The Advanced Elements 3 Gallon Camping Shower Bag is one of the Sun Shower series solar camping showers made by Advanced Elements. They also offer 2.5 gallon and 5 gallon versions. The most interesting thing about the 3 Gallon model is that, despite its name, its true capacity is really only about 2.5 gallons. As many users have pointed out, “why pay extra when you can get the same quality and capacity with the Advanced Elements 2.5 gallon camping shower bag for a few bucks less?”
Advanced Elements 3 Gallon Camping Shower Bag vs. 2.5 Gallon Model
Regardless of the fact that the capacity of the Advanced Elements 3 Gallon camping shower bag is not much more (if any) than the 2.5 gallon, for the extra $5 bucks you do get a few extra features with the 3 gallon bag. The most notable is the addition of integrated pockets which can be nice for holding soap & shampoo. The other additional feature is an included reflective mirror. Bare in mind, however, as one user reported, “the mirror is about as reflective as a piece of tinfoil”.
Advanced Elements Sun Showers are designed with a unique 4-layer construction that has an embedded solar panel to optimize the time it takes to transfer the sun’s rays into hot water. Other features of the Advanced Elements 3 Gallon Camping Shower Bag include the following.
- Integrated thermometer to monitor water’s temperature
- Larger filling valve than many alternative solar showers
- Built-in pockets to hold soap & shampoo
- Easy-to-use on/off shower head
- Twist-off cap to prevent leaking
- Integrated D-ring fasteners
The Best Camping Showers Pros & Cons
Even the best camping showers have their pros and cons. The Advanced Elements 3 Gallon Camping Shower Bag is one of the best solar camping shower bags currently available when you consider durability, functionality, and features. However, considering that its capacity is really no greater than the slightly less expensive 2.5 gallon model you have to weigh whether or not the extra features are worth the extra 5 bucks – specifically the addition of the mesh pockets and the included mirror.
- More durable than most alternative solar shower bags
- Unique embedded solar panel design accelerates heating time required
- Patented 4-Ply construction helps retain heated water temperature
- Extra long hose
- Includes many features not available by other brands
- Not expensive
- The only real negative to this solar shower is the fact that it is mis-marketed as a 3 gallon bag (when its capacity is in fact only 2.5 gallons).
Is The Advanced Elements 3 Gallon Solar Shower for You?
The Advanced Elements 3 Gallon Camping Shower Bag is small enough in size to be a good solution for a personal portable solar shower. This makes it ideal for the hiker, back-packer, or self-sufficient camper. With a 2.5 gallon water capacity it will work well for 1 long shower or potentially 2 quick showers. Solar camping shower bags can take up to 4 hours to heat the water in the worse conditions. With this being considered, if you plan to accommodate enough hot water for more than 1 person you really have 2 options. Option one – you can buy the larger 5 gallon model. Or, option 2 – provide each person with their own smaller solar shower.
In most cases providing each person with their own personal camping shower bag is preferred. This way each person can take as long of a shower as they like, without the worry of using-up all the available hot water before the next person gets their shower.
Regardless of if you choose to go with 1 larger 5 gallon option or multiple smaller models like the Advanced Elements 3 Gallon camping shower bag, the over-all objective of camping is for everyone to have a good and memorable time. Just because your “roughing-it” in the outdoors, it doesn’t mean you can’t stay clean, and considering the minimal cost of a solar camping shower bag, there’s really no excuse not to.
Availability & Best Price
Advanced Elements camping shower bags are available at a few off-line retailers, but obviously your best deals will be found online. The MSRP price of the Advanced Elements 3 Gallon Solar Shower is around $24 but be sure and check here for the current best price.