Camplux Pro Series 6L Review
Cons: Complicated set up, not very portable, lots of extras required
Compare to Similar Products
Camplux Pro Series 6L
|Price||$189.99 at Amazon||$99.95 at REI||$34.99 at Amazon||$34.95 at REI||$33.44 at Amazon|
|Pros||Instant hot water, very comfortable spray, extremely adjustable||Highly versatile, packable, good pressure, durable, water lasts a long time||Great coverage, comfortable and consistent pressure, decent battery life, easy to use||Lightweight and packable, easy to use, heats up well, comes with everything you need||Efficient solar heating, easy to use temperature gauge, quality construction, lightweight|
|Cons||Complicated set up, not very portable, lots of extras required||Small shower head, filling is a learning curve, must hold in ON position while using||Short hose, can't empty its container, durability concerns||Low pressure, can be difficult to hang high enough, roll-top is leaky||Low pressure, heavy when full, doesn't fold up intuitively|
|Bottom Line||A semi-permanent, easy to use solution for anyone who's always wanted an outdoor shower||A truly versatile, all-around useful shower that you’ll want to take with you everywhere||By adding a bucket and a battery, this shower brings you all the comforts of home in the outdoors||An affordable, easy to use, and super packable shower that can come with you anywhere||A durable take on an old design, this is a gravity shower you can take just about anywhere|
|Rating Categories||Camplux Pro Series 6L||NEMO Helio Pressure...||Ivation Portable||Sea to Summit Pocke...||Advanced Elements S...|
|Ease Of Set Up (20%)|
|Specs||Camplux Pro Series 6L||NEMO Helio Pressure...||Ivation Portable||Sea to Summit Pocke...||Advanced Elements S...|
|Heating Method||Propane||Manual or Solar||Manual||Manual or Solar||Manual or Solar|
|Shower Head Usable Width (inches)||2.2"||0.6"||2.1"||1"||1"|
|Weight (shower only, ounces)||192 oz
|Packed Size (L x W in inches)||21" x 12" x 5.5"||5.5" x 8.5"||72" x 3.25"||5.5" x 3.25"||14.5" x 4.5"|
|Filled Size (inches)||Same||17" x 9.5"||Same plus a bucket||20" x 8.5"||19" x 14.5"|
|Hose Length (feet/inches)||5'||6' 10"||5' 9.5"||N/A||1' 3.5"|
|Shower Head Diameter (inches)||3.1"||1.0"||2.5"||1.4"||1.4"|
|Capacity||(hose)||2.9 gal||(bucket)||2.6 gal||3 gal|
|Rate of Flow (gallons per minute)||Variable based on hose pressue||1 gal/min||1.2 gal/min||Extremely variable||0.6 gal/min|
|Construction||Stainless steel burner, tinning copper heat exchanger||Polyurethne-coated polyester, neoprene hose||2200 mAh lithium battery||70D nylon dry sack, plastic components||4-layer construction|
Our Analysis and Test Results
The Camplux Pro Series outdoor shower is a tankless heating system that instantly converts your hose water into balmy shower temperatures using propane (and two D batteries). It's a box full of metal components and plastic tubing that mounts semi-permanently or hangs outside.
In a direct comparison to the showerhead inside your house, the Camplux is seriously impressive. It provides a full spray that's 2.2 inches from side to side. It has three modes of water output: the regular wide coverage, a center coverage that's ideal for spot washing and dog bathing, and one that combines the two for serious cleaning. One of just two knobs on the wall-mounted unit controls the pressure, helping you to find your perfect level. It's somewhat constrained by the pressure of the water going into the unit, but most outdoor hoses provide more than adequate pressure to allow a very usable and functional level of control.
A second knob easily controls the water temperature, making this "camping" shower more finely tuned than any other model we tested. Similar to your bathroom shower, the Camplux can be turned warmer or colder, responding to a twist of the red gas control knob within seconds. The only real limit to this is if and when you run out of propane. The shower itself is switched on and off only through a slide-through button on the showerhead, with no power button or switch on the actual unit. Camplux recommends installing on/off valves between the unit and the hose input line but doesn't include one with this shower system. It does, however, come with a plastic screw-mountable shower head holder that points the stream of water comfortably out and away from the wall it's mounted on.
It's difficult to specify exactly what flow rate you can expect to get from this unit, as it's dependent on a huge variety of factors. Different Camplux models advertise different maximum rates, but all are influenced by the pressure coming in from your hose. You'll also get different pressure and output as you play with the settings on the actual unit, twisting the blue knob to change the pressure and toggling between modes that output different amounts of water.
Beyond just the considerations of your water input, this model also requires a propane tank to heat the water and two D batteries to ignite the propane every time you turn it on. The warmer your shower, the faster it burns through propane. And while the unit itself is technically portable, it requires a stable mounting surface — either through screws on the shower's body or a hangar on a flat surface that hooks securely to the metal handle on the top. The Camplux Pro comes with a propane line (regulator included), though it's just 5 feet long, meaning your propane tank has to remain very close to wherever you're showering.
Ease of Set Up
After you've set the whole thing up once, it's very simple to replicate the process. In reality, it's about having all the right hookups and components, as well as the appropriate space to mount everything. Unlike most camping showers that are self-contained units (just add water!), the Camplux Pro requires multiple extra inputs that you have to supply yourself. Namely, the tank full of propane, a constant stream of fresh water via a standard garden hose, and two D batteries to ignite the propane. So if you want to go car camping with this setup, don't forget to take the propane, check the batteries are fresh, pack a hose (and camp at a site that allows you to use a hose), and have a way to securely mount or hang the whole thing. Oh, and of course you'll want a privacy tent if you prefer not to wear a bathing suit while you shower.
The Camplux Pro comes with a bunch of accessories, attachments, and extra pieces to ensure you have all the basics to get started. Two quick-connect attachments for both the cold water input and the hot water output are also in the box, as are a myriad of screws to mount the whole thing and extra O-rings to help stop leakage. The only real struggle we had is that our old backyard garden hose was a bit crusty with age and couldn't attach well enough to the unit to not spray water everywhere. We managed to pirate an adapter piece from an unrelated project to stop the leaking — but be warned if you too have an older hose you're planning to use. It's also important to note that this unit canNOT be allowed to freeze. So if you live in a place with seasons, be sure not to leave this shower outside or even in a cold garage when temperatures dip below 33 degrees.
Constructed of mostly metal components and meant to be mounted to a wall, this unit is built to be durable. It's one of those things that most of us aren't qualified to take apart and fix safely — like a drier or furnace. The bulk of this shower is sturdy, and we had no issues using it during our several months of testing. However, unlike many other camping showers that are made to take a beating, this one is likely to break internally if you were to drop it — particularly on the many connection points exposed on the bottom of the unit. Therefore we didn't do our normal drop-it-from-chest-height-and-see-if-it-breaks test, and it's extra important to ensure it doesn't fall after mounted.
Our only issues with this unit are with some of its external components made from unimpressively flimsy plastic. We had particular problems using the quick-connect pieces. More than once, though it looked fully attached, turning on the water supply to this shower exposed a sloppy job connecting components, resulting in the quick-connect becoming a disconnect due to high pressure as we tried to fix it. The Camplux would be easier to control with on/off valves at both the water input and output points (as they suggest doing in the instruction manual), but those require extra purchases that we did not make. As mentioned before, we also had issues getting our old backyard hose to connect without leaking — as did many other users, based on the online reviews we combed through. We eventually fixed the issue, but it required snagging a female-to-female hose adapter that doesn't come with the Camplux Pro.
Though technically portable, the number of components and inputs required to run this unit make it one of the least portable units we tested. There's no way to use this without a garden hose and a giant propane tank.
Even if you're an RVer spending time touring the country at campsites with full water hookups, mounting this shower securely and stably is extremely important, again hampering its overall level of portability. It's not impossible, but it will require your ingenuity to develop a system to do so — whether that's a wooden stand to hang on outside or a large hook to mount it to the outside of your camper. Because it runs on propane, this unit can also never be operated safely indoors due to the potential build of up harmful fumes.
The Camplux Pro isn't a cheap unit, and it has a very specific set of situations it's usable for. If you're committed to the hookups it requires, the price you'll pay for this unit is well worth the instant and adjustable hot showers you'll be able to enjoy.
The Camplux Pro is technically portable but made for semi-permanent use outdoors. It requires a lot of setup and a secure space to operate, but once ready to go, this unit gave us some of the most comfortable outdoor showers we've ever had.
— Maggie Brandenburg