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Backpacker Magazine – Online Exclusive

Gear Review: Solar Powered Backpacking Gear

Five of our favorite solar items to make your next trip brighter, safer, and less stinky

by: Joel Nyquist

PAGE 1 2 3 4 5 6

Seattle Sports Solar Pocket Shower
Come back from the trail smelling fresh

There’s nothing better than coming back home from the woods and taking a long, hot shower. Get that feeling (well, almost) on the trail with a solar-heated shower. The Pocket Shower is essentially a black roll-top 3.5-gallon bag with a spigot at the bottom. If you leave it hanging in the sun for a few hours (the longer the better) you can come back to camp for a warm, refreshing shower. But don’t dawdle, you’ve only got about 5 minutes to wash away the grime. By hanging the shower from a branch or on a south-facing rock that catches afternoon rays, water temps consistently reached over 100°F (hot tubs are generally 102-104°F) in 4 hours of sunlight which made for a comfortable shower after nearly 10 miles along the AT in Shenandoah NP. Since it requires some time to warm up, it’s best for a camp you’ll be at for a few days while taking daytrips out, rather than trying to warm it up at the end of the day. It packs down to the size of a large potato, so there’s no longer any excuse for stinking up the tent.

The Specs:
5.2 oz.

PAGE 1 2 3 4 5 6

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Star Star
May 10, 2014

The website that you supplied with this post does not in any way lead me to the specific product that you have just reviewed. It does lead me to a sight that has steri-pens, but not the one mentioned above, with the solar panel, battery charging case. Could you provide the exact link to that product, Mr. Nyquist?

May 04, 2011

it didnt switch on for me...took it back to the store, tried 3 more reutrns, still didnt work....

Joel N
Mar 16, 2011

Backpackerzac- The manufacturer doesn't recommend water over 120 for the cap, and over 150 for the BPA-free bottle (included with the Lightcap 300 model). They said the plastic *may* deform slightly.
As for freezing temps (I'm assuming that's the root of your temp question), what happens with any bottle is the moisture freezes between the threads, which can make the cap be frozen on, or can sometimes deform the cap and make a small gap, but that can happen with any bottle. It's not any more or less likely with the Lightcap.

Joel N
Mar 16, 2011

Steve- The shower head is threaded/screw-on. I actually carried it about 1/2 mile inside my pack (loaded with water) and none leaked out.

Mar 16, 2011

Does the shower head on the solar shower have a good shut off valve? I own a different brand that has a leaking problem with the push/pull valve.

Mar 16, 2011

Will the lightcap withstand boiling temperatures and is it leakproof in all temps?

Mar 15, 2011, maybe not for through hiking, but perhaps for surfing.

Mar 15, 2011

This I like. As a throat cancer survivor with radiation fried salivary glands and no spit I will be able to find my W/B at night without fumbleing around the tent.


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