and it makes damaging the glow plug and mantle easier if you are careless.

Gas camping lanterns spread a nice and warm light, making them ideal for a classic cozy campsite feeling

When the LED came, the standard old school light bulbs slowly disappeared. While LEDs are all great and save a lot of energy, the light they emit is usually colder than standard light bulbs. Gas and liquid fuel camping lanterns have a wonderful warm light, and if you cannot start a fire for some reason, having a source of warm light and a bit of heat is cozy and creates a great romantic campfire atmosphere.

Don’t underestimate this – I know many people who were surprised by how much influence the temperature of the light has on the atmosphere, and that’s where a nostalgic light system like a gas or liquid fuel camping lantern can really shine!

Gas and fuel camping lantern mantles will age and break eventually

Lanterns that burn gas or liquid fuel all use a mantle, which serves as the torch. The mantle is brought to a glow by burning fuel around it, and it what makes the lantern function. If a mantle is used for a long time, it becomes fragile and brittle, and eventually, it needs to be replaced. If you go on a trip with a gas or liquid fuel camping lantern, it’s a good idea to bring replacement mantles.

Size and weight of a gas or fuel camping lantern

Weight and size might not matter a lot when you go car camping or on a roadtrip. But when you have a backpack and need to pack everything inside it, weight and size matter. If you want to lighten up a complete campsite with light, you most likely need a large gas camping lantern like the bigger Coleman models. But that means you need to reserve some space inside your backpack, and in this case, it’s best to split the parts of the lamp up to several backpacks if possible. Sometimes, a small compactable LED lantern might be a smarter idea, especially if you go on 1 or 2 person hiking trips with limited storage capacity inside your backpack. Maybe you don’t even need a lantern, in this case, stick with a high quality high powered LED headlamp!

Conclusion

No matter which of the reviewed lanterns you choose, these are all good choices. Some are heavier and better for car camping, like the giant Coleman Northstar, and some work better on a backpacking trip like the Primus MicronLantern. But you cannot really go wrong with any of these models, and a gas camping lantern is a great backup and addition of an LED camping lantern.

If you liked this review, check out some of our other camping gear reviews:

Best Bear Sprays – Review

Best Camping Showers – Review

Primus Firestick Portable Stove Review

 

 

Categories
Camp & Hike Reviews

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020? The Comprehensive List & Review

Camping is great, and for most of my friends and me, it’s a great way to see different places and wake up in the morning, nose full of fresh nature. But even when you go camping and enjoy the outdoors a lot, after a few days you want to take a shower. If you have a campervan, you’re all set, but in case you like backpacking or traveling light with only a tent, you need a portable shower. That’s why we reviewed and tested the best camping shower for 2020.

So what is the best camping shower in 2020? The best overall camping shower with electrical power is the ECEEN Portable Shower. The best powerless camping shower is the Sea to Summit Pocket Shower.

We found that some models work better for backpacking than others, and we give a recommendation for different budgets. Some of the camping showers in our big review use electrical or battery power, some with gas, and some are heated by the sun. Depending on your camping trip, you might not have electrical power; that’s why we also included powerless camping showers in our test.

All of these showers are more or less portable, lightweight, and compact. But some are more suited to be used on a campsite with electrical power, while some are ultra-compact and heated by the sun, which makes them perfect for backpacking adventures off the grid. You can use most of them to wash, dishes, gear, or anything else.

Why You Might Want a Camping Shower

We all love camping, my family and I love it to relax and unwind. But as soon as you go camping in a remote area for more than

 

2 days, you might want to have a camping shower to clean up after a day of hiking or fishing. If you go camping on a campsite, the chances are high that there are some good facilities with hot showers and water toilets, but if you are somewhere in the backcountry, especially on some campsites in the USA and Canada, there might not be a shower available.

That’s when a camping shower can be really convenient. Most of the tested camping showers either come with a large bag or tank that gets heated by the sun or allow you to heat your own water in a bucket and then dunk a battery-powered pump into it. Super nice, and a hot shower to clean off some of the fireplace smell and dirt is a great way to make your life a bit easier when you camp. And with the exception of a few models, most of the camping showers in our test are not expensive, with prices way below $100.

The Best Electrically or Gas Powered Camping Showers

What's the Best Camping Shower in 2020?

ECEEN Portable Shower: Rating: 4.5 / 5

The ECEEN Portable Shower is powered by electrical power, aka a battery. That means it’s not suitable if you plan to wander off the grid, without bringing a solar charger or something similar. But it’s powerful, and you can use it to take a shower or even wash a car. Downside: It doesn’t heat the water, which means you either have to find a source of heat for your water and preheat the tub or bucket or enjoy the benefits of a cold shower. If that’s ok for you, then this shower is a good fit.

The battery that powers it gives it a full one-hour runtime, and you can charge it with a USB charger. So technically, you could charge it with a solar charger, although it would take a while to charge fully. The pump is waterproof, so you won’t have to worry about damaging the circuitry, and this camping shower comes with a filter system. That’s a nice bonus for impurities in your water source. It only costs around $40, is fairly compact, and if you can live with cold water or heat it yourself, it’s a decent camping shower.

Facts about this camping shower

  • 2200 mAh battery,  5V, USB charger included
  • Waterproof
  • Filter included
  • NO heater!

What's the Best Camping Shower in 2020?

Camplux 5l Propane Gas Shower: Only Propane Gas Powered Shower in the Test – Rating: 3.5 / 5

The Camplux is about the closest you will come to a normal household shower. As it uses a propane gas bottle, it’s not as portable as some other models, so backpacking is out of the question for this model. But it’s very comfortable: You need a battery and a propane gas tank, and then it’s almost ready for setup.

You can store it in a caravan or car, it’s fairly compact, and has a 5 liter per minute output. You can control temperature and flow, but you need to bring batteries and propane gas. We think this shower is great for caravan or campsite use, but as it is not really portable, we cannot give it more than 3.5/5 as a camping shower.

Facts about this camping shower

  • Full function: Heating, Pump and flow control
  • Variable temperatures
  • 5L per minute
  • Battery-powered pump

best camping shower

iVation Portable Power Shower: Good Value Camping Shower with a Submersible Pump – Rating: 3.5 / 5

A great camping shower for rinsing water off after a day at the beach, this portable camping shower doesn’t come with a heater. It comes with a good battery and is waterproof. You can charge the battery with the included USB charger anywhere, and it powers your shower for an hour of use. As this model comes with a submersible pump, you need a water source like a lake, tub, or river to use it.

It costs $30, which is okay for the quality it delivers. And since it comes with a filter, you won’t need to be super worried about impurities in your water source.

Facts about this camping shower

  • powered pump by battery
  • no heating, cold water only
  • comes with a 2-year warranty

best camping shower

Laserbreak Portable Electric Shower: Submersible Pump For Lake and River Usage Rating: 4 / 5

If you’re next to a lake or river (or any other water reservoir for this matter), the Laserbreak Portable Electric Shower could be a good fit. It comes with a submersible pump instead of a water tank, and the pump also uses a filter. No refilling needed; as long as you have the battery, you have running water, given that your lake doesn’t run empty, which is unlikely. The battery on this model is very strong, and with one charge, you can take s shower for over an hour. It also has variable flow rates, making it adjustable to your tase.

The hose is long, so you can reach anybody part easily, but the big downside, as with most pump-driven models: There is no heating included. That means you either find a source with hot water or live with a cold shower. But thanks to the battery-powered pump; you can use it to water your garden or wash the car. It costs just less than $40, so it’s a fairly expensive model, but you get a strong battery and different flow settings.

Facts about this camping shower

  • Long hose on this camping shower
  • Submersible pump works well in any lake or river
  • Variable speeds, nice extra
  • Strong battery: 4800 mAh, 5V USB charger

best camping showr

Ivation Battery Powered Portable Shower: Comes with Suction Cup – Rating: 3 / 5

This is another battery-powered shower. You dunk the pump into the water source and enjoy a shower. The handheld nozzle is okay but needs to attached to a flat surface via a suction cup, making it not the greatest shower to use outdoors in the woods, but you can also use the included S hook to hang it.

Facts about this camping shower

  • Needs external heating source
  • USB Charger
  • One hour of use

best camping shower

RinseKit Portable Outdoor Shower – Rating: 3.7 / 5

This 2 gallon 12V electrical camping shower comes with a hot rod water heater. As such, it is the only electric camping shower that actually heats the water itself. The capacity is fairly small but enough for a quick shower, and you can shower up to six minutes with the built-in the pressure of the shower. The reservoir can be refilled easily, and heat and pump work both at the same time. It can be charged from a 12V vehicle charger.

Facts about this camping shower

  • Built-in heating
  • 12V Vehicle Port Charger
  • 2 gallons of water or six minutes of showering with one tank

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

Stansport Battery Powered Portable Shower: Long hose and Carrying Bag Included – Rating: 3.3 / 5

This battery-powered camping shower comes with over 2 meters or 7 feet of hose and a carrying bag, which is nice. It works like the other drop-in pump camping showers work, simply submerge it into a bucket of water. You need to supply the heat externally and by yourself, but the shower has an adjustable water flow. Don’t forget to bring enough batteries, as this shower doesn’t charge via USB, but needs 4 D-batteries!

Facts about this camping shower

  • Long hose on this camping shower
  • Carrying bag included
  • Battery-powered with 4 D-batteries
  • No heating unit included

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

LUOOV/AngLink Portable Camping Shower: Battery Powered Show with an Extremely Good Pricetag – Rating: 3.5/ 5

The AngLink Portable, also sold as LUOOV on Amazon, and probably a few other brand names, is a nice, cheap battery powered shower with a fairly large shower head. The water flow is just right, although not controllable. It has one of the widest shower heads of all the showers we tested, so if that’s something you like, there is almost no way around this camping shower. You can hang the shower almost anywhere with the included suction cup attachment, making this shower essentially hands free.

Like many other battery-powered showers, this camping shower needs to be dunked in a tank or water reservoir with its pump, but compared to some other models, the battery life is pretty good, and you can find replacement parts for it if you really have a breakdown. We didn’t like the fact that the battery is not waterproof, as this seems kind of counter-intuitive for a shower, but all around, this shower is a cheap and versatile shower.

Facts about this camping shower

  • Large and comfortable shower head
  • Long-lasting and rechargeable battery
  • Versatile
  • Low price
  • Battery not 100% waterproof, which is a downer
  • Not super robust

The Best Powerless Camping Showers

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

Zodi Extreme S/C Shower:  Best Overall Camping Shower – Rating: 4.8/5

Zodi Extreme S/C took home the victory in this review. We loved the unconventional design of this easy to use camping shower, and it even has adjustable pressure and flows control. It’s one of the few camping showers with a manual hand pump as well as a controllable rate of flow and a comfortable on-off lever. The hose is super long, making this shower perfect for anyone who is tall.

The coolest(or hottest :D) feature: The Zodi Extreme can be heated by simply putting it on a stove. With the built-in outside thermometer, you can easily see when it’s hot enough, then remove it from the stove, and enjoy a hot shower. All this is bought, of course, with the rigid design: The Zodi camping shower doesn’t compact, and its made from metal, which means it’s fairly heavy. So, it won’t be the number one choice for a backpacking trip when you have limited storage.

Facts about this camping shower

  • Very durable thanks to metal construction
  • Adjustable pressure
  • Fastest shower to heat above 100 degrees Fahrenheit (42 degrees Celsius), just put on the stove
  • Simple to use but heavy
  • Not very compact

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

Sea to Summit Pocket Shower: Best Shower if You Go Backpacking – Rating: 4.7 / 5

Wow, this shower is tiny, and if you fold it, less than 6 inches. For that, it packs a surprising 2.6-gallon bag that lets you take a shower in the middle of nowhere. Just fill it up, roll it an clip it, hang into the sun for 2 hours, and your good to go.

The exterior is made from black colors, like most solar heated camping showers, and does a good job of storing heat. It is gravity fed, but the pressure is not very great. Hanging this shower needs you to learn how to tie a knot, as it comes with paracord. That makes it versatile, but you need a bit more effort to hang it from a tree.

A downside is that the top of the roll leaks a bit, so you should position it upright while it lays in the sun and heats up. It’s not a big problem, but keep it in mind. This shower is super good for real backpacking as it is the most compact and lightweight shower in the test, making it the deserved winner for backpacking camping showers.

Facts about this camping shower

  • Super lightweight
  • Compact
  • Simple to use
  • Solar-powered
  • Easy filling
  • Comes with everything
  • Low pressure
  • Hanging difficult
  • Some leakage in top roll

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

Risepro Solar Shower Bag: Cheap, solar heated and two flow settings – Rating: 4.5 / 5

Bag-type camping showers are pretty popular these days, and being able to take a shower off the grid is great. This camping showers lets you store water in a bag that is then heated by the sun. Made from environmentally friendly materials, you can hang this bag anywhere in the sun, wait for two or three hours and enjoy a hot shower on the go. This model even comes with a temperature displayed on the front side of the bag.

It has a 20-liter capacity, and you can hang it from a tree, pole, or your best friend or spouse. The hose is long enough to allow comfortable showering, and it offers two different flow settings. This is something to notice, as many pump-driven camping showers don’t offer this. As it is a solar heated camping shower, this shower will not heat water if you hike where the sun is not shining, making it best for spring or summertime camping trips. It only costs $15, a great fit for any budget!

Facts about this camping shower

  • Solar heating
  • 20L capacity
  • Eco-friendly
  • Two water flow rates

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

Yellowstone Camping Shower: Cheap, solar-heated – Rating: 4 / 5

Another bag-type camping shower we tested is the Yellowstone Camping Shower. You can hang it from any taller pole or tree, and it works by using good old gravity to supply you with a flow of clean showering water. With a 20 liter capacity, this shower is pretty compact when empty, and it heats up water by using the sun. Within 3 hours you can get your water up to 40 degrees Celsius (100+ Fahrenheit), and enjoy a nice hot shower that lasts long enough thanks to the big water tank.

The flexible shower hose works super well, and although there is no visible shower head, we find it easy to use and powerful enough. You need to bring clean water, as this shower comes without a filter. And since you have no control over the flow rate of the showerhead, one setting must suffice. But overall it’s a great shower, and it costs less than $15.

Facts about this camping shower

  • Solar heating
  • 20L capacity
  • Eco-friendly
  • No flow adjustment

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

iTovin Portable Pressure Shower: Interesting design, 15-liter tank – Rating: 4 / 5

iTovin makes a pressure drive model, which works differently than the gravity-powered designs in the test. You can pump it up with a foot pump, and it has a good capacity of 15 liters. Since it stands on the ground, you won’t need a tree or something like that, and it comes with a safety valve to avoid over pressurizing the whole system – neat!

The 2-meter hose works well, at least for taking a good shower, and you can also use it to wash your dog or car. The valve to fill this camping shower is large, and the shower only weights 770 grams, so you can even stuff it in your backpack. With a full tank and maximized pressure, you will have an 8-minute shower with one filling, but you might need to pump every once in a while to keep it up. It costs less than $40, and if you want a manual pump shower, this one is a good fit!

Facts about this camping shower

  • Pressure driven design
  • Manually pumped with a foot pump
  • No tree or pole needed
  • 15-liter capacity

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

NEMO Helio Pressure Shower: Versatile Shower with a Narrow Head – Rating: 3.6 / 5

NEMOs Helio camping shower is interesting, as it comes with a foot pump. You just push the pump a couple of times, and the shower builds up pressure. This method of operation works really well, and it keeps your hands free for cleaning. Unfortunately, the nozzle is very small, but this at least results in a long showering time, as the capacity of this shower is only around 3 gallons or 12 liters. You can use this shower for cleaning dishes too. The Helio is very portable, thanks to the design and small capacity.

A downside: The filling opening is pretty tight, so it’s kind of hard to fill it, and it’s annoying that you have to hold the shower in the ON position for taking a shower.

Facts about this camping shower:

  • Pretty packable
  • Good water pressure
  • Durable and robust
  • Big capacity
  • Small shower head
  • Small filling opening
  • Must be held in ON position, so not the most comfortable

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

Sportneer Solar Camping Shower: Another Solar Powered Bag-Type Shower – Rating: 4 / 5

WE didn’t find anything particularly bad or good about this model. It’s a camping shower powered by solar heat, and it works. It folds to a compact size when empty, the 20 liters of capacity, that you find on many of these bag-type models, work good and are plenty of water in reality in a camping situation, and it heats your water to 40 degrees Celsius or above 100 Fahrenheit in ca 3 hours.

You need to find a good water source for this shower, as it has no filter, and this model come without any kind of flow adjustment – that means you have to hold it higher or lower to regulate the water flow. With just less than $25, it’s reasonably priced!

Facts about this camping shower

  • 20 liters
  • solar heated

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

Road Shower 4S: Top Pick if You’re Camping With Your Car – Rating: 3.7 / 4

We have to give the makers of the Road Shower 4S credit for this unusual design. Instead of making just another bag-type solar-powered rubber shower, they thought of something different. This camping shower is unique, as it needs a car or something with a sturdy frame to be mounted. The tank is a powder-coated aluminum tube that you mount on your roof rack of a car. Any VW Vanagon, Westfalia Van, Sportsmobile Van, Camper, or even a sailboat works. But you can use a cabin, Kayak rack, Bike rack, Luggage Rack, Yakima, and Thule Racks as well. The tube is then heated by solar power, heating up around 12-20 degrees per hour on an average day with some sun. When you’re finished, you have around 4.5 gallons of hot water that you can then spray with the included hose and nozzle.

To increase pressure, you can attach any pump or compressure and re-pressurize the shower and have even more spraying power. The nice thing about this shower is that it works super well without any further setup once you mounted it. Just unhook the hose, and you have enough water flow for a normal shower, and if you need more, fill it with a couple of pumps from a bike pump. Filling it is easy too: You can either use a hose or just open the large valve on top and fill the tube.

While we loved this ingenuity, the standard nozzle is not a great shower per se, as it is more or less a standard hose head like you find in your default garden hose setup. While that works great for cleaning a surfboard or your dog, it’s not super comfortable for taking a shower. There is an additional showerhead, but you need to buy it separately. Not cool! Also, if you have no bike pump, you will notice that the water pressure drops significantly when you are using the shower with an almost empty tank. Good thing: You can re-pressurize, and you can also find this camping shower with a 7 gallon and a 10-gallon tank!

The shower comes with a hefty price tag of over $300, making it the most expensive shower in our review.

Facts about this shower

  • Very easy to use
  • Manual pump or gravity
  • No hose needed
  • Durable construction mounts to your car
  • Limited to usage on your car
  • The included nozzle isn’t a GREAT shower
  • Pressure decreases while showering
  • Can’t completely empty the tank
  • Very expensive

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

Advanced Elements Summer Shower: Rating: 3 / 5

If you decide that you want a powerless bag-type camping shower, then this is another model to consider. Advanced Elements makes a shower that is pretty similar to other models on the market. Like most other camping showers with solar-heated bags, you can hang it from anywhere higher than your head, and it uses gravity and solar power to drive and heat the water. The hose is long, which makes this shower pretty powerful – the higher you hang it, the more power the water flow has.

We liked the quality of materials used in this camping shower with a four-layer bag, and a good temperature gauge, so you know if you’re about to take a cold shower or spray yourself with scaling water. But the shower has a limited capacity of only 9 liters. Since other models have 20 liters, this one is a little behind in that area, and not the best model to take long showers. With a price of around $30, it’s also twice as expensive as our top contending bag-type camping showers, which is kind of a downer.

Decide for yourself: If you want really good materials and a good gauge, but won’t take very long showers, this one might still be a good fit!

Facts about this camping shower

  • 9-litres
  • Premium quality
  • One speed
  • Long hose

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

Reliance Outdoors Flow Pro Portable Shower: Heavy shower with small capacity – Rating: 3 / 5

While this might not be the lightest shower, it only holds 2 gallons of water. We didn’t like this, but at least it comes with a good carrying strap and a neoprene sleeve. The showerhead works good; with an action trigger, you can make the most use of the 2 gallons. The hose is 6 feet or almost 2 meters long, and of very good quality!

Facts about this camping shower

  • Good resistant hose
  • Trigger action showerhead
  • Only 2 gallons of water

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

Hozelock PortaShower: Rating: 2.5 / 5

We had a hard time with the Hozelock PortaShower. On the one hand, we loved the design with a manual pump, allowing you to use this shower anywhere without a battery. But with a tank of a measly 7 liters (not even 2 gallons), this shower won’t last for more than a quick rinse off after the beach. And the water is cold, so it’s probably better suited to spray plants in the garden then real showering.

On the other hand, it is very portable, and the air pump is small and compact. That means you can throw it in the back of your car, and the long hose works pretty well too. But it costs $30, which is quite expensive, especially when you compare it to solar-powered bag-type camping showers that offer how water and more than double the water reservoir.

Taking these facts into account, we cannot give this shower a better rating than 2.5, making it the last on our list.

Facts about this camping shower

  • 7 Liters capacity
  • Manual pump, no power needed
  • No heating, no solar heating, cold water only

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

Coleman Camp Shower – Rating: 3.5 / 5

Coleman builds an old school bag-type camping shower. It comes with a 5-gallon reservoir and a flexible hose. It is solar heated, and you can use the robust handles to both transports it if filled and also hang it from a branch of a tree. Thanks to the good on/off valve, you can get multiple showers out of one filling!

Facts about this camping shower

  • Sturdy handle
  • On/Off Valve
  • 5-gallon reservoir

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

On Track Portable Shower – Rating: 3.7 / 5

This shower only has a 0.75-gallon tank, making it the smallest shower in the test. But it uses a pump-action to pressure it, so you can shower really efficiently with it. As it comes with a good shoulder strap you can also sling it around your shoulders and use the shower as a cleaning tool for your gear.

Being smaller than a jug of orange juice, this shower can be stowed anywhere and is perfect for quick trips!

Facts about this camping shower

  • Compact and portable
  • Pump action easy to use
  • Quick refills

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

Green Elephant Solar Shower – Rating: 3.6 / 5

Green Elephant makes a solar-powered camping shower from non-toxic TPU material. You can roll it up easily, but also use it as storage for other items. Thanks to the waterproof seal, it effectively serves as a dry bag when not being used as a shower.

Hang it on a tree, and let mother sun heat it up.

Facts about this camping shower

  • Non-toxic TPU material
  • Doubles as dry storage
  • 5-gallon tank
  • Solar-powered heating

What’s the Best Camping Shower in 2020

Geyser System Portable Hot Shower: Really Water Efficient Small Camping Shower – Rating: 3.4 / 5

This small shower only has a 1-gallon tank, which might seem too small. But thanks to the water control and unique design, you can get up to 7 minutes of showering out of it. It has a sponge attached to the nose, and this allows for both scrubbing and rinsing at the same time while saving water.

As this camping shower only weights 6 pounds when full, it is the water-saving alternative to other showers in this review!

Facts about this camping shower

  • 7 minutes of showering
  • 1 gallon of water
  • Weighs only 6 pounds when filled

How We Tested These Camping Showers

I’ve spent a lot of time camping or backpacking in my life, and I love to explore new places and roam nature. Whether in a kayak, a campervan, or just backpacking, I’ve been outside some way or the other for the last 25 years.

That’s why I appreciate getting clean every once in a while, even when staying outside. I did have my fair share of weeks without a real shower, don’t get me wrong, but a hot shower is a comfort not to underestimate. And I have been using everything from solar heated bag-type showers to washing with a cloth in the rain to taking a dip in a hot geothermal pool.

Before we tested these showers, we tried to figure out which aspects are most important for an outdoor camping shower. Then we selected the models we wanted to review, measuring or collection information about technical details of these camping showers, like showerhead width, length of hose, water pressure, and tank capacity if the camping shower came with a tank. When we couldn’t get our hands on a model, we collect information from other verified review sources, to give you a complete picture.

Some Buying Advice for Camping Showers

Most of these showers had something good or bad about them, and while you can spend weeks calculating scores about them, like some other websites, love to do, we think a short and concise conclusion and a single metric rating serves best. No one wants to spend hours of their time to understand artificial metrics test scores for a shower, while in reality, they just want the best advice to buy a good shower.

In the end, it comes down to subjective preference, and while for some, the price might be the most important point, others need a very robust and reliable camping shower. That’s why we put together a little buying guide for camping showers, where we talk about some of the aspects. For all these aspects, we give a recommendation, which shower might serve you best if this particular aspect is most important to you.

Value – Price Is Not Everything

Camping showers show a huge spread in terms of price. While you can find a decent model for $10, the most expensive camping shower in our test, the Road Shower 4S, cost more than $300. That’s a 3000% difference! If the price premium is worth it, it all comes down to your preference. We try not to overvalue the price point of a product, but in some cases, we need to factor it in, as we think that value for money is an argument that speaks for itself. The best value for money, if you need a battery Powered Shower.

Camping showers can be attached to a wide variety of prices, from less than $10 to well over $300! While reviewing this range, we found that price doesn’t necessarily correspond with performance. And though we never include price into any of our calculations of product performance scores, we recognize that price can make a big difference as to what model you ultimately decide to purchase. The shower with the best value is the AngLink, as it has a very good value for the money you spent.

Comfort Level – A Good Camping Shower is Easy to Use and Versatile

Taking a shower is a matter of comfort, as well as getting clean. Sure, a shower in the woods will never be as comfortable as a jungle rain shower at home, but nonetheless, there are different levels of comfort we experienced in the tested showers. It’s one of the aspects we value high when making our overall score. In terms of comfort, you cannot get any better than the Zodi Extreme, as this shower is very easy to heat up, works super well with controllable water flow, and has an outstanding build quality. The Road Shower 4S is another great comfortable camping shower if you have a car or boat to mount it.

Other questions that were important for our review score: How good is the showerhead, does it do a good job cleaning your hair and body? Can the shower be operated by one person alone? Does it have a valve or lever to control the water flow rate? Maybe it includes a fixture to mount it overhead? How long does a water take to heat up? Can the shower be heated up with a stove?

Functionality and Versatility

But a shower doesn’t only need to be comfortable; it also needs to clean. That’s why we tried to find or test these showers with some other uses like cleaning a dog or bike too. Most of the showers can also be used to clean up dishes or tools, and if a shower performed really well at these tasks, we give it a high versatility rating, indicating that the shower is not only functional but also practical for other uses besides plain showering.

In terms of versatility, the Zodi Extreme is another hot shower to look out for, offering plenty of uses besides just washing hair and body. We also tested the nozzle diameter of the different models, and how well the pressure was balanced to clean off dirt.

The narrow nozzle of the Road Shower isn’t ideal for spraying in your face but is great for directing that high pressure at a muddy mountain bike.

Ease of Use

At home it’s super easy: Go to the bathroom and turn on the shower. Camping showers don’t work that easy – yet. You need to find a proper water source, a tree to hang in case of gravity-fed bag-type showers, and possibly a source of heat if you need to warm up the water in a separate reservoir. That’s why we reviewed each shower in terms of how complicated it is to get it going.

If you need a super easy to use the shower, the Sea to Summit Pocket Shower is great, as well as the Road Shower 4S and the Zodi Extreme.

We also tested how long it takes to heat up the water, as some of the showers need you to heat up the water yourself. A solar shower is nice in that aspect, as you can simply hang it up and leave it there for 3 hours, come back and enjoy a hot shower. But there is a downside: If you are camping and the weather is less than sunny, chances are high your shower will take longer to heat up or not even heat up at all – bummer, as rainy and cold days, are the days where a hot shower is best!

Durability

We also looked at how durable the materials of the showers were. Some of the designs are prone to break, as it’s the case with cheap plastic connectors etc. The Zodi Extreme is a really durable shower, made from all metal, so if durability is your main concern, consider this shower. The Road Shower 4S is pretty durable too! If you are worried about caps, hose, etc., and their integrity, you should stick with some of the more expensive models, as they used more durable materials. The Zodi, for example, is made from stainless steel, making it pretty much unbreakable for normal showering use. The Road Shower 4S, made from aluminum, is super strong too.

Portability

Going directly against the durability in most cases is the portability. The top two most durable showers were also the least portable camping showers. Metal tanks and high quality fixed tank design go hand in hand with bulk and weight. The camping showers that are most portable are the Sea to Summit and the bag-type showers, but they are also the least durable as they are made from rubber and not that strong in terms of durability.

If you can’t take your camping shower with you camping, what’s the point? Not much, we think, which is why we included Portability tests as part of our overall score calculations. The results of these tests are summarized below.

Important Features on a Camping Shower

Some of the cool features you should look at are these:

Design Style

There are 4 basic types of camping showers:

  • Bag type showers that are solar heated and gravity fed.
  • Submersible pump-fed, which only have hot water if your water source is preheated.
  • Air pressure drive camping showers.
  • Propane gas and battery-powered – we only had one of these types in our test.

Only the solar-powered showers are self-heating, with the exception of two other models. The other models need you to warm up the water yourself in a bucket and then dunk the pump into it – that or take a cold shower.

When it comes to capacity, most camping showers have around 10 to 20 liters capacity or 2.5 to 5 gallons. That’s a good average value, and while some showers had a smaller capacity, below 7 liters you really will have a hard time taking a good and cleaning shower without rushing through the motions, unless there is some kind of smart design involved like on the On Track or Geyser System camping showers, where you have combined sponge and nozzles for example.

How Camping Showers Work

Basically, a camping shower is some kind of bag that holds water heated by the sun or a pump that you dip into a water tank. In terms of their working principle, these types of portable showers are pretty similar to any water garden hose or plant spraying device. They work as a fish pond pump works. Some of the camping showers also have an included heating unit, like the propane gas-powered one, and that might involve a little more work to set up.

A gravity-fed version of a camping shower is basically just a bag of water that you hang up high, so gravity pulls the water through the hose. Pretty simple, and for most of these showers, sunlight is used to heat up the water. The concept is simple, but they work really well and have been in use for over 30 years – so it is a proven design!

Conclusion

If you found this review helpful, have a look at some of our other hot gear reviews for 2020:

Categories
Camp & Hike Mountaineering Reviews

Primus Firestick 2020: Wind-blocking, Ultra Light Stove That Fits Your in Your Pocket

Primus introduced the Firestick canister stove for 2020. While we haven’t had a chance to do a full review yet, we did our best to get our hands on samples and collect all kinds of valuable information for this hot new gadget for 2020.

Read on for our detailed 2020 pre review of the Primus Firestick – it comes with a cylindrical design, and that blocks both winds and serves as a handle for large pots.

A different approach to lightweight canister stoves for 2020

Primus went with a cylindrical design for 2020. This design enables the Primus Firestick stove to block wind easily when expanded, and also handle large pots. When you close the Firestick, it clicks together in the center, hiding the nozzle and avoiding snags and bulk when storing it. The valve is regulated, so you can achieve high fuel efficiency and control your consumption of fuel.

The Primus Firestick comes in two options: Steel and Titanium

You can buy the Firestick in two material options: Either steel or titanium. The steel options weights 3.7 ounces and costs around $90. If you want to be ultra weight saving, go with the titanium option: It costs $120 and only weighs 3.1 ounces!

Preview: It packs away easily, fits your hands like a package of mints and has enough power

From what we’ve seen and heard, the Primus Firestick is very portable. Thanks to the clicking design, you can store it away as easy as a package of mints or gum, and it fits your hands too. And it’s still powerful enough to handle cooking and making hot water for tea when backpacking. As it comes with a regulation valve, precise adjusting of the flame is possible, and you can simmer your broil if you need to.

It comes by default with a beautiful wool pouch and a piezo trigger.

Who is the Primus Firestick made for?

The Firestick is clearly aimed towards the ultra-portable market of hardcore hikers and mountaineers. If you need to save the weight and storage room, the Firestick is for you. It’s powerful enough to handle cooking and water heating, but if you need a full-on camping kitchen, you need a bigger stove.

Facts

Its 4 inches long and weighs around 3-4 ounces. It’s the slimmest canister stove we have seen so far. It looks like a flashlight when retracted, and has air intake holes for fuel-efficiency. And it supports wide pots and gives good wind protection. It can heat with 8530 BTUs, which is quite a lot; an average home stove has only around 7000 BTU per burner!

Detailed Specifications of the Primus Firestick

  • Streamlined cylinder-shape that slides into the pockets
  • Windscreen with an integrated burner with 8530 BTUs
  • Fast and easy setup
  • Safe for outdoor use
  • Wind protection supposed to work great
  • Holds wide pots
  • The flame is recessed in the shelter to give even more wind protection when cooking in stormy conditions
  • Holds small pots too
  • Narrow, strong flame
  • Regulation valve for precise control of power
  • Wool storage pouch doubles as a potholder – NICE!
  • Piezo igniter included too
  • Weight: 3.7 oy (steel) or 3.1 oy (titanium)
  • Dimensions: 1.4 inches x 4.1 inches
  • BTUs: 8350 (Average home stove burner only has 7000 BTUs!)

Read more about some of our camping and hiking topics like how to pack your backpack right and if cargo pants are good for hiking.

Categories
Camp & Hike Mountaineering

Are cargo pants good for hiking?

When I started hiking, I usually just wore jeans or old army cargo pants. But after I went on my first multi-day hike and experienced a bad case of thigh rash, I decided to investigate and find out more. It turned out, cargo pants are not necessarily your first option when you go hiking. Are cargo pants good for hiking? Yes, they are. A cargo pant is good for hiking, as it has a lot of pockets, where you store maps, compass, and gear. But the pant shouldn’t be made from cotton, as this causes problems when hiking. Cotton stores water, and this means cotton clothes stay wet and cold longer and can cause rashes as wet cotton is abrasive. 

Cotton is a mediocre material for hiking pants!

In general, you can use cotton for shorter hikes perfectly well. If you go on a 3-hour summertime hike in your local area, there is no way a cotton pant will not work well. Later down here, I recommend BDU pants for hiking these short trips, and they also use mainly cotton. But if you are serious about hiking, cotton can be a problem.

Cotton retains water

The main problem: Cotton is a hydrophilic material, which means it stores water. Water is retained, and this means your cotton pants will stay wet for a long time when you hike with it. No problem in summer, but in spring or autumn, anytime you sweat, this sweat will keep your pants wet for a long time. And if you hike in the rain, the paints will never really dry once they get initially wet. Wet cotton is also very abrasive, which can lead to rashes and chafing. Chafing sucks, if you have had it, you know what I’m talking about. And the worst-case scenario, chafing can also cause infections. This is especially a problem if you go hiking during the rainy season in tropical climates.

Cotton makes your body lose heat when wet

The worst problem with wet cotton is the loss of heat. Heat loss from the body is a serious problem when you hike in colder climates. The wet fabric next to your skin will transport heat away really fast, it’s the same principle as swimming in the water. This will lead to hypothermia, and that will slow you down and eventually kill you. Hypothermia is one of the things that will likely not be a problem on your typical 2-hour afternoon hike where everything goes well, and you can warm up in your car afterward. But add time, like a 3 to 5 days hike, constant rain, and a cold and wet tent, and exhaustion, and you have a recipe for disaster! In contrast, most hiking paints are made from synthetic wicking materials, which repel water and dry faster. Wicking materials are thus a good choice if you need fast drying pants that repel water – like when you go hiking in wet conditions or sweat a lot.

Wicking fabrics guard against preventable problems in a way that is more reliable than luck. They are a reusable insurance policy that helps protect the safety and enjoyment of your treks.

What type of pants is best for hiking?

So, if we’re talking about it already, mabye you are now wondering how your perfect hiking pant should look like. What type of pants is best for hiking? The best pair of hiking pants should have these features: Lightweight, quick-drying, enough storage pockets with zip closing if possible, and not bulky. In hot climates, you want zip-off legs too. By the way, climbing and hiking pants are not the same, climbing pants have their very benefits, if you need some good climbing pants, check out our review of the 2020 best climbing pants here!

Lightweight

This is a no-brainer. Heavy pants mean you carry around dead weight with you. You already most likely have a heavy backpack, so adding heavy pants doesn’t make sense at all

Quick-drying

In order to avoid the aforementioned problems with hypothermia, good hiking pants should dry fairly quick. This can usually be achieved by using a blend of nylon or other synthetic materials.

Plenty of Pockets

Pockets are great for hikers. Storing often used items like compass, map, GPS, or smartphone in your pants can save you time and hassle. Closable pockets are a must if you have steep climbing sections or down and uphill sections in your hike.

Zip-off legs

The ability to zip off the pant’s legs is great in summer and hot conditions. If you have the option, definitely buy pants with zip-offs if you want an allround hiking pant for the whole year!

Are BDU pants good for hiking?

BDU pants are good for short hikes and walks. They are fairly heavy and made from mostly cotton, which is not ideal for hiking. On the other hand, they have a comfortable cut and a plethora of pockets, so that’s nice. But if you go on longer hikes or in wet conditions, they are not a good choice thanks to the cotton fabric. So keep them in your drawer if you need nice working pants, or pants for a quick afternoon hike. But for serious hiking, get a decent pair of hiking pants.

Can you wear jeans to a hike?

Jeans are nice to wear for work and relaxed walks. But if you go hiking, jeans have none of the options and features you want to see: They are heave, have not a lot of pockets, and the fabric is 100% cotton, which soaks wet and sucks in cold and wet conditions. They are also not very comfortable, nor do they have a lot of legroom or flexibility. If you want to go hiking, generally avoid jeans.

What are some good options for hiking pants?

So, hiking pants are important and should be selected well. You want something that breathes and has quick-drying material, but also a good amount of pockets. They should be warm when temperatures go down and have some zip-off legs at best. Some of the better hiking pants also have built-in sun protection or even keep insects away! The list below is a good overview of high-quality hiking pants.

Brand / Model Legs Style Gender Availability ListPrice
Columbia Silver Ridge Convertible Hiking Pants Convertible M | F $60
prAna Stretch Zion Pants Roll-up M $85
REI Sahara Convertible Hiking Pants Convertible M | F $70
Outdoor Research Ferrosi Convertible Pants Convertible M | F $90
Kuhl Renegade Cargo Convertible Pants Convertible M $99
REI Screeline Hiking Pants Full Length M | F $80
Mountain Hardware AP Pants Roll-up M | F $90
Arc’teryx Palisade Pants Full-length M | F $159
Marmot Arch Rock Pants Full Length M $75
Fjallraven Vidda Pro Pants Full Length M | F $150

Related Questions

What are hiking pants made of?

Hiking pants and shorts are made of durable and quick-drying synthetic fabrics like spandex and nylon. The material is usually lightweight without a lot of bulk. They also give a good amount of insulation.

Are military boots good for hiking?

Most military boots are suitable for hiking. They might not be the most comfortable hiking boots, but they give good support for your ankle and are durable and water-resistant while not too expensive. Keep in mind: Some military boots that are made for desert combat might not work well in cold and wet conditions!

Can I wear leggings for hiking?

Hiking leggings and tights are the most comfortable pants to wear when hiking. But if you go hiking in cold or mixed weather, leggings are not good options to wear as an outer layer, as insulation is usually not good nor do they repel water very effectively. They are perfect to wear as base layers, though!

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Camp & Hike

How to Carry Food on a Multi Day Hike?

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Camp & Hike Mountaineering

How to Avoid Hiking Backpack Back Pain – the Battle Proven Guide

No matter if you go hiking or mountaineering, if you’re on a multi-day hike, there is no way around a heavy backpack. All the things you need to set up camp like a sleeping bag, cooking gear, your tent plus freshwater and food are heavy. And in most cases, your lower back is the crucial part carrying the weight. You don’t need to be especially prone to back issues to profit from these tips on how to avoid hiking backpack back pain. This guide is battle proven and backed by science, so read on for the details!

An ergonomic backpack and some simple rules will lay the base to avoid hiking backpack back pain. This post will be split into multiple parts:

Bio Mechanical Basics: Your Back in Easy Words Explained

Your back consists of the sacrum, and the sacroiliac joint (SIJ), which connects to the spine. The SIJ connects the Sacrum and spine to each other, and as thus it connects back and leg muscles and transfers loads to your legs. This joint is particularly important if you carry a heavy backpack on a hike. In fact, it constantly moves when you walk around with your backpack, and that’s why a blockage in the SIJ causes back pain. Source article found here.

How Back Pain Is Caused When You Hike With a Heavy Backpack on Your Back

On a hike there are some situation that lead to blockage and then back pain: If you step into air because you miss a step or rock, or if you stumble, these things frequently lead to misplaced loads and then blockage of the SIJ. But chronic distress during your normal workday lead to back pain as well. Long static sitting at work, wrong movement when you carry loads, etc. can lead to blockage. Even if you don’t feel any pain in normal life, under load of a back pack these issue pop up.

A heavy backpack causes back pain when weight is placed on your joints in the wrong way. The basics are simple: You want a heavy weight to be evenly distributed on upper and lower body. A backpack has shoulder straps and a waist band. The shoulder straps transfer to the shoulder, the waistband to the legs, via the back. The weight which is transferred to the legs can be transferred through the sacrum or the pelvic bone. Any weight transferred to shoulders will go directly down the line to your SIJ and then the leg muscles.

The SIJ connects your back with the the legs via the sacrum, and any load placed on it directly will be transferred via the sacrum to the leg muscles. But the SIJ is particularly sensitive to displacement of the moment of inertia of loads, as are most joints. In some ways, the SIJ is similar to the conical grinder of a coffee machine: If you place a load on top of it and move it, it cannot move freely, as the gap for free movement reduces.reduced. The consequence is back pain.

Reduce Back Pain by Reducing Weight Placed on the SIJ and Sacrum

Your goal should be to reduce the load to the SIJ. If you want to do this, you have only one option: Put more load on the pelvic bones or waist. Don’t let the shoulder straps fool you: The weight that you place on your shoulders transfer down to your sacrum and SIJ more ore less directly, bio mechanically speaking. It follows the shortest route, and that’s a straight line directly down to your Sacrum. If you ever wondered why your lower back hurts when you wear a backpack without waist band / hip belt, this is the reason. But how to reduce the load on the SIJ? You have two ways that complement each other nicely.

A) Use a Waist Band / Hip Belt to Transfer Load Directly to Your Pelvic Bones and Then Legs

A carrying system that’s useful from a biomechanical viewpoint is reducing load on the shoulders and instead places it on the pelvic bones. This makes sure the weight is directly transferred to the leg muscles, without stressing the SIJ and Sacrum. As a consequence, the Sacrum is not displaced, and the gap between SIJ and Sacrum is nice and wide. This ensures free movement and no grinding (remember the coffee grinder!). To put the weight on the pelvic bone, carrying systems have a waist band / hip belt. This band ideally sits tight on your body, and if you adjust it correctly, the transmission of weight on the pelvical bone relieves the SIJ a lot. You can even have more than half of weight going directly to your legs this way!

B) Pack Your Backpack Right, I.E. With the Centroid Placed Correctly

Another way to reduce load on the SIJ is to pack the backpack right. A backpack that is packed correctly needs to have the centroid as close to your body as possible. If it does, then as much as 70% of the weight can be transferred to your legs directly via the pelvic bone, and only 30% are transferred via the shoulders and SIJ. Obviously, you cannot reduce the amount of weight transferred via shoulders to 0% as you always need them for stability and balance. Follow these tips to ensure the centroid of the backpack sits nice and tight to your body:

  1. Put light items to the ground, heavy items as close to the body as possible, less heavy stuff further away from your body
  2. Light terrain hiking: Centroid of weight close to body and at height of the shoulders
  3. Difficult terrain hiking: Centroid a little below the shoulders, to give more stability when going steep downhill and climbing
  4. Use side pockets to evenly distribute the weight on left and right side

How to Adjust Your Backpack to Reduce Hiking Backpack Back Pain

If you want to adjust your backpack, you first need a good carrying system. So my first advice is to buy a quality backpack. There are many good brands including Vaude, Lowa and Osprey to name a few. If you buy a backpack, pay some attention that the backpack fits your anatomy. What this means: Width of shoulder straps, shape of the waist band / hip belt, length of back piece and length adjustment of the carrying system. You should also pack the backpack with realistic weight, aka if you try it on in the store, bring some gear to stuff, and make sure to loosen all the straps BEFORE trying.

For adjusting the hiking backpack correctly to avoid back pain when hiking, follow this easy to remember sequence:

A) Adjust the waist band / hip belt first, place it on the middle of the pelvic bone on an area known as the iliac crest.
B) Adjust shoulder straps: Carrier inserts should be at height of your blade bone. Don’t make the classic mistake of pulling the straps too tight, as this moves the weight too much over the shoulders and away from your pelvic bone where you want it.
C) Adjust chest strap: Its used to keep the shoulder straps in position.
D) Adjust the angle and stability of the load via the load adjuster straps.

Hiking Backpack Back Pain

Once you have all these adjusted, you are ready to go.

Use Sticks to Avoid Back Pain Both Ascending and Descending

No matter how good your carrying system is and how much care you pay while packing the backpack, if you have a heavy backpack your centroid is shifted backwards. Your bodys natural reaction is to lean forward while walking, which puts you in a bio mechanically problematic posture due to reduced freedom of movement in your SIJ and will lead to back pain in the long run. Ascending only makes this worse.

If you know how to use them, sticks are a great way to reduce the forward leaning while ascending and walking on a plain surface, and also help while descending. Sticks also help you to transfer weight force directly via your arms to the ground, relieving your SIJ. For most hikers they will also be really comfortable as they reduce load on the leg muscles and help utilizing arms while ascending. This leads to more even distribution of stress, and lets you hike longer and with less fatigue on individual muscle groups.

Sticks are also a great way to reduce load on knee and leg joints while descending. They also help you maintain upright posture when descending. Without sticks, many hikers tend to lean backwards while descending, which leads to an unnatural foot position where the heel is absorbing most of the load. This load is then transferred into the SIJ which in turn leads to even more back pain. Sticks reduce this, as they help you maintain an upright ad stable position, where you can naturally roll your feet while descending.

Conclusion

If you want to avoid back pain from your backpack while hiking, make sure to adjust your backpack correctly. Most back pain from heavy backpacks is caused by incorrect load transfer to the SIJ and Sacrum. A properly adjusted backpack transfers as much as 70% of the weight directly to the leg muscles via the pelvic bones, reducing load on the SIJ and Sacrum, and if you follow the steps above you can adjust it yourself easily. If you liked this post, feel free to leave a comment and read on some of your other gear related posts!