Think of a product with the word ‘solar’ in and what springs to mind? Technical wizardry… lights… wires… panels.
This is none of those things. It’s a black plastic bag.
The idea of the Eurohike Solar Shower is that you fill it with 20L of water and leave it in the sun for Mother Nature to take over. Because black absorbs heat the water inside warms of its own accord.
The graph printed on the front of the bag suggests that in just three hours of full sun in air temperatures of 21C you’ll have water at a little over 40C in which you can wash your sweaty bits and sing. And the hotter it is outside the hotter the water.
By sheer coincidence I managed to find exactly the right conditions in my back garden the other day (21 degrees and sunny in early April!), so I hosed in 20L of water and hung the bag black side up (the other side is translucent so you can see the level) from a hook on the wall so it also lay against the warm brickwork.
Having been out for part of the day I checked five hours later, when the water should have been around 40C. Using one of those temperature probe things from the kitchen drawer – the ones you stab into chicken to make sure it won’t kill you – the reading only came to 29.5C which was roughly 10C more than it was when fresh from the hose.
Nevertheless I soldiered on and heaved the bag into a tree after a valiant struggle and the assistance of a stepladder/Mrs Muz combo. That’s the thing with this shower – you have to get it high enough for gravity to take over and make the shower actually shower you. And it’s heavy. So although the bag was about 6’ up at head height, the length of the clear hose and the small push-to-switch-on shower head meant the water was coming out at knee height and I’d have to lie in the mud to get clean. That’s an oxymoron, you moron.
I had the family brain cell that day though, so I decided against it and timed how long the water would take to fully drain instead. Temperature-wise it was okay. I’m a great big softie and hate cold showers, so I think I might have been on the cusp of screaming throughout, but I think I could have managed it. The sun was still out though.
Seven minutes later the bag was drained. I say drained, what I mean is that the only water left slopped about all over the place because it couldn’t make it to the outlet pipe and it wouldn’t return through the big inlet hole when upended. That’s the other thing about this bag – neither hole is on the very top/bottom and nor is it in a corner, so you can’t even empty it properly.
SUMMARY: A bit poo. Rather than go to all that effort I think I’d prefer to put my couple of quid towards a bottle of BYO Shower instead.
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