ProView – Advanced Elements Summer Shower 3.0 and Enclosure
For the past month, I’ve been reviewing the Advanced Elements 3-gallon Summer Shower, and I’ve been very impressed with this product. This product offers a great user experience to anyone looking at portable shower options, whether you are looking for a shower replacement on long camping trips, or just looking to rinse off your feet after a trip to the beach.
Advanced Elements Summer Shower 3.0 and Enclosure
Product Description: Give yourself a hot shower anywhere you go! Designed with an efficient 4-layer construction for optimal heat retention and performance. Simply fill and layout in the sun clear side up and you will have a hot shower in no time!
Offer price: MSRP: $24.99
This product offers a great user experience to anyone looking at portable shower options, whether you are looking for a shower replacement on long camping trips, or just looking to rinse off your feet after a trip to the beach.
- Heats Up
- Lasts a long time
- Must be held up or tied
- Low pressure
I live in California, and many of my recreational activities require getting salty, sweaty, or they involve brushing against poison oak. Especially during the hot summer months, I’ve been using this shower so frequently that I default to leaving the filled reservoir in my car.
I first used this portable shower to rinse off between dives in Monterey. My dive partner and I had planned three dives, and I was cautiously optimistic about the possibility of coming back to a warm shower. In the past, I’ve relied on rinsing between dives with a trickle of water from a camelback, or careful pours using a thermos. We left the portable shower on the roof of the car and, an hour and a half later, came back to a cozy 98-degree shower. Due to the cloudy forecast, I put warm water into the shower (around 85 degrees). Even so, I was impressed that the reservoir not only kept its heat but also seemed to gain more than 10 degrees. I think my smiling face says it all in terms of how excited I was to come back to a warm shower after diving in 48-degree water! I found the nozzle intuitive and easy to use. The only limitation of the shower is that you have to either hold the shower yourself or attach it to a post/tree. I keep a small rope in my car that helps me attach it. In this case, my 6’4” dive buddy came in handy because he could hold the shower while I rinsed off.
I was impressed by how long the 3-gallon shower lasted. I had enough water to rinse off after each dive as well as to do a fairly thorough rinse of both my buddy’s and my dive gear at the end of the day. For short bursts, I found applying some pressure on the bag can help increase the water pressure which is useful for getting more stubborn areas clean. In a highly controlled experiment in my bathtub, I found that after being completely filled, the reservoir emptied in 6 min and 54 seconds.
This product has many thoughtful features. Two Velcro holders are included on either side of the hose to securely lock the nozzle in place which prevents the nozzle from dragging while being transported. The shower comes with a small mirror and pocket where I typically store biodegradable soap. The handle that holds the bag has a snap buckle that makes it easy to attach to poles or small tree limbs. The handle is reinforced and can easily support the heavyweight of the fully filled reservoir. Additionally, the reservoir itself strikes a nice balance between being study and lightweight while empty. I’ve only been using this product for a month, but I will say the components feel well made and have easily withstood everything I’ve thrown at it, including drops, sharp rocks, and tree limbs.
Aside from diving, I’ve also used this portable shower to rinse off after beach swims. My car is much less sandy when everyone can do a final rinse before getting in. Other beach patrons have asked if they could rinse off using the shower as well, so this item is definitely a crowd pleaser!
Given how frequently I’ve been using the portable shower, I’ve defaulted to bringing it along on my adventures “just in case.” I’m especially glad for this fact after I went mountain biking and landed in a thicket of poison oak, and definitely got some of the oils on my arm/legs. However, using the shower, I was able to do a quick rinse off with some biodegradable soap after I got back to the car. I am definitely citing this portable shower as the reason I didn’t have a reaction!
Room for Improvement
After a month of hard use, the only limitations I’ve found in this solar shower pertain to individuals looking to use this as a shower replacement. People with long thick hair (like mine!) may find the water pressure isn’t sufficient to completely rinse out soap/shampoo. In this case, they may need to ask a friend to squeeze the bag to increase the water pressure to fully rinse hair. Those with shorter/fine hair shouldn’t run into this problem. For those looking for more than just a quick rinse, Advanced Elements also sells a shower enclosure that works well with the solar shower. Additionally, beachgoers who are uncomfortable with a towel change may enjoy the extra privacy and comfort the shower enclosure affords.
I used the shower enclosure during a recent camping trip and found the enclosure to be useful both for taking showers and for offering greater privacy while changing. When I first opened the enclosure, I struggled a bit to figure out how to fill the inflation rings. Eventually, I figured out the fill valve requires a person to pinch while blowing. The corners are mostly sealed, and therefore getting the entire ring inflated at first requires applying quite a bit of pressure. I recommend using a pump for the first fill. Subsequent fills require much less pressure and can be more easily manually inflated. The inflation feature is an elegant way to save packing space, and I think this enclosure would be a useful addition to any car camping setup.
I used a rope and carabiner to hang the shower and enclosure from a tree branch. I wish I had brought 2 carabiners because I think the shower would have been better if I could have put the reservoir higher up. Another lesson I learned while using the shower enclosure is the importance of choosing your shower location. It is best to place the shower on a rocky area or asphalt, so the ground doesn’t get too muddy during your shower. As with everything else while camping, care should be taken to follow the principles of leave no trace, including being 200 feet from a water source, using eco-friendly soap, and minimizing impact as much as possible.
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About the Gear Tester
Christina Savvides is a Midwest transplant, currently calling California home. Making up for years spent surrounded by too many cornfields, she now spends as much time as possible exploring the west coast. You can find her mountaineering, snowboarding, backpacking, scuba diving, cycling, or trail running.