AngLink Portable Review
Cons: Battery can’t get wet, not overly durable, hanging attachments inefficient
Our Analysis and Test Results
The AngLink Portable is a battery-powered shower that's USB rechargeable. It features a 5'9" hose with a hook to hang the wide nozzle overhead and can be used in conjunction with any type of bucket or water-holding receptacle.
This type of shower boasts the widest water spray among all the competition. We love the added comfort you get from the AngLink with this full coverage. The battery-powered pump delivers consistent pressure that's just the right amount for a nice comfortable shower making shampooing and rinsing your hair no problem whatsoever. Really, the only limit to the length of your shower is the size of your water container - we used a five-gallon bucket, which provides a shower length just shy of five luxurious minutes. The AngLink also comes with two attachments for the shower head that allow you to either hang or suction the unit onto another surface for hands-free showering. It's easy to use to bathe the dog or wash the car in the driveway.
We adore using the AngLink because of how incredibly comfortable it is - almost as good as our home showers! Our only complaint is that the 5'9.5" hose isn't quite long enough to comfortably hang over the heads of tall people without also raising the bucket of water it's drawing from. Aside from that, we are quite impressed with the comfort this shower delivers.
The AngLink is a high performer among all models and outcompeted the visually identical competition for battery life. The AngLink lasts for a whopping 46 continuous minutes if you can supply enough water. And it performs at a flow rate of 4.3 L/min, which translates to a very comfortable middling pressure.
One downfall of this type of shower is the heating of the water used for your shower. A 5-gallon bucket of water left in the sun will heat up, depending on the color of the bucket, but it also collects debris and bugs and other creatures from the outdoors - and who wants to shower in dead moth water? Not us! But heating water to fill a bucket that large is quite a chore, and with an open top, you'll lose heat quickly too. But if you can find that sweet spot, the AngLink is a great performing shower.
Ease of Set Up
The directions of use for the AngLink are straightforward. Reading online, we were under the impression that the entire unit is waterproof, but upon reading the enclosed directions, we found that the battery unit is not to be submerged. This causes a bit of a struggle, as leaving the battery on the ground next to your shower bucket inevitably ends with the battery laying in a puddle. So what could be a simple set up is complicated a bit by the struggle of how to protect the battery from getting wet.
That being said, this unit is straightforward to use - simply stick the pump into water and turn it on! A handy power button on the battery makes it easy to turn the water off when you're not using it to conserve what you have and extend your shower. And while we love the hands-free option to hang or suction the AngLink, we had some struggles getting the attachments to stay on the showerhead and pointing in the direction we wanted it. Working through those minor details though, the AngLink is pretty easy to use and clean up when you're finished with your bathtime.
Nearly identical in appearance to many lookalikes strewn across the internet, the AngLink has some advantages over others we tested. The battery lasts significantly longer in use, which is a major selling point for us. Additionally, the AngLink comes with an extra O-ring for the connection between the hose and showerhead. This seems minor, but as a connection that frequently needs to be disconnected and reconnected, this is important! We actually lost the O-ring of another "twin" during testing and had no additional piece with which to replace it, causing it to leak ever afterward.
That being said, the battery pack and connection to the batter not being waterproof is a major concern. More than once, the battery ended up laying in a puddle of water. One of those times, the shower then continuously turned itself on and off until we removed the battery from the unit. Once the whole thing dried out, it seemed to work fine again, but it was an alarming experience! Additionally, the charging cable for the battery is quite specific and would be a challenge to replace if it was lost. Overall, the durability of this unit doesn't wow us.
The AngLink is a small, easy-to-carry little shower, weighing just 1.1lbs. The catch, of course, is the bucket you need to properly shower. However, the unit itself is quite lightweight and fairly packable, though it comes with no carrying case or way to keep the cords and hose wound up and not flying loose in your car or bag.
The biggest downfall to the true portability of this unit that is likely to keep you from taking it backpacking (aside from the giant bucket, as you could use a collapsible sink), is its dependence on electricity. While the USB rechargeable battery is great for car camping or using in the front lawn, it's less ideal for long trips off the grid. Unless you're already carrying solar panels or charging packs with you, in which case enjoy your shower too! But really, though the AngLink is fairly small and reasonably portable, it's unlikely to be a top choice for backpackers - though a great fit for car camping and boondocking!
We think the AngLink is an excellent addition to your car camping experience. You can avoid paying all those quarters at the campground, or not have to worry about the lack of showers at your favorite remote location! It's also a great addition to a boondocking setup. As #vanlife is becoming more popular, not taking showers is remaining at the same level of unpopular. The AngLink offers an elegant and comfortable solution - and the suction cup practically begs to be attached to your van window!
Another area where the benefits of the AngLink are clear. This unit will only set you back about $35, and we think that once you give it a try, you'll wonder why you didn't' get one sooner. Comfortable to use and easy to clean not only yourself but also pretty much anything you would normally use a garden hose for, the AngLink is a pretty great value for what you get - clearly we think this so strongly, we awarded it our Best Buy choice.
Though it has many doppelgangers strewn across the internet, the AngLink has an edge in longevity and battery life. Compared to other camping showers, using the AngLink is positively living in the lap of luxury. Easy to use, this versatile shower is also a great value, and we think an excellent addition to your car camping or van life set up.
— Maggie Brandenburg
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