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Reliance Products Flow Pro Pressurized Review

A portable sprayer that's straightforward to use and doesn't cost a ton
Reliance Products Flow Pro Pressurized
Photo: Reliance Products
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Price:  $49 List | Check Price at REI
Pros:  Straightforward use, easy to carry, simple design, inexpensive
Cons:  Narrow spray, doesn't heat well in the sun, not the most durable
Manufacturer:   Reliance Products
By Maggie Brandenburg ⋅ Senior Review Editor  ⋅  Aug 11, 2021
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56
OVERALL
SCORE


RANKED
#9 of 12
  • Comfort - 30% 5
  • Functionality - 25% 6
  • Ease of Set Up - 20% 6
  • Durability - 15% 5
  • Portability - 10% 6

Our Verdict

The Reliance Flow Pro is a simply designed sprayer that works without standing out in any particular area. The thick water vessel is enclosed by a neoprene jacket with a padded shoulder strap. It's powered by a lockable hand pump on top, and filling and using the unit is easy. The kitchen-like spray nozzle is particularly thin, making it better suited to cleaning objects and watering plants than to wash hair or whole human bodies. It doesn't have the most durable components and takes a very long time to heat in the sun, but it is a solid and inexpensive option for modest portable sprayer needs.

Compare to Similar Products

 
Awards  Best Buy Award Best Buy Award   
Price $49 List
Check Price at REI
$36.99 at Amazon$34.95 at REI$33.45 at Amazon$13 List
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Pros Straightforward use, easy to carry, simple design, inexpensiveGreat coverage, comfortable and consistent pressure, decent battery life, easy to useLightweight and packable, easy to use, heats up well, comes with everything you needEfficient solar heating, easy to use temperature gauge, quality construction, lightweightHigh rate of flow, lightweight, inexpensive
Cons Narrow spray, doesn't heat well in the sun, not the most durableShort hose, can't empty its container, durability concernsLow pressure, can be difficult to hang high enough, roll-top is leakyLow pressure, heavy when full, doesn't fold up intuitivelyVery small capacity, easy to lose pieces
Bottom Line A portable sprayer that's straightforward to use and doesn't cost a tonBy adding a bucket and a battery, this shower brings you all the comforts of home in the outdoorsAn affordable, easy to use, and super packable shower that can come with you anywhereA durable take on an old design, this is a gravity shower you can take just about anywhereFor a quick rinse, this small, inexpensive shower will do the trick
Rating Categories Flow Pro Pressurized Ivation Portable Sea to Summit Pocke... Advanced Elements S... Simple Shower
Comfort (30%)
5.0
9.0
5.0
5.0
3.0
Functionality (25%)
6.0
7.0
6.0
6.0
4.0
Ease Of Set Up (20%)
6.0
6.0
7.0
5.0
8.0
Durability (15%)
5.0
5.0
6.0
7.0
5.0
Portability (10%)
6.0
5.0
9.0
8.0
7.0
Specs Flow Pro Pressurized Ivation Portable Sea to Summit Pocke... Advanced Elements S... Simple Shower
Heating Method Manual or Solar Manual Manual or Solar Manual or Solar Manual or Solar
Shower Head Usable Width (inches) 0.5" 2.1" 1" 1" 1.5"
Weight (shower only, ounces) 47 oz
(2.6 lb)
21 oz
(1.3 lb)
4.7 oz
(0.3 lb)
13 oz
(0.8 lb)
.9 oz
(0.05 lb)
Packed Size (L x W in inches) 17" x 9.5" 72" x 3.25" 5.5" x 3.25" 14.5" x 4.5" 13" x 2"
Filled Size (inches) Same Same plus a bucket 20" x 8.5" 19" x 14.5" Same plus a 2 liter bottle
Hose Length (feet/inches) 6' 7" 5' 9.5" N/A 1' 3.5" N/A
Shower Head Diameter (inches) 1.4" 2.5" 1.4" 1.4" 2.0"
Capacity 2 gal (bucket) 2.6 gal 3 gal 1 or 2 L
Rate of Flow (gallons per minute) 1 gal/min 1.2 gal/min Extremely variable 0.6 gal/min 2 gal/min
Construction Plastic (unspecified ) with neoprene sleeve 2200 mAh lithium battery 70D nylon dry sack, plastic components 4-layer construction Recycled material

Our Analysis and Test Results

The Reliance Flow Pro is a hand pump-powered unit with a kitchen sink sprayer and a shoulder strap. This 2-gallon jug is made of plastic, surrounded by an insulated sleeve that zips off for easier cleaning, with a pressure release valve and a mesh pocket to easily store the hose.

Performance Comparison


A handy little sprayer.
A handy little sprayer.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Comfort


With a stream of water that's just half an inch wide, this isn't the most comfortable or efficient way to take an outdoor shower or even bathe the dog. That said, the hand pump pressurizes a soft spray, and the nozzle can be flipped to an "always-on" position — so it's not impossible. Yet having to hold the sprayer with one hand and constantly re-pump the unit by hand, all while soapy and slippery, isn't a joyous task. As the jug becomes emptier, it's more challenging to keep the unit pressurized. The hand pump tends to lift the jug off the ground as it gets lighter — unless you stand on the shoulder strap, adding another layer of complexity to your shower experience. Because of this combination of challenges, the Reliance Flow Pro is easier to use for simpler tasks, like cleaning dishes or rinsing gear.

This nozzle has a fairly narrow stream, even compared to its modest...
This nozzle has a fairly narrow stream, even compared to its modest width.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Functionality


Depending on how much you pump, this shower can achieve some pretty solid pressure. We managed to continually get rates of up to 1 gallon per minute, which is more than enough to do some quick rinsing. Of course, with just a 2-gallon tank, sustained levels this high will rapidly run you out of water. Though the exterior of the Reliance is black, the insulated jacket actually blocks the sun from heating the water inside as fast. Over the course of 6 hours in full sun, ours went up just 28 degrees — far less than most other models we tested. It's best to just put in the temperature of water you plan to use. The 6' 7" hose is plenty long enough, especially since we found ourselves most often carrying this unit to water plants around the house and in the garden.

The black jacket is rather insulated and - ironically - doesn't let...
The black jacket is rather insulated and - ironically - doesn't let the water inside heat as quickly as most other models.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Ease of Set Up


No complicated instructions are required to figure out how to use this simple shower. It has a wide mouth that's easy to fill at the kitchen sink or with a garden hose. You could even fill it with clear running water from a stream — if the stream is deep enough to submerge the entire jug. The hand pump is easy to use and can be locked in place between pumping. A simple hand-release pressure valve makes it easy to release built-up pressure when you need to refill the unit. And a mesh pocket on the side of the carry case/bag handily stores the hose and sprayer — though we wish it wasn't located directly under the shoulder strap attachment, which makes it slightly more laborious to access.

It's as simple and straightforward as it looks, folks.
It's as simple and straightforward as it looks, folks.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Durability


The plastic jug itself feels strong, thick, and sturdy. The neoprene jacket and shoulder strap are solid and also feel well-built — they gave us no problems or worries during our several months of testing. It's only some of the smaller plastic components that we worry about over the long term or if they were to be dropped at the wrong angle. In particular, the pressure release valve and hand sprayer aren't the most confidence-inspiring components. Both are made of thinner, more flexible plastic that's visibly unrefined, easy to scuff, and with leftover edges. Neither of these pieces failed during our testing period, but we read a number of online reviews of other people having issues over long-term use.

The nozzle is one of several components we're not particularly...
The nozzle is one of several components we're not particularly confident about - though we appreciate that flipping the lever up holds the unit in the ON position.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Portability


Weighing just over 2.5 pounds when empty, this jug is fairly lightweight. Even when full with 16 pounds (2 gallons) of water, the padded adjustable shoulder strap helps it feel easy to carry around. It's not something we'd bring backpacking, or likely even camping, but for puttering around the yard or house to water the plants or clean dirty gear, it's not particularly cumbersome.

It's relatively easy to carry this 2 gallon sprayer.
It's relatively easy to carry this 2 gallon sprayer.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Value


If you're after a full camping shower to actually bath yourself with, the Reliance Flow Pro, despite its temptingly low price, is not a great solution. But if you want a sprayer to easily wash gear before putting it in the car or to treat your houseplants to fertilized water, this modest cost model is an appropriately-priced solution.

Conclusion


The Reliance Flow Pro could be a camping shower in a pinch, but its narrow stream, hand pump pressurization system, and slow solar heating make it much better suited to being a portable sprayer. It's inexpensive, easy to use, and works well for quickly cleaning gear or caring for plants.

Perhaps not the best actual shower, we still found plenty of uses...
Perhaps not the best actual shower, we still found plenty of uses for this budget-friendly portable sprayer.
Photo: Maggie Brandenburg

Maggie Brandenburg